Manga Guide

Dragon Ball Chapter 109

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


Pirafu Ichimi no Sai-Chōsen

The Pilaf Gang’s Second Attempt

Chapter Information

Premiered: 27 January 1987 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1987 #09)
Corresponding: Dragon Ball Episode 077, “Pilaf’s Great Strategy”

  • Digital Monochrome Edition Volume 10 (12 October 2012)

Chapter Synopsis

Goku says he’s leaving, and calls for Kinto-Un. He asks Upa to hold onto the Dragon Balls while he’s gone. Bulma thinks it’s suspicious that the ball’s not showing up on the radar even though it should be in the car. Meanwhile, in the Mercedes, Pilaf reminds Mai and Shuu of the plan. Pilaf starts thinking about how he’ll rule the world, and then Shuu asks him what he’ll do when he rules the world. Pilaf thinks a minute, and then yells at him that it’s a secret. Goku spots the car, and hops down onto the roof, then peeks down through the windshield. The car ends up swerving off the road, and Goku falls off.

Goku recognizes them, and Pilaf decides they’ll just go on with the plan here. The three of them get out of the car, and Goku thinks they’re probably planning to do something bad, so they should hand over the Dragon Ball. Pilaf laughs, and tells Goku that if he wins, he’ll get their Dragon Ball. But if they win, Goku has to give up his six Dragon Balls. Goku wonders how they know about his six Dragon Balls, and Pilaf says he’s a genius. Goku agrees to it, and after they promise, the three of them toss out some capsules. Out pop three goofy mecha, and they each hop into one.

Pilaf is in a small round one, Mai in a big fat one, and Shuu is in a tall one with long legs and a tiny upper body. Goku’s ready to fight, and Pilaf says he must want to die, talking about how he came up with their genius design. He tells Mai to go get him, and she stalls a bit. Goku gets tired of waiting, and flies over and jump kicks Pilaf’s robot into a mountain.

Chapter Notes

Explanatory Notes

  • This chapter marks the first manga appearance of the Pilaf Gang since their five-chapter stint from April to May 1985 (in Chapters 18 to 22). In the interim, however, their role had been greatly expanded in the Dragon Ball TV series, making them the overarching villains of the first story arc, and bringing them back for a three-episode mini-arc leading into Goku’s confrontation with Colonel Silver, which aired in late September to early October 1986 (Episodes 30 to 32). As such, the Pilaf Gang would now have been firmly entrenched in the minds of fans at the time of this chapter’s original publication — as would the anime-specific names of Pilaf’s underlings, Shuu (the dog, previously introduced as “Soba” in Chapter 18) and Mai (the woman, not yet named in the manga). As such, we will refer to them by these names from here on out, as readers were no doubt doing as well.
  • The car that the Pilaf Gang are riding in is a member of the Mercedes-Benz SL Class; the 1990 guidebook Akira Toriyama: The World Anime Special states that this is a “Benz 550SE”, but no such model appears to exist; this was most likely a misreading of the model 560SL (specifically the European model, with square headlamps and flush bumpers), which went on sale in 1986. The SL Class are convertibles, although the car that the Pilaf Gang are driving appears to be fitted with a removable hardtop.

Author’s Comment

  • 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:


    I’m drawing a short one-shot for the next Super Jump. There are so many things I want to draw, I can’t make up my mind. <Akira>

    Super Jump was a seinen (young men’s) manga anthology, which began as an extra issue of Weekly Jump in 1986, and was officially spun off into its own monthly (later biweekly) publication in 1988. The one-shot Toriyama ended up drawing is the notorious Lady Red, a full-color, two page comic whose plot, about a crime-fighting heroine-turned-prostitute, employs rape for the sake of a bad pun. For obvious reasons, it was not included in his ______piece Theatre collections, and has only been collected once, in Volume 1 of the bunko-format An Emperor’s Feast of Akira Toriyama (鳥山明満漢全席 Toriyama Akira Mankanzenseki), released in 2008. It is likely for similar reasons that his only other contribution to Super Jump, a four-panel comic for the issue released in November 1986, has never seen the light of day since its original publication.

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.