Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2 by Akira Toriyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

September 1, 2013 by  

Enjoyable, addicting and absolutely awesome! The second omnibus volume features the conclusion of the World’s Martial Arts Tournament and begins the Red Ribbon Army Arc. For fans of “Dragon Ball Z” or Akira Toriyama’s works, the original “Dragon Ball” manga series is highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 1984 by Bird Studio.  All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)



RATED: T for Teen

Available on September 3, 2013

Son Goku has made it to the Tenka’ichi Budo-kai, the world’s number-one martial arts tournament, where the competitors vie for the title of “Strongest Under the Heavens.” Goku may have strength on his side, but even the training of martial arts master Kame-Sen’nin hasn’t prepared him for what he’s about to face.

Only seven finalists remain, each with their own special moves. Will the champion be Goku? His fellow student Kuririn? Yamcha, the master of “Fist of the Wolf Fang”? Fighting woman Ran Fuan? Giran, a rubbery monster who’s part dinosaur? Namu, an Indian mystic? Or Jackie Chun, the mysterious old man who may be the toughest fighter of all?

Goku and Kuririn (along with Kame-Sen’nin’ disguised as Jackie Chun) take part in the Tenka’ichi Budo-kai, the martial arts tournament in which competitors from all over the globe try to show they are the #1 martial arts fighter.

As Goku takes on Giran, Kuririn must take on Jackie Chun.  Who will make it into the World Martial Arts Tournament final?

Find out in the second omnibus of “Dragonball 3-in-1” which features volumes 4-6 of the best-selling manga series from Akira Toriyama!

What is “Dragon Ball”?

It’s the series that started it all… “Dragon Ball”. Originally, a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama for “Shonen Jump”, the manga 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 in America but for the first time, in June 2013, the series will be released as an omnibus (featuring three volumes each).

For Akira Toriyama fans, while not a necessity, one may want to start out with the manga series “Dr. Slump” (as a few characters do show up in “Dragon Ball”), but for those familiar with “Dragon Ball Z”, it’s recommended to read or watch the original “Dragon Ball” series.

What happened in Vol. 1 so far?

“Dragon Ball” focuses on Son Goku, a boy who is not familiar with any humans but his Grandpa Gohan. One day, a teenage girl named Bulma uses her Dragon Ball radar to track down a Dragon Ball belonging to Goku. Goku explains to her that he never seen any female humans before but his grandfather taught him to be nice to them. He also explains that the Dragon Ball he has was given to him as a gift by his grandfather.

Bulma who has accumulated a few Dragon Balls herself wants to find the remaining Dragon Balls in order to have a single wish granted by Shenlong the Dragon God.

Bulma tricks Goku to join her on her quest to help her find the Dragon Balls and the two end up saving a turtle and meeting Kame-Sen’Nin, the Turtle Hermit. As the two go on their way to find the next Dragon Ball, each village they visit, they find other troublemakers. In one area, they come across a pig named “Oolong the Terrible” who joins Bulma and Goku. But watching them is a guy named Yamcha and his friend Pu’Ar.

As the three look for the next Dragon Ball, the find themselves inside the home of the Great Ox-King, a former student of Goku’s grandpa Gohan. Ox-King needs their help to calm down the Fire Mountain.

And to do that, Goku must undergo training from Kame-Sen’Nin and learn how to unleash the “Kamehameha”!

The next adventure features Bulma, Goku and Oolong visiting another village and confronting a troublesome rabbit who turns Bulma into a carrot. Goku must save Bulma by defeating the rabbit. Meanwhile, unaware that Emperor Pilaf has sent Shu and Mai to steal the Dragon Balls that Bulma has acquired. In order to get them back, they trio receive some help from Yamcha and Pu’Ar. But they realize that something happens to Goku when he sees a full moon!

In the third volume, Goku heads back to Kame-Sen’Nin to undergo training and he meets his rival/training partner Krillin for the very first time. Meanwhile, they meet a woman named Lunch who has a secret. To further their training, Kame-Sen’Nin decides to enroll the two in the Ultimate Martial Arts Tournament. But are the two boys ready to take on the adults in the tournament?

In volume 2 of “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus” which features graphic novels 4-6,

Volume four kicks off with the World’s Martial Arts Tournament as Goku and Kuririn advance.

But while Goku is fighting the beast dragon known as Giran, a new tail comes out and it makes his team fear for the worst and hoping that a full moon is not happening that night.

In volume 5, it’s the finals as Goku takes on Jackie Chun.  But the worst that can happen, happens during the tournament as the full moon comes out during their battle.  Also, the volume features the Red Ribbon Army arc as Goku goes out to look for the four-star dragon ball that his grandfather gave him, he runs into Colonel Silver of the Red Ribbon Army, who are after the Dragon Balls.

The Red Ribbon Army pursues Goku around the world and this time Goku ends up in a village to find the second Dragon Ball located in Muscle Tower and must take on Major Metallitron.

In volume 6, Goku makes it to level four of the Muscle Tower and must take on the ninja, Sgt. Major Purple.  But what happens when he finds Mechanical Man No. 8.  Meanwhile, Goku takes on General White.

With the Red Ribbon Army taking things to an extreme, Goku goes to his friends for some help in finding the remaining Dragon Balls.

“Dragon Ball” focuses on the following characters:

Son Goku – Not much is known about Goku’s past. He was found by a man he calls Grandpa Gohan and trained to be a boy who loves nature and people. And has incredible strength and fighting ability. He was warned by his grandfather to never look at the moon but one day he did and turned into a giant ape and accidentally killed his grandfather. Although not too familiar with humans, he meets a female named Bulma for the first time who is trying to look for Dragon Balls. Having own the #4 Dragon Ball which his grandfather gave him, he decides to join her on a quest to find the remaining Dragon Balls (seven total).

Bulma – A teenager who’s 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. Her dream is to find the Dragon Balls and make a wish in order to get a perfect boyfriend.

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 Kamisama-sen for training and trains alongside Goku and becomes a rival but also good friends with him.

Kamisama-sen – 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.

Other Characters:

Puar – A shape shifting animal who can shape-shift for a long period of time and hangs around Yamcha.

The Ox-King – Many fear the Ox-King who rules Fire Mountain and is the father of Chi Chi.  Aside from his brute strength, this huge man is a goodhearted guy who just hated people for trying to steal from him.  He also cares deeply about his daughter and does everything to make her happy.

Chi Chi – A girl who is smitten with Goku and wants to marry him.  The daughter of the Ox-King.

Suno – A kindhearted girl who helps Goku after his plane crashes in the Jingle Vilage.

Mechanical Man No. 8 – Ninja Murasaki wants Mechanical Man No. 8 to destroy Goku but since he is against violence, he ends up helping Goku find the missing Dragon Ball.  Known for his super-strength and his Frankenstein appearance. (Note: In translations for the anime, one will notice they use “android”, while in the Viz manga, he is referred to as “Mechanical Man”.

The Villains:

Emperor Pilaf – The main antagonist of Bulma and Goku who is trying to collect all the Dragon Balls.  He calls himself the emperor and expects Shu and Mai to find the Dragon Balls.

Shu – A ninja fox who works for Emperor Pilaf.  Tends to be a bit misunderstood and clumsy.

Mai – The gun-toting henchman for Emperor Pilaf.

Colonel Silver – The ruthless high-ranking official of the Red Ribbon Army who will squash anyone in his way in order to find the Dragon Balls.

Red Ribbon Army – Not much is known about the Red Ribbon Army but they are ruthless and will do anything to obtain the Dragon Balls.  The Red Ribbon Army is led by Commander Red who sends out this generals to go after the Dragon Balls.

Sgt. Major Purple – A ninja serving the Red Ribbon Army in Muscle Tower.

Officer Black – Commander Red’s right hand man.

General White – The leader of the Red Ribbon Army’s northern forces and threatens the peaceful Jingle Village.

General Blue – The strongest general of the Red Ribbon Army and very arrogant.

Mercenary Tao – The powerful mercenary who charges an exuberant fee to his clients but because he’s known for his strength and ability that surpasses anyone the Red Army has seen, he is a major force to be reckon with.

Enjoyable, addicting and absolutely awesome!

That’s how I felt after reading the second omnibus of “Dragon Ball” as it kicks off with the conclusion of the World’s Martial Arts Tournament and features Goku going ape with another full moon during the tournament.

Meanwhile the second half focuses on the race to find the Dragon Balls as Goku must take on various enemies of the Red Ribbon Army.  And this arc alone features so many one-on-one battles as Goku must take on various chain of command as the fight for the Dragon Balls escalates.

The fifth and sixth graphic novel volume in the omnibus alone features so many characters (many antagonists) but it’s definitely one of the more exciting adventure/action arcs in the “Dragon Ball” series.  But for the fourth volume, it gives people a chance to see the power of Kame-Sen’Nin, disguised as Jackie Chun.  And showing that despite his age, he can fight!

And for fans of any of the “Dragon Ball” series, especially for fans of “Dragon Ball Z”, the original manga series is recommended reading for those who want to know the origins of Goku or even Bulma, Yamcha, Krillin or Kame-Sen’Nin.

Also, to read this series once again, not only was it a nostalgic for me, it was just great to read and remember how much fun, humorous and action-packed these volumes were.

Although “Dragon Ball” is not as intense or as tragic like “Dragon Ball Z”, the series still manages to capture a lot of action and although this is Goku when he was much, much younger, even then, he was no slouch and had very good fighting ability. And there was more emphasis on the storyline over action and for the most part, the adventures of Goku and friends is just a lot of fun to read.

Overall, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2” is one of those must-read manga series for fans of Akira Toriyama and his work that is set around Goku and friends. Also, without having to spend the money for three graphic novels, you get three of them in one omnibus release, thus saving consumers quite a bit of money!

Fans of any of the “Dragon Ball” anime series or those who have never read the manga series will definitely want to make sure “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2” is in their collection.

Highly recommended!

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