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Dr. Slump

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For the Character nicknamed "Dr. Slump" see Senbei Norimaki
Dr. Slump

DrSlump

Dr. Slumpドクター スランプDokutā Suranpu

Genre Comedy, Science Fiction

Manga Series: Dr. Slump

Authored by

Akira Toriyama

Publisher

Shueisha

Serialized in

Weekly Shōnen Jump

Original run

1980 – 1984

No. of volumes

18

Anime series: Dr. Slump & Arale-Chan
Directed by

Minoru Okazaki

Studio

Toei Animation

Network

Fuji TV

Original run

April 8, 1981 — February 19, 1986

No. of episodes

243

Anime series: Dr. Slump (1997 remake)
Directed by

Shigeyasu Yamauchi

Studio

Toei Animation

Network

Fuji TV

Original run

November 26, 1997 — September 22, 1999

No. of episodes

74

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.[1]

Themes

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. 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. Also, a policeman in Dr. Slump can be seen wearing a Storm Trooper helmet, just as in the American movie Star Wars.

Plot

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). 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.

Media

Manga

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.

Anime

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)

Slumpremake

Some of the characters in their appearances in the 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.

Arale Norimaki also makes a smaller cameo in the movies Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, and in Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug as a picture on Gohan's wall.

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).

Canonicity

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.

Video games

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.

AraleChanPS1

Dr. Slump PS1 boxart

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


Keiichi Noda
Yasuo Yamada (Movies)
Akira Kamiya (1992 Movie)

Ryoutarou Okiayu None
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
Bubibinman Mugihito Mugihito None
Kinoko Sarada Kazuko Sugiyama Noriko Uemura Unknown
Daigoro Kurigashira Tetsuo Mizutori Nobuo Tobita None
Donbei Shigeru Chiba Kappei Yamaguchi Unknown
Trampire Unknown Unknown None
Tori-bot Isamu Tanonaka


Hideyuki Tanaka (human version)

Unknown None

Anime staff

ToriMaedaShichijoMatsumiMarikoMatsuyamaMikamiKomatsu

The staff: Toriyama, Maeda, Shichijo, Miss Matsumi, Miss Mariko, Matsuyama, Toriyama's wife, Komatsu (Hakone, October 1983)

Release

The original 1980s series was released on Region 2 DVD in Japan in two parts. The "N'cha collection" was released in March 2007.[2] The "Hoyoyo Collection" was released in September 2007.

The English translation of the manga is done by Alexander O. Smith.

Trivia

  • 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.
    • "Bye-cha"
    • "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.

Gallery

References

External links

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