The Tao of Dragon Ball - Book Synopsis to Literary Agents

A Martial Arts Animation’s Journey to Global Power


This book explores the cultural phenomenon of Dragon Ball, at the pinnacle of popular animated television shows and the number one anime-style comic book series ever. According to managers at Borders, anime-style books are the most popular section in their stores. Dragon Ball is the most watched show in the world today, and the second most searched internet topic. This is the first book to seriously—with academic and popular writing—survey what is a matching media phenomenon to Star Trek or The Matrix. The audience for this book easily equals that of Star Trek or the Matrix.

The book is titled “The Tao of Dragon Ball,” focusing on the way (Tao in Chinese) of DB’s (and its main character Goku’s) roots in the philosophical, martial arts and spiritual histories of Asia and to some extent from the West. Side explorations include the story of the reclusive creator of DB, the shaping force DB had on the evolution of anime, its current global impact as a social and media marketing phenomenon.

This book details the psychological, pop cultural, philosophical and spiritual underpinnings for the series—including the martial arts practices and mindsets, and the philosophical/mythical personages out of Buddhism, and Daoism, the two major religions of eastern Asia. TDB puts the book into a context of the complicated social trends of Japan, and the long-term and enormously-sized fan community that developed over the past 15 years supporting the DB creative evolution. For millions of fans (this book’s largest audience), TDB provides excitingly readable background from fighting, metaphysical and philosophical traditions infused into every storyline and episode of DB.

In exploring the explosive growth and impact of DB, this book biographies Akira Toriyama, the series creator—revealing that his ideas for the show were rooted heavily in Chinese and Japanese myth and legend. As a result, the series was instantly recognizable for all those who grew up with such stories. And yet was still accepted in non-Asian locales through the cultural reach of martial arts media and the popular aesthetics of anime-style work. Toriyama gained fame and success in Japan when Dragon Ball first debuted, and since then has become the most acclaimed Manga writers and creative developers in the nation, and one of the most well known in the entire world.

TDB also chronicles how Dragon Ball successfully brought a new spin to afternoon and late night television and ushered in wave of Japanese action cartoons such as Pokemon, Gundam, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and eventually Naruto. It arguably put Cartoon Network, now the nations largest cable cartoon related channel, on the map.

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