Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six collects the 16th, 17th, and 18th volumes of the manga that chronicle the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 9, 2010

This volume focuses exclusively on what’s known in the anime as the “Cell Saga.” It starts with Goku meeting Cell for the first time, and letting Cell know that while he’s not strong enough to defeat him now, he will be the next day. Of course, Cell laughs at this, because it sounds so absurd that any major changes can happen to Goku in one day. Goku and Gohan then spend time training in the Room of Spirit and Time, while a powered up Vegeta and Trunks go to face off against Cell.

Meanwhile Kuririn is given a task by Bulma: use the remote she worked on in order to stop Android 18 to prevent Cell from achieving his perfect form. Kuririn, you only had one job… and you blew it. Unfortunately, this means that Cell is able to power up into his perfect form, and the only person happy about this is Vegeta. I mean, Vegeta thinks that he can prove how great he is if he defeats Cell in his perfect form. But as we see in the volume, it turns out that Trunks is stronger than Vegeta, although he tries to hide this fact from his prideful father. But it turns out that the power that Trunks has isn’t enough to take down Cell in his perfect form.

After learning that Goku is training to get stronger, and that there’s a chance that Vegeta and Trunks could also get stronger, Cell decides to propose the Cell Games. This would be a tournament in ten days’ time, which is modeled after the Tenkaichi Tournaments that we had seen in the original Dragon Ball series. The only difference is that Cell is the only person that participants would fight.

The Z Warriors realize they need a way to bring back the Dragon Balls, since they were turned to stone after Kami merged with Piccolo. Goku comes up with the idea of using his instantaneous movement to go to the new Planet Namek to find a new Namekian to serve as Kami for Earth. Dende, who Gohan and Kruririn befriended on the original Planet Namek, is chosen for the job by the Namekians’ leader. He has the necessary knowledge for creating Dragon Balls, plus his friendship with Gohan and Kuririn has made him interested in going to Earth. Dende agrees and becomes the new Kami. While Dende does create new Dragon Balls, their power is little more limited than the Dragon Balls that are on Planet Namek. The biggest of these being the fact that anyone who has been revived by the Dragon Balls cannot be brought back to life again. This affects several of the potential Z Fighters participating in the upcoming Cell Games.

As the Cell Games approach, a new character is introduced: a combatant named Hercule (who was a wrestler formerly known as Mr. Satan). Heh. I found this attempt at covering up the name  change between the Japanese and English version of the series to be rather amusing. They acknowledge the original name just long enough to say that it existed, and then use the excuse that he changed his name when he quit being a wrestler and became a professional combatant. Hercule comes off as an egotistical, but he’s a clueless, bumbling idiot. He has no idea what he’s walked into and keeps brushing off the weird things he sees as tricks. But because he has no clue of what’s going on, he gets a ringout very quickly. Then, it’s Goku’s turn to face off against Cell.

Several chapters are devoted to Goku and Cell fighting it out, but after a while, Goku concedes defeat. However, he says that there’s someone even stronger than him who can take down Cell. He then points out Gohan. At the same time, Goku gives Cell a senzu bean. Oh, Goku, if you hadn’t done that, Gohan could have beaten Cell easily. Of course, this wouldn’t be a shonen series without long fights and power ups! Most of the rest of the volume is on Gohan’s fight with Cell, but a repaired Android 16 also plays an important part in this section of the story.

Right at the end of the volume, there is a side story labeled as “Trunks: The Lone Warrior.” This is a story that takes place in Future Trunks’ timeline, from the future that he knows from when he traveled back in time in order to save Goku’s life. As I recall, this story was animated to be part of The History of Trunks anime special.

Once again, it was interesting to see how the story played in the original manga, without the filler stories and characters that appeared in this portion of the Dragon Ball Z anime. This felt like a more natural pacing for the story, and I appreciated being able to see this section of the series without being bogged down by the filler elements.

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