Dragon Ball Volume 3

This review may contain spoilers.

“It’s tough to make predictions – especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra

Once again we recount the early adventures of Son Goku in this collection, as we conclude the story of the Red Ribbon Army and meet an elderly fortune teller (and not a fortune smeller). 

At this point in Dragon Ball Goku is still searching for the 4-star ball that was left to him by his late grandfather. His search takes him to the sacred land of Karin where his ball is found by a seemingly Native American man named Bora, and his son Upa. When Goku meets them and finds the ball, the Red Ribbon Army call upon the infamous assassin Tao Pai Pai to stop Goku once and for all. After a fierce encounter in which Goku is beaten up fiercely and Bora is tragically killed, Goku decides to climb the impossibly high Karin Tower to drink some special water that will increase his strength greatly, and to use the Dragon Balls to bring Bora back to life.

Other than having to deal with the Red Ribbon Army, Goku’s other problem is that one of the Dragon Balls is not detectable on the Dragon Radar. Muten Roshi suggests someone who could help: Baba, an old fortune teller who seemingly knows everything. Goku travels with Upa, Kuririn, Yamucha and Pu-erh to Baba’s home, but as they cannot afford her prices, she only agrees to help them if they can beat her five fighters.

In this collection it seems that the humour is better than the battles, which is slightly annoying, given that there are more battles than there are comic moments, usually concerning Goku’s lack of knowledge of polite society (stripping naked at a moment’s notice for example). There are some other enjoyable moments too, such as the relationship between Goku and Upa.

There are some issues with the subtitling, however. For example at times “Upa” is spelt “Oopa”. Another issue is that the last few episodes in this collection are filler episodes, which see Goku training on his own in preparation for the next Tenkaichi martial arts tournament, and helping various people and creatures along the way.

This selection of episodes is alright; with plus and minus points to it, but with the Tenkaichi tournament coming up, there is always more excitement to come.

6 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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