Sunday, December 13, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: DRAGON BALL SUPER Volume 8


STORY: Akira Toriyama
ART: Toyotarou
LETTERS: James Gaubatz
EDITOR: Marlene First
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0941-0; paperback (March 2020); Rated “T” for “Teen”
200pp, 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. 8 (Chapters 37 to 40; entitled “Sign of Son Goku's Awakening!!”) opens, the “Tournament of Power” continues.  It will determine the fate of universes!  Each universe that competes must field ten warriors, but these warriors must be mortals, as gods are forbidden.  The universes that lose will face complete destruction at the hands of “the Lords of Everything.”

As the tournament quickly approaches its time limit, Universes 3, 4, and 10 are eliminated.  Kale of Universe 6 summons powers no one knew she had, but as she grows more powerful, she also loses control.  Now, she beating her own teammates!

Meanwhile, Son Goku and his Universe 7 team is down to six warriors, and Goku still has not found a way to defeat Universe 11's mightiest warrior, Jiren.  Can he awaken the power within him, “the ultra instinct,” to the extent that he can beat Jiren?  Can he do it in time to beat Jiren?

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

Dragon Ball Super Graphic Novel Volume 8 reaches the height of the battle manga segment of this “Tournament of Power” story arc.  Toriyama and Toyotarou are in the midst of eliminating most of the eclectic cast they created for this arc.  They make up for that, however, by having a number of the remaining characters power-up in delightfully entertaining ways.  This is the height of Dragon Ball battle manga euphoria, dear readers, so let's enjoy it.

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

This manga includes the the following bonus material:

  • the sketchbook section, “Toriyama Sensei's Corrections,” which features Akira Toriyama's corrections of Toyotarou's character designs and story pages
  • bonus illustrations
  • a four-page “Dragon Ball Super” story originally published in the “Jump Victory Carnival Official” 2018 Guidebook
  • Toyotarous Asks! Tell Us , Toriyama Sensei!! in which Toriyama talks about the process behind character design and story-crafting

8 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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