by Akira ToriyamaWell, as with all great multi-volume stories, Dragon Ball finally hits a (Dr) slump with its seventh volume.
The Red Ribbon Army are targeting Son Goku and friends with a small group surrounding the Turtle Master’s house and another group, led by General Blue, pursuing Son Goku, Kuririn, and Bulma underwater.
The first half of the book is this weak pirate-themed story as Goku goes through an unremarkable cave system to battle a xenomorph-looking robot and a talking octopus. And if you thought “pirate” meant wooden ships and eye-patches, think again as these pirates had an underwater hideout to rival a Bond villain’s!
General Blue’s not that great a character either - Akira Toriyama seems to be making his power-set up as he goes along. One minute he’s this tough hand-to-hand combat fighter when fighting Kuririn but then he goes up against Goku who of course kicks his butt, so suddenly he has this psychic power which can freeze him to the spot! Then later on he has this even more bizarre “rope power” which ensnares the group long enough for him to steal the dragon balls and escape! It’s like… wha…?
The second half of the book sees Goku chasing Blue into somewhere called Penguin Village, which I gather is the setting of Toriyama’s previous series, Dr Slump. My knowledge of Toriyama’s work begins and ends with Dragon Ball so seeing his older characters may be exciting for fans of Dr Slump but not for me.
And though Dragon Ball’s not exactly an edgy series - it’s child-friendly for the most part - compared to Dr Slump, it’s like a Garth Ennis book! The characters in Dr Slump are just soooo cutesy-wutesy, from the floating genius baby who can telepathically make machines, to the little happy power girl, and the twins wearing animal hats who are also super-super-upbeat about everything; eesh, it’s so sickeningly sweet!
But there are lots of great Goku moments throughout, especially when he’s fighting Blue and a rat inadvertently gives him an opening that allows him to momentarily beat him. When the cave starts to fall in, he saves the rat because the rat saved him - that’s how good-hearted a person he is.
And the “Superman” parody scene was brilliant too - seeing the little “Clark Kent” character dash off into a conveniently placed phone box to change into Suppa-Man was so funny.
Volume 7 is definitely the weakest addition to the series so far, but with the Dr Slump fan service/back-patting (hopefully) over and done with, things can only get better here on out as Goku continues his quest to get his grandpa’s four-star dragon ball before the Red Ribbon Army.
|Title||Dragon Ball, Vol. 7|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|Publisher||VIZ Media LLC|
|File size||1.2 Mb|
|Book rating||4.35 (1220 votes)