Toriko: Part 3 Review

Gaming

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Toriko: Part 3
Studio: Toei Animation
Publisher: FUNimation
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Price: $39.98 – Available Here

Overview:
There are many reasons to fight, especially in a shōnen series. Perhaps a loved one is in danger or your homeland is threatened, sometimes there are those who simply travel around testing their strength against other fights around the world and sometimes it is simple as fighting for food. However rather than fight due to starvation, the combatants in Toriko hunt their prey down simply to enjoy their deliciousness. While Toriko Part 1 and Part 2, the reviews of which can be found here and here respectively, may have been slightly undercooked, is Toriko Part 3 the delicious entrée fans have been waiting for?

Story:
It goes without saying that jumping in at this point with no previous knowledge of the series would leave viewers with quite a few questions. This is doubly so for Toriko Part 3 which continues the Century Soup story arc which began in the closing episodes of Part 2. Toriko Part 3 picks up immediately where Part 2 left off and while Part 2 may have consisted of plenty of explanation about Gourmet Corps’ goal, the “Gourmet Cells” which make Toriko and other Gourmet Hunter so strong and a few other things, Part 3 focuses heavily on combat.

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While things may start off rather tamely in Toriko Part 3, with Toriko and the rest of the surviving hunters taking down a deadly creature for dinner, things escalate quickly from there on out. With Gourmet Corps’ Vice Head Chef Tommyrod and his two assistants closing in, Toriko must face off against one of the toughest opponents he has ever faced.

To make matters worse, when a mysterious character is revealed to be an ally named Teppei, the group learns that the Gourmet Window, the glacier which creates the Century Soup may be in trouble. With horrific foes staring them in the face, sub-zero weather conditions, the possibility of escape dwindling and their final goal possibly disappearing in front of them, Toriko and the rest find themselves in the worst possible situation yet.

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If it sounds like there isn’t much story progress, that is because for the most part, Toriko Part 3 consists almost entirely of combat. The rest of Toriko’s traveling companions, Takimaru and Match are given time in the spotlight as they face off against Tommyrod’s minions and even receive a bit of character development as their backstories are explained and their reasons for tracking down the Century Soup are revealed.

The true highlight in Toriko Part 3 however is actually a villain. While past villains Toriko and the group have faced off against have always had evil intentions, Tommyrod is the first one to truly feel sinister. Because of his sadistic nature and ability to use thousands of bugs and throw their lives away in battle, his evil nature makes his fight against Toriko feel more legitimate as it actually feels like a fight with more on the line than an ingredient.

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As the action heavy third part of Toriko winds down, Toriko and the surviving Century Soup hunters venture to the Country of Life. With Toriko severely injured and Komatsu set on solving the final mystery of the Century Soup, Part 3 leaves viewers with a minimal cliffhanger right at the very end of the Century Soup story arc. While it is a decent enough place for a cliffhanger, viewers will probably feel short changed thanks to the fact that the story arc that takes up the entirety of Part 3 is left hanging with only one episode left.

Visuals:
Perhaps it was the focus on action more than anything else in Toriko: Part 3 but the animation quality seems to have improved for this collection of episodes. As Toriko and the rest fought against Tommyrod and his men a number of new powerful attacks were revealed and demonstrated in impressive fashion, though it is worth noting that, as the fights continued, many battle animations were re-used. Also, the colorful character design is limited due to the body suits the survivors are wearing are very bland in appearance despite their necessity.

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That being said, the character designs, especially Tommyrod’s facial animations, are handled well. There is a noticeable amount of censorship in Part 3 however, with various fighters suffering heavy damage including limb loss and gaping wounds simply being displayed as casual damage. It is also worth noting that while the series retains its rich color palette, Toriko: Part 3 doesn’t cover a whole lot of ground and because of this many backgrounds in Ice Hell are re-used and only a few creatures and food designs are shown off throughout these episodes.

Audio:
It should go without saying that the English cast for Toriko: Part 3 remains the same as past releases and also includes the original Japanese voice track for those who prefer it. The returning cast handles their characters well enough though the over-the-top nature of the voice work has been toned down to fit in with the more action oriented Part 3. It is worth noting that Tommyrod’s voice work plays a major part in portraying him as a cold evil creature and his voice actor helps sell the character.

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Being nearly entirely combat focused, the background music for Toriko: Part 3 contains plenty of action music that is mostly forgettable amongst the clashes of battle though occasionally a track will accent the action of a specific combat sequence well. The opening song remains unchanged in Part 3 and is still “Gatsu Gatsu” by Akira Kushida and the closing song remains “Deli Deli Delicious” by Sea-A. Both of these tracks are very fitting for an anime so focused on food, though it is worth noting that the ending theme changes to “Sabrina” by Leo Ieri for the final episode of Part 3.

Extras:
Toriko: Part 3 comes with a rather basic set of bonus features, including a clean version of the opening song once again and two textless ending songs, including the new “Sabrina” ending theme. Outside of that there is the US trailer for the anime, trailers for other FUNimation anime and two commentary tracks.

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The commentary track for Episode 30 features Toriko’s voice actor Ian Sinclair once again, Jason Douglas who handles the voice of Match and Jerry Jewell who is the voice of Boogieyuz. The two spend a bit of time discussing the show and of course continue the running commentary theme of providing their own “Full Course Menu of Life.” Episode 34’s commentary features ADR Director Tyler Walker this time and David Wald who handles the voice of Teppei. The two discuss David’s character Teppei and various aspects of the show.

Overall:
Toriko: Part 3 may not advance the story very far but it takes the background laid out before in Part 2 of the series  and runs with it. By focusing almost entirely on action, the animation quality is surprisingly consistent and rather impressive at times. Pair that with English voicework that remains impressive with Greg Ayres’ voicing of Tommyrod stealing the show and you have a presentation that far surpasses past Toriko releases. While the ending of Toriko: Part 3 may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of those looking to finish the Century Soup arc, this action packed entrée is more than satisfactory.

8-0-capsules-out-of-10

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As a big fan of anime and games I'll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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