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Wonder Island (manga)

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Wonder Island

WonderIslandCh1

Wonder Islandワンダー・アイランドWandā Airando

Genre Comedy, Science Fiction

Manga Series: Wonder Island

Authored by

Akira Toriyama

Publisher

Shueisha

Serialized in

Weekly Shōnen Jump

Original run

November 1978 – January 25, 1979

Wonder Island (ワンダー・アイランド) is a two part one-shot manga written by Akira Toriyama. It is notable for being Toriyama's first published manga. The first chapter appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump 1978 n°52, in November 1978, and the second chapter was published in a special issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on January 25, 1979. Wonder Island is also featured in Akira Toriyama's Manga Theater Vol. 1, released in 1983. The setting of this manga, Wonder Island, appears later on in Dr. Slump.

Story

Wonder Island 1

WonderIslandChicken

End of the first chapter

The first chapter focuses on an ex-kamikaze pilot, Petty Officer 2nd-Class Furusu, who crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 1944 during World War II and washed up on a strange island called Wonder Island. For 35 years, Furusu tried through several means to leave Wonder Island and go back to Japan, but he always failed. One day, he meets the caveman P-Man and his fairy friend who decide to help him. They indroduce him to a gorilla who teaches him hang gliding, but his attempt in leaving the island through this mean is ruined when a vampire bites a dinosaur who then interfered with his plan. After Furusu received treatment from an angel at P-Man's house for the injuries he received from this event, P-Man comes with the idea that if Furusu becomes a bird, he will be able to fly and go back to Japan. The fairy brings a witch (who is riding hoover), and the witch gives Furusu a potion that turn him into a chicken, unaware that Furusu wanted to become a bird in order to gain the ability to fly.

Despite its extraordinary originality, this story did not convince the public and finished last in the popularity poll of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine.

Wonder Island 2

Wonderisland

First page to "Wonder Island 2"

The second chapter introduces the policemen Gyaosu, Gala and Pagos who later appear as recurring characters in Dr. Slump, and make appearances in Dragon Ball. They summon Dirty Harry (Inspector Harry Callahan), aka the "top shooter in the world", at their Los Angilas police office for a vital mission. While waiting for his arrival, Gyaosu and his men play war between Ultraman and Godzilla. When he arrives, Harry makes a pretentious show of his shooting technique, shooting up into the nostrils of the Statue of Liberty. Gyaosu then gives Harry the mission to stop a dangerous criminal who said that Gyaosu was "an old bald cross between Astro Boy and King Kong", and who is now taking refuge on Wonder Island. After traveling by boat with C-3PO, Harry is fanally on the island. There, Harry meets P-Man, and he soon attacked by a three-headed dragon, King Ghidorah. He is saved by P-Man, but ends up severely injured after falling on a minefield, without having the chance to meet the burglar.

This second chapter of Wonder Island is a second chance given to Akira Toriyama by his editor Kazuhiko Torishima to demonstrates his talents. Toriyama introduces many references to popular culture in this chapter (Godzilla, Ultraman, Astro Boy, King Kong, Star Wars). Despite this, the manga will not gain the sympathy of the Shōnen Jump readers.

Trivia

  • While P-Man and the fairy, as well as the flying fish, only make a few cameo appearances in Dr. Slump, Gyaosu, Gala, and Pagos become recurring characters in that series.

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