Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball has severed elements that are core tenets of the franchise as a whole, but none are as important as the titular Dragon Balls themselves. Setting the story in motion from the very beginning, the mystical nature of these items were firmly cemented in place with the debut of the full dragon Shenron at the end of the Emperor Pilaf saga of the original series. Ever since Shenron graced the series with its presence, fans have been drawn to the iconography of this very scene and continue to rock the dragon after all these years.
But with how many times Shenron has been seen in the Dragon Ball franchise over the years, and with how many forms fans have seen of the dragon in both canon and non-canon releases, it's surprising to get a refreshing take on the icon even with so many out there already. It's the kind of ingenuity that only comes from a fandom that has been growing in support for over three decades at this point.
Artist @hoodbobthgpants (who you can find on Instagram here) rocked the dragon in a whole new way with one gorgeous new spin on Shenron. Rather than try and somehow morph the dragon into human form, it's a fun fashion forward presentation that integrates Shenron's design elements with the very spirit that the design originally drew inspiration from. Check it out:
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Shenron initially had one of the biggest presences in the entire franchise, and continues to leave a stamp on the anime even with the most current iteration of it. Thanks to Shenron's power, the threats and struggle of each arc could be removed and repaired to restore the Earth to the way it once was. It can be seen as a bit of a crutch as new villains continue to decimate everything only to revive everyone shortly after, but there's not really too much of an issue since it means we get to see Shenron brought into the series again. But what do you think?
What do you think of Shenron's impact on the Dragon Ball franchise? When do you think we'll be seeing the dragon again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!
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