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Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-10

If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=


MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017


Taichi Hiraga Keaton is a busy insurance investigator who yearns to make a living as an archaeologist. Just how long does he have to continue working as an investigator? Keaton is uncertain of his future, but he does know that a string of difficult cases awaits him!


A bar keeper’s son is killed.  Who is responsible?

A woman gets close to Keaton and wants him to pretend that he is her husband.  But why?

Someone is murdering people in a smuggling ring.  But what relationship do they have with the Nazis?

A young girl’s mother is getting married, but the mother thinks her daughter Alice is defective and not a proper young lady.  She hires Keaton to teach tutor her, but can Keaton get through to Alice?

What happens when Oliver Woodworth returns, wanting to become Keaton’s assistant?

And something sinister is going on in the mysterious Landberry Village in Wales.  Can Keaton and Detective Neville find out what is going on in the village?

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 10”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 10, you get a good number of diverse stories. From Keaton helping out the bar owner who’s estranged son was murdered.  Who was responsible?

Another story revolves around Oliver Woodworth coming back and leaving his father’s wealthy business to become Keaton’s assistant.  But Keaton tries to prevent Woodworth from being his assistant due to the danger of the job.

There is also an intriguing story that involves a smuggling ring with each of its members being killed.  With a link to the Nazi’s, Keaton must find out who is murdering members of the smuggling ring.

And another fascinating chapter involves Dr. Neville going to Landbery Village in Wales to find an escaped convict.  Neville finds Keaton also on the scene but something sinister is happening around the village.

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of cultures and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series available in the United States. And the good thing is you can pick up any volume and not really miss out on continuity because each chapter is a different case for series protagonist, Keaton.

If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

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Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 5 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-7

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States and the seventh volume is absolutely riveting. “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 7

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2016


Master Keaton volume 7 features art by Naoki Urasawa with story by Hokusei Katsushika and Naoki Urasawa.

When the wall that separated the East and West falls, the 20th century comes to an end and brings radical change to the world. During this turbulent time, Taichi Hiraga Keaton has difficulty finding a job in archaeology even though his long line of cases as an insurance investigator doesn’t seem to end. As he navigates through dangerous adventures, Keaton encounters some bittersweet lives…


Keaton investigates a man who disappeared.  Meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia, Keaton is carjacked by a man who is being followed by thugs including a Soviet soldier.

Meanwhile, why are people who touches the golden statue of the goddess Isis ending up dead?

Keaton investigates a case of British soldiers who have been murdered and their noses removed.  Also, Keaton gives a man a lesson about tapestries and learns from the man as well.

Also, a story in the perspective of a cat and dog from the canine unite.

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 7”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


 

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 7, you get a good number of diverse stories.  Some that are very deep, as British soldiers have been murdered and their noses removed.  All soldiers are part of a regiment, but can Keaton prevent any bloodshed?

Another story revolves around Keaton’s friends, one who falls for a woman, who may be more than meets the eye.  And another friend who has fallen for a woman in an area where he is working on an archaeological dig.

There is also action as Keaton finds a man who is on the run inside his car.  Keaton decides to help the man who has a group of thugs and a Soviet assassin after him.  Another storyline featuring a deadly member of the Camorra mafia going after another Detective, responsible for the death of the Detective’s wife and child.  Can Keaton help the detective before he is killed by the mafia?

You also have stories that are not necessarily about Keaton, involving a cat, another with a former police dog and also a boy who is trying to protect a friend who is under investigation for murder.

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of a culture and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States.

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 4 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-4

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States. “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=


MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 4

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2015


Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and an English noblewoman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth…

Taichi Hiraga Keaton’s dream is to devote his time to further studying archaeology. In reality, however, he is an ace investigator for the insurance organization Lloyd’s. A kindhearted man, Keaton has a life filled with danger and setbacks due to his job and calling.


Keaton investigates the deaths of two Romani and it leads him to a man named Mihael Farkas, who was sent four antique books about the “Pied Piper of Hamelin”.   But what is the significance of the books and why did they want it in Mihael’s possession?

Meanwhile, during a taxi ride, Keaton talks to the taxi driver from South Africa.  As they drive, they notice an accident with an African man who takes off running.  Why is he so intent of helping the man?

In another case, Keaton helps a woman who’s child has gone missing.  While in another, someone has been killing I.R.A. members, who is responsible?

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 4”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.


 

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 4, you will find deeper, well-written stories.  The first multi-chapter deals with the illustrations of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” and the death of 30,000 Romani by the Nazis.  Someone became a traitor and worked against their own people but someone is responsible for the deaths of the Romani and tried to use their deaths in order to gain profit.  Keaton and the one person who can find out the truth who killed his brother and the many Romani, but someone else wants them dead.

In one of the more touch stories in this fourth omnibus actually involves Keaton’s daughter Yuriko, as we learn about her teacher and his deceased son.  And the regrets he has as a father.

Another story is more about mental health and a psychological storyline involving a young woman who claims her daughter has been kidnapped.

Another storyline deals with faith in God, after a man had lost his faith.

One of the deeper storylines revolves around the I.R.A. and the death of its members.  Who is responsible for the murders?

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of a culture and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America.  It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series to come out in the United States.

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

masterkeaton-1

An exciting, smartly written manga series…”Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC

RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2014

Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and a noble English woman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth…

When a life insurance policy worth one million pounds takes Master Keaton to the Dodecanese islands of Greece, what will he discover amidst his scuffles with bloodthirsty thieves and assassins?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters.  In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton.  Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott.  While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise.  Sometimes the job can be very dangerous.  But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces.  Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny.   And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny.  But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In one chapter, Keaton is sent to Greece as an insurance investigator and he is to help a widow who’s husband has mysteriously died.  But why are other men trying to pursue her?

Another chapter features Keaton working with ethnic cavalrymen in Far west China, but when a group of archaeologist desecrate tribal land, Keaton and the men are left in the desert to die.  How will Keaton save the day?

While another chapter features Keaton trying to help an elderly woman he meets on the train.  But the woman turns out to be someone who has been wanted by German authorities for her underground activism during the separation of Germany.

And we get a riveting chapter which helps explain why Taichi Hiraga-Keaton is known as “Master Keaton”.

Often there are lighthearted chapters that feature Keaton’s daughter and his father.  In one chapter with his father, Keaton is sent by his father to help a woman, who may be his father’s illegitimate daughter?  In another chapter, his daughter is trying to get both her father and her grandfather to admit they are similar and are still in love with the women they divorced.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hkokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America and I can’t wait to read volume 2!

“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 6 by Akira Toriyama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

September 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

dragonball-omn-6

The sixth omnibus features the battle between Goku vs. Piccolo at the martial arts tournament.  Also, features the beginning of the Saiyan Arc as Goku and the Z Warriors take on Raditz and Vegeta!  An action-packed and popular storyline of the “Dragonball” series, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus” vol. 6 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. 6

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on September 2, 2014

The Greatest Hero on Earth Goku and Piccolo finally face each other down in the final match of the Tenka’ichi Budokai! Piccolo is ready and willing to unleash all his power to win – something Goku may hesitate to do. Taking down Piccolo is going to take all of Goku’s skill and wits… and courage! But after the tournament is over, life goes on. There will be new enemies to face and even more surprising new allies!

With volume 6 of “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus”, it marks the conclusion of the “Dragon Ball” arc as Goku finally takes on Piccolo in the Tenka’ichi Budokai martial arts tournament and it begins the first “Saiyan Arc” which many people know as the beginning of “Dragon Ball Z”.

All in volumes 16-18 featured in “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus Vol. 6”!

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:

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.

Raditz – Goku’s older brother who is so upset that Goku has not destroyed the planet Earth and now set on killing him.

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.

“Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Omnibus” vol. 6 is the conclusion to the “Dragon Ball” Goku vs. Piccolo arc.  As the manga series culminated into a battle between these two rivals, it would usher in a new beginning to a series known as “Dragon Ball Z”.

Volume 16 features Goku vs. Piccolo at the Tenka’ichi Budokai martial arts tournament.  Who will become the victor?

For volumes 17-18, 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?

Will they succeed?

Suffice to say, this arc would prove to be popular as it would introduce us to Vegeta, a character who would have major part in the entire “Dragon Ball Z” series.

So, for those who want to read the story that first introduces Vegeta, then this is the volume to get.  Especially to know why Goku and Vegeta had this rivalry and essentially reading everything from the beginning without having to buy all three volumes and getting these stories for a great price!

“Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus” vol. 6 is highly recommended!

 

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

February 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

dragonball-omn-4

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)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

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

November 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

dragonball-omn-3

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. 3” is in their collection.  Action-packed, hilarious and so much fun, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 3” 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. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on December 3, 2013

You do not want to mess with the Red Ribbon Army. To get what they want, they’ll sic you with scary thugs, machine gunfire, and even torpedoes! Only Son Goku would think nothing of challenging this evil crime organization – anything to get back the one Dragon Ball his grandfather gave him. As the Red Ribbon Army closes in on Goku and his friends, Goku must face an array of opponents while preventing all seven Dragon Balls from falling into evil hands.

 

First, there’s cruel General Blue, who has a mysterious power up his sleeve. Then there’s master assassin Taopaipai, so strong that Goku’s blasts barely faze him. But neither of these opponents compare to the masked challenger Goku faces at Baba Uranai’s – he’ll give Goku the shock of his life!

The search for the Dragon Balls continue as Goku, Bulma and Kuririn try to get the Dragon Balls from General Blue.  But what happens when General Blue and the Red Ribbon Army invade Kame-Sen’Nin’s island?

And what happens when Goku who is pursuing General Blue end up in Penguin Village where Arale (from Akira Toriyama’s manga series “Dr. Slump”) and her friends all live.

Meanwhile Goku’s adventures will make him confront many other baddies including Captain Yellow, Commander Red, the mercenary Taopaipai and Commander Black.

But also Goku meets new friends including Arale and her family, he meets Korin on top of the Korin Tower where he must undergo training.

And what happens when the trip to find the seventh Dragon Ball brings Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Puar and Upu to the Fortune Teller Baba and must take on Fangs, the Mummy, Devil Man and a mysterious masked warrior.

Find out in the third omnibus of “Dragonball 3-in-1” which features volumes 7-9 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.

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 Taopaipai – 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.

So, far this latest omnibus volume of “Dragon Ball” is my favorite yet.

For “Dragon Ball” fans, volumes 7-9 are probably one of the most action-packed volumes so far as volume 7 features Goku taking on the Red Ribbon Army’s General and Captain, also the volume features Akira Toriyama bringing back Arale and friends from the “Dr. Slump” manga series for volume 7 as General Blue tries to kidnap Arale and threaten everyone.

Volume 8 features Goku’s first encounter with Korin (for “Dragon Ball Z” fans, he’s the cat that lives on top of Korin Tower) and also taking on the Taopaipai (known as Mercenary Tao in the English dubbed version of the anime series).

While volume 9 is a lot of fun as Goku, Krillin, Yamcha, Puar and Upu must join forces to take part in a competition in order to get Fortune Teller Baba to tell them where the seventh Dragon Ball is and must win the tournament.

But this tournament is not so easy as each fighter must defeat Fangs, Mummy, Devil Man and a mysterious Fifth Warrior.  Can they do it?

At the end of the third omnibus, included are the chapter artwork from the manga series created by Akira Toriyama, plus the fun “Ask Me Anything” in which Akira Toriyama answers letters from his fans of “Dragon Ball” plus author notes.

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.

“Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 3” 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!

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. 3” is in their collection.

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

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Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Omnibus Vol. 6: Volumes 16-18 by Hiromu Arakawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

fullmetalalchemist-omn-v6

Featuring an exciting sixth volume of “Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Omnibus” that features new characters, background stories on Hohenheim and Risa Hawkeye and more!  Definitely recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2002 Hiromu Arakawa/SQUARE ENIX. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1: Volumes 16-18

STORY AND ART BY: Hiromu Arakawa

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 12, 2013

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “”auto-mail”” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies…the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

Contains Volumes 16, 17 and 18! The Elric brothers head north to Fort Briggs in search of May Chang, whose Xing alchemy may contain the answers they seek. But as Ed and Al soon discover, the only thing less forgiving than Briggs’s weather is the regiment of hardened soldiers assigned to defend it. Matters grow even more complicated when Ed and Al get thrown in lockdown and the sadistic Kimblee arrives from Central with Winry as his hostage. But even Kimblee’s cruelty pales in comparison to the evil of the new homunculi watching from the shadows…

In Japan, “Fullmetal Alchemist” (Hagane no Renkinjutushi) is a popular long running anime and manga series created by mangaka Hiromu Arakawa. The original manga series was serialized in Square Enix’s “Shonen Gangan” since 2001, while the 51-episode TV series created by BONES was shown on television in 2004 followed by a manga faithful anime adaptation with “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” airing in 2009-2010.

The popularity of “Fullmetal Alchemist” has led to many novels, OVA’s, drama CD’s, soundtracks and video games and a lot of these releases have been distributed in various countries and its popularity is a testament of how people have come to love the series which has won many awards in Japan including being voted for the #1 most popular anime series of all time.

With the popularity of this franchise and its current Blu-ray and DVD release in the U.S., its no surprise that fans are wanting to read the manga version and what best way than to do it now with the release of Viz Media’s omnibus, “Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1” with the sixth volume to be released in Nov. 2013 featuring volumes 16-18.

“Fullmetal Alchemist” is a manga series about two young alchemist brothers named Edward and his younger brother Alphonse Elric (aka “Al”). Their father left them and several months after their father left, an epidemic hit their village and killed their mother. Grieving and alone without their mother, the two quickly tried to hone their alchemist skills and hope to bring their mother back alive by using a human transmutation (this is illegal and considered taboo by alchemist).

While performing the transmutation, a dark shadow comes and literally breaks apart the body of Alphonse and as for Edward, he is shown “the truth” but in return for doing the transmutation, there is a toll and in this case, he loses his legs and feet and his right arm. And the transmutation to bring their mother fails as Edward was only able to revive a disembodied figure. In a short time allowed before the dark shadow leaves, Edward was able to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor but there are some consequences. And these consequences and guilt have plunged Edward to the lowest he had ever been.

With this opportunity, this gives Edward a chance to repair what he did wrong and help his brother. But as they investigate on how they can get their bodies back and investigating what is known as a “Philosopher’s Stone”, an unknown group is out there, observing his every move and willing to kill in order to get to Edward.

Meanwhile, a military figure named Roy Mustang is assisting the Elric brothers by giving them opportunities to find the Philosopher’s Stone but to do that, the two will be part of the military. For the Elric brothers, working together is a good idea as they hope the stone may give Edward a chance to bring his brother Al back to life and also get back his own body as well.

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is a series about two young alchemist brothers named Edward and his younger brother Alphonse Eric (aka “Al”). Their father left them and several months after their father left, an epidemic hit their village and killed their mother. Grieving and alone without their mother, the two quickly tried to hone their alchemist skills and hope to bring their mother back alive by using a human transmutation (this is illegal and considered taboo by alchemist).

While performing the transmutation, a dark shadow comes and literally breaks apart the body of Alphonse and as for Edward, he is shown “the truth” but in return for doing the transmutation, there is a toll and in this case, he loses his legs and feet and his right arm. And the transmutation to bring their mother fails as Edward was only able to revive a disembodied figure. In a short time allowed before the dark shadow leaves, Edward was able to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor but there are some consequences. And these consequences and guilt have plunged Edward to the lowest he had ever been.

Meanwhile, a military figure named Roy Mustang has come and is shocked to see that Edward was able to survive a human transmutation and also anchoring his brother’s soul and thus gives Edward a chance to join the military to fight with them but at the same time, gaining access that may give Edward a chance to bring his brother back to life and also his own body as well.

With this opportunity, this gives Edward a chance to repair what he did wrong and help his brother. But as they investigate on how they can get their bodies back and investigating what is known as a “Philosopher’s Stone”, an unknown group is out there, observing his every move and willing to kill in order to get to Edward.

So far, we have learned that Bradley is a homunculus and that the homunculus may have infiltrated the State Military.

Ed and Al continue their search of how to get their bodies back but meanwhile, Scar tries to find out the truth of why the Ishvalans were massacred.  Meanwhile, Ed and Al find themselves in the North needing Olivier’s help but can they divulge the information about Bradley, the Fuhrer is a homunculus?  Meanwhile, Ed and Al find themselves teaming up with the people they have been against.

In vol. 6 of “Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Omnibus” which features vol. 16-18, Ed and Al plan to head up North in order to find May and on their way, they meet Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong.

Meanwhile, as Scar and Marcoh try to leave town, they are being pursued by Solf J. Kimblee, the Red Lotus Alchemist and a battle ensues.

The next volume (17), Sloth finds a way to Briggs and Olivier and her men try to stop the homunculus.  Meanwhile, Hohenheim reminisces on the day he left his family and why he did it.

And in vol. 18, Winree goes to repair Ed’s arm in Briggs, back at home, Riza finds out that Bradley’s son Selim is the first homunculus known as Pride.  Scar vs. two chimeras named Jerso and Zampano.

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” features the following characters:

  • Edward Elric – The oldest of the Elric brothers who manage to survive a transmutation and managed to bond his brother to a suit of armor just in time. In the process, he lost his legs and his right arm in which his childhood friend Winry has created metal prosthetics known as “automail”. He is also quite short but also very destructive as he is skillful with alchemy and the fact he survived a transmutation shocks the military. Working as a State Alchemist in order to find a way to bring his brother’s body back and possibly getting his own body back.
  • Alphonse Elric – Al is the youngest brother of Edward who was bonded to a suit of armor. Almost invulnerable and very strong. Often mistaken as the eldest because of his size.
  • Roy Mustang – The Lt. Colonel of the State Military who wants to become the next Fuhrer of Amestris. He is the one who discovered Edward and Alphonse.
  • Winry Rockbell – A childhood friend of Edward and Alphonse. She is also very gifted in technical and mechanical things. Often is the person who repairs Edward’s automail (metal prosthetic limbs). And always arguing with Edward, but its quite obvious that she cares about him.
  • Alex Louis Armstrong – A strong arm alchemist who is extremely strong and hulking in size but also very sensitive.
  • Izumi Curtis – The teacher of Ed and Alphonse Eric who helped them hone their alchemy right after their mother died.
  • Maes Hughes – An old friend of Roy Mustang’s who tries to help him with his goal to become a Fuhrer. He works in military intelligence and has a loving wife and young daughter. A family man, he lets Winry stay with them when she is in town.
  • King Bradley – The head of the State Military and King of Amestris who has a major secret.
  • Riza Hawkeye – Roy Mustang’s most trusted subordinate. The voice of reason and excellent in using firearms.
  • Jean Havoc – One of Roy Mustang’s subordinates who is exceptionally trained in firearms.
  • Lin Yao – A prince of Xing who is trying to find ways of immortality in order to prepare for his goal as Xing’s future emperor. An excellent swordsman.
  • Lan Fan – Lin Yao’s bodyguard and a skilled fighter willing to protect her boss at all costs.
  • May Chang – A young princess of Xing who goes to Amestris with her panda Xiao Mei. She has the power to heal and also manipulate energy.
  • Olivier Mira Armstrong – The older sister of Alex Louis Armstrong who leads the Brigs Fortress and protects the country from Drachma.  She is cold, distrusts people and inpatient.  She believes in “Survival of the fittest”.
  • Miles – A man who is quarter Ishvalan and wants to change the country’s perception towards Ishval.
  • Buccaneer – A  huge man who has two different pieces of automail (the latest type of automail which makes Winry so excited when she is around him).

The Homunculi

The main antagonists which consist of artificial humans who are trying to create the philosopher’s stone and has become a major thorn in the military’s side. They are hard to defeat as they can regenerate.

  • Father – The main antagonist who is the creator of all homunculi.  For some reason, he looks like Hohenheim and has interest in Ed and Al.
  • Lust – A homunculi who is a sexy woman who can use her fingers to become weapons and grow to larger lengths and cut through anything.
  • Gluttony – A homunculi who likes to eat people or anything. He has powerful jaws with acidic saliva.
  • Envy – A homunculi who can assume any appearance and makes him infiltrate the military HQ quite easily and is known to create and instigate major problems.
  • Greed – A homunculi that craves money, women and worldy possessions.  After being killed by Wrath, Lin Yao who is searching for immortality wants to become the new Greed.
  • Sloth – A large muscular man who has great speed and strength for his size.  He has been digging beneath Amestris and ends up inside the Briggs Fortress.
  • Pride – A homunculus using the body of Selim Bradley, the adoptive son of King Bradley, He uses his shadows to kill.

“Fullmetal Alchemist” is no doubt a popular manga series and because so many people were introduced to anime and manga because of “Fullmetal Alchemist”, with the release of “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, many fans are wanting to know how the original manga series were.

And fortunately, Viz Media has done a great service to fans of popular series “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “Fullmetal Alchemist” by releasing these omnibus featuring three volumes per graphic novel for a low price!

And as the suspense continues with Roy Mustang trying to uncover more details of the homunculus infiltration into the military, one character that we are introduced to, that was an interesting addition to the series is Olivier Mira Armstrong, older sister of Alex Louis Armstrong and if you thought Alex was tough,  his sister Olivier is not just tough, she’s a no-nonsense, impatient, cold, kick-ass character!

The Briggs storyline was actually fun to watch, despite Ed and Al being limited as Olivier and the others don’t quite trust them (as the two have to hold back information from Olivier). Another storyline which I found very cool in this latest volume of “Fullmetal Alchemist” is more character development for Hohenheim, Riza Hawkeye, and others.

One thing that those who are new to the series can expect from “Fullmetal Alchemist” is that the storyline delivers in action and drama but also, it features plenty of characters and also adventure, so you pretty much get a little bit of everything with this series.

Hiromu Arakawa’s artwork and writing are quite solid and its a testament that a series that is not long-running compared to “Naruto” or “Bleach” has achieved so much success in the USA but also has been released on Blu-ray, DVD, video games as well in America. Not bad for a manga series that is 27 volumes long! In fact, that’s fantastic!

But if you have been wanting to jump in and read the manga series, it’s a great time to do that now, especially through the release of the 3-in-1 series. For its price and value, there is nothing to complain about. This is great deal for new and old “Fullmetal Alchemist” fans who have not read the manga series.

“Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Omnibus Vol. 6” features a good balance of humor and action and if you are a fan of the anime series, you definitely will want to read the manga version!  Highly recommended!

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

September 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

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

June 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Enjoyable, addicting and absolutely awesome!  This is the animated series that introduced Goku, Bulma, Krillin, Yamcha and friends.  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

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

STORY AND ART BY: Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

Available on June 4, 2013

Akira Toriyama’s groundbreaking, iconic, bestselling series now in an omnibus edition!

A seminal series from a legendary creator. Dragon Ball, a wry update on the Chinese “Monkey King” myth, introduces us to Son Goku, a young monkey-tailed boy whose quiet life is turned upside-down when he meets Bulma, a girl determined to collect the seven “Dragon Balls.” If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, and to get them she needs the help of a certain super-strong boy…

Legend has it that if all seven of the precious orbs called “Dragon Balls” are gathered together, an incredibly powerful dragon god will appear to grant one wish. Unfortunately, the orbs are scattered across the world, making them extremely difficult to collect. Enter 16-year-old Bulma, a scientific genius who has constructed a radar to detect the exact locations of the Dragon Balls. She’s on a mission to find all seven orbs, but first she must convince young Son Goku to join her on her quest. With a monkey tail, superhuman strength and a magic staff for a weapon, Son Goku is ready to set out on the adventure of a lifetime…

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 is “Dragon Ball”?

“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.

In the second volume, 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?

Find out in the first omnibus volume of “Dragon Ball”!

 “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.

Lunch – A woman that Master Roshi likes and when normal, she’s a regular, innocent girl.  But when she sneezes, she becomes a whole new different woman with a bad attitude.

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.

Enjoyable, addicting and absolutely awesome!

That’s how I felt after reading the first three volumes of “Dragon Ball”.

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.  It was great seeing how awesome of a fighter Kame-Sen’Nin was back then and just seeing how the story evolved pre-Dragon Ball Z.   Seeing how Goku learned the Kamehameha and also, to see Bulma and Yamcha during their younger years and how the two were somewhat of an item during their earlier years is quite fascinating.

Although “Dragon Ball” is not as intense or tragic when compared to “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.

The third volume pretty much sets the story up for Goku and Krillin as they take part in their first fighting tournament (which becomes an important part of the “Dragon Ball Z” series) for vol. 4 (which will be featured in “Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2”).

Overall, “Dragonball 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 1” 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 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. 1” is in their collection.

Highly recommended!

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