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Our coverage of this month’s new Dragon Ball books continues! In addition to an overview page in our “Databook Guide” and a complete review on Episode #0333 of our weekly podcast, we are happy to present a complete English translation of the new “Akira Toriyama Super Interview: Latest Edition” from the new Chōgashū (“Super Art Collection”). In addition to that, we are actually dipping into the past a little bit and providing an accompanying piece of history: an English translation of the Shenlong Times included with Daizenshuu 7: Large Encylopedia from 1996.
The new interview dives into Toriyama’s entire stretch of working on the series along with his switch from old-school to digital art, and the interview portion of the old Shenlong Times ties in nicely with a tidbit about the type of computer Toriyama began using. Also featured in this Shenlong Times are hilarious comments from fellow manga author (and friend of Toriyama) Masakazu Katsura. Both interviews also touch upon Toriyama’s involvement with Dragon Ball GT, making for an even nicer complement to each other and reason to share them together like this.
Enjoy, and look forward to more interview translations — old and new alike! — in the future.
Last week was busy for new Dragon Ball books: the fourth (and final) Chōzenshū guidebook and the Chōgashū illustration collection were both released 09 May 2013.
Both of these books now have complete overview pages added to our ever-growing “Databook Guide“. Each book also contains new interview material, primarily with original manga author Akira Toriyama — look for translations in the near future!
For audio coverage of the new Chōgashū, check out this week’s forthcoming podcast episode. Various additional translations and tidbits will be made available from these and other guidebooks in the near future, so stay tuned!
One of the great benefits of being such a truly-international website is being able to do things like go see the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods on opening day, and to also attend the new exhibit, “Akira Toriyama The World of DRAGONBALL”. While the exhibit kicked off in Tokyo at the end of last month, I headed off to its second stop in Osaka today to bring some exclusive details to the Kanzenshuu audience.
After ascending to the eighth floor and paying admission, visitors are greeted at exhibit by a timeline covering the entire history of the series, including events as far back as the existence of Kaiō’s planet “a hundred million years ago or more”. Curiously, it also includes a large number of anime-only events, such as the Garlic Jr. Arc, the Ano-Yo-Ichi Budōkai, the first and fifth Dragon Ball Z movies, the Jump Super Anime Tour special, and all of Dragon Ball GT. Bardock is also described as having been “sent into the distant past” rather than killed outright by Freeza, in an indirect nod to Episode of Bardock.
In addition, and of particular interest to us here at Kanzenshuu, the timeline unambiguously places Battle of Gods in AGE 778, though it also says without a hint of irony that Bulma is celebrating her “38th” birthday, despite listing her birth year as 733 (actually making it her 45th birthday). The timeline also notes that Pan is born in 779 and Bra in 780, further indicating that the “778” birthdate for Bra (one of two birth years given for her in Daizenshuu 7) was merely an oversight. For more details and insight on placing Battle of Gods into the timeline and reconciling it all into something coherent, check out Episode #0327 of our podcast!
After the timeline, visitors arrive at the character wall, showcasing hundreds of characters from the series. Interestingly, it includes not only characters from the original manga, but many anime-only characters designed by the likes of Minoru Maeda, Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and Tadayoshi Yamamuro in the form of both lineart and stills. It seems an odd choice for an event celebrating the work of Akira Toriyama himself, but then again, we suppose that the world of Dragon Ball has also grown to be far larger than the man who created it, so perhaps it is fitting.
As we anticipated, the exhibit contains lots of original manga pages — both color and black and white — taking up the greatest amount of the exhibit. This includes the entirety of chapters 1 and 519 (though about three pages of chapter 1 were obvious reproductions). For chapter 519, there is also a comparison between his original version of the chapter and the Kanzenban version.
These manuscripts really are a window into the way Toriyama worked: you can see individual strokes in the blacked-in areas, places where he used a bit of white-out to get rid of stray ink or highlight sound-effects or lighter areas, and places where he had pasted over another piece of paper either to correct a mistake (rarely) or photocopied another panel and pasted it on to save time (often). An example of this was the iconic image that also graces the cover of the upcoming Chōgashū: he shortened one of Goku’s locks of hair corresponding to where his hair in its normal style is also shorter. As if to highlight Toriyama’s replication of panels, the event also includes the scene from chapter 480 where even Kuririn notices it, and Toriyama appears to apologize. This too had the pose-panels pasted on.
Another technique that can be observed through these manuscripts is that, whenever Toriyama used tone, he would only cut the tone roughly where it came up against a solid-black area, then blacked in over top of it. This was, no doubt, to save time. Toriyama also inked directly over his pencil illustrations, just as he has claimed in interviews; these were usually completely erased, though some pencil outlines were occasionally still visible.
Moving on from these original manga pages, there is a collection of original color illustrations for things like tankōbon covers, illustrations for Weekly Shōnen Jump, and chapter title pages. At least one title page even had catch-copy penciled in; perhaps Toriyama thought of at least some of these blurbs himself (even though most are deleted in the Kanzenban manga release). Also present in this gallery were Akira Toriyama’s original concept illustrations for Dragon Ball GT, along with his color design sketches for Giru and the ship, complete with notes. An anime gallery follows, showcasing design materials, cels, and a visual progression through the various anime series and movies using posters and official artwork.
In roughly the same area, there is also a “treasure gallery”, which showcases rare and intriguing items: character concept sketches Toriyama drew for the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai (including a version of Tao Pai-pai with a translucent brain-case and a much younger-looking Goku), Dragon Ball merchandise from around the world (including the “Orange Bricks” and several different versions of the Viz-translated manga, with both uncensored early volumes and “Viz Big” omnibuses), postcards and newsletters from Toriyama’s official fan-club (including an early concept illustration for Dragon Ball) and items from Masako Nozawa’s personal collection of memorabilia, with not one, but two signed Goku illustrations, presented to her by Akira Toriyama at different milestones in the series.
The exhibit’s “theater corner” showcases a comparison between the Japanese version of the anime and of several different foreign-language dubs, including FUNimation’s English version, taken from the fight against Vegeta on Earth in Dragon Ball Z. It was truly a surreal sight to see crowds of Japanese people sitting in rapt attention as Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat screamed at each other behind the guise of Goku and Vegeta. This is followed by a talk with Akira Toriyama (off-camera) and Masako Nozawa about the new movie and Goku as a character which unfortunately was a little too quiet to hear clearly without being closer to the front.
An introduction to the new movie Battle of Gods closes out the exhibit with elements from the new film, including storyboards used by director Masahiro Hosoda, character-model sheets by Tadayoshi Yamamuro, and Akira Toriyama’s own artwork for the film. For now, this is the only place where fans will be able to catch a glimpse of Toriyama’s original illustration of Super Saiyan God, as it has not been included in the Official Movie Guide, theatrical program, or the exhibition’s own official program.
Upon exiting the exhibit, there is a Kamehameha photo corner where visitors can capture themselves firing a ki blast, and a gift shop featuring merchandise, much of which (especially products related to Battle of Gods) is exclusive to the exhibit.
As you have come to expect from us at Kanzenshuu, we will continue to bring the English-speaking world this type of exclusive coverage. Please enjoy the information and photos, and look for even more commentary about the exhibit on an upcoming podcast episode!
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continues on yet again for another week in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #20) in Japan. This time around, Toriyama gives a couple brief thoughts on the type of open-ending used for the new movie, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods:
What is the meaning of that conclusion…?
I suppose there might be a variety of impressions with regards to the battle’s conclusion…. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be happy if I can get people to feel “an expansion into [something] afterwards”. Like, “Isn’t there still more to come?” (laughs)
Toriyama’s comments here are incredibly similar to what he wrote as the final compilation volume of the manga was being published back in 1995, with the possibility and open door of an ever-expanding world:
At long last, it’s the final volume! I deliberately made the end low-key, as though the story might still continue; what did you think of it?
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continues on for yet another week in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #19) in Japan. We are still back on the one-question-per-week schedule, and this one brings us a tidbit on backstories that Toriyama creates in his head.
Do you have any unspoken backstories?
Just because he’s the God of Destruction, I wouldn’t like it if he just showed up for no good reason and went on a rampage. So even if it’s not mentioned in the work itself, I do try to come up with a convincing backstory in my own mind. …Although, I forget surprisingly quickly. (laughs)
The third in a series of four new Dragon Ball books, “Chōzenshū 3: Animation Guide Part 2″, was released in Japan this week (04 April 2013), packing a huge amount of material from four prior Daizenshuu into one book.
A good bunch of new material was also included, such as a 25-page spotlight on Dragon Ball GT (which does not pull its material from the Perfect File books), along with a feature on the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
The “Library of Adventure” sections have all been printed in one shot now titled as as “Design Library”. The “All Story Digest” pages from the third, fifth, and supplemental Daizenshuu are also present and accounted for, plus a new section in the same format for GT. Only one “Variety of DB” page made it through intact this time, showcasing Toriyama’s redesigns of the Red Ribbon Army for the 10th Anniversary film. The “Next Movie” page from Daizenshuu 6 that showed conceptual art with different character designs has been omitted, as well as all “Memorial” sections that highlight merchandise related to the older movies.
Believe it or not, we are still catching up on various interviews conducted in support of the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and we have English translations of another two for you today: one with Masako Nozawa from Animate.tv, and another with Nozawa, the band FLOW, and scriptwriter Yūsuke Watanabe from the April 2013 issue of DVD & Blu-ray Vision magazine.
In her interview with Animate.tv, Nozawa speaks to getting the whole gang back together to record the first new theatrical film in 17 years, adding new aspects to the expected Dragon Ball story, and bringing multiple generations of fans together to enjoy the movie.
The multi-part interview in DVD & Blu-ray Vision magazine speaks to FLOW’s involvement with the theme songs and being such long-time fans, Nozawa’s process for voicing multiple characters, and Watanabe’s own thoughts on the characters and approaching them as a fan, himself. Perhaps most interesting are a few hints given toward Watanabe’s original ideas for the script, such as a wedding between two certain characters instead of what turned into Bulma’s birthday party in the final draft:
I thought I’d do a story where the enemy appears at a party on Earth when Goku’s not there, and there’d be big trouble; in the original plot, I wrote Kuririn and No. 18′s wedding, but in the story that came back from Toriyama-sensei, it had changed to Bulma’s birthday party. I think, with regards to Kuririn and No. 18′s wedding, it’s probably something that he wants all the fans to imagine for themselves.
Archives of both interviews can be found in our “Translations” section.
The new series of Q&As with original manga author Akira Toriyama — “Please Tell Us, Akira Toriyama-sensei!!” — continues for at least another week in today’s issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (2013 #18) in Japan. Last week gave us two Q&As, but we are back to just one this week, though it involves a somewhat fun concept for Dragon Ball: romance!
There are some romantic developments, which is rare…?
The truth is, I wrote juuust a little bit of romantic developments in the movie, but that was happenstance. (laughs) I’m really bad with romantic plots. Even if the backstory is there, I shy away when I actually try to draw it.
Our own Julian (“SaiyaJedi”) is one of the lucky ones that is able to head on down to his local theater and check out the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods any time he wants to! Being the dutiful worker he is, we were tweeting out photos live from the screening last night / his morning. In case you missed the fun (you are following us on Twitter, right?!), check out this collection of photos from the screening.
If you have not done so already, and want to be completely spoiled on how the movie goes, be sure to check out our exclusive detailed synopsis with a complete blow-by-blow of the film.
It is finally that day we have all been waiting for… the day we have constantly been pounding into your head for months now. It is 30 March 2013 in Japan, which marks the official release of the first Dragon Ball theatrical film in seventeen years, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods!
Ever since the movie’s announcement in the beginning of July 2012, fans across the globe have been anxiously waiting for this day to come, and so have we! We have been throwing as many staff and cast interviews, comments from Akira Toriyama, and intriguing news updates your way as fast as we could get our hands on them. Even with all that, there is really on one prevailing question left: “What happens in the movie?!” Well now that our very own Julian (“SaiyaJedi”) has come back from seeing the film himself in Osaka, we are proud to finally provide fans everywhere with an answer to this question. A fair warning though; this will contain huge spoilers, so if you are trying to avoid those, do not click the link below. You have been warned!
Without further ado, we at Kanzenshuu present to you our detailed synopsis for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. A huge thanks goes out to our buddy kei17, who provided us with the original Japanese notes he took after attending two preview screenings of the film. We have diligently translated and rewritten his list of notes into a flowing synopsis, jam packed with exclusive details from the film you will not find anywhere else. When you are done reading the synopsis, pop on over to our ongoing forum thread discussing the movie. If you do feel the need to distribute our synopsis, please be so kind as to give us a link back.
And now, we hope you enjoy the show!