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Manga Guide


With the serialization of Dr. Slump, Akira Toriyama’s longest-running manga series at the time, coming to an end in Weekly Shōnen Jump, the author was already considering what to draw for his next serialized series. Based on advice from his editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, Toriyama released a two-part manga one-shot entitled “Dragon Boy” in Fresh Jump in mid-1983 to test the viability of a kung-fu shōnen manga series. After an incredibly positive response from readers, Toriyama had finally decided on his next story, which would ultimately become his final, and undoubtedly his most famous, long-term serialized work — Dragon Ball.

The original Dragon Ball series debuted in November 1984, appearing weekly in the pages of Weekly Shōnen Jump for just over 10 years. Nearly 10 years to the date after the series end in May 1995, Dragon Ball Super began its monthly serialization in the popular video game magazine V-Jump. Running as a companion to the Dragon Ball Super TV series, the manga series is written and drawn by Toyotarō with supervision and guidance from original series author Akira Toriyama.

The overall guide is divided up between the manga series’ chapters and their various publications, releases, and collected volumes. Detailed information covering the franchise’s numerous published guides and databooks can be found in the Databook Guide, while information concerning the various animated adaptations can be found in the Episode Guide.

Manga Series

A detailed or list view is available for each of the franchise’s main series. The detailed view will provide a quick synopsis of the series’ respective story arcs and the chapters that comprise them. An chapter-by-chapter break-down of each arc is also provided, along with detailed pages for each individual chapter, which includes title pages, chapter summaries, notes, author comments, and page breakdowns. The list view will provide you with a quick glance at all of the chapters from that specific series, along with their publication dates.

Dragon Ball
Dragon Ballドラゴンボール

519 Chapters, 1 Side-Story

Publication Dates: 20 November 1984 — 23 May 1995
Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Superドラゴンボール超

45+ Chapters

Publication Dates: 20 June 2015 — ongoing

Publications & Releases

Outside of its original serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump, the Dragon Ball manga has been made available in Japan to consumers in various formats and quality. These options include the tankōbon, which were released as the series was being published in Weekly Shōnen Jump, the kanzenban, a “perfect edition” which started to be released in late 2002, the colorized versions available in both print and digital editions, and the most recent “Digest Editions” that attempt to reproduce the manga’s original serialization. For more information on these various release formats, visit their respective pages listed below. It is also recommended you take a look at the “Manga Comparison” feature, which provides a detailed comparison of the original weekly serialization, the economic tankōbon, and the more expensive kanzenban. In addition, three relevant “mini-guides” have been provided to address specific elements of the manga series and its various releases.

Over the years, other manga releases have been published to capitalize on Dragon Ball’s success. These releases include the various animation comics, which contain screen shots of the animation adaptations of the manga presented in a comic form and official spin-off series. More information on these releases can be found by visiting their respective pages in this guide.

Dragon Ball Collected Releases

To date the Dragon Ball manga has been collected and released in five separate compilation formats, outside of its weekly serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump, all with varying sizes, print quality, and color palettes.

Weekly Shōnen Jump Serialization週刊少年ジャンプ
Dragon Ball began as a weekly serialization in the popular boys magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, and eventually became a household name across Japan. The series ran for just over a decade and helped spawn what came to be known as the “Golden Age of Jump”.

Release Information

Released:20 November 1984 – 23 May 1995
Retail:¥170 – ¥210
Book Size:JIS B5 (18.2 × 25.7 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:516 issues

Beginning in September 1985, the weekly chapters of Dragon Ball began to be compiled into separate volumes called tankōbon (単行本; “separate volume”). In most English speaking countries the tankōbon are referred to as “graphic novels”, while most people in Japan simply refer to them as “comics”.

Release Information

Released:10 September 1985 – 04 August 1995
Retail:¥400
Book Size:New Book Format (11 × 17 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:42 volumes

In 2002, Japan experienced a revival of the Dragon Ball series. Due to this resurgence of interest in the series, Shueisha began to re-release the manga series in December 2002 in a kanzenban (完全版; “Perfect Edition”) format, which features intact color pages, premium paper and print quality, and a larger book size.

Release Information

Released:04 December 2002 – 02 April 2004
Retail:¥933
Book Size:JIS A5 (14.5 × 21 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:34 volumes

In early 2013, Shueisha began releasing a fully-colored version of the original tankōbon. This release condenses the original tankōbon into larger 17-chapter volumes, which are organized based on their respective story arcs. Unlike all other collected releases, the full color release began with the chapters from the “Z”-era storyline.

Release Information

Released:04 February 2013 – 04 July 2014
Retail:¥630
Book Size:New Book Format (11 × 17 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:20 volumes

The sōshūhen (総集編; “Digest Edition”) recreate the chapters of Dragon Ball as they were originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, including original colors and promotion text. This release condenses the series into larger volumes organized by story arcs. Unlike other compilation releases of the manga, the digest editions are not smaller, but the same size as actual issues of Jump.

Release Information

Released:13 May 2016 – 13 January 2017
Retail:¥500 – ¥650
Book Size:JIS B5 (18.2 × 25.7 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:18 volumes

With the series already well-established in the world of print, Shueisha began releasing digital volumes of the manga in early 2013. These full color digital volumes have been divided into seven appropriate story arcs, with the early “Z”-era storyline receiving a concurrent “Dragon Ball Full Color” release in a printed format.

Release Information

Released:04 February 2013 – 04 October 2013
Retail:¥473
Book Size:Digital Format
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:42 volumes

Dragon Ball Super Collected Releases

The Dragon Ball Super manga has only been collected and released outside of its monthly serialization in V-Jump in a black and white tankōbon format.

Dragon Ball Super began as a monthly serialization in the popular video game magazine V-Jump, running in companion to the Dragon Ball Super TV series. The manga series is written and drawn by Toyotarō with supervision and guidance from original author Akira Toriyama.

Release Information

Released:20 June 2015 – present
Retail:¥550 – ¥580
Book Size:JIS B5 (18.2 × 25.7 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:45+ issues

Beginning in April 2016, the monthly chapters of Dragon Ball Super began to be compiled into separate volumes called tankōbon (単行本; “separate volume”). In most English speaking countries the tankōbon are referred to as “graphic novels”, while most people in Japan simply refer to them as “comics”.

Release Information

Released:04 April 2016 – present
Retail:¥400 – ¥440
Book Size:New Book Format (11 × 17 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:9 volumes

Animation Comics

These releases contain stills, or screen shots, from animated material and arranged as comic-book panels, with added sound-effects and dialogue bubbles.

Film Animation Comicsアニメコミックス
While the anime TV series was still airing in Japan, Toei Animation began producing theatrical films based on the series. With their success, Shueisha began releasing film animation comics of these theatrical films. The comics contain screen shots of the film presented in a comic format.

Release Information

Released:25 March 1992 – 04 October 2013
Retail:¥690 – ¥733
Book Size:New Book Format (11 × 17 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:22 volumes

TV Animation ComicsTV版アニメコミックス
In late 2005, Shueisha began releasing TV animation comics of the Dragon Ball Z TV series by individual story arcs. Similar to those of the film animation comics, they contain screen shots of the anime in a comic form. To date, there has been no indication of a similar release for the Dragon Ball TV series.

Release Information

Released:04 November 2005 – 02 July 2010
Retail:¥710
Book Size:New Book Format (11 × 17 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:39 volumes

Shueisha Jump Remix集英社リミックス
Shueisha Remix is an inexpensive, convenience-store-exclusive line of books published by Shueisha, the company that originally published Dragon Ball. The Remix magazines are split up into four different lines, one of which is Shueisha Jump Remix (SJR), a line that publishes previous Jump series.

Release Information

Released:12 July 2004 – 12 April 2010
Retail:¥650 (Film) / ¥550 (TV)
Book Size:JIS B6 (12.8 × 18.2 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:21 volumes

Others/Miscellaneous Releases

In addition to the releases categorized above, other various official releases have been published, including spin-off material from the anime staff, new authors Naho Ooishi and Toyotarō, and even Akira Toriyama.

From the “Original Illustrated Stories” up through Episode of Bardock, Dragon Ball SD, Victory Mission, and beyond to things like movie adaptations, the extra spin-offs and side-stories told through additional manga is never ending!

Release Information

Released:1989 – present
Retail:Various
Book Size:Various
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:Multiple series, many on-going

Dragon Ball Z Anime Kids Comicsアニメキッズコミックス
While the Dragon Ball Z TV series was still in syndication, Shueisha began releasing “Anime Kids Comics” covering the Great Saiyaman and Majin Boo arcs of series, and movies 11 and 12 as well. The comics featured screen shots of the anime in a comic form and were written entirely in basic kana (no kanji).

Release Information

Released:25 August 1994 – December 1995
Retail:¥450 (TV) / ¥480 (Film)
Book Size: (10.5 × 14.5 cm)
Publisher:Shueisha
Volumes:17 volumes

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