Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 9: Freeza's Super Transformation!! Review (Akira Toriyama)

The Dragon Balls are collected, Shenlong the Dragon God is summoned, and this time THREE wishes are available - something to do with the Dragon Balls being larger/Shenlong appearing in his true form? But with Freeza on the way and mad as hell, what can the gang do - and will they be able to defeat him?

As expected, the big fuck you to the reader Akira Toriyama throws in towards the end of the last volume gets reversed pretty quickly at the beginning of this one. Without getting into spoilers, it’s an almost slapstick sequence of events that’s actually quite funny in its absurdity. And the whole Ginyu Special Force is revealed to be the joke it always was so, bravo, Toriyama, it was right in front of us the whole time but you kept us guessing anyway - they weren’t that serious a threat! 

It does mean though that Son Goku is taken out of the main story once again but I’m not mad. I understand Toriyama’s decision to use Goku sparingly as he’s clearly the audience favourite and putting him in here and there, rather than all the time, only makes his appearances that much more special. Plus you know he’s the secret weapon who’ll turn the tide in the fight against Freeza so Toriyama’s keeping us from getting bored with Goku. 

Once the Dragon Balls are activated by Dende, the tension REALLY ramps up. This time Kuririn and Son Gohan are given three wishes but with Vegeta and Freeza separately rushing to get their wish for immortality in, they’ve got to urgently decide what to do. 

Bringing Piccolo back to life was a masterstroke - instigated by Piccolo of course but still. With him back to life, the Dragon Balls on Earth return so they can bring the others back to life again, and now he’s joined the ranks against Freeza, it’s looking like a possible victory for the good guys. I did laugh at his entrance though - his pose was very, ahem, “badass”. 

Freeza’s no pushover though and has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He deploys one in this volume but there’s definitely more on the way. The fights in Dragon Ball have been increasingly excessive but I think the fight against Freeza will be the most insane one yet! 

Volume 9 is a completely thrilling chapter in the Dragon Ball Z saga with Toriyama skilfully building up the dramatic pressure, piece by piece. A wonderful read and a superb comic.

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 9: Freeza's Super Transformation!!

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