Dragonball Super

Am I in a litte bit of a Dragonball phase right now? Well… maybe, yes.

This is one of the anime I’ve grown up with, so it’s quite amazing to see it still being popular today and I have to admit Dragonball Super hits the comedy part quite well. dbz-kamitokamiUnfortunately the animation quality and layout of the fights aren’t as good as I hoped them to be, even more so after the amazing job they did with Kami to Kami. I’ve admittedly never been much of a fan of the movies, but most of them are not canon anyway, so that might be part of it.

Kami to Kami was the first movie in a long time, where Akira Toriyama actually worked on himself and it shows. A lot. This movie is a work of art, it’s absolutely on point: the animation, the quality, the comedy, the characters (well, most of them anyways) and above everything else the main fight between Beerus and Super Saiyan God Goku is absolutely breathtaking. And apparently I’m not the only one who thought that way, because it was popular enough to spawn another movie Resurrection of F and ultimately resulted in the making of Dragonball Super.

Unlike GT Super is considered canon, because Akira Toriyama is working on it himself, but as far as I know he contributes the general plot points an the rest is up to the dragonball-super-stream-cover-Aa0YhnIaCpDgbuFxBWF89fPPIGXK36LE_220x330animation team, which leaves a lot of room. As for the original series and Z they had the manga to rely on, which they don’t have this time and unfortunately it shows in the way the fights are constructed. It’s still fun to watch most of the time and I know the minute-long screaming in Z was annoying, but the fights aren’t as exciting as they used to be and I’m already overlooking substantial drops in animation quality on the character models, I’m just talking about the fights themselves.

One of the characters who’s standing out the most in Super is, in my opinion, Vegeta. They’re doing such an amazing job with him and walk a pretty nice line between awkwardly funny and dead serious. Also, he’s now pretty much a much better father than Goku ever was and shows genuine interest in his family, that he apparently came to love for real. It doesn’t really hurt we finally get to know why Goku took ChiChi and Vegeta Bulma and Piccolos reaction to that was just plain priceless.

Bulma and ChiChi are both very headstrong women and that’s exactly the reason why Vegeta and Goku got attracted to them, because that’s apparently what a Saiyan is looking for in a woman, because she needs to be able to handle a Saiyan family. Remember how many people said they’re bowing their heads to Bluma and ChiChi (even though the latter is annoying as fuck) for being able to raise Saiyans? Yeah, basically, if they wouldn’t haven been as headstrong as they are, Goku and Vegeta would’ve never gone for them.

Now, this is just my theory, but I personally believe Goku does not differenciate between his love for his family and his friends. He knew instinctively this particular women would be able to raise his children, so he went for it. I’m not saying he doesn’t love her, tumblr_inline_mu6o3jZqRb1qzj8pubut I think he loves her and his sons the same way he loves his friends. I mean, his relationship with Gohan is closer to that of being best buddies instead of being father and son. Also, excuse me, but I don’t think Goku has ever been a good father for Gohan. I believe he’s somewhat trying with Goten, but that’s nowhere near the level of what we’re seeing from Vegeta, who refused to leave because his baby was about to be born soon – and not just out of fear for Bulma, but genuine interest in his child. Goku? He didn’t even understand why that’s a problem. I actually felt sad when Vegeta wasn’t allowed to name his daughter, because it looked like he was really looking forward to giving her a strong saiyan name.

I’m not saying Vegeta is the perfect dad, because he neglected Trunks a lot, too. I’m justVegeta-600x330 saying he’s a better father than Goku, who always saw Gohan more as sparring partner and nakama to save the world, instead of a son. Heck, I’m supporting the guys saying Piccolo has always been more of a father figure for Gohan than his actual father. The father-of-the-year awards goes to Gohan anyway, who’s doing the most amazing job with Pan.

What brings me to the one person whom I think got heavily downgraded and that’s Videl. I have to be honest, I loved her when she was introduced: she was strong, she was a tomboy and she knew what she wanted. She complimented the awkward Gohan in the most amazing way, they turned out to be such am awesome duo. Unfortunately… she got the ChiChi-treatment. I’m just glad they didn’t turn her into the same nagging mess of a woman that ChiChi is, but she’s basically been downgraded to just being Gohans wife with their child. Where’s the headstrong teenager we all knew and loved? Now she’s sitting at a round table with Bulma and ChiChi talking about how she always loved girly things, too. What? WHEN? WHERE? That never happend in Z, they’re just trying to make her more domestic, which is sickening me.

495ed152bee288f0df3d1787144736ce39d740e7_hqI honestly would’ve preferred if Videl would’ve gotten the 18 treatment. Sure, she got domestic as well, she’s madly in love with her husband and daughter, but she NEVER lost her bite. She’s still kicking ass and neveryone knows not to mess with her. She’s even representing Universe 7 in the tournament of power and doing a damn well job at it. I’m sure ChiChi can still fight, I mean she even trained Goten up into a Super Saiyan and I’m sure Videl can also still fight, but it’s not worth anything anymore. Their place is being a wife and raising their kids and nothting else, that’s what their characters have been reduced to and that’s what’s annoying me. I really miss that temperatment of her’s that Vicel had, when she stood up to Gohan.

I’m not saying being a fulltime wife and mom is a bad thing per se. I’m just disappointed all of her other personaly traits got thrown out of the window. It’s like, dude Gohan, who did you marry again? And… why? Didn’t you like her for being independent, headstrong and reckless?

As for Gohan, he’s always been against fighting and only did so when he was forced to. Dragon-Ball-Super-Episode-90-ReviewHe’s always been a sweet natured guy by heart, so being a loving dad totally suits him. From all the demi-saiyans, he’s probably the one who’s most aware of being a child of two worlds and he probably has the two most different hearts beating in his chest. He’s got the full figthing potential from his saiyan side, but the sensitive heart of a human. Wow, great thing he arguably had the worst childhood ever… and people are honestly surprised he stops training and fighting every second he gets.

I mean, sure, I’ve dedicated an entire post about the lost potential of Gohan, because he’s been buffed drastically for Goku to take the spotlight and it hurt so damn much seeing him useless, because you KNOW he could be the strongest. Piccolo just recently confirmed his potential to be “bottomless”, Gohan could be Earth’s strongest weapon, if he wished so. I’m really glad he decided to not completely abadoning his saiyan heritage and started training again. And guess what? He’s already strong enough to force Goku into his strongest form, but what I think is even better for him, is that he’s trying for new heights, but without relying on the Super Saiyan forms they’re been abusing ever since Freeza on Namek.

Dragon-BallI’m always a sucker for meeting characters from the original series. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, but I just love seeing those characterst hat have been there since the very beginning, when Dragonball was a martial arts fantasy adventure and before it was turned into a superpower Sci-Fi festival. I admit I’m a huge fan of the Dragonball saga before Z, before there were aliens and when humans were still able to hold their own against the protagonists. When we had talking dinosaurs participating in the great tournament and a protagonist with a tail that nobody gave a fuck about, because… why? Between flying and talking cats, shapeshifting pigs and humanoid wolves, a kid with a monkey tail doesn’t even need much of an explanation, you just accept it as being part of this fantasy world.

 

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Ballroom e Youkoso Anime and Manga Spoilers

Damn those necks.

Okay, so with Ballroom e Youkoso my arguably most anticipated anime of the year was released and we’re 5 episodes in and far enough to say something of substance.

First of all, I love the art direction. I know, the necks are a little bit too long, but overall I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and the animation quality is pretty nice. I was hoping for fully animated dances in the same way Yuri on Ice fully animated the figure scating programms, but that’s very unusual for anime, so I guess I kind of knew this wouldn’t happen? It’s still a tiny bit disappointing, though.

They make use of freeze frames quite a bit and while that’s not unusual in anime at all, the manga does such an amazing job of capturing the movement and power of dancing, I actually think the anime looks a little bit too static sometimes. I’ve seen much worse, don’t get me wrong, something in me just screams: “This is not right.” when the manga is creating better movement with still images than it’s animated counterpart. It’s still good! I just think it could be better.

It’s been such a long time that I’ve seen the start of the story, it made me realize a lot of stuff and it’s really funny seeing all the new people react to the characters, who you know will not be what they seem to be when they are introduced, but first things first.

I noticed I’m really missing Chii-chan so much, not just because she’s one of my favorite characters and I totally ship her with Tatara, but also because she’s giving Tatara a real challenge and brings out his worse. She makes him suffer, she makes him question his ablilities, but she also makes him move forward the absolute most. Right now in these first 5 episodes, everything came so easy to Tatara, he’s basically been given everything on a silver tablet with the best wishes from the Chef so far and it will continue this way until Chii-chan arrives and messes with everything Tatara thought he knew.

Tatara is a total beginner and yes he first struggles a bit with the Waltz, but he gets his lessons for free, he is taught by literally the best dancer in Japan, he gets his suit for free, he gets to dance with two very experienced and advanced girls to learn from and has the ability to learn extreamly fast by seeing and remembering basically everything about dancing. Explaining doesn’t work very well for him, but seeing it does.

I really didn’t notice it that much when I was reading the manga, but Tatara is very priviledged – and has the balls to try and go after Shizuku as a partner, because he has a crush on her, even though she’s partnered with Hyodo. I don’t want to sound too mean, because he’s still training a lot, even at home, but I stand by my words, he has it very easy at the start and it takes until Chii-chan arrived that he’s actually forced to struggle for real for the first time.

I guess having it easy at the beginning makes up for all the struggle he has to go through with Chii-chan, because once it starts, it’s not going to stop. Tatara learns to suffer and is forced to face his weak spots, but creates something very unique together with Chii-chan. In a way, Chii-chan is the 3rd experienced & advanced girl he gets to pair up with, but she’s his first real partner and unlike Mako and Shizuku, Chii-chan has a whole damn lot of learning to do herself, because she always danced the male part and never the female part. So, you end up with a beginner who doesn’t know how to lead and an advanced dancer who doesn’t know how not to lead. Perfect combination for trouble. Awesome.

It’s actually even more awesome that in recent chapters they’ve started to discover a way to work together and bring out both their strenghts in their dance. I hope they can move forward from being the dysfunctional couple in desync to being a real unity, because in the rare moments they were, they were freaking unstoppable. They complement each other so well, there’s no way I want to see Tatara leave her for Shizuku at one point. If that’s ever going to happen, I’m dropping this manga, Tatara and Chii-chan absolutely need to stay together.

Talking about staying together, I love Hyodo and episode 4 made me realize again just why. This manga/anime has a great talent and that is: introducing an antagonist as some evil guy, that ends up in a friendly rivalry with the main protagonist. It happend with Hyodo, who’s some kind of mentor/elder brother to Tatara in manga right now and it also happend with Gaju. It’s so funny seeing all the people watching the anime complaining over Hyodo, wishing he would break up with Shizuku for Tatara’s sake and now they’re upset about Gaju “snatching Shizuku away” from Tarara being the mean guy… when it fact they all have their partners, they all will stay with their partners, Tatara will get his own partner and they will all become pretty good friends.

They are still rivals, but I love that they’re friends at the same time in a very healthy way. They do shenaningans, they mess up, they tease each other, but everything is on friendly terms and they rely onto each other when needed, too. In case of Hyodo, these could very well be his first actual frindships and Gaju? I mean, he’s even messing with Tatara in school all the time, they’re partners in crime.

In shounen, and Ballroom e Youkoso is a shounen, you usually have the main protagonist and his close ring of friends, his nakama. In case of Tatara, his “nakama” are his rivals, wich is kind of cool to be honest. I’d be interesting to see if Masami joins this ring of friends/rivals as well. So far, he tried his best not to and be the long wolf. He’s a very different type of guy and I think he might always stay more reserved, but I think he could very well become friends with the rest of the group.

And by the way, Akira is pretty ingenius as a comic relieve. She’s not just funny in the way she interacts with Chii-chan, there’s a very serious background to all of this and I hope to see more of her. Not because she’s gay for Chii-chan, remember I ship TataraxChii-chan, but because of her great dynamic with Chii-chan.

Before I finish this, I need to get this out of my system: You don’t teach Slow Foxtrott to a beginner. You… don’t. It’s too hard, even the basic steps are long and complicated, it’s a dance for advanced dancers and nothing Tatara should learn after Waltz as his first dance ever.