After falling down a flight of stairs, a young Dragon Ball fan is shocked to find himself reincarnated as Yamcha. Utilizing his vast knowledge of the Dragon Ball universe, the new Yamcha vows to become the strongest human instead of a punchline. Rather than staying with Bulma, new Yamcha follows Goku to train with Master Roshi. Knowing Yamcha’s fate against the saiyans, new Yamcha flies to Namek with Piccolo’s old spaceship in order to have his full power drawn out by the Grand Elder. With his power unleashed, Yamcha is wished back to Earth just in time to face off against Nappa and Vegeta. After easily defeating all of the cultivars (saibamen) and Nappa, Yamcha and Goku team up to defeat Vegeta. Desperate to date Bulma, new Yamcha nearly destroys Vegeta’s escape pod, but ultimately decides against it.
Understanding his limitations, new Yamcha must decide what to do next as he will be no match for villains like Frieza, Cell or Majin Buu. Through a series of events, new Yamcha realizes that he might not be the only reincarnated being around. While the Z-Fighters face off against Cell, Yamcha confronts a reincarnated Chaozu. The new Chaozu was once a Dragon Ball super-fan known as King. Unhappy with playing the conventional role of Tien’s sidekick and constantly dying, King vowed to become a new villain. New Yamcha and King square off in an intense battle that culminates in King vowing to return to the side of good. It is then revealed that the two reincarnated heroes are merely pawns in a game between Beerus and Champa. Whis and Vados return the humans back into their original bodies as the two destroyer gods continue to argue with one another.
Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated As Yamcha is an absolute blast! Dragongarow Lee’s story and art are a perfect retelling of classic Dragon Ball arcs with a humorous twist. Yamcha has been the butt of so many jokes over the years. Even his Funko Pop! is “Dead Yamcha” in the fetal position… The concept for this manga is genius. It truly feels like new Yamcha’s choices are exactly what any Dragon Ball fan would do. The endless jokes and callbacks to major story elements make for a very quick read. I appreciated that even with the boost to Yamcha’s power, the writing stayed within the realm of reality when it came to his power limitations. New Yamcha and Chaozu facing off while the rest of the heroes battled Cell was hilarious. Having the entire odd scenario explained by a game between Beerus and Champa fits so well with the Dragon Ball Super universe. The story is limited and a little rushed because it is a one-off storyline, but it was never meant to become a long running series. It was meant to be a fun “what if” scenario that fans of the series could enjoy and it succeeds in that regard. This is a must read for any Dragon Ball fan. With solid writing, great humor and amazing art, this manga is a great addition to the Dragon Ball brand. Don’t forget to read the bonus stories! You can order your copy of Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated As Yamcha right here!
*Side note: I have to acknowledge that fact that my love of Dragon Ball and weird storylines is probably skewing my ability to accurately review this product and I don’t care! It was amazingly weird and dumb in the best way possible.
Note: Viz Media provided us with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review