"Augh!! What a diseased mind!" - Lord Pilaf
This is my cut n'paste intro for my end of month indulgence as I make my way through all forty-two collected volumes of the enduringly popular and influential manga Dragonball. The series used to be split into the fantasy and whimsy filled Dragonball and the more serious, sci-fi orientated strip it became after sixteen volumes known as Dragonball Z, but now the series is being released under the one "Dragonball" title again; uncut and with a spiffy new translation. The series first ran in the famous anthology magazine "Shonen Jump" from 1984 to 1995 and was written and drawn by Akira Toriyama (It has been translated here by Mari Morimoto and adapted into English by Gerard Jones, the western publisher is Viz Media) and pretty much set the standard for the similar shonen manga and anime that came after like Bleach and Naruto. It follows the adventures of the kindly if somewhat sheltered and simple "Son Goku" as he trains, goes on adventures and enters competitions all with the aim of making himself a stronger and better fighter. Along the way he accrues a colourful cast of friends and rivals in a world where humans live alongside anthropomorphised animals, dinosaurs never died out and tiny capsules can contain vehicles and houses to be easily carried around.
[Note: This manga is "unflipped" so must be read from right to left]
Previously on Dragonball: A sixteen year old tech genius called Bulma is hunting the seven "dragonballs", which when collected together means a magical dragon called Shenlong can be summoned to grant one wish. Twelve year old orphan Son Goku holds the third ball she has found using the radar she built to locate them, and when he won't part with it, she invites him along with her to hunt them together. In the process of discovering the fourth and fifth balls, Goku gets given a flying cloud he can ride by an old man called Kamensen'in, and they also meet a shapechanger called Oolong who Bulma adds to the team as well. After tangling with the desert bandit Yamcha and his shapechanger friend Puar, they find themselves at "Fry-Pan" mountain. At the top is a castle belonging to The Ox King and where the sixth ball is located, but the mountain is on fire and they can't get to it. What to do? And now the continuation.
|Goku, meet Chi Chi|
The watching Yamcha and Puar realise this is the young girl Yamcha knocked out. They speed back and find her still unconcious. Yamcha gently wakes her up and apologises saying he was "crazy with love". Then he sees Goku coming and makes himself scarce. Goku tells Chi Chi to get on the cloud as she is pure of heart enough to ride it. She grabs his tail as she climbs up and he howls in pain.
Goku: "Don't squeeze my tail will ya'? It makes me lose my strength."
The watching Yamcha realise he can use this information against Goku. Meanwhile Goku and Chi Chi zoom off. Goku pats her crotch to see if she is female and she pushes him off the cloud in outrage. But as he climbs back aboard, she thinks only a man who wanted her for a wife would do that.
He says he'll lend them the Basho-sen on one condition. That Bulma "boingy boingy" for him, the old perve. Goku agrees so Kamesenin'in looks for the fan but then remembers he spilt soup on it and threw it out. But never fear he can put the fire out himself. He summons a flying turtle and they all fly back to Fry-Pan mountain.
Kamesen'in says to Gyu-mao that his treasures have "cost a few lives". Gyu-mao repents his greed and says he destroy all his treasure. "Let's not go overboard" says Kamesen'in. Goku says to Bulma that Kamesen'in wants to "pat pat" her chest as payment or he won't put out the fire. She angrily agrees but only after he has done it.
|There's more to Kamesen'in than meets the eye.|
When Gyu-mao reveals Goku is Son Gohan's grandson, Kamesen'in realises it explains a lot and when he finds out Son Gohan is dead, he invites Goku to come train under him. Goku enthusiastically agrees to come once they have found all the dragonballs. Bulma finds the sixth ball and Gyu-mao gives them a capsule containing a hover car. Before they can leave Kamesen'in demands his payment.
Bulma takes Oolong to one side and tells him to impersonate her. Oolong does so and goes to Kamesen'in and flashes him a look at "Bulma's" bare boobs, much to his delight and Bulma's annoyance. Chi Chi says to Goku that when he is old enough her father will offer Goku her hand. Slightly confused Goku agrees to come back for it. Then the gang bid Gyu-mao, Chi Chi and Kamesen'in farewell and zoom off still shadowed by Yamcha and Puar.
|Oh Kamesen'in, never change.|
The rabbit eared men threaten Goku and Bulma with guns. Bulma casually says to Goku, "These are bad guys. Beat 'em up for us." Goku finishes his rice bun and sys "Okay". A fight commences and he easily beats them. One of them calls for their boss via a radio and a townsperson says Goku has bought "doom on us all."
Everyone flees leaving our heroes alone with the two rabbit eared thugs. Their master appears, he is an anthropomorphised rabbit. He offers his hand to Bulma who shakes it. Yamcha pops up yelling not to touch him, that he's the "carrot master!". But it is too late and Bulma turns into a carrot.
|The "Carrot Master".|
With that sorted, they go on their way into a desert landscape. A woman watches them and says over a radio to a "Lord Pilaf" that it is time to "commence the operation." Goku and the others are attacked by a dog headed person in a robot suit, it destroys their car and grabs the suitcase the dragonballs are in and flies off. Goku gives chase on kinto'un.
He finds the robot suit empty and the dog man and the dragonballs gone. He returns to Bulma who laments that they must have the seventh dragonball and now have them all. Goku points out he still has his dragonball so all is not lost. Yamcha and Puar pull up and offer them a lift while they track where the balls have gone.
He dumps her back in the cell and then uses knock out gas on them. His female goon goes in and takes the final dragonball and as Goku and friends recover, Pilaf gathers the balls together and starts to summon the dragon Shenlong. Goku is able to make a small hole in the cell wall with his kamehame'ha, but they are all still trapped.
Puar and Oolong fly out through the hole to try and stop Pilaf but it is too late. Shenlong asks to know what the wish is and as Pilaf starts to say his, Ollong wishes for "the panties of a hot babe!!!" A pair of panties land on Oolong's head and with the wish granted, Shenlong disappears and the seven dragonballs fly off in different directions.
|The spectacular Shenlong.|
Goku says he has never seen a full moon because hes grandpa told him that a "horrible monster comes out when the moon is full." His grandpa was killed when said monster stepped on him, he didn't see it because he was asleep. His granpa exhorted him to "never look at a full moon." The others realise what this could mean. Goku admits he did wake up to go pee on the night his grandpa died. Bulma then orders Goku to look at the full moon.
As day dawns, they decide not to tell Goku what he turned into or that he accidentally killed his grandpa. Goku wakes up and shrugs off his missing tail. He goes to look for his nyo-boi staff in the ruins. Yamcha and Bulma realise that he is not scared of her, and that they would make a good couple. So both their wishes have actually been fulfilled.
|Were-Goku dealt with.|
They all pile into a small plane and wish Goku well and depart, he summons kinto'un and flies back to his home to collect some clothes and bedding before flying to Kamesen'in's house. There Kamesen'in is perving over a TV exercise programme. Goku attracts his attention saying he came for training and is hungry. Kamesen'in directs him to the fridge and Goku eats a full weeks worth of food.
Once his favourite TV show is over, Kamesen'in contemplates his new young charge. He tells Goku that before he starts to train him he needs to bring him a "hot girl". He lists off all the attributes he is looking for much to Goku's bewilderment. Goku flies off and returns with a female weightlifter. Not quite what Kamesen'in had in mind. And that brings this volume of Dragonball to a close.
|The adventurers part for now.|