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.
A hilarious manga telling us the story of the life of Son Goku, one of the last members of his race.
This manga may be old, but it sure as hell deserves to be ranked as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) manga of all time. This manga is full of battles, adventures and the art improves over time. Read through many time skips to see the young Goku grow up to be a well respectably powerful man. I thoroughly enjoyed the manga to the point I pulled late nights just to read.
One thing I disliked about it was, there was always a stronger
enemy. It got ridiculous.
The problem with dragonball is the main caracters is to classic and the story just keep repeating it self. They got some problems, then they find a new level so they can defeat the enimies. To bad the idea was great.
just started reading, i mean, reached volume 11, our bookshops have got released on 14 of this comics volumes!!!! will be forced to download next volumes somewhere.... or order from other sourcesXD
looove the story!!!! characters are lovely, sense of humour typically manly,
love the idea of a GIRL genius-Bulma,
and of course *sigh*-Son Goku!! the dream-guy))) having all the best values of a human!) and i love that he's a little dumb sometimes)))))
well before i start writing the review i wanna say that this is my first review,
I fell in love with dragon ball since I was a kid I saw it first on TV that's how i found this master piece It's the true meaning of epicness!!!
The characters are wonderful the fights are epic the story is a master piece honestly dragon ball is something you can't describe in words because it's that epic!!!
a short preview of the story:
The story start with the hero of dragon ball his name is "son goku"
meeting the second human in his life her name is "Bulma"
then he became her friend and they went together to find the dragon balls in they're journey to find the dragon balls they made a lot of friends and fought a lot of people
he met master hermit and was trained by him he entered the tournament and fought alot of people.......
and then after a while "goku" became a young man and starting there the story become more interesting chapter after chapter the excitement never ends....
I also liked the idea of the dragon balls you can wish to bring dead people back alive this is what I liked the most In dragon ball It doesn't matter how many times Akira (mangaka) kills his characters the most important thing is an epic fight!!!
because dead characters can be brought back to life with the dragon balls!!!
honestly I wish there was a rating number above 10 that was only for dragon ball (sigh)!!!
Dragon Ball is good.
It's not AS good as people would make you believe, but it's good. I've seen and read much worse, but I've also seen and read much better.
Story: 6 / 10
You all know this story; Dragon Balls, adventure, Shenron, yadda yadda yadda. The concept of the Dragon Balls itself is pretty interesting, but the story itself kind of drags after a while, the Red Ribbon Army arc especially. I made it to the fight against Ninja Murasaki, and gave up because it just didn't engage me anymore.
Art: 8 / 10
Toriyama's drawing style is really good. Shenron looks very majestic and powerful, and the
way he's designed looks simply cool. Everything else that isn't a building or a tough fighter is very simplistic, but not in a bad way; the characters still stand out and are very recognizable. Just look at Goku's hair!
Character: 7 / 10
Goku might be one of the most endearing characters in Japanese media, and when I was reading I was always curious as to what he was going to do next. However, every other character is either unlikeable, a pervert, or a simple villain, with a few exceptions of course. Krillin for example manages to become quite a likeable character, and I can relate to Yamcha's unability to ask women out.
Enjoyment: 7 / 10
If I was still the huge Dragon Ball fan I used to be, I would of given this section a 10, but now the manga is a lot less impressive. The techniques used in every fight are remarkable and very well incorporated, but they're not really enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. The humor however is still as effective as always, and every line or drawing gets at least a chuckle out of me.
Overall: 7 / 10
Dragon Ball is still a good read for anyone craving a good adventure with loads and loads of action, but I say it's not as amazing when you look at it objectively. Approach with caution.
Dragon Ball was the first manga I ever read and finished so of course I'm giving it a 10 all the way through.
A long time ago in a little settlement in Sweden far, far away...
There was a kid who is known here as "Skitungen2", when he was 9 years old he got the first three volumes of Dragon Ball for birthday from his brother, he had no idea what manga was and he thought that it was wierd that you read right-to-left and didn't get why, he was a somewhat confused kid.
He also thought that it was awesome
that they showed boobs in a book aimed towards boys under 18, and pretty weird that they showed a guys wee-wee in the first chapter, in a book aimed towards boys under 18.
And then 3 years later when he had all the volumes of Dragon Ball he thought for himself: "Äntligen så har jag alla volymerna av Dragon Ball" Translation: "Finally, I have all the volumes of Dragon Ball."
That confused little kid is me.
THE END by Skitungen2
Now the review,
[REMINDER] I will use the names of the characters that I learned from the swedish translation.
MEDIUM/MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Dragon Ball starts off pretty simple: One guy and one girl is searching for the so-called "Dragon Balls", which can grant any wish, no matter what it is.
The guy who is also known as "Son-Goku" has one of those Dragon Balls, his Dragon Ball is a memento from his gramps, and the girl who is also known as "Bulma" wants Goku's Dragon Ball, and then the adventure begins.
I'm too lazy to write more.
The artwork in Dragon Ball has aged well, it looks really good to this day.
Then again it's Akira Toriyama, the man who did something different with the art, almost every manga reminded a little of Astro Boy (just like Chenoan said).
The characters in Dragon Ball is what makes it one of a kind, for example Kuririn, the bald monk who doesn't have a nose, but thinks that he has a nose, chapter 36 for example.
Kame-Sennin, the perv who is old as sh*t but still thinks that he can get it on with the younger girls in the series.
Vegeta, the evil saiyan who has come to exterminate the whole planet Earth but turns into a good guy later in the series.
I enjoyed Dragon Ball like I enjoy a plate with 12 pieces of sushi, and that's saying very much.
I've re-read the series countless times and still think that it's the best manga out there, if you haven't read it, give it a chance, and if you have read it you should just read it again.
Overall Dragon Ball is part of my childhood, and is IMO still the best manga out there, it may have had it's ups and downs, but considering how young I was when I read this manga it's not something that I have noticed.
See you all later, maybe...
Puss o kram, alla Barnbarn. Tack för mig!
There's something magical about Dragon Ball. From its starting point searching for the Dragon Ball to the final fight to save the Universe, there's a genuine feel of adventure and progress that is felt while reading this manga. I feel like I've come so far, met so many people, and survived so much despite only reading it on a page. And everything is memorable from the master assassin Taopaipai to the mysterious Android 16, every interaction you observe Goku partake in seems to have some kind of special moment that engrains itself into my memory. I mean, everything was so EXCITING! I had a blast
reading chapters of the many Budokai tournaments, the horrifying villains that took solace in murder, and the ridiculous comedic perversions of Kame-sennin.
What's especially amazing is how the manga exponentially increases in quality with each passing arc. Each arc brings something new to the table and culminates with something unique and unpredictable. It's filled with moments that seem boisterous and extravagant but also have a subtle level of intimacy to their characterization. Most notably is the first moment that Goku becomes Super Saiyan. The rising action to this revelation is brilliant and the moment it happens, so much is implied about what Goku is thinking without him uttering a word. In fact, this happens many times within Dragon Ball and it really lends to the creative talent of Akira Toriyama.
However, with a manga as long as this one, it's evident that there would be problems, and that's most recognized with the final arc. Although there's a bit of a balance to how one can look at it, the ending isn't exactly what I would call satisfying as I would say acceptable. The Cell arc precedes the Majin Buu arc and with how the Cell arc ends, it feels as though the world of Dragon Ball is in for a treat with the following one. It even teases this transition with the Great Saiyaman arc, implying that what you might be expecting is actually going to become true. However, upon finishing the Majin Buu arc, you're subjected to a world-class ruse and left feeling a little hollow. Does it truly impact my experience with Dragon Ball? Not as a whole, but as a grade? Yes. It's so detrimental that it's bumped my opinion of Dragon Ball as a whole from a 10/10 to a 9/10 solely for the climax of the Majin Buu arc. It's why I'm eager to see where Dragon Ball is headed with the new movies and hopefully Dragon Ball Super (assuming it has an original arc beyond what we've seen in the new films.)
But, all in all, Dragon Ball's story isn't just an extravagant out-of-this-world martial arts manga, it's a great character narrative where everyone becomes a little more of themselves with each passing page. Although everyone stays largely static, there are subtle changes in everyone that makes for a realistic feel to it. I've come to love Krillin as the most powerful human on Earth. I've come to respect Piccolo as an amazing surrogate father and warrior. I've come to look up to Vegeta and how his determination and pride didn't take over his life in the end. There's so much to love about Dragon Ball, and recognizing its impact on the Manga community isn't enough to do it justice. Reading it and experiencing it for yourself is absolutely recommended.
Brilliant, amazing art. Although backgrounds become rubble regularly and the art near the end of the manga becomes a little rough, the character designs, worlds, and 'animation' of each page and panel is so excellent I cannot even begin to describe how monumental of an achievement it is. I mean, this is a seriously big deal. For each character to have their own traits, for each world to look have subtle yet recognizable locations, and most importantly, for the pages to look so fluid. Hoooo boy. I mean, You will be falling in love with how the manga reads. Every moment looks like it's truly alive. Every punch, kick, and jump looks like it's coming right out of the page and happening before your eyes. It's incredible.
Again, I mentioned how each character has such subtle yet realistic growth. Most importantly, it happens over a long, long time. I mean, this manga spans what can be assumed nearly a third of Goku's life. From childhood to a father of two, there's so much growth to not only Goku but those around him. And, anyone who's been alive for a long time knows that change can take a long time. At times, you're left wondering when characters are going to stop with their old habits, or when they're going to finally be strong enough to fight back. All in due time.
Their character designs are also quite impressive, and I have to admit that I've come to love Akira Toriyama's work. I used to find it a little too cartoony for me but now I miss how unique and recognizable it is. I wish more artists would seek to find their own style rather than imitate so many other types of artwork, especially now in this day where so much looks the same (darn you, moe anime!).
Man, I had a blast! I'm so sad it's over but I'm SO EXCITED to get into the current content. But also, I'm super excited to experience it all over again in the anime adaptions. Although I'll be a little timid about the DBZ adaption (since it's so long and arduous) I'm real excited to watch DBZ Kai and especially Dragon Ball. I watched DBZ as a child but not so much Dragon Ball. And, while GT is abhorred by many, I'd be interested in watching it solely for more Dragon Ball content (despite it's many, many flaws).
I'm just super hooked on Dragon Ball content, that's all. I want more. But, can you blame me?
((If you liked this review, feel free to check out my others! I review most manga and anime I finish!))
Dragon Ball is renowned for being one of the most influential and popular manga of all time. At the same time, however, it's one of the most overrated, owing a lot of it's praise to nostalgia and Toriyama's hard working attitude at the time, rather than it's overall quality.
Story - 5/10
There's little to be said about the story that isn't already obvious. The first part of the story follows Son Goku's journeys as a child, but usually only Goku, with the other supporting characters such as Kuririn, Yamcha and Muten Roshi not doing much unless it's the Tenkaichi Budokai. In the 2nd part of the
manga, otherwise known as DBZ, practically all the plot is told through battle. Whilst there are a few arcs that are mildly entertaining (Piccolo Daimao and Freeza Arcs) and a fair few that deviate from the story's repetitive structure ever so slightly (Saiyan Arc), the overwhelmingly huge plot holes along the way, primarily after the Freeza Arc help solidify the plot's placement as mediocre at best.
Art - 5/10
Toriyama's art style is quite distinctive, especially compared to the mangaka of today, outside of a select few, but when comparing it to the highly detailed peers of DB's run such as Tetsuo Hara, Tsukasa Hojo or Takehiko Inoue, it clearly falls short in the long run. Furthermore, Toriyama pays little heed in fixing artistic mistakes in the re-releases of the manga, such as Goku having the Kame kanji on his gi in a panel in the Cell Arc. Though slightly above most generic works, it's art isn't anything amazing.
Characters - 5/10
Most of the characters develop well when taking into account the constraints of the plot, though only a handful do so to a great amount. A lot of the characters do have distinct personalities, though even in the clear archetypes they present, there are far better deliverances of such in other series.
Enjoyment - 5/10
The plot of DB is mediocre at best, though makes up for this in being fairly fast paced, in heavy contrast to it's filler heavy anime. However, even in the pros of the series, such as it's action, comedy and designs, it never truly felt top dollar. That's not to say that these aspects are done in an average manner, they were indeed reasons to suggest DB's popularity. However, when comparing it to other series of both it's era, before it and after, it in no way stands at the pinnacle of any category.
In fact, the only category it may stand near the top on is overration. I'm sure many are familiar with how fanboys tend to treat the series as top tier, whether in terms of character's power or the overall series quality. To this, it should be evident that DB is one of the most notorious examples of fans elevating a series' status beyond it's natural means.
Overall - 5/10
Of course, I want to make it clear that I'm in no way hating on this series, especially with the effort Toriyama put into it every day for 11 years, or with it being more commercially successful than most others can only dream of. However, there is no denying how overrated the series can be in the categories that make up a good series. Both by the standards of similar Shonen of it's time, such as Kinnikuman and Saint Seiya, to the series it inspired such as One Piece and Toriko, there's very little room to treat DB as a great manga in a critical view when the quality of so many series dominate it in terms of Plot, Art or Characters. In conclusion, DB is a classic series, but is an average classic.
Hello, this is my first review on MAL, and I thought I’d talk about one of the classics. I avoided watching the famous anime that literally everyone I ever knew personally watched just so I can experience it the same way that the Japanese first did in 1984- through the original manga. So let’s dive into it…
Well as for the art, it’s still great. Toriyama’s art is cartoony but rich in detail at the same time. It definitely holds up after over 30 years.
I love how the series is off-the-wall funny along with the fast pacing and the intensity of the battles. Yeah, I just
called this manga “fast-paced”. The anime was notorious for many scenes where it would take several episodes for someone to launch a single attack. Well, in this it does take a few chapters to do and back when it came out in Japan they had to wait one week for each chapter. But nowadays, with the full series complete and able to be read through all in succession, there isn’t really a problem here.
Oh, and I also called the fights “intense”. Despite how goofy this series is, I found myself sweating in a lot of the combat scenes, especially in the classic Tenkaichi Budokai arcs. It was all invigorating stuff. All the way up to the end, I never thought the fights themselves were bad. Although I’d argue that’s the only constant “good” throughout the series. And now for my complaints...
I’m willing to argue that volumes 17-42 (sorry, I’m counting them by their actual volume number, not when Viz reset the counter and stuck a Z onto the end of it), which were the basis for the mammothly popular Dragon Ball Z that every kid in my generation other than me grew up with, are weaker than the previous 16 volumes.
Okay, first complaint: the characters. I liked pretty much everyone in the first 16 volumes (even Yamcha). I wasn’t emotionally attached to them like with the cast of One Piece or Boku no Hero, but I liked them enough to care. Most of them carry over to Z, but they might as well not have. Goku, and one other are the only returning characters who matter. EVERYONE ELSE is useless. Although the fights are still great by themselves, this aspect still bothered me to death.
My other big complaint is that I think the manga has overstayed its welcome. I think the series would’ve ended perfectly at the arc covered from volume 21 up to some point in volume 28. But it didn’t, and I honestly didn't care too much about whatever happened after that. It's not as bad as the final arc in Fairy Tail, but it's still pretty bad.
If this manga went on for any longer than volume 42, I would’ve probably stopped liking it, which is why I have no interest at all in Super. But nonetheless, the action and pacing stay solid for all 42 volumes, and I recommend that you read this because it’s better than the anime and it’s a classic that you should read at least for educational purposes.
Just saying, this is my first review. I have read lots of manga after reading this one but I'm saving my first review for the first manga i read. Dragonball introduced me to the world of manga. Considering the fact I'm a girl, I now prefer romantic manga, but even from a girls point of view, this is actually really good. The first series Dragonball is more comedy. The other 2 are both comedy and a bit more drama. It would have been nice to learned a bit more of the lives of further characters. This also made me cry for some reason at the
end, which is kind of ridiculous. Anyway, this is a great manga whether you just started or already read hundreds of mangas. I also recomend watching the anime if you enjoy reading it because there is a further series only in anime called Dragonball GT.
Yes, I did grow up on Dragon Ball, but I do not cling to it as a infant would their mother's breast. No. I'm being completely unbiased.
Con: the occasional discontinuity and gag scenes. It doesn't take itself seriously enough, such as when Goku bites his opponents. I do understand that Toriyama wishes to remain true to its comical roots, but you have involved aliens and the entire universe INCLUDING HEAVEN AND HELL THEMSELVES with the cast. So as a result of trying to remain true, whenever those gag scenes pop up, they seem really out of place with the rest of the story's atmosphere. Though,
part of this humor is creativity, such as the silliness of Gotenks and Buu screaming to create portal back to the regular dimension, which I really enjoyed because it matched with the feel of the scene; Gotenks and Buu, both immature children, using their awesome abilities as childish solutions. I find that there are certain parts where the target demographic humor is a appropriate and when it is not. Though, I suppose it is very relative, as the enjoyment of the gag scenes is dependent on your sense of humor.
Pro: Toriyama's storytelling technique is classic and the plot goes through a lot of evolution. There is obviously, no way to avoid Dragon Ball being labeled as a "typical Shounen" when it is the archetype for Shounen mangas. So I will be using a double standard. For its time, Dragon is highly imaginative and creative, with antics being performed on a regular basis and silly boyish humor.
Since so much of it is battles, talking about the fight scenes is unavoidable. The unfeasible antics and maneuvers that belonged in a cartoon, but then the fight scenes began to evolve. Of course, the maneuvers remained unfeasible, but as time went on, there was a lot less charge-jump-hit and more grappling between opponents. Then the implantation of ki attacks was absolutely brilliant. The combatants could manipulate its path; they could keep it at bay starting from the very beginning of the fight and use it as their trump card later on, whatever! There were endless possibilities.
Once the fight scenes got more and more intense, the story followed suit. All of a sudden, the enemies were more capable, they could do just the same things that our heroes could (even more), and sometimes better too. And so, Toriyama crafted opponents around the new abilities he’d given the cast. He also exposed our heroes’ weaknesses and made characters that could and would use the weaknesses to their advantage. So Dragon Ball went from a silly stylistic adaption of an ancient Chinese epic poem to a serious face-to-
face brawl in which the stakes was the very existence of everything.
Con: Toriyama, I get it, you’re a good artist. I know. We all know. It’s plain since you show off through your awesome and completely irrelevant depictions of your characters riding exotic animals or intricately detailed machinery in exotic backgrounds.
Pro: Why do I need to talk about this? The art evolution is VERY obvious. Take a look at the very first chapter then the latest. The art started off as unpolished and choppy thick lineart and became more angular and fluid and Toriyama started using screen tone too. There’s not much too it.
Con: why the hell did over 80% of your cast stop having character development starting with Gohan’s kidnapping? Seriously. The very first episode of what is known to Americans as Dragon Ball “Z”, Krillin pretty much gets kicked in the stomach, rolls up into a ball and is utterly useless for an entire season. The next time he proved useful was at the end of the Saiyan arc, and that was only because he was the least injured. Then he fades into the background for the ENTIRE SERIES. After Piccolo gets killed off, he’s useless. Don’t even get me started on Yamcha…oh…poor Yamcha, never useful after Goku hits puberty.
Pro: the characters Toriyama actually chooses to focus on go through a great deal of development. Especially Goku. The kind-hearted, dense boy lacking any social decency grows up into a gentle, honorable, and wise man, whose ideology inspired the greatest fighters of all time. This is the standard protocol for all of the characters who have any sort of development as they are also befriended and converted into good people. (Goku is quite an effective missionary, just without the official title, haha.)
A very relative measurement, but I digress, I quite enjoyed Dragon Ball. It certainly was unique until others jumped onto the bandwagon to make money (I’m looking at you Naruto, One Piece, Bleach.)
One good thing about Dragon Ball out of them all: the creator had enough balls to end it when he wanted to, so I never really felt like it was dragging.
I enjoyed it enough. The manga didn’t have that much filler besides that one mini filler right before Buu arc about Gohan’s high school education. The plot was always progressing, the ones Toriyama chose to work on, he put them through a lot, so the characters grew a lot.
Dragon Ball is a light hearted yet somewhat serious story that is straight forward, it doesn’t overwhelm you with a bajillion side stories like Naruto or Bleach or One Piece. My only concern is that most readers will overlook the philosophy that the Z-fighters put their lives on the line for, and think it’s a mindless story about sacks of testosterone wrestling one another.
But I felt that overall, the art, the story and the characters went through a lot of evolution, and such development is missing in modern mangas and would like to see more works like this.
I LUV this manga. I originally read the Dragon Ball Z half first and went back later to read the Dragon Ball half and I have to say that the first half had this child-like, playful tone to it compared to the more serious nature of Dragon Ball Z but I love how well it transitioned.
In the first half, it's seen virtually from the eyes of a really powerful kid as he travels around with friends he meets along the way in search of 7 ballls that grant 1 wish when gathered together. This kid is Goku and let me tell you, he's naive,
he's oblivious, he's cocky, he's childish, and he's a bit of a show off, but all his flaws are what make him likable because time and again, he'll notice his flaws and overcome them as if they were a pebble in his shoe. He's so young and opitmistic that it's contageous and you can't help but root for him to get back up and keep trying. The other characters are a RIOT! Krillin, Roshi, Bulma, Lunch, gut-busting everytime and the motives or personalities of the villains are so petty (with the exception of the Picolo's) it's too much NOT to laugh. The art is simple but suitable and every once in a while, they'll throw in a 4th wall (panel) joke. The Dragon Ball half really captures it from the eyes of a kid and thet's refreshing every once in a while.
In the Z half, the tone gets more serious as Goku grows and matures but he still has that innocence about him. When new, more powerful, and far more serious villains show up, the lives of more innocent people are sacrificed and that number grew with each new villain. Even though you know they'd bring all them back with the Dragon Balls (which, by the way, have been reduced to a meeger plot device as the story progresses), the fact that they were up against people who could erase planets with a flick of the finger as opposed to King Picolo's destroy-one-city-anually plan, you were scared for them. Our favorite heroes fought honorably and died many times and you were TORN to see it. But what I love is that even though you could say there was a happy ending, there technically wasn't. It was happy but there seems to be no end as you see Goku fly of into another adventure as the Acknowledgements show up.
Overall, this was a good manga and for those just planning to read certain parts like I did, chapter 194 is the separater fyi. I may never get the chance to redo my childhood (as I am a 90's girl but missed out due to parental units eg. mother-censorship) and watch the anime but I'm glad I at least got to see the original in all it's glory.
I never watched the Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z anime, besides clips. I have heard about all the nostalgia that many people have, but I read this manga for the first time not too long ago. But from anime clips that I have seen, the anime seems to be much slower. The manga is much faster paced, and this really helps the manga.
The story is about a boy who searches for the Dragon Balls, while fighting many villains and organizations. He meets different characters and grows up over the course of the manga. The story isn't very deep, but many say that it
founded modern Shounen. It is still a fun story, starting as a comedy series, but becoming an intense action series, with many battles.
The art isn't as detailed as some other manga, but it doesn't have to be. The action scenes and general layout of the pages is outstanding. It is very easy to read and understand what is going on. It also has a very unique art style.
The characters can range from silly and comedic, to pure evil. They are all unique and have memorable designs. But the villains tend to be evil for not much reason.
The amazing characters and easy to read action sequences lead to a very fun manga, although it doesn't have a more interesting story.
I think this manga is a good starter manga, and for those who just want some action and fun characters.
One of the first manga I can remember reading. I loved watching the americanized version of this TV show after school on Cartoon Network. I was exposed to anime very young through my dad, but it wasn't until Dragonball and Dragonball Z that I found manga. For that reason Dragonball and Dragonball Z will always be important and unique for me.
Growing up I preferred DBZ, the villains looked cooler (although King Piccolo is a badass in Dragonball), and the anime was longer and full of more powerful characters. But looking back now, Dragonball is closer to my heart, and I appreciate it more as a
manga. The battles seem more tactics oriented- rather than power level oriented as with DBZ. There is also an element of character progression for Goku that just isn't there to the same extent in DBZ. Dragonball was also my first exposure to tournaments in shounen- which are super awesome!
I love you Dragonball, and I love you Akira Toriyama!
I would like to preface this by stating this will be my first review of many to come. I decided to choose Dragon Ball because it is a series near and dear to me as is with thousands, tens of thousands, yet probably more. With that said, let's take a look at one of the most celebrated works of art in manga, and the artistic world as a whole.
NOTE: For the sake of being fair to the series, I am ignoring Super for the time being. This is strictly Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z
If you lived in the 90s, chances
are you have tried to fire off a Kamehameha wave at least once and likely to no avail. This isn't to call up one of the over-done "90s kids cliches", but there is no other way to call how influential and defining the Dragon Ball franchise was for an entire generation.
You may be looking at the ratings and raising an eyebrow at the numbers, but let's look at this franchise objectively. The story is the series weakest point. Even for it's time it hits all of the formulaic beats that is expected for a 'battle' manga, not to mention it's riddled with numerous deus ex machina plot points that only get more and more exaggerated as time goes on. It's most egregious offense is that there is simultaneously a great importance placed on power levels and strength that mean nothing after a single tide-turning event that is dubious at best. There is nothing that is inherently offensive, but when you look at it objectively the story is average at best. Imagine if the story continued with the same tone is had during the first few volumes in Dragon Ball.
Are you doing all right? Calmed down? It's difficult to hear something negative about Dragon Ball, but let's keep our composure. It gets better.
Despite having a weak story, Dragon Ball is still carried by its genius art style by Akira Toriyama and the diverse and interesting characters. Now, let's get this out in the open. Every character exhibits standard Akira Toriyama face structure. Take away the character frame, clothes, and hair, there are only three faces left; male, female, and animal. To compensate for this, every character is fully fleshed out with immediately identifiable features and personalities to distinguish themselves.
The beautiful art does not end solely on the characters. The battles and action scenes are fully fleshed out in the highest of detail. Every scene perfectly conveys the intensity and emotion of the situation. Looking strictly at the manga, the true impressiveness comes from the panel layout. This is admittedly a very technical aspect of the process, but it is one of the most important arts that is not appreciated. Each panel expertly lends itself to the next making it incredibly easy to picture the scenes coming to life in your mind.
So the art is terrific and the story is mediocre. Where does the magic come from then? Why is this series so critically acclaimed and fondly remembered? The obvious answer is that it's largely nostalgia. This series exists inside the heart of many individuals and witnessing its greatness forces you to revert to when you were only the playground trying to go Super Saiyan. If it were just that it would fade into the annals of history like many others, but the reason it remains at the top is hard to describe, but the best way to explain it would be it is sincere and honest. Dragon Ball knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be. It is that charm that makes it so that new fans can easily come on board and the old fans are happy to relive it.
The DB anime adaptation was the first piece of Japanese animation I ever saw back in the 90s, so I felt it fitting to make it the manga I first read all the way through.
It's aged better than both DB and DBZ anime with no old animation and dodgy voice acting with Toriyama's art still looking good and the manga moves at a much better pace without fillers and dragging the fights out. It's one of the better shounen series (better than most modern ones) with great character designs and fighting techniques. One of the things I like most about DB was how it
gradually changed from a gag manga into an action fantasy comedy and then into a serious sci-fi action series.
If DG had ended at the Namek arc I would probably bump it up to an 8/10 or 9/10 but the Cell arc jumps the shark and brings the quality down with constant asspulls, characters becoming flanderized, fights being purely about power with no strategy involved, non-saiyan characters becoming irrelevant, the super saiyan which was supposed to be a once in millennia legend becoming a normal power up for every fighter etc It's just filled with those annoying problems that arise in shounen when the mangaka runs out of ideas.
Anyway, the two weak arcs at the end don't ruin the rest of Dragon Ball, and it's better than most of the modern fighting shounen that copy it. I think it's a series everyone should read once because of how iconic and influential it became.