Manga Guide

Dragon Ball Chapter 003

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


Gokū · Umi e Hashiru

Goku – Running to the Sea

Chapter Information

Premiered: 04 December 1984 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #01/02)
Corresponding: Dragon Ball Episode 002, “Alalala–! No Balls!”
Dragon Ball Episode 003, “Kame-Sen’nin’s Kinto-Un”

  • Digital Monochrome Edition Volume 01 (12 October 2012)

Chapter Synopsis

Goku can’t believe Bulma’s taking so long to get ready in the morning and tells her she moves any slower she’ll turn into a turtle. She says that she’s two years older than him, and he shouldn’t keep calling her “you”, but “Bulma-san“. Bulma decides to have some coffee, but Goku doesn’t like that bitter soup, so he goes outside to exercise. He runs around, then picks up and crushes a huge rock. He runs over to another rock, and it turns out to be a large sea turtle. Goku yells that she really turned into a turtle, and Bulma comes running outside to see what’s happening.

Finding Goku, she wonders what in the world a sea turtle is doing so far away from the sea. The turtle asks if they could spare some sea water and maybe some seaweed. So Bulma goes and gets him a bucket filled with salt water. He says he was out looking for matsutake mushrooms, and he got separated from the others and lost his way. He has been trying to find the sea for a year now. Bulma looks on the map and says that the sea is about 120 kilometers south from there. Goku says they’ll take him to this “sea” place, but Bulma says there’s no time for that and it has nothing to do with them. Goku says he’ll just go alone then, and he leaves carrying the turtle on his back. She wonders if he’ll be back, and looks around to see huge dinosaurs passing behind the house. She quickly hops on the motorcycle and catches up with them.

The three continue along, until a giant bear sporting a mohawk spots them. He demands they give the sea turtle to him, as it’s his favorite food. Bulma insists that Goku give up the turtle, but he refuses. The bear pulls out a giant sword, and Goku puts the turtle aside. The bear swipes at him a few times, but misses, and Goku jumps on the blade of his sword. He then hops onto the bear’s nose, and punches him with his Jan-Ken Gū to knock him out. Bulma and the turtle are really impressed by his strength, and Goku asks the turtle if he really is delicious. The turtle insists he isn’t and Goku agrees.

They finally arrive at the beach, where a robotic figure clinging to a palm tree informs that reader that “This isn’t Penguin Village!”. The turtle is excited that he has finally reached the sea, and Goku is amazed at the huge river. The turtle gratefully thanks Goku for helping him, and says to wait there; he’ll be back with something to thank him. Goku plays in the sea, but soon realizes that he doesn’t like the taste of sea water. A while later, the turtle returns, with a flashy old man on his back. The old man says “Hello! Sorry to keep you waiting!!” and is wearing a turtle shell on his back.

Chapter Notes

Weekly Shōnen Jump

  • When this chapter was first published, it marked the third 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, and this chapter was chosen as the most popular of the five.

Title Page

  • The title page image for this chapter was later used as the cover illustration for Tankōbon Volume 9.


  • The official timeline first used in Daizenshuu 7 places the events of this chapter on September 2nd, AGE 749 (the day after the first chapter and continuing on more-or-less immediately from the second chapter). 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.)


  • This is the first time in the manga that Goku is depicted in his signature orange dōgi (albeit with a white obi). In spite of this, Goku’s outfit continues to be fully blacked-in during subsequent black-and-white chapters, and it is not until he adopts the uniform of the Turtle School in Chapter 33 that his clothes are unambiguously light-colored. This inconsistency may be the reason why the animated adaptation continues to draw his dōgi as blue up until the start of the Tenka’ichi Budōkai.
  • Likewise, this is the first chapter in which Bulma’s hair and eyes are drawn as purple, the color they will remain in all subsequent color chapters. The anime, however, settled on the teal color of her first appearance, and would only ever depict her hair as purple-colored once, in the 1996 10th Anniversary movie.


  • This chapter marks the first proper appearance of the Sea Turtle, having previously appeared as a shadowy figure at the end of the previous chapter. As it is simply called “Sea Turtle” (ウミガメ, Umigame) by others in the series, it is not clear whether the turtle has a proper name as such. Kanzenshuu has often referred to it as “Umigame” (“sea turtle” in Japanese) for the sake of convenience, but this is not a name in itself.
  • The bear who appears to antagonize Goku and Bulma bears a striking resemblance to the character “Wez” from the 1981 film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, with the addition of a scar over its left eye and Chinese accents to its costume. It may also be a nod to Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken), another series in Weekly Shōnen Jump, which was likewise influenced by The Road Warrior. It is never named as-such, but is referred to in guidebooks as “Bandit Bear” (盗賊熊, tōzoku-guma), which is a simple description.
  • This chapter is also the first appearance of Kame-Sen’nin, although he will not be formally introduced until the following chapter.

Cultural Notes

  • Bulma says that she hopes the turtle doesn’t bring back a tamate-bako, which is an item from the Japanese folktale of Urashima Tarō. After rescuing a sea turtle from mean-spirited youths, the eponymous protagonist is brought to the palace of the Dragon God, ruler of the sea. He is promised the hand of the Dragon God’s daughter and is quite happy for a few days, but eventually grows homesick. He is allowed to return home with the gift of a special box (the aforementioned tamate-bako) on condition that he never open it, but when he arrives back on the shore, he finds that centuries have passed since he left. In his dismay, he opens up the box, and is at once transformed into an old man with a long beard, as his years were stored inside.

Inside Jokes / Easter-Eggs

  • Akira Toriyama makes the first of several cameos as his robotic alter-ego in order to inform reader that “This isn’t Penguin Village!”. This is in reference to his previous series, Dr. Slump, the majority of which took place in Penguin Village, where palm trees were a common sight.

Anime Connections

  • A scene based on the title page’s artwork appeared in the Dragon Ball TV series’ first three ending animations. Besides some alternate color choices, this scene was almost perfectly duplicated, with Goku holding a Chinese polearm weapon and the dinosaur being dressed in traditional Chinese garb (saddle, bells, etc.).

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:

    There are tons of movies I want to see, but my dear sweet editor spoils the story for me before they open… <Akira>

    Toriyama’s editor at this point is Kazuhiko Torishima, who would remain as his editor until 1989. Based on numerous comments from Toriyama, this is completely in-character for Torishima.

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.