Manga Monday: IT’S OVER 9000!!!!

Published on June 29th, 2009

Chances are that if you spend quite a bit of time on the internet, at some point you have come across the meme ‘It’s Over 9000’! Did you know that meme originatesfrom one of the longest running mangas ever made? Yes, Dragon Ball started life as a manga in 1984 and ran in the weekly magazine, known as Shonen Jump untill 1995. That is 519 chapters, or 42 books! Since Manga and Anime share a close relationship all 42 books were adapted into a well known,  long running anime that had three different series, known as Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. Over the years since Dragon Ball was first released in book form, over 150 million copies have been sold!

manga1

It follows the story of Goku, still a child at the start of the manga, who lives on planet earth and has a natural aptitude for fighting.  He meets a young girl named Bulma and they journey to find the legendary Dragon Balls (which when brought together grant the owner any wish). As the manga progresses we see Goku grow up and team up with an array of martial artists from all over the universe in an attempt to defend planet Earth.

Along with Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball was the anime and manga that truly got me hooked on the genre. After school every night I would rush home as fast as possible, meet up with my best friends, and we would all sit and watch Dragon Ball Z together on Toonami. I became obsessed with it. I can honestly say I have yet to meet an anime or manga fan that doesn’t love Dragon Ball. The series had the perfect balance of good characters, interesting story, humour, drama, super natural powers, dirty jokes, and pure action!

The manga itself does look dated, and now so does the anime, but this doesn’t hinder it’s appeal. A definite maturing of art style is clearly seen throughout the Dragon Ball manga, but considering it ran for 11 years I wouldn’t call it surprising.

This manga and even the anime is probably one of the most accessible to those just entering the anime world or those who just want to check it out. It doesn’t matter if you are a n00b or a hardcore fan like me, everyone has this in common.  Dragon Ball has spawned in not only anime but also several movies (animated and even live action which was released in April of this year), art books, action figures, sound tracks, and many video games. I know a great deal of you wouldn’t even consider manga as part of your normal comic book habits, but it is a different world that possesses just as much entertainment value as the western comic book world. If you ever feel crazy enough to give it a go,the publishing company Viz has now started to released the Manga in ‘VIZBIG’. Basically Viz is now cramming anything from one to three books into one big book, making it easier on the wallet, and looking great on the shelf to keep you going for just that little bit longer.

Long live the kamah kamah!

Hollie ‘pheonix is over 9000’ Bennett
Hollie@comicimpact.com