- This article is about the series. For the Character nicknamed "Dr. Slump", see Senbei Norimaki.
Dr. Slumpドクター スランプDokutā Suranpu
|Genre||Comedy, Science Fiction|
Manga Series: Dr. Slump
1980 – 1984
|No. of volumes||
|Anime series: Dr. Slump & Arale-Chan|
April 8, 1981 — February 19, 1986
|No. of episodes||
|Anime series: Dr. Slump (1997 remake)|
November 26, 1997 — September 22, 1999
|No. of episodes||
Dr. Slump (Dr. (ドクター) スランプ) is a gag manga series by Akira Toriyama that was serialized in Shueisha's anthology comic Weekly Shōnen Jump from January 1980 to August 1984 and eventually compiled into 18 tankōbon. The series helped to launch Toriyama's career and was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen and shōjo manga in 1982. The series setting and characters became tied into Dragon Ball universe after its run was over.
One day in Penguin Village, Senbei Norimaki finishes creating the worlds first perfect Android, a little girl that he names Arale Norimaki after successfully hiding her android origins from the Coffee Pot waitress Aoi Kimidori. The next day, Arale is enrolled into Penguin Village Middle School where she ends up in Midori Yamabuki's class who becomes Senbei's dream girl. After shocking the entire school with her intelligence and strength, Arale befriends Aoi's rebellious younger sister Akane Kimidori along with Peasuke Soramame and his older brother Taro.
Dr. Slump is set in Penguin Village (ペンギン村, Pengin Mura), a place where humans co-exist with all sorts of anthropomorphic animals and other objects. In Penguin Village lives Senbei Norimaki, an inventor (his name is a pun on Senbei, a kind of rice cracker) and his nickname is "Dr. Slump" (a joke that can be seen as similar to nicknaming an author "Writer's Block.") In the first chapter, he builds what he hopes will be the world's most perfect little girl robot, named Arale Norimaki (a pun on another kind of rice cracker), in scenes obviously parodying the Italian children's classic Pinocchio. Because Senbei is a lousy inventor, she soon turns out to be in severe need of eyeglasses. She is also very naïve, and in later issues, she has adventures such as bringing a huge bear home and having mistaken it for a pet. To Senbei's credit, she has super-strength (and, in a Dragon Ball crossover, she proved to be genuinely stronger than the young Son Goku, prompting him to train harder). In general, the manga focuses on Arale's misunderstandings of humanity and Senbei's inventions, rivalries, and romantic misadventures. In the middle of the series, a continuously-appearing villain named Dr. Mashirito shows up who is based on Toriyama's editor at the time.
Dr. Slump is filled with puns, bathroom jokes and parodies of both Japanese and American culture. For example, one of the recurring characters is "Suppaman", a short, fat, pompous buffoon who changes into a Superman-like costume by eating a sour-tasting ("suppai" in Japanese) umeboshi. Unlike Superman, Suppaman can not fly well, and instead pretends to fly by lying belly down on a skateboard and scooting through the streets. Also, the policeman Drop-kun in Dr. Slump wears a Storm Trooper helmet, just as in the American movie Star Wars.
Toriyama drew several short omake included in the Dr. Slump tankōban volumes that supposedly depict actual events on the production of the series, although, as they are often humorous, the level of truthfulness to them is uncertain. In one, he claimed that when he told his editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, that he wanted to make a manga about a doctor, Torishima told him to add a robot. Toriyama originally wanted a very large robot, but as it would not fit in the panels, he instead made it small. When Torishima rejected that idea, he made the robot a girl, knowing Torishima would find her "cute". He also stated that Senbei was supposed to be the main character, but his editor told him to make it Arale instead, which Toriyama agrees turned out better. The act of having Senbei and Midori get married came from having nothing else to draw that week, and that it happened quickly because he does not like romance. He went on to state that Torishima does enjoy romance, and that the relationships of Arale and Obotchaman, Akane and Tsukutsun, and Taro and Tsururin were all Torishima's ideas.
Toriyama did not expect Dr. Slump to last long, as even before it debuted his editor Torishima was asking him what he would draw for his next series. However, it lasted for roughly five years. When Toriyama began Dr. Slump, he worked at home, where he lived with his parents, and had one assistant who worked one day a week. Toriyama has said several times that he typically would not have any ideas for the story for that week's chapter, but would think up something as soon as Torishima called asking. He thought up each week's story as he drew and sent the rough draft to Torishima at Weekly Shōnen Jump headquarters in Tokyo by air courier from Nagoya Airport. After getting the approval of his editor, he began by drawing the lines that stick out of the frames, then the frames themselves, before using a g-pen to draw clear crisp lines at roughly one page an hour. After he had around eight pages finished, his assistant Hisashi Tanaka (田中久志?) (or Hiswashi (ひすゎし?)) came over, although Toriyama stated he only allowed him to color. For color pages, Toriyama first drew them with permanent ink and used water-soluble color pens, before touching up with a wet brush. Later in serialization (around volume 13, as stated in volume 18), Takashi Matsuyama (まつやまたかし?) became his assistant when Hiswashi started his own series, although Hiswashi occasionally still helped out, as did Toriyama's wife when they were close to a deadline. In 2013, Toriyama stated that one of the conditions he agreed to that allowed him to end the popular Dr. Slump, was that he start his next series relatively soon after. He began Dragon Ball roughly three months later.
In his own words, Toriyama described the scenery of Dr. Slump as having an "American West Coast" feel. Toriyama's editor Torishima recalled that when he asked Toriyama why he drew relatively sparse backgrounds, his reply was simply that it was easier that way. However, Toriyama has stated that he was particular about the art, working more hours on it than he would later on Dragon Ball. In an actual chapter of Dr. Slump, where Toriyama and Matsuyama appear, it was revealed that Matsuyama draws most of the backgrounds and houses. Toriyama often used colored paper, a technique fairly common in design, but less-so in manga. He stated that the tournament-type events, such as the Penguin Village Grand Prix and Kick the can contest, were popular with readers and inspired the Tenkaichi Budōkai in Dragon Ball.
Dr. Slump was originally serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump from issue 5/6 of 1980 to issue 39 of 1984 and subsequently collected in 18 tankōbon volumes under the Jump Comics imprint. It was reassembled as a nine-volume aizōban edition in 1990, a nine-volume bunkoban edition in 1995, and a 15-volumekanzenban edition in 2006. Viz Media published an English adaptation of 18 original Dr. Slump volumes from 2005 to 2009, with translation done by Alexander O. Smith. Dragon Ball, though the original Dragon Ball TV program and early manga chapters, are much closer to Dr. Slump in its style and humor.
After Dr. Slump ended in 1984, the manga's characters of returned for an extended cameo in Toriyama's next series Dragon Ball, in which Arale and Goku briefly team up to help Goku defeat General Blue during the Red Ribbon Army storyline.
A Dr. Slump follow-up manga was written by Takao Koyama, illustrated by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and serialized in V-Jump from 1994 to 1996 under the title Dr. Slump Returns, But Only For a Little While. It has been collected into four tankōbon volumes.
To promote the release of the first Dr. Slump & Arale-chan DVD box set, Akira Toriyama illustrated a special one-shot spin-off titled Dr. Mashirito and Abale-chan published in the fourth 2007 issue of the Weekly Shōnen Jump. The story centers around an evil counterpart of Arale created by Dr. Mashirito Jr. and named Abale. Dr. Mashirito and Abale-chan was adapted into a five-minute short shown theatrically alongside the One Piece feature film One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta.
Dr. Slump & Arale-chan
The original anime adaption to the manga was called Dr. Slump & Arale-chan (Japanese: Dr.スランプとアラレちゃん) and ran from 1981 to 1986 and spanned 243 episodes.
Dr. Slump (1997 remake)
The second anime ran from 1997 to 1999 and featured 74 episodes. In addition to the series, 11 animated films have been made.
Crossovers with Dragon Ball
After the original manga ended, the characters of Dr. Slump returned for an extended cameo in Toriyama's next manga and anime series Dragon Ball (chapters 70-73, or manga volume 7). Arale Norimaki and Goku briefly team up to defeat General Blue during the General Blue Saga.
Because of these cameos (and other similarities), many fans consider the two series as taking place in the same fictional universe.
The manga cameo showed a distinct change in the author's art style by that time, making Arale Norimaki and the gang look somewhat bloated. The characters later appeared in the third manga called "Chotto Kaettekita Dr. Slump" (loosely translated: "Dr. Slump Returns, But Only For a Little While").
Suppaman also makes a brief cameo, trying to stop General Blue. When General Blue proves his strength, Suppaman promptly begs for forgiveness for his earlier taunts (he tried to show off being strong by breaking 3 bricks with one punch, which also hurts his hand. General Blue then promptly lifts and crushes a phone booth effortlessly).
Goku also makes a brief cameo, trying to stop Mashirito (in the manga and anime). In the game Super Dragon Ball Z, in the city level, by breaking the porta-potty, Suppaman (with the hiragana "su" character on his chest) will roll off on his skateboard.
Dr. Slump is implied to exist in the same universe as Dragon Ball by the cast and Penguin Village appearing in the General Blue Saga. It is implied as well that its place in the Dragon Ball timeline is before the events of Dragon Ball, since all of the characters are in the positions they held at the end of the series (examples: Tsun Family residing in Penguin Village, Taro being a cop, Midori being married to Senbei and Turbo existing, Obotchaman existing, Gatchan #2 existing, etc.). In this way, it can be viewed as a prequel, much like CLAMP's Angelic Layer was a prequel to Chobits.
However, many parts of Dr. Slump do in fact contradict it from being in the same universe as Dragon Ball, for the obvious reason that it was written before Dragon Ball was. Many real world locations and landmarks that do not exist in the Dragon Ball universe are shown to exist. One major contradiction is a character in Dr. Slump named "Kami" who is an old man who bears a similar appearance to Master Roshi and is the guardian of Earth. His existence is a direct contradiction with Kami from Dragon Ball, who is also the guardian of Earth but is a Namekian.
A handheld game by Animest called Hoyoyo Bomber was released as a Game & Watch clone in 1982 in Japan. Another Dr. Slump video game was released in 1983 for the Arcadia 2001. A game for the PlayStation based on the second television series was released on March 18, 1999. Dr. Slump: Arale-Chan for Nintendo DS was released on October 30, 2008; Goku also appears in this game.
Arale appears in the 1988 Famicom game Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden. In Jump Super Stars, Arale and Mashirito are battle koma (playable characters), with the latter as the game's main antagonist. They both return in the sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, in exactly the same roles. Also, Senbei Norimaki is a Help Koma (support character) that can strengthen Arale if his Koma is adjacent to Arale's Koma in both games, and Midori, Gatchan, Obotchaman and Poop-Boy were added as support characters in Jump Ultimate Stars. Arale also appears as a playable fighter in J-Stars Victory Vs, with Gatchan and Poop-Boy assisting her during certain attacks. The game also features Senbei, Midori, and Turbo Norimaki as NPC's in the game's J-Adventure mode.
Arale appears as a playable character and Penguin Village is a playable map in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2 and Wii). In the PS2 game Super Dragon Ball Z, Suppaman appears in the background of the city level and he will roll off on his skateboard after breaking a telephone booth. Finally, Arale can be unlocked as a playable character in both Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo for Wii and Dragon Ball: Origins 2 for DS.
Characters and cast
This is a list of characters from Dr. Slump that appeared in Dragon Ball related media.
|Character Name||1980's Voice Actor||1997 Voice Actor||Funimation Dub (Dragon Ball) Voice Actor|
|Arale Norimaki||Mami Koyama||Taeko Kawata||Meredith McCoy|
|Senbei Norimaki||Kenji Utsumi||Yūsaku Yara||Brice Armstrong|
|Gatchan||Seiko Nakano||Chie Sawaguchi||Unknown|
|Midori Yamabuki/Norimaki||Mariko Mukai||Yūko Minaguchi||Unknown|
|Turbo Norimaki||Yūko Mita||Yūko Mita||Unknown|
|Obotchaman||Mitsuko Horie||Motoko Kumai||Unknown|
|Akane Kimidori||Kazuko Sugiyama||Hiroko Konishi||Unknown|
|Aoi Kimidori||Naomi Jinbo||Hiroko Emori||Unknown|
|Taro Soramame||Toshio Furukawa||Shinichirō Ōta||Unknown|
|Peasuke Soramame||Naomi Jinbo||Megumi Urawa||Unknown|
|Kurikinton Soramame||Kouji Totani||Nobuaki Kanemitsu||None|
|Tsukutsun Tsun||Shigeru Chiba||Ryoutarou Okiayu||Unknown|
|Tsururin Tsun||Yūko Mita||Houko Kuwashima||None|
|Tsuruten Tsun||Hiroshi Ohtake||Kouji Yada||None|
|Tsuntsunodanoteiyugo Tsun||Mitsuko Horie||Michie Tomizawa||None|
|Gyaosu||Kouji Totani||Bin Shimada||Unknown|
|Gala||Isamu Tanonaka||Nobuhiko Kazama||Unknown|
|Pagos||Masaharu Satō||Michio Nakao||Unknown|
|Polly Buckets||Toshiko Fujita||Masako Katsuki||Unknown|
|Charmy Yamada||Ryō Horikawa||None||Unknown|
|Dr. Mashirito||Nachi Nozawa
|Sourman||Tesshō Genda||Toru Furuya||Dameon Clarke|
|King Nikochan||Hiroshi Ohtake||Bin Shimada||Unknown|
|King Nikochan's servant||Shigeru Chiba||Ryō Horikawa||Unknown|
|Parzan||Kouji Totani||Minori Matsushima||None|
|Kinoko Sarada||Kazuko Sugiyama||Noriko Uemura||Unknown|
|Daigoro Kurigashira||Tetsuo Mizutori||Nobuo Tobita||None|
|Donbei||Shigeru Chiba||Kappei Yamaguchi||Unknown|
- Director: Minoru Okazaki, Akinori Nagaoka, Daisuke Nishio, Mitsuo Hashimoto, Yoshihiro Ueda, Yoshiki Shibata (remake only)
- Producers: Tokizō Tsuchiya, Keizo Shichijo, Seiichi Hiruta
- Script: Satoru Nishizono (remake only), Masaki Tsuji, Michiru Shimada, Shunichi Yukimuro, Yasushi Hirano, Tomoko Konparu, Takao Koyama, Toshiki Inoue
- Animation Supervisor: Toyoo Ashida
- Animation Director & Character Designs: Sachio Ebisawa, Minoru Maeda, Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, Shinji Koike (remake only)
- Key Animation: Masayuki Uchiyama, Hiromi Matsushita, Mamito Tayama (1983), Yasuhiro Nakura
- Music: Shunsuke Kikuchi, Takeo Watanabe (remake only)
The original 1980s series was released on Region 2 DVD in Japan in two parts. The "N'cha collection" was released in March 2007. The "Hoyoyo Collection" was released in September 2007.
The English translation of the manga is done by Alexander O. Smith.
- Several expressions from Dr. Slump had gone on to become part of Japanese culture. Trademark expressions from the manga include:
- "N-cha": Senbei's greeting and apparently a truncation of "konnichiwa"; also used by Arale.
- "Hoyoyo": an expression used by Arale Norimaki to signify bewilderment or mild confusion.
- "Kiiiiiin": originally a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of an airplane engine.
- "Cul": Arale talk for "Cool".
- In addition, the round glasses Arale wears have inspired the Japanese phrase "arare megane" (Arale glasses).
- In the manga, Toriyama himself has been portrayed as a bird (the tori in his last name means "bird", hence the name of his production studio Bird Studio), although Toriyama actually based the design of Senbei on himself (as a number of American comic strip artists have been known to do). He has also portrayed himself as a small robot with dark goggles, and simply a middle-aged man with dark sunglasses and contagion mask (signifying anonymity). In addition, other real people make appearances as well, such as Toriyama's bosses (like Kazuhiko Torishima), assistants, and wife, Toriyama's colleague friends (like Masakazu Katsura), and others.
- ↑ 小学館漫画賞：歴代受賞者, Shogakukan
- ↑ Dr. Slump chapter 1, "The Birth of Arale"
- ↑ Dr. Slump & Arale-chan episode 1a, "Arale-chan's Birth"
- ↑ Dr. Slump chapter 2, "Here Comes Arale"
- ↑ Dr. Slump & Arale-chan, episode 1b "Hey! Friends"
- ↑ Amazon.co.jp： Dr.スランプ アラレちゃん DVD-BOX SLUMP THE BOX んちゃ編: DVD: 小山茉美,内海賢二,向井真理子,杉山佳寿子,古川登志夫,神保なおみ,玄田哲章,鳥山明