Published by VegettoEX
19 April 2018, 9:02 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 Japanese cover artwork for Blue Dragon, released on the Xbox 360 in Japan in December 2006 (with an international release coming later in 2007):

Following Hironobu Sakaguchi’s departure from Square, the Final Fantasy creator formed his Mistwalker development studio in 2004. The studio developed Blue Dragon as an Xbox 360 exclusive, with Sakaguchi recruiting Akira Toriyama for character designs and Nobuo Uematsu for musical composition; Sakaguchi had previously worked with Toriyama on Chrono Trigger (alongside Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii), and with Uematsu on a wealth of Final Fantasy titles.

Blue Dragon expanded into a franchise with two sequels on the Nintendo DS (Blue Dragon Plus and Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow), a loose manga adaptation, and a television series.

The original Xbox 360 version of Blue Dragon is available digitally and is backward compatible on the Xbox One family of systems (along with the development studio’s unrelated follow-up RPG, Lost Odyssey).

Published by VegettoEX
19 April 2018, 8:59 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 another look at the FineMolds “1/12 Fighter Collection” of models circa 1994, this time the WWII Soviet infantry woman Corporal Tanya:

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:

This particular model includes a Shpagin PPSh-41, a Soviet-issue submachine gun used in the U.S.S.R. from 1941 to the 1960s. The description in general notes how many female soldiers filled combat roles in the Red Army (an implicit nod to the fact that this was not a common feature of the other nations’ armed forces at the time). The PPSh-41 description notes that the PPD40 and predecessors were complicated mechanically and relatively expensive, so Georgy Shpagin developed the aforementioned model. It was widely used and well-known for its simple use and maintenance.

In the cartoon accompanying the assembly instructions, two IJA soldiers (a corporal and a sergeant major) are talking. The corporal scoffs, “Hmph! Damn enemies! When it comes to women, the Yamato Nadeshiko [editor’s note: ideal of demure Japanese femininity] is best. Eh, Sergeant Major, sir?” The sergeant major (with a nosebleed) responds, “W- well, yeah…”

The additional comic and Toriyama quote reads:

SGT. MAJ.: All right~ lemme try and get some information out of her.
CPL.: Yessir…
SGT. MAJ.: H-… Hello. Hello, you are pretty! What’s your name?
CPL.: Haha… Sergeant Major, sir, that’s English.
SGT. MAJ.: You little… How do you know that?!! I bet you’re an enemy spy!!
CPL.: Noooo!!

TORIYAMA: To be honest, I was no match for the style of Russian soldiers, let alone female ones. Neither FineMolds nor I had much in the way of resources, so there are many areas that remain a mystery. Therefore, I believe there could very well be parts that are mistaken, but please be understanding. I am terribly sorry for my lack of study.

The line of models — including this specific Tanya entry — 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!):

See Work #041 in this series for additional context regarding these figures. Special thanks to Justin for the scans!

Published by VegettoEX
18 April 2018, 9:07 AM EDTComment

Shueisha has announced the sixth collected volume of the Dragon Ball Super manga coming to Japan 04 June 2018.

The volume will retail for ¥400 + tax and will pick up with the twenty-ninth chapter of the series. The volume is available to pre-order on Amazon Japan.

The series’ fifth collected volume saw its release in Japan back in March spanning chapters 25 to 28.

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.

Published by VegettoEX
16 April 2018, 11:59 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 selection from the “Cartoon Classroom” column in 1991’s Jump Gold Selection: Dragon Ball Z Anime Special II book.

The column teaches readers how to draw Dragon Ball characters by way of Freeza also playing along, with the caveat that he will personally take care of Toriyama should he not be able to master the drawings by the end of the lesson.

In this particular section, Toriyama explains some of the intermediate-level techniques and refinements used to draw the characters Son Goku, Piccolo, and Vegeta. For Goku, Toriyama notes how he is, “…not the thinking type, so at any rate, it’s good to make him look energetic”. For Piccolo, Toriyama focuses on the nose, saying it, “…looks like it’s bent to the left, but that’s to express his nose’s shadow. Because of that, when the light is coming from the left, it has to be bent to the right.” For Vegeta, Toriyama reveals one of his secrets: “Goku’s, Piccolo’s, and even Vegeta’s faces are all basically drawn the same way. If you change the eyes and the hairstyle, he can even change into Goku! And if you change just the hairstyle, he’s Super Saiyan Goku!!”

Even with Toriyama’s expert coaching, Freeza’s drawing ability ultimately seems to be roughly in line with Jaco’s:

Check out our complete translation of the column for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced drawing tips for Son Goku, Piccolo, Son Gohan, Vegeta, and Freeza.

Published by VegettoEX
16 April 2018, 11:59 AM EDTComment

Following 1987’s Adventure Special, but before any formal Dragon Ball guide book series such as the Daizenshuu came to be, Shueisha released two Dragon Ball Z Anime Special “mooks” (magazine/book-esque limited publications) in 1989 and 1991, respectively.

The Jump Gold Selection: Dragon Ball Z Anime Special II in June 1991 followed the series into the Freeza arc along with the Bardock television special and the fifth theatrical film. Supplemental content included the “Super Anime-jin” roundtable discussion, the second “Original Illustrated Story” (High Pride!! Saiya Prince Vegeta), and a special “Cartoon Classroom” column.

Through its beginner, intermediate, and advanced techniques, readers learn how to draw Dragon Ball characters by way of Freeza also playing along, with the caveat that he will personally take care of Toriyama should he not be able to master the drawings by the end of the lesson (and the artistic merit of Freeza’s final product is indeed debatable). Toriyama shares specific reasons behind the shapes of noses, the length of hair, and the similar facial structure between various characters.


This column has been archived in our “Translations” section.

Published by VegettoEX
12 April 2018, 2:08 PM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 full packaging artwork for Dragon Quest Monsters 2, originally released on the Nintendo Game Boy Color (compatible with the original Game Boy as well as the Super Game Boy) in Japan 17 years ago today.

Similar to Pokemon games of the era, Dragon Quest Monsters 2 was released in two versions with different protagonists: Ruka’s Journey and Iru’s Journey. In each game, the player goes on a quest to save their kingdom while collecting and fighting with monsters from the Dragon Quest mainline series. When put side-by-side, the cover artwork seamlessly combines for a complete visual.

The artwork was recently included in the “Akira Toriyama Dragon Quest Illustrations” hardcover book released in 2016.

The original Game Boy games were released under the Dragon Warrior name in America as “Cobi’s Adventure” and “Tara’s Adventure”.

Dragon Quest Monsters 1 & 2 was released on the Sony Playstation in Japan in May 2002, remaking the original Dragon Quest Monsters as well as both versions of Dragon Quest Monsters 2. Both versions of Dragon Quest Monsters 2 were combined into a new version in February 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. Neither of these remakes were released internationally.

Published by VegettoEX
11 April 2018, 11:22 AM EDTComment

After a bit of content stability over the last couple years, the May 2018 issue of Saikyō Jump — released 06 April 2018 — features a few shake-ups in the serialization of its various Dragon Ball spin-off manga.

Running for thirteen standard chapters (along with the occasional bonus in V-Jump), Hiroshi Otoki’s Dragon Ball Fusions the Manga!! has come to an end. The series launched in the May 2016 issue of Saikyō Jump in support of that year’s Dragon Ball Fusions video game on the Nintendo 3DS. The series followed the adventures of Tekka and Pinich leading up to the “Strongest in Time and Space” Tournament. In its final chapter, Tekka is able to defeat the Yamba Gang with the help of his new Dragon Ball friends, and the series ends as the comrades get within sight of the location for the preliminaries.

Accompanying this final chapter, Otoki relayed a message of thanks in the issue’s author comments section:

2年間有難うございました!皆様の応援とお手紙はテッカと私の宝物です! 〈ひろし〉

Thank you so much for these past two years! All of your support and your letters are treasures to me and Tekka both! (Hiroshi)

Following the previous issue’s vague, simultaneous-branding of “End of Part 1” and “Final Chapter” for Yoshitaka Nagayama‘s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Dark Demon Realm Mission manga series, the May 2018 issue sees the debut of the Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Universe Mission continuation with Fu showing up (after a brief tease at the end of the previous Dark Demon Realm Mission chapter) to request Goku and Vegeta’s help in rescuing Trunks from the Prison Planet. As Goku is ambushed by a Super Saiyan 4 version of himself from a different time (and subsequently going on to enjoy a healthy Super Saiyan Blue vs. Super Saiyan 4 battle), Vegeta questions Fu over these circumstances. Meanwhile, on the Prison Planet, someone breaks into Trunks’ cell…

The second collected volume of the Dark Demon Realm Mission series — likely compiling it to completion — is due out next month.

Naho Ooishi‘s Dragon Ball SD manga series (now at Goku vs. Vegeta in the Saiyan arc) and the Dragon Ball GT anime comic (now at the Four-Star Dragon returning to battle with Goku against the One-Star Dragon) continue as normal in the May 2018 issue.

Saikyō Jump (最強ジャンプ) is Shueisha’s younger-child-focused spin-off magazine. Its main content focus is “chibi” or “SD” (childish, “super deformed”, exaggerated) stories featuring popular series such as Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One Piece. Due to the longer timespan between issues compared to V-Jump, Saikyō Jump‘s promotional coverage tends to be short recaps of information already made available elsewhere, or brief summaries for a month’s worth of upcoming content. The magazine began as a quarterly publication with four total issues in 2011. The magazine switched to a monthly format in 2012, and switched again to a bimonthly (every other month) release schedule in late-2014.

Published by VegettoEX
11 April 2018, 9:36 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 color title page for the debut chapter of Sand Land (“Setting Out”) in the 2000 No. 23 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, released 09 May 2000:

In his accompanying author comment that issue, Toriyama noted the work being put into the new series:

今回は消しゴムかけの半分以外は、すべて1人で描いたのだ。しんどいけど少しだけ満足。短めの話(ストーリー)だけどよかったら読んで下され <明>

This time, apart from half of the eraser-duties, I drew everything myself. It’s tiring, but just a bit satisfying. This story is on the short side, but give it a read if you please. <Akira>

The art was grayscaled and used as an inside title page in the collected edition released later that year on 02 November 2000:

Sand Land made its English language debut in Viz’s January 2003 premiere issue of their Shonen Jump print magazine, and ran through to completion that year. A collected edition was released in December that same year.

Other than Cowa! — and the obvious example of Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball (including Jaco the Galactic Patrolman) — it remains one of the few Toriyama series officially licensed and released in English.

Published by VegettoEX
10 April 2018, 3:00 PM EDTComment

It’s time for “The Big One™”: our Universe Survival arc mega-review podcast episode is here. Dragon Ball Super has come to an end, and with its final arc complete, we take the opportunity to chat it out for a few hours!

Episode #0439! Mike, Chris, Scott, and Ajay chat out the Universe Survival arc, wrapping up the “Dragon Ball Super” television series for good(?). From the exhibition to the recruitment to the tournament itself, what were our expectations and were they met? Julian pops in for a little post-review Q-and-A session wrapping up a few more thoughts on the arc, and that’s that!


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 YouTube. We invite you to discuss this episode on our forum.

Published by VegettoEX
10 April 2018, 11:12 AM EDTComment

The official Dragon Ball website’s sixty-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 Toriyama’s pop art-style, fashionable design for a Bulma button given out to members of the Akira Toriyama Preservation Society (his official fan club at the time) in 1985.

While not explained in the official website’s writeup, Bulma’s outfit may be that of the Science Patrol from the Ultraman series. The character Arale is a big fan of Ultraman in Toriyama’s prior series, Dr. Slump.