If you’ve stuck with Toriko through the first 26 episodes but have yet to venture past Part Two, you are no doubt curious whether or not the search for the Century Soup begun in the previous collection is worth continuing. After all, Part Two concluded at a rather odd point in the Century Soup saga, ending not on a cliffhanger so much as unsatisfyingly smack dab in the middle of the storyline. Sure, it was jarring and left you wanting more, but it did so not necessarily in the way a good cliffhanger might. You could easily walk away from Toriko: Part Two feeling cheated rather than enticed to move forward.
And if that in fact was precisely how you reacted to the conclusion of Part Two, buck up, for I’m here to assure you that the Century Soup storyline as continued in Part Three is well worth following through on. FUNimation’s third Toriko release collects episodes 27-38 of the series, the first episode of which finds Toriko and Komatsu sitting down for a meal with those men with whom they’ve teamed up on Ice Hell to search out the Century Soup, and here we finally learn something of their newfound allies’ true colors. This sets the stage for a series of impressive battles against the three members of the Gourmet Corp. who have tailed the team hopes of securing the Century Soup for their own nefarious purposes. The battles against the lesser two Gourmet Corp. baddies waged by Toriko’s new pals display great intensity and give added insight into these characters with whom we were at last able to connect in episode 27. The battle between Toriko and the leader of the evil trio, the bug tamer Tommyrod, is slightly less impressive I must admit. Although the battle is thoroughly engaging and indeed tense when the pair clash head-on, so much of the battle is waged by Tommyrod from a distance, forcing Toriko to remain on the defensive and chop at wave-after-wave of bugs for what feels like half the set (and it very well might be). Still, this series of battles will surely satisfy your thirst for action, and I find that all the new characters introduced in this saga prove themselves great additions to the Toriko team, temporary though their alliance may be at this juncture.
Additionally, this particular set does not continue the trend of ending awkwardly mid-/pre-action that characterized FUNimation’s previous Toriko releases. The Century Soup saga concludes two episodes prior to the conclusion of the set and Toriko and the gang have yet to fully recover and get back out on the hunt when the set concludes. This is not to say that it is entirely without cliffhanger though, for there is still a terrific amount of uncertainty facing the gang as episode 38 winds down, generating no small amount of curiosity for viewers as to what could possibly lie in store for them in future quests. In short, Toriko: Part Three shows that the series is well worth our continued attention.
Toriko: Part Three will be available in a 2-DVD set from FUNimation Entertainment on March 19, 2013. Special features on the release include select episode commentaries, textless openings and closings, and trailers.