"This Daizenshuu, the 7th and final one, is a huge Dragon Ball encyclopedia. I think the staff who make these books always have a rough time of it, but this one looked even more hellish than usual. They really did a great job. I am ridiculously forgetful, so despite being the author there is lots of stuff even I do not know anymore. It was often quite a nuisance, and I think having this encyclopedia around when the series was still running would have really helped me out. Darn it all. Anyway, my thanks to the staff, and to all Dragon Ball fans."
The Daizenshuu (大全集 Daizenshū, lit. "Great Complete Collection") is a collection of guide books published in 1995, shortly after the Dragon Ball manga ended its serialization. A condensed version of the Daizenshuu collection was released in 2013, with updated information, the Chouzenshuu books.
They contain encyclopedic coverage of the Dragon Ball series (manga, anime, and movies), including character biographies, timelines, attacks, interviews and more. Each of the hardcover books contain an interview with Akira Toriyama, and a bonus insert called the "Shenron Times" that contains interviews with various other important people involved with the series. The Daizenshuu books were made from material collected by an organizational group called Caramel Mama, who had worked with Akira Toriyama and Bird Studio before on Chrono Trigger. Akinori Watanabe, the man who served as editor to all the Daizenshuu volumes, worked side by side with Toriyama on the Dragon Ball manga and he directed Dr. Slump movies.
Daizenshuu 1: Complete Illustrations was released on June 25, 1995. This book is composed of pictures that put the Dragon Ball characters in settings that were not present in the series. It is divided into sections that relate to each year from 1984 to 1995. Subsequent pages include comics, and then all of the covers for the Dragon Ball manga. After that follows an interview with Akira Toriyama. The entire book is comprised of a total of 217 pages: the first 175 pages contain illustrations, pages 176 through 197 feature comics, 198 to 201 cover the Dragon Ball manga covers, 203 through 207 contain an interview with Akira Toriyama, and pages 208 to 217 are covered with thumbnail-sized pictures of all the pictures in the book. The illustrations range from battle poses to the Dragon Team playing baseball.
Daizenshuu 2: Story Guide was released on August 9, 1995, with a revised version released on October 31, 1995. It is one of the two books that are dedicated to the entirety of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It contains considerable factual information (though not nearly as much as Daizenshuu #7). It includes a fold-out picture, with one side featuring a picture of the cover and the other containing a character relations chart, which is at the beginning of the book. The entire book is done in color and includes many characters from the series. The first 45 pages of the book are a reproduction of the first Dragon Ball manga. Page 46 is a page on pre-Dragon Ball. Pages 48–90 go on to review the whole Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series, and go over all the main points. Pages 92–106 are original color works, and include pages and fights taken from each manga. These are mostly in episodic order, spanning from the first few episodes of Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z when Goku travels Snake Way. Pages 108-109 are a chronological table of characters. Pages 110-133 deal with most of the main characters and their histories throughout Dragon Ball.
Pages 134-154 continue discussing many of the main characters, while pages 156-170 contain a second original color works section. This section spans from Vegeta's fight with Goku as far as Majin Buu's introduction. Pages 171-176 deal with less major characters throughout the series. It contains a small box discussing each character. A chronological list of battles is found on pages 178 and 179. Pages 180-201 list and thoroughly review the final battles. Some attacks are listed on pages 202-216. Pages 219-242 are dedicated to a list and description of all 187 fights that are included in the Dragon Ball manga, beginning with Goku's battle with the giant fish and ending with the fight with Majin Buu. There is also a description of each fight. Pages 245-259 recap the final Dragon Ball manga, which is when Goku and the others first met Uub, with whom Goku flew off to train. The last two items featured are a picture of all the Dragon Ball characters with the writing "The End" at the bottom, and another interview with Akira Toriyama.
Daizenshuu 3: TV Animation Part 1 was released on September 9, 1995. It is a pictorial walkthrough of Dragon Ball starting with the beginning of the series and ending with the defeat of the Ginyu Force. Throughout the book are various screenshots of the show, along with some original artwork. At the end is an episode guide which lists and summarizes episodes 1-153 of Dragon Ball and 1-74 of Dragon Ball Z.
Daizenshuu 4: World Guide was released on October 9, 1995. It is one of the smallest Daizenshuu books, but in no way does that mean it contains less information. Additionally it is a manga only guide and some of the information it contains was provided or overseen by original author Akira Toriyama. The main topics included in this book are pictures of the world, other planets, different parts of Earth, and an overall look at the universe. It also contains an item list, racial groups, and a World Martial Arts Tournament guide. The first page of the guide shows what the Dragon Ball galaxy looks like as a whole. The next page is a picture of the cosmos (Other World, Hell, etc.), followed by a picture of the universe, which is then followed by 4 pictures which represent the north, south, west, and east parts of the Earth. All of these pictures are in color and are in a collage style. The next couple of pages describe what the Dragon Balls are, who Shenron is and who Porunga is. The section is finished off by talking about the different times that Shenron and Porunga have been summoned.
The next section is a characteristics section. In this they have a color picture of a group of people who are in some way related (the Saiyans, Frieza's henchmen, and the Namekians), then on the next two pages they show a relation's tree and talk about those people. There is a minor section on different places on the Earth. The book has a two-page spread which is a map of the Earth and it is on a grid. Through the next 16 pages it is shown what went on and what stands in each section of the grid. The next two sections are a description of attacks, which are categorized, and then the next section covers the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 28th World Martial Arts Tournaments. It shows the brackets for each event and summarizes it. The final main section is an items and vehicle list.
Almost all the writing in the book is in English, with the exception of individual people.
Daizenshuu 5: TV Animation Part 2 was released on November 1, 1995. The cover is a watercolor picture of Frieza and Gohan, with a section of Shenron in the background (when all the books are collected, they combine to form a large picture of Shenron). It includes a pull-out poster, with one side being a larger picture of the cover, and the other a picture of all the Saiyans, half-Saiyans, and fusion characters in Super Saiyan form. There is then a foreword from Akira Toriyama, and the Table of Contents. The next part of the book is labeled as "Super Battle Scenes", and describes Dragon Ball Z, from Porunga's summoning to the fusion of Vegito, through the use of pictures. There are nine chapters, and each one has about 8 acts. The pictures are in full-color. The section known as the "Library of Adventure" is sketches of nearly all of the characters in later Dragon Ball Z. They can be used for artists trying to draw Dragon Ball pictures, as each character is shown from different angles. The pictures are in black and white, but still they are very vivid. There are also pages scattered around called "Variety of Dragon Ball". Some pages are about the opening and closing songs, others are timelines, one is even about the CG (Computer Graphics) used in Dragon Ball. There is also a six-page interview with Akira Toriyama (including a picture of him), the lyrics to "We Gotta Power" and "We Were Angels". There are also early character designs for Dragon Ball GT. The last 20 pages in this book are called the "Dragon Ball Z All Story Digest", which is an episode guide. It informs about when the episode first aired, what happened, the title, and a picture. It spans from episode 75 to 268.
Daizenshuu 6: Movies & TV Specials was released on December 9, 1995. It contains everything about almost all the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z movies and TV Specials. Like the TV Animation guides, it is filled with pictures from each movie and original artworks based on the films accompanied by a summary. It also includes merchandise associated with each movie and, once again, it ends with another Toriyama interview.
Daizenshuu 7: Dragon Ball Encyclopedia (大事典) was released on February 25, 1996. This 313-page book contains everything that is Dragon Ball: "Timeline", complete "Character Guide", "Power Level" guides, "Attack List", complete "Item List" and "Location List". Within its massive binding also appears special times used in Dragon Ball (such as how long Oolong can stay transformed), a timeline which shows the progress of Dragon Ball in fields of tankoubon, anime, movies, games, merchandise, and even how it appeared in daily Japanese life. There is also a section which covers the popularity of Dragon Ball in the world. At the time of this book's publication, Dragon Ball had just begun airing in syndication in the United States and Latin America (1995). The caption covering America shows Goku with underwear drawn over his butt, and it discusses the edits that are made to it (it just mentions the fact that it is edited), and even makes mention of "the company in Houston" which purchased the rights to the show (Funimation).
The Extra Daizenshuu: Carddass Perfect Files (大全集別巻 Taizenshū Bekkan) are a pair of guides released on February 18, 1996 and April 19, 1996. They cover all of the Dragon Ball Carddass cards. It consists mostly of pictures of cards and card game rules.
Supplemental Daizenshuu: TV Animation Part 3 (大全集補巻 Taizenshū Hokan) was released on August 18, 1996. It covers various anime-related odds and ends left out of the other anime-based Daizenshuu, including a look at Dragon Ball: The Path to Power and Dragon Ball Z episodes 269-291.
Although all of the Daizenshuu have been published in Japan, only Daizenshuu 1 and Daizenshuu 7 have been released in France, and only Daizenshuu 1 has been released in English and Spanish. Viz Media published the first Daizenshuu in October 2008, under the name Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations. All of the pictures were left intact, and the sections at the back of the book plus Akira Toriyama's interview were translated into English.