Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Dragon Ball, Vol. 14: Heaven and Earth" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball, Piccolo is King of the World and is going to destroy it one piece at a time, Goku is with Yajirobe to seek Master Karin's guidance, and the rest of the gang is either dead or recuperating from Piccolo's encounter.

Goku and Yajirobe finally arrive at the top of the tower of Karin Sanctuary and Master Karin is quickly able to heal Goku and restore him as the epic fighter we all know and love. Goku asks Master Karin if there is any training he can do to become stronger and Master Karin replies that Goku has received all the training he can get and offers a drastic solution that can kill him. There is this sacred holy water that is toxic and whoever drinks it and survives will discover their hidden powers and become stronger. The only exception is every person who has drunk the liquid before Goku have all died trying but luckily Goku has the strength and the perseverance never been witness and survives 6 hours of crucial pain. After that torture he official becomes a saiyan and can feel the evil presence of Piccolo. He immediately heads off to Piccolo's location so he can fight and destroy him once and for all.

Meanwhile Tenshinhan desperately tries to create the Mafuba so that way he can kill Piccolo and does not care if he has to die in the process. He successful creates it and hops on a plane to immediately attack Piccolo. When he arrives to the castle, he discovers that the rice cooker is cracked and all hope is doomed but it doesn't stop him from attacking Piccolo with everything he's got. Sadly Piccolo beats him and he did it without using his full strength but Tenshinhan is saved when Goku arrives. He is shocked that Goku is still alive and is flabbergasted when he witness how Goku is a completely different person since the last time they saw each other.

He doesn't understand how Goku has become powerful and how he's reached another level of martial arts that could destroy Tenshinhan. Goku and Piccolo fight to the death and honestly it was one of the best fighting scenes in this entire manga. I can completely relate to Tenshinhan when he tries to recap what he saw to others about that fight and at the end he simply says that you had to be there and I completely agree. Piccolo was no match for Goku and even after he beats every single muscle in Goku's body; Goku was able with a single punch destroy Piccolo from the inside and out. 

What the others didn't see is that Piccolo wasn't going to die without a fight and right before he exploded, he took the essence of himself and throw up an egg that would be his son who would become the next Piccolo but 10x stronger than the original. He would go into hiding preparing for the day he would attack and kill Goku and seek havoc in the world. The whole gang in the process was trying to get closer to Tenshinhan to help him and they were shocked that Goku saved mankind even though the Psychic Crone told them that Goku would and I believe in that moment is when they discovered that Goku is something out of this world.

Since Shenlong was destroyed, that means that the dragon balls were destroyed and Goku cannot bring back his friends except for the fact that Karin forgot a certain loophole. The only option to resurrect Shenlong is to meet with its creator which is God. Yajirobe is an atheist and doesn't believe in God, and Goku is clueless the religious significance of who is this God guy but nonetheless since he is pure, humble, and has pure intentions, he is lucky enough to reach the Heavens which is located above Karin Tower where the only way of reaching it is with Goku's magical stick.

Goku arrives at heaven, goes through an instructive lesson with God's fighter, and finally meets God except he looks exactly like Piccolo. Piccolo and God were one being and every God has a time frame of living before they die and they need to appoint someone to replace them. God kept saying no to Piccolo and out of his anger came out this evil. Goku impressed God that he destroyed Piccolo but warns him that Piccolo Jr. is still alive and will battle Goku in three years time at the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament. God promises Goku that he will summon the dragon if Goku will stay in Heaven and train with Goku. Goku says yes and everyone comes back alive and they are speechless that Goku is training with God and even Master Roshi has accepted that Goku has surpassed the master. 

In the next scene we jump three years ahead and everyone is at the tournament. Everyone has been training extra hard since Goku is training with God and when Goku arrives everyone is shocked that (I)He is incredibly taller and (II)He is a complete and utter hunk. They reminiscent about old times and enter the tournament and luckily everyone makes it the semifinals except Chaozu. Taopaipai resurfaces as a cyborg who almost died thanks to Goku and now seeks his revenge on Goku and Tenshinhan. He was able to defeat Chaozu and now gets to fight with Tenshinhan, and on the side note Goku was a tiny bit surprised to see Piccolo because for a second he thought that he wasn't going to make it to the competition. Everyone is clueless about Piccolo except Goku and Tenshinhan but they kept their mouths shut to not cause a panic.

This volume is was absolutely stunning and was worth reading the entire series to make it up to this point. I just know that the final two volumes of this manga is going to be beautiful and mind-blowing when it comes to terms of storytelling and what happens next on Dragon Ball Z. I love Goku and I really enjoy seeing him taller and handsome and like the rest of the gang I am curious to see his epic martial arts technique. Until next time on Dragon Ball...

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