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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic start to the series.
I'm almost ashamed to admit this as I am a huge anime\manga fan but this is the first time I have dipped into the Dragonball universe. Not sure why. Maybe because all I'd ever seen of it where clips of the Dragonball Z anime or games both of which seemed to be nothing more than some over-the-top fight sequences and that just made me think that it would be all fights and...
Published on 25 Feb. 2012 by Mark G.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars bad printing and price, but a good storie
I had to pay 6,99 for the manga, but on the back of it it says that the price is 5,99 (not that much different, but I don't see why I had to pay more) and the printing inside the book was pretty bad, it was like the pages was died in water or something..

the story is good, I have read them all and have to say that this is not the best volume, but it is the...
Published on 9 Jun. 2012 by spendy


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic start to the series., 25 Feb. 2012
By 
Mark G. (East Anglia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
I'm almost ashamed to admit this as I am a huge anime\manga fan but this is the first time I have dipped into the Dragonball universe. Not sure why. Maybe because all I'd ever seen of it where clips of the Dragonball Z anime or games both of which seemed to be nothing more than some over-the-top fight sequences and that just made me think that it would be all fights and no story.

Anyway, I've always been a little intruiged by it and have now decided to see what all the fuss is about, starting with this first volume.

A monkey tailed boy called Goku lives secluded from the outside\modern world and is extremely strong, agile and ...bulletproof?
He meets a girl (Bulma) who is searching for 7 dragonballs, which when gathered together can be used to summon the dragon God who will grant you one wish and as Goku is in possesion of one of the Dragonballs, Bulma convinces him to join her on her quest to search for the remainder.

The time period in which the series is set is not yet revealed as Goku lives in a very rural area and initially the story looks as though it will be set in the past but then Bulma arrives in a car and my initial thought was that it is set in the modern day. That was until she reveals that she can create vehicles and even accomodation from tiny capsules known as Hoi-Poi.
Throw in talking dinosaurs and what looks like a sword wielding bear and what you end up with is a whole mish-mash of genres. Yet somehow, despite this genre crossover it all seems to work. Things are slowly introduced and before you know it you are soon accepting a shapeshifting, talking pig as the norm.

There are plenty of recognisable things here as well for anyone who is familiar with a certain work of Chinese literature. Which I'm not going to name as I had no idea when I picked this up so it came as a pleasant surprise.
Artwork is good and very clear and easy to follow and the story itself is not just entertaining but also really funny.
Not suitable for young readers despite its cartoonish look...what with some casual nudity and panty flashing. Oh and of course the fact that Goku has never encoutered a female until he met Bulma and has now determined that the way to tell someones gender is to pat them on the crotch to tell what equipment they have. But it is all handled (so to speak) very light heartedly and isn't done in an offensive way.
So far this is really enjoyable and was imposssible to put down once I had started and has just left me wanting to read more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Son Goku!, 12 July 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I’m gonna say Dragon Ball was the first comic I ever came across in my life - that’s probably wrong but it’s definitely the earliest one I can remember. The copies I had were in Japanese as I lived briefly in Japan as a kid so I couldn’t read them but I still remember paging through them, back to front of course, trying to figure out from the characters’ faces and body language what was happening in the scenes and making up my own dialogue.

Later on I saw a few episodes of the TV show, then even later I saw a bit of the awful American Dragon Ball film (I changed the channel after about 20 minutes - it was unwatchable). But while I was aware of Dragon Ball as this massive franchise, I’d never actually read a Dragon Ball comic - until this week when I decided to remedy that and pick up the very first book. And it was really good - totally worth rediscovering the comic with words I could actually read!

Dragon Ball is based on the classic 16th century Chinese novel, Journey to the West, and Son Goku’s character is inspired by the novel’s protagonist Sun Wukong aka the Monkey King. In this first book (also subtitled The Monkey King) we’re introduced to Son Goku, a young boy who lives alone with his “grandpa” (a Dragon Ball) practicing martial arts in the wild, and living off the land. He’s not lonely, he’s a happy-go-lucky kid… who also has a monkey tail!

Then a teenage girl called Bulma crosses his path - she’s looking for the seven mystical Dragon Balls on her summer holiday from school. The legend goes that if you put all seven balls together, the Dragon God will appear and grant you one wish. Together, Son Goku and Bulma set out to collect all of the Dragon Balls and have adventures along the way!

Dragon Ball is the first place to start if you want to go from the beginning of this saga - Dragon Ball Z is the second phase of the series where the hero, Son Goku, has grown up. Son Goku, by the way, is one of my favourite comic book characters ever! I love his innocence coupled with his good heart and spirit, and he can kick ass like nobody’s business. And I know it’s way in the future but shooting fireballs from his hands, flying, going super-saiyan… forget Superman, this guy is AWESOME!

It’s easy to see why Akira Toriyama’s series was such a success. The loose framework of the plot allows him to create anything he wants - in a world where capsules can become cars and houses, and magical wishes, mystical dragon balls, and an unstoppable fighting machine kid with a tail are all real? Game on then, because there are no limits! The world of Dragon Ball is so deliriously wonderful and crazy, how can you not fall in love with it? At one point a flying cloud appears that only allows the pure of heart to fly on it (only Goku is able to) and then a dinosaur randomly stumbles into the comic! Amazing.

However, I was surprised with how unexpectedly pervy this book turned out to be! Bulma tries to sway Goku into giving her his Dragon Ball by flashing her underwear but Goku’s too innocent and doesn’t understand “girl parts” or things like sex. Bulma does the same thing later on with Kame-Sennin, the Turtle Hermit, to get his Dragon Ball, and later on when they encounter the shapeshifting pig Oolong, the character - true to his nature - ends up drugging her so he can attempt to rape her!! Bulma’s no great female role model either, dressing up as a Playboy bunny (just because) and using her looks at every opportunity to get ahead. I assume there are “kid friendly” versions of Dragon Ball with those scenes edited out because that stuff is just disappointing to see in a book so many kids will read.

That was the only low point though - everything else from the art to the writing to the storytelling is absolutely delightful. Dragon Ball Volume 1 is thoroughly enjoyable with a great sense of humour and high level of invention. This first book is really excellent and only whets the appetite for more Son Goku and his mysterious world, and I definitely don’t intend to wait decades until picking up the next one either!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monkey King (Son Goku and Friends), 22 April 2013
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This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
Dragon Ball is a Japanese manga by Akira Toriyama. Released for American audiences by Viz Media, it is a story that does not lose its credit when read by an English audience, or indeed any culture. Its main story, while simple and easily followable, has a hidden message of good morals, strong heart, and determination to achieve beyond the best of your abilities. Whether that was intentional or not, it definitely comes across in the character of Son Goku, main protagonist of the series.

The artwork of Akira Toriyama is simple yet beautiful, and very appealing.

Dragon Ball volume 1 is just the beginning of what will become an epic journey for Goku and his friends, but it is a fine start to the series. It introduces some of the main characters well, particularly the character of Yamcha, who is at his best at this stage of the manga, and later becomes a bit of a useless character. We are introduced to Goku and Bulma, who are both the main protagonists at this stage of the manga, and the relationship developed between the two is well done. Other main character introductions in volume 1 include Kame-Sen'nin (Master Roshi), Oolong, Pu'ar, the Ox-King and Chi-Chi.

Filled with genuinely funny humour and good action, Dragon Ball deserves its place as the most popular manga in the world, and volume 1 is a fine introduction to the series.

Chapters included in volume 1 are:

001. Bloomers and the Monkey King
002. No Balls!
003. Sea Monkeys
004. They Call Him... the Turtle Hermit
005. Oo! Oo! Oolong!
006. So Long, Oolong!
007. Yamcha and Pu'ar
008. One, Two, Yamcha-cha!
009. Dragon Balls in Danger!!
010. Onward to Fry-Pan...
011. ... And Into the Fire!

Although translated from Japanese to English, Viz Media keep the manga in its original format, meaning it is read from right to left as it would be in the Japanese version, rather than left to right as most English literature would be. Keeping it in a right-to-left format prevents the publisher from having to flip the images, which can ruin carefully chosen artistic angles, and ruin Japanese symbols that may still be present in the artwork, such as on characters' clothing.

If you're a fan of the anime, I would definitely recommend this to you. No filler, just the original story that can be viewed at your own leisurely pace. A fantastic story, where the success of the anime originated from.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Ball, 20 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
Before there was the legend of Dragon Ball Z, came the fables of Dragon Ball, how it all started.
Here the adventure begins, with the mischievous young Monkey boy Goku, the genius inventor Bulma, and friends as they embark on their quest for the seven Dragon Balls. They plan to gather all seven and summon the mystical Dragon, who will grant them a wish. However, others are also looking fro them, but with evil intentions. Can Goku & co. get to them in time?
After their original release in 1986 Dragon Ball had only been printed in Japanese, but now all of the books have been translated into English for all you Japanese illiterates, like me ;). However only the dialogue has been directly translated, so you still have to read them from right to left, from the back cover to the front cover. But that is a small price to pay for the joy to follow Goku's innocent yet adventurous childhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon ball, 3 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
One of my top favorite series. I have never read the manga only watched the TV show and i really enjoyed it, it made my bus journeys fly by and it made me laugh a few times during them which made me look like a right twit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, 6 May 2011
By 
RH (UK, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
I've never actually read any manga books before, but this is great. it's so easy to read and really flows
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon ball, 6 July 2014
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The book was EPIC I could read 100000000 times you should read it dragon ball two is EPIC too. Ok
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars bad printing and price, but a good storie, 9 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
I had to pay 6,99 for the manga, but on the back of it it says that the price is 5,99 (not that much different, but I don't see why I had to pay more) and the printing inside the book was pretty bad, it was like the pages was died in water or something..

the story is good, I have read them all and have to say that this is not the best volume, but it is the beginning of a brilliant storie
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Imaginative, 11 Mar. 2015
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The start to the dragon ball franchise is both charming and Imaginative, setting up a truly great story for the many adventures go's and his friends have.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 (Paperback)
Fantastic beginning to the story, this series combines a number of different themes which entices you to keep reading and before you know it you are after the next book. Its both funny and exciting, presenting its own unique world as the reader follows Goku's adventure. Combining fighting, funny and adventure (with a little nudity). I greatly enjoyed reading the beginning of the series and would recommend it!
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Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1
Dragon Ball, Vol. 1: v. 1 by Akira Toriyama (Paperback - 6 Oct. 2008)
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