Folktales and other references in Toriyama's dragon ball

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The aim of this article is to show the relationship between Japanese folktales and Japanese anime as a genre, especially how the intertextuality with traditional tales and myth subvert its conventional use. To meet this goal, the author examines Toriyama's successful Dragon Ball series, which has enjoyed continued popularity right from its first publication in the 1980s. The article analyses the parallelism between Dragon Ball and a classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West, its main source. However, there are many other references present in Dragon Ball that are connected to religion and folktales. The author illustrates this relationship with examples taken from the anime that correspond to traditional Japanese folklore but that are used with a subversive goal, which makes a rich source for analysis and for literary education. © The Author(s) 2014.




Mínguez-López, X. (2014). Folktales and other references in Toriyama’s dragon ball. Animation, 9(1), 27–46.

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