Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: Toriko Volume 29

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Toriko Volume 29 shows the aftermath of the battle between IGO and Gourmet Corp. The Toriko manga series follows Toriko, a Gourmet Hunter who’s on a search to find the most precious foods in the world in order to create his full-course meal. He has an inhuman ability that gives him incredible strength, as well as an extensive knowledge of the animal kingdom that helps him to capture ferocious, evasive, and rare beasts. He is accompanied by a timid chef named Komatsu, who travels with Toriko in order to improve his culinary skills and find rare ingredients. Toriko and his friends are often fighting against the Gourmet Corps, who want to take control of the world’s food supply and to find a highly sought-after ingredient called GOD.

Toriko Volume 29

Toriko Volume 29

Written by: Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Volume 29 starts out with the final confrontation between Midora and Ichiryu. During this battle, the reader gets to see brief flashbacks that present a little more backstory for Midora and Ichiryu. And this final battle also shows that Midora is actually a more complicated character than he had appeared to be. Unfortunately, after Midora’s battle with Ichiryu ends, he launches a meteor spice attack that wreaks havoc on Earth and brings about an abrupt end to the Age of Gourmet.

In the aftermath of the meteor spice attack, Toriko broods over being defeated by Starjun and how he was unable to protect Komatsu. There’s a very moving portion of Toriko Volume 29 where people work at lifting Toriko’s spirit by thanking him for all of the various foods he’s discovered as a Gourmet Hunter and how his discoveries have helped them. Of course, it’s predictable that these testimonials help Toriko get over his slump and find the determination he needs to continue on and do what he needs to do.

Volume 29 also shows what happened to Komatsu after he was captured by Starjun. He runs into an old friend named Otake, and this provides an opportunity for Komatsu’s friend to receive some character development. And by extension, this also provides some backstory for Komatsu as well.

Komatsu becomes an important part of the story when Midora returns to Gourmet Corp. and demands that the captured chefs cook him a meal. Komatsu takes on the challenge, and the result is a surprise to the reader and to Midora. But what isn’t surprising is the positive attitude that Komatsu displays during the scenes taking place at Gourmet Corp. If it wasn’t for this aspect of his character, he probably would have had a very different experience. As part of that optimism and positivity, he believes that Toriko will be coming to save him.

It’s also revealed that there’s actually a third group that has been covertly participating in the battle between IGO and Gourmet Corp. The group, known as Neo, works hard to make it unclear as to which side if any, it truly supports. The inclusion of this new group brings about the potential for more layers and complications to be added to the story.

Toriko Volume 29 helps to expand on the story progression and character development that was introduced in Volume 28. It also successfully sets the stage for the series to head into the next story arc. Long time readers of Toriko should appreciate what Volume 29 has to offer with its world building moments, as well as for the few action scenes that take place early on.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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