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Friday, April 3, 2009

Dragonball Episode

Wanting to break from the Western influences common in his other series, when Akira Toriyama began work on Dragon Ball he decided to loosely model it on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. He also redeveloped one of his earlier one shot manga series, Dragon Boy, which was initially serialized in Fresh Jump and released in a single tankĊbon volume in 1983. This short work combined the comedic style of Toriyama's successful six-year series Dr. Slump with a more action-oriented plot and paid homage to famous martial art actor Jackie Chan. Toriyama notes that his goal for the series was to tell an "unconventional and contradictory" story.

Dragonball Episode
Dragonball Episode

In the early concept of the series, Goku and Piccolo were from Earth. With the introduction of Kami, the idea of having fights from other planets was established and Goku and Piccolo were changed to alien species. For the female characters, Toriyama felt it wasn't fun to draw "weak females" so he created women that he felt were not only "beautiful and sexy", but also "strong". Going against the normal convention that the strongest characters should be the largest in terms of physical size, he designed many of Dragon Ball's most powerful characters with small statures, including the protagonist, Goku.

Dragonball EpisodeDragonball Episode
Dragonball Episode

The fighting techniques were initially unnamed, but the series editor felt it would be better to name them all. Toriyama proceeded to create names for all of the techniques, except for the Kamehameha which his wife named when Toriyama was indecisive about what it should be called. When creating the ficitional world of the series, Toriyama decided to create basing it from his own imagination to avoid referencing popular culture. However the island where the World Martial Arts Tournament is held is modeled after Bali. When having fights in the manga, Toriyama had the characters go to a place where nobody lived to avoid difficulties in drawing destroyed buildings. In order to advance the story quickly, he also gave most fighters the ability to fly so they could travel to other parts of the world without inconvenience. This was also the reasoning behind Goku learning to teletransport (thus allowing characters to move to any planet in a second).
Dragonball Episode
Dragonball EpisodeDragonball EpisodeDragonball Episode
Dragonball EpisodeDragonball Episode

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