Lord Terminal brought up ScrewAttack’s “Goku vs. Superman” video for the last write-up. Believe it or not, that video wasn’t actually what spurred me to go back and re-watch this show!
Like I’ve said, by my estimation, there are about ten perennially-popular brands in anime, and DBZ is indisputably the most popular of the lot. See, I re-visited the first episode a couple months back during my comprehensive Hulu survey, and my thoughts frequently turned to it while I was getting bored watching FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST.
So there you go - - this is a coincidence that isn’t that much of a coincidence since DBZ’s always being talked about. I will say that, after having watched the “Vs.” video, the parallelisms between Kakarot and Kal-El are so extensive that their duel has to be the most appropriate of all pop-cultural fantasy matches, ever. I wouldn’t say Toriyama ripped off Superman, but it’s impossible to deny that he was either trying to fashion Goku into Japan’s answer to the Man of Steel; or maybe, more accurately, a parody of him.
(I’ll also say that, in just three short episodes, DBZ’s off-hand comic relief has proven far funnier than the sum of all the chibi nonsense of FMA).
Anyway, as for the episode itself…
I suppose it’s a little ironic that all of the show’s… qualities that I once found fault with (the interminable fight pacing, the absurdity of power levels, Gohan's constant crying, etc.) are not only coming into sharper focus, but also cracking me the hell up for their sharper clarity. I don’t knowing whether this is a case of bemusement eventually breeding fondness, or of me just finally getting the joke.
Like, I don’t know… there’s something quaint to how we’ve just spent 44 minutes on plot that basically boils down to Raditz threatening Goku and Piccolo coming in for a team-up before we get to any of the real meat of this conflict. I never though I'd say it, but I think I'm actually more amused by the filibusterer at this point than I am by the fighting.