Neko Majin: saving the world is not a profitable business

A typical characteristic of Toriyama is to draw his characters doing things from the real world. Credits: Story and drawings by Akira Toriyama.

After the end of Dragon Ball Z in 1996, Akira Toriyama He decided to turn to other stories. Devoting herself to shorter stories, in 1999 she wrote Neko Majina luck of sitcom about a con artist superhero cat. Here the mangaka he gave free rein to his humor in some short stories that even parody his greatest work.

Neko Makin was published between 1999 and 2005 in the magazines Shonen Jump Y Shonen Jump Monthly from the publisher Shueisha. It is a short series that was later published in a single volume. Other stories Toriyama wrote before returning to dragon ball were: wow!, Kajika Y Sand Land (the latter, after Neko Majin). In 2015, she would return to his most popular work with Super DB.

Gotta make some money

Neko Majin is a “magical cat” (which is redundant, since that means his name in Japanese); his greatest ambition is to make money. A group of thieves walks through the plain when they see that a cat has stolen his motorcycle. Neko Majin will offer to retrieve it or take it for a certain amount of money. This is the plot of the first episode.

Neko Majin
Nekomajin is quite the trickster, and despite his magical characteristics, this way of being is his dominant trait. Credits: Story and drawings by Akira Toriyama.

In the second story, a couple of aliens will come to earth to kidnap a girl and do experiments. Neko Majin will meet the ship of the daring aliens; and she will crash. When the owners find out what he did, they try to get the Magic Cat to fix the problem for them. Neko Majin will ask you for money to solve the problem.

In the third arc, waking up from a nap of more than 30 years, Neko Majin meets a man, whom he met as a child (before going to sleep). This person is a teacher, and asks Neko Majin for help to take care of his course while he does some paperwork. The cat should help him gain more self-confidence so that his students will respect him more.

In the second part, where Z is added to the name of the manga, Neko Majin will be more interested in proving himself. He will seek to compete by battling the most powerful beings he comes across. This marks a motivation equal to that of Gokuthe protagonist of dragon ball.

indirect comedy

Toriyama makes use of his most important tool (no, it’s not superpowers): comedy as a plot engine. The adventures that Neko Majin goes through are usually generated by her anti-social behavior. The luck of the character makes her always get involved, in a bad way, with detestable people; whom he ends up complicating.

Neko Majin
The power of the Nekomajin is portrayed in situations with expository dialogue, without the need to throw a single punch. Credits: Story and drawings by Akira Toriyama.

The thieves from the first episode are scammed by Neko Majin, but the cat never found out that they were thieves. In the end the bad ones end badly and the good ones end well; but is Neko Majin good? This question is answered from a social point of view: this character is beyond common moral values. His whole personality is designed to be the engine of comedy.

Another factor that the mangaka manages, is to establish the power of the character without showing it. In the episode where he helps the professor, the Neko Majin meets the Amphibian Shark, a threat to everyone. However, when the shark sees the cat, it trembles and fears for its well-being; demonstrating the power of the protagonist.

the self-parody

Although Toriyama’s first success was dr slump in 1980, his worldwide recognition came for dragon ball in 1984. The story starring Goku is one of the most famous Shönen in history, so the mangaka sought to bring this essence to Neko Majin. In the second part of the publication, with the addition of Z, the imprint of the series changes.

Neko Majin
The parody of his great success does not go unnoticed. Credits: Story and drawings by Akira Toriyama.

Here, Neko Majin is no longer interested in money, but in comparing his strength with other imposing characters. This is how he comes across two aliens who come to conquer the world; and after wanting to cheat them, he wants to measure himself against who he proclaims himself as “the strongest in the Universe”. Here the comedy will be created with the comings and goings of these characters; bringing stronger beings.

Several important characters dragon ball will make their cameos here, as all of Toriyama’s characters live in a shared universe. At this point, what readers will most share with Neko Majin is his admiration for Goku, his martial arts teacher.

Toriyama is, in addition to mangaka, a renowned character designer, with a very recognizable style. This is one of the reasons why the parody of him works so well. Being dragon ball his most recognized work worldwide, by showing characters from that story gives an important fan service. This encourages readers to dig even deeper.

Not only will he parody his own Dragon Ball, but he will also involve several leading characters. Credits: Story and drawings by Akira Toriyama.

Neko Majin was edited in Argentina in a single volume that brings together its two stages; alone, and the so-called “Z” by Editorial Ivrea.

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