Former DB Editor: 'Dragon Ball Should Have Ended With Frieza's Arc'

Dragon Ball isn't finished. We're getting a new series, and no doubt, more movies. But former DB manga editor Kazuhiko Torishima thinks it all should have ended long ago.

During the 1980s at Weekly Jump magazine, Torishima worked closely with Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, editing his manga Dr Slump. He was also the first editor to work on Dragon Ball. But 1993, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the then newly-launched V-Jump. Now, he is the head of Shueisha, the publisher that puts out Weekly Jump and a whole host of magazines. He's an important dude!

In a recent interview reported on Livedoor News, comedian Kendo Kobayashi mentioned how iconic Dragon Ball has become in Japan and asked Torishima, now that he's stepped away from the series, for his impressions.

"Yes... I wonder where's a good place to end it," Torishima replied.

Kobayashi agreed that doing a finale would not be easy and asked Torishima where he thought would have been the best place to end it.

"Of course, it should have been wrapped up with the Frieza Saga."

I guess Torishima feels that was a logical ending? Or maybe he wasn't thrilled with what followed. Referring to Dr Gero and Android 17 and 18, Torishima said, "If you're going to have an old fart fight ladies, then it's best to call it a day."

But as Livedoor News explains, Dragon Ball had become so popular. There were many people involved and lots of money at stake. It would not have been an easy thing to end.

Around that time, Torishima said he was no longer Toriyama's editor and at another magazine (V-Jump). With what was going on with the anime, things were apparently rough for Toriyama. "It was the hardest time, and I wasn't able to help him," Torishima said.

"This is just a 'what if,' but I think if Toriyama had ended it at the Frieza Saga, then he would have gone on to write a third hit manga," Torishima said. To date, Toriyama has had two hits: Dr Slump and the Dragon Ball series. Both have been smash hits.

Livedoor News notes that since Dragon Ball debuted, Toriyama hasn't started any new, long-running manga. He has done numerous short series, but nothing as large and continuous as Dr Slump or Dragon Ball. Dr Slump debuted in 1980, and Dragon Ball began in 1984. And here we are in 2015.

Picture: Dragon Ball Wikia


    I genuinely love the Cell saga. One of my favourites. Be a shame if it never existed. The Buu one was a bit of a decline.

    Less said about GT the better...

      i never understood the hate with GT..

      i became a fan of the series from dragonball when I was a kid... dragonball z was a big departure from the formula, but GT was a return to what dragonball originally was, and it was enjoyable to say the least, full of adventure and exploration, creatures and such, and a lot less nonsensical fighting.

      but i guess one reason would be because it's only an OVA and not based in the actual manga (like the 2nd half of the original fullmetal alchemist anime)

        I didn't mind GT either tbh. I'll hate on some of the character designs and probably the first portion of GT up until breaking into the lab and finding baby. from then on in it is not totally awful. there is someone in the background casting the "plot" spell liberally to allow for certain character advancements but otherwise it is a pretty solid what if story

      Cell saga turned out surprisingly great for all the shenanigans going on in the backgroun. 19 and 20 were meant to be the big villains, but an editor (might've been this one actually) didn't like them, so 17 and 18 were born, but the same thing happened, so 16 appeared, then again, so there was Cell, and then again his transformations. It ended up being a few editors there urging him to do something else, but the result was really cool.

      This has been Fun Facts with Pantaloons

    Agree with all of this. Gohan turning SSJ2 was the best part in all of Dragonball Z for me.

      Agree so much. The Cell saga was the high point of the whole series.

    In DBZ the focus largely shifted to Gohan so they couldn't have ended it at Frieza.
    The cell saga had a shaky start but it turned out alright and after gohan beat cell it was a good place to finish things. Buu saga was terrible imo and was were i fell off.

      They could've just as easily ended it at Frieza, and I feel like it would've made for a stronger ending. You had the revelation that Goku was the legendary Super Saiyan and the end of his arc started in Dragon Ball, defeating the evil and powerful dictator of the universe (even doing the very Goku thing of giving him a chance before taking him out), you had Gohan grow as a character and needing to take over Goku's place as protector of Earth (at that point he was still a major player in the events on Namek, even if he wasn't finishing everyone off like Vegeta or beating the big bad like Goku), and you had a nice but tragic arc with Piccolo becoming a decent enough bloke, and then meeting and becoming the sole survivor of his race (until they got wished back, of course).

      A lot of that just gets thrown out the window as soon as the Android saga starts. Goku just teleports back and is completely fine, everybody is suddenly a Super Saiyan, Gohan is mostly until an Android of all things carks it, and then Gohan still needs Goku's help to finish Perfect Cell off, despite being much more powerful than Cell was. Gohan, until right at the end, is a lot less effective at doing anything in the Android and Cell sagas than he was in Frieza. He takes a major step back, despite becoming the most powerful character for a brief period of time.

      We're definitely in agreement about Buu saga though (although I do have a soft spot for Vegito). :-)

    I feel like it's been said many times DBZ was originally intended to end after Frieza and Goku becoming the legendary Super Saiyan, though the Android/Cell Saga was definitely the highlight.

    But... that would have been logical, so definitely not what audiences wanted. They wanted to hear someone say higher power levels.

      And then they got higher power levels, but it became meaningless to even mention it. Cell games saga was where I felt DB climaxed. The one-handed kamehameha was awesome and still is

    because the point of manga is not to drag it out and make tonnes of money from merchandising...

    in regards to his opinion about the series should have ending after the frieza saga - that would really make super saiyan mode redundant.

    it leaves way too much unanswered which fans wouldn't have liked.

    The Cell Saga had some good stuff but overall it was where things went too far and crashed. On Namek power levels were stupid and flickering around, but it was the finale and it all stayed relatively forgivable in that context. The Cell Saga continued all that stuff without any attempt to cool things down. Suddenly everyone was a Super Saiyan and power lost all touch with reality. Trunks is introduced as someone so powerful he makes the beefed up revived Frieza look like nothing, and then Trunk's power is made to look pathetic almost right away.
    Cell Saga was interesting and enjoyable but ultimately I always considered it as just going through the motions. I like the end of the Saga but it never felt like it was building towards it. It could have happened at almost any point in Dragon Ball/DragoballZ.

      By far my favourite saga though.

      Super Piccolo was an awesome rivival for a fan favourite who had fallen behind. His fight against Android 17 (uncensored and remastered) was one of the most epic fights in DB history.

    Cell saga was my favorite, especially when Gohan fully transformed. Buu was a bit of a let down other than SS3 and Vegito

    Last edited 05/06/15 11:11 pm

    I've thought this for a long time. As much I love all of DBZ, the Frieza Saga felt like the right place to end it all. After all, how can you raise the stakes any bigger than defeating the evil ruler of the universe? The rest of Z, while good, felt like a retreading of the Frieza arc.

    Pretty sure this was common knowledge that he wanted to end it with goku dying when namek exploded after killing freeza. jump pushed him to continue it.

    I kind of wishing they would pass the baton to another character... Like Gohan is really under utilised IMHO. After Cell, I wonder what the story would be if they focus on Gohan instead of Goku.

    Loved all of DBZ, surprised to hear people not liking the Buu arc but oh well. I thought it just got better as it went along

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