Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Dragon Ball, Vol. 16: Goku vs. Piccolo" by Akira Toriyama


We have finally reached the final installment of Dragon Ball and this is currently all the emotions I experience before, during, and after:

I cannot believe that I made it to Volume 16 and I am glad that I rediscovered this series again in my life. I was just a kid when I learned about Goku and getting to learn his story as a child to a teenage was fabulous and was worth the journey so thank you Akira Toriyama who after all these years still inspire generations with Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Even though the series is not over and we will be seeing plenty of our beloved characters, it is still a goodbye to our childhood and youth and welcoming a new change and future. To say that I enjoyed this series is an understatement and I highly suggest those who love the franchise to consider reading this first because it is rich is storyline and wonderful introductions to iconic characters. While Dragon Ball Z is full of action and phenomenal heroes and villains, Dragon Ball still has high marks in terms of storytelling and how we get to see Goku grow up to the man that we love.

Now back to the story. Previously on Dragon Ball, Goku, Piccolo, and Shen are the last few remaining in the tournament and currently Piccolo and Shen are in a match. We get to see major ass kicking from both Piccolo and Shen and Piccolo realizes that Shen is God aka Kami-Sama and decides to raise the stakes higher throughout the match. While God is battling Piccolo, in reality he is trying to find the quickest way of ending the match by doing the Mafuba on Piccolo. Unfortunately Piccolo is stronger than the original prototype and the Mafuba does not work on him and he reverses the spell on God and traps him in a bottle.

Since Shen is not a fighter, Piccolo wins the match and Shen has no memory of this tournament. Now the fate of humanity rests on Goku and I love how during his match with Piccolo, Goku is not paying attention about saving the world and simply just trying to kick Piccolo ass. If you think the original match with Piccolo and Goku was epic, this match tops all matches during this entire series. 

Goku is able enough to rescue God out of the bottle and showcase the readers his true power when it comes to fighting Piccolo. He blocks Piccolo most dangerous moves and without any struggle reflects back and attacks Piccolo with all his might. They completely destroy the temple and since everyone discovered that Piccolo is still alive they flee the tournament which comes as a hidden blessing. 

We see a brand new Kamehameha which is called Super Kamehameha which has never been seen before in public. You would think by the end of this tournament Goku will lose yet again but this time around Goku beats the living daylights out of Piccolo and wins. After everything is set and done, humanity is restored and friends reunite and celebrate. God was going to kill Piccolo at the moment but Goku interfere and even gave Piccolo a senzu bean which restores Piccolos strength and healed his wounds.

I can completely understand everyone being outraged about Goku saving Piccolo's life but I believe Goku has finally found a worth opponent. I think Goku knows something that everyone doesn't realize about Piccolo and by healing him I feel like it showcases Piccolo that Goku doesn't want to kill him and that he may not be as evil as he honestly believes since he was given life by King Piccolo.

After all is said and done, God offers Goku and Chichi a chance to become a God and Goddess and Goku declines saying that Heaven is boring and that he loves to fight and would like to become stronger. He hops on Kintoun and flies away with Chichi and that is the end of the Dragon Ball.

I am glad that the ending was so fulfilling and had plenty of action scenes to keep exciting to pursue the next series. I finally get to revisit the opening scene of Dragon Ball Z and I am beyond excited to see Adult Goku and the rest of the new characters that I will meet in this new epic fantasy adventure.

I love Goku, I love Akira Toriyama and I am so grateful to continue this Dragon Ball adventure and fortune enough the story continues. I have some clues as to what is going to happen in the new series but I have tons of details that need to be filled in that the anime didn't provide for me as a child. Goodbye Dragon Ball and hello Dragon Ball Z. Until next time...

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