Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dragon Ball Vol. 6: Bulma Returns by Toriyama Akira

Today I discovered that the Dragon Ball franchise would return for its first new television anime series 18 years. I couldn't believe it. I just sat there in front of my Chromebook, staring at the article on Crunchyroll, and wondering if maybe I was seeing things. It's official. In July of 2015 Dragon Ball Super will be unleashed upon Japan and then later the rest of the world. 

The new movies are undoubtedly a huge factor for the series coming to fruition and Toriyama's desire to see the series return in some way is probably another. I cannot freaking wait. 

Naturally, I immediately opened a volume of the manga and started reading. My Dragon Ball fever has returned in a huge way. I mean, it never really left, but I kind of forgot the intensity of it when it was at its strongest. It's back. I wish a manga would accompany Dragon Ball Super, but I suppose not. Still, the world is right again. I just hope it doesn't suck like Dragon Ball GT


Now I return you to your regularly scheduled program:

Goku is in Muscle Tower, a Red Ribbon Army base in some frozen and godforsaken part of the world. His goal is to reclaim the dragon ball in their possession and to rescue the mayor of the poor town besieged by the Army. 

In order to do that he'll have to make his way to the top level of the tower and he does so with very little in the way of struggling. I'm convinced that Toriyama wrote most of these in this volume just so he could make silly facial expressions. 

Sergeant Major Purple isn't exactly Jackie Chun, but he provides Son Goku with the best fight of this volume thanks to a handy trick that could create four more Sergeant Major Purples. 

At this point in the series the fights aren't really fights at all. They are more or less skirmishes that are quickly dominated by Goku. Sure, the Jiggler had an upper hand, but Goku figured a trick out too quickly for it to be mentioned. Goku's fight with Jackie Chun was epic, but is very atypical of the series so far. The fights are not yet at the front and center. They are there, but they are more of the silly type. 

The best moment of the volume happens when Goku decides to journey to the west (a pun there if you can find it) after conquering Muscle Tower to visit Bulma. We meet Bulma's mom and dad for the first time and also get a look at her digs. Nice place. Bulma decides to once again journey with Goku, but Goku neglects to tell her that he is the biggest enemy of the world's most powerful army. Emperor Pilaf ain't got nothing on the Red Ribbon Army.

Kururin, Lunch, and Kame-sen'nin also get some appearance time in when Bulma and Goku got there to borrow a submarine. Unfortunately, the dynamic duo have led General Blue's army directly to the Kame House. Or not. Kame-sen'nin is more than capable is taking care of himself. At this point in the series he is still the strongest character we know. 

After Super Saiyan God mode it's tough to believe to that this series had such fairly down to earth roots. 

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