Anime Reporter dons the manga bib once more to sample the culinary delight that is Toriko Volume 24.
Those of us who are up to date can move on, without fear of giving away too much information. Last time, we got to see the final blows of the fight against the dreaded Four Beast and the salvation of the human race as a result. While this was mainly down to the Four Heavenly Kings and their tireless appetites and raw power, the day is not yet won and their fate is out of their hands. Luckily Komatsu has been on the job, managing to craft a readily available and easily duplicated antidote for the Four Beast’s toxin. Volume 24 starts with Komatsu and the other chefs doing what they can to get the new creation to everyone who needs it.
Naturally, after overcoming such a terrifying new foe, Toriko spends a little time trying to figure out exactly how strong he’s become and even earns a new ability out of the bargain.
What follows is a pretty well-paced storyline which takes the focus off Toriko for a while. Having played a huge part in saving the human race, Komatsu has suddenly become a household name, earning himself a great reputation and the respect of the cooking community, and with great timing too! Komatsu has just managed to earn himself an invite to Cooking Festival, the event held every four years to earn one chef the title of “Super Cook”, effectively making them instant celebrities and earning them more success, wealth and adoration than they could ever need. Only the world’s top 100 chefs are eligible and Komatsu’s recent string of achievements have deemed him worthy of the honour.
Not that he’s come to realise this just yet. A great portion of the volume sees Komatsu bowled over with excitement and awe at meeting his idols while also trying his darnedest to do a great job while playing by the rules. While it’s very nice to see Komatsu getting his own plot, the story could benefit from spending a little bit less time reminding readers of the two things that the story clearly demonstrates: that Komatsu has achieved great things since the start of the series and he’s an all around great guy.
The Cooking Festival is also a great opportunity to showcase some of the great talents and personalities in the cooking world. While there have been quite a few impressive and bizarre chefs featured already in the series, Volume 24 introduces us to a hell of a lot more, each with their own imaginative traits and cooking styles. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is Brunch, a demonic figure who seems to be the chefs’ answer to Zebra. It doesn’t take long for this brash competitor to make Komatsu his rival, even if Komatsu is a little too busy smiling pleasantly to notice.
Toriko Volume 24 rolls neatly from the Four Beast arc and straight into the Cooking Festival which has already proved to be full of action and humour, even if it’s a bit light on the series’ customary combat.
Toriko Volume 24 is currently available from Viz Media. For more info, check out the Viz website and stick around Anime Reporter for more reviews and insights.
Plot Development: 7
New Characters: 8.5
78% – “A Lot to Live Up To” – Toriko Volume 24 starts off a new story arc of Olympic scale and already promises to showcase a hefty dose of competition. The premise is strong and already shows a lot of potential, we can only wait and see how it plays out.