Monday, October 27, 2014

(Short) Manga Reviews: Dragon Ball Full Color: Saiyan Arc, Volume 1, and Max Steel: Hero Overload, Volume 2

Dragon Ball Full Color: Saiyan Arc, Volume 1, by Akira Toriyama
Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2014
Volumes: 3?
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Son Goku is the greatest hero on Earth. Five years after defeating the demon king Piccolo, he's grown up and had a family--he's married, and he has a child, Son Gohan. But what is the real reason for Goku's incredible strength? A visitor from outer space arrives bearing terrible news--Goku is an alien, and the visitor, Raditz, is Goku's brother! When Raditz turns out to be a ruthless killer, Goku must fight his incredibly strong brother to save his family and the entire human race. A surprising alliance may be Earth's last hope: Goku will team up with his old enemy Piccolo—archenemies united to save the world!"

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.


I have never read or seen any of the Dragon Ball series, including any of it’s spin-offs or other versions. The most I’ve ever seen of this series is the image of a few of the characters. So my understanding of this series was minuscule when I received this book, and I was a little deterred when I thought this was the first, only to find out it was a later arc of the series.
I’m even more surprised to say that this wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be—it was even a little enjoyable. I didn’t mind reading it.
I was thrown into the world with little explanation, but everything was explained well-enough along the way. I got at least some understanding of their powers and how they worked. There was a bit more violence than I expected, and I didn’t grow too attached to the characters, but it was interesting. The fight scenes were pretty easy to follow. The art wasn't too bad, either.
I didn’t really appreciate that the SFX were translated at the end of the volume, but I respect their decision not to clutter the panels. And this is definitely a sturdy, pretty volume. It’s full color, with a solid spine and thick pages; it is not a flimsy book, which is nice.
This was a pretty average book for me, and I’m happy with that, given I had no idea how I would feel about it. I don’t know if I want to pick up more volumes, but I’m not so turned off from watching the show now, at least. And I have a better understanding for why so many people like it.


Max Steel: Hero Overload, Volume 2, by B. Clay Moore and Alfa Robbi
Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: Perfect Square (VIZ Media) and Mattel
Release Date: January 2014
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells. RightStuf.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Maxwell McGrath is just your average 16-year-old boy…until he starts experiencing uncontrollable Turbo Energy! To control this superpower, he must merge with a know-it-all alien ultralink named Steel. Together this unlikely duo will battle to save the earth as the ultimate turbocharged superhero—MAX STEEL!


I received this book for review, and it isn’t really something I would normally pick up. I just don’t read a lot of middle grade, cartoon network, superhero stuff.
But it was all right. The artwork was all right, the story was okay. It was pretty average for me, honestly. The humor wasn’t that great, it was a little exaggerated with the overall plot predictable. The moral lesson at the end was good, although it was pretty much just tacked on to the last two pages.
But I do think that elementary, maybe grade school, kids will enjoy it. I’m just not the target audience.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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