EL本棚紹介(73) Dragonball, by Akira Toriyama

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Like Sailor Moon, Dragonball is one of the most recognizable Japanese anime/manga around the world. It was one of the first anime to be broadcast in the United States, and Dragonball Z was probably one of the first anime to become broadly popular. However, I don’t think many Americans know that the early Dragonball comics were “gag manga.” This book has a surprising number of “blue jokes” in it, so you should avoid this book if you think you will be offended by it.

That said, Dragonball is a silly book and very enjoyable to read at times. There is action, comedy, and adventure as the group of heroes search for the dragonballs and train to be great martial artists. The art style is unique, and Akira Toriyama’s style of drawing machines and fight scenes really stand out. The translation is also very skillful, with a lot of creative and non-textbook style English.

My two cents: Although I’m not a fan of the blue humor, I am glad I read this classic piece of Japanese popular culture.