Toriyama One-Shots Worth Checking Out.
(AfroGamers.com) Akira Toriyama is one of my favorite mangakas. His style wasn’t conventional for action manga of the 1980s. As a matter of fact, his style was more along the line of gag manga early on but with Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball, he got work that allowed him to spread his art wings. Outside of those two, my favorite work of his is to one of my favorite RPG series Dragon Quest.
Like many other manga creators, Toriyama had other series and one-shots before and after his major series. Here’s three of those one-shots I enjoyed that should see an anime adaptation.
- Sand Land (Weekly Shonen Jump, 2000): Following Dragon Ball, a lot of Akira Toriyama’s work was for Enix’s Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest Monsters series and on Chrono Trigger from Squaresoft. In 2000, he began work on Sand Land, a series about a demon prince named Beezelbub lives among humans but is something of a water thief.
See, the world is now a wasteland after war and nature ravaged the land. Since water is scarce, he and his fellow demon Thief team up with Rao the Sheriff. The goal: steal water from the vile King and end his reign. Across fourteen chapters, we find out about Rao’s past, get some Toriyama-grade battles and his signature comedic style.
Treatment: I believe Sand Land would make for a good 12-episode anime. As a manga, I could see it getting a reboot that expands on Beezelbub’s adventures.
- Dragon Boy (Fresh Jump, 1983): This one-shot got two chapters in the summer and fall of 1983 and centered on the young martial artist Tanton. This was a very simplistic story that feature Tanton protecting a princess on her way back to her kingdom. The distinction of Dragon Boy is that it was the prototype of Dragon Ball.
Treatment: I’d like for this to get the manga treatment. I believe Tanton would have many more adventures. Plus, this would be like a return to Dragon Ball’s martial arts adventure/comedy approach, something Toriyama got away from with the second half of the series (DBZ) which took a sci-fi/action approach.
- Go! Go! Ackman (V Jump, 1993-1994): Of the one-shots, Go! Go! Ackman was the first one I became familiar with through the SNES video game. Like other the other one-shots listed, I found the manga on the old Toriyama’s World site and thoroughly enjoyed it.
First thing’s first, yes Ackman resembles a squat, demon version of Trunks from Dragon Ball Z/Super. He has the hair and he has a sword. Ackman is a demon whose main goal is to carry out the family business of killing people and collecting their souls. His main opposition is an angel who sends assassins and other angels out to kill him and prevent his killing spree.
Treatment: I could see Ackman getting a 6-episode manga or being a major threat in a series for the following character.
- Kajika (Weekly Shonen Jump, 1998): What happens when you kill a revered animal such as a fox? You end up cursed and become a fox-man hybrid. Like most Toriyama’s characters, Kajika is young and extremely powerful. His whole quest is to save a thousand lives to lift the curse. The one-shot starts with Kajika having five more lives to save which pushes the main story when it spirals into a larger adventure.
Treatment: Kajika would make for a good long running anime series if it starts from the beginning of his quest. The thing is that it would obviously spiral into Dragon Ball Z massive energy blast territory. It’s something that is simply bound to happen since it’s a trope of martial arts shonen series.
If he didn’t get a series, he would make a good extra character in Dragon Ball lore. A crossover with Go! Go! Ackman would bring them into direct conflict.
Have you checked out any of these one-shots? Are there any you think would make for a good anime or expanded manga?
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.