Manga Review: Dragon Ball Super Volume One

Dragon Ball Super Volume One takes place after the end of Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Super Volume One
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Art by: Toyotarou
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 2, 2017

The early part of this volume is basically a condensed and slightly changed version of the story in the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods anime film. Beerus, the God of Destruction, has a premonition about a Super Saiyan God, which the Oracle Fish confirms. Whis, his adviser, realizes that the remaining Saiyans are on Earth, and that one of them defeated Freeza. Knowing that Goku is with Kaio-Sama, they decide to make a visit there.

Goku meets Beerus and he quickly challenges the God of Destruction to a fight. Even in Super Saiyan 3 form, Goku is unable to beat Beerus. But it doesn’t end there. Beerus goes to Earth and crashes Bulma’s birthday party. The infamous scene of Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods made it into this manga telling of this story. This made me quite happy.

But there is some material here that wasn’t in the film, such as the Elder Kai getting a visit from the God of Destruction from another universe and his sidekick. This introduction to other universes helps to set the stage for how the story will continue after the story from Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods ends. The Universe 6 God of Destruction and his advisor are related to Beerus and Whis, and they challenge each other to a fight between chosen warriors. This is dubbed as a “Gods of Destruction Invitational Fighting Tournament.” The remaining portion of the volume focuses on getting ready for the tournament and the start of the actual tournament.

This volume also brings us cameos from Bulma’s sister, Tights, and Jaco the Galactic Policeman.

When it comes to the art, Toyotarou did his best to try to imitate Toriyama’s original design. However, if you’re familiar with Toriyama’s art style, then you quickly pick up on the fact that the characters you’re familiar with from earlier portions of the Dragon Ball Franchise don’t entirely look right.

Dragon Ball Super Volume One isn’t a bad manga for what it is. But if you’re familiar with the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods anime film, then you might find the faster pacing and noticeable changes to the story a little jarring, like I did. But once I got past the Battle of Gods portion and got an original story later in the volume, I found myself becoming more engrossed with what I was reading. This volume was a bit of a slow burn for me, but it got better as it went. I hope that at some point in the future, when I get a change to read the second volume, that I will be able to enjoy it a lot sooner than I did with this one.

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