The series was translated to several languages around the world and became a success taking to the big screen, video games, action figures and an endless list of merchandising products. What is understandable [or maybe not] about this phenomenon is that its drawing and animation styles are static compared to modern computer technology, and despite that fact itís still a smashing success. From video games to action figures Dragon Ball is going through its best moment and waits for the movie coming up, which will use real actors. Hereís a short version of the story, for those who donít quite know what weíre talking about, or for the fans whoíd like to test our knowledgeÖ
The story begins when our hero, Son Goku, an extremely strong kid who lives by himself up on the mountains, and who strangely has a monkey tail, bumps into Bulma, a girl who happened to be wondering around the valley. Bulma realizes that Goku owns an orange sphere, that sphere is a dragon ball, and whoever holds the seven spheres spread around the world will have the chance to invoke the sacred dragon Shenlong and ask him for a wish. That’s how our hero’s story begins, who would run into other characters along his journey, and all sorts of villains whom he’ll have to confront. The story will change its course when Goku and other contenders sign up for a martial arts tournament, where the winner will claim to be the strongest fighter on Earth.
After its third version, the series called “Dragon Ball Z” starts, in which the dragon spheres will take a second place and the story will be focused on the protection of the earth and the universe, filled with battles with more powerful villains and unveiling the truth about Goku’s origin and the dragon balls. At the end of “Dragon Ball Z” an alternative story was released, called “Dragon Ball GT”, where Goku is transformed into a normal kid through a wish given by the spheres, which have been spread through the universe and must be collected back before a year or the Earth will be destroyed.
More than twenty films have been made after the series: a trilogy based on the story’s first release with alternative adventures from the original and one that was made to celebrate the cartoon’s ten year anniversary. In “Dragon Ball Z” the movies have totally different scripts from it’s original version and none of them has a place in the series time line. Anyhow, most of them are helpful to understand Goku’s true origin and the race of the saiya-jin characters, as well as other planets and characters who appear throughout the story. As you read this, a film with real actors is being shoot, directed by James Wong, starring Justin Chatwin and James Marsters; produced by 20th Century Fox, originally planned to be on theatres in 2008, but then it was postponed for April 10th, 2009.
Manga is the Japanese word for comic. Is the most influential style in the world and it’s a very important part of the books & magazines market in the country. The manga covers all genres and reaches all audiences; it also brings motivation for different formats:
cartoon series, known as anime, movies, real image series, video games and books.
Borned on April 5th, 1955 in Nagoya, Japan, his first publication was in 1978 on the “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine. Toriyama was well known on the scene even before Dragon Ball; he previously became notorious with another series of his creation, “Dr. Slump”, which made him famous on “Weekly…”, and was also edited in anime version.
The story was adapted in a number of video games for different platforms. The first one was “Dragon Ball”: “Dragon Daihikyô” for the Super Cassette Vision in 1986, although this game never made it out of Japan. Up to this day we can count a total of 38 video games for the different consoles, from Sega Mega Drive to arcades. In our country the most popular titles were “Dragon Ball Z: Buyû Retsuden” for the old and beloved Sega, “Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Baattle 22” and “Dragon Ball Final Bout” for Play Station, produced by Tose Software Company and distributed by Bandai. The latest releases were “Dragon Ball: Origins”, an adventure game for Nintendo DS, and “Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World”, a wrestling game for Play Station 2, both were on the market by November 2008. Right now “Dragon Ball Online” is being created, a RPG for PC, which will be available to play on the internet, announced for 2009, only in Japan.
The series merchandising goes from collectable cards and action figures to t-shirts, accessories and collectable edition volumes of the episodes. Most of the original Dragon Ball merchandising products are distributed world wide by Bandai and Irwin Toys in the United States, companies that own the official licence for merchandising and some edited video games. In Argentina, several items may be found in comic book stores or specialized places such as Camelot Comic Store. The distribution company in charge of DBZ is Sticker Desing S.A., and they soon plan to put on the market a new line of MiniToys, which you can also find at any kiosk, or stop by our desk if you want to take a look at them…
Lalo : “I watched the first part of Dragon Ball, when Gokuh was still a kid and was looking for the dragon spheres; I guess I’m a little older than most of the people who watch it; and when they started broadcasting Dragon Ball Z in the country it just didn’t catch my attention that much”.
Leandro : “All the Cell series and the droids are super cool, but to me the best episodes were the ones where Gokuh for the first time turns into super saiya-jin against Freezer. I remember it took like 8 episodes to do that, I got very anxious!
Hernán : “I watched Dragon Ball up to Freezer, which is when Gokuh becomes super saiya-jin. After that I stop watching it, it was all the same, it turned boring”.
Matías : “What I liked the most about the series was when Gokuh dies fighting against Cell, and then Gohan comes along and kills him with the giant Kame Hame Ha with only one arm”.
Yemil : “The best by far was the fight with Cell. It’s amazing when Gohan beats him. By that time I used to watch it at noon and I didn’t miss an episode by any chance. I had about 50 action figures”.
Samtiago : “Dragon Ball is fun and intense because there’s fighting all the time and you want something to happen and then it continues in the next episode. My favourite character is Gohan. I like the Play Station game for all the action and special powers. It’s actually kinda hard to explain what I like the most about it, I guess it’s the fact that nothing like it will ever exist in real life”.
Joaquín : “My favourite characters are Gokuh as a kid, Super Gogueta and Gogueta Super Saiyajin 4. What I like the most about it is Gokuh growing up and all the fighting. It’s violent. When I play it on the Play Station I always choose Gokuh because he loads faster”.