You Should Read Dragon Ball Z Manga

In today’s society, the idea of reading a story vs watching that tale be spun in front of our eyes is an argument that has merits on both sides. But, there is a middle ground which is in the form of manga or comics (if you prefer). I think that watching Dragon Ball Z is great. I watch episode after episode over and over, mostly because my son is a huge fan and can’t get enough, but also due to my love of this show. Recently, I have discovered the joy of reading Dragon Ball Z.

If you love the show, you should read Dragon Ball Z manga. It is awesome. For all that think that reading the manga is a waste of time or is for kids, I will be presenting arguments in favor of reading the anime.

Dragon Ball Manga 1

Seriously, Read Instead of Watch?

I know, Dragon Ball Z is awesome to watch. It is over-the-top action and for the most part, drawn really well. The options of watching with American or Japanese voice actors also presents an attractive way to liven up a well-known show.

But, you should be reading Dragon Ball Z Manga. It is drawn extremely well, with all the same use of energy effects and the dialogue is great. The characters are very well developed and all are written to serve their purpose within the story. The biggest factor that made me love and anticipate getting a new manga book in the mail was the pacing. Yes, the pacing is superb in the manga.

Every fight scene, every moment of horror, every triumph, everything is drawn out in the show. I don’t mean drawn out as in a picture (although that is a part of it). What I mean is that unnecessary explosions, rocks and debris flying and blowing apart, every character’s expressions, all of it is dragged out to the point of ridiculousness. It makes sense though, in the anime, they had to accommodate time slots and get as many episodes out of the source material as possible. However, this borders on being monotonous at times. Sometimes, I think, “Let’s just get on with it.” But, even with this fault, the anime is still awesome (and as if other anime don’t do this for the same reasons, shame on those that hate on only Dragon Ball Z for it).

Another reason to read, considering pacing, is that there are sagas or sections of scenes in the anime that are not present in the manga. These were created strictly to keep the anime on pace with the manga so that the show could stay faithful to the manga. This makes me proud to be a fan. The animators at FUNimation had enough care for their audience that they purposefully added content that didn’t exist in the manga. It does slow down the pace, though. So, for a more pure version, the manga is the way to go.

But It’s Printed In Black & White…

This, I hardly consider an argument. It is a bit of a transition if you are not used to reading comic or manga books that are not in full color. After a bit of reading, it is hardly noticeable anymore. What is noticeable is the quality of the story, the quicker pacing and the great artwork.

Most books that we all read are printed with just words, in black and white. There are no pictures that set the scene for the reader,  so the reader must imagine what the author was intending as the scene. This can lead to some vastly different interpretations. The beauty of comics and manga are that there is dialogue and narrative text that is put into context by the artist.

The point of this type of book is to be visually entertaining, along with having a great story. This does not mean that manga books should be considered to be for low-level readers. In fact, quite the opposite. Manga is intended to give the reader a visual cue to further their imagination of the world that the manga is set in. It is meant to draw the reader in and create a level of emotional attachment to the books that is more difficult to achieve with a traditional book.

Besides, if it is really that important to read this manga in color, they do offer those versions.

I Have to Read Right to Left?

Another complaint about manga? It is annoying at first. Mostly because a lot of people are unaware how to read a Japanese manga. It is read from right to left, top to bottom. This can be confusing because the panels are not marked as the order to be read, so sometimes the reader can be reading mostly correct, but be a couple of panels out of order. This is not much different from American comics, which can be read out of order due to the positioning of the panels.

Again, after a bit of reading, this argument becomes insignificant. The story and the artwork are interesting enough to make the reader anticipate the next line, the next panel, the next page, that it is just not important how the story is to be read.

Wow, It’s Actually Good

Now that we are past some objections and are reading the manga…it is actually good! For those of us that were introduced to the show first, and then decided to give the manga a read, the manga delivers an equally entertaining story but with a lot of superior aspects.

The pacing of the anime is very slow in comparison. The manga gives such a clean story that is free of unnecessary filler material. This pacing gives the reader a lot more investment in the material, draws more attention to the details of the artwork and does not allow the story to lose its appeal.

When compared to other comic and manga books, the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super books hold up very well. They do not become as convoluted as American comics, like those of Marvel and DC. The story still expands and makes retroactive corrections to previous information, but it does it in a way that seems to just explain more rather than change the story.

Where to Get Dragon Ball Z Manga Online

You can search for Dragon Ball Z manga, buy from a major online retailer, or visit a site that specializes in all things nerdy. I prefer to buy things from sites that have a personal investment in the things I like. One such site that specializes in comics/manga, collectibles and other nerdy things is Things From Another World. Here is a link to that site.

Visit Things From Another World for a massive selection of Star Wars, Hellboy, Manga, Superheroes and other pop culture favorites.

Here is a link specifically to their Dragon Ball section.

Buy Dragon Ball Z Manga Here! Greatly Discounted Prices!

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Just Josh

I used to be a cool dude, now I'm a cool dad. I love anime/manga, comics, movies, action figures and collectibles. I hope to pass my passion for all things cool and nerdy on to my son.

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4 Responses

  1. Amanda Mandeville says:

    You’re such a cool nerd!

  2. Shy says:

    My daughter used to love watching Dragon Ball Z.  She is almost 18 years old now and loves to read all kinds of manga and fanfiction.  She is always telling me what happened in the new manga she is reading.  She loves to read it on her tablet that she got for Christmas last year, and has used it everyday since, mostly for reading, not playing.

    • Just Josh says:

      Yeah, my boy loves to watch the show, but he will be introduced to the other side as soon as he is ready.  Manga is a great form of entertainment.  Keep encouraging your daughter to be herself and do what she likes!

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