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Published by VegettoEX
25 April 2018, 9:43 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s seventy-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 a series of design drafts for the title screen of the Dragon Ball Z television series, which debuted 29 years ago today in Japan (26 April 1989):

It was Toriyama himself that coined the “Z” name for the updated television series, which he explains in the TV anime guide Son Goku Densetsu:

Rumor has it that you titled it after an energy supplement with “Z” in the name.

Toriyama: That’s not true~. (laughs) “Z” is the last letter of the alphabet, right? Anyhow, from that time, I really already wanted to end the comic, (laughs) so I gave the title a “Z” with the meaning of “that’s all, folks~”. I don’t remember saying a single thing about there being an energy supplement. Rumors can be so wild. (laughs)

Nakatsuru: Did you have any image of something other than the “Z”?

Toriyama: No, I probably didn’t. I myself thought, “they don’t really have to change the title, do they?” but someone from the anime staff demanded it, saying “we want to freshen it up”, so I was just sort of like, “this should be fine”.

The “Animation’s Gleanings” column in the final supplemental Daizenshuu notes that other names under consideration were Dragon Ball: Gohan’s Great Adventure, New Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball 2, Dragon Ball: The Wunderkind [Wandā Bōi], and Dragon Ball ’90.

As Toriyama’s original editor Kazuhiko Torishima recounts in his 2016 interview with Forbes, the name change was a convenient extra alongside additional changes being made on the production side of things:

“All of this was great timing as we had all these staff changes happening in the animation as well. The new anime producer also was very smart and said that if we had a new title, in that Dragon Ball would finish and we’d start a new show, then that meant the anime would get more money for promotion. So we decided to go with the different title and updated characters, with bigger proportions, and we had a meeting for this new title but we couldn’t come up with anything good. I went and asked Toriyama for his input and he answered immediately by saying “Dragon Ball Z”. I asked “why Z?” and he said “because this is last, nothing comes after this.””

Published by VegettoEX
25 April 2018, 6:12 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s seventy-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 Toriyama’s character design for Chaco Yutani, a new character introduced for Tobal 2, released on the original Sony PlayStation 21 years ago today (25 April 1997):

The official website’s write-up includes an original comment from Toriyama during this design period:

ちょっとサービスして、肌の露出をアップしてみた。ポリゴンにすると、さらにムチムチでいい感じすね!


I upped the amount of skin in the name of fan-service. Once she’s made polygonal, she should be even more nice ‘n’ curvy!

As with games such as Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger, Toriyama contributed character designs for Tobal No.1, a fighting game developed by DreamFactory for Square. Toriyama’s robo-persona — used both as a self-insert character in various series as well as in otherwise “real-life” depictions — first made an appearance as a hidden playable character in Tobal No. 1, requiring the player to complete Udan’s Dungeon in the game’s quest mode. While Tobal No.1 received an American release in 1996, Tobal 2 unfortunately never received an international release.

Published by VegettoEX
25 April 2018, 10:29 AM EDTComment

A short promotional video for Merged Zamasu, the next paid downloadable character coming to Dragon Ball FighterZ, has been released showcasing some of his special moves:

The video concludes with a glimpse at the in-game alternate colors, player lobby character, and Z-Stamp that will accompany him for those that pay for access to the character.

Merged Zamasu — a Potara earring fusion of Zamasu and Goku Black — debuted in the Future Trunks arc of the Dragon Ball Super series.

The character will be made available individually for ¥500/$5, or as part of the game’s game’s optional $34.99 “FighterZ Pass” covering eight total characters. The first two additional characters, Bardock and Broli, were released last month. Though extensive datamining has taken place among fans, the remaining fighters have yet to be officially announced.

The 3-on-3, “2.5D” fighting game is developed by Arc System Works for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam). The game runs at a 1080p resolution and 60fps frame rate, with higher resolutions available on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles, as well as the PC. Playable characters include Son Goku, Son Gohan (Cell arc design), Vegeta, Freeza, Cell, Boo (Good), Trunks, Piccolo, Kuririn, #16, #18 (with #17), Yamcha, Tenshinhan (with Chiaotzu), Ginyu (with teammates), Nappa (with Saibaimen), Gotenks, Son Gohan (Boo arc design), Boo (Pure), Hit, Beerus, and Goku Black (with Zamasu), as well as “Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan” (SSGSS, or “Super Saiyan Blue”) versions of Goku and Vegeta that can be accessed early via pre-orders or unlocked through gameplay. The Akira Toriyama-designed “#21” has also been revealed as a new character central to the game’s story mode.

Dragon Ball FighterZ was released 26 January 2018 in North America and Europe, and 01 February 2018 in Japan. Alongside its Japanese release, Bandai Namco announced that they had shipped two million copies of the game, making it the fastest-shipping game in the franchise’s history.

Arc previously worked on Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden for the Nintendo 3DS, as well as the Super Sonic Warriors games (Bukū Tōgeki and Bukū Ressen) on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. The developer is otherwise known for their Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series of fighting games.

Published by VegettoEX
25 April 2018, 10:26 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s seventy-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 illustration used for the cover of the November 2010 issue of Armour Modelling (released 13 October 2010):

The illustration depicts Japanese folklore hero Momotarō along with his dog, monkey, and pheasant companions in a Type 89 medium tank, used by the Imperial Japanese Army for roughly a decade between 1932 to 1942:

The magazine came with FineMolds-branded parts to create a model of said tank:

Published by VegettoEX
24 April 2018, 8:56 PM EDTComment

In conjunction with the June 2018 issue of Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine over the weekend, Bandai Namco has revealed Merged Zamasu — the Potara fusion of Zamasu and Goku Black from the Future Trunks arc of the Dragon Ball Super series — as the next playable character in Dragon Ball FighterZ by way of paid downloadable content.

気高くも美しい不死にして最強の神。
自由自在に空中を移動するなど、独特な動きで敵を圧倒する
テクニカルファイター。究極の神は果たして人間に使いこなせるのか?
『絶対の雷』で最後の審判を下し、新たな時代の息吹を宿せ!


The mightiest god in the form of a dignified and beautiful immortal. A technical fighter who can overwhelm opponents through special moves such as being able to move freely through the air. Could a mere mortal possibly use the ultimate god to the fullest?! Hand down final judgement with “Absolute Thunder” and breathe life into a new era!

The promotion in V-Jump mistakenly reprints Broli’s stats, which are corrected on the game’s official website write-up: power as “S”, speed as “S”, reach as “A”, technique as “SS”, energy as “S”, and ease of us as “B”. With some of his special moves — such as “Absolute Thunder” and “Divine Wrath” — Merged Zamasu can move freely in the air after firing.

A video featuring Zamasu gameplay is expected tomorrow.

Merged Zamasu will be made available individually, or as part of the game’s game’s optional $34.99 “FighterZ Pass” covering eight total characters. The first two additional characters, Bardock and Broli, were released last month. Though extensive datamining has taken place among fans, the remaining fighters have yet to be officially announced.

The 3-on-3, “2.5D” fighting game is developed by Arc System Works for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam). The game runs at a 1080p resolution and 60fps frame rate, with higher resolutions available on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles, as well as the PC. Playable characters include Son Goku, Son Gohan (Cell arc design), Vegeta, Freeza, Cell, Boo (Good), Trunks, Piccolo, Kuririn, #16, #18 (with #17), Yamcha, Tenshinhan (with Chiaotzu), Ginyu (with teammates), Nappa (with Saibaimen), Gotenks, Son Gohan (Boo arc design), Boo (Pure), Hit, Beerus, and Goku Black (with Zamasu), as well as “Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan” (SSGSS, or “Super Saiyan Blue”) versions of Goku and Vegeta that can be accessed early via pre-orders or unlocked through gameplay. The Akira Toriyama-designed “#21” has also been revealed as a new character central to the game’s story mode.

Dragon Ball FighterZ was released 26 January 2018 in North America and Europe, and 01 February 2018 in Japan. Alongside its Japanese release, Bandai Namco announced that they had shipped two million copies of the game, making it the fastest-shipping game in the franchise’s history.

Arc previously worked on Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden for the Nintendo 3DS, as well as the Super Sonic Warriors games (Bukū Tōgeki and Bukū Ressen) on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. The developer is otherwise known for their Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series of fighting games.

Published by VegettoEX
24 April 2018, 12:04 PM EDTComment

This week on the show, our podcast kicks off a two-part look at the various Dragon Ball prototypes over the years. From ideas that began percolating in Dr. Slump, to the one-shots Dragon Boy and The Adventure of Tongpoo, to the actual drafts that would become Dragon Ball itself, join us for a journey through time and evolution!

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0440! Mike and Julian discuss some of the ideas in “Dr. Slump” that would later make their way into “Dragon Ball” before moving on to “Dragon Boy”, a two-part comic Akira Toriyama drew in 1983 which served as one step along the way to creating “Dragon Ball” itself. What changes are visible in the artwork, panel construction, and writing style? Join us for the first of a two-part journey leading up to “Dragon Ball” in 1984!

REFERENCED SITES:

Our podcast available via iTunes and/or Google Play Music, or you can pop the direct RSS feed into the program of your choice. You can also listen to this episode by directly downloading the MP3 or by streaming it on SoundCloud or YouTube. We invite you to discuss this episode on our forum.

Published by VegettoEX
23 April 2018, 3:53 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s seventieth 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 spine artwork of Arale for the 1980 No. 5-6 double issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (released 05 January 1980), which contained the two-chapter debut of Dr. Slump:

With the series just beginning and Toriyama was still relatively unknown, Dr. Slump did not receive its own exclusive cover splash until later that year with the 1980 No. 15 issue (released 11 March 1980), which contained the series’ 11th chapter. As was the case for several years, the first issue of a new calendar year featured the various Jump authors on the cover. Though his series does not appear on the cover, this would be Toriyama’s Jump cover debut in a very literal sense.

In his author comment accompanying the chapters, Toriyama — true to form — notes a word from his Nagoya dialect:

初の連載。全力でメチャンコがんばります。あっ“メチャンコ”って名古屋弁で“とっても”の意味よ

My first serial. I’ll work mechanko hard and give it all I’ve got. Ah — mechanko means “very” in Nagoya dialect.

Toriyama had not yet begun signing his comments with <明> (“Akira”), something he would begin the following month alongside Dr. Slump‘s sixth chapter.

Prior to Dr. Slump, Toriyama’s professional publications had included Wonder Island (released 28 November 1978 in the 1978 No. 52 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump), Wonder Island: Detective Harry’s Big Panic (later called Wonder Island 2, released 27 December 1978 in the Shōnen Jump 25 January 1979 Extra Issue), Today on Hairai Island (released 22 March 1979 in the Shōnen Jump 20 April 1979 Extra Issue), and Gal Detective Tomato (released 20 July 1979 in the Shōnen Jump 15 August 1979 Extra Issue).

The title page from the first chapter of Dr. Slump was previously shared as the 21st entry in this “The Nearly Complete Works of Akira Toriyama” series.

Published by VegettoEX
22 April 2018, 5:29 PM EDTComment

Continuing onward from previous chapters, Viz has added their English translation of the Dragon Ball Super manga’s thirty-fifth 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 saw its release yesterday in the June 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-fifth chapter coming this weekend in the magazine’s June 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 sixth collected volume is due out in Japan this June.

Published by VegettoEX
19 April 2018, 9:07 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-ninth 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 artwork to the PlayStation 2 video game Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mysterious Dungeon, released twelve years ago today (20 April 2006):

Released exclusively in Japan seventeen months after Dragon Quest VIII, the spin-off/prequel finds Yangus — one of the hero’s main companions in the original Dragon Quest VIII — sucked into a “Bottle Land” with randomized dungeons. The game is another entry in the “Mysterious Dungeon” series which began in 1993 with Torneko’s Great Adventure: Mysterious Dungeon, another Dragon Quest spin-off. Torneko makes an appearance here in Young Yangus, as well.

This artwork was recently included in the “Akira Toriyama Dragon Quest Illustrations” hardcover book released in 2016. Viz recently announced their forthcoming translation and release of the artbook coming December 2018, which is now available to pre-order on Amazon. Nice!

Published by VegettoEX
19 April 2018, 9:05 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-eighth 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 Toriyama’s emblem for the koala house at Higashiyama Zoo in Nagoya.

The emblem was created in 1984 when these koalas were introduced in the zoo. In 2014, the emblem was decorated and updated to celebrate the exhibit’s 30th anniversary:

Toriyama mentioned this emblem in his comment accompanying chapter 223 of Dr. Slump in the 1984 No. 26 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump (released 29 May 1984):

名古屋市に頼まれコアラのシンボルマークをかく かわいいよ <明>

Nagoya City asked me to draw a koala emblem for them. It’s cute <Akira>