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Manga Guide

Dragon Ball Chapter 002


Tankōbon Title Page
Tankōbon Title Page
Kanzenban Title Page
Kanzenban Title Page
Full Color Title Page
Full Color Title Page

(ボール)がない!!

Bōru ga Nai!!

No Balls!!

Chapter Information

Premiered: 27 November 1984 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1984 #52)
Corresponding: Dragon Ball Episode 002, “Alalala–! No Balls!”

Availability:
  • Digital Monochrome Edition Volume 01 (12 October 2012)

Chapter Synopsis

Bulma and Goku continue on the down the road in search of the next Dragon Ball. Goku thinks it should be easy to find the rest of the balls, but Bulma says he doesn’t understand how huge the world really is since he’s a bumpkin. Bulma decides this is as far as they’ll go tonight since its getting dark out and Goku is complaining about his hunger. Thinking this is as good a spot as any, Bulma stops the motorcycle. Goku asks if this is where they’re going to camp, but Bulma only laughs. She says she’s too delicate to camp, and pulls out a Hoi-Poi capsule containing a house. Telling Goku to watch out, she throws the capsule and boom… instant house. Goku can’t believe it, and thinks she really is a magic user or something. They go in, and Goku is curious why it’s daylight inside…

Bulma turns the TV on to a rock music video. Goku wonders about this guy in the TV, but Bulma wonders what stinks so bad… Goku says he doesn’t know what a bath is, and decides she should give him one. Bulma wonders something about Goku’s silly tail accessory being attached to his butt. She says it’s in the way, but Goku says its okay, and he takes the scrub brush with his tail and begins to scrub his butt. Bulma freaks as she realizes the tail is real. Goku says that maybe men only have tails, and Bulma agrees, assuming it’s possible since she’s never seen a man’s butt before. Then Goku says that his grandpa didn’t have a tail either, so Bulma decides that men don’t have tails and Goku’s just plain weird.

Bulma decides that she needs to take a bath herself, and as she’s soaking in the bubbles, Goku walks in and says her butt is in a weird place. She yells that it’s a bust, and it’s only okay for kids under ten to see. She asks how old he is, and he says fourteen. So, he’s a peeper and a pervert, and she starts throwing things at him. As Bulma dries her hair, Goku says he’s hungry and they decide to eat something.

Goku complains that the bread has no flavor, and the soup is bitter. Bulma explains that it’s coffee, not soup. So Goku decides to head out and go hunt for some better food to get his strength back. Goku later returns to the house with a centipede and a wolf hanging from the end of his Nyoi-Bō. He wants to barbecue them, but Bulma is disgusted and slams the door in his face. Goku roasts the wolf and eats it outside.

Back inside, Goku says it’s been a while since he’s slept with someone else. Bulma says that’s not where he’s sleeping, and she rolls out a spot on the floor. Goku doesn’t understand why she says it’s so weird since he used to sleep on Grandpa’s crotch like a pillow, and Bulma yells at him for thinking he could do that with her. As she brushes her teeth, she asks Goku about his parents. Goku says he just knows that his grandpa found him abandoned in the mountains when he was a baby and she figures he was abandoned since he had a tail. Goku asks if she was also abandoned for having a butt on her chest, and she yells that it’s not a butt, and she wasn’t abandoned. She informs him that she’s on summer vacation, so she only has another thirty days to find the remaining Dragon Balls.

The next morning, Goku wakes up first and notices Bulma’s crotch. He lies down between her legs, but something doesn’t feel right. He pats her crotch, then takes off her panties, and screams in horror. Bulma wakes up and asks him what’s wrong. Goku says there aren’t any balls! (Or a wee-wee, either….) Bulma quickly runs over to the Dragon Balls, and sees that they’re all there. She yells at him for surprising her like that. At the same time, a shadowy figure approaches the capsule house…

Chapter Notes

Weekly Shōnen Jump

  • When this chapter was first published, it marked the second of five consecutive weeks of color pages for the series (in other words, every chapter released in 1984), a relative rarity in Jump. The title page art of these first five chapters was made part of a contest where readers would choose their favorite for a chance to win a “deluxe panel” of the winning illustration. The results of this contest were reported on the title page of Chapter 12 in issue 1985 #12.

Title Page

  • The chapter title page depicts Bulma inside an aircraft cockpit, while Goku flies outside it on Kinto’un. This is notable for two reasons: first, because Goku will not receive the Kinto’un for another two chapters (getting it in Chapter 4), and because Bulma appears to be in the (unpressurized) cockpit of a jet fighter, yet lacks a flight suit, helmet, or oxygen mask. The first point (the early appearance of Kinto’un) is easily discounted, as readers familiar with Journey to the West would not be surprised to see the Monkey King’s analogue riding on the clouds. The second point, however, is not so easily excusable, except to note that, since Goku is managing just fine on his own in the open air, she must also be flying at a relatively low altitude (presumably below 3,000 meters / 10,000 feet). The catch-copy on the title page as originally published does mention “light aviation” (軽飛行 kei-hikō), so it may also be possible that she is meant to be flying a light aircraft, even if the cockpit does not resemble one.
  • One of the lights on the cockpit’s console (center-right) has the text “DENKI PAPPAPIPPI” on it. This means, roughly, “ELECTRONICS BOOP-BOOP BEEP-BEEP”. Furthermore, the text on the panel below the radar screen says “AHO BAKA MANUKE”, meaning roughly “IDIOT CRETIN NUMBSKULL”.

Timeline

  • The official timeline first used in Daizenshuu 7 places the events of this chapter from the evening of September 1st, AGE 749 (the same day as the first chapter) to the morning of September 2nd, the next day. This is reckoned by working back from the first concretely-known date of the series, which is the date of the 21st Tenka’ichi Budōkai on May 7th, AGE 750. (The date of the 21st Budōkai is itself derived by calculating back from the date of Piccolo’s world conquest precisely three years and two days later on May 9th, AGE 753.)

    One may think it odd that Bulma still has 30 days left in her “summer vacation” when it is already the beginning of September, especially in light of her school’s apparent similarity to secondary education in Japan prior to 2003, as alluded to in Chapter 69. However, even assuming that the writers of the Daizenshuu miscounted, and that the first chapter must take place earlier in the year, Bulma’s birthdate is established as August 18th in a feature article in Weekly Shōnen Jump 1986 #37 (the issue containing Chapter 87), making it impossible for these events to occur any more than two weeks earlier and still have Bulma be “16” as she claims. Of course, the author himself was probably not concerned with such specifics at the time, so it only seems incongruous in hindsight.

    One further consideration is that Bulma is revealed in Chapter +1 of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman to be a special instructor at a university, rather than a high school student, so it is possible that she is reckoning the end of her vacation based on the first class she has to teach, rather than the actual start of term. Again, however, the author was definitely not thinking that far ahead in 1984, so make of it what you will.

Explanatory Notes

  • The owl with a mouse in its beak on the first page of the chapter is wearing a Communist Chinese “People’s cap” (人民帽) or “Mao cap”, which was a relatively common sight in China at the time the chapter was written. Its presence here is probably just meant to reinforce the China-esque setting, with no political commentary intended (we think).
  • Since Bulma and Goku are apparently making camp at night for the first time, it is unclear where Bulma got her change of clothes in between chapters. If she had used the capsule house, Goku should not be reacting to it as though he has never seen it before. Mysteriously, after Bulma has removed her boots, the sneakers she wore in the first chapter reappear in the shoe cabinet by the entrance (in the fourth panel of the eighth page), yet the boots from earlier in this chapter are nowhere to be seen. This can probably be chalked up to a simple continuity error, but for the sake of argument, it is possible that Bulma possesses a dedicated capsule with one or more changes of clothes.
  • The patches on the shoulders of Bulma’s nightgown appear to be the insignia of the First Armored Division of the United States Army. This is most clearly visible in the full-color sections of Chapters 3 and 4, where the colors are also exactly the same. As for why… the answer is probably that it was part of something (perhaps the box for a plastic tank model, as is the case of Chapters 5 and 6) that the author had nearby while he was drawing.

Characters

  • The second panel of the 12th page of this chapter marks the first appearance of the Sea Turtle (ウミガメ umigame) who lives with Kame-Sen’nin, though it is not formally introduced until the following chapter.

Vehicles

  • The motorcycle that Bulma and Goku ride in this chapter (continuing through Chapter 4) is a Kawasaki KR250 — specifically the 1984 model year, as its designation was changed to “KR250S” for 1985. The “Kawasaki” nameplate and the “KR250” branding are clearly visible on the first page of the chapter, and it is also noted as such in Daizenshuu 7.
  • Speaking of the motorcycle, it is unclear why Bulma switched from the capsule bike of the previous chapter, nor why she then switches to an entirely different (yet still similar) capsule bike at the end of Chapter 4. Perhaps it was simply to suit her — or more likely, the author’s — mood. (Of course, the fact that she has multiple bikes to suit her mood is another subtle, and perhaps even unintentional, indication that she comes from an exceptionally wealthy background.)

Errata

  • In the fifth panel of the ninth page of the chapter, and again in the first, third and fourth panels of the 10th page, Goku’s wristbands are not shaded. This error is present in all versions of the chapter except the digitally colorized edition, in which they are colored red.
  • When Goku goes to bed on the 11th page of the chapter, he is not wearing his wristbands (having been wearing them while out of bed on the previous page). But he is wearing them when he wakes up on page 12. They disappear again on page 13, remaining absent for the remainder of the chapter. From the context of the chapter itself, it is uncertain whether Toriyama intended for Goku to be wearing his wristbands or not at this point, so it is not clear which pages are the mistake, and which pages are as intended. (For what it’s worth, however, Episode 2 of the animated adaptation leaves his wristbands on for the entire length of this sequence.)

Inside Jokes / Easter-Eggs

  • On the third page of the chapter, the words “TYRELL CORP” can be seen on the chair in the fourth panel. This is a reference to the 1982 film Blade Runner, in which the Tyrell Corporation is the company responsible for producing the “Replicants” (androids) that are the focus of the plot.
  • On the first panel of the twelfth page, a UFO identical to the one used by the alien Nikochan the Great in Toriyama’s previous series, Dr. Slump, can be seen flying overhead as night passes.

Anime Connections

  • A scene based on the title page’s artwork appeared in the Dragon Ball TV series’ first three ending animations. In the original manga illustration Goku is seen flying alongside the plane on Kinto-Un with the Nyoi-Bō drawn and wearing a leather airplane helmet with the goggles up on his head.

Author’s Comment

  • Each issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump featured short comments from the various series’ authors, giving fans a brief insight into their current thoughts, ranging from series-related announcements to trivial happenings in their personal lives. Akira Toriyama’s comments from this issue were:
    急に仕事をしすぎて死んだ。誰か元気になる秘孔を突いて!<明>

    Work is really killing me all of a sudden. Somebody, hit the pressure point that’ll give me more zip! <Akira>

Page Breakdown

The majority of the Dragon Ball series was drawn in black and white, but chapters were occasionally published with color pages. This breakdown notes how many full-color, limited-color, and black-and-white pages appeared in this chapter. As the tankōbon volumes were not released with these colors intact, any color pages shown are taken from the kanzenban release.