Whenever there’s any sort of new Dragon Ball collaboration unveiled, you can almost bet that it’s going to be something streetwear related. To be honest, the team (especially Cimi) is getting a little sick of it. So, I doubt anyone expected for Moleskine, of all brands, to team up with Akira Toriyama’s iconic series and create a series of notebooks that go against the hypebeast attitude that the series seems to have assumed in recent years.
Based in Milan, Italy, the Moleskine brand is renowned the world over for their exclusive brand of high-quality notebooks and have long since been the go-to place for great poets, artists and authors to bring their ideas into the world.
With this prestigious history in mind, it’s no wonder that Moleskine has abandoned the hypebeast aesthetic of Dragon Ball in favor of something more subtle and sophisticated – even bordering on the nostalgic, as they focus on recreating several key scenes from the classic, Journey to the West era of Dragon Ball.
Four notebooks are available as part of the collaboration, each featuring different characters from the classic era of Dragon Ball, but this one featuring Goku and Bulma is perhaps the best way to see how Moleskine are going about evoking nostalgic, classic scenes from the series.
The graphic of Goku on the front and Bulma on the back are both taken directly from the scene in the original anime where they both meet for the first time – an event which literally kickstarted the entire series.
Many of the other Moleskine notebooks also recreate these key classic moments in Dragon Ball history, such as the time when Shenron was first summoned after gathering all of the dragon balls, which gives the collaboration a nostalgic feeling, for sure, but also a commemorative feel – especially given how far the series has come from those humble beginnings.
Moleskine themselves are pretty upfront about this feeling, too. On their official website, they describe their Dragon Ball collaboration as ‘essentially a celebration of the talent and legacy of the series’ creator, Akira Toriyama. His artwork, characters and storytelling ability are credited with boosting the popularity of the manga genre throughout the world.’ I couldn’t put it better myself.
These Dragon Ball Moleskine notebooks are a welcome change of pace, however. They capture an era of the series often overlooked in favor of the more bombastic Z era in a unique way, with little touches – such as the back pouch pattern being fashioned after the Dragon Radar, and background art from the series being printed on the inside and back covers – only making these notebooks even more of an absolute must-have for any passionate, slightly nostalgic Dragon Ball fan.
All four Dragon Ball Moleskine notebooks are available to order now via Moleskine’s official website.