If there are two current Shonen Jump properties that would easily integrate into one another, they are One Piece and Toriko. What with Luffy and crew’s constant island hoping, and penchant for eating large quantities of food, meeting Toriko is right in line with things. So just when the Strawhats find their cupboards bare they spot an island. Luffy, Chopper, Nami, and Sanji head out to find food and run into giant pigs that while still alive already have that yummy barbecued smell and flavor. This is also where they meet Toriko who mistakes Chopper for another piece of rare cuisine. Let the fighting and eating commence! This was actually my introduction to Toriko and it was a lot of rambunctious fun! And that’s all it is, though I don’t know if there is any over arching plot beyond discovering these foods to worry about later on, it just doesn’t need it.
Before we kicked off watching Toriko for the season preview we decided to watch the one hour One Piece/Toriko cross over special. The purpose of the cross over is simple. Toriko is new and they want to build an audience for the show and One Piece is insanely popular so it will draw viewers by default. Despite that cynical reasoning the two shows cross over easily in a very organic fashion. It begins with the One Piece pirates and the Toriko gang landing on the same fantastical island of food. Since both groups are gluttonous little gourmands the fact that they would team up to get delicious but dangerous dishes the logical conclusion of their meeting more than a forced plot device. They have to do the prerequisite fight that is quickly broken up to turn into a team up rather quickly. After the initial misunderstanding is cleared up Toriko and Luffy band together to take down some tasty monsters and rescue their weaker party members when they are kidnapped. I did notice that the Strawhats got a bit of the short end of the stick. Half the pirate crew was on the boat most of the special and Luffy seems to be underpowered in order to let Toriko shine. But this was really made to hook people on what a manly man Toriko therefore if Luffy is destroying everything he meets than people will forget Toriko before they even get a chance to know him. But that does not diminish this fun little side quest. It is recommended for fans of either series or anyone who likes humorous shonen fighting shows.