Dragon Ball series follows the adventures of Son Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls for their own desires. Along the way becoming the strongest warrior in the universe.
Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga series of all time, with over 230 million copies sold worldwide with 157 million in Japan alone, making it the third all-time best selling manga as of 2015, and the #1 manga series not currently publishing. The series is often credited for the "Golden Age of Jump" where the magazine's circulation was at its highest.
VIZ Media serialized the manga in English from March 1998 to March 2005 in monthly comic book anthology format; and was later collected into traditional tankobon format volumes from March 12, 2003 to June 6, 2006. To closer follow the English anime localization, the series is split; in which volumes 17-42 are titled Dragon Ball Z and renumbered as volumes 1-26. Other releases by VIZ include the large format VIZ Big Edition, kanzenban cover based 3-in-1 Edition, and a Full Color Edition of chapters 195-245. Other English publishers include Madman Entertainment in Australia/New Zealand, and the now defunct Gollancz Manga (distribution rights transferred to VIZ) in the United Kingdom. The series is also published in Spanish by Planet DeAgostini Cómics and in French by Glénat Editions.
Ever since I was little I was a hardcore fight fan, I loved watching shows where the antagonists had to battle for the survival of all they held dear, even now I hold fondly the anime that had given me my first taste as it aired on my morning cartoon network "Cheese TV." It was a boring morning when I stumbled upon the Dragonball manga and I soon found that morning cheering up as I delightfully relived the story of Goku and his Dragonball adventures.
If a manga like Dragonball were to only appear now, I would have probably given it an 8 or 9,
though I have chosen to keep its original context in mind.
As I just mentioned; if Dragonball were to be released now, then it wouldn't have been as popular as it is today, this is because when the manga came out it was something new and unbelievable that the world had never really seen. The manga was one of the crucial founders of shounen fighting manga and anime; it set all the stereotypes and the benchmarks. Dragonball was one of the greatest stories of its generation and would leave a legacy on all shounen manga that would follow as the style continues to advance and refine to suit the times. Popular anime and manga like Naruto and Bleach all have roots in Dragonball.
Now, as for the story itself, I would say it's very good on its own terms. It takes an ancient Chinese tale and turns it into something completely different: a wacky adventure of a monkey-tailed jungle boy and a blue-haired tech head heiress of which would later be joined by more and more companions, some with rocky beginnings though all charmed by the protagonist, Goku's, innocence.
Goku's natural strength would always be questioned until later in the manga when his true identity is revealed as an adult (I would expect everyone to know, but I won't spoil it, just in case) which would give him the opportunity to face opponents stronger than he'd ever faced in an intergalactic setting.
Dragonball's sense of romance was kind of vague; the manga would skip large amounts of time, rarely even offering as much as a montage to explain the gap. Most romantic relationships would take place between these times. I felt that this was probably one of the best methods, the concept of lovey-dovey romance happening within Dragonball is shudder-worthy, it would undermine the true focus of the anime and so, as a result, even the cutest pairing were laced with violence, screaming spouses throwing threats at one another, it was the manga's own form of love.
The style enjoyed sitting out of the box.
Before Dragonball most anime and manga were similar to Astro Boy or the work of Hayao Miyazaki, but then came Dragonball sporting veined muscles and antagonists like king Piccollo and Frieza.
The settings were unique as well, like an alternate universe to our own world filled with amusing sterotypes from around the world, the terrain ranging from desert to jungles, cities to islands.
The world was made the playground for this manga.
Like any fighting manga or anime, it was very character driven, creating unique and wacky personalities and character designs with very well thought out back story that would always come back to bite them somewhere in the manga, no matter how far forward. In Dragonball especially, the character development was evident, as the characters changed and aged physically and mentally, maturing in all their own chosen occupations.
I will have to say that the reason I enjoyed this manga the most was because of the nostalgia that I felt from reading it, I could remember a time back when I was just four or five years old when I would sit and watch, even though I can't remember much about my childhood, I still hang onto so many memories of watching Goku fight Frieza on planet Namek, of trunks and his father fighting cell among others.
I read the whole series as a teen, so it may sound or come out different from me than other reviewers. But as it is coming from a "teen", i found this to be extremely enjoyable. There are many flaws and weaknesses in this manga, but i seemed to understand why many called Toriyama, the creator of DragonBall, a genius. DragonBall surpasses all odds in its infinite path of making new friends, fighting new foes, and discovering new powers. In other words, you can call it the perfect raw shounen manga for younger audiences and perhaps teens like myself.
this is both a weakness and a strong point of the series. Different arcs have different stories behind them but they all connect and make sense in the end. Although everything connects however, some parts seem like they lose understanding and basic common sense. Though rare, sometimes, the reader might feel or want to say "Well this makes sense, but why didn't they do this, or why couldn't they have done that before."
I do give the author credit though, for it is not easy to connect everything perfectly clearly with such a long series. I think the author balanced everything to work out pretty well.
However, when the plot gets really good into something you didn't expect, that's when the series really starts to shine. Secrets are uncovered and mysteries you could never imagine occur in this wonderful storyline giving it a solid 9/10.
This one's quite obvious i think. The action sequences are very nicely drawn with wonderful design of landscapes and characters. Also the way the technology is drawn still amuses me :)
First thing first, I have to say the way the characters were created and how it applies to them is pure genius. Absolute amazing creativity with variety as well. This series ranges from humans to saiyans to animals to aliens to different aliens to organisms to BUBBLE GUM. I mean BUBBLE GUM. If thats not enough of variety u also got two types (SPOILER* xP). A fat one and an evil looking one.
There is a backside to this though, which is why i rated it a 9 out of 10, and that is the character development. This seems to come out as a fatal flaw in the series. Important characters who were good friends of goku (SPOILER* xP) like Yamcha and Tien have seemed to lost their importance. Bulma who first discovered Goku, seems to have almost no part in his life afterwards. She seems to end up as the casual techno girl and cheerleader for Goku while he's fighting. But, even though there are some characters who seem to become unimportant, some new characters undergo a very nice change in development. For example characters like (SPOILER* xP) Vegeta, Piccolo, the androids, Buu, even Satan, seem to become important and likable characters in the series. Despite it's flaw in the development of some characters, it doesn't do quite much to affect the wonderful variety of characters and enjoyment in DragonBall.
Really enjoyed this series. What more to say about it. x)
Don't get intimidated by the flaws i posted. (I'm just a mean reviewer :P)
Overall, DragonBall is a wonderful series filled with adventure and excitement. It's just incredible. You can't miss it!
Dragon Ball is a popular manga written in the 80's-90's, about a young boy named Son Gokuu and his friends, going on adventures and most of all: fighting.
The story starts with Son Gokuu, an 11-year old boy (who thinks he's 14) who lives alone in the mountains. One day he meets the young genius girl Bulma, who tells him about the dragon balls, seven magical stones with the power to summon a dragon, which will grant any wish, and she wants the dragon to give her the perfect boyfriend.
This however, is only the introduction to some of the characters and the concept of the dragon
balls. But the story is really about fighting bad people who want to kill innocent people for fun.
The story is simple and sometimes only serves the purpose of introducing more fights, but it works. Big intrigues and complex plans for world domination just doesn't fit in, which is why it's lucky that none of that is in there. Dragon Ball is more about the experience than the story, and the story isn't at all bad. It just isn't the best one out there, but it is one of the most entertaining ones, but more on that later.
The characters in Dragon Ball are all memorable and likeable. From Son Gokuu to Majin Buu, everyone feels like a valid addition to the Dragon Ball universe.
Gokuu is the protagonist, and you can almost call him the original Luffy or Natsu, meaning that hes is simple-minded/ stupid, he eats a lot, and he is ridiculously strong. Other than that the characters don't have that many traits, yes Bulma is smart and goofy, Gohan doesn't like fighting, and Piccolo and Vegeta are evil, but not much is known about the characters other than that, yet somehow they are still so likeable. Also the little character-development in here is surprisingly interesting.
But there are problems, especially that there are so many characters, that some just lose their roles eventually and just disappear from the story. This is annoying because at some points you will miss them. Other than that there are no complaints about the characters.
The animation and design are very good. Though every character has very similiar facial features (except for Kuririn's lack of a nose), everyone looks distinct, mainly because of different clothes and hair style (and by God does Bulma have many of those). Though one weird thing is that apparently in this universe, people (well, mainly the men) don't age past the age of 18, everyone looks exactly the same in the epilogue as they did when you got to know them in the series, which is kind of weird.
There are also many “derp-moments” and the characters both look and are hilarious, in these situations.
Something surprising about this manga is that even though the beginning is kind of perverted, absolutely all of the women are almost flat chested. This is quite unusual, since many shounen manga have women with so big boobs that it just looks stupid, so it's good that the women aren't there just for fan service, but to advance the plot.
The biggest part of Dragon Ball is the fighting, and it looks great. The ki attacks (e.g. the Kamehame-Ha) the characters' animation during the fights, results from fighting to the environments, and the different transformations all look simply amazing, and it is a huge plus.
The manga is also surprisingly bloody, and violent, which is also positive.
The manga is pretty simple, for the most part it is about fighting evil, and protecting the universe from these evil-doers. Friendship is also a very large part of it, and you can feel the relationships changing between the characters, always in a good way. Death also has a role to play, not Death the person, but the manga includes life after death, and the different people in charge also appear with their own quirks. Also the humour is simply hilarious, every joke is good and sets a very good tone that fits well with everything else.
Dragon Ball is one of the best mangas I've ever read, and it keeps a safe spot on my Top 5. The memorable characters, the perfect pacing, and the great animation, forces anyone who's ever enjoyed a shounen manga to simply love this work. Yes it does have faults, especially that the beginning is pretty boring, but hilarious, but absolutely everything the show does bad, there is something amazing which more than compensates. The manga is just that close to perfection.
Also, though the manga started in 1984 and ended in 1995, unlike any anime from the same time, it doesn't show. It could easily be mistaken for one being published today. It almost feels as if chapter 521 will be released in the upcoming Shounen Jump, but then again it may be good that it won't happen, with the perfect ending and all.
The re-read value is also high, and it's much better the second time around.
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.