Fans may fantasize about being a part of the Dragon Ball world, but what if it really happened, except you’re in the story as … Yamcha?

Yes, unusual as it may sound, that’s the premise for the new official Dragon Ball spinoff manga recently released on the Shonen Jump + website, titled Dragon Ball Side Story: The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha  (Dragon Ball Gaiden: Tensei Shitara Yamcha Datta Ken).

Even casual readers of Dragon Ball are sure to know how Yamcha, who in the beginning of the series was portrayed as an accomplished fighter in his own right, eventually became a practical non-entity in terms of battling power, due to the “hyper-inflation” of the powers of the other characters. But fans seem to love Yamcha all the more for his defeats and lack of super-human fighting abilities (which really isn’t his fault, since he is only human, after all).


The newly released side story, written by Dragon Garow Lee and credited to Akira Toriyama, the original creator of the Dragon Ball series, features as the protagonist a high school boy who is an avid Dragon Ball fan and who finds himself reincarnated as Yamcha, of all characters, in the Dragon Ball universe after suffering an unfortunate accident in the “real” world.

So, what is the protagonist to do in a world threatened by evil Saiyans when he knows he has only very limited fighting abilities? Well, we know the unpleasant fate that awaits him if he doesn’t do something to intervene with the events of the story. If it were us, we would be tempted to run away and leave the fighting to Goku to avoid a painful death, but that’s not the case in this spinoff manga. Yes, we think it’s quite admirable that the protagonist actually tries to battle the forces of evil, using his knowledge of the Dragon Ball story to his advantage, of course.

The artist responsible for the spinoff, Dragon Garow Lee, is famous for his dojin parodies of comics including Dragon Ball and One-Punch Man, and has a reputation for producing extremely high-quality artwork, so it’s actually quite a treat for fans for him to be involved in an official project like this.

Not surprisingly, the response on the Japanese Internet has been enthusiastically positive, including comments such as the following:

“Can’t wait to read the next instalment!”
“This really is quite good!”
“Really looking forward to the second instalment. Looks like Yamcha is definitely stronger than Raditz”
“This is too funny!”
“It’s great that this is an official spinoff!”
“The title is silly, but it was a good read.”

At the moment, the first part of the side story, consisting of 30 pages, can be viewed for free on the Shonen Jump + website, although it’s available in Japanese only. From the way it’s been released, the story looks like it will be a two-part series.

Can the Dragon Ball fan reincarnated as Yamcha avoid the tragic fate the character is well-known for? We can’t wait to read the rest of the story to find out!

Reference: Shonen Jump +, Twitter @shonenjump_plus
Insert image: Premium Bandai website
Original article by: Seiji Nakazawa
[ Read in Japanese ]