ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Dragon Ball Super,’ Volume 12

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Dragon Ball Super Volume 12

Dragon Ball Super is an action-adventure comedy martial arts manga written by Akira Toriyama and art by Toyotarou. The manga follows Goku on his adventures following the defeat of Majin Buu, but prior to the final chapters involving the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. The series English release is published by Viz Media.

Dragon Ball Super Volume 12 consists of chapters 53 through 56. Following the previous volume, the villainous Moro has released every vicious criminal from the Galactic Prison, and now they’re ravaging the galaxy in search of planets with exceptional life energy. Now when the Bandit Brigade, including the power-copying Seven-Three, comes to Earth, Piccolo and the others face the difficult challenge without Goku or Vegeta around to help.

Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou make a great team together. Toyotarou’s art is detailed and especially when it comes to the up-close action sequences. They do a great job of capturing facial expressions and fluid movements in the fight scenes. As for the storytelling for the most part Dragon Ball Super Volume 12 slightly deviates from Toriyama’s usual formula.

Personally, I like how the storytelling formula slightly deviates in Volume 12 compared to Akira’s usual in this volume and the saga overall. It helps to keep the story fresh and less predictable. Most fans of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super are familiar with Toriyama’s storytelling. Where Goku and his friends meet a new foe and they have to train harder to become stronger in order to defeat them.

However, in this case, becoming stronger is not the only solution to defeating the villain. Moro, the main villain of the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, presents new various challenges to Goku and Vegeta where being stronger than him won’t guarantee victory. So now Goku and Vegeta have to explore other methods of training, some of which they have never undergone before in order to find a way to defeat their opponent.

The moments with Vegeta training on Yardrat were great are great examples of that character development. Vegeta’s decision to go train at the same plant as Goku did is made because he recognizes his shortcomings and admits he cannot defeat Moro in his current state. He knows he is lacking something that he can’t achieve on his own and by going to the same planet as Goku did he hopes to obtain a sense he is lacking something that he can’t achieve on his own.  Volume 12 also gives a brief sneak peek at the newfound powers Vegeta has obtained. I am excited to see what he can really with his power once he faces off against Moro again.

There is a moment when one of the Yardrat elder comments on Vegeta’s body and spirit were off-balance at the start of his training and how he has approved greatly. I wished Toriyama had delved into that a bit more. It would have been very interesting to know why Vegeta’s spirit and body were not balanced and possibly shine more of a light on why they are now.   I thought that was a missed opportunity to delve a little bit more into Vegeta’s character.

One of my favorite things about the Dragon Ball Super is how it continues to expand the lore and world-building through the addition of certain characters. A great example of this in Volume 12 is with the character Merus and the big reveal of their new identity. I will avoid giving any spoilers away, but the true identity of Merus and the consequences he could face for helping Goku were very interesting reveals in this chapter good reminder of how vast the lore and world-building are in Dragon Ball Super. 

I Highly recommend this manga, specifically to fans of the Dragon Ball Super anime series. Especially for people who are curious to see where the story goes after the anime ended. Granted I know not all Dragon Ball fans like Super because of their or preferences of the story and characters. However, I personally think that Dragon Ball Super adds more to the franchise as it continues the story with exciting new challenges, adventure, and further develops certain characters.

Overall Dragon Ball Super Volume 12 is a great read and cannot recommend it enough. I think people who are curious to see how the Dragon Ball Super series continues after the anime’s completion would definitely find this manga to be very interesting. Dragon Ball Super, Volume 12 also has some major reveals that continue to expand the world-building in the franchise. Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou make a great storytelling duo. And while the formula of the saga doesn’t differentiate too much from Toriyama’s storytelling formula it does present some new and exciting challenges that Goku and his friends work to overcome. I look forward to seeing where things go in the next volume.

Dragon Ball Super Volume 12 is available on March 2.

Dragon Ball Super Volume 12
4.5

TL;DR

Overall Dragon Ball Super Volume 12 is a great read and can not recommend it enough. I think people who are curious to see how the Dragon Ball Super series continues after the anime’s completion would definitely find this manga to be very interesting. Dragon Ball Super, Volume 12 also has some major reveals that continue to expand the world-building in the franchise. Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou make a great storytelling duo. And while the formula of the saga doesn’t differentiate too much from Toriyama’s storytelling formula it does present some new and exciting challenges that Goku and his friends work to overcome. I look forward to seeing where things go in the next volume.