With curiously non-descript (and to be brutally honest a bit naff) covers it’s hard to tell exactly what this series is all about. It’s one of Viz’s more recent titles to come through their Shonen Jump line, and proves to be a sturdy addition to their range.
Toriko is a Gourmet Hunter on the path to discover his perfect full-course meal. He may be a huntsman, but rather than grab a rifle and snipe away he’d much rather run straight at his target and punch it in the face. This is a manly shonen manga where the men eat MEAT and the animals are BIG. It’s less a world of cute deer and fluffy foxes, but rather one is filled with four-armed gorillas, giant crocodiles and I quote a ‘Troglodyte Pterodactyl’. These outrageous beasties come in all shapes and sizes, all ready for Toriko to fight (and eat) his way through.
It probably sounds quite brutal on the surface of it, but Toriko fully respects the world’s natural order, only killing what he fully intends to eat. There are those who kill for sport or personal gain, currently depicted as remotely-controlled robots, and such people are treated as the bad guys of the manga. So basically we get to see Toriko beat the crap out of the local wildlife while still maintaining some form of eco-friendly message.
To be honest there’s no point picking at the arguably inconsistent sensibilities of the series as there's not an ounce of realism in here. You can slice an 18-metre long alligator’s head of with your bare hands, and being shot through the neck with a lazer barely counts as a flesh wound. This isn’t a place to sweat the details or take itself too seriously, just switch your brain off and indulge on some mean shonen-style action.