Dragon Ball: Goku Strikes in Traditionally Inspired Fan Art

Goku returns to his roots in a new piece of Dragon Ball fan art.

The new artwork, which was created by a China-based artist known as @ji_dao_hua_shi on Twitter, portrays the Saiyan hero in an art style inspired by by the expressive brush strokes and colors of the traditional Chinese xiěyì style or Japanese sumi-e painting. Goku is shown in his still iconic original Super Saiyan form.

More of the artist's works can be found on their Twitter account. In addition to Goku, they have portrayed a number of other popular anime characters with their distinctive, traditionally-inspired art style, including Demon Slayer's beloved Flame Hashira, Kyujuro Rengoku, as well as Tokyo Revenger's time-traveling delinquent, Takemichi Hanagaki.

The artist's style is a natural fit for Son Goku, seeing as Dragon Ball was originally inspired by the classic 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, which told the story of a Buddhist monk who embarks on a pilgrimage alongside a number of colorful characters, including the legendary monkey king Sun Wukong.

Of course, manga author and artist Akira Toriyama's take on the classic story diverges from the original source material substantially. The differences between Goku and his classical inspiration will only continue to grow in the series' next animated installment, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which is scheduled to be released in Japan this April. The new movie will see Goku, as well as his son Gohan and his former nemesis Piccolo, take on a duo of new androids who were created by the martial artist's old enemies, the Red Ribbon Army. The CG-animated movie still doesn't have a western release date, but the movie's producers previously promised that they were working as hard as possible to shorten the gap between Dragon Ball releases in Japan and their international premiere.

Fans looking for more original takes on classic Dragon Ball material would also be advised to check out publisher Shueisha's Dragon Ball Super Cover Project. Created to celebrate the franchise's upcoming 40th anniversary, the Cover Project tasks a famous manga artist with taking one of Toriyama's classic Dragon Ball covers and redrawing it in their own style. So far the project has enlisted the talents of Naruto's Masashi Kishimoto, Bleach's Tite Kubo, Beelzebub creator Ryuhei Tamura, Kochikame's Osamu Akimoto,  Chainsaw Man and Look Back creator Tatsuki Fujimoto, Demon Slayer author Koyoharu Gotouge and most recently, Sket Dance creator Kenta Shinohara. New covers will be released every month until Nov. 2024.

Source: Twitter

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