Manga Monday #23: “Dragon Ball” by Akira Toriyama

 

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Should I catch up with the latest episodes or not?

That was the first question I had in mind when I heard the latest Dragon Ball series was on air (with a female Saiyan too). I haven’t watched the shows since Dragon Ball Z aired on Toonami over twenty years ago.

I finally decided to start all over by reading the original 1984 Dragon Ball series.

While reading, I’ve discovered some interesting facts:

  1. The seven dragon balls have names.
  2. Oolong was a villain.
  3. Yamcha and Bulma dated.
  4. Goku has no clue about females.

The Dragon Balls’ Names

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The names goes as followed in order of the number of the stars on the balls:

  1. (unknown)
  2. Arushinchu
  3. Sanshinkyu
  4. Suishinchin
  5. Oschinchu
  6. Liushinkyu
  7. Chiishinchu

The collected dragon balls summon the great dragon Shenron to grant one wish. The balls turn to stone and scatter all over the world after the wish is complete. They can only be used once a year after Shenron’s summoning.

In the first Dragon Ball volume, Goku mentions his grandfather gave him Suishinchin. Bulma reveals to Goku she has already gathered Oshinchu and Arushinchu.

While Goku only seeks adventure during the dragon ball quest, Bulma plans to use the balls to wish for a boyfriend.

Funny to say, Bulma doesn’t need a wish once she meets the desert bandit Yamcha.

Bulma & Yamcha

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Before Bulma was in a relationship with Vegeta, she briefly dated Yamcha.

Yamcha desires marriage, but he’s afraid of girls. The further along the dragon ball quest, he and Bulma gain an intimate relationship.

I wonder why they didn’t remain a couple. If they did, then Trunks wouldn’t have existed and the entire Dragon ball universe would’ve taken a different turn.

Oolong Was a Terrorist?

 thundercats GIFNever in the world I would see this little piggy as a villain. Goku and Bulma meet the shape-shifting Oolong terrorizing a small village.

However, Oolong was not entirely bad. All he did was pose as a scary demon and kidnap the village girls to take care of his house. He can be a bit pervert, especially with Bulma, but she always evades his advances.

What’s a Girl?

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Goku’s reactions towards girls are hilarious! He thinks girls have tails and boobs were butts on their chests. Goku’s biggest surprise:  they don’t have balls.

Sure, Goku’s only a little boy, but you would think he would’ve known a little more about females before meeting Bulma.

Worth Reading?

Overall, Dragon Ball is a great shonen series filled with memorable adventures and characters. Please do read the original series first if you’re familiar with the Dragon Ball universe. How everything started will surprise you.

Author Akira Toriyama has written sixteen volumes of Dragon Ball before hitting off with Dragon Ball Z.

So far, I’ve read five volumes. It’s time to read the rest!

Past Manga Mondays Posts:

(Pic Sources: Giphy, Disqus)

Feel free to comment below if you’ve read this manga series or you have any recommendations. 

Thank you!

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BOOK REVIEW: “Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben

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A woman witnesses her husband shot and killed.  Now she sees her dead husband playing with their toddler.

Creepy, right?

Harlan Coben’s suspenseful tale Fool Me Once takes the reader through countless surprises. Former special ops pilot Maya Burkett faces many challenges: her husband Joe’s brutal murder, a military scandal, and PTSD.

Maya’s top priority right now is protecting her precious two-year old daughter Lily.

Unfortunately, a new problem emerges. A close friend gives Maya a nanny cam posed as a regular digital picture frame. Maya takes advantage of the camera and uncovers an eerie sight: Joe in the living room with Lily.

After the discovery, Maya interrogates her nanny Isabella on Joe’s whereabouts. Isabella’s response: pepper-spray to the face!

Maya recovers from the incident and finds the nanny cam’s SD card missing.

The deeper Maya searches for answers about her “late” husband, the more she thinks twice about the friends and family she thought she could trust. Even worse, police have revealed to Maya the bullet that killed Joe comes from the same gun that killed her sister Claire years earlier.

Now, Maya must solve how her loved ones’ deaths are connected.

What else could go wrong?

Frustratingly Good Obstacles

 This book can be upsetting in a good way. Every time Maya gets close to retrieving a valuable tip, an irritable character blocks her path.

I literally gritted my teeth when Isabella had the nerve to lie to Maya about Joe. She knew something was up! Maya saw her on camera the same time as Joe appeared. Maya wasn’t delusional.

Secondly, family repeatedly remind Maya of her PTSD. A psychiatrist or two keep showing up as help when they’re only hindering Maya’s progress solving Joe’s whereabouts.

I feel for Maya’s annoyance at the issue. If only Isabella didn’t steal the SD card, people would’ve understand Maya better.

War sucks.

Maya’s horrid past in the battlefield haunts her over the course of this novel. Receiving news of Claire’s death while overseas was more salt added to Maya’s mental wounds. She has recovered much from the past, but occasionally suffers minor stress-related episodes.

Lastly, there’s Detective Kierce assigned to Joe’s murder case. Supposedly helping Maya, he always shows up whenever she takes one misstep on her own mission. Maya doesn’t trust him or his suspicious interrogations. The last thing she wants is to land in the criminal’s hot seat.

The infuriating characters in this book are part of what makes this story great. The best stories are the ones with consistently conflicted characters and forever offending antagonists.

Conclusion

It’s been a while since I’ve read any suspense novels. Fool Me Once was a fresh morning coffee of thrills. It’s not the greatest cup in the world, but it kept me going. The book lacks the action I’ve expected from a suspense novel, but the last-minute twists made up for it.

Books I’ve Read Similar to Fool Me Once

Feel free to comment below if you’ve read this book or have any recommendations! ^_^

My August 2017 Book Haul

My August 2017 book haul was comic galore! I paid less attention to actual books, only reading two out of the whole month.

Here’s my haul:

Adult Non-Fiction Books

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Ask and It Is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks (3/5 stars) (book review)

Esther shares Abraham’s teachings on raising vibrations and maintaining an abundant life.

Recommended for readers into: Channeled books, law of attraction, teachings of Abraham.

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Imagining the World into the Universe: An Ancient Egyptian Manual on Consciousness by Normandi Ellis (4/5 stars) (book review)

The ancient Egyptians believed the gods created the universe simply with pure thought. Normandi Ellis reveals how these myths ruled the Egyptians’ daily lives.

Recommended for readers into: Ancient Egypt, higher consciousness, new age books

 

Comics/Graphic Novels

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The Adventures of Tin-Tin (volume one) by Hergé (4/5 stars)

This volume is divided into three stories: Tin-Tin in America, Cigars of the Pharaoh, and The Blue Lotus.

It’s good to be reunited with Tin-Tin again! I’ve been a fan of the TV series since I was a kid.

Recommended for readers into: Adventure comics, comics, Tin-Tin

 

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An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley (3/5 stars)

Lucy Knisley shares her European adventures and feelings about her future in this illustrated journal.

I’ve also read: French Milk

Recommended for readers into: Female-lead characters, graphic novels, travelogues

 

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At the Mountains of Madness: A Graphic Novel adapted by I.N.J Culbard (4/5 stars)

Eager explorers uncover strange things and dark secrets buried underneath the Antarctic snow.

If you’re familiar with Lovecraft, expect some creepiness.

Recommended for readers into: Adaptation graphic novels, graphic novels, H.P. Lovecraft

 

Black Widow, Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread

Black Widow (volume one): “The Finely Woven Thread” by Nathan Edmondson (3/5 stars)

Natasha Romanoff takes time to remove whatever remains of her murky KGB past. Unfortunately, opening old wounds has led her to new dangers and heartless killers.

Recommended for readers into: Black Widow, female-lead characters, Marvel.

 

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier, Volume 1: The Man on the Wall

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier (volume one):  “The Man on the Wall” by Ales Kot (3/5 stars)

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Solider has an interesting yet confusing premise.  Bucky is in outer space dealing with Loki, a crazed space assassin, and an attractive alien queen. Time-traveling also included.

Make sure you have have a good background of Bucky Barnes before reading this series or else you’ll be completely lost (like me).

I’ve also read: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier (Volume Two)

Recommended for readers into: Action comics, Bucky Barnes, Marvel.

 

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Captain America, Steve Rogers (volume three): “Empire Building”  by Nick Spencer (4/5 stars)

Here are some keywords to describe this volume’s plot to avoid major spoilers: Maria Hill’s clues, screwed Red Skull, and new war foreshadowing.

I’ve also read: Volume 1: “Hail Hydra”, Volume 2: “The Trial of Maria Hill”

Recommended for readers into: Action comics, Captain America, Marvel.

 

Doctor Strange (volume two): “The Last Days of Magic”  by Jason Aaron (4/5 stars)

The Empirikul are imposing a brutal sorcerer inquisition across the universe. Doctor Strange has to fight its leader before every trace of magic ceases to exist.

I’ve also read: Volume One: “The Way of the Weird”

Recommended for readers into: Doctor Strange, fantasy comics, Marvel.

 

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme (volume one): “Out of Time” by Robbie Thompson (4/5 stars)

Merlin handpicks Doctor Strange and other Sorcerer Supremes on a challenging assignment: Defeat the Forgotten. This ancient beast has escaped from Merlin’s prison to unleash its chaos onto the world.

Recommended for readers into: Doctor Strange, fantasy comics, Marvel.

 

Ghostopolis by Doug Tennapel (3/5 stars)

A spirit detective must retrieve a young boy accidentally taken to the spirit world Ghostopolis. Meanwhile, the boy discovers he has special powers and the tyrannical ruler of the land wants the powers for himself.

Recommended for readers into: Graphic novels, supernatural comics, YA graphic novels.

 

Harley Quinn (volume five): “The Joker’s Last Laugh” by Amanda Conner (4/5 stars)

Everything has been going well for Harley Quinn and her beau Mason Macabre until he’s sent to Arkham Asylum. Harley infiltrates the infamous institution and faces her hellish ex: The Joker.

I’ve also read: Volume 1: “Hot in the City”, Volume 2: “Power Outage”, Volume 3: “Kiss Kiss Bang Stab”, Volume 4: “A Call to Arms”

Recommended for readers into: DC Universe, female-lead characters, Harley Quinn.

 

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf (3/5 stars)

Can you imagine your old high school friend becoming one of the most prolific serial killers in America?

Derf Backderf brings to life a steadily disturbing, tragic story of his association to Jeffrey Dahmer as he knew him in high school during the seventies.

Recommended for readers into: Graphic novels, memoirs, true life stories.

 

Paper Girls, Vol. 3

Paper Girls (volume three) by Brian K. Vaughn (4/5 stars)

Four newspaper delivery girls are sucked into a grand time-traveling adventure. As they try to figure out a way to return to their sleepy Ohio town, they end up learning more about each other and the future ahead of them.

I’ve also read: Volumes 1 & 2

Recommended for readers into: Comics, sci-fi comics, time travel

 

Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm Vol. 1

Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm (volume one)  by Corinna Sara Bechko (4/5 stars)

Ape civilization is a wreck!

Dr. Zaius must find the culprit behind the moon explosion and devastation of Ape City. He sets to resolve the crisis before it spells an end to his society as he knows it.

Recommended for readers into: Comics, Planet of the Apes, sci-fi comics.

 

Radioactive Spider-Gwen (volume one) “Greater Power” by Jason Latour (2/5 stars)

This alternate Spider-Man universe presents Gwen Stacy as the arachnid heroine. A mutant chemical kills Peter Parker but Spider Gwen is blamed for the boy’s death. Gwen Stacy claims she’s innocent, but it only falls on deaf ears.

Recommended for readers into: Alternate universes, female-lead characters, Marvel

 

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Wonder Woman (volume one): “The Lies” by Greg Rucka (4/5 stars)

Wonder Woman can no longer return to Themyscira. She must seek her arch nemesis Cheetah who can show her the way back to her beloved homeland.

I’ve also read: Volume 2: “Year One”

Recommended for readers into: DC universe, female-lead characters, Wonder Woman.

 

Looking for my latest manga reads? Click here for the latest update!

Comment below if you read any of the books listed above or you have any recommendations.

I’m all ears! 😉

 

Manga Update! *Sept 2017 Edition*

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Updated: September 8, 2017

Read any good manga recently?  I came down upon volumes with a vengeance since last month’s dud.

This is what I’ve read so far in this latest manga update:

New Manga

  1. Ai Yori Aoshi by Kou Fumizuki
  2. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
  3. FLCL by Gainax
  4. The Legend of the Zelda: Four Swords by Akira Himekawa
  5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica by the Magica Quartet
  6. Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo

Updated Manga

  1. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
  2. Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma
  3. Black Butler by Yana Toboso
  4. Black Clover by Yuki Tabata
  5. Blood Lad by Yuuki Kodama
  6. The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto
  7. Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
  8. Haikyu by Haruichi Furudate
  9. Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka
  10. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki – Kun by Izumi Tsubaki
  11. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

Nostalgia Hits!

For those who don’t know, Dragon Ball is the first series before all of the others came out. The story begins with young Goku and Bulma on their first grand adventure tracking down the legendary dragon balls. If they collect them all, Shenron the dragon will appear and grant one wish.

Back in the day, I used to wait for Cartoon Network’s Toonami to watch Dragon Ball Z. At some point, they brought the original Dragon Ball on TV too.

Instead of tracking down where I left off watching Dragon Ball Z by reading the manga, I’ve decided to start at its origins.

Read All the Zelda Manga!

I enjoy reading The Legend of Zelda manga.

About a year ago, I read Akira Himewaka’s manga adaptation of The Ocarina of Time. If you barely play the video games, stories like Four Swords will fill you in on Link’s quests.

Being a Magical Girl Can Be Scary…

The volume cover of Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks cute and friendly until you uncover its dark side you will never forget. The story takes the magical girl genre into a surprising path. Don’t want to spoil much of the story…

I thank my friends for recommending this to me! Wish I’ve started reading Madoka Magica sooner.

Conclusion

August was indeed a great manga reading month and it has given me many manga series to add in my “to-read” list!

The latest manga volumes has been updated in my manga list.

(Pic Source: Giphy)

Read any of the manga listed? Recommendations? Feel free to comment below!

“Imagining The World Into Existence” BOOK REVIEW

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“The mind is but a reflection of the mind of God, and both God and man possessed the ability to use that greater mental power.” – Normandi Ellis

What would do if you read a book revealing you have the same powers as a god?

Normandi Ellis’ Imagining the World into Existence is an insightful look into ancient Egyptian mysticism. The early Egyptians strongly believed they were no more different than their gods in terms of creative powers. Creation, the power of thought, and the role of consciousness plays major roles in this book.

In addition, these themes reminded me of The Kybalion, a text claimed to be written by the legendary figure Hermes Trismegistus.

Considered to be a reference manual to ancient consciousness, I’ve expected Imagining the World would provide lessons and exercises applying the timeless spiritual wisdom into my daily life.

The book was completely different from my expectations. It’s packed with mixed subjects on consciousness awareness, myths, and priests’ rituals. Even though they do correlate with each other, this book seems like three books jammed into one.

Overall, the extra research Ellis compiled into Imagining the World was indeed educational. I did receive the information I was looking for.

The Power of Thought

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The ancient Egyptians believed Ptah, the god of creation, created the world with pure thought. The gods Thoth and Atum didn’t have parents; they thought themselves into existence.

The source of these gods’ creations is merely thought. Without thought, nothing would manifest into the physical plane.

The Egyptians also believed Egypt was made in the image of heaven. Therefore, the idea of everything from their pyramids and to their sacred texts came from a higher plane of existence. Ellis writes the following quotes:

“Thought precedes action.”

 “Life already exists before the physical act of creation.”

“The material world is made through work on the mental plane.”

 Mental existence comes before it reaches into its physical form. We can become powerful beings with our imaginations. Of course, we can’t physically shoot laser beams from our eyes and run faster than the speed of light easily if we imagined it.

Still, every one of us have the power to change things with our thoughts.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Reality

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“A change of consciousness changes physical matter.” – Normandi Ellis

Every decision we make changes our reality bit by bit. Think about all the internal decisions you’ve made up to this point. Your reality has changed every time you’ve traveled somewhere, switched job professions, changed religious beliefs, and more.

We’re more powerful than we think, but how would we know in this massive jungle of information we live in today? Imagining the World acknowledges an ancient perspective lost in this modern day.

I think about how much power we would truly have if we recognized our higher consciousness and harness it for our own use.

Nowadays, we let any sort of distracting information place us into states of fear, chaos, and anxiety. The news today consists of more negative news than good. It’s like the show runners are keeping the mass consciousness in a lower state on purpose. Turning our heads away from the consistent negativity shows we have the power to control which thoughts we receive.

The ancient Egyptians believed the gods created the world; we can create our own.

Consciousness & Heka

The ancient Egyptians were so in tune with higher consciousness they had incorporated rituals to their daily lives even after death. They knew what they did in the physical plane would affect their souls in the non-physical realms.

Ellis frequently mentions The Book of the Dead, The Coffin Texts, and The Pyramid Texts in her book. These manuscripts contained spells to guide and protect the deceased in the afterlife. The act of writing and reading spells were forms of creation, magical practices known as heka.

Remember in The Mummy when Evelyn read a passage from The Book of the Dead and brought Imhotep back to life?

That would be heka.

Not only heka are spells, but a god. Heka is the source behind all the existing magic in the universe including the souls’ ability to travel through the afterlife.  It is said he existed before any other god.

Doctors, priests, and scribes were highly valued for their knowledge of heka. It was believed they used heka to call on the gods to aid in their works. Writing, meditation, healing, and reading were all consider acts of heka.

In that sense, we work with magic every day! We write, we read, and empower ourselves with affirmations. We create magic daily, yet we don’t consider our abilities to be magical.

Imagining the World & The Kybalion

Imagining the World has a strong concept about thoughts and vibration correlating to The Kybalion. Ellis writes:

“Everything comes alive through the law of vibration and vibration is not static. Vibration changes thought. Thought is a vibration that changes things.”

This quote closely resembles to a principle in The Kybalion stating all matter are vibrations:

“Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.”

Thought is a state of matter. It can execute all sorts of emotions within us. If we’re upset, we receive upsetting events. If we’re happy, we’ll receive happy events.

Our emotions are magnets. We attract whatever is our current vibrational state. Change your vibration and see what comes to you.

Conclusion

I recommend this book if you’re into metaphysical subjects, ancient magic, or mainly interested in ancient Egyptian culture and beliefs. It’s best to check out the table of contents before reading the entire book.

I would personally purchase this book. The concepts of thoughts changing reality and the infinite power within the self really stood out to me. The ancient Egyptians knew so much we don’t know these days.

Books Reviewed Similar to Imagining the World into Existence:

(Pic Sources from Giphy)

 Comment below if you’ve read this book or you have related recommendations!