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Dragonball Adaptation Planned, But is it for Kids or the Manga Purists?

Written by: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageSource: Variety

Dragonball. If you’re like me, this calls to mind the characteristic visual style of Japanese anime that has taken over children’s cartoons. If you’re something of a connoisseur of comic books, you probably know it in it’s original form, the Japanese manga that launched the successful cartoon here in the States as well as numerous video games.

Twentieth Century Fox is banking on its appeal translating into big ticket sales, as they are planning a live-action adaptation of Dragonball. Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds) is set to star as the main character of the series, Goku, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) is set to star as the movie’s villain, Piccolo. James Wong (Final Destination) will direct from his own script, and Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) is producing.

More after the jump!

While I am *very* unfamiliar with this series, apparently the plot centers around Goku in his search for the Dragonballs, seven magical orbs that help Goku become the most powerful martial artist in history. He uses the orbs and his increasing powers to fight numerous villains that threaten the world.

The interesting thing is that the original manga followed Goku as a child (and for some reason he had a monkey-like tail-WTF?). And though the main character was a kid, the manga was full of graphic violence and nudity.

Dragonball was adapted into the children’s cartoon and called Dragonball Z, and the violence was cut down and the nudity censored out. It seems this live-action version will have elements of both, but who will it cater to? Can they please everyone? Is anyone actually interested in this thing?  How many jokes about mythical reptilian genitalia can we expect during this films marketing?

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