|| Dragon Ball Manga Volume #7.
_Dragon Ball_ #7: Akira Toriyama developed this series, in the
tradition of his well-known (in Japan, anyway,) Dr. Slump. The sex and
toilet humor was toned down a bit in Dragon Ball, but it still has more
than its share of silly, etchie jokes and characters talking directly to
the reader. The first few volumes emphasized the old Monkey King legend
references very heavily, which continues to a lesser extent later on.
Most notably: Son Gokuu (name of both main characters,) Gokuu's
expanding staff, the tail (and Gokuu's tendency to turn into a
were-monkey when he sees the full moon,) the flying cloud, etc. There
are currently 34 volumes, and the series will probably continue to appear
in the weekly magazine, Shonen Jump, for a long time.
[fa:vxxx -- First Appears in Volume xxx.]
Yellow Taisa: RR's remaining commander, in charge of the western
regions. The only non-human commander (drawn as a tiger.)
Tao-pie pie: The Chinese kung-fu master with a braided pony-tail, and
the words "kill you" on the back of his jacket. One of
Gokuu's most formidable foes, and one of the few that
repeatedly shows up in later episodes after he's been killed
off. Favorite mode of transport is to chop down a tree,
throw it, and then leap on it to fly away. [fa:v8,
although is mentioned several times in volume 7.]
Bora: The huge American Indian that guards the land beneath a
certain tall tower. [fa:v7] His son is named Upa.
Fighting Styles and attacks:
Janken -- actually the Japanese name for "scissors/paper/stone."
Gokuu punches (stone) and the proper counter is a block (paper.)
Kamehame-ha -- A power blast. Originally, Kamesennin was the only one
that could do this, after 50 years of training. Gokuu picked it
up just by watching. (Kame means "turtle".) Jackie Chun is the
third person to have been seen using this attack. Later on, a
number of other characters start using it.
One Pattern -- A fake, where the attacker moves so fast that an
after-image is left behind. Gokuu has been able to leave three
images of himself. First used by Jackie Chun.
Dragon Ball -- The 7 mystical balls that, once brought together, will
summon the great Dragon God. This god will grant one wish before
departing, and causing the balls to fly apart to different
locations across the world.
Dragon Radar -- The device Buruma built to help locate the Balls. She
gives the Radar to Gokuu after the Tenkaichi-budoukai.
Tenkaichi-budoukai -- The big battle that establishes the strongest
fighter in the world, at any given time. Usually has a cash
Zenii -- What passes for money in this world. The symbol is a backwards
Red Ribbon -- The evil organization that spans the globe. Originally
headed by Red Sousui, who is later killed. Very interested in
obtaining the Dragon Balls for their own use.
Penguin Village -- This is the home for all of the characters from Dr.
Slump. Gokuu chases Blue Shogun into Penguin village in volume 7.
It's a lot funnier if you are already familiar with that manga.
[Note: The inside flap has a picture of Toriyama wearing sunglasses
and a mask over his mouth, holding a baby who also has a mask and
The leader of B Team is on Kamesennin's island, and demanding the
Dragon Balls from "the doctor." One of the guards goes inside the
house, but only finds Ranchi. Kamesennin didn't know that Buruma had
forgotten the balls on the island. Since he's going to be killed after
handing over the Balls, the old man decides to fight. After trashing
most of the men, one remaining guard takes Ranchi hostage. But,
Kamesennin's turtle holds a branch under her nose, Ranchi sneezes,
and... Kushami takes umbrage at having been called a "shit-woman" --
kicking the fallen man, spitting on him, and giving him the finger. The
last remaining soldier is seen trying to escape, and quickly agrees to
remove the fallen bodies from the island.
Meanwhile, in the undersea tunnels, Gokuu and friends surface in a
cave and run down a corridor. Blue Shogun gets a radio message saying
that B Team has been wiped out. Gokuu wants to know why they're running
from RR, and turns to make a stand (Kuririn and Buruma want to kee
running, since the soldiers have machine guns.) However, Blue Shogun
calls his men back, telling them that B Team had been defeated by one
old man and a girl. Gokuu doesn't understand why no one wants to fight
him. Buruma tells him to keep moving. But, the tunnel gets dark, until
Gokuu finds a light switch. This makes everyone wonder who had been in
these tunnels before them.
Buruma is puzzling this out, when Gokuu surprizes her by wearing a
skull he'd found from a nearby corpse. Blue sends one of his men out to
spy on the heroes, and Kuririn realizes that this place had been the
hideout of an infamous band of pirates, and that there's probably a
treasure chest down here somewhere. The spy radios this information
back, and Blue considers the possibility of getting the Dragon Ball,
Radar AND fabulous wealth. Kuririn leads the way, and ignores the
strangeness of the corridor he's approaching. Until he steps on a
switch that fires a spear right over his head. The only way across is
to jump over the switches, which Gokuu demonstrates. Kuririn is still
portrayed as a buffoon, and does almost make it past the switches before
triggering another spear. Both boys growse about Buruma's inability to
make the leap herself, and Gokuu has to use his bo to carry her over.
Blue catches up to his spy, who says that the group is right around
the corner. Blue decides to surprise the heroes, and orders his men to
rush them. He's counting his treasure already, but is interrupted by
the cries of pain from his men. They'd triggered the traps, and one
corpse helpfully states that A Team has been completely wiped out. Blue
reasons that the pirates would have a way to bypass the trap, and finds
a secret button that reveals another passage way.
Gokuu and company happen into the submarine docking bay, and marvel
over the size of the equipment, before Gokuu notices a sound. Blue
thinks that he's been discovered, but the boy states that the intruder
isn't human. They're attacked by a guard robot that Buruma thinks is a
ghost, until Kuririn corrects her. They fight the guard, then Gokuu
states that he'll take care of it while Kuririn takes Buruma away from
the dangerous bullets. Blue chases after the two, and Gokuu kicks the
robot into the water. He's pulled in by the robot's tail, and given a
painful shock before he breaks the tail off. Swimming out ahead of the
robot, Gokuu uses his bo to get some altitude, then leaps down for a
Janken punch. The robot is destroyed, Gokuu says "Peace, peace, peace,"
in victory. He then races after the others.
Kuririn notices that the island is starting to tremble. They reach a
t-corridor, and decide to take the right turn because the Radar
indicates that's where the Ball is. Blue shuffs out the arrow Kuririn
puts on the floor, and makes a new arrow pointing left. Gokuu comes up,
sees the arrow, and runs off in the wrong direction while Blue watches.
The earthquakes are getting stronger (probably caused by the explosion
of the robot,) and the two stop at a dead end. Their only choice is to
strip down and go swimming. Blue isn't very happy with the idea of
getting wet, but he continues to follow them. Gokuu's deadend contains
a trapdoor that drops him on what he thinks is a big cuttlefish. The
octopus corrects him, stating that it's been a long time since it's been
fed. Gokuu wants to keep moving, but the octopus grabs him and softens
him up by hitting him against the wall a few times. Then, Gokuu weakly
says that he'd like to give the octopus a "fun thing." It wants to know
what the fun thing is, and the boy says, "kamehame-ha." The octopus
doesn't understand, but is quickly blasted.
Kuririn and Buruma surface in another grotto, near the treasure
chest. But, they don't have time to marvel at the contents before Blue
claims it for Red Ribbon. Buruma falls for the hunk, and quickly learns
that he's a fag, and he tells them not to call him that. Kuririn
expects a quick fight, and waits to Blue to attack.
Gokuu decides that it really was takoyaki (grilled octpus) and has a
snack break. He hears a scream, that could be Buruma or Kuririn, and
(after Kuririn gets beaten up a little more,) decides to investigate
the source of the second scream. Buruma tells the runt to quickly
finish off Blue, so he uses "one pattern" to fool Blue and get in a good
kick. The sight of his own blood causes Blue to go insane, and he
resorts to his secret technique -- Chounouryoku, a form of hypnosis
which paralyzes Kuririn. Blue then has fun beating up the shrimp prior
to killing him. Buruma is quaking with fear, expecting to be the next
victim, while Blue notices that the earth tremors are getting stronger.
Deciding to use her femine wiles on Blue, Buruma discovers that the
fighter actively HATES women. When she states that she's really a guy
in disguise, Blue gets interested and she runs off in terror. Before
Blue can pound in Kuririn's head with a rock, Gokuu leaps out of the
pool. Buruma fills him in, and the two fighter square off. Gokuu gets
in the first couple of shots, then as Buruma shouts out her warning,
Blue uses Chounouryoku. Blue gets revenge, but the tremors are
worsening. So, he uses a capsule to get a shotgun, and demands to know
where the Dragon Ball is. Buruma slowly says that the Radar indicates
that the Ball is in another pool. Blue decides to kill the three
despite his earlier assurances, and Buruma screams about how such a
beautiful, kind maiden as herself is about to be cruelly killed (Kuririn
isn't impressed.) Before he can pull the trigger, though, a mouse runs
out and Blue recoils is horror (which breaks the spell on Gokuu.) Gokuu
uses Janken, knocking Blue against the wall. Rocks are falling from the
ceiling now, so Gokuu gets the location of the Dragon Ball (it really
was in the pool that Buruma pointed out,) and he tells the other two to
escape and he'll meet up with them later. Gokuu finds the Ball, and the
mouse that saved him (he returns the favor.)
Kuririn and Buruma reach the sub docking bay, but are cut off from
their own sub by a cave-in. So, they settle for one of the pirates' old
mini-subs, and find that the engine still works. Blue tries to take the
treasure chest, but is buried by another cave-in. With the mouse still
in his mouth, Gokuu rushes past the rocks, while Buruma tries to leave
without him. Kuririn won't let her, but the mini-sub is about to pull
away from the dock as Gokuu runs up. In the sub, Gokuu pulls the mouse
out, and is happy to see that it is still in good shape. The falling
rocks are starting to panic Kirirn, so Buruma assures them that they'll
get to open sea safely. Except, they run out of fuel. So, Gokuu hands
over the mouse (Kuririn wants to know why he has to hold a mouse,) and
before people can stop him, Gokuu uses Kamehame-ha to blast the mini-sub
out of the tunnel. Then, he calls Kintoen and takes the group to the
nearest island. Behind them, Blue surfaces, still alive.
Gokuu says "That was close," Buruma agrees, adding that it's a good
thing that Gokuu is a friend of hers. Kuririn bemoans the loss of the
treasure, but Buruma pulls a huge diamond out of her shorts. Those two
comment on it's value, and Gokuu remembers to check the Dragon Ball --
still not his grandfather's. He plans on continuing his quest, which
Buruma objects to because of the danger from RR. Kuririn suggests that
they take one of RR's flyers and seek out Kamesennin's advice. Blue
shows up on the same island, which is a RR base, and grabs a flyer of
his own. While inspecting the diamond, Kuririn starts sniffing it (the
little sukebe knows where it's been hidden,) and has to prevaricate when
Buruma asks why. Blue is just waiting for his chance.
Kamesennin is stunned that the group wants him to sell the diamond,
which they estimate to be worth a few million zenii. They fantasize
over that that can buy, forgetting that Kushami is with them. She
steals the gem at gunpoint and flies off (Buruma hadn't met Kushami
before.) Buruma wants the gem back, and can't understand why no one's
chasing after it. Blue finds Gokuu's "hidden hideout" and drops in with
some rope (he has very strong legs, and we can see why the cave
collapsing on him didn't faze him.) Gokuu want the other Balls and
Buruma wants a plane capsule. But, Kushami took the only plane, and
they're stuck on the island, which pleases Blue. Kuririn warns the old
man about Red Ribbon, but he already knows about them. That's when Blue
uses his mental powers to cause the ropes to tie up the good guys.
They're surprised to find that he's still alive. Blue goes into the
House, where he gets the Balls. They can't break free of the ropes, and
when Blue comes back out, he leaves a little "bomb-chan" with a 5 minute
timer, next to them on the beach. He then uses a capsule to get another
plane. Buruma yells out that she really wants to become a RR soldier,
but Blue says that RR doesn't hire women for that. So Kamesennin says
that he'll volunteer to join. Blue answers that they have 4 minutes
left, and he flies off.
Everyone is panicking when Ranchi returns. She thinks this is some
kind of game. She's told to throw the bomb away, but it's too heavy for
her. Instead, she cuts Gokuu's ropes and he throws the bomb away with a
few seconds to spare. Our hero then calls for Kintoen and rushes off to
get the Dragon Balls back.
This is where the book focusses on Penguin Village.
Akane -- Arale's classmate and friend
Arale -- Senbe Norimake's powerful, but naive girl robot
Senbe -- AKA - Dr. Slump. Inventor and dirty young man
Piske -- Tarou's childish little brother
Tarou -- Akane's ex-boyfriend, school drop-out
Ga-chan -- One of a pair of flying dinosaur hatchlings.
Su-perman -- A rip-off of Superman. The character uses pickled
plums to gain power, and has a hiragana "su" character on
Yamabuki Sensei -- Arale's teacher, and now Senbe's wife.
Turbo -- Senbe's floating son. Super genius.
It's now summer vacation in Penguin Village, and Akane wants to know
what her friend's plans are. One guy wants to continue his martial arts
training, the others are going to do stupid things. Tarou comes along
with another girl, saying that he has a date -- ruining Akane's mood.
All through this, Senbe keeps popping up, giving a peace sign. He says
it's because they haven't appeared in Shonen Jump for so long. Later,
everyone else starts acting the same way (including the martial artist's
parents,) and Akane yells that her mother had better not start giving
peace signs (her mother doesn't understand the problem.) Arale says
goodbye to people, and is about to return home when something overhead
attracts her attention...
Gokuu demands the Balls back, Blue just laughs and goes faster.
Gokuu catches up, to Blue's surprise. Our hero tries to use his bo to
smash the flyer, but Blue swerves away in time. Blue is getting angry,
so he cuts the engine to let Gokuu catch up. Then he turns them back
on, expecting to fry Gokuu. However, his gloating is interrupted by the
mountain he crashes into. Gokuu lands lightly in front of Arale, who
wants to talk. But, the boy is in a hurry, and rushes off on Kintoen.
This causes Arale and the two G-chans to chase after. Blue is
staggering from the wreckage, muttering about revenge, when Gokuu
appears. So, he hides and leaves to reach Red Ribbon HQ. The wreckage
seems to be devoid of Dragon Balls, and Gokuu's getting angry as the
three strange kids he'd met earlier show up again. He's impressed that
this girl can run faster than Kintoen can fly. Arale wants to play, but
Gokuu again rushes after Blue Shogun. Then, circling overhead, he
complains about not being able to locate the villain.
Some distance away, Blue is trying to commandeer the car of
Su-perman. Luckily, there's a phonebooth nearby, and the normal human
runs in to change into his super identity -- which Blue has never seen
before. Su-perman eats an umiboshi, and gives Blue fair warning. Blue
laughs, destroys the phonebook, and asks where he can find the nearest
airplane. Su-perman quickly states that the nearest plane is at Senbe
Norimake's, and gives his car to Blue to help him out. He then gloats
over having made his particular patch of land safer.
Gokuu is getting very frustrated, until he remembers the Dragon
Radar, but it's busted. Gokuu asks if Arale knows Kamesennin's
location; of course, she doesn't. He complains about the radar being
busted and Arale replies that Senbe can probably fix it. She wants to
ride the cloud too, and Gokuu is surprised to find that she's pure of
heart enough to do so. They fly off, and everyone has a good time.
They stop at the house, where Senbe is tuning his plane. Arale
points out Senbe, and the boy thinks she means Yamabuki-sensei. The
real Senbe is identified, and looks at the broken radar. Being told
that the radar can locate Dragon Balls doesn't help Senbe any. he opens
up the device and is stunned by its complexity. He's even further
humiliated at hearing that the device was built by a woman. Then, Blue
drives up to the house.
Senbe gives the device his best shot, but it's Turbo who can
understand the thing and can fix it. Blue finds the plane, and Gokuu.
Senbe hands the repaired radar over, and congratulates himself on being
the greatest inventor in the world. Then, Gokuu notices that according
to the Radar, the Balls are very close. When he looks up, he sees Blue
holding a knife to Arale's throat. Gokuu wants the Balls back, but Blue
uses his chounouryoku on him (Turbo recognizes the technique.) Yamabuki
wonders if Blue is a friend of Gokuu's ("Wrong! He's a bad guy!!").
Blue takes the radar, puts it his pocket, puts the balls in the plane,
and prepares to kill Gokuu with a palm tree. This is when Senbe tells
Arale to use her "pro wresting" moves on the bad guy. The robot does
this very happily, and sends Blue into orbit. Turbo breaks the spell on
Gokuu. Gokuu is impressed that Arale is so strong (she says that the
G-chan's are also strong, as is Obotchiman.) Gokuu gets the Dragon
Balls, but remembers that Blue had the Radar. He's upset by this state
of affairs, until Turbo asks for permission to use pieces of the plane
to build a new one (based on what he'd seen when doing the original
repairs.) Gokuu is happy, Senbe is proud, and Kintoen appears to
continue the quest. Gokuu suggests that Arale enter the next
Tenkaichi-budoukai, and then flies off. Senbe still doesn't understand
what it was all about. Finally, Blue is on the phone, saying that he
has the Radar. However, when told to return right away to RR HQ, he
stammers about this little problem he has (there's a pyramid in the
Riding Kintoen, Gokuu checks the Radar, hoping that the next Ball
will have the 4 stars that mark it as his grandfather's. Black tells
Red that Gokuu is heading west, which is Yellow's domain. Red orders
that Yellow Taisa be alerted. This land is called Seichi Karin, and it
has a peculiar tower reaching up into the clouds. Yellow is demanding
that the Indian turn over his Dragon Ball, and the Indian warns the
invaders that he'll kill them to protect his land. One thug sneaks up
from behind, and Upa warns his father. The thug dies and Yellow tells
everyone to fire. But, the bullets just bounce off the Indian, who
trashes them. Yellow escapes, and Chichi-ue starts clening up the
grounds. Black receives a radio message from Yellow, and is chastized
by Red for behaving above his position. Red tells Yellow to take the
kid has a hostage, and if he fails, Tao-Pie Pie will be brought in (with
orders to kill Yellow AND the Indian.) So, Yellow turns off his engine,
glides in, and grabs Upa. Chichi-ue is about to hand over the Ball to
keep Upa from being killed, when Gokuu hears Upa's call for help. Gokuu
eventually recognizes the symbol on the side of the plane, and smashes
it. Upa lands safely on Kintoen, Black comments that Yellow has failed,
and Red decides to commission Tao-Pie Pie.
-- Curtis H. Hoffmann
June 5, 1993