In the manga world, today marks an amazing milestone. Thirty years ago today, in issue 51 of Weekly Shonen Jump, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball made its grand entrance to the world. In the years that followed, we’ve had four TV shows, tons of movies, and countless spin-offs in video games.
Dragon Ball has been a staple of childhoods, both in Japan and the west. Viewers young and all gathered week after week, joining Goku and company on the grandest of adventures, that spanned continents, worlds, and even entire dimensions.
It’s a series that created tropes, and blazed trails into truly uncharted realms of entertainment, defining many of the elements of the modern “Shonen” action manga. Characters like Goku, Master Roshi, and Frieza have become iconic, recognized by fans and non-fans alike.
And don’t get me started on Vegeta:
So, yeah. It’s kind of a big deal.
And, as one would expect, the reaction has been a bit more than celebratory online. FUNimation was quick to tweet a reference to the anniversary, as were countless fans. Favorite moments, and fond memories were shared,
— Funimation (@FUNimation) November 20, 2014
— Michael Fitz-Gibbon (@penguintruth) November 20, 2014
In addition to the social media love, fans tapped into their creative sides to shout their adoration loudly and clearly. Online publication Kanzenshuu offered a free 90-page magazine, which traces all aspects of the franchise’s history. It’s a fantastic tribute, that just radiates with love for Dragon Ball as a whole.
What’s equally impressive, though, is the artwork that’s come about to commemorate the occasion. Dozens of amazing illustrations were uploaded to image sharing sites like Pixiv and Tumblr, as people took to their sketch pads.
Each image, be it a sexed-up shot of Bulma or a colorful group illustration, is just bursting with admiration and affection. The reaction is nothing short of amazing.
We’ve posted our favorite illustrations below. Have you seen a piece that you love, but we missed? Let us know in the comments!