Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 3:17 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-sixth entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is the author’s 1982 Bird Land Press mascot design.

The design was used on card cases, bags, and other miscellaneous items for members of Toriyama’s official fan club.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 2:52 PM EDTComment

Following several teases and an initial name reveal, Bandai Namco has formally unveiled Dragon Ball Legends, a forthcoming mobile video game heading to iOS and Android devices later this year.

The game is set to include a brand-new character designed by original author Akira Toriyama; the character is stated to be a Saiyan from a time other than Goku’s.

Dragon Ball Legends — a “one finger card action battle” game developed in conjunction with Dimps (previously of the Budokai and XENOVERSE game series) — is slated for release across 52 countries localized in English, French, German, traditional Chinese, and Korean (with voices in Japanese and English). Pre-registration for the game is open today.

The game’s title should not be confused with that of the 1996 PlayStation game Idainaru Doragon Bōru Densetsu (“The Great Dragon Ball Legend”), often and colloquially referred to in English fandom over the years as simply “Legends”.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 2:02 PM EDTComment

During a live stream to promote the upcoming mobile video game Dragon Ball Legends, Bandai Namco—along with Akio Iyoku (Dragon Ball Unit Director at Shueisha) and Norihiro Hayashida (Toei Animation Dragon Ball Super movie producer)—shared the first teaser trailer for this year’s forthcoming Dragon Ball Super theatrical film.

Prior to the trailer’s debut, it was noted during the stream that Goku’s new design had been in the works dating back to last February.

The as-of-yet untitled Dragon Ball Super film is set for release in Japan 14 December 2018. The film will feature an original story, script, and character designs by Akira Toriyama. The film will be directed by Tatsuya Nagamine, and will feature animation supervision by Naohiro Shintani along with art direction by Kazuo Ogura.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 10:53 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-fifth entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is the author’s drawing and introductory message from 2003’s first Dragon Box release, the first half of the Dragon Ball Z television series.

My sincerest gratitude to all those of you who bought this, despite it being so expensive. The other day at my neighborhood store, I spotted a couple who spent a long time agonizing in front of the Dragon Box reservation corner. As the creator of Dragon Ball, I wanted to apologetically tell them not to do anything crazy, though the truth is that it makes me happy to see that these kinds of Dragon Ball fans are still around. But as long as you’ve already gone and bought it, please enjoy this animation with all your heart.

The 26-disc box set was released 19 March 2003 (reservation were due 15 January 2003) for ¥100,000 and covered the first 147 episodes of the Dragon Ball Z television series along with bonus features, a 128-page book, and a Kaiyodo Deluxe Son Goku Action Figure (with interchangeable parts). Four more “Dragon Box” sets would follow: the second half of the Dragon Ball Z television series later that same year in 2003, the original Dragon Ball television series in 2004, the Dragon Ball GT television series in 2005, and the theatrical films in 2006.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 10:47 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-fourth entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is a character design sheet for Abel, hero of the 1989 Dragon Quest: Legend of the Hero Abel anime television series (voiced by Tohru Furuya, who was also voicing Yamcha in the Dragon Ball franchise at this time).

The Dragon Quest anime actually made its way to America in 1990 by way of Saban, lasting for 13 episodes under the Dragon Warrior moniker also adopted by the game series at the time.

While the television series received no American home release, the Japanese market received a complete DVD box set in March 2008.

Dragon Quest received a second anime series in 1991, adapting the popular Dragon Quest: Dai’s Great Adventure manga series published by Shueisha. Dai’s Great Adventure ran for 46 episodes and received three films.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 10:44 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-third entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is the first page from Toriyama’s one-shot Mahimahi the Lungfish.

The nine-page, full color one-shot was published 19 December 1998 in the 1999 No. 4-5 double-issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump. The story explores the everyday life of a lungfish, and is a bit of an atypical work of an “educational” bent. Toriyama’s author comment that issue read as follows:

メダカ人魚のスイスイは僕自身!? ああ仕事を忘れて水槽の中で泳いでいたいものだ <明>

Sui-Sui the ricefish mermaid is yours truly?! Ah, I just want to forget about my work, and swim around in the fish tank. <Akira>

Thanks to Nickolaus for the higher-quality scan!

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 10:42 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-second entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is the cover illustration for the August 1993 issue of Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine (released 21 June 1993). For the second issue of the magazine following its new monthly publication schedule and new B5 size, the magazine’s cover art featured Arale from the Dr. Slump series.

The official website’s writeup notes how different of a mood and color scheme this composition is for Arale.

The issue included “Three Great Powerful Manga”: adaptations of Dr. Slump, Go! Go! Ackman, and Dragon League. Featured games included Seiken Densetsu 2 (released internationally as “Secret of Mana”), along with smaller “scoops” on games like the Super Famicom remakes of Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II, the Super Famicom game Final Fantasy USA (originally released in America as “Final Fantasy Mystic Quest”), and the Famicom game Dragon Ball Z Side-Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 10:36 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s forty-first entry in “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” — an on-going series highlighting rare and important pieces of the author’s work over the years — is the “Sandy” entry from the FineMolds “1/12 Fighter Collection” of models circa 1994.

The official website describes the models:

1/12 Scale Plastic Model Construction Kit
American Army Female Soldier (Gulf War) Sandy/Colt M16A2
FineMolds LTD
Design, Supervision, Cut
Early 1994

A figure series of SD soldiers from various countries, overseen and designed by Toriyama-sensei. These were made with precise attention to detail, with guns and other equipment reproduced in 1/12th scale as accurately as possible. Besides doing the package illustrations, Toriyama-sensei also drew manga for the instruction manuals, making these must-own items for fans.

The accompanying instructions give a run-down on how to assemble and paint the figure, plus some background information on this type of soldier and her weapon:

It is said that currently one in every four US Army soldiers are female. After undergoing the same basic training as males, they are primarily assigned administrative and supply jobs.

The line of models were featured alongside an extensive interview with Akira Toriyama in the Vol. 117 issue of Model Graphix from 1994 (and while we do not currently have a complete translation of this interview, rest assured that it is on our pile for the future!):

“FineMolds” is actually written out on the side of Mr. Satan’s tank in the title page for chapter 501 of the Dragon Ball manga (which debuted in January 1995):

In their 2011 joint Katsura Taizen interview, Masakazu Katsura and Akira Toriyama briefly touched on these designs:

From your perspective, Katsura-sensei, what is something you find incredible about Toriyama-sensei?

Katsura: That sense of clarity, and design. Toriyama-san‘s pictures have nothing unpleasant about them. I think that’s great about them, and I find it amazing. He’s incredibly good at drawing things in a caricatured style.

Toriyama: But on the flipside, I can’t draw them properly.

Katsura: Oh, you know that you can.

Toriyama: No I can’t!

Katsura: What, why not? Take those plastic model soldier packages for instance: you made their faces big, but if you drew them in a normal, smaller size then they’d be fine.

Toriyama: But it wouldn’t be like me to draw them that way. I don’t really like drawing proper proportions. Especially not in manga.

Katsura: So you could draw it but you choose not to. Still, you’re in a world where you can say “this is the way I am”. I think that’s your forte. Whereas I can’t commit and just draw all kinds of things.

Toriyama’s fascination with and enjoyment of model-building extends back to his childhood; the author reflected on this in his 2013 Chōzenshu #4 interview:

Even as I do this job, I’m the kind of bum who hardly ever reads comics, watches animation, or plays video games, including my own work. (laughs) It’s not that I’m bad with any of them, but I’ve gotten into a lifestyle where I’m barely able just to engage in my hobby of model-building in my precious free time… With games in particular, in the Famicom era, I enjoyed them quite a bit, but I’d get too caught up in them, and time would pass by before I knew it, you know? “This is no good!” I decided, and after that, I stopped playing almost entirely. Only, I do sometimes watch my children playing, and study it only just a little.

Special thanks to Justin for the Sandy scans!

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 9:29 AM EDTComment

Each month, Toyotarō provides a sketch — as well as a brief comment — on the official Japanese Dragon Ball website for a character that has not yet appeared in Dragon Ball Super. Thus far, Toyotarō has provided sketches of #8, Lunch, and Chapa with Oob. For his March entry, Toyotarō has contributed a sketch of Tambourine:

It’s Tambourine! In the anime he has the same voice as Freeza: Ryūsei Nakao-san, one of my favorite voice actors!

While Tambourine appeared as a phantom enemy in Dragon Ball Super episodes 75 and 76, this was not seen in Toyotarō’s manga.

This sketch and comment set has been added to the respective page in our “Translations” archive.

Published by VegettoEX
20 March 2018, 8:52 AM EDTComment

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Viz has added their English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s thirty-fourth chapter to their website, moving further into the “Universe Survival arc” of the series. This continues Viz’s initiative of simultaneously publishing the series’ chapter alongside its Japanese debut, which sees its release this week in the May 2018 issue of Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine in Japan.

The Dragon Ball Super “comicalization” began in June 2015 as a promotional tie-in for the television series. The manga runs monthly in Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine, with the series’ thirty-fourth chapter printed this week in the magazine’s May 2018 issue. Illustrated by “Toyotarō” (in all likelihood, a second pen-name used by Dragon Ball AF fan manga author and illustrator “Toyble”), the Dragon Ball Super manga covered the Battle of Gods re-telling, skipped the Resurrection ‘F’ re-telling, and “charged ahead” to the Champa arc to act as further promotion for the television series. Viz is currently releasing free digital chapters of the series, and began their own collected print edition early last year. The third collected volume is due out in English from Viz in July 2018.

The Dragon Ball Super television series airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV in Japan and is set to conclude with the series’ 131st episode next week. The series receives weekly simulcast streams on services such as Crunchyroll. FUNimation has also announced their American streaming and distribution license for the series, with the English dub beginning last year on Cartoon Network, while the home video release also kicked off last year.