Dragon Ball Releases One of the Oldest Original Goku Drawings in Existence

One of the earliest original drawings from Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball manga was revealed on April 2, 2024, featuring concept art of a young Goku in gi trousers looking ready to spar. The drawing dates back to around 1984, pre-publication of the manga.



The artwork reveal forms part of the Toriyama Archives — the daily Dragon Ball column on the official site (now deleted). “From manga to character design to interviews, we showcase one rare, hard-to-find image every other day!” the page said. “Each image can only be seen for 24 hours after its release, so be sure to stop by whenever you can!” The Goku image was drawn before Dragon Ball was even officially published, making it one of the oldest in existence that’s been released to the public. Readers can check it out below.


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Kohei Horikoshi pays tribute to the late Akira Toriyama with a homage to one of the most famous Dragon Ball Z covers for My Hero Academia Volume 40.


Old Kid Goku Art by Akira Toriyama Dates Back to Before Dragon Ball’s Publication

Dragon Ball's old concept art sketch of Kid Goku, circa 1984

The official art description, simply titled “Goku Sketch,” read, “Circa 1984. This rough sketch of Goku was drawn during the concept development stage of Dragon Ball. Goku’s trademark spiky hairstyle is already fully developed, and his determined expression as well as his well-trained physique show unfathomable strength.


The Toriyama Archives previously resurfaced a rare Dragon Ball Shonen Jump cover featuring Goku and King Piccolo from November 1987 and a Mr. Satan image from 1996. The latter character, introduced as a joke, also featured as part of Dragon Ball‘s 2024 April Fool’s post — fooling nobody. While the latest edition of the Toriyama Archives showcases one of his earliest involvements in the series, fans were recently treated to his last, following his passing in early March; Dragon Ball Super‘s Toyotarou revealed Toriyama’s final correction in a post to X (formerly Twitter).

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Dragon Ball and More Akira Toriyama Reprints Get April Release Amid Printing Shortage

In the wake of Akira Toriyama’s passing, reprints of Dragon Ball, Sand Land, Dr. Slump and more will soon be available — if stocks remain available.

Toriyama’s latest Dragon Ball series illustrated by Toyotarou, Dragon Ball Super, is on indefinite hiatus. VIZ licenses the series in North America, translating up to Volume 20 in English. The platform describes it: “Goku and Vegeta are both struggling to master their respective ultra forms, which they’ll need to defeat Gas, now the strongest warrior in the universe. Can Granolah rejoin the battle and help turn things around? Later, back at home, a pair of superheroes are making headlines! Get ready for a new story arc set on Earth!”


Son Gokû in Dragon Ball Manga cover art poster

Dragon Ball

Son Gokû, a fighter with a monkey tail, goes on a quest with an assortment of odd characters in search of the Dragon Balls, a set of crystals that can give its bearer anything they desire.

Author
Akira Toriyama

Artist
Akira Toriyama

Release Date
November 20, 1984

Genre
Adventure , Fantasy , Comedy , Martial Arts

Chapters
519

Volumes
42

Adaptation
Dragon Ball

Publisher
Shueisha, Madman Entertainment, Viz Media

Source: Dragon Ball official website

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