Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4 by Akira Toriyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 17, 2014 by  


A major character death, the next martial arts tournament and the introduction to King Piccolo, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4” 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. 4

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)



RATED: T for Teen

Available on March 4, 2014

The next Tenka’ichi Budokai martial art tournament is just around the corner, and an eager Son Goku can’t wait to face even tougher fighters for the “Strongest Under the Heavens” title! Among the contestants are pipsqueak Chaozu and three-eyed Tenshinhan, deadly disciples of Tsuru-Sen’nin, the Crane Hermit!


As it turns out, Tsuru-Sen’nin is an old rival of Goku’s teacher Kame-sen’nin (also known as the Turtle hermit). What’s worse, Tsuru-Sen’nin orders Chaozu and Tenshinhan to kill the Kame-sen’nin disciples! Will crane style kung fu beat out turtle style? As these two martial arts schools duke it out in the tournament ring, things just might turn fatal!

Two years have passed and the search for the Dragon Balls continue as Goku must get a Dragon Ball from Emperor Pilaf, meanwhile it’s time again for the next Tenka’ichi Budokai martial arts tournament, where Yamcha must take on Tenshinhan and Krillin mus take on Chaozu.

As the martial arts tournament continues, Jackie Chun must take on a formidable rival, meanwhile Goku must take on his good friend.

Who is this King Piccolo and why is he sending his killer minion Tambourine to slaughter the most powerful martial arts fighters in the world?

Find out in the third omnibus of “Dragonball 3-in-1” which features volumes 10-12 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.

“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 Kamesama-sen’nin for training and trains alongside Goku and becomes a rival but also good friends with him.

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.

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.

Lord Yajirobe – A portly samurai

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.

Tsuru-Sen’nin – An old rival/friend of Kamesama Sen’in who trained under the same master but went towards a darker path.

Tenshinhan – A student of  Tsuru-Sen’nin and a dangerous martial arts fighter with three eyes.


Chaozu – A good friend of Tenshinhan and trains alongside with him.


King Piccolo – Escaping his prison, now Piccolo wants to destroy Earth piece by piece and kill all living things.  His minions include Tambourine, Cymbal, Drum and Piano.

For “Dragon Ball” fans, this fourth omnibus volume which contains vol. 10-12 is quite important as it features three characters that will play prominent in the future, Tenshinhan, Chaozu and Lord Yajirobe.

But as volume 10-11 features the latest martial arts tournament (two years later), volume 12 features a brand new threat as Emperor Pilaf and friends assist King Piccolo in finding the Dragon Balls.

But as Piccolo unleashes his minions to slaughter fighters all over the planet, one of Goku’s dearest friends is killed.

Now Goku wants revenge which will lead to the first encounter and battle between Goku vs. Piccolo!

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.

“Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4” is one of those must-read manga series for fans of Akira Toriyama and his work that is set around Goku and friends. The three volumes featured in this latest omnibus is action-packed, features a major character death but also the introduction to three major characters and Goku’s greatest adversary of “Dragon Ball” thus far.

But the cool thing about this omnibus is that fans will not have to spend the money for three graphic novels, you get three of them in one omnibus release for a great price, thus saving consumers quite a bit of money!

For those familiar with Akira Toriyama’s artwork, his style is enjoyable but it’s his story that many will find entertaining and so much fun!

Overall, 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. 4” is in their collection.

Action-packed, hilarious and so much fun, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4” is highly recommended!

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