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Date Posted: 06:14:00 02/10/16 Wed
Author: robin hasan
Subject: Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール Hepburn: Doragon Bōru?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Dragon Ball was initially inspired by the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West. The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which 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.

The 42 tankōbon have been adapted into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed nineteen animated feature films and three television specials, as well as a third anime titled Dragon Ball GT. Between 2009 and 2015, a revised, faster-paced version of Dragon Ball Z was broadcast under the title Dragon Ball Kai, in which most of the original version's footage not featured in the manga is removed. A fifth television series titled Dragon Ball Super began on July 5, 2015. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes films, both animated and live-action, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, along with several collections of soundtracks and a large number of video games.

The manga series was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The entire anime series was licensed by Funimation Entertainment for an English-language release in the United States, although the series has not always been dubbed by the same studio. There have been many films of the franchise including the first live-action film adaptation being produced in 1989 in Taiwan. In 2002, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to produce an American-made live-action film titled Dragonball Evolution that was received negatively by critics and fans; the movie was released on April 10, 2009 in the United States.

Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time. The manga's 42 volumes have sold over 156 million copies in Japan and more than 230 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humor of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest manga series ever made, with many manga artists such as Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Tite Kubo (Bleach), Hiro Mashima (Rave Master, Fairy Tail) and Kentaro Yabuki (Black Cat) citing Dragon Ball as a source of inspiration for their own now popular works. The anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is also highly popular in various countries and was arguably one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture.

Plot summary
See also: List of Dragon Ball characters

The series begins with a monkey-tailed boy named Goku befriending a teenage girl named Bulma, whom he accompanies to find the seven Dragon Balls (ドラゴンボール Doragon Bōru?), which summon the dragon Shenlong to grant the user one wish. The journey leads them to the desert bandit Yamcha, who later becomes an ally; Chi-Chi, whom Goku unknowingly agrees to marry; and Pilaf, an impish man who seeks the Dragon Balls to fulfill his desire to rule the world. Goku then undergoes rigorous training regimes under the martial arts master Kame-Sen'nin in order to fight in the Tenkaichi Budōkai (天下一武道会?, "Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament"). A monk named Kuririn becomes his training partner and rival, but they soon become best friends. After the tournament, Goku searches for the Dragon Ball his grandfather left him and almost single-handedly defeats the Red Ribbon Army and their hired assassin Taopaipai. Thereafter Goku reunites with his friends to defeat the fortuneteller Baba Uranai's fighters and have her locate the last Dragon Ball to revive a friend killed by Taopaipai.

At the Tenkaichi Budōkai three years later Goku and his allies oppose Kame-Sen'nin's rival and Taopaipai's brother, Tsuru-Sen'nin, and his students Tenshinhan and Chaozu. Kuririn is killed after the tournament and Goku tracks down and is defeated by his killer, Piccolo Daimao. The samurai Yajirobe takes Goku to the hermit Karin, where he receives healing and a power boost. Meanwhile, Piccolo fights Kame-Sen'nin and Chaozu, leading to both their deaths, and uses the Dragon Balls to regain his youth before destroying Shenlong. Goku then kills Piccolo Daimao, who, just before dying, spawns his son/reincarnation Piccolo. Karin then directs Goku to Kami-sama, the original creator of the Dragon Balls, to restore Shenlong and revive his slain friends. Goku trains under Kami for the next three years, once again reuniting with his friends at the Tenkaichi Budōkai, where he narrowly wins against Piccolo before leaving with Chi-Chi to keep his promise to marry her.

Five years later, Goku is a young adult and father to his son Gohan, when Raditz arrives on Earth, identifies Goku as his younger brother 'Kakarrot' and reveals to him that they are members of a nearly extinct extraterrestrial race called the Saiyans (サイヤ人 Saiya-jin?), who sent Goku to conquer Earth for them, until he suffered a severe head injury and lost all memory of his mission. Goku refuses to continue the mission, sides with Piccolo, and sacrifices his life to defeat Raditz. In the afterlife Goku trains under the North Kaiō until he is revived by the Dragon Balls to save the Earth from the invading Nappa and Vegeta. In the battle Yamcha, Chaozu, Tenshinhan, and Piccolo are killed, and the Dragon Balls cease to exist. Kuririn and the galactic tyrant Freeza learn of another set of Dragon Balls on planet Namek (ナメック星 Namekku-sei?), whereupon Bulma, Gohan, and Kuririn search for them to revive their friends and subsequently the Earth's Dragon Balls, leading to several battles with Freeza's minions and Vegeta, the latter standing alongside the heroes to fight the Ginyu Force, a team of mercenaries. The long battle with Freeza himself comes to a close when Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan (超サイヤ人 Sūpā Saiya-jin?) of legends and defeats him.

A group of Androids (人造人間 Jinzōningen?, "Artificial Humans") created by a member of the former Red Ribbon Army, Doctor Gero, appear three years later, seeking revenge against Goku. During this time, an evil life form called Cell also emerges and, after absorbing two of the Androids to achieve his "perfect form," holds his own fighting tournament to challenge the protagonists. After Goku sacrifices his own life to no avail, Gohan avenges his father by defeating Cell. Seven years later, Goku, briefly revived for one day, and his allies are drawn into a fight against Majin Boo. After numerous battles, including destruction and re-creation of the Earth, Goku destroys Boo with a Genki-Dama (a sphere of pure energy drawn from all intelligent beings on Earth) and wishes for him to be reincarnated as a "good person." Ten years later, at another Tenkaichi Budōkai, Goku meets Boo's human reincarnation, Oob. Leaving their match unfinished, Goku departs with Oob to train him to be Earth's new guardian.
Production

Akira Toriyama loosely modeled Dragon Ball on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West;[2][3] but also redeveloped it from his 1983 one-shot manga Dragon Boy.[3] He has said that the fighting was influenced from movies by famous martial arts actor Jackie Chan,[4][5] as he wanted to create a story with the basic theme of Journey to the West, but with "a little kung fu."[6] Since it was serialized in a shōnen magazine, he added the idea of the Dragon Balls to give it a game-like activity of gathering something, without thinking of what the characters would wish for.[6] With Goku being Sun Wukong, Bulma as Xuanzang, Oolong as Zhu Bajie and Yamcha being Sha Wujing, he originally thought it would last about a year or end once the Dragon Balls were collected.[5][7] Toriyama stated that although the stories are purposefully easy to understand, he specifically aimed Dragon Ball at readers older than those of his previous serial Dr. Slump.[8] He also wanted to break from the Western influences common in Dr. Slump, deliberately going for Chinese scenery, referencing Chinese buildings and photographs of China his wife had bought.[9] The island where the Tenkaichi Budōkai (天下一武道会?, "Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament", renamed "World Martial Arts Tournament" in Funimation's dub) is held is modeled after Bali, which he, his wife and assistant visited in mid-1985, and for the area around Bobbidi's spaceship he consulted photos of Africa.[9]

It was when the Tenkaichi Budōkai martial arts tournament began that Dragon Ball truly became popular, having recalled the races and tournaments in Dr. Slump.[5] Anticipating that readers would expect Goku to win the tournaments, Toriyama had him lose the first two while planning an eventual victory. He said that Muscle Tower in the Red Ribbon Army storyline was inspired by the video game Spartan X, in which enemies tended to appear very fast. He then created Piccolo Daimao as a truly evil villain, and as a result called that arc the most interesting to draw.[5] Once Goku and company had become the strongest on Earth, they turned to extraterrestrial opponents including the Saiyans. Freeza, who forcibly took over planets to resell them, was created around the time of the Japanese economic bubble and was inspired by real estate speculators, whom Toriyama called the "worst kind of people."[5] Finding the escalating enemies difficult, he created the Ginyu Force to add more balance to the series. He added time travel next, but said he had a hard time with it, only thinking of what to do that week and having to discuss it with his second editor Yu Kondo.[5] After Cell's death, Toriyama intended for Gohan to replace Goku as the series' protagonist, but felt the character was not suited for the role and changed his mind

Written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball was serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from November 20, 1984 to May 23, 1995, when Toriyama grew exhausted and felt he needed a break from drawing. The 519 individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha from September 10, 1985 through August 4, 1995.[16][17][18] In 2002, the chapters were re-released in a collection of 34 kanzenban volumes, which included a slightly rewritten ending, new covers, and color artwork from its Weekly Shōnen Jump run. The February 2013 issue of V Jump, which was released in December 2012, announced that parts of the manga will be fully colored and re-released in 2013.[19] Twenty volumes, beginning from chapter 195 and grouped by story arcs, were released between February 4, 2013 and July 4, 2014.[20][21]

The Dragon Ball manga is licensed for release in English in North America by Viz Media. Viz originally released volumes 17 through 42 (chapters 195 through 519) under the title "Dragon Ball Z" to mimic the name of the anime series adapted from those volumes, feeling it would reduce the potential for confusion by its readers. They initially released both series chapter by chapter in a monthly comic book format starting in 1998, and later began collecting them in graphic novels in 2000.[22] In 2000, while releasing Dragon Ball in the monthly format, Viz began to censor the series in response to complaints by parents.[23][24] They argued that when there are parental complaints, major chain stores stop selling the series, so to keep wide distribution, they made some "concessions".[24] They assured that all changes were done with approval by Toriyama and Shueisha, with Toriyama making suggestions himself: such as to obscure Goku's genitals with objects, rather than "neuter him".[24] A fan petition that garnered over 10,000 signatures was created, and a year later, Viz announced they would stop censoring the series and instead increased its "rating" to 13 and up, and reprinted the first 3 graphic novels.[23][25]

"Dragon Ball Z", from Trunk's appearance to chapter 226, was published in Viz's monthly magazine Shonen Jump from its debut issue in January 2003 to April 2005. Later, the first ten collected volumes of both series were re-released from March to May 2003 under their "Shonen Jump" imprint, with Dragon Ball being completed on August 3, 2004 and Dragon Ball Z finishing on June 6, 2006.[26][27] However, when releasing the last few volumes of Dragon Ball Z, the company began to censor the series again; translating the sound effects of gunshots to "zap" and changing the few sexual references.[28] In June 2008, Viz began re-releasing the two series in a wideban format called "Viz Big Edition," which collects three individual volumes into a single large volume.[29][30] These editions are on higher quality paper and include some of the original Weekly Shōnen Jump color pages, however, they include new censorship not in the 2003 releases. On November 3, 2008, the first volumes of both series were released in hardcover "Collector's Editions."[31][32] Viz began releasing new 3-in-1 volumes of Dragon Ball, similar to their "Viz Big Edition", with volume one released on June 4, 2013.[33] This version uses the Japanese kanzenban covers and marks the first time in English that the entire series is being released under the Dragon Ball name. They serialized chapter 195 to 245 of the fully colored version of the manga in their digital anthology Weekly Shonen Jump from February 2013 to February 2014.[34] They began publishing Dragon Ball Full Color Edition into large printed volumes on February 4, 2014.[35]

The manga has also been licensed in other English-speaking countries, distributed in the same Viz format of separating it into Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. The United Kingdom's release of the manga has been through different distributors. From August 2005 to November 2007, Gollancz Manga an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group released the 16 volumes of Dragon Ball and the first 4 of Dragon Ball Z.[36][37] Viz would release the books after Gollancz and expand to digital sales on the Nook in August 2013.[38] In Australia and New Zealand, Madman Entertainment has released all 16 volumes of the Dragon Ball manga and the 9 "Viz Big" volumes of Dragon Ball Z.[39][40][41][42]
Spin-offs and crossovers

Toriyama also created a short series, Neko Majin, that became a self-parody of Dragon Ball. First appearing in August 1999, the eight chapter series was released sporadically in Weekly Shōnen Jump and Monthly Shōnen Jump until it was completed in 2005. These chapters were compiled into one kanzenban volume for release on April 4, 2005.[43] In 2006, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (or Kochikame), a special manga titled Super Kochikame (超こち亀 Chō Kochikame?) was released on September 15.[44] It included characters from the series appearing in special crossover chapters of other well-known manga. The chapter "This is the Police Station in front of Dragon Park on Planet Namek" (こちらナメック星ドラゴン公園前派出所 Kochira Namekku-sei Dragon Kōen-mae Hashutsujo?) was a Dragon Ball crossover by Toriyama and Kochikame author Osamu Akimoto. That same year, Toriyama teamed up with Eiichiro Oda to create a single crossover chapter of Dragon Ball and One Piece. Entitled Cross Epoch, the chapter was published in the December 25, 2006 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump and the April 2011 issue of English Shonen Jump.[45] The final chapter of Toriyama's 2013 manga series Jaco the Galactic Patrolman revealed that it is set before Dragon Ball, with several characters making appearances.[46] Jaco's collected volumes contain a bonus Dragon Ball chapter depicting Goku's mother. Jaco and the bonus chapter were both published in Viz's digital English Weekly Shonen Jump.[47]

A colored spin-off manga titled Dragon Ball SD and written by Naho Ōishi has been published in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump magazine since its debut issue released in December 2010.[48] The manga is a condensed retelling of Goku's various adventures as a child, with many details changed, in a super deformed art style, hence the title.[49] It has been collected into three volumes, with the first being released on April 4, 2013, the second on April 4, 2014, and the third on December 4, 2014.[50][51][52]

Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock is a three-chapter manga, once again penned by Naho Ōishi, that was published in the monthly magazine V Jump from August and October 2011.[53] This manga is a sequel to the 1990 TV special Bardock The Father of Goku with some key details changed. As the title indicates the manga's story revolves around Bardock, Goku's father, who in this special is featured in a scenario in which he did not die at the hands of Freeza and gets to fight his enemy as a Super Saiyan.

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