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Dragon Boy

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Dragon Boy is a two-part manga by Akira Toriyama published initially by Fresh Jump anthology magazine in 1983. As of 2010, the manga has not been officially licensed for distribution in the United States.

Dragon Boy is best known for being a prototype for the much more popular Dragon Ball manga, begun the following year. It, like Dragon Ball, is a modern update of the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West. It also features many plot elements which will later be reused (largely in the first 13 chapters) of the Dragon Ball manga.

The manga is the story of Tanton, a Son Goku-like character (similar to Son Goku from Dragon Ball). Unlike Goku, his unique feature is bat wings on his back which allows him to fly. He goes on a quest to deliver a princess home to the Flower Country.

Plot elements reused in Dragon Ball:

  • Tanton is a martial artist that is disconnected from the world at large, living with his master (except in Dragon Ball, Grandpa Gohan is already dead at the start of the story).
  • Tanton's master rides a flying cloud (Kintoun, in [Dragon Ball).
  • Tanton has never seen a girl before and does some embarrassing things (he doesn't know the difference between girls and boys).
  • Tanton's master possess a "Dragon Ball", but unlike the Dragon Balls of the later series, this one actually contains small dragons.
  • Tanton's female companion is a princess. In Dragon Ball, Bulma is the heiress to a corporate empire and is very wealthy.
  • Tanton meets up with an evil shapeshifting and flying cat (very similar to Pu-erh, in Dragon Ball). He/she becomes a companion. Similar to Oolong, he/she can only transform for three minutes.

† Some of these elements are themselves borrowed from Journey to the West.

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