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DRAGON BALL Z #19 - - Watch & Learn

KING KAI! At last, it's KING KAI! KING KAIIIIIIIIII!

Few voices in this whole universe bring such an irresistible, stupid grin to my face like King Kai’s. It doesn’t matter what he’s even saying, specifically - - that weirdly nasal, phlegmy, lispy voice is just snicker-inducing in any context.

As I’ve said repeatedly, DBZ is really one step ahead of any of its critics because it’s already making fun of itself. I think about all the various parodies and ‘meme videos’ or whatever that have accumulated over the years, and they look less ridiculous than the show itself. Hell, this one episode makes me honestly think that DBZ could’ve been programmed on an Adult Swim next to absurdist toons like AQUA TEEN or SEA LAB and fit in seamlessly.

I mean, the whole endeavor is just a thorough trolling of the archetypal martial arts vision quest, right? It’s not enough that Goku seriously mistakes a poo-flinging monkey for this legendary, Pei Mei-like master, or that King Kai turns out to actually be a goofy catfish, but the direly-important that’s been built up for all these episodes also winds up being easy and fun for Goku. The Saiyans have been framed as this horrible threat for 18 episodes, and the way Goku’s going to beat them is by chasing a monkey around a planet-sized lawn? That’s a gag that would’ve been devised by Tex Avery. I love it!

Hell, the show even takes it a step further by having King Kai get bored with all of this like some kid with a short attention span. My favorite bit is when he goes on about all the outdoorsy things he’d rather be doing instead of training Goku. Why train for battle today when you can look for bugs in the grass instead?

There’s a sublime level of stupidity here - - an SSJ2 acesdant form of stupidity that begs a new description - - and it was exactly what I needed. When this show is on, man, it cracks me to pieces.

Watch this episode, “Defying Gravity" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
zaldaron June 24, 2013 at 6:17 p.m.

"Hell, this one episode makes me honestly think that DBZ could’ve been programmed on an Adult Swim next to absurdist toons like AQUA TEEN or SEA LAB and fit in seamlessly." Huh I guess this is why I never liked it then as those shows I couldn't stand (along with any of the non-anime live action shows they ran, and absurdist theater/movies in general (Rhinoceros and other Ionescos plays I never liked for example) I do not like and arguably they were trying to make a point...which DBZ well, its DBZ *shrug*.

I mean it disturbs me honestly that something that is so fundamental to what brought a lot of people to anime I just can't connect with at all. Ah well...

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