Manga Guide

Dragon Ball Volume 01



Son Gokū to Nakama-tachi

Son Goku and Friends

Volume Information

First Release: 10 September 1985 (print edition)
12 October 2012 (digital edition)
Retail: ¥360, not taxed (initial print edition)
¥400 + 5% tax (current print edition, since May 2009)
¥350 + 5% tax (digital edition)
Publisher: Shueisha
Size / Pages: New Book Format (11 × 17 cm) / 192 pages
Catalog No.: ISBN 4-08-851831-4

Volume Introduction by Akira Toriyama

The setting of Dragon Ball has a sort of Chinese feel to it, but it’s not necessarily limited to China. For the time period, as well, exactly when it takes place is indeterminate. The overall story is very simple, but I’d like to make up the finer details and the ending as I go along. That way, I can enjoy the suspense of wondering what I should do next, as well as the fact that I can draw anything I want to.

Volume Contents (001 – 011)

All chapter title pages shown below are as available in this tankōbon volume, featuring the original chapter tag lines and “Bird Studio” logo. Fortunately, this volume does not omit any of the original chapter title pages. The chapter premiere dates listed below are based on the sale date of their respective issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, which is when that issue of the magazine officially went on sale.

Buruma to Son Gokū
Bulma and Son Goku
20 November 1984
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1984 #51
Bōru ga Nai!!
No Balls!!
27 November 1984
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1984 #52
Gokū · Umi e Hashiru
Goku – Running to the Sea
04 December 1984
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #01/02
Kame-Sen’nin no Kinto-Un
Kame-Sen’nin’s Kinto-Un
11 December 1984
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #03
Ūron Arawaru!!
Oolong Appears!!
21 December 1984
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #04/05
Ūron Taiketsu Son Gokū
Oolong vs Son Goku
04 January 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #06
Yamucha to Pūaru
Yamcha and Pu’er
12 January 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #07
Yamucha Osorubeshi!!
The Fearsome Yamcha!!
22 January 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #08
Doragon Bōru Ayaushi!!
Dragon Balls in Danger!!
29 January 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #09
Gōtō Dai-Sakusen
A Grand Robbery Scheme
05 February 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #10
Furaipan Yama no Gyūmaō
Gyūmaō of Mount Frypan
12 February 1985
Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #11

Toriyama-san’s Dragon Ball Ask-Me-Anything Corner

Each of the first 12 tankōbon volumes contains a short, two-page Q&A session with Akira Toriyama (essentially the continuation of a similar section in Dr. Slump), where he answers questions sent in by readers. Anyone was able to send in a postcard to the address listed in the book, and individuals whose submissions ran in a subsequent volume were promised a signed illustration (shikishi) from Toriyama himself. This solicitation remained in place in all printings through mid-1995 (the end of the series’ run in Weekly Shōnen Jump), after which it was removed.

In addition to the above call for questions, the first six volumes also included an invitation to join Toriyama’s official fan club, the “Akira Toriyama Preservation Society” (Toriyama Akira Hozon-Kai), whose members received a newsletter with “inside stories” and other bonus content that would “make the comics ten times more fun”. Readers were invited to send a ¥60 stamp in an envelope to the address given, after which they would receive a membership form. This invitation remained until May 1987 (concurrent with the publication of volume 7); it was then replaced with a notice that the club had reached its predetermined membership limit, and an apology to those who still wished to join. This notice remains in current printings, even though the club has long since disbanded, with the final newsletter (issue #25) published in September 1987.

“Anything is fine, as long as it has to do with Dragon Ball or me. Give me all the postcards you’ve got.”

Question #1

Yūji Chiba (Saitama Prefecture):
How do you do. You works are always fun, and they make me laugh. The characters you draw have great personalities, Sensei, and I like them a lot. Even if there’s something causing me grief, these characters cheer me up. Sensei, please keep creating lots of happy characters. (Especially cute girls, if you please.)

Akira Toriyama:
Why thank you, thank you. Your saying so makes me very happy, as well. I shall do my utmost.

Question #2

Kazuhiko Satō (Miyagi Prefecture):
Akira Toriyama-sensei, how do you do. I’m a third-year junior-high student [equivalent to the ninth grade in American schools]. Every week I enjoy reading Dragon Ball in Jump. No matter what, Sensei, your manga has beautiful art and really funny gags. It really seems to draw people in! Goku is always cool, and kind. Kame-Sen’nin is always a pervert! I’m always telling everyone at school to buy Jump. I’ll be rooting for you, so please take care of your health and keep showing us funny gags, if you please.

Akira Toriyama:
My, my, thank you once again. By the way, I’m fine about Jump one way or the other, so please tell them to buy the Comics [i.e., the tankōbon] as much as possible.

Question #3

Hidemori Okano (Ibaraki Prefecture):
Hello, how do you do. My friend Dai-chan and I were walking past this house and these dogs–a big dog and a little dog–started chasing after us. I felt like crying, and we ran away. I can’t forget about what happened then. It was sooo scary. Toriyama-sensei, have you ever experienced anything like this? Anyway, take care.

Akira Toriyama:
When I was young, I too was chased by a dog. But dogs seem to have this trait where, if you run away from them, they want to chase you even more, so next time you see those dogs, I think it would be better if you walk calmly and slowly past them. If you make friends with dogs, they can be really cute! (This really had nothing to do with Dragon Ball…)

Question #4

Taisuke Fujiwara (Saitama Prefecture):
Toriyama-sensei, how is it going? Every week, I buy Jump and read Dragon Ball. I especially like Muten Rōshi-sama. …(omission)… Please have Muten Rōshi play a role in Dragon Ball in the future, as well. Goodbye.

Akira Toriyama:
Oh, Kame-Sen’nin-san, it seems you have a fan.

Of course I do. There are no martial-artists who can do me one better, after all. But Taisuke Fujiwara…! What, a man?! I’d be much happier with gals! Gals across the nation, send me your fan-letters!

Question #5

Kaoru Okino (Hiroshima Prefecture):
Hello, Toriyama-sensei, I’m writing you for the first time. I have a favor to ask: I want the first volume of Dragon Ball soon. When will it be out? Please respond.

Akira Toriyama:
It’s out right now. Go buy volume 2, as well.