Anyone remotely familiar with Japan’s comic culture has likely seen or at least heard of the world-renowned adventure manga, Dragon Ball. Honestly, thanks to the anime, the TV specials, the films, and the Hollywood movie adaption, it’s hard to find anyone without at least some awareness of this awesome title. The impact that Dragon Ball has had on Japan’s comic industry is so great that a world without Super Saiyans is hard to even imagine. But, every series has to have begun somewhere, and before the 51st issue of Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine for the year 1984, there was no such thing as Dragon Ball!
…Actually, that’s a lie. Issue number 51 certainly contained the first chapter of the Dragon Ball manga, but the hype began a short time before that. After all, it’s hard to sell an all-new series without some form of advertising. We found this to be true when the Japanese side of our RocketNews24 staff managed to dig up a copy of 1984’s Weekly Shonen Jump volume 50, one issue prior to the release of Dragon Ball. Inside, we found some awesome illustrated spreads announcing the creation of this comic wonder. It’s fascinating to see just how highly the series was anticipated, though the comic’s branding might have been a little off the mark at first.