NONSENSE FROM THE NOOB: Who Actually Likes Dragonball Z?

Topic started by No_name_here on May 5, 2010. Last post by hitsusatsu11 4 years, 3 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (855 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Staff

 KA-MAYA-MAYA!!!
 KA-MAYA-MAYA!!!

While I’m the resident Anime Noob here, I’ve actually been watching anime (on and off) for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Singapore, some of my earliest memories of TV involved watching DORAEMON and CAPTAIN HARLOCK on TV. The series that I actually started following, consciously, when I was 7 or 8 was DRAGONBALL Z. Back then, I didn’t even know what “anime” was… I was just watching a cartoon. Judging from a lot of comments here, it seems that a lot of you lunatics in the Anime Vice community first got interested in all this stuff after watching POKEMON or NARUTO. Well, DBZ was the one for me and I watched a different dub than most Americans encountered on Cartoon Network. That is, the one I watched showed Gohan’s wee-wee.

My friends and I watched enough DBZ that we were able to break down the typical DBZ saga…

STEP ONE: Gohan and Krillin are doing something innocuous in the woods while Goku’s going through some absurd training exercise. They’re fishing or camping or whatever…

STEP TWO: Aliens (could be evil Saiyans, could be Freeza) attack. They toss Gohan away and then beat the hell out of Krillin while Gohan watches, crying about it.

STEP THREE: Getting the distress call, Goku arrives and puts the hurt on the aliens.

STEP FOUR: The aliens charge up and beat up Goku while Gohan cries.

STEP FIVE: Gohan charges up and makes a valiant fight against the aliens to protect Goku, but he’s then tossed away. He then, of course, cries about it.

STEP SIX: Vegeta or Piccolo or Yamcha arrive to fight the aliens, only to get their asses kicked, too.

STEP SEVEN: Goku reaches some new level of power - - maybe a new Saiya level or a summoned spirit bomb - - and then blows the aliens to Kingdom Come.

Let me know if any of that sounds off-base.

Speaking just from my perspective, I have to say that DBZ’s something of a guilty pleasure. It is stupid - - senseless fighting stretched over 40 episodes arcs, with so much charging up throughout. But, you know what? Often times, you’re in the mood for stupid, so I’ll always have a soft-spot for DBZ. Hell, anytime I feel like I’m flying high, like I’m doing better than usual, I tell people I’ve gone Super-Saiyan. And I do shout, "It's over NINE THOUSAND!!!!" from time-to-time.

So, what I want to know is… where does DBZ fit in the hearts of experienced anime fans. Do you share the same endearment for it that I have? Do you think it has greater complexities that I’m missing? Or do you roll your eyes over the fact that this is the series that so many people pay attention to, the one whose notoriety comes at the expense of possibly better anime?

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Staff
I like Dragonball Z!
Post by xeroxkitty (23 posts) See mini bio Level 12
OMFG U SUK GOKU ROOLZ!! ;) 
 
I used to really enjoy watching Dragonball Z, but the repetitive nature of the show just became too much for me & I lost interest... and then discovered other shows that had better characterisation, plot, design and production values.  So I haven't even tried to watch any DBZ in about 10 years. 
 
But it seems to be formulaic according to a certain type of Shonen manga.  Saint Seiya was a series I loved from childhood, but it also suffered from the same sort of plot structure:  
  • Hero fights & wins.  
  • Hero moves to next fight.   
  • Hero is defeated.  
  • Hero trains/finds source of moral courage to get back on their feet.   
  • Hero fights & wins.   
  • Hero moves to next fight...   
 
And, dare I say it, as much as I love Bleach it really does got through similar cycles.  Ichigo is naturally & capable of amazing power, yet again & again he's forced to train/find the moral courage to overcome his latest adversary (who is always stronger than the last).  It seems to be an age old story-telling template for boys manga.  
 
I guess the difference with more recent titles like Bleach is that it has a stronger cast of support characters & greater sense of fashion ;)
Post by Bellum (127 posts) See mini bio Level 8
DBZ was probably my first real introduction to anime. I went back to Dragon Ball, and I've got to say, it's a much better show. DBZ isn't bad, though. Feels like a not-so-great-but-ok comic book, which I suppose is appropriate. Then again, I don't read manga so it could turn out the DBZ manga is infinitely better.
Post by Count_Zero (344 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Most of my enjoyment of DBZ comes from nostalgia. It's one of the Anime series I watched as a kid, and I suspect for a lot of people it's similar (either because they watched it on broadcast TV on Saturday mornings, or on Cartoon Network on Toonami). I have a bit of similar nostalgia for Demon City Shinjuku, after seeing the first bit of it on the Sci-Fi Channel's old Saturday Morning Anime blocks (which was my first exposure to anime).
Post by Kris (130 posts) See mini bio Level 7
I hate it.  Well, all the Dragon Ball stuff, not just Z.  I won't watch it, read it, talk about it (except for just now, I guess)....  I'll only acknowledge it for what it's done for fandom and helping anime in the US.  But yeah, this is one anime fan, and probably a rare one, that can't stand Dragon Ball.  And it is actually something that I've sat down and watched a significant amount of (well, a season or two surely; I know I've seen a couple sagas at any rate), and not just a show I sneer down at from my lofty perch.  So, there you go. 
Post by Zenaxzd (31 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Much like yourself it is the first anime I started actually following and watching in order, and I also had no idea what "anime" was back then, was just the best cartoon I had ever seen. I don't really like the show much nowadays but I can't deny it had life changing effects leading the person I am today, and for that I love it.
Post by Karkarov (147 posts) See mini bio Level 7
@Bellum: 
 
Wise words here.  DBZ is ok I suppose.  It isn't bad but it gets really repetitive and boring especially once Frieza shows up.  Dragon Ball on the other hand wasn't half bad and was at least in my opinion actually more fun to watch.  Bleach may as well be DBZ with different names the two main arcs even started with the same "lets go save this chick who is imprisoned" schtick.  When I realized I enjoyed the Bounto filler more than 10 episodes of Grimmijow only so he could get owned easily by a guy ichigo beat before (?????) I knew the show was done for me.
Post by Daniel_Newton (3,202 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
Dragon Ball Z is basically the king of anime, it's probably the most widely known anime ever.
So yes, lots of people like it, a hell of a lot. For me, pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when anime is mentioned is Dragon Ball Z.
 
This kind of seems to me to be more suited as a blog rather than an article on the front page, just saying.
Post by Dream (7,476 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
I find Naruto and Inuyasha to be better guilty pleasures than DBZ. While it's the gateway drug that got me into anime, looking back on DBZ and seeing more better titles make me realize that the two former titles are masterpieces compared to DBZ for the fact that they have fights that don't drag out for a dozen episodes at a time, a single or specific group of villains that the heroes try to defeat throughout the series instead of individual sagas where they go on to the next one after defeating the less powerful one and a good section of an episode isn't wasted on characters powering-up. Then again, One Piece and YuYu Hakusho have the second fact that nagged me about DBZ. But YYH was only 100+ episodes and while One Piece is neverending at this point, the series at least doesn't have the other two issues that nagged me with DBZ.
Post by bustajibb (51 posts) See mini bio Level 11
In response to your "steps" of DBZ, any purely shonen series you can boil down to a few steps: Bad guy shows up, hero is usually beaten down or someone he cares for is taken, good guy finds new strength/power, good guy beats down bad guy(and often a new bad guy shows up, rinse and repeat).  That is if you want to boil it down to a few stereotypical plot elements.  But if you do that you tend to miss the points that makes a series stand out.  But like you said, sometimes its just nice to shut down and watch something that is not thought provoking. 
  
I have been watching anime for most of my life.  I started in the early '90's with shows like Samurai Troopers (aka Ronin Warriors when I first saw it), Voltron(another mecha show I cant remeber its name, and a little Sailor Moon.  But that was before I knew what anime was.  I just thought they were cartoons with cool/different animation styles.  When I was a freshman in college I stumbles onto DBZ on Cartoon Network.  I saw it and was like this is kinda weird but watch an episode before I left for work.  Didnt see again until like a week later and I was like WTF happened, how did they characters get there and why are they different now.  I was hooked.  I had to see every episode.  And of course that led to other series and eventually to my fandom now. 
Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10
DBZ was my introduction into the world of anime. I love the characters, the episode arcs, and the action. These were all elements that American cartoons didn't have and it left me wanting more. I still love DBZ to this day but I do have to say a lot of things about it are really ridiculous and easy to poke fun at.
 
Although this is my opinion, I am in the process of spending a lot of money on buying all the DVD sets of DB, DBZ, DBGT, and all the movies. To me this is totally worth it because DBZ played a huge part in my childhood.
Post by haseo_yashimora (5,507 posts) See mini bio Level 14
i hate DVZ well its mostly just for the character style they use!!!
Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,746 posts) See mini bio Level 20
i love dbz, there is no better fighting anime. 
Post by Liminality (173 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Kame-hame-ha!!!*
Post by Poki3 (4 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Seriously, just replace the names with other Shonen anime characters and you described them all. Naruto, Bleech, One Piece, the works...
 
I know it's a bit much to request, but go listed to the Daizenshuu EX podcast a bit. They answered this question often and it's hard NOT to like DragonBall around these guys (and gal).
Post by ssjsuperman (1,661 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@Newten said:
" Dragon Ball Z is basically the king of anime, it's probably the most widely known anime ever. So yes, lots of people like it, a hell of a lot. For me, pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when anime is mentioned is Dragon Ball Z.  This kind of seems to me to be more suited as a blog rather than an article on the front page, just saying. "
No i would say pokemon is the most none anime.  I dont like it as much as i use to buyti still say its a pretty  good anime .
Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

DBZ's overall premise is simple and action oriented. I started watching DBZ when it first came out on Toonami and it was my introduction to anime. Now, I really like Dragon Ball but DBZ is a favorite of mine and I own the entire series (I also own some Dragon Ball and all of Dragon Ball GT). I like how it's simple and straighforward in the story and what certain things mean. Is it repetitive? Yes. Does it appeal to everyone? No. But we must also understand is the primary target market for the Dragon Ball universe as the audience wants to be engaged in a show for face value. 
 
I agree with some of you who are talking about Bleach and Naruto doing a lot of what DBZ did, and I agree to a point. But, they have some more complicated plots as the audience doesn't exactly know what will happen. 
 
In the end I say DBZ is great for what it is and it's not a guilty please or nostalgic. DBZ is another great show in my collection that I can take the time to go back and watch when I want because it is a great action anime.

Post by Daniel_Newton (3,202 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
@ssjsuperman said:
" @Newten said:
" Dragon Ball Z is basically the king of anime, it's probably the most widely known anime ever. So yes, lots of people like it, a hell of a lot. For me, pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when anime is mentioned is Dragon Ball Z.  This kind of seems to me to be more suited as a blog rather than an article on the front page, just saying. "
No i would say pokemon is the most none anime.  I dont like it as much as i use to buyti still say its a pretty  good anime . "
You might be right about that but probably 75% of people who have watched Pokémon don't even know what anime is. I don't really associate anime with Pokémon that much.
Post by Frostalicious (44 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@Count_Zero said:
" I have a bit of similar nostalgia for Demon City Shinjuku, after seeing the first bit of it on the Sci-Fi Channel's old Saturday Morning Anime blocks (which was my first exposure to anime). "
I remember seeing Demon City Shinjuku for the first time on one of the premium movie channels back in 2002 (can't remember if it was Encore or Cinemax), but the channel had a special block on the weekends for them. They showed a lot of good classic anime movies including Akira and Ghost in the Shell. Even though I had watched Toonami long before that, I think the exposure to those movies got me a lot more interested in anime than a show like DBZ (or any Toonami show for that matter) ever did. 
 
With that said, I think DBZ was a great show when I was a kid. If I had been exposed to it even 3 years later than I was, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance, but I'm glad I grew up as it was airing because it was my first taste of anime and for that I have to give it props.
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