When goofy inventor Senbei Norimaki creates a precocious robot named Arale, his masterpiece turns out to be more than he bargained for!
Basking in the glow of his scientific achievement, Senbei scrambles to get Arale in working order so the rest of Penguin Village won't have reason to suspect she's not really a girl. But first Senbei needs to find her a pair of glasses and some clothes...
Dr. Slump was awarded the 27th Shogakukan Manga Award for best shounen and shoujo manga in 1981.
The series was published in English by VIZ Media from May 3, 2005 to May 5, 2009—this release included some censorship and translation changes. Before this, it had been introduced to the English-speaking readership in the educational publication Mangajin in February 1994, in issues 32 and 33.
This is one of the great comedy series I've read that is actually apropriate for kids too. Maybe not six year olds but defiantly at least ten. It's this series that made me wish Toriyama kept working on comedies. But Dragon Ball does kick major ass.
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Story - 8/10
Manga author Akira Toriyama is probably most familiar in the West for his perennially-popular Dragon Ball series and its various offshoots. His career was launched, however, by this series, which combines goofball humor with a keen awareness of the tropes of robot-centric anime and manga.
the main character (whose name is a pun on a variety of rice cracker), creates what he considers his masterwork as an inventor – a humanoid robot shaped like a little girl. He names the girl Arale (another, smaller variety of rice cracker, naturally), and while her strength and other abilities are superhuman, her straightforwardness and questioning nature are that of a small child. Norimaki soon realizes that Arale may not be the perfect creation that he had envisioned, and spends as much time trying to keep a handle on her as he does inventing new items and lusting after the beautiful women of Penguin Village.
Enjoyment - 9/10
I’m of the belief that humor is one of the most thankless genres to write, if only because what’s funny to one person may fall entirely flat with another. The humor in this volume is very hit-or-miss with me, but that’s primarily because the author approaches the various gags from several different angles, some of which resonate more than others. Many of the gags rely on a familiarity with the tropes and cliches of how robotic characters are normally presented in anime and manga; one of the first things that Arale does upon gaining self-awareness in the first chapter is ask Norimaki if he’s included any weaponry features (“tummy missiles”) in her body. There are also several amusing situations that arise as a result of the contrast between Arale’s apparent age and her complete lack of knowledge about the way human society functions. At least once a chapter, the characters seem to break the fourth wall and reflect on the fact that they’re manga characters.
These elements are what I find most enjoyable about the manga, whereas the more immature gags tend to largely miss the mark. There are repeated instances where the reader can’t avoid the fact that this is, above all else, a manga aimed at a juvenile male audience. There are several references to Norimaki’s continuing search for a wife and his weakness for attractive women, which is thrust to the foreground when he’s forced to do “research” on a certain body part that Arale is missing. That particular chapter turns out to have a more amusing resolution than one might first suspect, but it does feature quite a bit of peeping (with X-Ray specs, no less) and paints Norimaki as sexually uncontrollable and unlikable as a character. There are also a couple of gags based on Norimaki’s ownership of pornographic magazines, which come across as grasping at low-hanging fruit to me.
Art - 8/10
Whether or not the humor hits home will depend on the tastes of the individual reader, but I suspect that most readers could enjoy the manga on its artistic merits, if nothing else. Toriyama’s character designs have become ubiquitous in subsequent years because of his involvement in several high-profile video game titles (Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger being two of my personal favorites) and the aforementioned mega-hit franchise, Dragon Ball, but even in this early series he displays a keen eye for character detail and a restrained style that’s different enough from the norm to be distinctive. While there isn’t much variance in Toriyama’s primary character “types” (Arale looks like a younger version of “Lucca” from Chrono Trigger, for example), it’s interested to see them reflected so early on in this work.
Overall - 8/10
Fans of Akira Toriyama’s body of work will definitely want to set aside some time to check out this volume, if only because it may help flesh out his reputation beyond the looming presence of Dragon Ball. Readers who enjoy humorous manga will likely be able to appreciate the nature and sheer variety of the gags presented here. For all others, the humor and subject matter may be a bit too hit-or-miss to commit to multiple volumes, but the first has enough charm that the twenty page preview provided on the Viz Manga website is certainly worth a look.
If you're a fan of Akira Toriyama's art style, a fan of wacky gag manga, and/or a fan of adorable, naive characters then you'll love this manga.
The story, being a gag manga and having more of an episodic story, is great almost every time. There are some story-lines where it was starting to bore me, but only like one or two. Also notice I said "starting" to bore me, because it never bored me... it was just getting there. All the other story-lines I'm always engaged in and highly enjoy them. There were many times while reading this where I uncontrollably
laughed out loud; it's truly a great manga.
Maybe this is just me, but I'm in love with Toriyama's art style. I love everything about it; it's so pleasing to me. Maybe it's because my favorite show is OG Dragon Ball and I've just been conditioned to love his art, or maybe he truly deserves the credit I give him. Every time at the beginning of a chapter there is a picture of certain characters drawn in a cover art type way, and many times I'm always taken aback by the art. I truly love it so much, and I hope more people feel the same way.
Oh-ho-ho, if you were to ask me what series out of any series that has ever existed that has the best characters in it, I would choose Dr. Slump without hesitation. Most, if not all, characters are amazing in their own way. Arale Norimaki, the main character of this series, is amazingly adorable. Her design is adorable, her personality is adorable, her actions are adorable, she's just straight up adorable. She's my favorite character in this series, and she's my second favorite character in all of fiction (Kid Goku being the first). I'm extremely happy Toriyama's editor told him to make Arale the main character instead of Senbei Norimaki like Toriyama wanted. Senbei is the genius inventor that created Arale in the first place... oh yeah did I not mention Arale is a robot? Well she is, and Senbei created her. Senbei is hilarious, from his serious face to his perversion, he's easily in my top ten characters for this series. It's always hilarious when Senbei tries his best to see girls' panties, namely Midori Yamabuki, the teacher to Arale. Midori is easily best girl in this series (one reason is because she's one of the only of age female main characters in this series, but even if every character was of age, Midori would still be best girl), she's adorable in an adult kind of way, her design is beautiful, and her personality is extremely cute. Besides Arale, another one of Midori's students is Akane Kimidori, the somewhat edgy, cute, and kind of Bulma-like character. If you haven't seen Dragon Ball and don't know Bulma's character, just imagine an overly moody teen that complains a lot, but Akane is more a watered down version of Bulma; she's a much more fun character, but lets not forget about Tsun Tsururin, another amazingly adorable character. Her design is cute, and almost everything she does is adorable; she's an amazing character. Her brother, Tsun Tsukutsun, has a striking resemblance to Yamcha from Dragon Ball, and he's easily one of my favorite characters... probably top five. He's a martial artist, and possibly partly an inspiration for Dragon Ball (Since Dr. Slump was created first).
This series is truly wonderful, and I hope that one day the full sub for the anime will come out on some website; I can't find it anywhere. I got this series from the library to read it, and once I get some money I'm definitely going to buy it to support the series. It's truly wonderful, I love just about every bit of it, and I highly recommend it. You can tell how much passion Toriyama put into this series compared to Dragon Ball, this series is his TRUE baby, not Dragon Ball. Sure Dragon Ball is much larger in scale and in popularity, but that doesn't take away how much he cares for Dr. Slump. Lets face it, Toriyama is just appeasing the fans with Dragon Ball, he probably doesn't even care that much about it anymore. He has so much passion in Dr. Slump, and I really recommend you guys read it and give it a try.