Dragon Ball is unquestionably one of the humongous franchises to be existing with a very rooting global fanbase.
Akira Toriyama‘s legacy continues to influence the ani-manga industry to this day.
And speaking of anniversaries, the Dragon Ball franchise is always up for making it as big as “It is over 9000!”
For the 20th anniversary, the event was celebrated for fifteen days (16 July 2005 to 31 August 2005) in Tokyo.
Again, in the next decade, the 30th anniversary of the manga was celebrated by releasing the Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary Special Manga, which featured Akira Toriyama as Robotoriyama.
As for the upcoming 40th Anniversary, the franchise has already started preparing for it.
Although it’s still three years away, we already know there is a lot to look forward to on that auspicious day.
40 Years of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Series
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the manga, a DRAGON BALL Super Gallery Project is being conducted.
This gallery will feature the different covers of the 42 volumes of the Dragon Ball manga but redesigned by the different mangaka.
The event officially began on the 4th of August, 2021. Different mangaka will be randomly selecting a volume of Dragon Ball and will recreate the volume’s cover.
This recreated cover will feature in the Saikyo Jump issue every month. This will continue for the next several months till November 2024.
No official announcement was made about which mangaka will be taking part in the event.
However, according to popular rumors, Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan), Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Yusuke Murata (One Punch Man), and Tite Kubo (Bleach) might be a part of this big event. The mangaka will use their own style of art to re-illustrate the Dragon Ball covers.
Dragon Ball Volume 19 Cover by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
Similarly Toriko and Build King manga author Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro recreated the 19th Volume of Dragon ball manga for DRAGON BALL Super Gallery Project.
When I was in the second year of middle school, I liked the scene in this volume right before Goku and Vegeta started battling so much that I copied it over and over again. I feel like I was really lucky to be able to catch the Dragon Ball serialization in Jump right when I was smack-dab in the middle of its target audience. Congratulations to Dragon Ball on its 40th anniversary!!
Dragon Ball Volume 15 Cover by Hiroshi Shiibashi
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan manga author Hiroshi Shiibashi reworked the cover of volume 6 of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball manga for the gallery project.
When I was little, I was the kind of kid that would just go to the bookstore and get the latest volume of whichever series I wanted at the moment, not once thinking about starting from volume 1. This is why the first Dragon Ball comic I ever bought was volume 7, the one with the fight against General Blue. I remember wondering for a while about what might have happened in the previous volumes. When I finally managed to get my hands on volume 6, I excitedly thought to myself: “so there were all these super fun battles before, huh?” I really liked the battle with Ninja Murasaki, so I wonder what kind of face that kid that was still in the first year of primary school would have made if he heard that he would one day draw the cover for volume 6, the one that contains that battle…?
Dragon Ball Volume 15 Cover by Tatsuya Endo
For the 8th installment of the DRAGON BALL Super Gallery Project, the rising manga author of SPYxFAMILY, Tatsuya Endo redesigned the 15th volume of Toriyama’s manga series.
Dragon Ball is my origin of origins. I first started drawing manga because I admired Toriyama so much. I’d copy his character art, copy whole chapters, and drew a ton of manga that were basically rip-offs of his. I also played Super Butōden like an idiot. I love the colorization and mechanical structures Toriyama employs on his title pages and frontispieces, and often have them in mind even now as I work. His fully-proportioned and super-deformed styles are both so cute I can’t stand it. I’m truly, truly honored to be able to take part in a project like this. Dragon Ball, congratulations on 40 years!
Dragon Ball Volume 9 Cover by Kenta Shinohara
Continuing to fill up the gallery this year as well, Sket Dance, Witch Watch series creator Kenta Shinohara took the opportunity to take fans back to the earliest days of Toriyama’s Shonen franchise when Goku and Bulma traveled the world searching for the wishing orbs. He recreated artwork for volume 9 of the Dragon ball series.
Both my art style and my comics have been strongly influenced by Dr. Slump, and I just love the sense of traveling through bucolic scenery in early Dragon Ball. I especially like the character Bulma, and I still recall the feeling of excitement as they set off on their journey, riding together on one motorbike. Goku, Bulma, a dragon, and travel! I love the illustration from Volume 9. To think the day would come when I’d be able to take part in a project like this… I want to go back and tell my school-age self, buying color inks and imitating Toriyama-sensei‘s illustrations. Congratulations on 40 years of Dragon Ball!
Dragon Ball Volume 32 Cover by Koyoharu Gotouge
Adding to 2021’s final installment of the Dragon Ball volume cover gallery, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga creator Koyoharu Gotouge redesigned the cover for volume 32 of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series.
Greetings, this is Gotōge. I really liked Bulma, so I’m really happy that I was able to draw her! Thank you very much. My parents, my siblings and their children all know of and love Dragon Ball (just the other day, they had a Goku figure in their left hand), so I sometimes think about how truly amazing Toriyama-sensei is for having made this story that is so timeless and beloved.
Dragon Ball Volume 02 Cover by Tatsuki Fujimoto
Continuing the trend of brilliant tributes, Chainsaw Man, Fire Punch manga author Tatsuki Fujimoto reworked the cover for volume 2 of the Dragon Ball series.
Fujimoto took the opportunity and expressed his gratitude in his comment:
Dragon Ball Volume 38 Cover by Ryuhei Tamura
For the 4th installment of the Dragon Ball volume cover gallery, Beelzebub & Hardboiled Cop & Dolphin mangaka Ryuhei Tamura redesigned the cover for volume 38 of the series.
Congratulations to Dragon Ball on its 40th anniversary! The first time I saw Goku’s sons, I thought they were so unbelievably cute that I drew them like crazy. I love both Gohan and Goten. Being reminded once again that that was where my passion for drawing children came from, I chose to redraw the cover to volume 38. I am so honored to have gotten the chance to participate in this project!!
Dragon Ball Volume 28 Cover by Osamu Akimoto
After Masashi Kishimoto, author of Naruto who redesigned the cover of volume 11, and Tite Kubo, author of Bleach who took care of the tribute to volume 27 of the manga, it is the turn of Osamu Akimoto.
The author of the long-lived Kochikame has reinterpreted the cover of volume 28 of the series.
The illustration came out in the 11th issue of Shueisha’s Saikyo Jump magazine.
In the original, the Turtle Hermit was riding the first-gen Honda Monkey, so I had Ryō-san ride tandem on the most active-styled Monkey, the Monkey RT. I like the machines in Toriyama-san‘s works, and in Dragon Ball specifically, things like the flying machines and submarines look really cool. On the character side, I like the Turtle Hermit. He’s a kooky old lech, but he’s actually strong. I admire that. I tried building up my strength in pursuit of him, but I was frustrated in my efforts. Still, I think my age, at least, is catching up to him (laughs), so I ride around with the top down, wearing shades. (laughs)
Dragon Ball Volume 27 Cover by Tite Kubo
As part of the three-year commemorative project, the mangaka of Bleach, Tite Kubo has remastered a volume of Dragon Ball. Kubo revisits Dragon Ball Vol. 27.
In this cover Goku, Piccolo, and Frieza have all received a makeover, making them look like they could join the Soul Society.
As a tradition for manga authors, a short message is expected at the end or beginning of the volume to express a feeling of the author while he drew the panels.
Surprisingly, Tite Kubo and Akira Toriyama were on the same wavelength of at a total loss of words after drawing hundreds of pages of dialogue is really bitter-sweet for how much they drain themselves while doing the humongous work of drawing manga.
Dragon Ball Volume 11 by Masashi Kishimoto
Celebrating the upcoming anniversary of Dragon Ball, Masashi Kishimoto took the first step of the DRAGON BALL Super Gallery Project.
On July 19, 2021, it was revealed that Masashi Kishimoto had re-designed the cover of the 11th volume of the manga.
The volume cover art scenario takes place three years after Goku summons Shenron for the first time and continues coverage of the Tenka’ichi Budōkai tournament that began in the previous volume.
It’s best known for Goku’s defeat of Krillin and for longtime Dragon Ball characters Tenshinhan and Chaozu renouncing the evil ways of their former master the Crane Hermit.
Following the mangaka tradition, Masashi Kishimoto expressed his fanboy side for Dragon ball in his comment!
Dragon Ball Synopsis
The series follows the adventures of protagonist Son Goku from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts.
He spends his childhood far from civilization until he meets a teen girl named Bulma, who encourages him to join her quest in exploring the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered.
Along his journey, Goku makes several other friends, becomes a family man, discovers his alien heritage, and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.