Toriko/One Piece Crossover Special
Plot Summary: The Straw Hat Pirates have gotten lost at sea and run out of food when they happen upon an island. They land there hoping to find a town where they can resupply, but discover that it is deserted. Upon further exploration they realize that much of the plant life on the island sprouts food. They soon run into Toriko, a gourmet on a quest to sample the best ingredients in the world. Together they punch and eat every tasty looking living creature they set their eyes on, culminating in them eating the entire island itself.
Thoughts: I’m not sure if this is actually supposed to be the first episode of Toriko or not, but it’s the only thing I can find right now so I’ll just assume it is. One can only assume that they decided to do this crossover in the hopes that it would spark interest in Toriko, but if that was their goal I don’t think they went about it very well. This special does nothing to actually introduce any Toriko characters, save for Toriko himself. Several other characters show up later on, but they’re not properly introduced and don’t really contribute much. If you haven’t already read the Toriko manga there’s no way to know who any of them are. They’re just weird looking people with unexplained powers.
Anyway, the actual special itself wasn’t all that bad. It’s the typical wacky fun any longtime One Piece fans have come to expect from the series. Which outlines another problem, the One Piece aspects, at least from my point of view, seem to overshadow the Toriko aspects. There is stuff from Toriko, such as animals with food growing on them, but weird animals aren’t exactly unique to Toriko. One Piece had alligators with bananas on their heads 300 episodes ago, so this doesn’t really seem like something new introduced for the crossover. There just isn’t anything that makes Toriko stand out. If it wasn’t explicitly stated that this is a crossover it could easily be confused for a filler episode where Luffy and some strange man eat a bunch of food and punch stuff. Which is great if you like One Piece, but it doesn’t exactly compel me to watch Toriko. Not that I would find a series where a guy just punches things and eats them compelling anyway.