As some of you may know, I collect Viz`s Vizbigs Dragon Ball (and Z) volumes. And I`m happy with them. However, Edições ASA has started publishing the Dragon Ball Tankoubon in Portuguese and I just couldn`t stop myself from buying the first volume.
Here is my review/dissection on the Portuguese Dragon Ball Tankoubon Edition, Volume 1, by ASA, for those of you who might be interested.
1 - History
This is not the first time the Dragon Ball manga is published in Portugal. A few years ago, around 2001 I believe, Planeta Agostini published the entire 42 Tankoubon Volumes in Portugal, based on (and translated from) the spanish version of the manga. However, they went very quickly out of print and nowadays they are very hard to find. Also, their quality wasn`t very good. I didn`t actually own any volumes of that collection, but from what I heard, the translation wasn`t very good and neither was the paper. So, is this new version better? How does it compare to the american version? Lets find out.
2 - Paper/Print
The quality of the paper and print is actually very good.
The paper is a white
high quality paper very much like the paper used in the Vizbigs. Perhaps the paper used on the Vizbigs is a bit thicker but its very similar, in my opinion. So, in short, the paper is pretty much similar in terms of quality to the Vizbigs. But its definitely better than the paper used on the american Tankoubons, which is a greyish paper.
How about the print? Ah, this is where we start to see some differences. The quality of the print on the Vizbigs is very good almost all the time, except on the color pages that aren`t presented in color. In those, the quality decreases significantly. In the portuguese Tankoubon the print is also very good and it doesn`t decrease its quality on the non-colored pages. Here are a few examples of what I`m talking about:
That`s why I feel confident in saying that the print in the Portuguese Tankoubon is actually superior (overall) to the Vizbigs and to the american Tankoubon (I don`t own any american DB Tankoubon and I don`t seem to remember if the quality of print in the non-colored pages also decreases. I`m assuming it does. If someone knows that this is not the case, than please correct me).
3 - Translation
I had heard that these new volumes would be based on the french translation. However, I believe this is incorrect. This portuguese volume clearly states that the translation rights were arranged by Viz.
Therefore, I`m sure the translation is based on Viz`s translation. This becomes even more obvious when we analyze and compare to Viz and read Herms` review on Viz`s translation (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9759
) (awesome read by the way).
A full in-depth comparison would take too long, so here`s what you need to know: the translation is pretty much on the same level as Viz`s translation. Herms once said he would give 7 stars out of 10 to Viz`s translation, and I would consider the Portuguese translation equivalent/comparable. Which is pretty good.
However, they did screw up two lines in this volume (that Viz didn`t).
The first one (and also the worst one): they used the dialog and a footnote to tell us that Bulma comes from Blommers, but they said that Blommers translated to "macacos do nariz". This is wrong, I believe. "Macacos do nariz" translates to boogers (those things that come out of your nose...). Unless I missed something, I don`t really understand why they made this mistake. Its rather silly, actually.
The second one: when Yamcha sees Bulma in the shower, in Viz he says "a sight beyong imagination". This comment in neither positive or negative, it just implies that its a vision of great impression and importance, but, in the original japanese, its implied to be an amazing sight (positive). However, instead of translating this line literally, the portuguese translator decided to interpret the line, and because of that, he added a negative twist to it. He translated it into something like "the worst vision in the world", which, faced with the original line that he didn`t have access to, its a mistake.
But overall, its pretty good and I believe that its much better than the translation of the last collection.
4 - Censorship
One of the great things of the portuguese Tankoubon... There isn`t any censorship. At least not any visual censorship. As I stated, they translated from Viz so some lines are toned down a bit (which can`t be helped), but as far as the visual censorship goes... There isn`t any.
5 - Content
Well, obviously its size and length are consistent to that of a Tankoubon release. It includes the cover pages to all the 11 chapters at the end of the volume, it includes the spine art of the first Tankoubon (which is not included in the Vizbigs but its included in the american Tankoubon) and it also includes unique images that came with the first Tankoubon.
Some of these unique images, don`t exist on the Kanzenban and they also don`t exist on the Vizbigs. However, I`m not sure if they exist on the american Tankoubon (please let me know is you do).
Sadly, the portuguese Tankoubon does not include the Toriyama comment (and its image) of the first Tankoubon and it also doesn`t include the Toriyama "ask me anything corner" that exist on the american releases. Its possible that the "ask me anything corner" will be included in future volumes, but its doubtful that they would do that with the comment, so chances are that the Toriyama comments will not be included in this release, which is a shame.
The covers of the volume itself are paperback but it looks nice.
Also, the portuguese volume reads from right to left (its not inverted).
6 - The price
Its pricey. The retail price is €9,60 per volume. But Viz`s Tankoubon volumes are sold here for about €8,00, so its not too bad, even if it is pricey. Definitely a disadvantage compared to the Vizbigs, which basically are unbeatable in terms of price.
6- Final thoughts
A very good release overall. The translation could be closer to the original, but since its being translated from Viz, the best they can do is be as good as Viz, which they pretty much did (even if those two mistakes were really unnecessary).
Its also a shame that they didn`t include Toriyama`s comments and perhaps his "corner", but I`m not sure if that`s their fault.
Everything else is awesome. The paper, print, the lack of censorship... If this keeps up it will be a pretty solid release in a country with almost no manga releases.
Compared to the Vizbigs, it has paper of equivalent quality, slightly better print, a few unique images that the Vizbig doesn`t have, no censorship and comparable translation, but its missing Toriyama`s comments, his "corner" and of course the pages printed in color that the Vizbig have. Also its much more expensive than the vizbigs. So, in my opinion, its not better than the Vizbigs but not exactly worse either... Their advantages and disadvantages kind of even the score. However, I consider the portuguese Tankoubon superior to the american Tankoubon (because of the paper, print and lack of censorship) and also superior to the previous portuguese Tankoubon collection.
ASA will be releasing the second volume this month and it will then keep a release schedule of 1 volume per month.