Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five collects the 13th, 14th, and 15th volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 27, 2009

This volume has a strong focus on battling the Androids that the future from the stranger (Trunks) warned the Z Fighters about. Unfortunately, when the stranger from the future returns for this battle, he realizes that the events that are happening don’t entirely match what happened in the future that he knows. He guesses that his returning to the past to warn them about the danger altered events.

Most of the volume focuses on the androids, especially on Androids 16, 17, and 18. I find it interesting that Dr. Gero from the Red Ribbon Army (which was the organization featured in the original Dragon Ball manga) was brought back in the Dragon Ball Z portion of the story. Outside of a few things (most of the characters, Kinto Un, the Dragon Balls), most of the elements from Dragon Ball didn’t return for Dragon Ball Z. I assumed that was because there’s such a tonal shift from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z, that Toriyama felt that those other elements just wouldn’t have worked.

This volume also introduces the franchise’s next major villain, Cell. He wants to consume Androids 16, 17, and 18, so this forces them to shift their focus from the Z Fighters to Cell. And the Z Fighters team up with the androids, since they can tell that Cell is going to be a greater threat, especially if he consumes the androids.

With this volume, we see Trunks from the future getting a glimpse into his parents’ world, and especially getting to see one of his parents who he never knew in his original timeline. But I’m still surprised that Trunks being in the same location as himself as a baby didn’t cause any issues with the space-time continuum.

While Goku appears in this volume, it should be noted that overall, he’s not the major focus in it. OK, this is due in part to him being sick because he hadn’t taken the medicine that Trunks gave him before the arrival of the androids, but it was still nice to see more focus on the other Z Fighters and Vegeta.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five ends in the middle of a major battle with Cell, so readers will have to read the next volume in order to find out what happens next.

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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