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Dragon Ball: A Visual History Book Review


Better than a kamehameha.

Akira Toriyama’s “Dragon Ball: A Visual History” (which is translated into English by Caleb Cook) is an overview of the history of the “Dragon Ball” franchise from its debut in 1984 to 2013 (sorry folks, the “Dragon Ball Super” era is not included here). The hardcover book is housed in a nifty slipcover. Upon opening it you are greeted by a double-sided fold-out poster followed by a quick preface from Toriyama. After that, you dive into a year by year look at Toriyama’s colorful artwork of title pages, poster, calendar, sticker, and cover art which are largely comprised of various poses of beloved characters such as Goku, Kuririn, Master Roshi, Vegeta, Freeza, Piccolo, Bulma, and so on. Each year is accompanied by a brief snippet that encapsulates the major events of the DB franchise in that specific year be it manga, video games, movies or the shows “Dragon Ball,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “Dragon Ball GT” (let’s ignore this one), and “Dragon Ball Kai.”

Of course, that’s not everything that appears in this oversized book. Readers also get comments from publications by Toriyama, character designs for the “Battle of Gods” movie, a 4 page interview with Toriyama, a Weekly Shonen cover art gallery, and an index.

Since it’s debut in Weekly Shonen in 1984, the “Dragon Ball” franchise has captured the hearts and minds of people all across the globe. It’s rich blend of sci-fi and action and memorable characters made it stand out in the crowded manga and anime spaces. The success of the DB franchise is naturally due to the supreme talent of its creator Akira Toriyama whose work is wonderfully displayed within this ‘Visual History.’ For DB fans, this book is pure heaven as you get to pour over hundreds upon hundreds of images that Toriyama created for such a wide range of publications and media. While written content is limited here, you do get some insight into Toriyama’s own work along with a year-by-year summary of the franchise’s happenings for those with an historical curiosity.

Overall Thoughts: If you’re a DB fan who loves coffee table books, this is a must own.

December 1, 2019 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , ,

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