I've only learne of it on this day, February 26th of 2014, that the anime adaptation of the "Toriko" manga will be ending in its 148th episode, five weeks from today.
To those that don't know, it's a manga that follows the adventures of Toriko and the Chef Komatsu, in a world where Food is the most valuable and the most important comodity in the world, where creatures of all shapes and sizes roam, with almost all of them being considered an ingredient. Toriko is in search of ingredients for his Full-Course Menu of 8 dishes, with Komatsu agreeing to be his partner and help him cook those ingredients. It's a very interesting series, filled with bits and pieces of scientific facts and knowledge sprinkled in this fantasy world, with a lot of interesting creature designs, some of which are ideas sent to the author, Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, by his fans.
Toriko was adapted into an anime by Toei Animations and started its broadcast in April 3rd, 2011. Toei Animations is the studio that brought us, mainly, Dragon Ball and it's follow-up series, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. And it's because of Dragon Ball Kai, the "polished" HD re-release of Dragon Ball Z, that Toriko is ending, so that in its place, the Majiin Buu saga can air. And this saddens me greatly, but currently I'm more pissed off than sad.
The big problem with this decision is that the Toriko anime isn't even stopping production, or being set aside to be brought back later, it's being ended by cutting the story short and giving it a finale, deviating from the manga series. Although we're still 5 episodes from it ending, the last two had more than enough material to make anyone that has seen this happen before with other animes to know that it's what is going to happen with Toriko. 148 episodes with an abrupt ending means that there is no chance for the anime to continue the adaptation of the manga series, at least not any time soon, and for what? For a "polished" Dragon Ball Z arc?
Now, I can't prove it, but call it intuition when I say, that this is Toei Animations trying to keep their license over Dragon Ball Z. Why would they have stopped for such a long time between the second and third major arcs of the series, with their re-release, which I'm sure doesn't captivate that much attention. And this brings up the biggest problem (in my opinion, at least), of the anime industry: ever since anime adaptations of long-running manga series like Dragon Ball, most publishers and anime studios seem to be more interested in long-running series over shorter ones, in order to build a franchise on those series; but sadly, due to big-time names like Naruto, and even One Piece, the new guys don't get a chance to shine in the TV screen. Toriko is a popular manga... but so was Bleach, and that didn't stop it's studio from ending the anime adaptation of that series. With the intention of producing episodes for every single day of the week, the studios seem to forget that they're working on a time-constraint, as they can't put themselves in front of the manga, story-wise, which of course leads to the dreaded filler-episodes, and filler-story arcs.
In comparison, I am okay with Young Justice ending after two seasons, despite building up for at least a third one; I don't mind that Green Lantern got the can after only one season, and that Beware the Batman didn't even air the first half it it's season. Again, in comparison, because those still annoy me greatly. When you can over-douche Warner Bros. on ruining animated series, you've got a big problem. Luckily, not all Japanese anime studios seem to agree with this older model, and are allowing themselves more into the season-based model of the West, which gives them the chance to produce high-quality animation, and to allow their source materials to move on with no need for filler content; shows like Bakuman, Shingeky no Kyojin/Attack on Titan, and my favorite, the Monogatari series, are the best examples I can recall.
So farewell, Toriko anime, you'll be missed and mourned, even if not by many. And altough Fairy Tail is returning in April, it will not fill the void in my stomach that the absence of your animation leaves in me, with only the terrific manga series to sustain me.