Dragon Ball Z (Shonen Jump Edition) Vol. #16 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-808-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Dragon Ball Z (Shonen Jump Edition) Vol. #16

By Chris Beveridge     October 03, 2006
Release Date: May 01, 2005

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Akira Toriyama
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:Gerard Jones

What They Say
Cell has fused with android #17, becoming the strongest being in the universe - but not for long! Training in the Room of Spirit and Time, where a year passes for every day outside, Vegeta and Trunks have gone beyond the Super Saiyan, reaching a level of power even greater than second-stage Cell!

Now, Cell is no match for Vegeta - but Vegeta hates a boring fight. Succumbing to his pride, he agrees to help Cell fuse with android #18, the last element Cell needs to become "perfect," so he can crush Cell at his maximum power! But Vegeta's battle-lust may spell the end of the world!

The Review
The Dragon Ball Z franchise at this stage is something that I find to be really curious. While the original series did big numbers and Toriyama continued it with Z, the big part of Z came to its conclusion with the last volume and the battle with Cell and having Trunks return to his proper time and dealing with issues there. As much as I hated how it dragged out in the anime and felt like it took forever, I adored it in the manga version and have really gotten into the Z saga even more. But with the completion of that, where does Toriyama go? He's shifted the older Trunks out of the picture, Goku is polishing his halo and Goten doesn't have enough of a personality to differentiate himself from a young Goku to carry the book on his own.

Let's let Gohan take charge for awhile! With it being a few years since the big event and things having quieted down across the world, there have been lots of changes. Gohan is entering a public school for his high school years and is excited about that and being out from under his mothers apron strings but he has to commute pretty far and keep his powers a secret. The city he's going to has changed its named in honor of Hercules, the "winner" of the last big battle and the public face of the warriors that went up against Cell. He's even got a daughter in high school himself now named Videl and she's grown up believing his stories of victory and conquest, leading her to a skewed perception of reality. Naturally, she and Gohan end up in the same class and somewhat adversarial towards each other but he can't really reveal who he is.

Gohan's keeping more than one secret though as his arrival in town has also given him a chance to take on the role of a super hero by wearing a mask and defeating criminals. Sometimes he causes more trouble than anything else but he's so good natured about it and so eager to please, even though his costume and catchphrases are horrible, that you can't help but root for him in this endeavor. It's got some cute moments with Bulma as she helps out with his secret identity and Trunks gets in some colorful comments about it as well. Trunks and Vegeta have some great moments here and Vegeta is continuing the trend of being pushed out of the limelight as he realizes how powerful the next generation of kids is going to be. Of course, a new tournament is about to start and a lot of the old gang are eager to attend it once again since it promises a great reunion moment, albeit a cheap moment on Toriyama's part, but it serves to highlight the generational change that's going on in the franchise.

These stories are the ones that really make you feel like the book is doing a bunch of extra stories and Toriyama isn't really sure where he's going with all of it so he goes back to the well with another tournament. But that doesn't really matter since the characters have changed in the intervening six or seven years and settled into their new lives. Seeing their progression is what makes this volume a lot more fun than it would be otherwise. Treating all of it as just one big honking epilogue doesn't diminish it but it does frame it properly I think. It's good fun without any serious issues or repercussions anymore.


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