Never would’ve expected Goku to pull a cross-dressing trick out of Bugs Bunny’s playbook…
This episode felt the most like LOONY TOONS out of any single installment in this entire franchise. Oolong seems like he’d fit right in on some police line-up with Pepe Lepew and the Big Red Monster. The way he was cycling through forms in the final chase me made half-expect him to morph into an ACME brand product.
Of course, I remember that Oolong’s supposed to correspond to a pig man from JOURNEY TO THE WEST. I’ve yet to actual read that epic for myself, but I’m starting to think that doing so wouldn’t reveal anything too profound about DRAGON BALL’s underpinnings. Part of the appeal of doing these episode-by-episode write-ups is that I repeatedly find out how much of a gulf can exist between how something can be described in a little trivia blurb… and how it actually plays.
CASE IN POINT: For as long as I’ve dealt with DBZ, people have loved to bring up how it originally drew inspiration from JOURNEY TO THE WEST, the Chinese epic that mythologizes the spread of Buddhism to China by having the Monkey King character actually bring it over.
On paper, that sounds profound. In practice, I get the sense that remarking on DRAGON BALL’s connection to JOURNEY TO THE WEST is as revealing as pointing out SHREK’s connection CINDERELLA. It’s a story most everybody in the East already knows. It’s general enough to be a given. Our lead has a monkey tail, a battle staff and a cloud chariot, the name ‘Son Goku’ is a corruption of ‘Son Wukong’ and now he’s got a pig for a friend. And I’ll guess that’s the extent of the parallelisms. All this time, the connection really hasn't been that profound.