[Spoiler Review] Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha

Barnes and Noble synopsis:

Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha! features story and art by dragongarow LEE.

A Japanese high school student is on his way to a Dragon Ball event and makes a detour to hit on a cute girl. Unfortunately, he meets with an unfortunate and fatal accident before he reaches her and, to his great surprise, wakes up in the Dragon Ball universe as Yamcha! Being a Dragon Ball fan, he knows exactly what misery awaits him as Yamcha, so he takes matters into his own hands and vows to make Yamcha the strongest Dragon Ball character ever!

*This is a spoiler review. I will be talking about this manga’s story, art and characters assuming you read this story. If you want to read the review without spoilers, I’ll leave the link to the spoiler-free review down below.

Spoiler-Free

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Dragon Ball Isekai

What happens when the weakest character in Dragon Ball becomes the smartest and strongest hero? Created by a doujin writer named Dragon Garow Leethe character Yamcha finally gets the chance to be in the same leagues as Goku in this short manga story. Due to his love for Yamcha within the fandom, Dragon Garrow Lee was selected by Shueisha to create the manga Dragon Ball That Time I Got Reincarnated As Yamcha. His work is quite unique as it almost parallels the style between Akira Toriyama’s work and Toyotaro’s art. Akira Toriyama is the creator of Dragon Ball while Toyotaro is known for drawing the art of the Dragon Ball Super manga.

Story – I woke up as Yamcha

Set in a realistic world, the story begins with a young man, who is a fan of Dragon Ball,  enjoying the day with his friend. One day, they see a girl with a short skirt walking and the young man wants to see her. Unfortunately, he stumbles and trips down a set of stairs and passes out. He wakes up as Yamcha in the Dragon Ball world and wondering himself how did this happen. He is confused because he has become the least powerful character in the series, but he is also happy to be in this world because he gets to meet his favorite female character, Bulma. Despite having the chance to be in his favorite series, the young man decides to give Yamcha a chance of stardom. Instead of following the canon story, with his entire Dragon Ball knowledge, the young man decides to dedicate himself to train Yamcha and make him the strongest warrior in Dragon Ball. However, while the young man is winning fights and making Yamcha feel a winner, he later learns he’s not alone in this world. There is another person who got reincarnated and they will give this fan a real challenge.

Review – Yamcha’s Zero to Hero story written by a beloved fan

If you were to tell me years ago, in my time of watching Dragon Ball Z, that there is a story about Yamcha being the main character and considered one of the strongest characters, I would probably laugh in disbelief. I read this manga many times and I want to say, as a Dragon Ball fan, this manga was a fun read. I admire Dragon Garrow Lee’s imagination in his writing. With his passion for this character, Yamcha, he showed us that with the right training and determination, someone who might look weak can become strong. In the words of Son Goku “even a low class warrior can surpass an elite, with enough hard work”. One of the biggest plot twists in the story is when we learn there’s another Dragon Ball fan trapped in this world and they used their knowledge to make a character like Chiaotzu, a force to be reckoned. I like the dynamics between these two fans who are using the characters Yamcha and Chiaotzu and their motives. Yamcha wants to be the strongest so he live his dream of being in Dragon Ball and be with his favorite girl Bulma and Chiaotzu wants to conquer the world and be feared by others. We also learned that the person reincarnated as Chiaotzu goes by an online name called “Oushou”. The artwork is quite impressive for Lee. He was able to use four different styles for this one Dragon Ball manga which was the classic Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super and one which focuses on the real world. Looking at the style, you would think that at least Toriyama or Toyotaro would have been involved. Speaking of Dragon Ball Super, it turns out that this whole reincarnation theme story is all part of a game made by the two God of Destruction twins Beerus and Champa. I like this idea of two gods playing an game where they choose actual normal people and have them become characters in their world. The only thing I didn’t like was that the story was short. Very short with only five chapters, with the first three being part of the main story. The story arcs involved in the story consists briefly in the first story arc of Dragon Ball (the Emperor Pilaf Saga) and in Dragon Ball Z, the Saiyan and Android/Cell Saga. The story doesn’t go into details with Frieza or the Buu Saga. It would have been cool to see Yamcha tackle the main sagas and hopefully reach the Dragon Ball Super storyline. I am not sure if Lee wanted to keep the manga story short or Shueisha had a strict deadline.

Conclusion

Should you read Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated As Yamcha? If you’re a Dragon Ball fan like me, yes please. It’s short so don’t expect to see a volume 2 in bookstore, but it is short enough you can read and finish less than a day. Rather than starting the story in the Dragon Ball world, Lee decides to start the story with a regular normal person who loves Dragon Ball and gets the opportunity to be in our stories. We all have dreams where we could just jump in the Dragon Ball world and interact with the world. If we were reincarnated into Dragon Ball, we would probably use the knowledge and use it to become the strongest. I like antagonist of the story and how a fan like Oushou wants to use his DB knowledge to live and conquer the world for his own pleasure. The one who was Yamcha wanted to feel strong and be with the characters he idolized. This manga really makes us relate to the characters and how would we react in their situation. Overall, Lee does an amazing job in this manga and I hope he does more stories like this. I also hope we get more people to write stories like this and give us the chance to explore the Dragon Ball world in a different perspective.

What did you think of the manga? Comment down below your opinion.

2 thoughts on “[Spoiler Review] Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha

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