Neko Majin (ネコマジン?) is a short series of one-shot manga chapters by Akira Toriyama, spanning eight total installments released from 1999-2005. It is most notable for its later portion, Neko Majin Z, which is a self-parody of Dragon Ball, the author's most famous work.
Originally a one-shot bearing little relation to Akira Toriyama's other series, the first chapter of Neko Majin appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump in April 1999 (WJ #22-23). Though there were some similarities, it did not become a self-parody of the Dragon Ball manga until Neko Majin Z, which had cameos of characters from the author's magnum opus. As of 2005, the series was completed with eight total chapters (five of which are Dragon Ball parodies). These chapters were compiled into a "kanzenban"-style package for release in Japan on April 4, 2005. The last chapter of Neko Majin Z was released in an issue of the North American monthly Shonen Jump magazine as a bonus to the special Dragon Ball collectors issue.
All chapters of Neko Majin were originally published in Weekly/Monthly Shōnen Jump in Japan.
- Neko Majin ga Iru (ネコマジンがいる "Neko Majin is Here"): April 1999 (Weekly Shōnen Jump, 1999 #22-23)
- Neko Majin ga Iru 2: August 1999 (Weekly Shōnen Jump, 1999 #37-38)
- Neko Majin Mike (ネコマジンみけ): August 2003 (Weekly Shōnen Jump, 2003 #37-38)
- Neko Majin Z (ネコマジン Z): June 2001 (Monthly Shōnen Jump, 2001 #6)
- Neko Majin Z 2: August 2003 (Monthly Shōnen Jump, 2003 #9)
- Neko Majin Z 3: February 2004 (Monthly Shōnen Jump, 2004 #3)
- Neko Majin Z 4: January 2005 (Monthly Shōnen Jump, 2005 #1)
- Neko Majin Z 5: February 2005 (Monthly Shōnen Jump, 2005 #2)
- Neko Majin Kanzenban ("Complete Edition"): 4 April 2005 (ISBN 4-08-873825-X)
The series revolves around the adventures of various characters from the "Neko Majin" race, a group of cats that can use a little bit of magic, but seem to enjoy practical jokes and martial arts even more. It eventually spins off into Neko Majin Z, centralizing around "Z", a cat-like version of Son Goku complete with nyoi-bo and typically Dragon Ball Z-style attacks, such as the "Neko-Hameha", an attack that the Neko Majin from the first chapter also used. Other familiar motifs show up during the course of the series, including Frieza's son Kuriza, a fat Super Saiyan named Onio (following the Saiyans' vegetable pun trend, this one is an obvious pun of onion), and even cameos by actual Dragon Ball characters Vegeta, Majin Buu, and Son Goku. Despite the references to Dragon Ball, the series itself is not a continuation of the manga series and the various references are not intended to be canonical. Although the connection is tenuous, several references to Neko Majin Z were added as Easter eggs to the Japanese version of the video game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (notably in the form of Kuriza as an alternate outfit for Frieza, complete with a chestnut-shaped Death Ball attack), and Z makes an appearance as a secret support character in the Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2.
- Neko Majin
- "Neko majin" literally means "Cat Genie" in Japanese (the word "majin" is difficult to translate. Its meaning is more precisely conveyed as "magical demon"). Neko Majin Z is described as the strongest neko majin in existence. Like other Dragon Ball Z characters, he can fly and use "Nekohameha" (similar to Kamehameha, except for cats). He is revealed to be a disciple of Goku in the last chapter of the series. It is unclear how he makes a living, though he attempts to trick tourists into believing he is a Koala bear, charging $8 for a picture. Z has a Super Saiyan-like transformation called Super Neko Majin.
- A comic character poking fun at the previous image of Saiyans as cool, good-looking people. Onio lands on Earth for his honeymoon, and decides to kill the human race to make Earth his country house (or country planet?). He bears much resemblance to Suppaman (Kuraaku Kenta) from one of Toriyama's previous manga, Dr. Slump. Onio is enraged, becoming a Super Saiyan when Neko Majin Z touches his wife's breasts, but quickly loses in a fight scene.
- The son of Dragon Ball Z villain, Frieza, Kuriza is the exact replica of his father except that his head is in the shape of a chestnut and can even go into a final form like his father. Kuriza is called by Onio to destroy Neko Majin Z, but ends up playing a game of football with him instead. He frequently mentions that Neko Majin is wasting pages with meaningless comments and battle scenes.
- The popular character from Dragon Ball Z is called to Earth by Kuriza and Onio, who need help defeating Neko Majin Z. Vegeta discovers that Neko Majin Z is surprisingly strong, and pretends to receive a call from his home planet to avoid an embarrassing defeat. He remarks that he will never agree to be in a gag manga ever again as he leaves.
- Majin Buu
- Buu makes a short appearance to help when Neko Majin Z is rendered helpless by Usagi Majin (the lesser-known rabbit version of Neko Majin). Every time Neko Majin wasn't in the scene, Buu would come out making people think he was Neko Majin. Neko Majin's design and abilities are obviously a copy of Majin Buu.
- Son Goku
- The main character of Dragon Ball makes an appearance in the last chapter of Neko Majin where he fights and defeats Neko Majin Z. He then tells Neko Majin there is a new evil that he needs help defeating near the Son Family home. When they get there, the enemy is just a mouse in the food pantry of Goku's home.
In the October 2007 issue of the American version of Shonen Jump, Viz included a translation of Neko Majin Z issue 5.
Other language releases
The Kanzenban was published in French by Glénat in 2006 (a year after its original release). In February 2007 the Italian publisher Star Comics also released the Complete Edition (Kanzenban) containing all 8 chapters, using a green background cover instead of the original yellow.