Rating 5/5: Uncut, Uncensored, and Unstoppable
When I started out in the manga reviewing game for another popular website, I was given the opportunity to interview many popular manga-ka (manga creators). One inevitable question common to every interview I did was “What book or books inspired you to become a manga creator?”
Without hesitation nearly every one of them answered “Dragonball”.
You’ve seen this series offered time and time again in different packaging. The regular tankobon. The VizBIG edition (which I proudly own and my aging eyesight thanks me for owning) and now we have yet another collection of the Son Goku story, this time in an affordable 3-in-1 edition, collecting the first three volumes in a $14.99 MSRP book. So I’ll write this review for anyone who has yet to read Akira Toriyama’s masterpiece, but I’ll begin with one simple question: What’s been holding you back?
I know, I know. You’ve seen the anime of Dragonball Z (the sequel to this series) and it’s boring! Two dudes yell at each other for a good 20 minutes or so about how they’re going to kick each other’s butt and then the credits roll. If that’s your general impression of the world of Dragonball, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this book and re-educate yourself. Yes, there’s fighting. It’s a shonen book, after all. At the same time, there’s plenty of drama, mystery and genuine laugh-out-loud humor, both lewd and otherwise, between the pages of this book. If you consider yourself any kind of manga fan, you will see elements of the books you love in the pages of Toriyama’s work. Then again, if you’re any kind of manga fan, I don’t need to convince you to read this book. Chances are, you already have, and you already know what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t, though, now is the best chance you could hope to find. Join Goku, Bulma, Oolong, Muten-Roshi, Yamcha and the rest of the crew as they go on quest after quest, fight after fight, and desire after desire, all with Toriyama’s signature style. Discover for yourself why so many of today’s creators cite him as a major influence on the work they create.