Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four collects the 10th, 11th, and 12th volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 16, 2009

This volume concludes the storyline that takes place on Planet Namek, and the last eight chapters get the next section of the story going. The beginning of this volume sees both Piccolo and Vegeta going up against Freeza, but the majority of this volume is focused on Goku’s battle with Freeza. While the fight between Goku and Freeza seems to take a long time here, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as long as the anime adaptation’s version of this epic fight.

Vegeta goes through a major character development in his battle with Freeza. When this change happens, the reader finds that they feel sympathy for this character who had been portrayed as such a villain up to this point. When I first saw this scene when I watched the anime (which was before I read the manga), I almost felt as if there was a chance of redemption for this character.

After the climactic battle with Goku and Freeza comes to an end, a new character from the future is introduced. This character has a connection to two already existing characters, and they have come to the past with a warning for Goku and the Z Fighters. The warnings that this stranger brings from the future sets the stage for the next arc of Dragon Ball Z. The next stage of the story is just starting when Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four ends, so you have to read the next volume in order to find out what happens next.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four has a strong emphasis on the battle between Goku and Freeza, but it doesn’t feel like the volume is bogged down by it. In fact, the action and story move at a good pace that feels natural. The addition of the mysterious stranger also adds some intrigue near the end of the volume, because the audience isn’t outright told who this person is or their exact relationship with others. While we do get an answer from the stranger when they confide in Goku, but until that point, the reader is left to try to piece things together through some hints that are dropped during this character’s introduction scene. While it’s a bit of a bummer that the next story arc doesn’t get going very far before the end of this volume, it gives the reader incentive to pick up the next volume in order to continue following the story.

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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