Sure enough, after that bit of reminiscing in the latest Vice Pit (my mind is still recovering from that Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Buu revelation, by the way), I got an irresistible hankering for some more DBZ. And that’s the thing about Hulu - - if nothing else, it’s one of the greatest (or worst?) hankering-enablers out there.
As I’ve said before, I’ve experienced the DRAGON BALL saga in a very piecemeal fashion. It’s a viewing cobbled together from several different dubs and subs scattered over several different continents. So it doesn’t feel any more disjointed to hop back from the 280th episode of this show to its first one - - the one that drew such a line of demarcation in the plot by introducing Saiyans into the mix.
A couple things come into sharp relief while watching this.
First - - well, there really isn’t that much difference between Goku and Luffy. An acquaintance of mine who actually went over to Japan to become a mangaka came back with two observations about making comics in Japan. For one, the editors there are much bigger sticklers about the rules and expectations of shonen storytelling. And then, they stress the supreme importance of character over any other considerations of storytelling. With that in mind, it’s hard not to see how these two heroes are pressed from pretty much the same mold.
Goku’s run in with the sabretooth distills that similarity very succinctly. He’s all smiles and politeness when he’s first dealing with the beast. When it starts giving him trouble, though? Then we see an abrupt flash of the forcefulness that will later annihilate mountains and blast however many alien bad guys out of existence (Raditz obviously being the first of those schmucks to get what’s coming to him).
Goku and Luffy - - amiable, jolly guys until the precise moment you threaten their love ones.
And my other observation? Well, when I was a kid and I was taking this show too seriously, Gohan’s crying was notably annoying, because it seemed to happen in every freaking episode - - I’m still surprised it wasn’t addressed in this spot-on parody that otherwise hits every point of every DBZ plot ever - - so it’s amusing to find out how that he was doing that from his very first appearance.
Watch this episode, "The New Threat" here and decide for yourself.