Friday, January 13, 2017

DRAGON BALL SHŌSHŪHEN




Today was published the last volumen of DRAGON BALL SHŌSHŪHEN (総集編) edition in Japan. Shueisha began to re-bublish a new collected edition of Akira Toriyama's classic manga in an 18 volume collection released every two fridays in japan, starting on May 13th 2016. First published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from December 1984 to May 1995 and originally serialized in chapters of 15 pages, with a weekly periodicity Dragon Ball became a phenomenon and busted the  magazine to surpass the 6 million issue circulation in the 90's. Dragon Ball shared pages in the WSJ  with other classic mangas such as Captain Tsubasa and Saint Seya. With a JIS B5 (7 ×10 inch or 18.2 × 25.7 cm) size and around 400 pages, most of them in  black and white  and sporadical color chapters of the featured series, WSJ had a phonebook kind of feeling. Due to the volume, size and and lack of print  and paper quality, Japanese magazine are not something readers keep, but rather read them and throw them away to the recycle bin. That is why popular series such as Dragon Ball are later collected in books. Here a look back at the different Japanese editions published in Japan over the years:




Finalized in about ten years and totalling 520 chapters, during the serialization of Dragon Ball every 3 month or so the manga was collected in smaller size (4.5 × 7 inch or 11 × 17 cm), and 180 page books called TANKŌBON (単行本) they were all printed in black and white, totaling 42 volumes with a price tag of ¥360 around $4 of the time. This edition was refreshed in May 2009 with newly designed covers.






In December 2002, Dragon Ball was collected in a 34 volume collection called KANZENBAN (完全版) in a bigger size A5 (5.7 × 8.3 inch or 14.5 × 21 cm) with the color pages that were missing in the previous edition, with a better paper quality, new cover illustrations by the author and a slightly different ending. Each volume cost ¥933 about $9 and had around 230 pages.





In 2013, Dragon Ball was fully digitally colored and released both in digital e-book and paper format in tankōbon size volumes. The series was divided in 6 mayor arcs and each volume was numbered within these arcs. The whole sereis was collected in 32 volumes, each with 260 pages and a price of 630¥ around $6.




The latest edition is the SHŌSHŪHEN (総集編) and collects the whole series in just 18 volumes. It recovers the same size in which the series was printed in the WSJ, in a glorious 7 × 10 inch size and for the first time the chapters were collected in in relation to the plot arcs of the series, so each volume has a different page count and price. Prices vary from 550¥ to 700¥ ( $5-$6.5) and and as far as number of pages is concerned from 400 to 600. This edition was desingned to celebrate the 30th annyversary of the series and wanted to resemble the reader what was like reading Dragon Ball for the first time when published in WSJ. The thickness of the volume, keeping the chapter covers before each chapter, instead of putting them all together at the end (as the previous editions did), maintaining the color pages in a glossy paper and the B&W in a more of a brown paper stock and including for the first time since it's original serialization the foot notes that preceded  each chapter help in creating that feeling. Apart from this, the books come full of tidbits, such as timelines of Dragon Ball product releases, insert posters and special cards. All this together makes this one the greatest Dragon Ball editions ever.

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