DB 2 comic & box

As many of our readers are well aware, the powerful and spiky-haired Goku from Akira Toriyama’s manga and anime series Dragon Ball is one of the most recognizable icons of Japanese culture not just in Japan but across the world. Since the manga first appeared in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1984, Goku’s entourage and family have grown to include an impressive number of unique and memorable characters. It so happens, however, that in all that time, we have never seen Goku’s mother in any of the stories — until now.

Yes, Dragon Ball fans were delighted with the news earlier this month that Goku’s mother would be making an appearance for the first time in the 30-year history of the series in the new comic by Toriyama, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Now that the comic has been released, we’ve finally been able to come face to face with the mother of the superhero we’ve come to know so well, and we think she’s a real cutie! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gine, wife to the Saiyan warrior Bardock, and of course, Goku’s mom.

DB 16 close up 2

The name Gine is actually the Japanese word for green onions (negi) read backwards, continuing in the Dragon Ball tradition of Saiyans having vegetable-themed names, and the episode she appears in is a short bonus manga titled Dragon Ball Minus that is included in the comic after the main story of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman was serialized over a period of about three months last year in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and the light tone of the manga seems to have gone down well in general with Toriyama fans. What caught the interest of readers in particular was that the serial turned out to be a kind of prequel to Dragon Ball, and the bonus manga Dragon Ball Minus, which also takes place shortly before the beginning of the main Dragon Ball series, was written as a special chapter exclusively for the omnibus edition of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman which came out last week.

The comic was released in two versions, the standard type and a special edition, which came with some bonus goodies. Naturally, we had to get our hands on the bonus items so we purchased the special edition, which came in a slighter larger size than the standard version.

▼Here’s the cover of the special edition.
DB 1 comic front cover

▼Here it says on the cover that the comic includes an exclusive Dragon Ball bonus chapter
DB 1-2

▼The comic and the box containing the extra bonus items.
DB 2 comic & box

▼Here’s a closer look at the front and back of the specially illustrated box.
DB 3 Box front

DB 4 Box back

▼And here are the bonus key chain and pin, both depicting Jaco, the patrolman from space
DB 5 key chain and pin

▼The special edition also came with a postcard.
DB 8 post card

▼And this is the start of the 16-page mini episode, Dragon Ball Minus.
DB 9 Minus front page

▼And the moment we’ve been waiting for — our first ever look at Gine!
DB 11 first Negi 2

▼It looks like Gine and Bardock are quite the lovey dovey couple, which is a bit unexpected, as Saiyans aren’t known to be particularly affectionate.
DB 12 embrace

▼Here the couple is seen saying an emotional good-bye to their son Goku before he’s sent to Earth. The rest, as they say, is Dragon Ball history.
DB 13 couple bye

▼A few more close-up shots of Gine, looking worried about her son’s future.
DB 15 close up 1

DB 16 close up 2

So, what did you think of Gine? Based on comments seen on the Internet, fans overall seem to think she’s cute and attractive, and we have to say we agree.

In addition, not only was it a thrill to finally see Goku’s mother, we thought both Jaco the Galactic Patrolman and Dragon Ball Minus were thoroughly enjoyable reads, a typical Toriyama creation that takes us on a fun ride and at the same time manages to tie things together very smoothly as a prelude to one of the most epic manga series of all times.

For those of you who are interested, the English digital version of  Dragon Ball Minus is available here through Viz Media. We think the comic should prove to be a delightful little treat for any Dragon Ball fan, even if it doesn’t involve fierce battles with the fate of the universe in the balance.Well, it’s certainly good to know the Dragon Ball magic is still very much alive after 30 years. Thank you, Toriyama-sensei, and we hope we can look forward to more in the future!

Photos: RocketNews24