Parent Outraged, DB Manga Pulled From Maryland School
Published by 07 October 2009, 9:26 AM EDT

In a move that brings us full-circle to where we were ten years ago, the Dragon Ball manga has been pulled from the Pittsville Elementary and Middle School library in Wicomico, Maryland.

According to the article by Greg Latshaw on, a mother whose nine-year-old son had borrowed the book from the school library contacted Joe Halloway (whose occupation or position is not made explicitly clear in the article). This appears to be a misspelling of “Joe Holloway“, a member of the Wicomico County Council in Maryland, who presented examples of nudity in the volume to his fellow council members, and stated that the, “drawings and story lines are disgusting.” Wicomico schools Superintendent John Fredericksen has stated that, “it’s coming off the shelves as soon as I can get a phone call back to the office”. It is believed that the volume was purchased through funds provided by a grant, and that graphic novels are an accepted part of the library’s collection because it engages those students who otherwise may not be interested in “traditional forms of reading”.

Long-time American fans may remember a similar story from late 1999 / early 2000 in which the father of his four-year-old son was outraged over the inclusion of Dragon Ball manga in a pack of comics purchased at Toys “R” Us, which he described as “borderline soft porn” images of “naked boys and girls”. Dragon Ball was subsequently pulled from Toys “R” Us store shelves.

It was around this time and the resulting censored printings of the Dragon Ball manga from Viz that our own Julian Grybowski initiated a large-scale petition (reprinted online in various places) calling for a separate, unedited release of the manga to be clearly labeled as such and presented for its intended and eager audience.

While the TV series and movies have received fully unedited releases (both dubbed in English and in their original Japanese language) from American distributor FUNimation on DVD (with edited versions airing on television via Cartoon Network), as of today, no fully unedited version of the Dragon Ball manga has ever been released in North America from Viz. Various levels of censoring (both in terms of visuals and dialogue) are present in different print runs of particular volumes.

Viz has been releasing the Dragon Ball manga in North America since 1998. The Dragon Ball manga is imprinted with a “Teen” rating on the back of Viz’s current releases:

Viz has even created a new series of releases for Dragon Ball under their “Viz Kids” line in a new “Chapter Book” format in which the dialogue is simplified, expanded upon in narrative form, with limited illustrations sprinkled throughout the book.

We have reached out to council member Joe Holloway for comment.

Share This Post

Write a Reply or Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.