Translations Archive

Dragon Ball Tankōbon Volumes 1-12

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

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

Dragon Ball Volume 01: Son Goku and Friends
(10 September 1985)

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.)
— Yūji Chiba (Saitama Prefecture)
Why thank you, thank you. Your saying so makes me very happy, as well. I shall do my utmost.
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.
— Kazuhiko Satō (Miyagi Prefecture)
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.
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.
— Hidemori Okano (Ibaraki Prefecture)
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…)
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.
— Taisuke Fujiwara (Saitama Prefecture)
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!

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.
— Kaoru Okino (Hiroshima Prefecture)
It’s out right now. Go buy volume 2, as well.

Dragon Ball Volume 02: A Critical Moment for the Dragon Balls
(10 January 1986)

Hello sensei. Please answer my questions:
01 — How long does it take you to create one chapter?
02 — Do you draw the backgrounds yourself?
03 — Do you have an assistant-san?
04 — Does your assistant-san live with you at your house?
— Hajime Higaki (Mie Prefecture)
01 — It takes me about five days to think up the story and draw it all.
02 — I draw the backgrounds if it’s the first time they show up, otherwise it’s mostly my assistant-san who draws them all. If there are lots of backgrounds to draw then I’ll also help draw some of it.
03 — I have one assistant named Matsuyama-kun. If things get really busy his wife also helps out.
04 — He commutes. He doesn’t have to draw every day. In one week he will usually only work two days, and that’s enough.
I really like “Dragon Ball”. I keep my tankōbon in plastic bags and always wash my hands before reading them. That’s how much I like them. I await volume 2 and volume 3… and please try to release them as quickly as possible.
— Kazuo Takahashi (Tokyo Metropolitan area)
Fantastic!! You’re remarkable!! That’s great, but it sounds like a lot of trouble…
Akira Toriyama-sensei, how do you do. Are you handsome?
— Eriko Hirano (Hyōgo Prefecture)
Shenlong-sama, have my postcard appear in “Toriyama-san‘s Dragon Ball Ask Me Anything Corner”. Please fulfil my wish.
— Isami Gunbara (Kagoshima Prefecture)
It is done. Isn’t it great, the incredible power of the Dragon Balls!!? (By the way, this won’t work for any other postcards sent in like this)
Hello Toriyama-sensei. I always enjoy reading “Dragon Ball”. By the way, when will volume 19 of “Dr. Slump” be released? I’m very excited to read it.
— Ken’ichi Yatsuka (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Th… thank you very much. Uh… Umm~, “Dr. Slump” ended with volume 18… No matter how long you wait, even if you become an old man, volume 19 won’t be coming out…
Right now I have all the Jump Comics “Dr. Slump” and “Dragon Ball” volumes! I also have volumes 1~4 of Katsura-sensei‘s “Wingman”. I’m a huge fan of both of you, but if I had to choose I think that you are much cooler and “nowy”1 than he is.
— Sakura Yoshino (Kanagawa Prefecture)
Fantastic!! You’re also remarkable!! I’m sure you’ll grow up to be a magnificent woman!!

Dragon Ball Volume 03: The Tenka’ichi Budōkai Begins!!
(10 June 1986)

Sensei, hello. I recently bought the Comic (“Dragon Ball” 1) for the first time, and the drawings and story were so cute that even a girl like myself really loved it. ♡
— Ikumi Akita (Gifu Prefecture)
Thank you very much! I hope more girls like you are also enjoying it.
I have all of your Comics, Sensei. I read Jump every week. My question is, is Kame-Sen’nin based off of the bitter God from “Dr. Slump” 17? Because they look exactly the same except for the star-mark sunglasses.
— Katsuya Miyoshi (Hyōgo Prefecture)
Gah!! You’re sharp!! You are correct!! I just put some sunglasses on God. I really liked that guy, so I wanted to use him again in “Dragon Ball”.
Some questions for Akira Toriyama-sensei.
01 — Were you good at drawing manga back when you were in elementary school?
02 — Is it indecent that you put so much H2 (drawings) into the story?
03 — Do you own a Family Computer3?
04 — Please continue drawing great manga.
— Masahiro Kojima (Ōsaka Prefecture)
01 — I was so-so.
02 — Yes!
03 — I own one, but it sometimes distracts me from work which is pretty bad so I don’t play too often. However, I’m really good at it.
04 — Right, understood. Thank you.
Um~, I have a question… It has nothing to do with “Dragon Ball” but when will the 2nd Volume of “Akira Toriyama’s Fill-in-the-Blank Theatre” be released? You… you didn’t forget about it, did you…?
— Takuya Miyamoto (Ōsaka Prefecture)
Unfortunately, Volume 2 of “Fill-in-the-Blank Theatre” is about 45 pages short from being completed. There are currently no plans to release it, but it may come out once I finish the remaining 45 pages.
Toriyama-sensei, hello. Goodbye.
— Satoshi Sasaki (Hiroshima Prefecture)
I really love reading “Dragon Ball”. I especially like Yamcha (Go go, Yamcha). I hope you continue to create more comics. I’ll be a fan of “Dragon Ball” until I die.
— Mika Noma (Ehime Prefecture)
You really have to continue supporting me until you die! (A lot of people give up halfway…)
I loan out my “Dragon Ball” comics to people for three days at a rate of ¥100. Am I a bad kid for doing this? (But everybody keeps borrowing them)
— Kōji Asano (Ai’ichi Prefecture)
You’re a bad kid! You’re making money and I’m not getting anything!!
I really like “Dragon Ball” because it’s so much fun, it’s so fun that I can’t stand it. Ah~~~, I’m soooooo happy that your manga exists, I can’t believe it.
— Seiji Hayashi (Kyoto Metropolitan area)
Hmm~, if you like it that much, it makes me really happy as well.

Dragon Ball Volume 04: The Grand Finals
(09 October 1986)

Since Son Goku and Kuririn both trained with Kame-Sen’nin, please have “Goku vs Kuririn” be the final match at the Tenka’ichi Budōkai!
— Masayuki Katsumata (Osaka Prefecture)
That’s a very intriguing idea, but unfortunately it’s too late for this tournament. The final match has already been set as Son Goku vs Jackie Chun. But I think if there ever was a Goku vs Kuririn match, Goku would win overwhelmingly.
I always get a thrill reading Dragon Ball. I like Dragon Ball so much that my friends think I’m weird. I have almost all of the toys, I’ve bought all of the comics, and I record the TV show every week.
— Yoko Yoshida (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Wonderful! I hereby grant you a first dan black belt in the Toriyama School of Shorinji Kempo [Shaolin kung fu]. You are my greatest student! Please continue to support my work.
Just so you know, I really like Oolong tea and Pu’er tea. By the way, on page 18 of volume 1, Son Goku says to Bulma, “I never saw another human before!” Wasn’t Goku’s grandpa (the guy who raised him) a human?
— Yasuhiro Kubo (Nara Prefecture)
W-Well… if you put it that way… yes. Oops… I made a mistake. Sorry, I apologize. You’re also very smart to realize that I got the name “Pu’er” from the name of the Chinese tea.
Hello Toriyama-sensei. I have a question. If you had one whole day of uninterrupted free time, what would you do?
— Naohiro Yonemoto (Tokushima Prefecture)
Occasionally I do have a day of free time. I usually end up sleeping late and when I wake up I may go to the supermarket with my wife, or work on a plastic model, or watch TV, or… I pretty much just putter away the day.
Help! I’m running out of air! Please get some air and send it to me by Kamehameha. Bye.
— Takeshi Mayumi (Mie Prefecture)
Huh…? W-What are you talking about? I assume that you didn’t write this letter while you were drowning… U-Uh… please continue to support my work.
Okay, I’ve figured it out… Dragon Ball is based on the old Chinese legend Saiyuki (“Journey to the West”). Even the characters are the same: Bulma is Sanzo Hoshi, Oolong is Hakkai, Yamcha is Sagojo, and Shenlong is Sanzo Hoshi’s horse. Even the order they appear is the same. Am I wrong? I am a girl in my third year of middle school. I am afraid of the high school entrance exams!
— Masae O’ouchi (Ibaraki Prefecture)
It’s true, in the beginning I set out to create a modern day Saiyuki. But soon it became difficult to remain true to the original, so I started ignoring it. So even though they have the same name, please consider my Son Goku and the monkey king Son Goku to be two different characters. However, I did get the Gyūmaō story from Saiyuki. Good luck on your entrance exams!

Dragon Ball Volume 05: The Terror of Muscle Tower
(09 January 1987)

At my house we have volumes 1-24 of the Kinnikuman (“Muscleman”) manga and one Kinnikuman video.
— Naoki Koyama (Okayama Prefecture)
Umm… I’m sorry, Naoki. Kinnikuman is drawn by a person named Yudetamago… If you’d like, please take a look at Dragon Ball. Ha ha… ha…
Hello. I really like Dragon Ball. I really like you, too. I have a question for you. Dr. Slump lasted 18 volumes. How long will Dragon Ball continue for?
— Eiji Harada (Okayama Prefecture)
Hmm… maybe for ten volumes or so. I think I’d like to make it short and sweet. But then again, there are lots of things I want to include in the story so I don’t really know.
This is the first time time I’ve written to a manga artist. Do you think that the technique I thought up is good for Dragon Ball?
— Tsukyoshi Maezawa (Hokkaido Prefecture)
Wow! This technique is most certainly impressive. I may be able to use it in the manga. Thank you for your assistance!
I always look at your manga and use them as a reference to draw my own manga. I really respect you. I have all of your manga including Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, “Hetappi Manga Kenkyujo” (Lousy Manga Laboratory), “Toriyama Akira Maru-saku Gekijo” (Akira Toriyama’s Fill-In-The-Blank Theatre). I keep them to use as reference material. In particular, “Hetappi Manga Kenkyujo” greatly influenced the way I draw manga.
— Takeya Nakamura (Okinawa Prefecture)
Thank you. You’ve complimented me so much I’m a bit embarrassed. Please keep up the hard work on drawing your own manga.
I love Dragon Ball. I really like Bulma. Please continue to draw your great manga.
— Mami Sato (Ibaraki Prefecture)
Surprisingly, there are a great number of girls that say they like Bulma. Perhaps it’s because her personality is a bit like a boy’s. Personally, I don’t really like harsh, selfish girls like Bulma.
I was really happy to see Kuririn appear in the manga. (Although he hasn’t made an appearance in a while.) Kuririn looks exactly like my daughter who is about to turn one year old.
— Akina Deura (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Thank you. So, your daughter looks exactly like Kuririn… I don’t know how to respond to that. But I’m sure your daughter is very cute. By the way, does she have a nose?

Dragon Ball Volume 06: Bulma’s Big Blunder!!
(10 March 1987)

On the spines of the Comics, so far you’ve drawn a Dragon Ball with one star for every volume of the series. What will you do if the series goes over seven volumes?
— Tatsuhira Koike (Saitama Prefecture)
You’re right! The spines with the drawings of the dragon and the Dragon Balls will end after the seventh volume. I am wondering myself what to do from the eighth volume on.
I like Pu’er. I told my brother that Pu’er is a cat and he told me that Pu’er is a mouse. Who is right?
— Nobukatsu Sekigawa (Kanagawa Prefecture)
Actually, Pu’er is neither a cat nor a mouse, but I draw him a little bit like a cat.
Over New Year’s break, I made a stamp using your characters. Nine months from now, I am planning on using the dragon from Dragon Ball to make my New Year’s greeting cards.
— Kimio Nagasaki (Shizuika Prefecture)
This is a great stamp! I imagine it took quite a lot of work. I am really impressed. I look forward to seeing your dragon cards, please send me one when you’re finished.
The caricature that you draw of yourself in the comics looks like a dirty old man, so I thought that you probably looked like a dirty old man yourself. But I saw your photograph in Jump and you looked very handsome.
— Yasuhiro Ando (Aichi Prefecture)
Ha ha ha! You think so? You’re right! I do look good! You’re a great guy! Unfortunately, I just can’t get too excited about a guy complimenting me like this…
What are those six marks on Kuririn’s face? Is it a scar? Please tell me.
— Yasuto Tamagawa (Osaka Prefecture)
Ah! You noticed it! The marks on Kuririn’s forehead are incense burns. Sometimes you see these scars on Chinese monks in the movies. I thought I should add them because Kuririn’s face is so plain.
Often in the last page of your comic in Shōnen Jump, you write about how you have pet birds. I would like to become a manga artist, and I also love animals. I would love to draw manga and have a lot of pets.
— Koki Yasuda (Osaka Prefecture)
I think it’s a great thing to be an animal lover, although if you are going to have pets you should be responsible for them. In my household we have a bird, a cat, and a dog. Actually, if I could, I would love to also have a goat and a chicken.

Dragon Ball Volume 07: General Blue’s Pursuit!!
(08 May 1987)

My son who is a first grader is a big Goku fan. He is anxiously awaiting your response to his letter. He wants to know, “How can I be one of Goku’s friends?”
— Asataro Nishino and his mother (Ehime Prefecture)
Asataro, thank you for all the hard work you put into writing a letter to me. How can you become one of Goku’s friends…? Hmm… Uh… Maybe your mother should explain this to you. (I guess I weaseled out of answering the question…)
Back in Colume 5 you mentioned that Dragon Ball would last for 10 volumes. Could you maybe make it last for at least 13 volumes?
— Masahiro Mizuno (Gifu Prefecture)
Because of all the fan support, it looks like I will not be able to end the series at Volume 10. I am having such a great time doing this manga that I think it will last for more than 13 volumes.
I like Kuririn. I like Goku too, but I think that Kuririn is cuter. Please have Kuririn be more involved in the stories.
— Ryo Sasaki (Yamagata Prefecture)
Right now in Jump, at the Tenka’ichi Budokai 3 years after the previous one, Kuririn is playing a considerably active role! However, people who do not read Jump will have to wait until it is made into a Comic, so please look forward to buying it.
Umm, Toriyama-sensei… Pilaf has a ninja dog working for him, right? What is its name? In Volume 2 he is called Soba, but in [Weekly Shōnen] Jump [1987] #104 he is called Shuu. Which is it?
— Kumiko Maruta (Nagano Prefecture)
My apologies. This was a mistake. When the anime came out they asked me to name Pilaf’s two underlings. I had completely forgotten that I had already named one of them “Soba”. So I told the anime people to call him “Shuu”. When I realized my mistake it was too late, the show had already aired and his name was “Shuu”. So I then decided to change his name to “Shuu” to be like the anime.
Hello. I am a big fan. I am a 12 year old boy. I have a 21 year old sister. She’s a fan of yours too. The characters in Dragon Quest 2 are cool.
— Takashi Yamashita (Gunma Prefecture)
Dragon Quest 2 is really cool, isn’t it?! I designed the characters for that game. They’re really cool, aren’t they? Well, anyway, I try to work hard and get really involved in what I’m doing. But working too hard is not a good thing, so I also try to take it easy.

Dragon Ball Volume 08: Son Goku’s Assault
(10 July 1987)

Hello Toriyama-sensei! I used to think that Kuririn was just some weird character, but now I think he is really cool! I used to just kind of quickly read through the parts with Kuririn in them, but on a second read, he’s pretty cute! He’s short and bald and has those cute eyebrows!
— Yuko Kimoto (Hyoho Prefecture)
I also used to write Kuririn so that he was just some weird minor character who appeared in the story, but now he’s matured to become an indispensable member of the cast. I’m really surprised at how many fans he has now! It’s the same with Kame-Sen’nin, the Turtle Hermit; when I originally created him, I just intended him to be some crazy old pervert. (So now you know how whimsical I was when I created Dragon Ball.)
I really enjoy reading Dragon Ball. I am also trying to draw my own manga. I can see the drawings in my head, but the problem is that I can’t actually draw them on paper the way that I imagine them. I’m having a really hard time. Your artwork impresses me because it has a feeling of depth even though you don’t use that much screentone.
— Shintaro Oda (Tokyo Prefecture)
Even as a professional manga artist, I still sometimes can’t draw things exactly how I imagine them. I guess the only thing you can do is draw a lot and keep studying the art of drawing. And the real reason I don’t use screentone very much is because it’s a lot of work.
When you write Dragon Ball, do you ever have trouble coming up with the story or the personalities of your characters?
— Takashi Kadota (Ehime Prefecture)
I have to spend quite a bit of effort to come up with the stories and the personalities of the characters. Sometimes I have to think about it so hard that I get a headache. At times like this, when I can’t come up with any ideas, I just go to sleep or I go do something else. If the ideas aren’t coming it’s important to take a break to get a new perspective.
I’ve thought up a new character: Kuririn’s younger brother Tekurin. He trained under Hebi-Sen’nin (the Snake Hermit) and his special attack is the Alo-ha (Aloha Wave Attack). Please use him in Dragon Ball.
— Koji Okamoto (Hokkaido Prefecture)
Hmm… I don’t know about that character, but the “Alo-ha” attack is so silly, I just might be able to use it.
I am such a big fan, I want to read your stuff every day! Please increase the number of pages you do every week.
— T.M. (Toyama Prefecture)
Thank you for your words of support. Currently, I am drawing about 15 pages a week and I think that’s my maximum limit. If I increased my output, I might stop enjoying the process of creating manga. If I really push it I can do about 19 pages, but I’d rather have some time to relax and draw the manga. Actually, I think it would be great if I could do about 13 pages… Well anyway, I hope you will be satisfied with 15 pages a week.

Dragon Ball Volume 09: When Worried, See Uranai Baba
(10 September 1987)

I know it’s a bit late, but congratulations on the birth of your son Sasuke. I heard that you do a lot for him such as changing his diapers and feeding him milk. You sound like a good father and I am jealous of your wife.
— Rie Yoshida (Saitama Prefecture)
Thank you very much. I recently did a one-shot story for Shōnen Jump so I was very very busy. And even though we were all in the same house, I hardly had any time to be with Sasuke. When I was awake, I would be asleep or be busy working. Well, this continued for so long, I think Sasuke forgot his own father’s face! I went up to him and made a funny face and he started crying! So now I am careful to show him my face often and tell him “This is your father, this is your father’s face.” So you see, recently I haven’t been a very good father. And I regret this very much.
Please answer the following questions: (1) How many watts is the brightness of Kuririn’s head? (2) How long does Goku’s Nyoi-Bō get? (3) On page 87 of Volume 4 Kuririn flings a booger, but does he even have a nose?
— Nobuo Kobayashi (Gunma Prefecture)
(1) Hmmm… difficult question. I wonder how bright it is? Uh… basically it only gets bright when it reflects sunlight. (2) This is another difficult question. The Nyoi-Bō once stretched out to the moon, so that means that it can stretch out to at least 380,000 kilometers. (3) Actually, a lot of people asked me this question. I think we got about a thousand postcards about this. I really couldn’t think of a good response to the question, so I just ignored it for a while. Sorry everybody!
The motorcycles, cars, and clothes that appear in your manga look very cool. I think you have a very good sense of style.
— Noriko Ota (Tokyo Prefecture)
Thank you. I’m not sure about my sense of style, but I do enjoy thinking about motorcycles, cars, and clothes.
When I heard that you actually went to China to observe things over there, I was amazed at how much went into the creation of this manga.
— Kazuhisa Tango (Ishikawa Prefecture)
Well, actually, I’d always been fascinated with China and my wife and I just went there for a vacation. However, it is true that our trip greatly influenced Dragon Ball. It is important for manga artists to have some leisure time.

Dragon Ball Volume 10: The Twenty-Second Tenka’ichi Budōkai
(10 November 1987)

Please answer these questions. (1) How long does it take you to create one chapter? (2) How old are Kuririn, Oolong, Pu’er and Yamcha? (3) Please keep up the good work.
— Hiroko Ota (Aichi Prefecture)
(1) Hmm… it varies depending on the chapter, but when I’m having a hard time, a good plot won’t come to me even after two or three days of brainstorming. If I’m on a roll, though, sometimes it only takes about five minutes to think one up. To actually put it on paper only takes about 30 minutes a page. (2) Uhh, how old were they…? I’m pretty sure Kuririn stated his age at the last Tenka’ichi Budōkai, so please calculate it using that as your reference. Oolong and Pu’er are… I don’t know. Yamcha is… about 20 right now, I think. (3) Thank you very much.
Sometimes when I get tired of work, I take your Comics off my children’s bookshelf and read them with gusto. It is the best thing for a change of pace. However, recently the story has just been about Goku, and I feel that you aren’t making the most of the personality rich supporting characters.
— A 45-Year-Old Geezer Fan (Iwate Prefecture)
Thank you very much for your support and your advice. It is always heartening to receive such letters from older folks. I promise I’ll strive to draw well, so I hope you’ll keep reading it with gusto. You go, dad!
Kame-Sen’nin is very fashionable, isn’t he? I am always being criticized by my friends as uncool for wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
— Anonymous (Ishikawa Prefecture)
On your postcard, you also drew a full-body picture of yourself, but I realized that if I printed it your identity might be revealed, so I didn’t (I’m thinking aren’t I?). Going by your drawing alone, I’d have to agree, you really aren’t fashionable at all, are you? However, to be frank, it suits you well! This is really the only style to wear with a shaved head! Often at the supermarket and so forth, I see brash youth who think they’re being fashionable, but don’t you think your way is more refreshing? That’s how you should be!
How can I get better at drawing?
— Kei Mizuno (Aichi Prefecture)
I get tons of questions about drawing, but it’s really hard to decide how to answer, so I don’t really know what to tell you. In any case, as you can probably guess, I think you just have to keep drawing constantly. Not just people, but landscapes and animals, all sorts of things-observe them closely and try drawing them. To practice inking, again, I feel that you just need to keep drawing until you get better. But if you keep trying and trying and you still can’t draw well, then you should probably give up.

Dragon Ball Volume 11: The World’s Greatest Super Battle!!
(10 February 1988)

Dear Toriyama-sensei, I’m a big fan of not only Dragon Ball, but all your work. Manga these days seems to only be about “love”, or “sports”, or “fighting”, or “legends”… But you’re different!
— Yuka Fujino (Kyoto Prefecture)
Gosh, I’m flattered. Dragon Ball is going to go for quite a bit longer, but when I do finish it, I plan on creating even better and more entertaining manga. I look forward to your support then also!
Exams have finally invaded my life. I’d really appreciate it (it’d be like a wish granted by Shenlong!) if you could hold off on the publication of Dragon Quest 3 until after my exams are finished.
— Koji Iwashita (Fukuoka Prefecture)
I see, the exams must be really tough. I’m an adult now, so exams no longer affect my life. Bet you’re jealous! But even though they are a major pain, keep up the good work! Also, Dragon Quest 3 is insanely fun! Why don’t you play it after you finish your exams?
I have been doing push-ups and sit-ups in an effort to be able to use the Kamehameha, but I still haven’t been able to produce it. Is that skill really possible?
— Yasuhiro Kanamori (Gifu Prefecture)
Hmm, I am very impressed. An “A” for effort! Still, it looks like you haven’t been able to produce the Kamehameha, so I guess you still need more training. The fastest way may be to go to the Turtle Hermit (Kame-Sen’nin) with dirty magazines in hand and ask him to take you as his disciple, the muscle you gain from your physical training will most definitely be useful later. You must continue to persevere!
To the manga’s sensei, your art is incredibly clean, even your backgrounds. Even though your backgrounds are so detailed, everything is really easy to read. I was wondering if you could create a Dragon Quest story, even if it’s just a one-shot.
— Eiji Nakamura (Aichi Prefecture)
Thank you very much. The real reason my art is so “clean” is because it’s a pain in the butt to draw tons of detail. I hate things which are a pain. Unfortunately, making a Dragon Quest story would also be a huge pain, because there are so many characters, so I really don’t want to do one. I’m sorry.
Dear Mr. Toriyama, I hope you are well. I always watch your TV shows. They are really fun. Please keep drawing fun manga. Please write back to me.
— Tomokazu Hirose (Toyama Prefecture)
Thank you very much. I hope you will cheer me on in the future too. I hope you are well too!

Dragon Ball Volume 12: The Terror of Demon King Piccolo!
(08 April 1988)

Sensei, your work is almost always set in a country setting, but I think it really fits the image of your manga and I like it very much.
— Ayano Fuiji (Aichi Prefecture)
Thank you very much. The reason I use a country setting so much is, not only is it easy for me to draw, but also because I am a total country bumpkin and I don’t like the city very much. By the way, your address places you in the next town over from me.
I think it’s fabulous that you take care of your children and do work at the same time. Also, the character “Tangtong” that appeared in the manga Dragon Boy from the special issues was really similar to Goku, and I thought he was a lot of fun.
— Goku (Nagano Prefecture)
Thank you, thank you. Actually, I don’t necessarily take care of the kids and work at the same time; my wife does most of it. I pretty much do stuff like playing with the kids when I feel like it, and occasionaly changing the diapers and feeding him, so it’s really nothing much. I do most of my plotting and thinking after the baby is in bed, so it really isn’t that much trouble. Anyway, Dragon Boy is in Volume 2 of my “Fill-in-the-Blank Theatre”. Because of the popularity of the story, it ended up becoming the catalyst for Dragon Ball. That’s why Goku is Tanton with a few modifications, and why they look so much alike.
Please don’t stop Dragon Ball even after Piccolo is defeated! Please continue the manga for at least another three years! During that time, I will study like mad to get into college, and afterwards get a job at Shueisha and become your editor.
— Tomoko Shima (Toyama Prefecture)
When Goku was fighting Demon King Piccolo, there were a number of “It’s going to end, isn’t it?” rumors going around, but I have no intention of ending it at all. The idea of going for another three years does kind of freak me out, but I do plan on continuing it for a little longer. By the way, if you become my editor, I hope you will be kind and not reject any of my stories. I look forward to the day when this will become a reality.
Dear Toriyama-sensei, thank you for making a great read every time. Please take care of yourself, and keep your spirits up. (I know that manga artists are very busy, so please don’t worry about replying to this letter.)
— Yoshitaka Miyabe (Nagano Prefecture)
You are the best! I have been moved by your consideration in telling me that it is unnecessary to reply, so instead I have printed it in this Comic. Please don’t ever lose your considerate and kind nature.
My entire family is a big fan of yours. Mom only reads a manga if you wrote it. My younger brother tapes your anime on video and watches it.
— Ryo Mizugami (Yamanashi Prefecture)
Thank you very much. You must be blessed to have such a wonderful mother! Make sure you are nice to her. Please give my regards to your younger brother too!
The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information.

1 Often written as either ナウイ or ナウい, “nowy” was a trendy term coined in Japan in the 1980s meaning “nowish” or “up-to-the-minute”.

2 “H” or etchi (エッチ) refers “lewd” or “perverted” acts.

3 The question is referring to the Famicom/NES system by Nintendo.

4 Chapter 110 was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump 1987 #10, in which Akira Toriyama mistakenly renames Pilaf’s underling “Soba” as “Shuu” to fall inline with the animated TV series.

English Translation: DBW and Herms