I shouldn’t have been surprised to find myself stocking my kitchen the same week I was hitting up the latest volumes of Toriko on vizmanga.com.
Two big things have happened on that site this month. First, their digital manga is on sale at $4/volume instead of the usual $5. Secondly, and more importantly, Viz manga titles are now going digital the same day they’re available in print. Formerly it could take up to six weeks or so, I never had the exact timing right.
This is cool because my purchasing of Toriko has switched entirely to digital. I don’t like clutter, so while I’m happy to have manga like Fist of the North Star stocked in triplicate (Raijin, Viz, and JP editions), Toriko doesn’t quite make the cut. Enjoy the series as I may, I don’t get much pleasure from flipping through the installments I’ve already read, which is rapidly becoming my standard for keeping hard copies of comics around.
But like I said before, it’s ditsy fun reading, and if I’m going to continue being way too interested in manga, I guess I can say I have a contemporary Shonen Jump title du jour. I’m just a bit surprised at how the last few volumes of Toriko have added gangsters, facial scars, and pompadours to my favorite food comic.
I’m excited (like, really excited) to see what happens next in Toriko. Will Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro keep adding things that rule? I hope so. Shonen Jump isn’t what it used to be, though Toriko is such a blend of new and old it remains commercially viable while also being readable to peeps like you and me.
These days I still see a very strong Kinnikuman influence in the way Toriko balances humor and brawn, but the cartoony worldbuilding also reminds me heavily of One Piece. And in the latest batch of volumes, the primal, physical excess is beginning to mirror Grappler Baki in more obvious ways than ever before.
In spite of all that, this is still a manga about food and eating (sort of), which brings me back around to my original point. I’ve yet to read anything that makes me crave a hearty meal the way Toriko does. So these days I find my fridge more packed with fresh meat and vegetables than ever before.
It’s weird, discovering how awesome food can taste in adulthood. I have an excuse for that, at least: I grew up on an impoverished diet (lots of cans and microwaved hot dogs and frozen crap.) The thing I don’t have an excuse for is how this damn Japanese funnybook has a hand in the evolution of my palate.