Saturday, November 21, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: DRAGON BALL SUPER Volume 7


STORY: Akira Toriyama
ART: Toyotarou
LETTERS: James Gaubatz
EDITOR: Marlene First
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0777-5; paperback (December 2019); Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 US, $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Dragon Ball was a long-running Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama.  It was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995 and was comprised of 519 individual chapters.  The hero of Dragon Ball was Son Goku, and the series began with the story of his childhood.

Dragon Ball Super is written by Toriyama and drawn by Toyotarou, a writer-artist who works on Dragon Ball spin-off manga.  Dragon Ball Super has been published in the Japanese manga magazine, V Jump, since June 2015.  VIZ Media has been publishing an English-language edition of the manga as a paperback graphic novel series since May 2017, under its “Shonen Jump” imprint.

Dragon Ball Super is a sequel to the Dragon Ball manga and to the “Dragon Ball Z” anime series.  This sequel is set several months after Goku's victory that brought peace back to Earth.  Goku and his friends must defend Earth, this time from fighters from other universes and timelines.

As Dragon Ball Super, Vol. 7 (Chapters 33 to 36; entitled “Universe Survival! The Tournament of Power Begins!!”) opens, the “Tournament of Power” begins.  It will determine the fate of universes!  Each universe that competes must field ten warriors, but they must be mortals, as gods are forbidden.  The universes that lose will face complete destruction at the hands of “the Lords of Everything.”

Universe 7's mightiest warriors are Son Goku (our hero), Kame Sen'nin, Son Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Kuririn, Android #17, Android #18 (a female), and the resurrected Freeza.  But Universe 7's mightiest may not be enough, especially when faced against Universe 11 and its best of the best warrior, Jiren.

And it is not long into the tournament that the first universe is obliterated.  Meanwhile, some teammates plot to betray their teams … or are they?

[This manga includes the sketchbook section, “Toriyama Sensei's Corrections,” which features Akira Toriyama's corrections of Toyotarou's character designs and story pages and also bonus illustrations.]

THE LOWDOWN:  2020 is a strange year … for a number of reasons.  Of the many strange things that have filled my 2020, I have discovered that this is the year that I have read, by far, the most Dragon Ball manga that I have ever read.  This is mostly because of the Dragon Ball Super manga.

Dragon Ball Super Graphic Novel Volume 7 moves into the heart of the battle of this current story arc.  The “Tournament of Power” story is the third threat to its existence that Universe 7 has faced, and it is the most entertaining threat … at least for the readers.  Vol. 7 is pure Dragon Ball shonen battle manga.

Toriyama and Toyotarou offer so many different and inventive ways to present the fights.  I found myself on the edge of my seat because combatants were dropping like flies, often at times and in ways that I didn't expect.

Caleb Cook's translation captures the tartness of the dialogue and the conniving and betrayal.  James Gaubatz's lettering is cool and calm, expect for the sound effects with are fat on the page – suggesting the crazily loud sounds of this battle.  Vol. 7 may be Dragon Ball Super's most fun volume yet.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Readers looking for more Dragon Ball manga will want to try the “Shonen Jump” title, Dragon Ball Super.

8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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