Nations may rise and stocks may fall, seasons will change and the stars can fall from the sky…
…but we can always go back to DRAGON BALL, can’t we?
I’m not going to fall into the fallacy of saying that all anime of the 80’s was better than anime today; but it’s still fun to revisit a series that’s stood the test of time the way this has. That, and I find the warm, crunchy textures of computer-free anime to be oddly soothing these days.
Actually, I will say that you almost never see scenes like Goku’s extended ride on the nimbus any more. Perhaps it’s because cynical audience familiarity has just piled up too much, but I can’t remember the last I saw any contemporary show relish in pure escapism like this. We get a solid chunk of time to just appreciate the sheer wonder of a kid flying on a cloud through the mountains. I’d go as far to say that it was… delightful.
Of course, the show balances that whimsy with plenty of ‘cheekiness.’ Really, it shouldn’t be much of a revelation to find that panty humor has this lengthy of a tradition. However, honestly, I think it works better than the eye-rolling “HENTAI!” back-and-forth of today because it offers a range of responses. Like, you’ve got your dirty old man in Roshi, but then Krillin just sees it as a pragmatic means to bribe his way into training, and Goku literally has no conception of what sex is. And more importantly, they call each other’s attitudes out.
And speaking of Krillin…
Considering how he wound up being a toady to Goku in DBZ (and a walking punchline to fans), I really wasn’t expecting him to be introduced as any kind of rival to our lead. However, considering how thoroughly Goku goes on to outclass him, I suppose it makes a lot more sense. I mean, try watching this while keeping in mind how much Goku’s going to level up... and how much Krillin isn’t going to.
Watch "Goku's Rival" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.