While Arale Norimaki from Dr. Slump was very briefly featured in an episode of Dragon Ball Super back in May, in an upcoming episode of the series the lovable android will have a far bigger role to play.
Arale is the main character in Dr. Slump, which was a manga series penned by Akira Toriyama before he went onto create Dragon Ball.
Originally, Arale was only meant to be a guest character in the manga but when I interviewed Toriyama’s editor recently, that of Kazuhiko Torishima, he explained that’s not how Arale ended up, “Originally Arale was not meant to be the main character. She was just a guest character for episode one. However, I really loved the girl characters Toriyama created so I wanted to use Arale as the main character. Toriyama thought differently, as Weekly Jump was meant for boys, surely a girl could not be a protagonist. So we made a gamble on making Arale the main character.
“So I challenged Toriyama to make one special issue with a girl as the protagonist and we made a bet on where it would come in the ranking. The result of that being, whoever got the closest to the final rank could have the final say. Naturally, I won and I made Arale the main character. While I won the bet, Toriyama is quite stubborn and he refused to change the name of the manga from Dr. Slump to something else. So I compromised on that.”
In the years since, Arale has become a hugely popular and much loved character, to the extent that she has been featured in other stories from Toriyama, with the latest of these being the upcoming episode 69, where it seems that both Goku and Arale will fight.
The reason why this could be quite interesting is that Toriyama has said on many occasions that Arale is probably one of the most powerful of his creations, to the extent that he’s always said that Arale could beat someone like Goku. Anyway, we’ll have to wait see how Arale does against Goku but it likely be very silly and more than a little over the top.
The other thing to note is that Dr. Slump received an anime adaptation not long after the manga started and it also seems that Arale’s voice actress, Mami Koyama, will be reprising her role in this upcoming episode of Dragon Ball Super.
Dragon Ball Super is currently available to watch via a variety of streaming services and all current episodes are simulcast with the Japanese release.
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