Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three collects the seventh, eighth, and ninth volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 2, 2008

This volume continues the Planet Namek portion of the story. In fact, this entire omnibus volume is devoted to the events that transpire during this section. Early on, it’s the battles between the Z Fighters and the Ginyu Force. But by the end of the volume, Freeza is battling with Gohan and Piccolo. For those who don’t know, Freeza is the bad guy of this arc, and he’s incredibly strong. The fight he has with Piccolo is impressive but knowing that a fight with Goku is eventually coming does help to make this battle a little less impressive than it really is.

Goku gets to shine in this volume when he makes his appearance on Planet Namek and takes on the Ginyu Force. But when Ginyu switches bodies with Goku, it adds a new wrinkle to an already crazy situation. But the resolution to this switch is amusing, and I thought Ginyu got his “just desserts.”

In a lot of ways, this volume is exciting and progresses the plot along. However, it also kind of feels like a “dress rehearsal” for the final battle of this arc. They’re getting ready for the finale of the arc, but it’s just not quite there yet. Although, I give the manga credit for progressing this portion of the story faster than the original anime adaptation did. This was the section of the arc where the original anime kept inserting filler material, which only helped to bog down this portion of the story and didn’t truly add much of anything to the canon storyline.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three is a good read, as it gets the reader ready for the arc’s big finale battle. And while Goku may not have been the major star of this volume, it’s a nice break for other characters to be focused on as the protagonist every now and again. Dragon Ball Z is about more than just Goku. At this point, the franchise became much more of an ensemble-driven story, rather than focusing almost exclusively on Goku. This shift allows the other characters to experience growth and change.

I would recommend the Dragon Ball Z manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. I would also recommend this volume to fans of the manga who haven’t completed their Dragon Ball Z manga collection yet.

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