Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Seven

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Seven collects the 19th, 20th, and 21st volumes of the manga that chronicle the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBIG Volume Seven
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 20, 2010

The first 12 chapters in this omnibus (which is the entirety of Volume 19) finishes off the “Cell Saga” portion of Dragon Ball Z. This includes both the conclusion of the Cell Games, as well as Future Trunks returning to his time and putting an end to the androids and Cell in his timeline. In the Cell Games, Goku dies (again). Unfortunately, with the Dragon Balls that Dende created, you can’t be brought back to life again if you were already brought back to life with Earth’s original Dragon Balls. So we now have a situation where our original lead character is dead, but the reader can still see what he’s up to in the afterlife.

At the beginning of Volume 20, there’s a timeskip, and Gohan is now a teenager. He’s done as much for his education as he can living out in the country, so he is now going to high school in the town of Herculopolis (which was named after Hercule, who everyone believes saved the Earth from Cell). At this point, Gohan becomes the main character of the series, and we see that he’s secretly taking on the criminals who are popping up in town. He turns Super Saiyan when he takes on criminals, and this has gained him the nickname of the Golden Warrior.

In school, one his classmates is Videl, who is the daughter of Hercule. She’s strong and takes on criminals, and she becomes determined to discover who the Golden Warrior really is. Gohan, meanwhile, enlists Bulma’s help to create a disguise to make it easier for him to hide his true identity now that he’s a student at the high school.

This part of the story also introduces Gohan’s little brother, Goten. He looks so much like Goku did when he was a little kid, and he just looks so stinking cute. Trunks, who is a year older than Goten, is Goten’s best friend.

Videl becomes a rival for Gohan (who, in his disguise, goes by the name of the Great Saiyaman). But I think Gohan was around the Ginyu Force too much as a child, because he’s adopted their posing for his Great Saiyaman persona. For whatever reason, Gohan thinks this is cool, but it’s just so facepalm inducing. But the rivalry and Videl’s trying to figure out the true identity of the Great Saiyaman doesn’t last long, because Gohan manages to stupidly admit to being the Great Saiyaman to her. Oops!

But from this initial animosity, a friendship starts developing. He even teaches Videl how to fly. Videl convinces Gohan to enter the next Tenkaichi tournament, which her father won the last time it was held. Several of the Z Warriors, in addition to Android 18, also decide to enter. And to everyone’s surprise, Goku is given a day to return to Earth so he can participate in the tournament as well. One of the memorable parts before the tournament begins is seeing Goten and Goku meeting for the first time (since Goku died before Goten was born).

The Tenkaichi tournament has been split into a children’s division and a regular division. We get to see Trunks and Goten fight in the children’s division, and their initial fights are amusing, especially since they take on boys from the same family. Their mother is a horrible person, and I think the jesting she gets from both Bulma and Chichi is deserved. The inevitable fight between Trunks and Goten is a wonderful read. As a prize, the winner gets to take on Hercule… and this is rather amusing.

To determine which 15 people will be part of the adult division in addition to Hercule, it is decided to use a punch machine to register each entrant’s strength. The Z Fighters have to try to tone it down, but Vegeta decides to use his full power… and destroys the punch machine in the process. The Z Fighters using the punch machine is hilarious, but Vegeta’s destruction of it is the icing on the cake. Before the adult division gets underway, the Z Fighters and the reader are introduced to two new characters.

The adult division gets underway, and when it’s Piccolo’s turn to go against one of the new characters, he senses how strong this guy is and forfeits. It’s revealed that this character is the Lord of Lords, which in the world of Dragon Ball Z is known as a Kaio-Shin. But things take a turn when the Kaio-Shin’s assistant begins his fight with Gohan, and two of the other fighters take some of Gohan’s energy after he’s powered up. By the end of this volume, the stage is set to introduce new villains to the franchise, as well as what Kaio-Shin intends to do to stop the new enemy.

A lot of changes come for the characters, especially with that timeskip in there. But from watching the anime, I know that the end of this series is getting ever closer. As far as I know, the anime at this point didn’t include any fillers, so it’ll be interesting to read the remaining VIZBig volumes to determine whether or not this assumption is correct.

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