This may come as a surprise to some of the Dragon Ball fans out there, but there is a multitude of fan-made spin-offs from the main Dragon Ball series. There are some interesting ones revolving around "What if..." scenarios. A particularly entertaining one switches the roles of Goku and Vegeta as a good guy and bad guy. However, today, we're here to talk about a favorite amongst Dragon Ball fans: The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha. Though the series is short, it's filled with action, humor, and a meta-narrative that isn't afraid to poke fun at itself. This is a must-read for die-hard fans of the main series. Let's get into it!
The story begins with a couple of high school students talking about Dokkan Battle. It's hinted that one of the boys is an otaku and highly competitive in the mobile game. Unfortunately, he's unsuccessful in other areas of his life including social interactions and his grades at school. While the boys are taking, they spot a female student with a short skirt. Our unnamed protagonist gives into his raging hormones and sprints off to catch a closer glimpse. He accidentally trips down a set of stairs. When he wakes up he's inside the Dragon Ball Universe. What's even more bizarre... he's in control of Yamcha's body!
Through three chapters (that feel extremely short) our Z Warrior goes through the events of the Dragon Ball sagas as Yamcha. He uses his knowledge of the characters and future events to turn himself into the ultimate warrior that fights for justice and Bulma's affection.
Why You Need To Read It
Yamcha's lifeless corpse curled up in the fetal position is one of the Internet's oldest memes and for good reason. He's always been considered one of the weakest characters that have been tossed aside and reserved for comedic moments or episodes centered on baseball matches. But in this manga, Yamcha plays the hero who sits center stage and dukes it out against the strongest opponents the universe has to offer. Without spoiling major events, we'll just say that Yamcha receives powerups and undergoes training that allows him to hang with the strongest characters from the Saiyan and Cell sagas.
Besides Yamcha being portrayed in a new light, we also watch the protagonist use his extensive knowledge of the Dragon Ball universe to suit his needs. Multiple references are made to interactions that haven't occurred during the current events. We become sympathetic to Yamcha because we can relate to his uber-geekiness and can imagine ourselves making similar decisions if we were allowed to step into the DB-verse.
How Can I Get My Hands On It?
This original Japanese run began on December 11, 2016, and ended on August 14, 2017. It was written and drawn by Dragon Garow Lee. The story was collected in its entirety and released through Shueisha's Shonen Jump + digital platform. Back in March of this year, VIZ Media revealed that an English release would be available for purchase on November 6, 2018. It's currently set to be released at $9.99. There are unofficial English versions floating around the Internet. So, you could read those if you just want to see what the fuss is about. But, you should seriously consider buying the collected work from VIZ media later this year.
We hope that were able to pique your interest and introduce you to the world of fan-made Dragon Ball spinoffs. There are many to choose from and most of them have English, fan-translated versions as well. However, The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha will receive an official release through VIZ Media. So, we strongly urge you to support it and pick up a copy for yourself. It can only promote more fan-made stories and provide an incentive for higher quality work to surface. Who knows, you may even see your personal favorite fanfiction, of any manga or anime, released officially if there is enough support for it.