Intended Endings Guide

Possible Ending #2: Fortuneteller Crone

Once the series had gained such popularity, it was only natural that it continue. In the Q&A corner for Tankōbon Vol. 5, a reader noted that Dr. Slump ran for 18 volumes, and asked how long Dragon Ball would run. Toriyama’s hesitant response was “Uhh… Well, I think it will probably go on for about 10 volumes”.

As it turned out, Tankōbon Vol. 10 marked the tail end of the Fortuneteller Crone (占いババ Uranai Baba) story arc and the beginning of the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai. Note that there is quite a difference between saying Toriyama planned to end the series after 10 volumes and saying he planned to end it after the Fortuneteller Crone storyline. Toriyama’s comment in volume five implies only at best a vague sense of how long the series will run, and nothing at all about a definitive plan regarding when, and more importantly, how the series would wrap up. It is therefore wrong (or at best extremely misleading) to claim that Toriyama originally planned to end the series after the Fortuneteller Crone arc.

While it is likely that no-one actually has ever claimed this, such an exercise in logic will prove useful when we move on to the “Z” portion of the series.

In the Q&A corner for Tankōbon Vol. 7, another fan brought up Toriyama’s previous comment about Dragon Ball running for about 10 volumes, and asked Toriyama to please make it run for over 13. Toriyama responded that “because of all the support I’m getting, it seems that I can’t end it at 10 volumes or so. Right now I’m enjoying drawing it pretty well too, so it looks like I’ll be able to put out more than 13 volumes one way or another”. This is the first explicit mention of Dragon Ball‘s run being extended due to its popularity. Later on, in Tankōbon Vol. 11’s Q&A corner, Toriyama remarked that it seemed Dragon Ball would continue on “for a little bit longer”, noting that then after it finished up he would start drawing an even more enjoyable manga.