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Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 Review

Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 Review

Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 collects volumes 25, 26, and 27 of the classic manga series, and features Goku’s very first Super Saiyan transformation and battle with the nefarious Freeza. This 552-page collection begins with Captain Ginyu using his transforming ability to swap bodies with Goku, in the midst of a heated battle featuring Jheese, Vegeta, Gohan and Kuririn.

Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 features some awesome battles, with Vegeta begrudgingly teaming temporarily with Piccolo, Gohan and Kuririn in an attempt to keep the ridiculously powerful Freeza at bay until Goku fully recovers in his medical hyperbaric chamber. Not only that but they must prevent Freeza from wishing for immortality once the Dragon Lord is summoned. Freeza proves to be quite an intimidating villain, as the mighty Vegeta is soundly defeated in short order, and Freeza still has two even more powerful transformations.

The tension builds as Gohan and Piccolo manage to boost their own power levels enough to stave off certain death from Freeza’s vicous onslaught, and Vegeta convinces Kurririn to fatally wound him so that he can bring about the mythical Super Saiyan transformation within himself. He manages to come back from the brink of death with the help of Dende, only to come to the crushing realization that he still is not a Super Saiyan, and that the coveted transformation may just be a fairy tale after all. When all hope is lost and Vegeta actually sheds tears (!), Son Goku makes his triumphant return to the battlefield, fully healed and very pissed off. He arrives just in time for Freeza’s final transformation, setting the stage for a planet-destroying battle of warrior gods. But Goku has a transformation of his own up his sleeve…

Akira Toriyama’s artwork in Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 is fantastic, as he manages to imbue character’s faces with a wide range of emotion and render chaotic battles without everything becoming a cluttered mess. The final showdown between Super Saiyan Goku and Freeza is brutal and utterly destructive, yet rendered in fine detail with very clean linework. Even in black and white it’s always easy to tell what’s going on, which is important. Despite rock debris and smoke and explosions everywhere, the panels remain quite readable. Goku looks suitably badass when confronting Freeza in his Super Saiyan state.

Dragonball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 9 is a real page-turner, and I read through all of its 500+ pages in one sitting – I just had to see how Vegeta, Gohan and Piccolo managed to survive against the godlike Freeza until Goku arrived at full power. Even then, it was a hell of a battle. Which leads me to my only complaint regarding this volume: it ends on a hell of a cliffhanger. The epic war against Freeza goes on for most of this book’s 500+ pages and still is left unfinished by the end. Oh well, guess I’ll have to pick up Vol. 10 now…

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