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This article is about the series. For the Character nicknamed "Dr. Slump", see Senbei Norimaki.
Dr. Slump

The first volume of the Dr

Dr. Slumpドクター スランプDokutā Suranpu

Genre Comedy, Science Fiction

Manga Series: Dr. Slump

Authored by

Akira Toriyama



Serialized in

Weekly Shōnen Jump

Original run

1980 – 1984

No. of volumes


Anime series: Dr. Slump & Arale-Chan
Directed by

Minoru Okazaki


Toei Animation


Fuji TV

Original run

April 8, 1981 — February 19, 1986

No. of episodes


Anime series: Dr. Slump (1997 remake)
Directed by

Shigeyasu Yamauchi


Toei Animation


Fuji TV

Original run

November 26, 1997 — September 22, 1999

No. of episodes


Dr. Slump (Dr.ドクター スランプ) is a gag manga series by Akira Toriyama that was serialized in Shueisha's anthology comic Weekly Shōnen Jump from January 1980 to August 1984 and eventually compiled into 18 tankōbon. The series helped to launch Toriyama's career and was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen and shōjo manga in 1982.[1] The series setting, and characters became tied into the Dragon Ball universe after its run was over.



Senbei Norimaki creating Arale

One day in Penguin Village, Senbei Norimaki finishes creating the world's first perfect Android, a little girl that he names Arale Norimaki after successfully hiding her android origins from the Coffee Pot waitress Aoi Kimidori.[2][3] The next day, Arale is enrolled into Penguin Village Middle School where she ends up in Midori Yamabuki's class who becomes Senbei's dream girl. After shocking the entire school with her intelligence and strength, Arale befriends Aoi's rebellious younger sister Akane Kimidori along with Peasuke Soramame and his older brother Taro.[4][5]


Dr. Slump is set in Penguin Village (ペンギン村, Pengin Mura), a place where humans co-exist with all sorts of anthropomorphic animals and other objects. In Penguin Village lives Senbei Norimaki, an inventor (his name is a pun on Senbei, a kind of rice cracker) and his nickname is "Dr. Slump" (a joke that can be seen as similar to nicknaming an author "Writer's Block.") In the first chapter, he builds what he hopes will be the world's most perfect little girl robot, named Arale Norimaki (a pun on another kind of rice cracker), in scenes obviously parodying the Italian children's classic Pinocchio. Because Senbei is a lousy inventor, she soon turns out to be in severe need of eyeglasses. She is also very naïve, and in later issues, she has adventures such as bringing a huge bear home and having mistaken it for a pet. To Senbei's credit, she has super-strength (and, in a Dragon Ball crossover, she proved to be genuinely stronger than the young Son Goku, prompting him to train harder). In general, the manga focuses on Arale's misunderstandings of humanity and Senbei's inventions, rivalries, and romantic misadventures. In the middle of the series, a continuously appearing villain named Dr. Mashirito shows up who is based on Toriyama's editor at the time.

Dr. Slump is filled with puns, bathroom jokes and parodies of both Japanese and American culture. For example, one of the recurring characters is "Suppaman", a short, fat, pompous buffoon who changes into a Superman-like costume by eating a sour-tasting ("suppai" in Japanese) umeboshi. Unlike Superman, Suppaman cannot fly well, and instead pretends to fly by lying belly down on a skateboard and scooting through the streets. Also, the policeman Drop-kun in Dr. Slump wears a Storm Trooper helmet, just as in the American movie Star Wars.


Toriyama drew several short omake included in the Dr. Slump tankōban volumes that supposedly depict actual events on the production of the series, although, as they are often humorous, the level of truthfulness to them is uncertain. In one, he claimed that when he told his editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, that he wanted to make a manga about a doctor, Torishima told him to add a robot. Toriyama originally wanted a very large robot, but as it would not fit in the panels, he instead made it small. When Torishima rejected that idea, he made the robot a girl, knowing Torishima would find her "cute". He also stated that Senbei was supposed to be the main character, but his editor told him to make it Arale instead, which Toriyama agrees turned out better. The act of having Senbei and Midori get married came from having nothing else to draw that week, and that it happened quickly because he does not like romance. He went on to state that Torishima does enjoy romance, and that the relationships of Arale and Obotchaman, Akane and Tsukutsun, and Taro and Tsururin were all Torishima's ideas.

Toriyama did not expect Dr. Slump to last long, as even before it debuted his editor Torishima was asking him what he would draw for his next series. However, it lasted for roughly five years. When Toriyama began Dr. Slump, he worked at home, where he lived with his parents, and had one assistant who worked one day a week. Toriyama has said several times that he typically would not have any ideas for the story for that week's chapter but would think up something as soon as Torishima called asking. He thought up each week's story as he drew and sent the rough draft to Torishima at Weekly Shōnen Jump headquarters in Tokyo by air courier from Nagoya Airport. After getting the approval of his editor, he began by drawing the lines that stick out of the frames, then the frames themselves, before using a g-pen to draw clear crisp lines at roughly one page an hour. After he had around eight pages finished, his assistant Hisashi Tanaka (田中久志?) (or Hiswashi (ひすゎし?)) came over, although Toriyama stated he only allowed him to color. For color pages, Toriyama first drew them with permanent ink and used water-soluble color pens, before touching up with a wet brush. Later in serialization (around volume 13, as stated in volume 18), Takashi Matsuyama (まつやまたかし?) became his assistant when Hiswashi started his own series, although Hiswashi occasionally still helped out, as did Toriyama's wife when they were close to a deadline. In 2013, Toriyama stated that one of the conditions he agreed to that allowed him to end the popular Dr. Slump, was that he starts his next series relatively soon after. He began Dragon Ball roughly three months later.

In his own words, Toriyama described the scenery of Dr. Slump as having an "American West Coast" feel. Toriyama's editor Torishima recalled that when he asked Toriyama why he drew relatively sparse backgrounds, his reply was simply that it was easier that way. However, Toriyama has stated that he was particular about the art, working more hours on it than he would later on Dragon Ball. In an actual chapter of Dr. Slump, where Toriyama and Matsuyama appear, it was revealed that Matsuyama draws most of the backgrounds and houses. Toriyama often used colored paper, a technique fairly common in design, but less-so in manga. He stated that the tournament-type events, such as the Penguin Village Grand Prix and Kick the can contest, were popular with readers and inspired the Tenkaichi Budōkai in Dragon Ball.



Dr. Slump was originally serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump from issue 5/6 of 1980 to issue 39 of 1984 and subsequently collected in 18 tankōbon volumes under the Jump Comics imprint. It was reassembled as a nine-volume aizōban edition in 1990, a nine-volume bunkoban edition in 1995, and a 15-volumekanzenban edition in 2006. Viz Media published an English adaptation of 18 original Dr. Slump volumes from 2005 to 2009, with translation done by Alexander O. Smith. Dragon Ball, though the original Dragon Ball TV program and early manga chapters, are much closer to Dr. Slump in its style and humor.

After Dr. Slump ended in 1984, the manga's characters of returned for an extended cameo in Toriyama's next series Dragon Ball, in which Arale and Goku briefly team up to help Goku defeat General Blue during the Red Ribbon Army storyline.

A Dr. Slump follow-up manga was written by Takao Koyama, illustrated by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and serialized in V-Jump from 1994 to 1996 under the title Dr. Slump Returns, But Only For a Little While. It has been collected into four tankōbon volumes.

To promote the release of the first Dr. Slump & Arale-chan DVD box set, Akira Toriyama illustrated a special one-shot spin-off titled Dr. Mashirito and Abale-chan published in the fourth 2007 issue of the Weekly Shōnen Jump. The story centers around an evil counterpart of Arale created by Dr. Mashirito Jr. and named Abale. Dr. Mashirito and Abale-chan was adapted into a five-minute short shown theatrically alongside the One Piece feature film One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta.


Dr. Slump & Arale-chan[]

The original anime adaption to the manga was called Dr. Slump & Arale-chan (Japanese: Dr.スランプとアラレちゃん) and ran from 1981 to 1986 and spanned 243 episodes.

Dr. Slump (1997 remake)[]


Some of the characters in their appearances in the remake

The second anime ran from 1997 to 1999 and featured 74 episodes. In addition to the series, 11 animated films have been made.

Timeline Placement[]

Most of Dr. Slump takes place before the events of Dragon Ball, since all of the characters are in the positions they held at the end of the series during the Penguin Village portion of the General Blue Saga (examples: Tsun Family residing in Penguin Village, Taro being a cop, Midori being married to Senbei and Turbo existing, Obotchaman existing, Gatchan #2 existing, etc.). Daizenshuu 7 states that Arale's creation (which was the beginning of the series) was in Age 745. The Penguin Village portion of the General Blue Saga in Dragon Ball takes place before the end of Dr. Slump since Arale's grade aren't high school seniors yet and on summer vacation when Goku arrives and also by the fact that Arale isn't mayor yet.

Obotchaman and later Akira uses Turbo's Time Machine to travel 10 years in the future which would be in Age 759, a few years before the beginning of the Raditz Saga.

The sequel manga, Dr. Slump Returns, But Only For a Little While first appears to be set a few years later after the original series ending (judging by Turbo's age and the ages of the rest of the characters) but the various Dragon Ball cameos make it too difficult to accurately place it (ex: adult Goku appearing in one chapter but the Dragon Ball GT group of kid Goku, Pan, Trunks, and Giru appearing in another chapter taking place not too long after). Additionally, Dr. Mashirito is still alive, despite having perished in the original Dr. Slump manga.

Inconsistencies with Dragon Ball[]

Many real-world locations and landmarks that do not exist in the Dragon Ball universe are shown and mentioned.

In the Dragon Ball Super anime, several Dr. Slump characters are depicted as much younger than they should by the time they appear in Dragon Ball Super which contradicts their older appearances in Dr. Slump stories, which depict inhabitants of Penguin Village in the future. However, it should be noted that Vegeta breaks the fourth wall by directly referring to Arale as a gag character during the episode, indicating that the episode itself is not meant to be taken seriously.

Crossovers with the Dragon Ball series[]

Other than the major crossover occurring during the General Blue saga and another crossover in Dragon Ball Super, Dr. Slump characters and references have occurred throughout the Dragon Ball franchise. Characters and references from Dragon Ball have also appeared in later Dr. Slump media released during and after Dragon Ball's original run.

Video games[]

A handheld game by Animest called Hoyoyo Bomber was released as a Game & Watch clone in 1982 in Japan. Another Dr. Slump video game was released in 1983 for the Arcadia 2001. A game for the PlayStation based on the second television series was released on March 18, 1999. Dr. Slump: Arale-Chan for Nintendo DS was released on October 30, 2008; Goku also appears in this game.


Dr. Slump PS1 boxart

Arale appears in Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden. In Jump Super Stars, Arale and Mashirito are battle koma (playable characters), with the latter as the game's main antagonist. They both return in the sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, in exactly the same roles. Also, Senbei Norimaki is a Help Koma (support character) that can strengthen Arale if his Koma is adjacent to Arale's Koma in both games, and Midori, Gatchan, Obotchaman and Poop-Boy were added as support characters in Jump Ultimate Stars. Arale also appears as a playable fighter in J-Stars Victory Vs, with Gatchan and Poop-Boy assisting her during certain attacks. The game also features Senbei, Midori, and Turbo Norimaki as NPCs in the game's J-Adventure mode.

Arale appears as a playable character and Penguin Village is a playable map in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. In Super Dragon Ball Z, Suppaman appears in the background of the city level, and he will roll off on his skateboard after breaking a telephone booth. Finally, Arale can be unlocked as a playable character in both Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo and Dragon Ball: Origins 2. Arale Norimaki and Penguin Village appear in the Timespace Rift created by Tekka and Pinich's wish to Shenron in Dragon Ball Fusions where Arale Norimaki appears as a playable character and can perform EX-Fusion with Android 18 to create Arale 18 or Towa to create Towale.

SDBH World Mission Card (SDBH Set 3) 4-Star SH3-27 SSGSS Goku card (Arale-chan CAA Super Ability Subspace Summon W)

Arale-chan on the SH3-27 SSGSS Goku card in World Mission

In the Xenoverse series, two accessories called Arale-chan's Cap and Arale-chan's Poop Stick are references to Dr. Slump.

In Dragon Ball Heroes and Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission, SSGSS Goku's SH3-27 card has a CAA Super Ability Subspace Summon W called Double N'cha Kameha where SSGSS Goku summons Arale-chan from Subspace to deal massive DMG with her and Goku's Double N'cha Kameha which is a combination of Arale-chan's N'cha Cannon and Goku's God Kamehameha. Additionally, the attack will deal increased DMG & permanent -100% to target DMG reduction when Goku's own team has 7+ Hero Energy. The Subspace Summon can be triggered when SSGSS Goku is an Attacker from R3 (Round 3) onwards and the Hero Avatar is on SSGSS Goku's team, though it can only be triggered once per battle.

Characters and cast[]

This is a list of characters from Dr. Slump that appeared in Dragon Ball related media.

Character Name 1980's Voice Actor 1997 Voice Actor Funimation dub (Dragon Ball) Voice Actor
Arale Norimaki Mami Koyama Taeko Kawata Linda Chambers-Young
Senbei Norimaki Kenji Utsumi Yūsaku Yara Brice Armstrong
Gatchan Seiko Nakano Chie Sawaguchi Unknown
Midori Yamabuki/Norimaki Mariko Mukai Yūko Minaguchi Unknown
Turbo Norimaki Yūko Mita Yūko Mita Unknown
Obotchaman Mitsuko Horie Motoko Kumai Unknown
Akane Kimidori Kazuko Sugiyama Hiroko Konishi Unknown
Aoi Kimidori Naomi Jinbo Hiroko Emori Unknown
Taro Soramame Toshio Furukawa Shinichirō Ōta Unknown
Peasuke Soramame Naomi Jinbo Megumi Urawa Unknown
Kurikinton Soramame Kouji Totani Nobuaki Kanemitsu None
Tsukutsun Tsun Shigeru Chiba Ryōtarō Okiayu Unknown
Tsururin Tsun Yūko Mita Houko Kuwashima None
Tsuruten Tsun Hiroshi Ohtake Kouji Yada None
Tsuntsunodanoteiyugo Tsun Mitsuko Horie Michie Tomizawa None
Gyaosu Kouji Totani Bin Shimada Unknown
Gala Isamu Tanonaka Nobuhiko Kazama Unknown
Pagos Masaharu Satō Michio Nakao Unknown
Polly Buckets Toshiko Fujita Masako Katsuki Unknown
Charmy Yamada Ryō Horikawa None Unknown
Dr. Mashirito Akio Nojima (1-37)

Nachi Nozawa (71-164, Movie 3) Keiichi Noda (198-236) Yasuo Yamada (Movie 2) Akira Kamiya (Movie 7, 9)

Ryōtarō Okiayu None
Sourman Tesshō Genda Toru Furuya Dameon Clarke
King Nikochan Hiroshi Ohtake Bin Shimada Unknown
King Nikochan's servant Shigeru Chiba Ryō Horikawa Unknown
Parzan Kōji Totani Minori Matsushima None
Bubibinman Mugihito Mugihito None
Kinoko Sarada Kazuko Sugiyama Noriko Uemura Unknown
Daigoro Kurigashira Tetsuo Mizutori Nobuo Tobita None
Donbe Shigeru Chiba Kappei Yamaguchi Unknown
Trampire Unknown Unknown None
Tori-bot Isamu Tanonaka
Hideyuki Tanaka (human version)
Unknown None

Anime staff[]


The staff: Toriyama, Maeda, Shichijo, Miss Matsumi, Miss Mariko, Matsuyama, Toriyama's wife, Komatsu (Hakone, October 1983)


The original 1980s series was released on Region 2 DVD in Japan in two parts. The "N'cha collection" was released in March 2007.[6] The "Hoyoyo Collection" was released in September 2007.

The English translation of the manga is done by Alexander O. Smith.


  • Several expressions from Dr. Slump had gone on to become part of Japanese culture. Trademark expressions from the manga include:
    • "N-cha": Senbei's greeting and apparently a truncation of "konnichiwa"; also used by Arale.
    • "Bye-cha"
    • "Hoyoyo": an expression used by Arale Norimaki to signify bewilderment or mild confusion.
    • "Kiiiiiin": originally a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of an airplane engine.
    • "Cul": Arale talk for "Cool".
  • In addition, the round glasses Arale wears have inspired the Japanese phrase "arare megane" (Arale glasses).
  • In the manga, Toriyama himself has been portrayed as a bird (the tori in his last name means "bird", hence the name of his production studio Bird Studio), although Toriyama actually based the design of Senbei on himself (as a number of American comic strip artists have been known to do). He has also portrayed himself as a small robot with dark goggles, and simply a middle-aged man with dark sunglasses and contagion mask (signifying anonymity). In addition, other real people make appearances as well, such as Toriyama's bosses (like Kazuhiko Torishima), assistants, and wife, Toriyama's colleague friends (like Masakazu Katsura), and others.



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