Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Robo4900 » Sat May 12, 2018 12:11 pm

The only times it's ever bothered me are the rather uncomfortable scene where the two Red Ribbon soldiers want to assault Bulma, and -- most of all -- the episode where Oolong wants to grope her in her sleep.
Outside of those two moments, it's never really bothered me that much. A lot of Roshi's antics are somewhat uncomfortable, but given he always gets his comeuppance, and it usually works out such that it either just about manages to be funny, or it's only a minor moments that ends up not being very bothersome in the context of an otherwise very good episode.

But those two moments are pretty bad, and I do wish they weren't there.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby ulisa » Sat May 12, 2018 12:18 pm

I wouldn’t say so much it bothers me as much as I just don’t find it funny. It’s played comedically rather than dramatically and since the characters don’t make a big deal out of it, we’re expected to act similarly. I’ve just never been a fan of that kind of humor, which is one reason the original Dragonball isn’t as intriguing to me as the “Z” portion. If Roshi had no other traits than just a pervert, it would be creepy but since they make it out to be a piece of his character rather than all of his character, I do think it works. It’s just not my preference.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby OhHiRenan » Sat May 12, 2018 12:52 pm

I don't know if I'd say it bothers me necessarily, but I definitely am not a big fan of it and it's a key reason why the first three arcs don't really land as well with me compared to the others. Not just the sexualization of Bulma, but the sexual jokes in general.
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Saiyan > Namek > 23rd Budokai > 22nd Budokai > Majin Boo > Androids > Piccolo Daimao > 21st Budokai > Hunt for the Dragon Balls > Red Ribbon Army

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby ABED » Sat May 12, 2018 4:13 pm

OhHiRenan wrote:I don't know if I'd say it bothers me necessarily, but I definitely am not a big fan of it and it's a key reason why the first three arcs don't really land as well with me compared to the others. Not just the sexualization of Bulma, but the sexual jokes in general.
There is A LOT more to those first three arc than sexual jokes.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby OhHiRenan » Sat May 12, 2018 6:09 pm

ABED wrote:
OhHiRenan wrote:I don't know if I'd say it bothers me necessarily, but I definitely am not a big fan of it and it's a key reason why the first three arcs don't really land as well with me compared to the others. Not just the sexualization of Bulma, but the sexual jokes in general.
There is A LOT more to those first three arc than sexual jokes.

I’m well aware. That’s why I wrote “don’t land as well” instead of “don’t land at all.”
Original Series Arc Rankings
Saiyan > Namek > 23rd Budokai > 22nd Budokai > Majin Boo > Androids > Piccolo Daimao > 21st Budokai > Hunt for the Dragon Balls > Red Ribbon Army

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby ABED » Sat May 12, 2018 6:46 pm

It still comes across like you think those arcs mainly boil down to sexual jokes. The 21st TB is one of the best arcs in the entire series.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby OhHiRenan » Sat May 12, 2018 6:53 pm

You’re reading into implications that aren’t there. All I said was that the sexualized jokes were a major facet in why I don’t like the first three arcs as much as the rest of the original series.

The 21st Budokai is great, I agree, and it has some solid character arcs and themes, but I’d like it more if the racy jokes were toned down. Does that mean I dislike it? Not at all, and I never said I did or implied I did or implied the first three arcs boiled down to sex jokes.
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Saiyan > Namek > 23rd Budokai > 22nd Budokai > Majin Boo > Androids > Piccolo Daimao > 21st Budokai > Hunt for the Dragon Balls > Red Ribbon Army

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby ABED » Sat May 12, 2018 7:21 pm

Okay, but given the topic of the thread, and your own words, it's not an illogical inference to think you're saying the first three arcs aren't as good mainly because they have a lot of sexual humor.

I’d like it more if the racy jokes were toned down.

They aren't that racy. They're rather tame for the most part. Why do sexual jokes bother you so much?
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby OhHiRenan » Sat May 12, 2018 8:06 pm

It is pretty illogical considering opinions tend to be more nuanced than that. It honestly just seems like you came to a baseless conclusion, got called out, and now are back peddling for the sake of argument. Own it and be done with it, man.

And you’re right. A 16 year old girl flashing her vagina at an old, perverted man who wants to feel her up is in no way racy. Silly me. I don’t have problems with sexual jokes. I have problems with the way early Dragon Ball utilizes sexual jokes. Nice assumption on your part, though, very charming. But I know that discussing this with you is a waste of time and I’d rather not doom yet another thread with an ABED induced argument so I’m done here.
Original Series Arc Rankings
Saiyan > Namek > 23rd Budokai > 22nd Budokai > Majin Boo > Androids > Piccolo Daimao > 21st Budokai > Hunt for the Dragon Balls > Red Ribbon Army

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby floofychan333 » Sat May 12, 2018 8:37 pm

It's a little strange in my opinion but it's basically cliche in anime. I mean, I'm only 17 so it doesn't affect me in that way but going forward it might make me more uncomfortable. If sexualization is tasteful and natural, then I don't have a problem with it, but if it's just done to turn fans on then it's kind of stupid. Especially in stuff like Prison School and some Evangelion fanmanga that is basically all fan service. The story's not even bad, but the fan service is so excessive that even I can't take it seriously.
Also, people are being mostly reasonable on this thread. Congratulations!
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby ABED » Sat May 12, 2018 10:00 pm

I definitely am not a big fan of it and it's a key reason why the first three arcs don't really land as well with me
I'm using your own words. It's not baseless. Okay, I could've been clearer. You put far too much emphasis on this issue, so much so that you put other far more drawn out and inferior arcs over it for a few moments here and there of sexual humor. The first arc, sure, but not the subsequent arcs.

And you’re right. A 16 year old girl flashing her vagina at an old, perverted man who wants to feel her up is in no way racy.
I said "for the most part". The Pilaf arc has the most of this type of humor and I get why it makes people uncomfortable, but it's not the only kind of sexual joke there was and not what I was referring to and I think you know that. What's more, I knew you would come back with that as well as some sarcastic comment. Can we get away from that and just talk like mature adults? You're trying to paint me as this illogical person incapable of a rational discussion, but that's not the case.

Is it the volume, sexual jokes in general, or certain types of sexual jokes? For me, it's the type. It's unconsentual touching and the like and her being 16 that gets to me. Stuff like Roshi dressing himself and his students in lingerie to get Lunch to dress in lingerie I found funny, or Yamcha accidentally seeing Bulma naked after her shower is funny. I might even have found her accidentally flashing Roshi funny if she was older. It's really all about context.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Fizzer » Sun May 13, 2018 5:56 am

If all of it was funny and not just awkward it'd be okay. I don't like introducing someone to Dragon Ball and having to say "don't worry, it isn't like this after the first few episodes" as they sit there awkwardly at all the forced sexualisation.

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Vegeta_Sama » Sun May 13, 2018 8:56 am

Nope, I'm quite amused by it to be honest.
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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Cipher » Sun May 13, 2018 9:12 am

I'm 50/50 on it. Of all of Dragon Ball's forays with raunchy humor, Bulma trading on her sexuality bothers me the least. She's usually offering something pretty tame, it fits her personality, and she's a pretty multi-faceted character outside of it. It's also never used to titillate the actual audience, which is the most important thing. Her willingness to exploit her sexuality is used for situational comedy occasionally near the beginning of the series, usually to amusing results, thanks to Toriyama's capabilities as a gag artist, and it all feels true to the character involved rather than being an excuse for fan service.

The gags she doesn't initiate, though, with Oolong and Kame-Sennin in particular, can get pretty iffy, and are totally things you just have to take as products of the series existing in its time and place. I wish they weren't in it, but they are.

That all said, the amount of people in this thread stepping up to the plate to defend every part of Japanese culture that doesn't have to do with women in Japanese culture is ... pretty gross.

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby kemuri07 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:08 am

Cipher wrote:I'm 50/50 on it. Of all of Dragon Ball's forays with raunchy humor, Bulma trading on her sexuality bothers me the least. She's usually offering something pretty tame, it fits her personality, and she's a pretty multi-faceted character outside of it. It's also never used to titillate the actual audience, which is the most important thing. Her willingness to exploit her sexuality is used for situational comedy occasionally near the beginning of the series, usually to amusing results, thanks to Toriyama's capabilities as a gag artist, and it all feels true to the character involved rather than being an excuse for fan service.

The gags she doesn't initiate, though, with Oolong and Kame-Sennin in particular, can get pretty iffy, and are totally things you just have to take as products of the series existing in its time and place. I wish they weren't in it, but they are.

That all said, the amount of people in this thread stepping up to the plate to defend every part of Japanese culture that doesn't have to do with women in Japanese culture is ... pretty gross.


This. I'd argue that Bulma might be one of, if not the best female character that Toriyama has written. Because let's face it, Toriyama has an awful track-record when it comes to women. I think some of that is the unfortunate side-effect of DB slowly becoming what would soon become DBZ, but if Chi-Chi is any indication, he's not great at it. Because holy shit how Chi-Chi goes from her plucky personality to DB to being a literal hell spawn in DBZ is beyond me. I can't defend her because her entire character is being a bitch.

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Spencer_23 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:34 am

No not at all lol

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby DBZAOTA482 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:37 am

kemuri07 wrote:]This. I'd argue that Bulma might be one of, if not the best female character that Toriyama has written. Because let's face it, Toriyama has an awful track-record when it comes to women. I think some of that is the unfortunate side-effect of DB slowly becoming what would soon become DBZ, but if Chi-Chi is any indication, he's not great at it. Because holy shit how Chi-Chi goes from her plucky personality to DB to being a literal hell spawn in DBZ is beyond me. I can't defend her because her entire character is being a bitch.

Yessir, Chi-Chi is Satan's angel that's no secret. We all know she raped Goku and uses him for her own monetary gain as well as their children. She wants him to get a job instead of training all the time which is who he is and denying him of that killing him softly... that bitch. :x She also keeps bitching about Gohan studyingeven though the Earth is seconds away from being destroyed making it pointless.

Also, just look at how everything is terrified of her. She intimates and beats on everyone with that frying pan of hers to get what she wants. No doubt she bringing that abuse on Gohan so he convinced himself he "wanted" to be a scholar.

...I'm obviously sarcastic.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.


Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.


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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby Michsi » Sun May 13, 2018 3:18 pm

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
kemuri07 wrote:]This. I'd argue that Bulma might be one of, if not the best female character that Toriyama has written. Because let's face it, Toriyama has an awful track-record when it comes to women. I think some of that is the unfortunate side-effect of DB slowly becoming what would soon become DBZ, but if Chi-Chi is any indication, he's not great at it. Because holy shit how Chi-Chi goes from her plucky personality to DB to being a literal hell spawn in DBZ is beyond me. I can't defend her because her entire character is being a bitch.

Yessir, Chi-Chi is Satan's angel that's no secret. We all know she raped Goku and uses him for her own monetary gain as well as their children. She wants him to get a job instead of training all the time which is who he is and denying him of that killing him softly... that bitch. :x She also keeps bitching about Gohan studyingeven though the Earth is seconds away from being destroyed making it pointless.

Also, just look at how everything is terrified of her. She intimates and beats on everyone with that frying pan of hers to get what she wants. No doubt she bringing that abuse on Gohan so he convinced himself he "wanted" to be a scholar.

...I'm obviously sarcastic.


As I've mentioned before. Chichi doesn't deserve the vitriol the western fandom threw at her, but there is no denying there was intent behind making her difficult to like. She is the embodiment of the Education Mama stereotype. which was apparently common in media at that time, and not in a good way.

Anyway, I'm gad they drop this type of "fan-service/humor" fairly quickly. Chichi outfit at 12 is also...uh...an odd choice....

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby DBZAOTA482 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:52 pm

Michsi wrote:
DBZAOTA482 wrote:
kemuri07 wrote:]This. I'd argue that Bulma might be one of, if not the best female character that Toriyama has written. Because let's face it, Toriyama has an awful track-record when it comes to women. I think some of that is the unfortunate side-effect of DB slowly becoming what would soon become DBZ, but if Chi-Chi is any indication, he's not great at it. Because holy shit how Chi-Chi goes from her plucky personality to DB to being a literal hell spawn in DBZ is beyond me. I can't defend her because her entire character is being a bitch.

Yessir, Chi-Chi is Satan's angel that's no secret. We all know she raped Goku and uses him for her own monetary gain as well as their children. She wants him to get a job instead of training all the time which is who he is and denying him of that killing him softly... that bitch. :x She also keeps bitching about Gohan studyingeven though the Earth is seconds away from being destroyed making it pointless.

Also, just look at how everything is terrified of her. She intimates and beats on everyone with that frying pan of hers to get what she wants. No doubt she bringing that abuse on Gohan so he convinced himself he "wanted" to be a scholar.

...I'm obviously sarcastic.


As I've mentioned before. Chichi doesn't deserve the vitriol the western fandom threw at her, but there is no denying there was intent behind making her difficult to like. She is the embodiment of the Education Mama stereotype. which was apparently common in media at that time, and not in a good way.

Anyway, I'm gad they drop this type of "fan-service/humor" fairly quickly. Chichi outfit at 12 is also...uh...an odd choice....

Just because I understand the haters' feelings doesn't make what they do acceptable and I can't take the piss out of it. They're just too damn childish to earn that kind of validation.

Chi-Chi also isn't even the worst of the "education mama" mentality. I can easily worse examples from various anime and manga.
fadeddreams5 wrote:
DBZGTKOSDH wrote:... Haven't we already gotten these in GT? Goku dies, the DBs go away, and the Namekian DBs most likely won't be used again because of the Evil Dragons.


Goku didn't die in GT. The show sucked him off so much, it was impossible to keep him in the world of the living, so he ascended beyond mortality.


viewtopic.php?f=7&t=31207&p=969551#p969545

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Re: Does the sexualization of Bulma at the start of the series bother anyone?

Postby JacobYBM » Sun May 13, 2018 4:12 pm

I've always thought that Toriyama was mostly tame, even with his sexual jokes, but that he would also use them to better define the characters and make them fallible. One moment Blooma's trading in on her sexuality, the next she's walking into a trap (the panties scene) or just plain bombing (trying to seduce Blue). It gives some variety and dimension to the subject, which you don't really get elsewhere.

Modern Japanese works have become more skilled at integrating the sexuality into coherent story form, though. Shokugeki no Souma employs a massive number of girls in its plot and gives them storylines and development while at the same time coating them in sex-appeal. The overall quality of the series is debatable, but the solid combination of erotica and 'mainstream' storytelling is the hallmark of a truly great work. I'll often see people drool over female actors in live action films but always find that phenomenon weird. To say nothing of the idea of lusting over a real person you don't even know, these actors don't even exhibit erotic features or attempts to portray themselves as such. That's just...not sexy. The erotic features with Blooma are intentional (or relatively interpret-able) and don't hurt Blooma...because Blooma has no sentience to recognize such.
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