Welcome to the Monthly Dragon Ball Report, a monthly column series where we take a look back at pages that appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump when the Dragon Ball manga was still being serialized.
For our second ever column, we'll be taking an exciting retrospective starting with Goku's race against the Red Ribbon Army to gather the Dragon Balls and going all the way up to the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai story arc!
So sit back, relax, and flip through the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump with us!
To retrieve the Four-Star Ball that was a keepsake from Grandpa Gohan, Goku sets forth on a brand-new adventure.
This journey began in Weekly Shonen Jump 1986 No.5, and to kick things off right, this issue contained both New Year's Day stickers and a full-color calendar featuring original artwork as bonuses!
The title page for Goku's new adventure also appeared in glorious color!
While everyone was still pondering about the true identity and motives of the Red Ribbon Army, we reached issue No.7 and were treated to a fantastic cover and color opening pages!
The title page featuring Muscle Tower and the imposingly nefarious General White served to pump the excitement levels up even further.
This section of the story offers a different kind of action than the Tenkaichi Budokai segment as one powerful foe after another emerged to challenge our heroes!
Right when Dragon Ball's popularity was really blowing up, the anime was announced in issue No. 12! From the charming cover featuring Goku to the color opening page, a full-throttle Dragon Ball rush was on!
This issue also contained a color article loaded with special info on the upcoming anime.
And to attest to the series' overwhelming popularity, Dragon Ball ended up winning the 3rd Catchphrase Grand Prix that was held in issue No. 23!
In addition, the part of the story where Goku tracks General Blue to Penguin Village contained an astonishing 15 full-color pages!
Goku also lent his overflowing energy to Weekly Shonen Jump on this cover as the magazine celebrated 4.2 million copies sold! Way to go!
Later on in issue No.41, details on the Dragon Ball video games "Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo" and "Dragon Daihikyou" were revealed.
Fans couldn't wait to get their hands on these awesome games!
In the manga, Goku finally charges the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters in a chapter headed off with a color opening page!
Just when it seemed like Dragon Ball couldn't get any better, it managed to increase the excitement even more!
Goku was also the lead batter for issue No. 46!
Thanks to Goku's bravery and strength, the Red Ribbon Army's plans for world domination had been thwarted!
In the story, readers were all wondering about the location of the final Dragon Ball, but some equally intriguing items appeared here in the "Gotta Have 'Em! Sports Watch Present" giveaway! They remain super cool to this day, don't you agree?!
Later on in issue No. 51, the first Dragon Ball movie was announced!
Info on the "Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies" film was presented on three color pages here.
The 1987 No.5 issue contained a full color Dragon Ball calendar complete with original illustrations! That's two years in a row, folks!
I can still recall how I removed the calendar ever so carefully from the magazine, placed it into a sturdy plastic folder,
and then hung it on my wall to enjoy.
Changing the pages of the calendar each month was such a thrill!
This same issue also featured a Dragon Ball merch giveaway.
The items up for grabs were displayed over four pages, ranging from soft vinyl toys, stationery, and toy versions of Nyoibo to plastic models that came in packaging that looked just like a cup of yummy instant ramen! These goodies are a delight to behold even now!
This issue also presented Goku's battle against Grandpa Gohan. It came complete with color opening pages to pump the hype up to legendary levels!
At this point, the Dragon Ball manga celebrated its second year of serialization.
Goku also made an appearance on the cover riding atop Kintoun.
The color title page for the chapter in this issue was actually a high-quality poster entitled "Congratulations on Two Years! Goku Explodes!!".
This issue also contained a digest version of the story thus far and a campaign where readers could apply to make a wish to Shenron.
Issues No. 14 and 15 both contained bonus stickers that claimed to grant a wish to the owner if you applied them to something.
Each character's sticker had a different effect, such as the Goku one that was rumored to grant its owner overflowing vigor and vitality.
These stickers could be applied using just water, but I personally couldn't bring myself to rip such charming illustrations out of the magazine...
The 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai was on in issue No. 21, and its cover featured a super festive Goku and some Dragon Ball-themed parade floats!
All the tournament participants were ready for a showdown, and the color opening page showed Krillin and Chaoz in a Kamehameha VS Dodonpa duel!
Goku and Krillin faced off for the first time in issue No. 26, and the two rivals also could be seen fighting on the cover. The 4th Catchphrase Grand Prix was also held, and Dragon Ball managed to pull off an impressive consecutive win here!
The Tenkaichi Budokai finals took place in issue No. 30, and the nerve-wracking battle between Goku and Tenshinhan spilled out onto the stunning color opening pages.
The second Dragon Ball film "Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle" was also announced here!
From the exciting events of the Tenkaichi Budokai to the new movie, it seemed like Dragon Ball's popularity truly knew no limits!
The scene where Tenshinhan completely destroys the tournament ring with his Kikoho was also a stunning development!
Unable to return to the ring, a fierce aerial battle between Goku and Tenshinhan erupted. With both fighters knocked out of bounds, which would hit the ground first?!
In the end, Goku just barely lands first and therefore loses by ring-out. Once again, the title of Tenkaichi Budokai champion had escaped his grasp...
With the next Tenkaichi Budokai and a new adventure waiting, readers' expectations were at an all-time high!
It was at that moment that a mysterious foe emerged and suddenly took the life of Goku's best friend Krillin!
This chapter started with such a cheerful title page that this dreadful turn of events was a complete shock!
Just who did this to poor Krillin, and why?!
And just like it felt to wait for the next Weekly Shonen Jump issue, we're sure that you'll have fun waiting for the next column!
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