Dragon Ball

Talented fan artist reimagines 50 famous manga heroes as 8-bit Mega Man characters

If you’re a gamer who’s too young to remember when Sega made consoles or having six buttons on a controller was a big deal, you might look back on 8-bit video game artwork and chuckle. With everything made out of blocky pixels, it’s impossible to create the sort of fine details that modern hardware easily renders to differentiate one character from another, isn’t it?

Maybe not, as one fan has put his old-school pixel art skills to use to recreate 50 different famous manga heroes, all in the style of the original Mega Man.

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Cosplay, art, and power-ups: A look at the Dragon Ball 30th anniversary gallery in Little Tokyo

It’s hard to believe that Dragon Ball is nearly 30 years old considering the extensive fanbase Akira Toriyama still commands after three decades. But the lines of dedicated fans at the Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary / Akira Toriyama Tribute show in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo proved that Goku and the gang are still going strong to this day. Check out all the cosplay, art, and power-ups after the break!

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New Dragon Ball Z movie bringing back an old villain on April 18

In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists,
Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled Battle of Gods, didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles Dragon Ball Z had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.

They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s Dragon Ball Z movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.

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Got shelf space? Japan’s 15 most completely collected manga series

Given how many passionate manga fans Japan has, it’s kind of surprising that a lot of them don’t collect every issue of their favorite series. Most titles are published once a week as part of several-hundred-page anthologies printed on cheap, quickly deteriorating newsprint. On the other hand, higher-quality collected volumes lag months behind the weekly editions.

This creates a strange catch-22 where fans who want to be up to the minute on their heroes’ adventures buy the anthologies but later toss them out. Eventually, many cherry-pick which collected volumes to purchase in order to fill in the gaps where they missed one of the weeklies, or to have a permanent copy of their favorite scenes.

Of course, a lot of incomplete sets are also the result of fans getting burned out before reaching the end of some of Japan’s notoriously long-running series. Add in the fact that storage space is at a premium in Japanese homes, and it’s a testament to a title’s staying power and ability to captivate readers when they buy it from start to finish, like so many have with these 15 manga.

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Anime’s 10 biggest male perverts, as chosen by Japanese fans

With the huge volume of anime that Japan produces, the medium has its own archetypes that each generation of creators adds new entries to. In the cute mascot character category, you’ll find Totoro, Magic Knight Rayearth’s Mokona, and Pokémon’s Pikachu. Looking for giant robots? Let us direct you to the full line of Gundam, Evangelion, and Ingram variants.

But Japanese animation isn’t just cuddly adorableness and cool technology. It’s also filled with raging hormones and irrepressible libidos, as shown in this list of anime’s perviest male characters.

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Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls

Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)

But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.

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Otaku generation gap – Fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s reveal what got them into anime

Fans of Japanese animation are quick to point out that it’s not just for kids, with less of the stigma attached to its Western counterpart. Still, even anime tends to be heavily youth-oriented, and fan favorites can quickly fade into obscurity.

For a quick example, ask an anime enthusiast about Bubblegum Crisis. Depending on their age you’ll get a description of either the 1987 direct-to-video series, the 1997 TV reboot, or directions to the closest convenience store where you can buy a pack of Bazooka.

As further proof, in a recent poll people in Japan revealed which shows turned them into lovers of anime, with completely different top five lists for fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s.

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Goku as a gorgeous girl? Artist reimagines iconic manga’s male hero minus his Dragon Balls

In the past, we’ve seen budding artists draw inspiration from some pretty unusual sources as they look to create cute anime-style girls. But with a bevy of big-eyed beauties already representing things such as video game hardware, PC operating systems, nations competing in the World Cup, and even history’s most notorious dictators, eventually the muse well was going to run dry.

Perhaps that’s why someone decided to use his artistic talents to produce a female version of Goku, Dragon Ball’s muscle-bound protagonist.

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Goku coming back to theaters with new Dragon Ball Z movie in 2015

How many years does an anime franchise have to be inactive before it can be officially declared dead? Given the pace at which fans’ tastes change in Japan, if more than a couple of years go by with no new content, it’s probably time to give up hope, hard as that may for those fervently waiting for a new season of Ranma 1/2, Trigun, or All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.

But when you’re the most popular martial arts series in the history of the medium, the ordinary rules don’t apply, which is why last year Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods hit Japanese theatres, ending a 17-year drought in Dragon Ball anime. Thankfully, the wait for the next installment in creator Akira Toriyama’s epic won’t be nearly so long, since there’s yet another Dragon Ball Z movie coming next year.

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Some reflections on the popularity of Japanese manga in Spain

You may be surprised to hear this, but Japanese manga is thriving in Spain. Look no further than massive conventions such as Madrid’s Expomanga and Barcelona’s Salón del Manga, where fans can celebrate their favorite series and characters with other like-minded people. So what are some of the factors that contribute to manga’s success in España?  

The folks at Japanese website Niconico News recently caught up with David Hernando, the Editorial Editor of Planeta DeAgostini Comics, which is a Spanish-Italian publisher that distributes many beloved Japanese manga series throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Mr. Hernando graciously shed some light on the current market for manga in Spain in an exclusive interview with them, and the following piece will attempt to summarize some of his key points, along with some other related topics we have taken notice of.

We would love to hear the thoughts of our readers residing in Spain as well, so please leave your comments at the end of the post!

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Dragon Ball master’s Hawaiian shirt is here to meet your mature cosplay needs

With Japanese animation’s pantheon of teen protagonists, in physiques rending from slender to buff, your cosplaying options drop off considerably once you pass a certain age/body fat percentage. Many fans are just too old or out of shape to pull off wearing a school uniform or form-fitting martial artist’s outfit.

It can be a sad day when you look in the mirror and realize it’s time to retire your Son Goku costume. But as you’re dumping out the two-gallon bucket of hair gel you bought for this summer’s anime convention season, take heart, because even if you can’t dress up as the hero of Dragon Ball, with this shirt you can cosplay as his master.

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Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Writing for RocketNews24, we get to see some unusual stuff nearly every day. The Internet, in all its infinite wisdom and fluffy kittens, can get pretty weird sometimes, as you are all probably very well aware. And that’s fine! When you’re tapping into the collective consciousness of the whole globe, you should expect to find the unexpected. But sometimes you really hit the wacky gold. Like this cartoon of Doraemon mashed together with Dragon Ball, complete with strained voice acting, over-the-top sound effects, and the most painful battles we’ve ever seen. It’s…look, you should just go ahead and click to read more now.

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Scrapped original Dragon Ball designs bordered on plagiarism

To the common Dragon Ball fan or student of historical Chinese literature, it’s probably not a big secret that the original Dragon Ball and the more popular spinoff, Dragon Ball Z, heavily borrow elements from one of the great Chinese novels, Journey to the West. 

Three recurring characters of the original run of the Dragon Ball series, Goku (the main protagonist), Bulma and Oolong, were all meant from the beginning to resemble important characters from Journey to the West, with each character being – even in the final forms of the manga and anime – a basic facsimile of their respective inspirations.

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We finally get to meet Goku’s mother — and we think she’s a real cutie!

As many of our readers are well aware, the powerful and spiky-haired Goku from Akira Toriyama’s manga and anime series Dragon Ball is one of the most recognizable icons of Japanese culture not just in Japan but across the world. Since the manga first appeared in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1984, Goku’s entourage and family have grown to include an impressive number of unique and memorable characters. It so happens, however, that in all that time, we have never seen Goku’s mother in any of the stories — until now.

Yes, Dragon Ball fans were delighted with the news earlier this month that Goku’s mother would be making an appearance for the first time in the 30-year history of the series in the new comic by Toriyama, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Now that the comic has been released, we’ve finally been able to come face to face with the mother of the superhero we’ve come to know so well, and we think she’s a real cutie! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gine, wife to the Saiyan warrior Bardock, and of course, Goku’s mom.

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Rapping Vegeta is over 9,000 levels of awesomeness

Dragon Ball fans are truly hardcore. Some fans express their love for the series by creating homemade animation videos complete with animated family members. Others perform elaborate raps while cosplaying as their favorite characters, as in the YouTube video “Battleful Days.” Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Vegeta, Frieza, Piccolo, and Yamcha rap? Now’s your chance! For your ease of comprehension, we have compiled a full translation of the lyrics to the rap featured in this video. Enjoy!

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After 30 years, mother of Dragon Ball’s Goku finally set to appear in new comic chapter

Goku, the protagonist of smash-hit anime and manga franchise Dragon Ball, is one of Japan’s most iconic fictional characters. Even decades after his 1984 debut, he’s still instantly recognizable and almost universally loved by comic and animation fans.

With 30 years of stories, there’s been plenty of time to flesh out the spiky-haired martial artist’s backstory. Still, Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has kept one bit of his most popular hero’s life shrouded in mystery until now, as Goku’s mother will appear for the first time in a special one-off manga.

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What do a zebrafish and Dragon Ball’s Krillin have in common?

The zebrafish is an interesting member of the minnow family for a number of reasons. They cute, fairly cheap, and relatively easy to take care of as pets making them great for warming up the old homestead. On the other hand, they are widely used in labs due to their speedy reproduction and development along with their fully sequenced genome.

Krillin, meanwhile, is an interesting recurring character of the Dragon Ball series. The most popular fully human character, he has developed the power of flight and powerful energy disc. He’s also one of the more versatile dressers of the series sporting outfits and hairstyles beyond his fighting gear.

So what is it that connects this fictional fighter to the freshwater fish?

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Battle of Gods airs on TV — scenes from the movie anger Frieza, and he tweets to let us know!

The latest movie in the Dragon Ball series, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, which was released in Japan about a year ago, was aired on Japanese national TV for the first time over this past weekend. Judging from all the tweets and comments on the Japanese Internet, it appears many fans were waiting for the broadcast in anticipation, and to our delight, we were even treated to some scenes that weren’t included in the original theater-released version.

One special viewer, though, has attracted particular attention with one of his tweets, as the tweet seems to have come from none other than the main villain from one of the earlier Dragon Ball story arcs, the evil Frieza himself!

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See life-size Dragon Ball & One Piece statues fight & turn Tokyo street into rubble

J-Stars Victory Vs., the crossover fighting game that pits characters from 32 Shonen Jump manga against each other, debuts on Wednesday, and to celebrate the launch, Bandai Namco Games erected life-size statues of Dragon Ball Z‘s Son Goku duking it out with One Piece‘s Monkey D. Luffy on the streets of Tokyo.

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Dragon Ball-style ‘Hunter x Hunter’ illustration delights netizens

It’s simply amazing to see what is created when manga artists draw other artists’ original characters. We’ve seen it before when the likes of One Piece‘s Eiichiro Oda and Death Note’s Takeshi Obata celebrated ten years of Naruto with original fanart. Now here’s one from manga artist, Takumi, who has chosen to draw popular manga, Hunter x Hunter, in the style of Akira Toriyama, the man behind classics such as Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball.

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