Hello, my lovely Otaku brothers and sisters! This specific place on the interwebs is to be dedicated to the Japanese entertainment that we provide at the library, just for you. That’s right! Anime and Manga that we carry at the library. Of course, if there is a specific series that you’d like me to touch on, let me know and I’ll do what I can. Now, the way that this works is that I’m going to choose a random series that we carry at the library each month, (we have a lot) and I’m going to give a quick summary and opinion. Usually, if we have the manga, we’ll have the anime, but that’s not ALWAYS the case. As we all know, some manga don’t have an anime to go along with it. Or! Some of the stuff that we do have, the anime isn’t available yet. So! For those series that don’t have an anime, I’ll either leave it by itself, or find another anime to pair with it! Everyone got the rules down? Okay!

This month, we’re going to start off with an incredibly popular and well known series. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z! Most people know this series. A lot of people were introduced to Manga/Anime through this series. But for those who don’t know, it’s a very interesting story.

We are introduced to Son Goku, a young boy, (at the start of the series) who has recently lost his grandfather. He lives in the woods, has had no contact with society, and the only real memento that he has of his grandpa is a four-starred dragon ball. Not long after our introduction to Goku, we meet Bulma, a typical teen who just wants an adventure. We learn from her that along with that four starred ball, there are seven. And if they are gathered together, one wish can be made. After the wish is granted, all the balls separate and are scattered, starting the adventure all over again. Goku decides to leave with Bulma on the quest for the dragon balls, and meets new people along the way, including, Krillin (Kuririn), a young martial artist, Master Roshi, a perverted sage who despite his actions and appearance is very strong, and Yamcha, a young man raised in the desert with his feline associate Puar. Dragon Ball mostly focuses on Goku’s youth and exploits as a young man. It also explores his ever increasing ability to fight, and his endless optimism (and his endless appetite). As Dragon Ball continues, he meets his future wife Chi-chi, and fights the world’s strongest enemy, the Demon King Piccolo, TWICE and wins each time, ending with the second defeat and letting the reader know that more is to come.

Dragon Ball Z picks up where Dragon Ball left off, and is the more popular of the Dragon Ball franchise. It still follows Son Goku, but he is now the father of Son Gohan. It is in Dragon Ball Z where we are introduced to the Saiyans, a race of power hungry aliens bent on world domination. We also learn that Goku is a part of this race, which accounts for his strength. Through this part two of sorts, we meet even more characters, including the iconic Vegeta, whom everyone either loves, or loves to hate. As time goes on, he dies (multiple times, which surprisingly doesn’t stop him from saving the world) has another child (Son Goten) and even a grandchild . The series does end on a happy note, with everyone alive and living their lives.

Now, onto my opinion of the series. I personally love this series. This was the first series that I realized was from another country and kept my interest. (My first anime was of course Pokémon, but I didn’t know what anime was when I started watching/playing that.) What makes this show so interesting to me is the fact that it did go on for so long, and there was barely in lag time. There was always something going on. And when I say lag time, I mean that there was character development without feeling boring or going chapters without forgetting what exactly was going on at that point in time. There was never time to be truly confused. You could always know the plot line. ALWAYS. And when there were fillers, they were somewhat enjoyable.

I also enjoyed the fact that the characters grew up. There are a lot of series where it’s easy to forget how old the character is. I’ll read Bleach and forget that Ichigo is only fifteen. Same with Naruto. But this series grew with the characters, as well as with the audience. It may seem like it’s nothing but action, but it is somewhat relatable as well. That, along with countless other reasons, makes this series a classic. This is one of the series that I legitimately was sad to see end, and when they tried to continue on in the anime with Dragon Ball GT, it was an even worse feeling because they were obviously trying too hard. The only things that I found annoying about the series was the main character dying almost every arc, and monologues (Which is important in Shounen series I guess…)

As for the anime, the animation was on point. It gradually grew with the time with the first Dragon Ball episode being in 1984, to Toei Animation still pumping out movies for Dragon Ball Z. The company also recently released Dragon Ball Z Kai. This new series has all the same fights and episodes, just no fillers were allowed to join the party. Now, I know that this may be a little taboo to some people, but I only watched this in the English Dub. I’ve only seen a couple episodes and a couple movies in Japanese. What I didn’t like in Kai was the redubbing of certain characters. I came back to relive my childhood, and I come back to new voices that just don’t fit the character the way I was used to. Like, how dare Funimation do that to me???? Anyways, I’m going off topic. Basically, DBZ is literally a never ending story. Usually, I don’t like those, but DBZ is the only series that legitimately does it right. It’s also noteworthy that those who were into the series will still go to movie theatres and put money down just to see a DBZ movie.

Both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z can be found can be found in our library system, anime and manga alike. We even have 3-in-1 books and they make things a lot easier. Also, we have most of the movies available to check out as well as Dragon Ball Z Kai on DVD. So if you’re starting it for the first time, or just want a nice dosage of nostalgia, we have it here just for you! Well, that’s all I got to say for this installment! Let me know if you agree or don’t. I welcome your opinions. Just as long as they are respectful and not of ill-intent. See you hopefully next month! Ja ne!

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