Dragon Ball, Vol. 3 (VIZBIG Edition) Paperback – Mar 3 2009
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About the Author
Renowned worldwide for his playful, innovative storytelling and humorous, distinctive art style, Akira Toriyama burst onto the manga scene in 1980 with the wildly popular /Dr. Slump/ and followed that with his hit series /Dragon Ball/. He is also known for his design work on video games such as /Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Tobal No. 1/ and, most recently, /Blue Dragon/. His recent manga works include /COWA!, Kajika, Sand Land, Neko Majin/ and a children’s book, /Toccio the Angel/. He lives with his family in Japan.
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Who's Lunch? This braindead woman who changes from Jekyll to Hyde when she sneezes and is essentially a bimbo. I wonder how long it took Akira Toriyama to think up the names of these characters - Lunch?! What, it took him a microsecond to come up with that? And why does she go along with everything like, oh being abducted and taken to an island and made to wear lingerie and cook - doesn't she have a life/character of her own?
Kame-Sen'in's lechery is getting really annoying - I'm sure it's supposed to be funny but I kinda hate the character at this point.
Other than that, it's another great volume in the series. The training sequences are pretty fun as Goku and Kuririn go from rivals to besties, and it pays off when they reach the Strongest Under the Heavens tournament and we see these two tiny kids beat the crap out of giant opponents! Plus we see them put on the classic orange outfits for the first time (though the comic is in black and white, you've probably see colour versions of the characters elsewhere).
With Yamcha, Bulma, Pu'ar and Oolong showing up to watch, the series is really filling out with an interesting cast. And I love the craziness of this world where T-Rexs chase Goku and Kuririn on their milk rounds and houses come in capsules!
The book ends just after the first fight of the tournament with Son Goku yet to spar, and probably win, so make sure you've got the next couple books to hand so you can jump right into the action without having to wait! Dragon Ball Vol 3 has a few bits here and there I didn't like with Kame-Sen'in and Lunch but it's still a fantastic book that fans of the series will devour in no time!
The only caveat is, obviously, that the VIZBIG books are quite bulky: there could be more risk of damage from shipping and the books will fill a lot of space in your backpack if your planning to take them with you anywhere. Also, they're quite heavy and could make reading unconfortable: I read them while lying down on my bed, so I put a pillow over my belly to support the book while reading, otherwise my wrists would hurt after a while from the weight of the book. I also read them while riding the subway and it was quite difficult (definitely no stand-up reading), but I managed. Even with these nuances, I still think the books deserve 5 stars: the printing and binding (very important for such heavy books) are top-notch.
Some people complain about the translation because apparently it uses too much childish jargon, but I didn't find it annoying at all. Maybe there are better options for sociolinguistic register, but I can't really vouch for that, as my Japanese is not good enough to read the original manga. For the same reason, I can't confirm if the Viz edition really got censored (I went online for a quick check of some fan scanlations, but couldn't tell if there are actually redrawn panels).
Of course, if you're a collector, you might aim for the original tankoubon. Well, that task may prove a bit difficult, as, apparently, Viz is realeasing sort of a new edition of the tankoubon. I haven't confirmed this, but if it's true, soon the 1st edition volumes (the red ones for Dragon Ball -the kanzenban are yellow- and white ones for Dragon Ball Z -the kanzenban are red-) will be rare items soaring through the skies.
In all, I really think this was a very nice investment. I don regret it in the least and I actually recommend it strongly.