Thoughts on the women of DBZ, by the women of DaizEX

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

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Nami
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Thoughts on the women of DBZ, by the women of DaizEX

Post by Nami » Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:51 pm

First off, the reason for the title is because I'd apreciate if only women posted here, but men are free by all means to, I'm not telling anyone not to:

I personally think it was unfair of Akira Toriyama to give such little significanse to the women of the sereis's. For starters, the ONLY woman to hold a candle to the Z Senshi power levels was #18, and she was a cyborb. Then comes Videl, she's very strong by normal human standards, but compare her with some like Roshi, despite her ability to fly, she couldn't beat what nearlly destroyed the moon fully and came within a hair of locking Piccolo Daimao back in the Rice Jar.

However look at GT, which on the whole was a 100% Toei production (with the small exception of Akira Toriyama doing some character designs for the first half of the series), Pan and #18 both excelled in plot depth, especially Pan. She came off as the whiny "only had one date" female teenager that could be easily scared and never had a real battle, but by the end of the series, she was a confident teen maybe a year older that had enough wisdom to realize where Goku was going and had faced every danger to her life any person should. Then look at #18, for someone that never had much more of a spot light after Cell (save for her match at the 25th Budokai) and never showed much loving attention to Krillin. Following a few cameos she had in the Bebi saga, we finally got to see the true depth of her emotions in the Super 17 saga, as she proved once and for all she truly loves/ed Krillin as he was killed, she was even willing to die in the final struggle with Super 17.

My thoughts on the women are that Toriyama didn't give enough of a focus to them power wise that he clearly gave male humans such as Tien, Krillin, Yamcha, and even Yajirobe. However Toei gave us more of a look into what the women of the series can really do, and featured that in DBZ as well when Bulma (thanks to a crab of course) defeated two of Frieza's scouts, and even lived through the body changing experience with Ginyu. I'm interested in other womens' thoughts on the matter, discussion is ready to be discussed! :wink:
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Post by Chuquita » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:14 am

I do think it would've been interesting if Chi-Chi had continued her training along with Goku and Gohan instead of using nearly all her spare time trying to get him to hit the books. The entire Son family battling evil together would've been cool.
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Post by Jerseymilk » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:54 am

I do agree that Toriyama had the women take a backseat throughout DB, but we have to remember that he was creating a shonen manga. It was aimed at boys so the majority of it would be about males. Unfortunately, boys in general wouldn't have shown as much interest in a series with tons of women running around beating up the guys. Though it's true that it would've been cool to see Toriyama keep at least ONE female character around and at a competitive level with the male characters.

I still think he has strong females though. Chi-Chi was trained in martial arts and she was certainly brave about protecting her children. Look at when she actually went up to Buu and told him off about Gohan. Buruma may act often like a coward, but she's a technical genius, smarter than her father even. I'd like to site Zangya and Seripa, but they were created by Toei. Let's not forget Lunch who was pretty darn imposing when she was in her "psycho form". #18 always came off as one of the coolest characters in the series in my opinion and one of my favourite females. As for Videl, I've always liked her a lot too. She had guts, skill, and strength. It's a shame they made her settle down at the end of Z from the looks of it. She was one I really think would have been a prime candidate to continue training and realize a lot more potential.

Pan seems to have almost picked up where Videl left off, some may think she's a whiney brat, but they've likely watched too much of the dub. :P She was the only other female character besides Buruma in DB to have a main role in one of the series. Though it is also disappointing that she never achieved SSJ. And we all know it has nothing to do with not having enough Saiyajin blood since Goku Jr. in the GT special had A LOT less and attained it. So it's always suprised me that Toei didn't take advantage of Pan's heritage for the chance to show a female SSJ.

One other thing I want to bring up. The constant knack Funi has for making almost every female character in DB come off as obnoxious. It's like they seem to think strong and assertive=obnoxious. I blame the hate I see some North American fans having for characters like Videl and Pan because of this.

I just thought of one more thing to add. I'll shut-up after this I promise. :P Even though she barely had three scenes, the female Kaioshin, West Kaioshin, I thought was always a really interesting character and I wished we could have seen more of her. She definitely could have likely held her own against most of the Z Senshi.
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Post by Meri » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:38 pm

I'm not going to foul Toriyama too much on the lack of hardcore inclusion of women in the series for one very simple reason: it's a shounen manga (as this has already been stated). Very rarely do women take the stage in such works, let alone in an action series. While this is not always the case, it does kind of seem to be the norm.

Needless to say, I don't watch/read DB for it's super awesome female role-models. If anything DB, has some really poor examples. That's what I read my shoujo mangas for. :D

I'd write more, but I'm on my lunch break. Maybe I'll write more thoughts later.

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Post by oponok » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:08 pm

I know you preferred that men not reply, but perhaps hearing another side might be relatively helpful.

Dragonball Z seems to mainly focus on masculine relationships and a boy's growth from innocence to maturity/manhood and the related responsibilities. A saga dedicated to Android 18's love for Krillin and her friendship with 17 just does not fit with the rest of the series. Yes, women in the show can't keep up with the male characters, but perhaps all the fighting is intended to reflect the male tendencies toward violent behavior (whether this is culturally conditioned is arguable but probably irrelevant...) and certain anxieties particular to the male characters (fear of being weak, fear of the future, shame. etc).

From this perspective, DBZ is not sexist. It has a subject and is dedicated to it. Focusing on male characters in film/books/etc about mother/daughter relationships or subjects related to the experience of being female might prove a mistake in the same way. Dragonball has its own focus, and shifting this focus seems to hinder the experience (note many complaints toward GT and the Bulma-Namek filler). There are other series that can cover themes important to both males and females, but DBZ was made for a particular audience (although everyone can enjoy it, of course).

Though yes, when basing our perspective on the fact that the females in DBZ are usually just weaklings and have little to no effect on, well, anything, it's utterly sexist and perpetuates the status quo.
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Post by kenisu3000 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:45 pm

Can I jump in? I'd like to say that, even being a guy, far and beyond a lot of the fantastic battle/against-hope victory scenes in all of DragonBall, one of my favorites has always been the end of the Cell saga, at Kami's palace, when 18 chews out Kuririn, turns to leave, then softens up a little and says "See you..." before taking off. I *love* that!! I just wish to high heaven Toriyama (or Toei) would have added a little more during the seven-year rift between then and the Boo saga, which actually *shows* 18 coming back to see Kuririn, falling *completely* in love, and then marrying him. But all the same, this is one of my absolute favorite favorite scenes in DBZ.
And Lunch (psycho form) happens to be my favorite character from the original DragonBall. Imagine how angry I (still) am that she only gets one unforgivably quick appearance after the Saiyan saga (she contributes to Goku's Genkidama in the Boo saga, and then in her innocent form. Apparently she also runs a bus service since you can see "Ran" -the "chi" is cut off- on the bus, but... oh, who cares? I'm rambling again).

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Post by B-kun » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:52 pm

kenisu3000 wrote: And Lunch (psycho form) happens to be my favorite character from the original DragonBall. Imagine how angry I (still) am that she only gets one unforgivably quick appearance after the Saiyan saga (she contributes to Goku's Genkidama in the Boo saga, and then in her innocent form. Apparently she also runs a bus service since you can see "Ran" -the "chi" is cut off- on the bus, but... oh, who cares? I'm rambling again).

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Anyway, Lunch made several appearances in the Saiyan arc, including getting drunk over Tenshinhan's death. She even shoots up Tenshinihan and Chaozu. *sniff* Just like old times.

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Post by Jerseymilk » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:10 am

I thought that was a transport truck she got out of when contributing to the Genki-dama? :?
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Post by 'lo Legends » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:36 pm

I agree with a lot of people. One of the main reasons why there aren't a lot of girls around that kick butt is because it's a shonen manga. I can cite a bunch of shonen manga in which there are almost NO female fighters at all...

Yuu Yuu Hakusho.

Rurouni Kenshin.

One Piece (Well, I haven't really see really recent Episodes. If Nico Robin can kick ass, then you can excuse me, but it really seems like Zoro/Luffy outclass EVERYONE in the strength department).

Naruto (Tsunade can kick ass, but when it comes down to it the vast majority of strong people are male).

If it makes you feel better, though, Toriyama also created the Dr. Slump series and Arale is pretty much the strongest person in that series by far (although it isn't exactly a fighting manga).
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Post by *PINHEAD* » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:27 pm

Yep...it just wasn't really aimed at a female audience. But on the subject of Lunch, I do recall reading somewhere (perhaps on this very message board, perhaps it was even I who posted it) that Toriyama had planned to include her in those last few panels showing all the old characters contributing to the Genki Dama, but chose instead to put #17 there. 'Tis a shame, though #17 had played a more important role recently, Lunch was there from near the beginning...

Now I will leave this thread for the ladies to discuss... 8)
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Post by kenisu3000 » Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:15 pm

I think we scared the women off.

And now that I've posted *again* to this thread, I might as well mention that yeah, it might have been a transport truck that Lunch got out of, I just didn't pay that much attention to it (well, enough to notice the katakana "RAN"). That would explain why there weren't a bunch of people inside going "Hey! What's the big idea! We paid for this bus ride; now take us where we're goin'!" :)
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Adding my very late 2 cents.

Post by Lahe-ie » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:35 pm

Hi, I'm new. Ny name's Katie, I'm 21 and I'm an animation student from the UK. n_n

Onto the response.

I was browsing this forum and came upon this post; women in Dragonball Z is a topic that's always interested me. Now, I'm no feminist by any stretch of the imagination, but as a female fan of DBZ, I also find myself wishing that there was more of the ladies kicking ass; alas, it is a shonen manga so it's not really gonna happen much.

I wanted to add something to this thread - even if it seems to have fizzled out - cause I couldn't leave this alone. Besides, Nami wanted ladies' comments, and she's getting them! Even if they're about 6 months late. Eh-heh.

Anyway, I ramble.

Another thing that I found interesting about the DBZ characters is that there is a distinct lack of mothers in the storylines. Think about it: for every characters' father that appears, there is no mother. Toriyama makes no acknowledgement of maternal influence in their lives. The mothers that we DO see end up being mothers themselves. Perhaps an implication of their primary role as women? I'm not saying that's the truth, it's just a thought.

Anyways, I thought I'd add that. There's a lot more to DBZ than just fighting and people going"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" a lot. x3

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Post by Orochi_Rockman » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:15 am

I like Chi-Chi and #18 a lot. Both of them deserved more screen time than what they got.

Chi-Chi's fight against Goku in the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai is my favorite one. And since 18 is stronger than SSj1 it would have been nice if she could have contributed a little in the Buu Saga.

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