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DRAGON BALL Z #21 - - Watch & Learn

Why don't they just wish for a 1,000 wishes?!?!

Now, there’s one funny thing that really stuck out to me about this episode. It might even help support a larger point about how long-running serials like this put other stories into perspective. Bear with me for a sec - - I promise this will make sense. See, the scenes in question is when Oolong brings up the rather logical question of why Master Roshi doesn’t just use the Dragon Balls to wish the Saiyans away.

I generally tend to give more credit to the broad strokes of a story when I’m critiquing it. That is, if a show pulls off a couple thing spectacularly well - - or if it’s heart seems to be mostly in the right place - - then that generally makes up for any of my smaller, more detail-specific grievances. I’ve been thinking about this a little more lately, because there’s basically a whole corner of this pop culture blogosphere (or whatever we want to call it) that makes its bones off nitpicking every new blockbuster to pieces as soon as it’s out.

Sure, there are plenty of times where a flick has plot holes that are too big to ignore because they’re borne out of laziness on the storytellers’ part. However, I’m sure you all know somebody who loves to walk out of a movie and just scoff dismissively about minor things that nobody really gives a shit about.

There isn’t enough room to get as detailed as we probably need to get here but, to put it simply, most ‘plot holes’ are just basic conceits of dramatic license, as far as I reckon. Would it make more sense for NASA to send a team of trained astronauts to drill that asteroid instead of a bunch of oil riggers? Yeah, sure… and it’d be lot less interesting to watch. And if the movie went out of its way to run through a bunch of well-reasoned, logical explanations to qualify it, holy shit, would that slow the pace down.

Long-running shonen series, though? Well, they’ve got oodles of time and space, don’t they? Which is why you have time for Oolong to raise the sort of logical concern that the smarks would have - - and boy, doesn’t that bit of dialog seem like some unnecessarily expository? This is what would happen if every show were concerned about throwing bones to the nitpickers instead of just running with the story.

Watch this episode, “Counting Down" 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 28, 2013 at 7:21 a.m.

Ah, the problem with magic. Magic is supposed to be supernatural awesomesauce, but its limitlessness would mean that magic users would just rule all. It's just like the Superman problem.

I don't know if any character ever wished for the death of another. All I know for sure is that there have been tons of resurrections. At this point, I don't even remember any rules of the Dragon balls.

zaldaron June 28, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.

Why didn't they just wish for 1,000 wishes...because they are not as smart (characters and show) as Madoka - end anti-dragon ball trolling ;)

YotaruVegetaon June 30, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.

Was Madoka smart, or did she just do what she felt was right?

zaldaron July 1, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: Doesn't it work out to the same thing? I don't know logical exposition doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother tom...but then coming from books world building and theme are more important to me than action.

Destinyheroknighton July 1, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.

@zaldar:

Why didn't they just wish for 1,000 wishes...because they are not as smart (characters and show)

Disagree

Shenron can only grant one wish (he even said it in his first appearance) and also after you make the wish, he fly away and can't be summon for a year

Anyway, I can't see why Shenron just teleport the Saiyans to the sun :)

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