I have heard the news, that Akira intends to push out 11 more movies, primarily focusing on the other 11 gods, each of which is more menacing and more powerful than Bils. I don’t really care about that; i expect that they, like the most recent movie, will be entertaining. What i have a problem with is the news that Akira intends to write and produce another 200 episode dragon ball series. All i can say is,WHY?
I will not rant on about how bad and possibly unnecessary that decision is. Rather i will get down to the point, three reasons why i think, if he really does produce it, this new soon to be series of dragon ball will not be successful.
1. Akira Toriyama:> I will not deny that the man has some creative skill, i am not denying that he will be able to churn out 200 more episodes of dragon ball; what i am doubting is his ability to churn out 200 episodes of dragon ball that will be on par with modern anime and manga. I do not know whether Akira has caught up with the modern age age of anime. Mindless battles and endless power ups were all good back in the day, but the level of sophistication that (most) anime require to achieve success is quite high, at least higher than DBZ/GT has ever achieved. We are living in a day where anime must possess deep plots and complex characters to achieve success. And DBZ was anything but story oriented. I do not think that Akira has adapted to the change that has occurred in anime; that might sound like an insult to him but i believe it none the less.
A look at all the recent DBZ movies that came before the recent one prove this fact, that even after so many years since DBZ/GT ended, Akira is still following the same old concepts with movies released and written as late as 2005. Akira will have to evolve to create a new series in DBZ that will capture the minds of all those otaku, the majority of which do not understand the idea behind watching a show as mindless as DBZ. I don’t believe Akira, however good a story teller he is, can adapt to new trends in anime.
2. No More Story:> I love 24. it is one of my all time favorite shows. I only jumped on the band wagon as the series entered its fifth Season and i followed it through out its run. I dropped in and out at some point as the plots got a little…strange, but i jumped right back into it during its season 6 run, fully enjoyed the new direction is went in season 7 and absolutely loved its finale in season 8. I wanted more 24, but it came to an end. WHY? Not because it was canceled, not because of ratings or a dwindling fan base. 24 wasn’t forced to come to an end. It had to come to an end. And that was because 24 and [the awesome] jack Bauer had ran their course. The show had been thrown down every single path and alleyway it could take story wise while staying within the boundaries of the original concept and after 8 seasons, there was no more. The story had reached its apex and there was simply no more road. Sure they could have forced it to continue but that would have absolutely ruined it, the way so many other shows have been ruined over time by being forced to continue beyond their logical run.
What does that have to do with DBZ? Well, it is in the same boat. I believe it has ran is course and Akira has thrown every single absurd idea that could still work out into the world and that’s it. I loved Dragon ball and that’s saying something, because i only watched it two years ago. That shows the quality of a series, that i can watch it, for the very first time, decades after it ended and it is just a good (and hilarious). DBZ was…i will tentatively say great. But no one can deny the fact that it was no where near as good as dragon ball. Akira came to the end of dragon ball and morphed it into something different. He pushed it beyond where it could go and began down a new road with DBZ. But with DBZ i believed he exhausted every plot he could while staying within reason. HE squeezed all the juice out of the lemon, which is why it began to get a little absurd near the end. None the less it was impressive that he could push it so far. But it is over.
Dragon ball GT is an example of what happens when Akira doesn’t want to believe the lemon is out of juice and then tries to consume the shell as well. I will not say that GT sucked because technically i didn’t watch it. I went as far as 7 episodes in and felt…dismayed. I would have given in there and then, but i was that determined to catch a glimpse of the SSJ4 transformation that i had heard so much about; so i skipped a few dozen episodes ahead, knowing that this being dragon ball, it wouldn’t be hard to catch up. i tried another 7-12 episodes and…it was…unfortunate viewing.
But i will not say it sucked because i didn’t actually watch it, just simply chose to give up on seeing SSJ4. None the less Akira tried to push DBZ beyond its expiry date and he failed. Same goes for this new series of his. What exactly is he going to do that will be new? How will he wow or surprise us? There is no more story left to tell and everything he does will simply be a shell of DBZ, a shell worse than even GT.
3. Change:> let us say i am wrong about the first two points, that Akira can adapt enough of new anime concepts to inject some sophistication story and plot wise into dragon ball and he can actually generate some new material for the show. It still won’t work.WHY? Because to do any of that, he will have to go in a completely new direction. The result will be something that will barely look like dragon ball, barely act like dragon ball, and will definitely not be dragon ball. It will be a new show. die hard fans that have followed dragon ball all this time and would even suffer through the new series only because it is the same old dragon ball of their childhood, the dragon ball that, to them, did things just right, will drop off because it will no longer be dragon ball. I doubt Akira will be able to adapt to new concepts enough to make that drastic a change, so the result will still bare enough traces of dragon ball, enough to repel new fans.
So i have made it clear that i don’t think this new dragon ball series will work. But in the case that Akira is really interested in making his new project a success then there are three particular points that i think he would have to change to make this happen:
1. The Dragon balls- These objects are too powerful, they are basically a master key to the universe and all its powers. They are simply too powerful and are too easy a solution to anything and everything that they might come across, that most if not all threats become pointless. There was a time when the
Akira needs to eliminate these objects if he is to once more raise the stakes of a battle. We need to know that when Goku enters the battle field to fend of an enemy, there are some permanent, non erasable stakes in play, consequences that might permanently devastate the world if he were to lose. I don’t see an acceptable series coming out of Akira with the dragon balls still operational. I know it is called dragon ball, but none the less, they are too powerful.
2. Death- What is the point of executing a poignant death scene if the character is only going to return to life when earth is threatened. There was a point in DBZ where it became quite clear that Goku was earth’s mightiest hero and its only hope against evil. When he perished, it became a question of how our heroes would defend earth without their most powerful gun, and that added some excitement to the story while also raising the stakes. Then Goku began returning from heaven regularly to aid his son and friends in the battle against evil and it began to get tiring. An anime needs the finality of death to enhance the level of threat introduced by a powerful foe. If Akira wants to have even a modicum of success he will have to make any and all death final.
There was a point in DBZ where that seemed to be the case, but that as before the team began discovering and acquiring different types of dragon balls that could break the rules that Akira had already set up earlier on, which by the way instilled some logic to the series, at the time anyway. Akira needs to get serious with death, otherwise why should we care how strong an enemy is.
3. Power levels- really, Akira’s biggest failure is the mess he created with his whacky power levels. He needs to destroy the entire structure of power he created and begin anew. The way DBZ worked, the reason it was so mindless, was because Akira structured it in a way that it was always too easy for him to write himself into a corner. And in writing himself out of that hole, he would only begin down a path to an even bigger hole. Basically to defeat an enemy, Goku would have to achieve a new power level. But this power level, while more than capable of defeating the enemy, would be so powerful by the end of saga that Akira would be left with the problem of creating an even more powerful enemy to challenge Goku in the next saga, which i believe he achieved by sacrificing story.
The problem of course is that in the next saga, the enemy wouldn't just be more powerful; rather Akira would make him so powerful that now even Goku can’t compete. So Akira simply repeats the cycle, with Goku continuously powering up to achieve a new power level until there is simply no enemy left to challenge him, or their shouldn’t be. But that would mean ending the series, so Akira goes into absurd areas and invents really weird plots like turning Goku into a child. But really you can see where that cycle will end. By the end, the only enemies capable of challenging Goku (logically at least) would be universe busting level opponents, and of course when he finally achieves even that new power level, there will literally be no where left for him to go, no enemy left to fight. But of course Akira can create even more absurd enemies to fight, maybe entire universes coming to life or…you get where i am going with this.
If Akira watched modern anime, he will know that when a shonen hero is faced with a challenging foe, he should use every ability and strategy in his arsenal to overcome the overwhelming odds. Goku can’t keep leveling up each time he comes up against a tough enemy. it’s ridiculous and gets me thinking that that is all he can do, find another SSJ level whenever things get tough. I thought DBZ was a martial arts series, which means it should try and focus more on the martial arts and less on the power.
4. Characters- Really, it is infuriating just how Akira will misuse or ignore most of his characters. I tried to pause and count the exact number of arcs in DBZ during which Krillin, Yamcha, Tien and the rest would train for a considerable amount of time to face an opponen
I was actually quite appalled when DBZ reached a point when even Piccollo, PICCOLO OF ALL PEAOPLE, pretty much stopped mattering in the overall picture. Dragon ball managed to balance goku and Krillin’s progress. I get it that some of these human characters can’t be as powerful as a saiyan, but they need to be a little higher up than Akira places them. If he doesn’t make his new series basically a Goku show, then i might have hope for it. Otherwise, i won’t be spending another 200 episodes watching Goku spends five episodes returning from his training while the OTHERS keep the bad guy busy, trying to not all die off till he arrives.
5. I mentioned this above. Akira needs to add a little more martial arts into the series, make it less about absurd power levels and more about skill and
Overall, i don’t think this new series would work and should be made. if it must be made, it better be anime only, or at least anime first and manga later. If Akira is writing for an anime, then we won’t have filler, or dragging episodes. I still remember the Goku Vs Frieza fight, where Frieza tells Goku that has destroyed the core of Namek and that the planet will blow up in five minutes. 7 episodes later and we were still within those five minutes. it was stupidly infuriating.
Conclusion: Yes to more DBZ movies, NO to a new series.