Poor Yamcha, the butt of 90 percent of all Dragon Ball jokes. The poor guy has had his ass kicked time and time again—and hell, infamously got killed off by a nameless grunt—and can’t really keep up with his friends. But a new official manga spinoff imagines a world where Yamcha is the greatest hero in the Dragon Ball universe.

Shōnen Jump Plus has just started running a new miniseries by Dragon Garow Lee, based on Akira Toriyama’s iconic Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series called Dragon Ball Gaiden: Tensei-shitara Yamcha Datta Ken (or, in English, “Dragon Ball Side Story: The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha”). The premise revolves around a Japanese high schooler who is somehow reincarnated as the hapless Yamcha following a mysterious accident.

Using his foreknowledge of the events in the Dragon Ball manga, the high schooler—as Yamcha—starts influencing events to make sure Yamcha is prepared to... well, not get taken out like a chump all the damn time. But no matter what he does, can Yamcha become a hero to rival his superpowered friends? It’ll be interesting to see how the manga twists and turns throughout Dragon Ball history in order to have Yamcha come out on top... or at least try to. At least this time it seems like Yamcha survives that Saibaman attack:

Unfortunately, the series is only available in Japanese at the moment—but if you can read it, you can catch the whole first chapter on Shonen Jump’s website.

[Crunchyroll]