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3114 February 2016
To Lord Zuno! Ask About the Location of the Super Dragon Balls!"Super" NewsSeries InfoEpisode List

This week’s Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary “Super History Book” is packed with an introduction from and short comments by original manga author Akira Toriyama. In addition, the book features a lengthy interview with the man himself.

Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary: Super History Book

In this new interview, Toriyama recounts some popular stories such as the revolving cast of Cell arc villains, using Super Saiyan as an excuse to no longer fully ink hair, and the constant lack of an overall plan while simultaneously enjoying the challenge of tying up loose ends.

Of relevance to newer productions since the 2013 theatrical film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (including the ongoing Dragon Ball Super TV series), Toriyama explains his reasoning for introducing gods into the mix:

I always turn to God in times of trouble. (laughs) Gods and aliens and other unknown beings like that make it easy to craft the story. After all, gods can do practically anything. I have my gods be straightforward and not too fussy, so that children can feel comfortable with them. The reason I give gods attendants… Well, I guess it’s because important people always need butlers, and it’s easy to develop the story through conversations.

Read our full translation!

The Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary “Super History Book” is available for purchase via CDJapan and Amazon Japan.



This week’s March 2016 issue of V-Jump in Japan — as well as the new Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary “Super History Book” — contain the original character designs of the Dragon Ball Super Universe 6 competitors by Akira Toriyama. Each has a corresponding bio/description, translated below (and also archived in our “Translations” section.)

toriyama_hit_design-small
Hit
ヒット (hitto)

BIO
With his cool outfit that looks like he’s wearing a long coat, no matter how you look at him there’s no doubt this guy is a force to be reckoned with!! Even the name “Hit” smells of danger…

toriyama_cabba_design-small
Cabba
キャベ (kyabe)

BIO
Universe 6 has a Saiyan of its own!! That’s Cabba!! His battle fatigues seem to have quite a different design than those worn by Vegeta and the other Saiyans of Universe 7, but just how powerful is he…!?

toriyama_frost_design-small
Frost
フロスト (furosuto)

BIO
“…Huh!? This guy looks familar…!!” If that’s what you were thinking, then you’re right on the money!! This guy is the emperor of Universe 6, and has something to hide!! Does that mean this is his first form…!?

toriyama_botamo_design-small
Botamo
ボタモ (botamo)

BIO
With his ursine features, you can tell at a glance that Botamo is confident in his strength!! All we know right now is that his entire body is smooth and hairless!!

toriyama_magetta_design-small
Magetta
マゲッタ (magetta)

BIO
Something is burning inside his body, and smoke rises from his head!! Though he looks just like a robot, he’s actually a species of alien known as a “Metal Man”. What kind of moves will he unleash!?

A character design sketch and description for Monaka (of Beerus’ Universe 7 team) is also provided:

toriyama_monaka_design-small
Monaka
モナカ (monaka)

BIO
A hero whose name means “Grand Ponta (nipples)”. He’s said to be powerful enough to give even Beerus a hard time, but will we get to see what he’s truly capable of?!



This week’s Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary “Super History Book” is a doozy, packed with an extensive amount of documentation, designs, and interviews spanning the entire three-decade run thus far.

Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary: Super History Book

Original manga author Akira Toriyama has contributed several comments throughout the book, including a lengthy interview of his own — stay tuned for a translation of that one in the near future! In the meantime, we have translated Toriyama’s introductory comments for the book:

It seems that Dragon Ball is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

30 years! That’s amazing. Even though it’s a series I started myself, I’m still surprised.

Of course, it’s not as if I kept the manga running for 30 years straight, so I shouldn’t get too carried away. The manga finished its serialization after about 10 years, meaning that it got through the remaining 20 thanks to the support of all the fans and staff.

That’s actually pretty incredible!

I’m so fortunate to have a manga like this!

When Dragon Ball began its serialization, I was stuck starting it up straight away with barely any preparation time. So right out of the gate I barely had a clue what would happen in the next chapter, let alone anything further down the road than that, and yet it turned out that I liked drawing it this way because it gave the story a thrilling unpredictability (even I didn’t know what would happen!) and so I continued to the very end.

continue reading full translation >>

The full introduction has been archived in our “Translations” section.

Perhaps most notable to fans is a choice quote that originally made its way online courtesy of Twitter user ‏@mozumichael. In it, Akira Toriyama provides some rather candid comments on the state of recent Dragon Ball productions:

I had put Dragon Ball behind me, but seeing how much that live-action film ticked me off, and how I revised that script for the anime movie and complained about the quality of the TV anime, I suppose somewhere along the line it’s become a series I like too much to ever leave alone.

Toriyama references here his 2013 Q&A with Asahi Shimbun Digital in which he noted the script for the 2009 live-action Dragon Ball Evolution movie, “…had too little of a grasp on the world and its characteristics,” and that it was something that he, “…couldn’t really call a Dragon Ball that lived up to [his] expectations.” Additionally, the 2013 theatrical film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods already had an established script and character designs by Yūsuke Watanabe and Tadayoshi Yamamuro, respectively, prior to Akira Toriyama’s involvement in which he rewrote the vast majority of the film.

This is not the first time Toriyama has publicly expressed displeasure with aspects of the Dragon Ball animation, either. In a January 1997 Japanese WIRED magazine interview, Toriyama noted that he had, “…always been dissatisfied with the ‘righteous hero’-type portrayal they gave him,” and that he could not quite get them to, “…grasp the elements of ‘poison’ that slip in and out of sight among the shadows.”

Chronologically-speaking, following Evolution and Battle of Gods would have been Dragon Ball Kai followed by the ongoing Dragon Ball Super. It is important to note that Toriyama does not specifically call out Dragon Ball Super in his comment here… though all signs seem to point to that having been the offending production prompting the comment.



The March 2016 issue of V-Jump, released 21 January 2016 in Japan, has announced that the “Full Color” print editions will be continuing on into the “Piccolo Daimaō Arc” (ピッコロ大魔王編; pikkoro daimaō hen) of the series.

Four volumes of the “Piccolo Daimaō Arc” will be released 04 March 2016, with each retailing for ¥600 (+tax). The story material will cover the appearance of the Great Demon King Piccolo up through the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai. The four volumes are available for pre-order via Amazon Japan.

With the “Z”-portion of the “Full Color” manga already published between 2013 and 2014, and the limited number of chapters remaining to be published following the final four volumes of the “Boyhood Arc” being released 04 February 2016, these four volumes of the “Piccolo Daimaō Arc” will likely conclude the “Full Color” print editions. With its end, the “Full Color” editions will have spread all 519 chapters of the Dragon Ball manga across 32 individual volumes, making it the most condensed release of the series to date — ten less than the original 42 tankōbon volumes and two less than the 34 kanzenban volumes.

Viz initially released the “Full Color” Saiyan arc in English via their digital Weekly Shonen Jump publication before exclusively moving to print for the series. The three-volume Saiyan arc has been the only release thus far from Viz, with the Freeza arc finally seeing the light of day in Spring 2016.



Today’s March 2016 issue of V-Jump reveals a new game in development for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan: Dragon Ball: Project Fusion.

project_fusion_title

The brief V-Jump teaser splash talks of fusing the world together in the upcoming RPG, including different islands and cities, while Tenshinhan ponders who might be responsible for this.

In conjunction with the game, Shueisha and their partners will run a contest where entrants can submit their own designs for two Dragon Ball characters fused together, with the winning design(s) to appear in the game, as well as a special “manga project” in Saikyō Jump. Select runners-up will also receive an “Extreme Heroes W (Double) Pack” signed by Masako Nozawa.

By way of a company blog post, it appears that Ganbarion will be the developer for the game. In addition to games for various other licensed properties such as One Piece, most notable to Dragon Ball fans will be Ganbarion’s work on both Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars for the Nintendo DS.

DBPF_20160121

A fusion creation contest was previously held in 1995. Weekly Shonen Jump 1995 #13 (which contained Dragon Ball chapter 508) announced the contest, with the winners featured later in the 1995 #19 issue (which contained Dragon Ball chapter 514). Of note were Akira Toriyama’s own contribution of “Piririn” (a fusion of Piccolo and Kuririn) for the contest announcement, and a “Gohanks” entry (a fusion of Gohan and Trunks) submitted by future To-Love-Ru artist Kentaro Yabuki.

The Project Fusion game is scheduled for a nebulous 2016 release in Japan. A teaser website has opened at dbpf.bn-ent.net.



Dragon Ball video games have consistently ranked in the PlayStation Store monthly sales charts over the last two years, in part thanks to consistent sales across the three main platforms (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Vita). Sony has revealed the top North American downloads for 2015, and Dragon Ball makes the expected appearances for the year.

Dragon Ball XENOVERSE (originally released back in February 2015) hits the PS3 and PS4 charts at #8 and #18, respectively. On the Vita, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (originally released in January 2014) clocks in at #7. Both games received digital price drops back in October.

XENOVERSE also ranked as the #7 and #14 game on the PS3 and PS4 charts, respectively, for the month of December alone.

No Dragon Ball games placed on the European 2015 charts.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, developed by Artdink for Bandai Namco, was released worldwide in January 2014 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Vita. In North America, the Vita version was released exclusively as a downloadable title. Dragon Ball XENOVERSE, developed by Dimps for Bandai Namco, is the latest console game for the franchise on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game is available both digitally and in retail disc form for both Sony consoles.



As a part of an on-going campaign to promote the upcoming Universe 6 story arc of Dragon Ball Super, Toei’s official website has posted new promotional Twitter icons for fans to use on social media. In addition, the update reveals the names of Champa’s Universe 6 competitors:

uni6_06hit
Hit
ヒット (hitto)

NAME PUN
Taken from the normal adaptation of the word “hit” in English transferred over to Japanese.

uni6_07kyabe
Cabba
キャベ (kyabe)

NAME PUN
As the requisite Saiyan of the group, the character’s name is likely taken from “cabbage” (キャベツ; kyabetsu).

uni6_08frost
Frost
フロスト (furosuto)

NAME PUN
Follows suit with the other, previously-established, cold-related names associated with Freeza’s race.

uni6_09botamo
Botamo
ボタモ (botamo)

NAME PUN
Likely taken from the Japanese confectionary botamochi.

uni6_10magetta
Magetta
マゲッタ (magetta)

NAME PUN
Possibly a reference to and combination of the famous giant robots Mazinger (マジンガー; mazingā) and Getter Robo (ゲッターロボ; gettā robo).

Each of these names were posted by Twitter user @s_m_530 back on 18 December 2015 in conjunction with Jump Festa. However, no other attendees were able to corroborate the names at the time.

Also confirmed, though previously-revealed in the seventh chapter of Toyotarō’s Dragon Ball Super manga adaptation, is Monaka for Beerus’ Universe 7 team:

uni7_05monaca
Monaka
モナカ (monaka)

NAME PUN
Likely taken directly from monaka (最中), a Japanese sweet made of azuki bean jam filling sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from mochi, and adapting the name spelling into katakana.

The “Champa arc” officially kicks off with next week’s 28th episode. Original manga author Akira Toriyama is providing the character designs and underlying story for the upcoming arc. Dragon Ball Super airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV in Japan. An English dub for the Toonami Asia market has been announced as the first international release of the series.



The first issue of Shueisha’s “Jump Ryū!” (ジャンプ流! / “Jump School!”) manga artist collection covering Akira Toriyama will be widely available across Japan this week (07 January 2016), and thus of course globally through numerous online retailers. Each issue of the “Jump Ryū!” collection will cover individual Weekly Shōnen Jump manga artists — as well as lessons on various manga drawing techniques — and comes packed with a DVD, a special booklet, and two exclusive replica prints (Toriyama’s is the only volume set to include three). The first volume will retail for ¥650 (~$5.50), with each subsequent volume retailing for ¥1,290 (~$10.90). The first three volumes of the collection previously received a release exclusively in the Shizuoka region of Japan on 03 September 2015 as a limited run.

Having purchased a copy of the limited release for ourselves, let’s take a look at what exactly comes packaged in this mook (“magazine book”)!

The first thing to note is that the contents of the two releases are identical, with the special booklet, DVD, and bonus material in the nationwide release all being exact reprints of those included in the limited release. The only obvious exception is the mook’s cover, which has been slightly redesigned and now features Super Saiyan Son Goku for the nationwide release.

Packaging
The main packaging is constructed with a small cardboard box, approximately 12 by 9.5 inches, or roughly the same size as the Dragon Ball Super: Super Start Guide, and not quite one inch thick. The front of the mook opens in a tri-fold fashion to reveal its contents. The special booklet is slipped into the left flap and the three exclusive replica prints are concealed within a tearaway pouch in the right flap. The slim DVD case is enclosed in the center of the box, and the box must be opened from the top in order to remove the DVD.

Special Booklet
The 18-page special booklet is the same size as the mook and shares the same cover illustration as the limited release mook. It is printed on high-quality paper with a gloss finish on the outside cover. The book’s contents are split up into four main sections, with the first three covering Akira Toriyama, along with two shorter columns and a letter of reflection from Toriyama at the end.

  • ROAD to JUMP: The Manga Artist’s Untold Debut Story (pp. 4-5)
    In this two-page interview, author Akira Toriyama discusses his debut in Weekly Shōnen Jump and the events leading up to him becoming a professional manga artist in the first place. As he has described in previous interviews, he only sent in a submission to a new-talent contest running in Jump for the prize money after quitting his job as a graphic designer at an advertising firm.
  • Jump Research: A Fun, Uncluttered Manga Drawing Technique (pp. 6-9)
    This section examines Toriyama’s unique manga story-telling aspects and how they help make his manga so popular. These aspects include his memorable and forgettable characters, their naming schemes and puns, the beautiful scenery and landscapes, direction and the camera work between panels, and his unique mechanical designs influenced by his hobby of making plastic models.
  • Jump Storyboard Replica Lesson: Dragon Ball Chapter 191, “The Ten Count” (pp. 10-13)
    In this lesson, a four-step process is laid out for inking the replica copy of the 9th page of Dragon Ball chapter 191 provided with the mook. It also includes a full B4-sized print of the original inked page for comparison purposes, as well as a word of advice from author Akira Toriyama.
  • The Fundamentals of Manga: Chapter 1, “Learning How to Draw Satisfactory Lines” (pp. 14-16)
    This first chapter of manga fundamentals covers the different types of pens used to ink manga, such as a G-pen, mapping pen, and millipen. It also details the various pen nibs, pen holders, type of ink, and paper sizes that are used, as well as how to properly dip the pen into ink and how to clean it when finished.
  • Jump Studio Finding Corps / Jump Editorial Department “Secret” Information Bureau (p. 17)
    The first half of this page features a few rare photographs of Akira Toriyama and takes a look at his love of Star Wars, including his collection of Star Wars model kits. The bottom of the page includes a few rare items from Toriyama’s serialization days with Shueisha, including a copy of his very first memo discussing Awawa World, a few key author comments from Toriyama printed in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and a comment from Toriyama’s first editor, Kazuhiko Torishima.
  • Special Contribution: Akira Toriyama’s Reflection (p. 18)
    A letter written by Akira Toriyama reflecting on his stature and influence, in which he admits that while he acts as though it is no big deal, he works quite hard from the shadows. He also discusses his forgetful habits, such as changing things from what he had said before. Looking back on it all, his advice to young aspiring artists is to go against trends, and if possible, gain a sense of individuality. Most of all, he wants everyone to work as hard as they can while enjoying themselves.

Jump Ryū! DVD
Packaged in a slim case, the DVD is Region 2 encoded and presented in 16:9 widescreen format. It contains four video features with a total running time of approximately 42 minutes. The DVD cover illustration was originally drawn by Akira Toriyama for the Akira Toriyama The World: Anime Special mook released in October 1990.

  • A Color Drawing Experience! (16 minutes, 14 seconds)
    Filmed in June 1995 at the Nagoya Civic Art Gallery in Aichi Prefecture as part of the Akira Toriyama The World Exhibit, this video features Toriyama drawing, inking, and painting an illustration of Son Goku. It also features Kazuhiko Torishima, Toriyama’s first editor, who is on-hand asking Toriyama questions, and laughing at the horrendous condition of his pen holder, while he draws. A replica copy of the illustration is included with the mook.

  • The Debut’s Untold Story is Recalled! (17 minutes, 33 seconds)
    This video features an audio interview between author Akira Toriyama and his third editor, Fuyuto Takeda, discussing Toriyama’s life leading up to, and the early years after, his debut in Weekly Shōnen Jump. Neither individual actually appear in the video, with the exception of showing old pictures from Toriyama’s serialization days.

  • Tasked With a Goku Autograph! (2 minutes, 42 seconds)
    In commemoration of the “Jump Ryū!” collection, Akira Toriyama drew an exclusive autograph sign featuring Super Saiyan Son Goku to be included with the mook. As opposed to the colored illustration also included on the DVD, this video was recorded much more recently, possibly corresponding with one of the recent film premieres, although it is not actually specified.

  • Practical Manga Techniques! (5 minutes, 31 seconds)
    The final feature on the DVD is a short lesson on how to select the proper pen for inking a manga panel, which corresponds with “The Fundamentals of Manga” lesson included in the mook’s special booklet. The video’s sketches and illustrations are drawn by manga artist Atsuhiro Satō, a lecturer and assistant who has worked under professional manga artists Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King), Takeshi Obata (Death Note), and Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto). It is narrated by Kazuya Nakai, the voice of Zoro in One Piece and Tagoma in Dragon Ball Super.

Printed Material
Included with the mook are printed replica copies of the two illustrations seen being drawn by Akira Toriyama on the DVD, in addition to the storyboard for the lesson featured in the special booklet. All three replicas are printed on A4-sized, high-quality grade paper.

Promotion
In addition to the normal adverts in Jump magazines, Shueisha recently advertised the “Jump Ryū!” lineup at Jump Festa ’16 with numerous flyers and large displays of the packaging. The lineup will include a total of 25 manga artists, with the first eight volumes currently set for release up through April 2016. They have also launched Twitter and Facebook pages, both of which are updated with sneak previews and numerous promotional goodies, as well as an official website. Most recently, Shueisha released a 30-second commercial promoting the first three volumes.

The nationwide release of the first “Jump Ryū!” volume focusing on Akira Toriyama is currently available on CDJapan and Amazon Japan.



Today’s release of four “Full Color” manga volumes in Japan seems to officially kick off the onslaught of Dragon Ball merchandise heading our way this year. Here is a quick overview of some of the products we already have confirmed for an early 2016 release. Where applicable, we have included referral links to vendors that we at Kanzenshuu have worked with in the past and have a good relationship with; using these links is a great way to support the website as you make your usual purchases. Let us know if you foreign folks have anything else coming your way that we can add to the list.

(Note the inclusion of Viz’s “Full Color” Freeza arc for May — we dropped that listing at the end for the good reminder that more is finally on the way!)

Early 2016 Dragon Ball Products

04 January 2016

07 January 2016

21 January 2016

25 January 2016

03 February 2016

04 February 2016

05 February 2016

  • Saikyō Jump: March 2016 Issue (includes franchise news, Dragon Ball SD chapter 41, etc.)
    Availability: CDJapanAmazon Japan

17 February 2016

21 February 2016

  • V-Jump: April 2016 Issue (includes franchise news, Dragon Ball Super chapter 9, etc.)
    Availability: CDJapanAmazon Japan

24 February 2016

02 March 2016

03 May 2016



2013 and 2014 were enormous years for the Dragon Ball franchise. Beyond an official addition to the manga from its original creator and new theatrical installments also officially continuing the story, there was only one place for 2015 to take us: back to television. As the following statistics are about to prove, not much can compete with that kind of announcement. These were the top five stories of the year according to total website traffic, rate of traffic growth, social media conversations, etc.


top5_2015_number5

#5: June 19th – New “Dragon Ball Super” Character Revealed: “Champa”

The production staff behind Dragon Ball Super did a wonderful job with the slow drips of information leading up to (and far into!) the TV series’ debut. The reveal of Champa before the show’s premiere — tied in with his presence in the opening sequence and eventually in Toyotarō’s manga adaptation — has kept us excited about his involvement for months on end. Though he has now technically/actually appeared in the series (finally!), we are still waiting for Champa to truly make an impact. Even when other aspects of our excitement die down, the Champa hype remains real.

top5_2015_number4

#4: March 2nd – New “Dragon Ball Z: Revival of ‘F'” Trailer Reveals Freeza Form

Revival of “F” / Resurrection ‘F’ feels a million years old at this point, doesn’t it? The anticipation of what Freeza might have up his sleeve was enough for at least one non-Dragon Ball Super news story to crack the top five! Other reveals (including Jaco and ominous bits of dialog) were just the icing on the cake.

top5_2015_number3

#3: July 1st – “Dragon Ball Super” Complete Showcase Event Reveals Series Plot

The “Dragon Ball Super Complete Showcase Event” in Tokyo recapped a slew of information we already knew about the then-upcoming Dragon Ball Super TV series, but it was the reveal that Toriyama himself was working on the “Universe 6” material that grabbed everyone’s attention. We would still have to slog through two movie re-tellings to get to that point, but knowing we had all-new material on the horizon has remained one of the most exciting parts of tuning in each week. Toyotarō’s manga teases sure didn’t hurt, either. As 2016 begins and we approach the end of the Freeza revival arc, this post remains one of the most-linked news stories around the web as fans look for clarification on Toriyama’s involvement and confirmations on where the series might be heading.

top5_2015_number2

#2: June 26th – New Fuji TV “Dragon Ball Super” Website Posts 30-Second Preview

Fuji TV accidentally spill the beans when their own Dragon Ball Super website (itself separate from Toei Animation’s main Dragon Ball Super website) posted a 30-second preview for the upcoming series, which had been scheduled to air alongside the final Dragon Ball Kai episode. The preview included a shot of Champa and Vados visiting Beerus and Whis amidst footage that was otherwise just the first few episodes. It was a great tease, albeit one that perhaps came a few days early thanks to one branch of the marketing machine clearly not knowing what the other already had in the hopper.

top5_2015_number1

#1: April 28th – New “Dragon Ball Super” TV Series Announced For 2015

As if there could be any debate about what the most-read, most-linked, most-discussed Dragon Ball news story in 2015 might be.

We have been around long enough to see spin-offs, parodies, special features, movies, and even manga additions revealed. However, nothing has ever come close to the traffic we received for the Dragon Ball Super announcement. There was no contest here; we are talking about an order of magnitude above and beyond not just any other story in 2015, but any other news story in the history of Kanzenshuu (even extending back to Daizenshuu EX and Kanzentai).

What else can we say? It was the announcement of the Dragon Ball franchise’s return to a weekly TV format for the first time in eighteen years. The “Rumor Guide” needs some serious updating thanks to 2015.


In terms of popular content this year, our Revival of “F” / Resurrection ‘F’ page in the “Movie Guide” was the clear winner courtesy of our synopsis following its original Japanese theatrical debut (along with the page’s character designs, production staff interview translations, etc.). Perhaps needless to say, the Dragon Ball Super episode guide main page has also seen an enormous amount of traffic.

The “Animation Styles Guide” and “Intended Endings Guide” remain fan-favorites as well, while our Dragon Ball GT ending analysis continues to chart year-after-year. It will be interesting to see whether or not Dragon Ball Super (and in particular wherever its story may take us in the timeline) has any effect on that page’s enduring popularity.

We are tempted to say that 2016 may be one of the more predictable years due to the on-going TV series. After all, why add to the noise? If the last few years have taught us anything, however, it is that we are 100% incapable of calling what Akira Toriyama, Shueisha, Toei, and Bandai Namco have planned for the Dragon Ball franchise. In a way, it’s oddly reminiscent of Toriyama’s writing style back during its original serialization: even he didn’t know where it would end up!

onward_2016

Cheers to an amazing 2015! Onward to 2016!