|Premiered:||21 December 1984 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #04/05)|
|Corresponding:||Dragon Ball Episode 004, “The Kidnapping Demon, Oolong”|
Bulma and Goku head into the empty village and Bulma yells out to see if anyone is there, but it’s still silent. Bulma checks the Dragon Radar, and sees that the Dragon Ball is definitely in village. Goku says that there are people here, and he’ll prove it. He knocks on a door (“Sherman Priest”), but there’s no answer. So he punches through the door, opens the door, and is hit over the head with an axe. Goku yells at the man, and the man apologizes to “Oolong-sama“, saying he has plenty of food or money, but asks that he spare his daughter. Goku and Bulma ask who this Oolong is. Realizing they’re not Oolong, the man invites them into his house.
The other villagers come to the house, and the man’s daughter treats the bump on Goku’s head. The man apologizes, and says that he thought Goku was Oolong, a shape-shifting monster. Bulma yells at him that they could’ve been killed, and then Goku pat-pats the daughter, proclaiming that she’s a girl! Bulma whacks him over the head for it, and then she asks the man about this Oolong. The man explains that he’s a horrible shape-shifting monster, and nobody’s ever seen his true form. Yesterday, Oolong came and said he’d be back tomorrow at noon to take his daughter as a bride. He says Oolong’s already run off with some of the village daughters. If they don’t do like he says, Oolong will eat everyone in the village.
Bulma then pulls out a Dragon Ball, and asks the man if he has one of these balls. He doesn’t, but an old woman says she has one like that, and shows Bulma the Six-Star Ball. Bulma says that if she gives that ball to them, they’ll get rid of the monster called Oolong. The old woman objects, saying Bulma can’t do it, but Bulma says it won’t be her, it’ll be… Goku pat-pats the old woman… “You’re also a girl!!” The old woman blushes as Bulma yells at him. Then Bulma has a great plan. They’ll use a decoy girl in place of the man’s daughter, and then that’ll lead them to Oolong’s hideout. Goku is volunteered, but doesn’t like wearing a dress at all. Oolong is coming, and Bulma yells for everyone to hide, and leave it to them. Then, Bulma tells Goku to go do it, and Goku asks what she’ll be doing, and Bulma says she’ll be praying.
Oolong arrives in the form of an Oni in a white tuxedo, and starts to check out Goku, thinking “she” is the daughter. Goku starts shaking, and Oolong thinks she’s scared. But actually, Goku has to take a piss. Oolong decides to transform into a more pleasant-looking form for this nervous girl. Oolong is now a handsome young man, which Bulma can’t resist. She steps out of the house, announcing her name and age. Oolong asks for her bust size and Bulma proclaims “85!!!”.
Oolong fantasizes about ‘pafu-pafu‘ with a sixteen-year-old bust, and then wonders if he shouldn’t take this older girl instead… And then he spots Goku taking a piss. Oolong can’t stand being made a fool of, so he transforms into a bull. Bulma doesn’t like the bull, and quickly steps back into the house, yelling to Goku that there’s a change in plans. Goku takes off the dress, and he and Oolong prepare to fight.
- The chapter’s title page was digitally redrawn for the kanzenban release, presumably because the original colored version was lost. In the process, the cigarette in Bulma’s mouth was removed, matching the artwork’s appearance in the Dragon Ball series’ ending animation.
- The aircraft depicted in the title page artwork appears to be a fanciful interpretation of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a fighter plane used by the Allies (and the U.S. Army Air Force in particular) during World War II. While the plane as drawn includes the P-38’s distinctive twin engines and twin vertical stabilizers, it appears to be substantially smaller, as well as compressed front-to-back, lending it a squatter, “toy-like” look.
- The overall composition of the title page illustration is quite similar to the cover of Dr. Slump Volume 16, published a mere 20 days later on 10 January 1985. Senbe, as the pilot, is dressed differently from Bulma, and Arale is depicted on a patch rather than actually present in the scene, but the plane is the same exact model, albeit turned around. It seems likely, then, that the Dragon Ball illustration served as inspiration, or perhaps even a test-run, for the Dr. Slump one.
- Oolong (ウーロン, ūron) comes from oolong tea (烏龍茶, Chinese: wūlóng chá; Japanese: ūron cha), made with green tea leaves that have been oxidized, producing a drink amber in color. This is the first of the series’ names based on Chinese food, and the first of a smaller grouping (along with Pu’er) specifically focusing on Chinese teas.
- Granny Paozu (パオズばあちゃん, paozu bā-chan), the old woman who offers a Dragon Ball in exchange for defeating Oolong, is derived from Chinese filled steamed buns (包子, Chinese: bāozi), equivalent to Japanese manjū. This makes her the second character in the series to be named after Chinese food, and the first to actually appear.
The sign on the door that Goku punches through reads “SHERMAN PRIEST”, with the first word above the second. This would appear to be based on the M4 “Sherman” and M7 “Priest” tanks used by the Allies during World War II. This is especially likely considering the shoulder patches on Bulma’s nightgown (of the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division) in chapters 2-4, and the fact that Toriyama has admitted basing the names of the kidnapped girls in the following chapter after the tank models he happened to have lying around his workroom.
What is less clear, however, is their connection to the people living inside the house. While English-speaking fans (as well as the official English versions of the TV show) commonly assume that “Sherman Priest” is the father of the girl Oolong threatens to kidnap, this is never stated outright within the manga or the anime, and published guidebooks refrain from making this leap, referring to him instead as “a villager” or “a man whose daughter is targeted by Oolong”. The sole exception is the “Library of Adventure” section of Daizenshuu 3: TV Animation Part 1, which refers to him as the “village mayor”, but this is only an established aspect of the Journey to the West character he is based on (it is not mentioned at all in Dragon Ball, manga or anime). Considering the nature of the pun, it would fit with the girls named in the next chapter, but it would also disrupt the Chinese food theme of the other two named characters introduced in this one. A two-part name of “Sherman Priest” would also violate the (not-yet-established) rule that people outside the far Eastern regions and isolated islands generally have only one name; another possibility is that “Sherman” could be the father’s name and “Priest” the daughter’s, but there is equally little evidence for this hypothesis.
Likewise debated is the significance of the word “priest”. Since “Sherman”, when rendered into Japanese pronunciation, sounds identical to the word “shaman”, it is tempting to suppose that the man is the village shaman (as both “shaman” and “priest” are valid translations of the Japanese word 祈祷師 kitōshi); the manga’s official English translation by Viz media makes this assumption. However, this may simply be coincidence.
Ultimately, the true meaning of the “name(s) on the door” is never resolved, with readers left to draw their own conclusions.
- In the third panel on the eighth page, mustache of the girl’s father was originally not blacked-in. This error is present in Tankōbon Volume 1, but fixed in the Kanzenban in 2002, making it one of a relatively small number of graphical edits the series received in its “deluxe” release.
- A scene based on the title page’s artwork appeared in the Dragon Ball TV series’ first three ending animations. In the animated scene, Bulma’s cigarette has been removed, Goku is absent, and the overall arrangement has been slightly reconfigured.
- Each issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump features 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:
During New Year’s I’m much busier with motorbikes, plastic models, and parties than I am with work. <Akira>
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.