Databook Guide

Dragon Ball: Adventure Special

Databook Information

Released: 18 November 1987
Retail: ¥280
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
Size / Pages: JIS AB (21 × 25.7 cm) / 209 pages

Databook Contents

This is the first-ever Dragon Ball guide book from Shueisha, and one of only a few that came out while the series was still in serialization. The guide was released on 18 November 1987 as a “Special Edition” of Weekly Shōnen Jump with an effective publication date of 01 December, and covers material from the manga up through Chapter 146. Hidden within the cover are the faces of Son Goku, Bulma, Yamcha, Kame-Sen’nin, and Kuririn as part of an illustration quiz. While the guide’s cover was a collaborative effort, other original illustrations within the book were drawn by Akira Toriyama, Takashi Matsuyama (Toriyama’s assistant), Masanori Nishimura, and Keiko Kuwabata. Much of the original content in this guide was later reused in the Daizenshuu guide books.

Shenlong’s Christmas Present Card
The book opens with a three question challenge from Shenlong to fans who “read Dragon Ball every week” in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The names of those who answered the questions would be entered into a drawing and were eligible to win one of the four possible prizes. 5,000 participants would win an original set of 10 stickers, 100 would win an animation cel, 100 would win an original telephone card, and a lucky 20 would win an autographed sketch of a Dragon Ball character by author Akira Toriyama.
Kame-Sen’nin’s Secret Uffun Calendar
This is a small 1988 calendar insert that is meant to be cut out of the book. The calendar features a collection of “uffun” (a flirtatious noise) photos of Lunch and Bulma taken by the perverted Kame-Sen’nin. These pictures were drawn by Akira Toriyama and later re-printed in Daizenshuu 1: Complete Illustrations.
Ultra-wide Board Game 1
Defeat Piccolo! Come Forth, Hero!! The Legendary Mafūba!!
The first of two board games included in the book, both of which were printed on heavier stock paper which could be folded out (hence being “ultra-wide”), is a dice-based game that follows the manga’s storyline from Goku’s training under Kame-Sen’nin to his battle with Piccolo Daimaō. A player moves along the board as either Son Goku or Yajirobe and faces off against various enemies (members of the Red Ribbon Army, Uranai Baba’s warriors, etc.), gaining “Attack Power” and “Stamina”. If your character does not have enough power or stamina to defeat an enemy they encounter along the way, they can receive training under Kame-Sen’nin or Karin. The game ends when you are able to consecutively defeat Tambourine, Drum, and Piccolo Daimaō.
Ultra-wide Board Game 2
A Wish to Shenlong! The Contest For the Dragon Balls
The second board game is a fight for the Dragon Balls, featuring a circular-style board, a deck of cards, and some dice. The players begin in the outermost circle and must overcome obstacles in their path to collect each circle’s Dragon Ball. Once you safely advance through all six circles and draw the Seven-Star Ball from the deck, Shenlong will grant your wish… to win the game.
Shenlong Cards
These pages contain a set of custom cards, dice, character pieces, and strength place markers that are intended to be cut out to play the included board games.
Complete Dragon Ball Battle History
A complete listing of the battles from the Dragon Ball up to that point, covering everything from “Goku vs Big Fish” in Chapter 1 to “Kame-Sen’nin vs Piccolo Daimaō” in Chapter 146. A scorecard is provided for each main battle, which included categories for the battle’s degree of strength, speed, skill, excitement, and its length. Many of the main enemies were also accompanied by a short biography card covering their various attributes (age, height, weight, gender, family members, attacks, etc). Each page features short comic strips along the outside, where characters related to that specific battle humorously performed and explained one of their signature techniques.
Look, Everyone! A Great Gathering of Dragon Ball Characters
This section examines some of the series’ more notable characters, including Son Goku, the Pilaf Gang, Oolong, Pu’er, Bulma, Dr. Brief, Yamcha, Lunch, Kuririn, Kame-Sen’nin, and the Sea Turtle. The final two pages feature a detailed cross section of Kame House by Akira Toriyama’s assistant, Takashi Matsuyama.
Akira Toriyama-sensei’s Message
A presentation of Dragon Ball’s first 16 Weekly Shōnen Jump cover illustrations drawn by Akira Toriyama, along with a short message from the author thanking fans for all of their support.

“I deliberately draw Dragon Ball without thinking about storylines up ahead. Because of that, I’m excited about those developments just like all you readers are. I am truly thankful for all of you who are following along with me.”
     – Akira Toriyama

A Hot-Blooded RPG Book: Tenka’ichi Budōkai Side-Story
A smaller RPG (role-playing game) insert booklet made to look like a tankōbon volume has been included, which covers Goku and Kuririn’s training with Kame-Sen’nin up through the 21st Tenka’ichi Budōkai. The booklet is intended to be cut out of the book, folded in half, and stapled together.
Dragon Boy: Chapter 1
Dragon Boy: Chapter 2
The two chapter Dragon Boy manga series, which would become a major influence for Toriyama’s more popular Dragon Ball series, has been reprinted in its entirety. This series originally premiered in the August and October issues of Fresh Jump in 1983.
Secret Stories of Dragon Ball’s Creation
A two-page section that showcases Akira Toriyama’s early ideas for Dragon Ball (helpfully “rejected” by editor Kazuhiko Torishima’s avatar, Dr. Mashirito). It displays most of his original concepts, elements taken from Dragon Boy, The Adventure of Tongpoo, and some conceptual character art.
Is That So?! The Dragon Balls (read translation)
This Q&A with author Akira Toriyama is packed with loads of questions in which he discusses the Dragon Ball series, himself, and his love for manga.
How to Play These Five Great Dragon Ball Games
This section serves as an instruction manual for the five different games in the book, including how to cut out and assemble the boards, cards, and character pieces.
Three Great Training Maze Quizzes
Yet another game to test your knowledge of the Dragon Ball series, it is a quiz spread across three mazes. Each question has three possible answers, with each accompanied by a separate path through the maze. If you incorrectly answer any of the questions, you will be sent on a longer path to the end of the maze. You are then ranked on how many questions you had to answer to get to the end, with the shortest path consisting of only seven questions and the longest path requiring 51 questions.
Dragon Ball’s Best Encyclopedia
The first Dragon Ball encyclopedia ever printed, some of which was later reused in various guide books. The encyclopedia covers all of the characters, items, and techniques seen in the manga from the beginning of the series up through the Piccolo Daimaō story arc.
The Adventure of Tongpoo
The one-shot manga The Adventure of Tongpoo, which would become a major influence for Toriyama’s more popular Dragon Ball series, has been reprinted in its entirety. This one-shot originally premiered in Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 1983 #52.

Databook Staff Credits


Art Director


Jumi Takuma




Shōji Watanabe


Banana Grove Studio


Mitsuyo Izumida


Editing Collaboration


Caramel Mama




18 Van Planning


Teruo Harada


Gendai Shoin




Hiroaki Niimi


In Cooperation With


Toei Animation

表紙・画・鳥山 明

Cover / Artwork: Akira Toriyama



石附 誠

Makoto Ishizuki




Jumi Takuma


Plate Making

土屋 旭

Asahi Tsuchiya




Hiroki Gotō




Shigeo Nishimura


Publishing House


Shueisha Inc.


Printing House


Kyodo Printing Co., Ltd.