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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Dr. Slump


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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:42 am Reply with quote
It really is a shame this isn't more popular in America, I, too, think all of the non-DB/DBZ stuff is better than the DB/DBZ stuff (though I definitely think DB started off as a fun adventure before it became the very thing it was parodying). Of course, reading Dr. Slump made me go "oh, that explains all the random animal people in the audiences in DB/Z!" But that said, I still totally enjoy DBZ, it was kind of part of the gateway drug set back when I was getting into anime (I, like others, saw DBZ first, and was surprised how much different DB was and liked it more). I was happy to see a Dr. Slump poster on Trunks' wall in the one movie though, kind of a "yay, they haven't entirely forgotten it!" Still, few manga seem to break the fourth wall as epically, but fittingly, as Dr. Slump.

But I'd also feel remiss were I not to mention Toriyama's one volume shorts like Sandland and Cowa! (and he just made another one I'm eager to read at some point). These, to me, feel a lot closer to Dr. Slump, where he can just shoot the breeze and enjoy making manga again where there are times in DBZ where I kind of felt like he must've been crying but damn did that paycheck look nice.

But as for Dr. Slump, yeah, pretty crazy series. Not sure if you noticed or not, but I'm pretty sure they had to slap an OT (16+) label on the US manga for what was clearly a kids' manga in Japan. Actually, this whole thing reminds me of the children's manga chapter in Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga, where it shows a couple pages of a made up manga where the hero uses potty humor and stuff to defeat the villains. The kids would love it, but the parents wouldn't, so they then had to tame the entire thing down and make it pretty damn lame, and that, they said, was the success to making a children's manga, make the parents happy!
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Gyt Kaliba



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 625
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:51 am Reply with quote
I couldn't agree more that Dr. Slump definitely needs more love. As much as I love DBZ and it gets the most focus in the fandom at large, I constantly finding myself longing for the earlier Dragon Ball material, and then going even further back to the original Dr. Slump. It's such a great manga, and I'm saying this from only having read the first three volumes. I still need to get the rest, but I'm already sold that it's probably going to be one of my permanent favorites when I finish it.

I've been meaning to read some of Toriyama's one-shots and short serials too. It really is kind of a pity in some ways that Dragon Ball is always going to overshadow his other works.

Oh, and it's worth mentioning too that Discotek is putting out those first five Dr. Slump movies sometime (I don't think we ever got a release date yet), so we'll finally be getting at least a smidge of the anime over here too, woot.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Gyt Kaliba wrote:
Oh, and it's worth mentioning too that Discotek is putting out those first five Dr. Slump movies sometime (I don't think we ever got a release date yet), so we'll finally be getting at least a smidge of the anime over here too, woot.

Dear Celestia, how did I already forget about that license announcement? Yes, people, give Discotek your monies! I fully expect the movies to be completely stupid and that's just how I want them!
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1294

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:31 pm Reply with quote
I read Dr. Slump for a while, and there were some great parts, like the very first joke; Norimaki complaining that "I shouldn't have started with the head" as Arale's disembodied face complains that he's taking too long to build the rest of her, or the hilarious fake-out surrounding spoiler[the puppy's departure].

After a while, though, I just got kind of tired of its childishness. I know that's exactly what it was trying to be, but I just couldn't laugh that much about poop after the Nth time. I was also starting to run out of room in my place and didn't want to buy any more manga volumes to have lying around.

As a footnote I suppose it's worth mentioning that Arale and Penguin Village make a cameo in Dragon Ball.
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ShaolinWolf



Joined: 02 Oct 2005
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:39 pm Reply with quote
Well, time to read Dr. Slump.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 2047

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:24 pm Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
The kids would love it, but the parents wouldn't, so they then had to tame the entire thing down and make it pretty damn lame, and that, they said, was the success to making a children's manga, make the parents happy!


Call this a joke, but maybe we need to ban parents from just plain sticking their noses in.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 5984
Location: Penguinopolis

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:01 pm Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
After a while, though, I just got kind of tired of its childishness. I know that's exactly what it was trying to be, but I just couldn't laugh that much about poop after the Nth time.


That's the problem with Dr. Slump. It's charming, funny, and endearing for a few chapters, but then wears out its welcome rather quickly. I imagine that if DB had continued to be more comical than exciting it would have given me the same impression. I can't imagine 42 volumes of the Pilaf arc.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1077

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:00 pm Reply with quote
Excellent article on Dr. Slump, Jason. I've been interested in checking out Dr. Slump numerous times I've never taking the plunge into it... And now, after checking, I see that it's actually still in print! Wow, I would have thought that Viz would have let this manga go out-of-print by now (they finished it back in 2009). Maybe I'll check it out, after all.

While I can understand people's complaints about it becoming repetitive over time, this seems like a title that worked perfectly in its original, weekly, format. Each week the reader would get another zany story involving Arale & her friends alongside the other titles in Shonen Jump at the time, which would have been the likes of Captain Tsubasa, Kinnikuman, Fist of the North Star, Cobra, Ring ni Kakero, & (of course) Kochikame, so there was plenty to help keep Dr. Slump from feeling tired & old during its run. This really doesn't seem like a title you should marathon or read large portions of at once; reading a few chapters while on the toilet sounds perfectly appropriate for this title, in fact.

Quote:
I told Toriyama [I love Dragon Ball] and his eyes brightened up. He asked me "Have you read Dr. Slump?"

I hadn't, and when I confessed this and Toriyama's disappointed eyes said Sigh, another poser, I've never felt more like an asshat.


Don't worry, Jason, I'm sure Toriyama's eyes say that to this entire country, so you're in good company. Dr. Slump does have a fanbase here, on occasion I see an Arale cosplayer at a con, but it's definitely a very small group.

Quote:
It's common talk in the manga industry in Japan that Dr. Slump was "the last non-manufactured hit", at least among Shonen Jump titles.


I can agree with that idea. By the time Dr. Slump debuted Shonen Jump was already over 10 years old, so when Slump was running people who read Jump back in the late-60s & early-to-mid-70s were probably getting ready to maker their own manga, so when they came into the industry they were influenced by the popular titles Jump already had. Shueisha, naturally, turned those influences into a "manufacturable" style that could be repeated over & over, with each manga-ka giving it their own variants. I would maybe stretch the whole "the last non-manufactured hit" up to Fist of the North Star, but even by then titles like Astro Kyudan, Ring ni Kakero, & Kinnikuman had created a basic blueprint for shonen action manga.

classicalzawa wrote:
I was happy to see a Dr. Slump poster on Trunks' wall in the one movie though, kind of a "yay, they haven't entirely forgotten it!"


Technically, Dr. Slump was never forgotten in Japan, at least in terms of anime. Even though Akira Toriyama couldn't draw anymore Dr. Slump while he was doing Dragon Ball, Toei still made four Dr. Slump anime theatrical shorts from 1993-1994, plus one TV special in 1992, all while DBZ was airing. Then, after GT finished, Toei brought back Dr. Slump with a reboot series plus one more movie. In fact, while I haven't read or soon any of Dr. Slump outside of the first episode of the original anime (I am buying Discotek's movie pack, though) I think the first OP to the 1997-1999 reboot anime likely describes the title perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​qOC0aXMzsOE[/quote][/quote]
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Snootymatt



Joined: 28 Oct 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:19 pm Reply with quote
Dr Slump was one of the very first manga I ever read, after Bleach and Vampire Knight. And to this day I absolutely ADORE it! Everything about it is just so brilliant! Sure some of the chapters don't quite work and parts of the 2 racing arcs were a bit dull, but for every dull chapter there were 4 more ingeniously funny ones!!

No mention of Kinoko Sarada though???? She was my FAVOURITE character, she was so hip and brilliant, and her parents were strawberry eating psychos! awww

Excited about the movie releases but I live in the UK so are they going to be released in region 2 as well?
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unused



Joined: 06 Nov 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Whaat, it's unpopular only because the poop jokes?
I wonder if anybody ever heard of Makibao.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:26 pm Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
Fronzel wrote:
After a while, though, I just got kind of tired of its childishness. I know that's exactly what it was trying to be, but I just couldn't laugh that much about poop after the Nth time.


That's the problem with Dr. Slump. It's charming, funny, and endearing for a few chapters, but then wears out its welcome rather quickly. I imagine that if DB had continued to be more comical than exciting it would have given me the same impression. I can't imagine 42 volumes of the Pilaf arc.


Yeah, same feeling here. I put it down about half way through vol 6 and never got back to it, nor felt the need to. Reading that there's some character progression does make me want to try picking it up again though someday.
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Kikaioh
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:49 pm Reply with quote
Dr. Slump is awesome, basically my favorite anything, I love it. It's zany, fun, slapstick, imaginative, just everything I love about life.
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Aizen-chan



Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:34 pm Reply with quote
I love Dr. Slump. It's silly, but it's fun. I also love the art. So many strange little creatures litter the landscape that I'm always seeing new things.

And if you are a One Piece fan you should really check out Dr. Slump. It's a different kind of manga and a different kind of art style, but Penguin Village could definitely be an island in the One Piece world.

Also, in regards to why parents would hate this manga, I'd like to point out the scene where spoiler[Slump's baby son dies]. That was a pretty harsh moment, for a comedy manga.
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Spotlesseden



Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 2907
Location: earth

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Dragon Ball was a kiddie manga with alot of jokes until Toriyama sensei decided to change direction. Dr Slump anime was very popular in Asia too.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 339
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:06 pm Reply with quote
unused wrote:
Whaat, it's unpopular only because the poop jokes?
I wonder if anybody ever heard of Makibao.


Well, in America, not so much... -_-
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