Volume 1 Review
DBZeroVerse is a series that has long been in the Dragon Ball World but is just now coming to light. Just as the official synopsis reads, DBZeroVerse is an unofficial continuation of the Dragon Ball manga series. Unlike most Doujinshi however, DBZeroVerse had actual backing from the Chinese publisher known as “Xizang Ren Min Chu Ban She” (Tibetan People’s Publishing House), so it is sort of legitimate…but only sort of. Toei most certainly never commissioned this work to be done, but I will argue in this review that DBZeroVerse has the potential to be the better than the original Dragon Ball itself. The DBZeroVerse that we are now recieveing is being given to us by Marb, who has taken all the pages from the Chinese version and edited them so they look presentable. In addition, Marb has done the translation and helped with the cover. He has been the lead of this work, and Derek Padula, the Dao of Dragon Ball, has been the advocate for this project. Now that the background information is covered, let’s begin the review of volume 1!
This review will break down DBZeroVerse in multiple categories: story, characters, art, and last but not least, formatting. I’m not sure if I can praise the story within DBZeroVerse enough. For all you Dragon Ball fans out there who didn’t love GT and are hesitate about Super like I am, this series is waiting for you to read it! The plot is immediately intriguing, as it is simple and yet follows closely with how Toriyama himself would’ve told the story. Most of this part of the review will be filled with slight spoilers, so if you don’t want a mini plot breakdown, skip further down. DBZeroVerse should be part of the official canon; its opening to the story is enough to tell me this. Just like Toriyama, DBZeroVerse tells us a story without giving every detail away. The story opens three years after the end of Dragon Ball manga. Goku has trained Oob, and the two have emerged to enter the Budokia Tenkaichi! We are given minor details about the past three years, and I loved how we receive so little information. Leaving a sense that not much occurred brings a sense of importance to the story presented within DBZeroVerse. We don’t always need to know what are heroes are always up to and what they have done; it’s a waste of time. DBZeroVerse doesn’t waste your time as a reader, as it recaps the end of Dragon Ball with some brief detail, and jumps into the new story. The Tournament begins, and our old cast of characters are introduced once again. While we always see tournaments in Dragon Ball, this one seems fresh with an air of “something big is going to happen”. As a reader, I couldn’t wait to see Oob’s power, and I wasn’t disappointed (but Vegeta was, as he once again misses his chance to fight Goku XD). First, Goten and Trunks fight, having an intense battle that results in a game of “Janken”, or rock paper scissors. Pan also has a short fight, and Vegeta wins his match. We are then lead to the main event; Goku versus Oob. Finally, Oob’s power is unleashed, and it’s good to see that his character of a shy boy was left intact. While the fight is taking place, our new (or should I say old, as Babidi is there) villains are introduced. The introduction of these new villains immediately pulled me in, as I wondered how Babidi was alive and who is new companion was. Babidi begins to cast a spell on Oob, and before long, he becomes “Majin Oob”, falling into the hands of evil. Majin Oob’s power is immense, and he quickly dispatches of Goku. Vegeta steps in, and a small fight ensues, with Vegeta being nearly felled as well. This is all I will reveal about the plot, if you want to read more, pick up the book! What I will say, however, is that it gets better, and the mystery of our villain’s intentions will keep you reading! As far as story, 10/10, much better than Dragon Ball GT or the new Dragon Ball Super.
This will be the shortest part of the review; the characters. The writers of DBZeroVerse did an amazing job staying true to Toriyama’s original cast, and I never questioned any of the dialogue or character’s actions. The new character’s that were introduced were interesting and mysterious, and I can’t wait to have my questions answered in upcoming volumes. As far as staying true to the source, DBZeroVerse receives a 10/10.
One of the most important parts of any manga is art. Within DBZeroVerse, you won’t be disappointed. While the artist who drew DBZeroVerse obviously isn’t Akira Toriyama, it doesn’t distract from the amazing story being told and in my opinion, stays true to Toriyama’s early style of work. In the first few chapters, the art is lack luster, but as the chapter’s progress, it starts to look more and more like Toriyama himself drew the work (almost mirroring his early Dragon Ball style). While some people may complain all day about this works “lack of quality” or “distance from the orginal art”, I found myself engrossed by the images before me on the page, whether it was exactly Toriyama’s style or not. There were a few panels and character expressions that I questioned, but overall, this work did well to pay tribute to Toriyama’s style while maintaining its own fashion, giving it the score of a 7.5/10
If you are willing to invest 15 dollars in the physical copy of the first volume, I can tell you it’s well worth it. I’m always very picky about my formatting in manga; it needs to be exactly right or I tend to be disappointed. To my surprise, I found literally nothing wrong with the formatting of this volume. There was a table of contents, page numbers, and clear images on each page. The translation was superb, the chapter breakdown spectacular. The cover art and lettering is epic, and the last few pages of the book give us some backgrounf info on the work that is being done on the series. The physical dimensions of the book were perfect, as it fit it my hands comfortably and everything could be seen clearly. If you buy this manga, you don’t have to worry about formatting, as I think it beats Viz at how it structures the work. Formatting gets a 10/10
Now, I give volume 1 of DBZeroVerse a 9/10 as the overall score, with some occasional questionable art as my only real complaint. I suggest any fan of Dragon Ball purchase this book and tell your friends, as I actually enjoyed it more than parts of the Dragon Ball manga. Here is a link to the volume on Amazon, it is well worth the $15, can’t wait for volume 2, enjoy!