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DRAGON BALL Z #20 - - Watch & Learn

Let me tell YOU what Goku's all about, OK?

Goku chasing a grasshopper around with a mallet for half an episode? Yep. Exactly like a Tax Avery short.

Watching this so soon after MAN OF STEEL, I can’t help but feel like Toriyama has been pulling an epic-sized prank all these years on everybody who’s done any sort of serious comparison between Goku and Superman. I mean, when you essentially recount the Fall of Krypton with a lisping goofball filling in for your Morgan Freeman-type, gravitas-wielding narrator, it’s impossible for it not to be an epic-scale case of one cartoonist ‘taking the piss out’ of another cartoonist’s creation.

Goku isn’t Japan’s answer to Superman. He became Japan’s parody of Superman.

(And I really felt like I needed to grab a towel to wipe away all the spittle that’d accumulated after King Kai’s epic monologue. Man, oh man… that’s definitely Sean Schemmel’s ‘wet’ voice).

Initially, I figured this would actually be a filler episode. Jiminy Cricket up there fits the exact same mold as those red and blue demons from a few episodes past - - a goofy seat filler cooked up by a hurried animation staff. However, the accelerated pacing, and sheer amount of exposited lore, quickly made this seem like A material. Or at least, maybe meat sandwiched in with some spam.

I guess I wasn’t paying attention to this show that closely when I was growing up. I don’t remember this business with the Tuffles (or whatever they were called) ever being referenced again. It sounded like King Kai was playing Mad Libs most of the time, and perhaps that’s the bigger goofy on over-complicated anime mythologies anyway. We spent such a breathless amount of exposition on this stuff - - just hurrying to get it done and over with, basically - - and the show know it’s all just gobbledygook to toss away.

Watch this episode, “Goku's Ancestors" 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
YotaruVegetaon June 26, 2013 at 8:33 a.m.

If he's Toriyama's parody of Superman, then who's this?

Daniel_Newton moderator on June 26, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
Initially, I figured this would actually be a filler episode. Jiminy Cricket up there fits the exact same mold as those red and blue demons from a few episodes past - - a goofy seat filler cooked up by a hurried animation staff. However, the accelerated pacing, and sheer amount of exposited lore, quickly made this seem like A material. Or at least, maybe meat sandwiched in with some spam.

Yeah, you pretty much hit the nail on the head there. This is from the Gregory page on the Dragon Ball wiki:

Although Gregory did not appear in the original Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama, he was one of the many filler characters designed by Toriyama. Toriyama created him because the anime staff wanted one more character for the stories on King Kai's planet.

Goku running around with a giant mallet is pretty funny, though.

FoxxFireArt moderator on June 26, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.

I never really saw the Goku and Superman comparison. More so since I knew that Goku is actually a parody of Son Goku from JOURNEY TO THE WEST.

I've been reading the manga in my WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP subscription, they are republishing DBZ in color chapter by chapter. Gregory doesn't even appear in the manga. Goku's entire training time in this arc is extremely shorts.

takashichea moderator on June 28, 2013 at 6:08 p.m.

I never knew Bubbles and Gregory were filler characters, but I haven't read the manga for Dragon Ball Z yet. As for the Superman comparisons, Goku is more like a Luffy. Superman doesn't have Goku's mercy or happy go lucky attitude. While Goku is tied down, Superman is a player. I don't read the comics. I'm more familiar with the animated series on Kids WB. I know he has Lois Lane, Lana, and maybe Super Girl. Don't take me seriously. I really need to brush up on Superman.

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