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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The Master of Lost Potential

I’m pretty sure everyone ended up doing this at least once: Go on youtube and somehow end up watching retro anime openings from your childhood. What in the world did I watch when I was young? I’m impressed I had time to do anything besides watching TV. I eventually ended up with Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.

I still love the second Z opening that focusses on Gohan. Reason? Gohan is my favorite Dragn Ball character. I love that awkward, freakishly strong and good hearted guy. That description actually fits Goku as well, but I always liked Gohan much more as a character. Even though Goku is really good natured and has strong morals to live by, Gohan is much more… human-like. He is bought up to be a human and was raised as a human, ChiChi really did her best to accomplish that and actually succeeded.

2w1wsiwI really like his relationship with Piccolo, though. More or less hating eath other, Gohan ended up as Piccolo’s first real friend and ended up forming a lifelong friendship with his former teacher. He actually did learn how to fight from Piccolo and was only taught by Goku later. He always had great repect for Piccolo and while Goku was gone, he might even have seen him as something like a father substitude.

From how I see it, Gohan is more emotional than Goku and experiences emotions stronger. He’s a child of two worlds and finds himself in conflict between his human mother and his alien father, who doesn’t really care about that at all. He’s a contrast to Goten, who’s initially much more like Goku, but ends up totally human and even dislikes fighting to the point of being forced to participate in the World Tournament in the last episode, simply because it’s too much of a hassle. I’m not too quick to judge Goten, though, he wasn’t nearly as well developed as Gohan and was only shown as a noisy brat during the series and eventually as a lazy womanizer in the last episode. Nothing in between was shown. Gohan found a balance and ended up doing what he wanted to do the most, but never forgot his heritage and entrusted his fighting loving daughter to Goku to train.

Gohan_Super_Saiyan_2We literally see Gohan him grow up, like his father, but while Goku always strays true to who he is and never thought too much about anything remotely deep, Gohan went through a much greater emotional rollercoaster and found himself between two worlds: the human world of his mother and his beloved studies and on the other hand the saiyan world of his father where he can live out his strong sense of justice to rescue his loved ones. Especially during the time when Gohan trains with Goku he oftens conflicts with his monther’s wishes and feels guilty.

He inherted his father’s strong sense of justice and morals, but not his love for fighting and therefore stopped every time he didn’t had to – successfully wasting probably the greatest potential of the entire cast. He found his own happy ending, though. That’s… something, but it’s sad to know none of Goku’s sons ended up following his footsteps after peace settled in again.

How about a few facts about Gohan? Because there’s quite a bit fun trivia about him.

  • Toriyama originally wanted Gohan to inhert Goku’s place as the main character after Cell, but decided against it later. This could explain his well developed character.
  • In a Shounen Jump character popularity poll in 1993 Gohan was first place.
  • Gohan is the only partical saiyan to have a tail. According to Toriyama, the tail is a recessive trait. Goten, Trunks and Pan never had one.
  • Many think Ultimate Gohan can’t transform into Super Saiyan. In Chapter 502 it is stated by Goku that he can. 508854-gohan_largeHowever, since he never does it, it’s questionable if it’s of any benefit.
  • There are conflicting informations regarding his power-level: In Daizenshuu 2, Ultimate Gohan is described as the strongest non-fused character of the entire cast.The data book “Dragon Ball: The Ultimate Battle Collection” refers to Ultimate Gohan as stronger than SSJ3 and is actually proven stronger than SSJ3 Gotenks in the manga and anime alike. DBZ movie 13 conflicts with these evidence, because SSJ3 Goku is portayed stronger than Ultimate Gohan. It is debateble how canon the movies whithout Toriyamas influence actually are, though.
  • Gohan is the first to transform into Super Saiyan 2 and the only unfused half-saiyan to achieve this. Mirai Trunks tried, but didn’t succeed and ended up with a weird in-between-stage.

Considering the evidence, Gohan is probably the fighter with the highest potential and likely the strongest (unfused) in the series, even outclassing Goku. It’s a shame he never won a real fight after Cell and decided against a life that involves martial arts. How strong would be have been able to become, if he didn’t stop training? We’ll never know.

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