Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Dragon Ball, Vol. 8: Taopaipai and Master Karin" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball, Goku is on the mission to find his grandfather's dragon ball and needs to find it before the Red Ribbon Army captures the dragon balls. He so far has four and he finds the next one is the Karin Sanctuary which unfortunately he encounters a battle erupting as the Red Ribbon Army tried to steal the protector of Karin Sanctuary's son. Goku luckily saves him in time and as a reward the protector aka Bora gives Goku the next dragon ball which is his grandfather so the exploration is over... well not quite. For you see, the Red Ribbon Army sends a powerful assassin name Taopaipai who almost kills Goku is battle but sadly he kills Bora. Goku is devastated that a man who protected him has died and now wants to avenge his death by gathering all the dragon balls and summoning him back to life. 

Taopaipai takes all of Goku's dragon balls but forgets the one he had hiding in his shirt and decides to revisit him to steal it to finally get his paycheck. Since Goku survived, he needs to get stronger and discovers that in Karin's sanctuary there is a tower that leads to the heavens and legends say that if you reach the top, there is a holy water that will get you super strength and he embarks on that journey. When Goku reaches the top, he discovers (I) a cat named Karin who is the guardian of the tower, (II) Goku must fight a telepathic cat to get the water, (III) Master Roshi was the only one who has climbed that tower and succeeded getting the drink and Karin was his master. 

Goku is a freak of nature and within 3 days succeeds what took his master 3 years to accomplish, the water isn't super strength but the whole combat and mental training with Karin is what makes Goku invincible to defeat Taopaipai and head off to Red Ribbons Headquarters to retrieve all the dragon balls and put an end to the Red Ribbon Army. Goku succeeds in each obstacle that comes his way and now that he has the six dragon balls all he is missing is the 7th and I feel like retrieving that is not going to come easy.

What i really loved about this volume is it was able to bring back that spark that Akira Toriyama was able to achieve in the first few volumes and was able to eliminate the nonsense of superficial missions. Each volume feels like I am watching 5 episodes of the anime adaptation and this whole arc of the Red Ribbon Army in my opinion has reached its limit. I love the intro to finding the dragon balls the first time and the tournament which was epic and I really want to see Goku grow up to be the powerful humble fighter that he is in Dragon Ball Z.

Each time I read a new volume I get curious how they are going to transition to Dragon Ball Z because I thought Goku was going to wish he could flash forward time which would make the logical sense and now I am completely clueless. This series is truly underrated and I believe this to be action packed and provide important details for the next series. I cannot wait to read more and reach the conclusion of Dragon Ball. Until next time...

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