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The Red Ribbon Army (マッスルタワーのきょう Massuru Tawā no Kyōfu, lit. "The Terror of Muscle Tower") is the fifth volume of the original Dragon Ball manga series written by Akira Toriyama. It was released on January 9, 1987 in Japan and in March 2003 for the English version. It covers the end of the Tournament Saga and the beginning of the Red Ribbon Army Saga.


The Red Ribbon Army

In the final round of the "Strongest under the Heavens" martial arts competition, it's down to Goku vs. Jackie Chun, the mysterious old man who's as powerful as Kame-Sen'nin himself! Will the audience survive the confrontation? After the smoke clears, Goku jumps on his flying cloud and returns to his quest to find the seven Dragon Balls, but now he's not the only one looking for them. The evil Red Ribbon Army wants the Dragon Balls for themselves, and to stop their plans, Goku must go around the world—and survive the six deadly floors of Colonel White's fortress, Muscle Tower![1]


This section, or a part of it, has been transcluded from The Training of Kame-Sen'nin; any changes involving it should be made there instead. / 

Long, long ago, in the mountains, there lived a young boy called Son Goku. His simple life was interrupted by Bulma, a girl from the city who is search for the seven magical "Dragon Balls." After many dangerous adventures with Bulma, Goku decided he really wanted to be stronger, so he went to the great martial artist Kame-Sen'nin to be trained. Now, after 8 months of tough training, Goku has entered the "Strongest Under the Heavens" fighting tournament…and advanced to the final round against Jackie Chun![1]

Volume introduction by Akira Toriyama

Toriyama illustrating himself as a bird in his car with a cigarette.

"I've mentioned this many times before, but I really hate the cold. If you turn on the heater, your head feels like it's in a daze, and if you turn it off, your hands get numb from the cold and you can't even hold your pen properly. When it gets cold I stop riding my bicycle and I only go places by car. Frankly, I'm not that much of a cycling enthusiast. Oh I just want to hibernate! Spring, hurry up and get here! Every Winter's day I long for you to come."[1]



Info below is retrieved from Viz Media.[1]

  • Oolong - Immature, shapeshifting Oolong was the only member of the group who got his wish with the Dragon Balls.
  • Son Goku - Monkey-tailed young Goku has always been stronger than normal. His grandfather Gohan gave him the nyoibō, a magic staff and Kame-Sen'nin gave him the kinto'un, a magic flying cloud. Kame-Sen'nin also taught him the mighty kamehameha attack. Something strange happens when Goku sees the full moon…
  • Yamcha - Yamcha used to be a desert bandit, but he went to the city to be Bulma's boyfriend. He uses "Fist of the Wolf-Fang" kung-fu, but he was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
  • Puar - Yamcha's shapeshifting friend.
  • Bulma - A genius inventor, Bulma met Goku on her quest for the seven magical Dragon Balls.
  • Kuririn - A sneaky young fighter, like Goku, became super-strong from Kame-Sen'nin's training. He was eliminated in the second round of the torunament.
  • Jackie Chun - A mysterious old man who came out of nowhere and entered the tournament, defeating Kuririn and Yamcha! He seems to know every martial arts move, even the kamehameha fireball. Where did he come from? What is his secret? You get one guess…
  • Kame-Sen'nin (The "Turtle Hermit") - A tricky old man martial artist master (also known as the muten-rôshi, or "Invincible Old Master") who trained Goku's grandfather, Son Gohan, and has now trained Goku and Kuririn.



Chapter # Title
49 "The Big Sleep"
The Big Sleep.jpg
50 "Jackie's Shocking Secret"
Jackie's Shocking Secret.jpg
51 "And the Crowd Goes Wild!!!"
And the Crowd Goes Wild.jpg
52 "The Climax Approaches!"
The Climax Approaches.jpg
53 "The Final Blow"
The Final Blow.jpg
54 "On the Road Again"
On the Road Again.jpg
55 "The Red Ribbon"
Character Debuts: Colonel Silver
56 "The Dragon Ball Scramble"
The Dragon Ball Scramble.jpg
Character Debuts: Commander Red, Staff Officer Black, General White and Suno
57 "The Storming of Muscle Tower"
The Storming of Muscle Tower.jpg
58 "The Flexing of Muscle Tower"
The Flexing of Muscle Tower.jpg
Character Debuts: Ninja Murasaki, Major Metallitron
59 "Devil on the Third Floor"
Devil on the Third Floor.jpg
60 "Purple People Beater"
Purple People Beater.jpg


  • Goku (Base/Great Ape) vs. Master Roshi (Jackie Chun)
  • Goku vs. Red Ribbon Soldiers
  • Goku vs. Colonel Silver
  • Goku vs. Major Metallitron
  • Goku vs. Ninja Murasaki

Differences from the anime

  • A scene of Goku and the others riding in a van after the tournament was not present in the anime.
  • Colonel Silver's character development was given more attention in the anime through filler scenes.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Viz Media (May 6, 2003).

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