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DRAGON BALL Z #2 - - Watch & Learn

Toriyama loved him some Superman, I believe.

Yeah, I’ve had enough of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, for now. I want to watch a different perennially-popular shonen. Something I’ll enjoy more. Something that always brings a smile to my face.

Watching this version, I’m starting to realize that the English dub I grew up watching in Asia very likely misrepresented the spirit of the show. See, every time I’ve re-visited DRAGON BALL as an adult, I’ve always been startled to realize how much funnier it is than I remember. Now, there’s the very real chance that I was just too young to get the tongue-in-cheek humor (just like how every joke in re-runs of the 60’s BATMAN show flew over my head), but after re-visiting Funi’s YU YU HAKUSHO dub, I now have a stronger suspicion that these translators are simply in on the joke, while the ones who worked on the dub I grew up on weren’t.

“Dub vs. Sub” argument aside, I get so much enjoyment out of the dubs from this era of FUNimation - - when the V.O. artists seem like they’re heckling the material half of the time - - that I don’t care if they’re taking creative license. Hell, I want them to take as much of it as is available, because the self-reflexive parody makes even the most mundane moments here that much more entertaining.

I don’t know, there’s just something delightful non sequitor about Raditz dropping in and revealing this overwrought “secret origin” for Goku that probably hasn’t been even hinted at in the hundreds of preceding episodes. He sounds he’s just making this evil monologue up on the fly. “Goku, you’re really an evil alien pirate, and... your home planet has been annihilated,and… I’m your older brother, and... you're going to die unless you kill people!

Sure, I've heard the Superman/Goku comparison plenty of times. I though I knew all about it. But again, not until re-visiting DBZ today did I realize that Toriyama had probably just watched SUPERMAN II and liked Zod’s plot so much that he thought it’d be absolutely hilarious to squeeze it into the world he’d already created.

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

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon Jan. 28, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.

The odd thing about the Goku-Superman comparison is that in the Japanese version of DBZ Goku is portrayed as someone who loves fighting and would allow enemies to become stronger in order to have a more fun fight.

Superman is the opposite on the fighting part, but most other things are so similar its difficult not to think Toriyama was inspired by Superman to create the plot of DBZ. It makes me wonder if Toriyama had Goku's origin in mind while he was writing Dragonball. When it comes to these long running shonen manga it is surprising how many times the author can make call-backs to plot points 150+ chapters ago.

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 28, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.


He might of, in the Red Ribbon Army arc. Major Metallitron scan Goku and it said "Look Alien" But that was only in the anime

LordTerminalon Jan. 28, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.

Why do I get the feeling that ScrewAttack's Goku vs. Superman Death Battle was in your mind when you decided "Hey I have an excuse to watch Dragon Ball again." Tom? Not that there's a problem with that persay but I just can't shake the feeling that video is still fresh in every anime fan's mind despite being almost a month ago.

Kino88on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:26 p.m.

for me it's the rocking bad ass soundtrack that made Funimation's first Dub the best,

it was so very wrong yet so very wright, perfectly contrasting the show's extremely goofy tone with an edgy 90's attitude Lol,

Dig Deeper into Dragon Ball

Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise is about the adventures of Goku and his friends from his early childhood to his death and beyond. It begins with a young Saiyan boy named Goku after falling of a cliff and losing his memory, and leads on to an adventure of a lifetime!

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