Dragon Ball Full Color 2: Saiyan Arc by Akira Toriyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 18, 2014 by  


“Dragon Ball Full Color” is a trade paperback format featuring “Dragon Ball” manga vol. 18 and part of vol. 19 in full color and also the start of what anime fans know as “Dragon Ball Z”. Featuring a battle between the Z Warriors vs. Nappa.  If you are interested or have been wanting to read “Dragon Ball” in full color, then “Dragon Ball Full Color 2: Saiyan Arc” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 1984 by Bird Studio

MANGA TITLE: Dragon Ball Full Color 2: Saiyan Arc

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)



RATED: T for Teen

Available on April 1, 2014

Goku is dead – but his journey is just beginning. Now he must travel through the afterlife along the million-kilometer Serpent Road to find Kaio-sama, the Lord of Worlds, who will teach him martial arts techniques so powerful they’re reserved for the gods! And he’d better hurry, too, because Earth has only nine months until the evil Saiyans, Vegeta and Nappa, arrive to wipe the planet clean of life.

While the archdemon Piccolo trains Goku’s son, Gohan, to reach his full power potential, the alien spaceships rocket ever closer… bearing a power so awesome that even Earth’s six strongest heroes may not be a match for it!

Released in Japan as “Dragon Ball Full Color Comics,” this trade-paperback sized edition presents Dragon Ball fully in color for the first time!


“Dragon Ball”, the manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama for “Shonen Jump”.

The series lasted from 1984 through 1995 (a total of 42 volumes) and since the manga series has produced several anime series which include “Dragon Ball”, “Dragon Ball Z”, “Dragon Ball GT” and currently in Japan, a new HD broadcasting of “Dragon Ball Kai” and in 2009, an American live action film titled “Dragonball Evolution” was released worldwide.

Considered as a classic series, Akira Toriyama’s “Dragon Ball” series has been released as a manga and anime series in the United States.

But with the release of the 14th “Dragon Ball” film titled “Dragon Ball: Battle of Gods” in March 2013, a full color version of the manga titled “Dragon Ball Full Color” was released but instead of releasing the colorized manga starting from the very beginning, the series would feature three volumes covering the Saiyan Arc and five volumes covering the Namec Arc. And in Japan, the first 16 volumes were featured via color in digital format and also samples featured on Dentsu’s MANGAPOLO YouTube channel.

In the United States, the color chapters were featured on “Weekly Shonen Jump” in Feb. 2013 and now a year later, “Dragon Ball Full Color” will be released in the U.S. in trade paperback format (about 6 x 10 inches).

It’s important to note that “Dragon Ball Full Color” vol. 2 continues up to the Japanese manga (volume 18 continued through parts of volume 19).

What is “Dragon Ball – Saiyan Arc”?

The Saiyan Arc begins five years after Goku defeated King Piccolo. The arc begins with Goku introducing his friends to his young son Gohan for the very first time.

While things seem peaceful, unfortunately things are going to go from peaceful to downright terrible when Goku’s brother from the planet Saiyan, Raditz, goes to check and see if Goku has accomplished his mission and has destroyed the planet Earth. But Goku who crash landed on Earth as a baby, was raised by the peaceful and compassionate Gohan. And so, while Goku retained his amazing fight ability, his perspective of life was what he was taught by his grandfather Gohan and that is to be compassionate towards the living life on Earth and he swore to protect it.

Needless, to say Raditz is disappointed and decides to kidnap Gohan in order to fight a battle against Goku. Both Goku and Piccolo join forces in order to beat Raditz and try to rescue Gohan.

As Goku is killed, Goku continues to train in the afterlife and given a chance to return back to the world of the living.

Meanwhile, Vegeta and Nappa continue to cause destruction on the planet.  Piccolo, Gohan and the other Z-warriors await for Goku’s return and plan to take on the two Saiyans.  But they unleash Cultivars to take on the Z-Warriors, while Nappa tries to take on others in a battle to the death.

But will Goku arrive in time to prevent any further bloodshed caused by Nappa?

“Dragon Ball” focuses on the following characters:

Goku – Now an adult, married to Chichi and has a son named Gohan. Constantly training in order to become stronger. Still naive and hungry as he was when he was younger.

Gohan – Goku’s young son. Goku realizes that Gohan has strong potential but during an unfortunate incident, asks for Piccolo to train his son in fighting to protect people and the planet.

Piccolo – Still a rival to Goku but during these dire circumstances, the two form an alliance. Due to circumstances, Piccolo accepts Goku’s request to train Gohan.

Chichi – Goku’s wife, Gohan’s mother who is very strict. She does not want Gohan to be like his father and makes him study.

Bulma – A young woman/scientist who was the first to come across with Goku when he was younger. Her father is a scientist and owner of the Capsule Corporation. A technology that people can store vehicles, homes and storage into a tiny capsule. When thrown, the capsule turns into the actual object that was stored. She’s rather impulsive and outspoken.

Oolong – A pig who has a fascination with women’s panties. A perverted pig who once terrorized a village. Has the ability to transform to anything for five minutes. Attended a class with Puar in transforming but failed and never learned to stay in a object for more than five minutes. He joins Bulma and Goku in their mission to find the Dragon Balls.

Yamcha – A banded who is accompanied by his shape-shifting animal Puar. With his Wolf’s Fang Fist fighting ability, it was not strong enough to beat Goku and thus he ends up assisting both Goku and Bulma along the way in order to get the Dragon Balls.

Krillin – A former monk who has been bullied by his other monks. He goes to Kamesama-sen’nin for training and trains alongside Goku and the two eventually become best friends.

Kamesama-sen’nin – An old lecherous man who trained Grandpa Gohan and the Ox King to fight. Despite looking like an old man, he has a tremendous fighting ability and is known for his devastating attack known as the Kamehameha. He then takes Goku and Krillin as his students.

Yajirobe – A clumsy, lazy overweight samurai.

Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu – Former rivals of Goku for the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament and now his good friends.

Kaiosama – One of the Kings who trains Goku on how to fight with gravity ten times greater than Earth at Kaio’s world.

The main enemies:

Vegeta – The Prince of Saiyan and the most powerful Saiyajin of them all.  Comes to Earth in order to destroy it but wants to fight the strongest of the planet.

Nappa – Sidekick of Vegeta and tremendously strong.


For any fan of “Dragon Ball”, The Saiyan Arc was the beginning of major changes within the series.

Many familiar with the anime first, well call the arc the beginning of “Dragon Ball Z”, while manga purists will see “Dragon Ball Full Color 2” as the continuation of the “Dragon Ball” series.

While for some people who are new to the series may be introduced to the “Dragon Ball” world with the release of “Dragon Ball Full Color 2”, I rather not spoil the storyline but it pretty much features a major battle between Nappa vs. the Z Warriors, as the group tries to fight the Saiyans in hopes that Goku would arrive in time.

But can Goku arrive in time before anyone is killed?

And of course, the final chapter sets up the first battle between Goku and Vegeta, which will lead to an exciting “Dragon Ball Full Color 3: Saiyan Arc”!

The big question that will be asked by many “Dragon Ball” fans is if it’s worth purchasing, if one already owns all the manga. It’s important to note that in Japan, they only released two arcs in color (in print format), the Saiyan Arc and the Namec Arc. Second, “Dragon Ball Full Color” is not the same size of a manga graphic novel, it’s more of the size of an American trade paperback, so it’s quite large in size.

As a “Dragon Ball” fan, for me it’s worth it for the colorized version of the manga series but while hardcore “Dragon Ball” fans will most likely purchase it for their collections, those who own the complete manga series may not need to splurge unless they want to read the Saiyan Arc in full color.

This will no doubt a major appeal for American comic book fans who are used to purchasing trade paperbacks and typically don’t buy manga because they love comic book stories featured in full color.

Overall, “Dragon Ball Full Color” is a trade paperback format featuring “Dragon Ball” manga vol. 18 and part of vol. 19 in full color and also the start of what anime fans know as “Dragon Ball Z”. If you are interested or have been wanting to read “Dragon Ball” in full color, then “Dragon Ball Full Color 2: Saiyan Arc” is recommended!

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