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REVIEW: Derek Padula’s Dragon Ball Culture

I recently discovered that’s Derek Padula has released a 7-volume analysis on Akira Toriyama’s beloved Dragon Ball franchise, so I had to check it out for myself. I mean, I’ve been stealing the guy’s content for years now and posting it on Toonbarn as news. I figured the content on the book is going to last me a while.

So first things first, what’s this book called and what’s it all about?

In case you went directly to the body of the message and failed to read the title, the book is titled Dragon Ball Culture, and it’s a 160-page book consisting of Derek’s in-depth analysis of the Dragon Ball manga and anime, as well as the various works that influenced the series. It’s available in eBook (epub, Kindle, PDF) format via the official page or in print form via Amazon.

Dragon Ball Culture is an independent, unofficial work and was created without participation from any individual or company involved in creating or producing the Dragon Ball series, so don’t expect any official input from Toriyama. But Derek does provide information sourced from official channels (the book does a good job of citing sources) so it works as a good reference for canonical or official data on the series. It’s handy in case you want to get into another debate on the Internet and need facts to back your statement.

As for who is it for, Dragon Ball Culture might not be for people who are not familiar with the franchise firsthand. A large part of the book’s appeal hinges on learning new things that you didn’t know about Dragon Ball or seeing a new perspective on certain aspects of the series. Derek provides summaries and all the necessary exposition so nobody’s going to get lost in the text, but majority of the information is useless if you have no emotional attachment to the series. So if you’re a Dragon Ball greenhorn, you might want to hold off on reading Dragon Ball Culture until you experience the series first.

The book is obviously targeted towards Dragon Ball fans, particularly fans who think that they already know everything there is to know about the series. Dragon Ball Culture is also a recommended read for non-fans who dismiss the franchise as just a bunch of spiky-haired dudes shouting real hard while shooting lasers from their arms. If you fall in this category, then I definitely recommend checking out Padula’s book.

To find out where you can get copies of the book, you can go directly to the official page.


Neil Raymundo

A cowardly and treacherous Toonbarn blogger who can transform into a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Secretly wants to replace Toonbarn Rob as leader of the Decepticons.
Published inDragon Ball

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