The Honolulu Star Bulletin look at Akira Toriyama’s DR. SLUMP. Toriyama is best known for creating the international blockbuster DARGON BALL Z, but his earlier creation, DR. SLUMP, is intelligible to even the more casual reader, a sometimes vulgar and yet warm comedy about a wacky doctor who creates a little girl robot — hijinks ensue, but because they live in a town populated by an amazing assortment of oddballs, the invention never flags.
[E]ven if Toriyama had never created “Dragon Ball,” his career still probably would have been deemed a success in the eyes of his Japanese audience. The reason: a pair of characters named after Japanese rice crackers, Dr. Senbei Norimaki and his robot girl, Arale Norimaki. (Yes, the name technically should be “AraRE,” but Toriyama’s drawings of her show her name written on her cap and bag in English with an “L” instead of the second “R.”)
“Dr. Slump,” which ran in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan from 1980 to 1984 and now is being translated and released in America by Viz, was Toriyama’s breakout hit. Unlike the harder-edged action/sci-fi tone that much of the “Dragon Ball” series takes, “Dr. Slump” has a much more lighthearted feel to it. When the first page shows Arale’s head yawning while on the assembly table and saying “Bo-ring” as Senbei works on her, you know you’re in for quite a ride.