Bleeding Cool has the scoop on what, if true, is an enormous deal in the world of manga: It’s reported that Akira Toriyama, creator of the venerable Dragon Ball franchise, is about to relaunch Dragon Ball comics.
This morning we received word that Shueisha Publishing Company of Tokyo has convinced legendary manga creator Akira Toriyama to come back and restart the Dragon Ball comics franchise.
Akira Toriyama has been persuaded to return to creating new chapters. Partly to help promote the [forthcoming Dragon Ball Online MMO] game, partly to earn the boat load of cash he has been promised.
Something that will make this event even more spectacular is a simultaneous fully translated worldwide launch of the new book.
Toriyama wrote the 519-chapter, 42-volume manga series from 1984 to 1995: On television, it was split into two very successful animated series, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which successfully managed to combine humor, action, and, yes, interminably long fight sequences and increasingly ridiculous (but still charming) Power Levels.
(The Dragon Ball GT animated series was not based on any manga by Toriyama, and it showed; and darnit, AF was an urban legend.)
While Bleeding Cool’s report is focused solely on the comics business, if Toriyama does indeed write more Dragon Ball comics for the first time in 15 years, it seems hard to believe that these new storylines wouldn’t ripple over into other media. The Dragon Ball franchise has made more than four billion dollars in merchandising sales, and the franchise is still strong enough that the likes of Nickelodeon and The CW can still slap “Kai” on the name and repackage old DBZ episodes and have a hit. If there are more comics, could there be a new animated series as well? If so, expect Power Levels that make 9000 look positively paltry by comparison.