Kunzait_83 wrote:I think that, at a bare minimum, Bulma should've definitely at least TRIED to go out of her way to stop Gero anyway, even against the protests of Goku, Vegeta, and whomever else in the group.
I think it actually would've been a lot more interesting if this situation sparked some sort of an internal schism amongst the group: maybe with characters like Kuririn and Yamucha (hell, throw in Yajirobe even while you're at it to give him at least a somewhat bigger role here) siding with Bulma and going off to help her try and prevent Gero's plans preemptively, while Goku, Vegeta, and possibly maybe even Tenshinhan or Piccolo (the latter having not yet fused with Kami and developed that strengthened sense of responsibility for the world's safety) opt to take on the challenge of the fight.
Its certainly a huge missed opportunity on Toriyama's end, and I totally agree that while I still think the story as it currently stands MOSTLY works fine enough, its definitely on weaker footing than it easily could've been, and it wouldn't have taken very much here in this case to tighten it up.
The characters are deliberately written to be oblivious, irrational and easy-going about everything, that's the only type of character that Toriyama writes, ever read Lady Red? The 10 days before Cell games, they never use them to truly pressure Goku into telling them what he's doing and give up after his throwaway, avoidant answers, even though the situation is very serious, same concept.
Anyway, you're not seeing the whole picture of what goes into DB's writing, consider the following.
The takeaway - no themes, no values, only entertainment, and poison hidden inside that Toriyama felt like specifically mentioning when a question regarding drama and relationships came up, hinting that there is something wrong with it. This poison thing is something he mentioned back in 1996 and then 20 years later, it's not something to be glossed over.
Analyzing those statements and the way Toriyama writes, led me to understand that he writes DB to be immoral, on purpose.
DB starts with the sexual abuse on Bulma, that is all framed within good fun, and the irony of a mentor type character being the main perpetrator, shadiness of the relationship between Goku and grandpa Gohan with Goku sleeping on his ballsack, then you get Goku pulling highly immoral things and getting away with it with at most a slip on the wrist with the story painting him as a hero everytime, the entirety of his marriage is ChiChi jumping over him at the end of saiyan arc and him hitting her through a wall, and there's weird one-sided father-son relationship. The only messages you could get from the original run were that the new generation fails and Vegeta made an error getting someone to protect as Goku only got so good fighting for himself. Within DBS you get the happy ending for Future Trunks ruined and his efforts to save his timeline fail, all the characters live in terror under the new divine beings and never resolve the situation, Goku fighting side by side with Frieza in ToP's finale. There's also an interesting difference in ToP where Toyotarou adopted Toriyamaesque approach and made it just about Zeno having fun, while Toei wrote it to be a moral test for the warriors, with a trust theme thrown in. The narrative in the new Broly movie is also in that manner, the movie spends a decent chunk of time to get you feel sympathetic towards Broly, and then later you get Gogeta trying to murder him in cold blood, while he's unconscious.
This is actually not the main thing I'm getting at, more of a digression, but noteworthy nonetheless, Toriyama is not as careless of a writer as it looks like, his focus lays elsewhere than you would expect.
Now when it comes to poison in the characters, the infamous android scene, what is interesting is the casual approach of the characters, not caring about the world, not caring about themselves, no self-preservation instinct, you have noticed Bulma's irrationality of her not trying to do anything after the meeting, it's the same thing with Kuririn, who first wants to stop the androids, and then quickly gets coerced into making a cute speech, but the most interesting subject here is Gohan, he is by no means a hardened martial artist, he is a soft 6 years old boy that has went through hell purely to save his friends, and now that there is an opportunity to prevent this from happening again and the characters do not choose it, he doesn't react negatively to the situation, he's happily chanting.
Why does he act as if the events of the 2 previous arcs didn't happen, why isn't he begging Goku to change his mind? Well that's because Toriyama doesn't write realistic characters, he only writes emotionally void, inhuman caricatures, and DB characters under the hood aren't any different than his Lady Red is.
The behavior they display here is scattered all around DB, it's Goku dumping his family for 7 years, and them happy to see him when he comes back as if nothing happened, him fucking over his friends by say letting Vegeta go or giving a senzu bean to Cell, and characters outside of a small remark not ever holding him accountable and treating him like best friend, Bulma taking the sexual abuse and hanging around with everyone who does it to her without issues, characters hanging around with genociders, Gohan not training after Buu arc despite his negligence getting everyone killed last time, ChiChi thinking that Gohan's studies are more important than Earth's future, Krilin and his remote dillema, characters not wanting to join ToP thinking that their daily lives are more important despite the threat of erasure, and it's Lady Red getting raped by the taxi driver and happily continuing on her journey.
That might be too many comparisons to Lady Red, but it's like they are asking for themselves to be made.
I wonder whether this panel from Toyotarou wasn't actually a jab at Toriyama's writing, given that his characters are immune to emotional damage.
DB characters no matter what happens, what they go through and what is the next ugly thing that Goku does, will always act like one, big, happy family, that's the "wholesome on a first glance, but actually with poison inside".
Kunzait_83 wrote:I've generally found it rather curious and odd that Toriyama felt that Toei made Goku more innately heroic throughout the anime. By and large, I generally don't see it, at least not within the actual TV anime itself.
Kunzait_83 wrote:I'd be curious to hear from people what else there was in the TV anime (Japanese version only obviously: no dub examples) that might've made Toriyama balk as much as he apparently did at Goku's characterization. I genuinely can't think of anything off the top of my head right now.
He didn't say heroic, but righteous hero, I don't know what dictionary definitions are, but to me as a common Joe they sound widely different, Leonidas from 300 is heroic, but not a righteous hero.
What Toei missed (or maybe did on purpose as the interviewer pointed out, in consideration of the target audience) is that Goku only used Gohan, not treated him like a dad would, that way they humanized Goku and he wasn't "poisonous" as intended. Here are the differences that I recall, not 100% sure on all of them but fairly confident:
- Goku upon finding dead Krilin after 22nd budokai only expresses anger and frustration as always, his anime version weeps.
- There's plenty of filler things implying that Goku was taking care of his family before Raditz' arrival, instead of training all the time.
- While Goku is on the snakeway, there's a panel that says that Goku is not thinking about his son while he's there, in the anime he does at least twice, second time in the Snake Princess' castle, in the context of having to hurry because everyone is waiting for him.
This scene was changed a lot, Gohan's words were changed from "it hurts too much" to something like "I can't move anymore.", I'm not sure why they did it (Perhaps censorship of violence on kid Gohan that seems to have happened in DBZ?)
but it made Goku look better here, they changed Goku's tone from screaming to being little frustrated, they added a flashback to Piccolo's death, and right after this moment Goku pulls his arm towards Gohan being fully supportive changing the context of the scene, from Goku being an asshole to a mentor.
This is something that Toriyama might have been particular about, it suggests that Goku beforehand was only making excuses to fight alone.
- Goku kaioken scene on Namek with him remembering his family and friends.
- Goku's face after "killing" Frieza shows sadness in the manga, in the anime it doesn't at all.
- Androids killing Goku's friends nightmare.
- Goku kissing ChiChi when he wakes up.
- Right after that an added moment of Goku showing affection towards Gohan on the flying thing.
- The scene in which Goku tells Gohan that he wants to make him a super saiyan has an additional moment of him laying his arms on Gohan's shoulders and smearing his nose, and later tapping his head.
- The scene where Goku tells Gohan that he will cut his hair is extended with Goku grabbing his hair, Toriyama's Goku would have told him to follow.
- In these 2 scenes Goku was changed from cold to affectionate.
- The 10 days before Cell's tournament were completely changed, in the manga Goku was more or less manipulating Gohan to make sure he doesn't continue training and surpass Cell for the fight to be fair, by trying to amuse him on the fishing trip and then dropping him off to Dende to get him busy, in the anime it's great family time and preparation to save the world, including this message.
- The sendoff of Gohan to fight Cell, in the manga manipulative, in the anime supportive, Gohan's reaction is also different, he's doubtful until the end in the manga, in the anime he has a confident smile after initial doubt.
- Goku's reaction when Piccolo convinces him to help Gohan is a surprise in the manga, in the anime it's regret.
- Goku's "sacrifice" with Cell, Toei changed Goku's apology to ChiChi from a slip of poison into Goku apologizing for always being selfish, and didn't animate Goku taking fingers off his forehead on Kaio's planet, just made him appear the way he was drawn in that panel.
- During father-son kamehameha anime Goku gets a little too supportive, and makes it look like it wasn't just a job for him, especially this moment.
- Gohan's reaction when Goku ends the conversation on the lookout is different, in the anime he's content, in the manga he looks as if he wanted him to come back.
- The characters in the manga react with somewhat of a little surprise as Goku goes his way, in the anime they recall him as a good guy and things of the past, particularly interesting is Gohan's comment about Goku, that he was always kind and gave him courage walking up to Frieza, because the way this scene went in the manga, Gohan and Kuririn were somewhat weirded out by Goku walking past them and going for the fight.
- Goku's spirit coming down to lay his hand on Gohan's shoulder during the funeral scene.
- In a filler episode after Cell's death, Gohan mentions that Goku was often taking him to play to some lake, that's certainly not something Toriyama intended.
- Goku meeting Goten scene, the point later was that Goku only gave him a hug only because he was asked to, this is somewhat of a pattern too.
There's also this dialogue there
ChiChi: Goku, I missed you.
Goku: I missed you too.
Toriyama's Goku would have responded with "But you had Gohan with you, didn't you?"
- Bulma's comment at the end suggests that Goku after killing Boo was on two 5 year long training trips, but he is seen hanging around with everyone in filler instead.
- Vegeta's comment when Goku flies off with Uub was changed, it's nowhere near as direct as the manga's version where Vegeta cleanly implies Goku to be manipulative about "protecting the Earth".
- Some more filler where Goku was shown to be affectionate, worried (Goku was never genuinely worried in the manga as far as I recall) and even embarassed.
In summary, Toriyama doesn't write things like this, it's not only against his idea of Goku, but also against his nature as a writer, this isn't "poisonous".
Toriyama likes writing things like this.
Regarding the fight with Raditz, Goku was excited, I don't get why everyone seems to miss these.
And when it comes to Goku being nice and attentive to Gohan... it's called conditioning, and it's the same thing he's doing to Broly in the new movie.
There's also one more thing that sparks my interest there, did Goku perhaps lie to Piccolo about the reason for not grabbing Raditz' tail the second time around? The reasoning is illogical and he might have done it for the win to be satisfying, soon after that he says "If it's the only way to defeat you.", "defeat" is a word you would use when thinking of a competition. There's 1 thing that kills that interpretation which is Raditz' confirmation of Goku's words, but I'm not sure whether Viz' translation is correct here, maybe they missed some ambiguity?
Kunzait_83 wrote:The way that Goku's "...but he (Gero) hasn't done anything yet." line comes across in the manga seems more like its an example of Goku's rural/naive dimness as opposed to him trying to actively dig for any sort of flimsy excuse to fight the Jinzoningen. Its basically a joke at his expense: he legitimately, sincerely doesn't understand why they'd go after someone over something they haven't done yet.
Recall the scene that happens right before, Goku tries to hide the fact that the androids will arrive and if it wasn't for Piccolo's superhearing, the crew wouldn't find out, he considers that his friends might react negatively if he is just to tell the truth.
Goku is aware of what he's doing, actually a lot of his actions are purely driven by him wanting to do things his way and avoid confrontations with others, he lies, hides facts, manipulates, smooth talks, quickly ends conversations, it's a very common trait in his characterization. Just paraphrasing some - "I'm staying in the afterlife because I bring bad guys to Earth, and Gohan is more dependable than me.", "If I kill Piccolo then you will die too god.", "Why do you want to go after Frieza, Vegeta? If not for him universe 7 would lose.", "I'm going to fight at full power so Boo doesn't get ressurected.", "Nah I don't think I could've taken Boo out with ss3 if I tried.", "Don't help Gohan, his hidden power is the only way to beat Cell.".
He might not be cold and calculative about all of this, but effectively it's not that different.