Dragon Ball News

Dragon Ball is a franchise comprised of 32 movies, 5 anime series, 8 manga series
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I know Goku would win at his current state (Battle of Gods) and anything from after Goku's gravity training, Namek saga - Buu saga onwards.

So I'm going to restrict Goku ALOT. Goku cannot use Kamehameha or any move that requires Ki. He will only use his physical capabilities. i.e Strength,Speed,Durability,Endurance etc.

This is Goku right after he finishes his fight with Vegeta in the Saiya-jin saga. (when he re-cooperates) so his strength has increased after healing because he is a Saiya-jin and his power increases after healing from near death experiences.

Everyone other than Goku is at full power.

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SO in the last post i tried to explain why anime live action adaptations suck, starting with the fact that anime might simply be too complicated to adapt to the screen. Now i will admit that that post was me trying to give some of these writers and directors an excuse. I mean, they cannot be so bad as to keep getting it wrong again and again, year in year out.

Surely there has to be a reason success in this genre has eluded them. And my excuse for them was that anime is simply too difficult for them to adapt. Now i am going to put that excuse aside as it is really difficult to deny these individual’s own culpability in the failure of their adaptations.

Now what i was going to do initially was to provide a list of up to ten specific factors that writers and producers get so wrong about anime adaptations. I changed my mind; rather what i am going to do is generalize all that in two or three major points that will in most cases cover all but one or two other points.

So here is what i have seen and inferred (accurately or not):

---Ignorance- Really how many of you have watched an anime adapted movie and wondered if the writers knew anything but the basics about a given story? This is what i have come to presume about so many of these writers and directors, that they simply make no effort to acquire a comprehensive knowledge on the material they are choosing to adapt.

I feel really envious reading or watching interviews with actors and directors who will sometimes explain how they carefully and thoroughly studied the source material for a given title in production, reading issues and books stretching several decades back, even going so far as to interview the various writers and creators for their insight on the story, characters and concept.

Get it wrong as they might sometimes, individuals that adapt comic books clearly place considerable effort into learning the source material, something i don’t think makers of anime adaptations put much thought into. Anime is, as i explained before, really complicated and to adapt it in its true sense, to bring its spirit to the big screen requires an intricate understanding of what makes the story what it is, how it arrived at the point where it is at the present, what endears the characters to the fans and so on.

Writers and directors do not do ample research before adapting anime. I for one hope they never adapt anything like Naruto or one piece, not until they can prove that they can adapt some other simpler titles like Evangelion; because despite Evangelion possessing a quality story (so they say) the world of Naruto and one piece are much harder to bring to life, and what we would most likely have would be two rather generic movies about ninjas and pirates.

---Greed- Well of course it always comes down to money. Look at some of the most glaring mistakes to occur in movies in the past few decades and in most cases money and greed sit at the center of the failure. That is what most people i have talked to say. But the thing is i do not know how much of that i agree with, that money and greed kills movies.

The idea basically is that the quality of movies these days has tanked because of a heightened desire to earn in the billions, that movies of old took quality over costs and profit into considerations- or at least that is what i hear from the debates i have had or heard. But i question that. I am pretty sure that even movies released in the 70s or 80s were made with the aim of making money.

No matter the era of movies, money matters and it will always matter. So on the one hand i do not know if it is right to blame greed for movie failures. When a company decides to adapt a comic or anime/manga, they will probably look at the fan base, to determine how viable the project would be profit wise. The argument then is once production is underway, changes come into effect, with producers cutting here, snipping there, making all sorts of alterations in order to cash in on one element/target audience or another.

But here is the thing, movie makers want to make money. And how do you make money in Hollywood? By making a quality movie. So if a writer decides to make drastic changes to attract a certain audience, and that audience drinks in it, the movie then making hundreds of millions, clearly a quality movie was made. So the question is what is quality and whether it is a concept that only the minority that decided to trash a more widely accepted movie get to define.

Okay that was me just thinking out loud, and i am still ambivalent about the issue. Here is what almost convinced me that money might play more of a role in the business than i assumed. I was talking to a friend of mine, a comic fan, and he was telling me about how greed was the reason why Blade 3 sucked. Apparently before production began, Wesley Snipes’ original brilliant script, one that was inline with the events of the second movie, was trashed in the last minute in favor of a clearly inferior one presented by another writer. Why?

Because this less than stellar script included the night stalkers (the vampire hunters) and apparently the producers wished to create another franchise after blade based on these characters. So they decided to sideline Wesley’s contribution in favor for potential cash in the future; and apparently Wesley wasn’t too happy about it, only choosing to act in the movie because of his contract.

That pissed me off. I loved blade. Now whether anime is affected by the money issue, that i am still not convinced about. Was the reason the makers of last air bender chose cast non Asian characters because they thought it would resonate better with a western audience? I don’t know. But clearly no one goes into movies without an intent to make money.

---Market- The core of this issue of greed will usually stem from the difficult decision of market, which i believe plays an equally destructive role in the overall success of these adaptations. Well, maybe it doesn’t play a destructive role, but i expect it to be a difficult decision trying to figure out exactly who your target audience will be; who you will be making the movie for in the first place. Because whether it is otaku or non otaku you have in mind, it will affect the final product.

A. Otaku- Let’s first consider the otaku, clearly they are important in any preliminary studies used to determine the viability of a project. I don’t think anyone would have attempted dragon ball if they didn’t already know of the enormous fan base it possesses. But this isn’t where the decisions end, figuring out if there are really enough fans of an anime to warrant making a live action movie.

After this, one has to ask if they want to aim the adaptation at Otaku, and if they choose to do so it will mold the direction the script will follow. If an adaptation is written with an Otaku in mind, chances are the writers will keep it as true to the original source as possible. That in itself sounds like a good thing. Like i said in the previous post, it didn’t occur to me that the writers could mess up the Last air bender story.

Avatar already had a brilliant story. So if you are going to make an anime with otaku in mind, then what you are going to get is a stellar story and cast in the anime translated into a stellar story and cast on screen. Really the work is already done for them. The problem is things never work out this way.

What i have noticed is that live action adaptations aimed at Otaku tend to be rather shallow and lacking, usually failing to meet the standards of otaku and completely failing to impress the none otaku. An example.

Not long ago i was re-watching Advent children with a friend of mine, who was also an ardent gamer. We had both watched his movie several times over and i for one loved it. This was just to pass the hour as we awaited another’s arrival. What happened though was more talking and less watching. What happen is we got to that point in the movie when cloud is invited to speak to the fellow in the wheel chair, quite early on actually.

It was a pretty straightforward scene to me. I don’t remember what my friend thought he saw on my face but he suddenly felt the need to ask me if i knew why cloud was hostile towards the fellow in the wheel chair. I didn’t. My friend went on to break the history between these two down, when they had met, who had done what to whom and so on; when he was done, all i could think about was ‘when the heck did all that happen.’

And almost as if to make his point, he began to rewind the movie to the start where we see a meteorite falling through space; we however stopped at the point where cloud is standing on the hill, by a large sword. Asking me what i thought the scene with the sword was all about, i remember proffering a few guesses, maybe he was disposing of it, or he found it etc. Then i was treated to another lecture about the original owner of the sword and what it meant to cloud…

My point is i have watched Advent children several times over and after this experience, i began to wonder if i even knew what the hell i was watching. Who were all these characters my friend was speaking of? When did all these battles happen? And what about all that history"? My view of final fantasy was that it was a fairly shallow story accompanied by some kick ass fights and characters. What my friend said seemed to say the very opposite, that this series was a much more complex story than i thought (the only final fantasy i have ever played is Dirge of Cerberus).

I think my point should be clear. For one thing movies aimed at Otaku alienate non otaku. They write stories with the idea that the viewer possess some knowledge of the world and the characters beforehand, hence creating what to none otaku seem like half baked characters and stories filled with plot holes. But even with otaku these movies fail to deliver the message across. Even with prior knowledge of the story, these movies will either just show what we have already seen in the anime/manga, or something void of the excitement and depth and quality we are used to.

B. None Otaku- If you were a movie producer, then the most logical step you would take would be to adapt a movie with non otaku in mind. It makes sense, they make up the largest portion of the market. And you would think that this might prove easier, after all you can create an original story for a new audience but with the anime concept in mind. The problem is that this isn’t what most writers do.

Rather than create original plots based on an anime’s concept, they choose to simply use the original anime story but with some alterations. In the first place, most Otaku will not be happy to watch a movie that distorts an anime concept they have grown to love, especially when done in a crude and drastic manner. So for that matter you will have Otaku rejecting it.

I mentioned above that for the most part anime comes perfectly packaged with great stories and characters. So what happens when writers try to alter these stories to try and reach western audiences? They are going to start snipping and cutting all over, not really changing the core of the movie but resulting in what i would describe as the basic shape and figure of what was a stellar anime story but with absolutely nothing inside.

Writers usually tend to deform rather than rewrite anime stories, trying too hard to keep enough of the original story alive that they can attract otaku but devouring most of what made the anime unique in order to adapt it to foreign tastes. Just look at dragon ball, the same character names and concepts but something that simply isn’t dragon ball.

---Imitation- This is my final point and i only noticed it recently. I was a pretty big Harry potter fan when the movies first came out and i like many other fans showed up in force to watch our beloved story come to life. But while i was entertained, i wasn’t particularly impressed by the first and second movies. Why? They copied the story from the book and pasted it on the big screen exactly as it was.

I had read the books enough times to remember considerable portions of the story. So there were moments in the cinema were i couldn’t believe how much of the movie was exactly as i had read it, literally page for page and word for word. These first two movies followed the books to the dot. I wasn’t happy with this facsimile, which is why i was elated when Chris Columbus retreated to producer and we finally got a true adaptation of the book in Azkaban.

Here is the thing, i do not want to walk into a cinema to watch a movie play out exactly as the anime i watched. Because all they would have done was replace the animated world with a real one. What would be the point of watching a story i would have watched several times over in the anime. I have noticed this in some of the few Japanese live action anime adaptations i have watched. They literally translate the anime or manga to live action exactly as it was; and by everything i mean everything, from e crazy clothes to the crazy hair to the crazy gestures and behaviors.

When i watched the first X-men movie i was afraid i was going to see the same wolverine in yellow tights i had seen in the cartoon. They had the sense to change things up for the movie. Comic adaptations actually try to sensibly adapt comic concepts to the big screen. There is a clear attempt to bring a realism to the concept. Anime doesn’t seem to do that.

And again i notice this mostly in the Japanese movies (i have watched the earlier dragon ball adaptations). There is sense in bringing a concept from the anime to the big screen intact as it attracts us Otaku who want to see our favorite elements of an anime come to life. However there are some elements that simply cannot work on screen.

Conclusion:

Okay so this run on longer than i expected again, but i think i got my point across. The question though is, is it possible to adapt Anime to live action? Is it simply impossible to adapt anime to screen?

My answer is a brutal YES. Unfortunately with what i have seen so far, i do not believe it is possible to adapt an anime that will completely satisfy as it should. Sure Samurai X was pretty good but there were definite flaws that i can point out, especially that silly fight in the end against those few hundreds of goons.

What is the solution?

This is the problem, what can be done to change the situation of live action adaptations? I have heard the popular answer, that the west needs to keep its hands off anime and leave it to the Japanese Chinese and Koreans. They are wrong of course as even the Japanese alone, for all the anime based movies they have released, have yet to perfect the formula.

The answer is in union. Yes the west needs to keep its presence in this sector, but not in the way it is operating these days. I discussed this with a friend and we came to a solution. The west needs to leave the Japanese alone to develop the story or at the very least maintain majority control over any given project. They know what they are doing when it comes to anime.

The west needs to provide the money and the technology, allowing the Japanese to produce movies on par with western productions, with proper effects and less silly CGI. That is the best solution, the kind of marriage that would allow them to successfully indulge in complex anime stories, the sorts they haven’t been able to do up to now.

I will believe that the movie industry has mastered the art of adapting anime if i ever see a proper Sengoku Basara movie in my cinema.

As it stands we will just have to weather the crap they keep throwing at us. At the present the best anime adapted movie i have ever watched is Speed racer. Yes it was no masterpiece and i preferred Samurai X, but being judged solely on the fact that it was adapted from an anime, it managed to pull off something i have never seen in any other anime based movie and all other movies need to learn from it.

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When it comes to live action movie adaptations, comic book fans can be a bit frustrating sometimes. Most times i cannot understand why they have to nitpick at each and every little detail of a comic movie, not because of any particular failing displayed by the movie but because of some unfair and unnecessary comparisons they keep making with the comic book.

These so called failings are almost always non existent and will usually come down to a particular comic book fan’s presumptions about what the movie should have been like. It can be frustrating interrogating a comic book fan, attempting to understand the primary reason they would choose to cast a fairly impressive comic book movie in such bad light, only to get a rather loose description of the movie’s failings, not in relation to other movies but the comic.

These kinds of explanations can exasperate me, most because most of these movies will kick off with a ‘Based on comic book’ message at the start. which doesn’t mean that the producer is literally going to transfuse the comic book to the movie, but rather the directors are going to take the general concept of the comic book and maybe even its characters, but beyond that can choose to do what they want with it.

I have had this argument many times before, and my answer to such complaints about comic book movies is usually the same; that while comic book fans and their zeal will determine whether or not a movie gets to production, they only form a small fraction of the target market that the directors and writers are aiming for; and Holly wood knows that the wider population of movie goers will only judge the movie as just that, a movie, without making biased comparisons to the comic. And most times this pays off, with comic book movies raking in hundreds of millions.

Anyway, if it seems like i am rumbling on off topic, i am not. I am saying that i get exasperated when comic book fans fail to separate their vision of what a comic book movie should look like from what the producers choose to create. I am saying that it is important to watch a comic book movie as though it were independent of the comic book, allowing for a more objective view of the movie’s quality.

What i am also saying is that there are instances where i can understand the complaints comic book fans raise about live action adaptations.

Why? Well i am an anime and manga fan, and if there is one sector where comic books shine while anime and manga languishes in the dark, it is live action adaptations. Let’s face it live action anime adaptations have proven to be rather abysmal creations time and time again.

Something isn’t clicking in this particular industry, and while recent movie releases might call for a more sanguine outlook on the industry, it is none the less difficult to deny how much of a disaster the live action anime adaptation industry is.

To put it simply, these movies are horrible-most of the time anyway- whether it is an original Japanese adapted story or a western attempt at bringing an anime story to life. And the reasons for these failures will vary depending on the circumstances.

So first and foremost, let’s look at this situation from the anime point of view. Does anime actually play a part in live action adaptation failure? Yes it does, and here is why.

ANIME:>

Let’s not beat about the bush, the problem with anime is that it is quite a complex entertainment medium. You just need to watch enough anime to realize this as fact. I wrote a post about [what makes a good anime] recently, and while i do believe that all those points about characters and story line and the whole lot matter, their is an X factor that is necessary to bring anime to life.

Anime is anime because it is anime, and by that i mean Anime stands out from every other media because it has a look about it, a feel to it that is different from your average cartoon. Anime is…well, different. And that is the problem with live action anime adaptations, bringing this X factor to the screen. I will use two well known examples to illustrate; dragon ball evolution, and the reason i might not watch Shamalayan’s After earth, The last air bender.

Last air bender was a terrible movie, both as an live action anime adaptation and a standalone movie. But think back to the months before its release. Sure we all loved avatar because of its stellar storyline, and that is what the movie screwed up most, completely shredding the series’ story. But that wasn’t what we where fretting about when we first heard the announcement that the series would be coming to the big screen.

Most of us didn’t even fathom the possibility that the director could mess up story wise, after all most of the work had been done for him. What scared us was whether or not the movie could capture the feel of avatar, those sinuously trance inducing movements that made the action scenes so great, the fluid motion of the bending and the demonically fast yet logically structured nature of the bending.

That is what many of us cared about, that the bending wouldn’t be up to par. Because most people that haven't watched the series would dismiss the importance of the concept, after all, how many characters had they come across in movies that could throw fire and water around? That wasn’t important to them, and it was simply a matter of great CGI.

But we otaku knew better. We knew that elemental bending wasn’t the simple concept of throwing elements around. No, bending was more than that, and it was its infusion of elemental manipulation with martial arts along with the dance like movements that allowed it to excel and in some instances drive the series. That proves how important the look of an anime is.

Most of us were quick to proclaim the movie a success the moment we saw the avatar trailer. Why? Because the bending looked perfect, exactly as we had pictured it. This is in contrast to DB Evolution. Forget about what you thought of the silly story line, the characters or the general execution. The fact is this dragon ball movie failed first and foremost in infusing the element of dragon ball into the live action setting.

This is why, unlike most people, i do not disparage dragon ball evolution as garbage. It was a bad dragon ball movie, but as far as i am concerned it was entertaining as a plain old martial arts movies. The moves were choreographed okay and the CGI was pretty good at that time. It was a martial arts movie, not dragon ball.

That is a fact difficult to explain to a non otaku. After all the characters were named accurately as they would be in the dragon ball anime and the concept of the dragon balls reigned within the movie; so they do not understand what we mean by this not being a dragon ball movie. They do not understand that what they watched wasn’t anime, that there is an element of dragon ball sorely missing from this movie.

Basically anime is difficult to capture on screen, to bring it to life. Here is the thing about anime; imagine a scene where an average character barges into a room and stares down at another character; that in itself doesn’t sound like a complex enough scene to try and explain why anime is so difficult to capture. But a similar scene in a normal cartoon wouldn't have the slightest similarity to the same scene in the anime.

Sure both have two characters staring at each other, but anime has a unique approach to its scenes and stories, the way it uses the lighting, the angle of the cameras, the shots….there is a reason we otaku do not accept a comparison between anime and cartoons. The fact is these two are so different at their core,

not merely in plots and characters but the…i have no other word to use but ‘feel’.

This is what most live action adaptations simply cannot convey on screen, the feel of anime is always missing. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that anime is simply too unique, and while one or two adaptations might somehow manage to capture it, most miss the mark by a mile. Its the reason i love super sentai; it is the closest thing to anime coming to life that i have ever encountered.

Actually pacific Rim is the closest thing to anime i have ever watched on the big screen. Whether he meant to or not, Guillermo captured the essence of anime in this movie. Of course none anime fans wouldn’t get, but so many scenes in this movie had me smiling because of how anime like they were.

Anyway, i had two more points to make about this topic but this post has already run too long, so i will tackle what the directors themselves do wrong in adapting anime to the big screen in the next post.

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DIRECT DOWNLOAD MP3: HERE

Today’s returning guest is our good friend Angel and on this episode we are going to have a casual observational discussion on the longest and oldest running anime trends in Japan

For some of you this may sound like an episode where we tread the same old waters and discuss the most obvious of franchises….however you may be surprised to find there are more than a few shows that have never even passed Japanese borders and are more of a domestic hit than a more aware international one.

So with the help of Wikipedia and some sorting arrangements we take a somewhat brief look at the following lists……..take a look yourself folks it’s actually somewhat Intriguing

*Apologies for shaky audio quality at various points btw, technical difficulties were rampant for some reason!*

LIST OF LONGEST RUNNING ANIME SERIES

LIST OF LONGEST RUNNING MANGA TITLES (We didn’t get around to this sadly)

LIST OF LONGEST RUNNING TV SHOWS: WORLDWIDE (off-topic but interesting)

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Familiar Titles Discussed:-

Chi's Sweet Home, Sgt Frog, Crayon Shin-chan, Zatch Bell, Kirby: RBAY, One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ranma ½, Fairy Tail, DBZ, Yu Yu Hakusho, Toriko, Case Closed - Detective Conan

Unfamiliar Titles Discussed - which are actually the longest trending Anime Series

1. Sazae-san - 6197+ Episodes

2. Nintama Rantarō (Ninja Boy Rantaro) 1773+ Episodes

3. Ojarumaru (Prince Mackaroo) 1388+ Episodes

4. Soreike! Anpanman 1170+ Episodes

5. Chibi Maruko-chan 918+ Episodes

Before we end the podcast we do actually touch on the fact that in the western world having cartoon series trend for a long amount of time / episodes is not the norm. It seems like a much more character / franchise reboot model depending on how ratings go for an active series. Low ratings = show cancellation which usually sprouts room for a new “similar” project or a re-imagined series which may be more successful ala switching Young Justice for Teen Titans Go! / Beware the Batman.

Anyhow….

It’s actually funny a detailed talk on Pokemon isn’t here.....however we actually did have a discussion on that BEAST franchise…sadly it was before we started recording so we forgot to bring it up again but of course the details are....

Pokemon has been running for 17 straight seasons totalling in a whopping 800+ episodes excluding movies, side stories, OVA’s etc actually making it the third longest running anime TV series that runs for over 20 mins an episode….and I would not be surprised at all if this eventually becomes the longest running anime series of all time in future

But yeah sorry Pokemon we do clearly recognize your MEGA status….forgive us! :oP

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I don’t know what to expect from the new Dragon ball movie. A part of me doesn’t see what all the hype is about, after all aren’t we in for the same old ride? A new villain approaches earth, the Z warriors train for a couple of years only to get their behinds handed to them while holding the enemy off long enough for Goku to arrive on the scene and take him down, with a new SSJ of course. I don’t get what otaku, especially DBZ fans are all so hyped about. Another part of me will admit to possessing some excitement over the prospect of watching this movie. After all, its dragon ball, and at the very least, it will be an entertaining action packed few hours.
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
introduction of a villain that could destroy the world meant so0mething, when it brought an exciting charge into the story and changed all the stakes on the table. That no longer matters; be it Frieza, cell or even Bils himself, it does matter how much destructive power they have so long as Goku has a device that can undo anything and everything negative that might occur from a battle, be it the destruction of the world or the death of a character.
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
t only to get
destroyed easily, while waiting for Goku to show up and save the day. Akira needs to use all his characters equally, or as much as is possible, and see to it that he utilizes them at least half as much as goku. He simply ignores there development. Someone might say that the likes of krillin ad Tien clearly get considerable amounts of screen time and thus are more than utilized. To that i would say, yes they are utilized, but they don’t matter. To give an element in anime screen time yet it doesn’t matter in the long run is what i call filler. Krillin, tien, yamcha and Chaoutzu were basically filler characters for most of DBZ. Why show us all that training only for it to mean absolutely nothing? And that happens over and over again. They always train, then show off by sparring with Piccolo, which is Akira’s way of showing us just how strong they have become because he knows they won’t do a thing against the actual threat.
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
technique, again another plus for dragon ball over dragon ball z.
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.
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Hey Dragonball fans, how are you? I thought I would take a moment and address an idea that the Dragonball franchise should do...even though the series has been over for quite some time. Dr. Gero of the Ribbon Army created the Androids, right? But the strange thing was that there an odd number of Androids developed: 8 (not created by Gero, but by Dr. Flapp), 13-21 (and Super 13 and Super 17)....12 total...

So my thought is this: Whatever Happened to Androids 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, AND 12? AND can they be MORE POWERFUL than the previous Androids?

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I've been reading some manga for a few years and so far there have been a few I like but are over. I like: Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Hellsing, InuYasha, Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note, Dragonball (Z), Rave or Rave Master, whatever its called, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, & Full Metal Alchemist. All are some interesting series to read. Some of these are ending, some are over and some are still ongoing so I was wondering if they're other good series out there to read.

I was curious about: Fairy Tail, Berserk, Trigun, Shaman King and Ultimo? They sound good but are they worth reading? If anyone can put there opinions down I would appreciate it.

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Finally, a Kintect game that we, as anime fans, can be truly excited about! ...right?

Are you ready for DBZ Kinect? This guy is.
Are you ready for DBZ Kinect? This guy is.

Namco Bandai officially announced "Dragon Ball Z® for Kinect™" (I'm assuming the game will have a snazzier title soon enough) today at a press event in Las Vegas. Like Dragon Ball Z games before it, Dragon Ball Z Kinect will offer many fighters to choose from--over 50 in this case–including a new character and over 100 moves performed by you in front of the Kinect camera. That's right, as you'd expect you'll be Kamehameha-ing your way through this game, all in first person! The game will include a Story Mode, Score Attack Mode, and I'll hazard a guess at some sort of Tournament Mode and Training Mode, at the very least. The game also supports some hot QR code action. Holding up QR codes to the Kinect camera unlocks characters and power-ups in the game. The full Press Release can be read here.

As an added bonus the game comes new anime footage never released in the US or Europe. Anyone want to guess what that will be? The Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! special perhaps? Or maybe Episode of Bardock? Which somehow doesn't have a page here. Someone get on that.

What do you guys think? Ready to power-up Super-Saiyan-Style?

Daniel Newton is a moderator for Anime Vice and Screened. Follow him on twitter: @Daniel_Newton and @AnimeVicers

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