Shinbun Saturday: When Dragon Ball Goes Bad

Welcome to another edition of Shinbun Saturday! If you live in the path of Winter Storm Jonas (better known as Snowzilla where I live), I hope you weathered the ice, snow, and flooding with minimal damage. Now, let’s take a look at the week in manga!

What’s a mangaka to do when their comic becomes super popular and a cultural phenomenon? Try to maintain some semblance of control over their story? Or just laugh all the way to the bank? An interview with Akira Toriyama included in the recently published Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary Super History Book sheds some light on this. In it, he voices his dislike of Dragonball Evolution (to be fair, did anyone like that movie?) and the recent Dragon Ball Super. I wonder what it’s like to let go of a series but keep getting dragged back to it due to new versions?

Harry Potter merchandise from Animate. J.K. Rowling & Warner Brothers. Source:

Speaking of new adaptations and versions, Harry Potter is getting a manga-esque facelift! Manga-style Harry Potter merchandise will soon be available in Japan. The type of items will be familiar to manga and anime fans: clear files, key chains, and rubber straps. Wow, this brings back memories. I remember some beautiful Harry Potter doujinshi in the early 2000s.

Earlier this week, Monthly Heroes, home of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, announced that they were partnering with China Mobile, China’s largest mobile communications company. The plan is to digitally distribute the superheroes monthly anthology. Obviously, the decision was made as part of the ongoing effort to combat online piracy. I wonder if other publications will follow suit? Last year, two Chinese men were arrested and charged with copyright violation for uploading pages from Weekly Shonen Jump to the internet. For those who don’t know, Chinese fandom is a big go-to source of untranslated scans of manga.

Last summer, the rumor mill went in full swing about the fate of Comiket, because it would be going head to head with the 2020 Summer Olympics for convention space. Let’s be honest here. No doujinshi fair is going to win out against the Olympics. Looks like the gossip train is gearing up again. The current rumor is that Comiket is considering switching venues to Nagoya or Osaka.

For the culture buffs out there, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is currently hosting an exhibit about the evolution of comics in Japan. There are color woodblocks from the Meiji era! Isn’t that awesome? I also find it very cool that 4-koma began as a way to spread information about Buddhism. History is great.

And that’s it for this week’s manga news. See you next time!

Vernieda Vergara

Vernieda Vergara

Writer. Manga and webtoon aficionado. I hail from Washington D.C. where I consume too much media and cause only a little trouble. Tweet me @incitata.