This DBZ Doujinshi Made Me Cry: Dragon Ball A Dream From The World Review (2018)
Okay….wow. When I first read this, I cried for about ten minutes straight. Like, I wailed.
If you’d rather watch than read:
With Dragon Ball Super ending I’ve decided to take a trip into the realm of fan fiction and non-canon material. Somebody on a Facebook group sent me a list of Dragon Ball Doujinshi to check out and I was warned that this one would be a tear jerker. If you don’t know already Dojinshi is the japanese term for self-published works, in the context of Dragon Ball Doujinshi it essentially refers to fan manga.
‘A Dream From The World’ is A Dragon Ball Doujinshi from 1992 by R.Ahigaya aka Abyss. It is set during Future Trunks’ timeline and covers the versions of events that transpired differently from the timeline that we’re all used to. It covers the events from Goku arriving on earth after escaping Namek to him succumbing to the heart virus.
Firstly, the art and design of this manga is incredible. Just look at these two pages where Goku one shots Freeza and his father. Number one, it’s badass. In this version of events Goku wastes even less time than Trunks does in wasting Freeza’s army. The hierarchy, detail, posing, and paneling is top notch whilst the dot work shading adds tremendous charm. Don’t get me wrong, the line-work is not on the level of Toriyama or Toyotaro but for a fan production, and especially one from the early 90’s, I can let it slide.
Without giving too much of the story away this manga basically covers the events that we didn’t get to see during the Future Trunks special whilst providing it’s own unique spin and message.
We see how Goku dealt with Freeza, how without the immediate warning of the androids Piccolo never became friends with Goku and remained his rival, and lastly we see Goku’s final moments before dying.
The manga even adds various elements of world building, in this manga the Yardrats knew multiple techniques but they chose to teach Goku instant transmission so he could make use of the short amount of time he had left before the heart virus caught up to him. Another instance of world building is Goku having visions of Future Trunks’ warning, which ultimately ties in with the manga’s twist ending.
The main strength of this story is that it gets to explore plots and settings that the original series dared not to because it didn’t fit with the mostly happy vibes that Dragon Ball provides. We get to explore the grief and pain that each character feels with the passing of Son Goku and it hits home harder this time around because in the series canon this is the only time Goku didn’t choose to die, and this time as we know there’s no way of him coming back. Each character acts out their grief in a different way and Abyss captures the characters so well, this serves as a perfect ‘sad’ ending to the story we know. We watch Goku grow up from this weird little monkey child into the great Super Saiyan and making all these connections on the way that are still there with him on his death bed, fighting for his survival until the very end.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story but I’ll just say that Goku’s last decision whilst still in the world of the living is heartbreakingly sweet. The final message of the manga is to live in the now. Count your blessings, it could always be worse, and you can always make it better.
This story is a must read for hardcore Dragon Ball fans, you can check out a downloadable digital copy here: https://caveatdoujin.tumblr.com/post/155544423771