Manga Review: Dragon Ball Super Volume Two

Dragon Ball Super Volume Two continues the battle between the 6th and the 7th Universes.

Dragon Ball Super Volume Two
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Art by: Toyotarou
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 5, 2017

Volume Two opens by continuing the fight between Goku and Frost. Just as Goku seems to have the upper hand, Frost suddenly cases Goku to go flying out of the ring. Of course, this surprises everyone. Piccolo goes up against Frost next, and Piccolo ends up meeting the same fate. Jaco, though, picks up on the truth and objects to the result, saying that Frost is cheating. When the referee determines that Jaco is right, Frost is disqualified. However, Vegeta wants to fight him, and insists that Frost be reinstated and that Piccolo withdraws. Piccolo has no choice but to agree.

My guess is that since Frost looks so much like Freeza, that Vegeta wants the chance to fight and defeat him. While this may not be Freeza, I think Frost is a close enough replacement in Vegeta’s mind. I did appreciate how quickly Vegeta ended up defeating Frost.

When it comes to Frost, I liked how he was initially depicted as being a hero and the complete opposite of Freeza. Because of this depiction, characters like Goku were more willing to put down their guard around him. In the anime version of this story, which I saw before reading this volume, I picked up that something was a little off about Frost and that I didn’t totally trust him. Unfortunately, this was a case where seeing the anime first ruined the surprise for me when I encountered it in the manga.

Vegeta’s next opponent is Otta Magetta, a robot man from the 6th Universe. This fight actually ends rather quickly in the manga, with Vegeta coming out on top due to what he says rather than from the actual fight. This particular battle was definitely portrayed as taking longer in the anime version. While the anime version wasn’t stretched out for terribly long, I actually appreciated how quickly this fight went by in the manga.

Next, Vegeta is up against Cabbe, a Saiyan from the 6th Universe. Of the fights Vegeta has in Dragon Ball Super Volume Two, this was by far my favorite. Vegeta finds a way to turn the fight into a lesson for the young Saiyan from another universe without making it appear so at first. When the reader realizes what Vegeta is up to, it makes a whole lot of sense. The characters in the story also give some amusing commentary on the proceedings. But even with the lesson, Vegeta still wins the match against Cabbe.

Vegeta’s next opponent is the assassin, Hit. Unfortunately, even in his Super Saiyan Blue form, Hit is easily able to defeat his opponent. And thanks to a successful argument a little earlier, Goku is allowed to compete again because Beers proved that Frost had cheated when he knocked Goku out of the ring.

The fight between Goku and Hit becomes quite intense, and it turns out Goku is giving Hit more of a challenge than he had anticipated. But in the end, Goku jumps out of the ring to give himself a ring out, because he wants to see how strong Monaka is. Unknown to both Goku and Vegeta, Monaka is really a wimp who Beerus claimed was really strong in order to motivate the two Saiyans to train. Well, let’s just say that when Monaka enters the ring, we’re given a very amusing conclusion to the battle between the two universes.

But as the battle ends, a new character makes an appearance: Zeno, the lord of everything. Zeno may look small and cute, but he has the ability to destroy anything he wants if he’s provoked. Goku, not realizing just how powerful Zeno is, starts casually interacting with him, much to the chagrin of the deities present. But Zeno takes this well, and says he’s interested in having a martial arts tournament with all of the universes participating.

The final two chapters of Volume Two begin the next arc, which sees Future Trunks returning 17 years into the past to the timeline where Goku, Vegeta, and the others survived. It turns out there’s a new threat facing his timeline.

When we see the main cast in the past, they’re gathered at Capsule Corp. Trunks, along with the young Mai, Shu, and Pilaf, is being taught by a new teacher hired by Capsule Corp. to teach the kids. In this telling of the story, the teacher is depicted as being not as smart as she is in the anime. Because of something she does, she ends up teaching the kids about time travel and its consequences because she looked at the wrong book. This time travel explanation doesn’t appear at all in the anime telling of the story. Then again, that’s probably a good thing, because it would have bogged down the story in the anime medium.

But it’s after this lesson that Future Trunks arrives in the time machine. Unfortunately, Beers and Whis are both there, and they learn about the time traveling Trunks had done previously… and they are unhappy to learn about it, since manipulating time is a serious crime.

After Future Trunks tells them what happened and that he doesn’t have fuel to go back to his time, Bulma realizes that she’s currently developing what becomes the fuel for the machine. She begins working on getting more made so Trunks, Goku, and Vegeta can go to the future timeline to take on the new threat there.

For me, it’s interesting to now be reading this section of the manga after watching the Dragon Ball Super anime first. I definitely picked up on how this telling has shortened down the fights for the tournament that took up most of this volume. I also noticed storytelling differences between the manga and the anime for the portion of the Future Trunks arc that’s included here. While the example of the teacher that I provided earlier in this review is the most blatant change, I did pick up on another change between the two tellings. But even with the changes between the two mediums, I still enjoyed the story while reading the manga.

Obviously, this manga will be best enjoyed by readers who are already familiar with the Dragon Ball franchise. If you’re a Dragon Ball fan who hasn’t delved into this portion of the franchise yet, I think the manga version of Dragon Ball Super is worth reading to get a taste for this era of the franchise. If you’ve watched the anime version of Dragon Ball Super but haven’t read the manga telling, I would recommend reading it. While an anime viewer will already be familiar with the story at this point, the manga provides another good way of telling the story.

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