Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dragon Ball ¡Dossier Definitivo! + Daizenshū #4



I still remember the first time I read about Dragon Ball Daizenshū, a collection of books that was released in Japan when the manga Dragon Ball came to its end. It was in the Dragon Ball ¡Dossier Definitivo!, a  book I purchased for Christmas in 1995. I was eleven at the time, I remember vividly that the lack of information related to anything manga related was huge in those days, specially for someone living in a small town. I felt lucky to have found that ¡Dossier Definitivo! book, a hard cover Dragon Ball book published in Spanish, with a cool Goku image on its cover and so much information inside.

That book was, and maybe it's still today, one of the best not official Dragon Ball data books published in Spain. Thanks to that book, I started to have a vague idea about how things worked in the manga industry in general, and in Dragon Ball in particular. I knew nothing about Shueisha (the Japanese publisher of Dragon Ball) or Weekly Shonen Jump (The weekly magazine in which Dragon Ball was published) I didn't even know that Dragon Ball Tankōbon (the pocket size books where  manga was collected after its serialization) existed. I was specially interested in the chapter related to the Dragon Ball related publications in Japan. For some reason, I have always been more interested  in printed material than anything else. I have never had an interest in the figures or the rest of the merchandise, but books... I wanted them all! I was so mind blown by the fact that there was so much printed material of Dragon Ball in Japan and so fascinated with all this information around Akira Toriyama that I even wrote about it for a school presentation project. I digested all the information I had on hand and vomited in front of the class. I guess it was a chaos and no one understood anything. But I had a great time writing all that. 

 Two pages covering the Japanese publications of  Dragon Ball  from the book ¡Dossier Definitivo!

It was also around the year 95 when a neighbor friend purchased a Japanese Tankōbon of Dragon Ball, the volume 40, featuring an awesome cover that paid justice to its content. A never before seen transformation of Goku in super saya jin with long hair. None of us read Japanese so we just though Goku turned to evil or something. The little pocket size book contrasted so much with the Spanish publications, the cover art was beautifully colored and the original Japanese reading and sound effects were amazing. I wanted to have one of this Japanese books for a long time but that didn't happen until some years later, in 1998, when I saw a commercial of a store in Catalonia in a manga magazine. Its name was Tot de Jocs. There was no internet yet so the only way to go was calling them by phone. Luckily they had some Japanese dragon Ball volumes at good prices. I ordered the volume 38

Some years later, in 2004 I discovered Amazon Japan, and after a while figuring out how to navigate through the site that was starting to be partially translated to English, I found out that  the books Akira Toriyama The World and The World Special were still on print, so I didn't thought twice and bought both of them. That was my first ever order to Amazon Japan. And finnaly today, april 24, 2007, fter realizing that the second hand marketplace on Amazon works great, I diecovered that someone is selling the fourth volume of Dragon Ball Daizenshū published over a decade ago, so I ordered it immediately. 

Finally, after twelve years, I got the chance to have one of this books on my hands. What once seemed impossible, now has become an easy chore. Sitting in front of a computer, surfing a website, copy-pasting some Japanese characters here and there and swiping the credit card. Then, somebody in Japan that is trying to get rid of that book, would pack it up,  and ship it. All for less that 30€. It's impressive how the world evolves and companies like Amazon push the bar higher and higher every time, to  make everything more easy and convenient for everyone.


Publisher: Shueisha
Release date: 1995-X
Language: Japanese
Number of pages: 167
Size: 10.5 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
Retail price: ¥1,572
ISBN-10: 4087827542
ISBN-13: 978-4087827545


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

AKIRA DTS Sound Edition DVD



When Pioneer released AKIRA DTS Sound Edition in japan back in December 2002, it also released a limited edition that was bundled with a slipcase and a bonus disc containing the complete storyboard and hundreds of production stills like backgrounds and layouts. It soon sold out, but thanks to Amazon Japan marketplace, I found that someone was selling its copy at a bargain price. Even I already owned the AKIRA Special Edition DVD Box set released by Bandai and the Spanish one, just for the bonus content on this one, its worth the money.