Friday, September 4, 2015

"Dragon Ball, Vol. 4: Strongest Under the Heavens" by Akira Toriyama


Over the last couple of volumes, I was trying to figure out when are they going to showcase the epic battle scenes that the anime is famous for and I am happy to announce that this volume had plenty of action. We are instantly swooped right back into the story in which our team of fighters are still competing in the tournament. Kuririn won the first match so he is now in the semi-finals, and now Yamcha is competing with Jackie Chun. For Yamcha, he is in a disadvantage because he doesn't know anything about Jackie Chun and from the tryouts, all Jackie Chun matches were won with a few moves. 

During their battle, Yamcha mistakes Jackie Chun for leaving plenty of room of weakness points to attack but by the end Jackie Chun gave him a can of whoop ass and won the match. Now with Goku, his match deals with what looks like a dinosaur and it gets intense. Not because of his opponent is powerful, it is simply his moves come as unexpected and almost made Goku lose the match. In the end luckily he wins the battle leading to the semi-finals.

Kuririn gets to fight Jackie Chun and unfortunately is no match for him because in reality Jackie Chun is Master Roshi aka his mentor. We get to learn the backdrop of why Master Roshi goes into the competition because he believes that if his students win the tournament, they will let the fame get into their head and not challenge themselves to become better fighters and seek more training. Plus he wants to teach them that no matter how powerful you become as a fighter, there is someone who will always be better and faster. 

After a series of different matches, Goku and Jackie Chun become the last two remaining opponents and surprisingly Goku is a worth opponent for Jackie Chun. I personally believe since Goku is very humble, has no connect to the civilized world only nature, and because he is not human, he has the ability to adapt and become a powerful fighter without much work. He is a perfectionist and can easily comprehend martial arts moves. He surprises Master Roshi during their battle when Goku blocked Master Roshi's Kamehameha with his own and for that to happen you have to be powerful against an immortal martial arts master.

Their fighting scenes were intense and it was incredible how I lost the track of time reading this manga and I went absolutely nuts when this volume ended because it left in a cliff hanger, luckily I had checked out the next four volumes of the library. I later found myself laughing realizing that if I had read this when it was published in english, I would have gone insane having to wait months or even a year for the english version to be translated. While I always prefer the anime, I am lucky that I have the manga's to entertain me.

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