Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

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Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Zanza » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:28 pm

I constantly hear how DBZ should've ended at Freeza because of how inferior the next few arcs were. What do you think?

Personally, I agree. The entire Android/Cell arc has got to be one of the sloppiest, most atrouciously written stories I have ever seen in my life. Constant asspulls, the most boring villains ever, plotholes galore, Gohan acting behemothly out of character, etc. The Buu arc wasn't much better, but at least it knew how to have fun with itself.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by jjgp1112 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:33 pm

Well, I'm going to be That DBZ Guy (ahem) who says that the Cell saga was actually probably my favorite arc in the series, mainly for the element of mystery, the scale of the fights, and the magnificent final battle between Gohan and Cell
Yamcha: Do you remember the spell to release him - do you know all the words?
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by ekrolo2 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:35 pm

When Bulma voices the idea of just using the DBs to kill Gero and put this problem down in its crib and the others practically laugh it off and say "Pfft, nah!" I couldn't help but think, "You are all stupid, horrible people and I want you all to suffer and die for your stupidity."

I mean, the arc had entertaining parts for sure like Vegeta's Final Flash and most of the Cell Games, but fuck. That whole moment just REALLY made me hate the "good guys" and it still irks me they get away with constantly making dumb choices but the universe keeps on rewarding them by not kicking their asses over any of it.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Bullza » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Speaking of ThatDBZGuy I think we got ourselves a clone.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:36 pm

I enjoy the Cell precisely because of how all over the place it goes. I love seeing the author forced to change his mind based on both external influence and personal preference. That it holds together at all is a miracle and testament to his talent.

It also sports some of my favorite art in the series with fantastic spreads and attention to detail.

I found the straight-forwardness of the ultimate villains (post-Gero) somewhat refreshing. The nonchalant "Well, this is what we're here for, so let's just go ahead and do it!" of 17 & 18 is delightful. Cell is just different enough from Freeza to still be enjoyable; he's not condescending like Freeza, but he retains that arrogance. He never has ulterior motives; what you see is what you get. He's sneaky at times, but it's for that one goal of becoming perfect.

The Freeza arc bores me with how obvious the build-up is, where it's heading, and how it HAS TO ultimately come to a conclusion the exact way that it did. The Cell arc doesn't do that; we get enough twists (even if they're minor, like Goku dying in the process) that them building up Gohan as the hero doesn't make me roll my eyes the same way "Well duh of course Goku's going to become a Super Saiyan and win" does for its respective arc.

So no. I disagree with your premise entirely. I like the arc, I don't think the characters are acting as out-of-character (even Gohan) as you imply, etc. I simultaneously don't disagree at all that the Buu arc knows how to have fun with itself. I like them both for different reasons, and I see no particular reason to have to rank them accordingly (and then back in comparison to prior arcs) and decide if it "should have" ended there.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Doctor. » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:51 pm

In terms of writing quality? Sure, it's where it goes downhill yeah, I personally think so, it has more plot holes than the rest, it doesn't properly build up its climax and plot twists and it's clear that everything is just being thought-up as Toriyama goes along, even more-so than the other arcs that at least had some aspects planned out beforehand. Does that mean I don't enjoy it though? Not at all. Its unpredictability may not be good writing but, like Mike said, it makes for a very entertaining arc, and for a series like Dragon Ball where entertainment takes priority over substance, that's great. It also takes a lot of concepts and themes the series barely touched on before and makes use of a much darker tone from the very start, it's a breath of fresh air coming from other more comedic arcs (even if the other two arcs that preceded it were also very serious in nature).

It's also very popular among the fanbase, so it didn't mark the downfall of the franchise at all.
VegettoEX wrote:It also sports some of my favorite art in the series with fantastic spreads and attention to detail.
Any specific examples in mind?

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:59 pm

Doctor. wrote:Any specific examples in mind?
Well, I mean the Super Saiyan 2 Gohan full-page is amazeballs.

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Love all the proportions, the way the aura pushes everything else away from itself, all the little rocks and dust... great stuff.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by gohann » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:00 pm

I'd say the series had already experienced its downfall prior to this arc.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by funrush » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:03 pm

Would Freeza's death have been a clean badass climactic end while setting up potential for future stories? Hell yeah! That doesn't mean making the Android arc was a mistake though. Pretty much the only thing I'd change was maybe give more personality to the androids, specifically Gero and 19, I felt 17 and 18's emotionlessness worked because it showed they really didn't give a shit about their goal, and were just kind of pawns in the grand scheme. I feel like this wasn't a thing that was done super often until here and I thought it was an interesting addition. Cell wants to be perfect, and he's definitely intimidating. Really the only character left underdone is Gero and even then you kind of see why he does what he does. Trunks was perfect, and served to both show the contrast between Vegeta and the other Earthlings and to further domesticate Vegeta. Plus killing Freeza is a pretty sweet intro. It does a great job at setting Gohan up to be the hero, although the way they killed Goku off was kind of dumb.

What plot holes does this arc have?
ekrolo2 wrote:When Bulma voices the idea of just using the DBs to kill Gero and put this problem down in its crib and the others practically laugh it off and say "Pfft, nah!" I couldn't help but think, "You are all stupid, horrible people and I want you all to suffer and die for your stupidity."

I mean, the arc had entertaining parts for sure like Vegeta's Final Flash and most of the Cell Games, but fuck. That whole moment just REALLY made me hate the "good guys" and it still irks me they get away with constantly making dumb choices but the universe keeps on rewarding them by not kicking their asses over any of it.
I mean that kind of made sense because Goku is Mr. Mercy and seeing how Vegeta reacted over Cell later on he probably just wanted to see how strong these androids were. I am surprised Piccolo didn't go do it though.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Zanza » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:07 pm

VegettoEX wrote:I enjoy the Cell precisely because of how all over the place it goes. I love seeing the author forced to change his mind based on both external influence and personal preference. That it holds together at all is a miracle and testament to his talent.

It also sports some of my favorite art in the series with fantastic spreads and attention to detail.

I found the straight-forwardness of the ultimate villains (post-Gero) somewhat refreshing. The nonchalant "Well, this is what we're here for, so let's just go ahead and do it!" of 17 & 18 is delightful. Cell is just different enough from Freeza to still be enjoyable; he's not condescending like Freeza, but he retains that arrogance. He never has ulterior motives; what you see is what you get. He's sneaky at times, but it's for that one goal of becoming perfect.

The Freeza arc bores me with how obvious the build-up is, where it's heading, and how it HAS TO ultimately come to a conclusion the exact way that it did. The Cell arc doesn't do that; we get enough twists (even if they're minor, like Goku dying in the process) that them building up Gohan as the hero doesn't make me roll my eyes the same way "Well duh of course Goku's going to become a Super Saiyan and win" does for its respective arc.

So no. I disagree with your premise entirely. I like the arc, I don't think the characters are acting as out-of-character (even Gohan) as you imply, etc. I simultaneously don't disagree at all that the Buu arc knows how to have fun with itself. I like them both for different reasons, and I see no particular reason to have to rank them accordingly (and then back in comparison to prior arcs) and decide if it "should have" ended there.
The Freeza arc may have been more predictable, but it was a much more coherently written story than the Cell arc. Jumping all over the place like it did made it seem like a bunch of ideas for a story instead of an actual story. For the Freeza arc, there was proper build-up, a flowing story, and characters stayed true to themselves instead of acting out of character just to force in some half-assed drama.

Don't even get me started on plot holes and asspulls. True, the Freeze arc had Zenkais as a major culprit of "ass-pull syndrome", but that's about it. The Cell arc had the RoSaT, Gero's very existance, Gohan suddenly being the hero despite not doing anything before for the entire saga, etc.
You want plot holes? Cell surviving his head getting blown off when he shouldn't have, Future Bulma not telling Trunks the location of Gero's lab, and a bunch of other plot holes relating to the whole time travel gimmick.

Just because the Cell arc was more unpredictable doesn't mean it's better than the Freeza arc. Especially considering that the "unpredictability" came from sloppy writing.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:09 pm

Zanza wrote:Just because the Cell arc was more unpredictable doesn't mean it's better than the Freeza arc.
I never said that was the sole reason. You seem to want to harp on that, but I mentioned several other things that I liked. I'd love to talk more about that if you're interested. I'm fully capable of explaining why I like things, and may even like things in spite of what I acknowledge and concede as "flaws". I'm not, however, interested in an expletive-filled response that outright dismisses my opinions.

I'm glad you have parts of the series you like. I'm really glad I have parts of the series I like. It's super awesome when fans overlap, but it's also super OK when they don't. It's great that there's not necessarily a giant hivemind in fandom. That would make for really boring conversations ("You like that? Me, too. Cool. So anyway. Umm.").
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Doctor. » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:13 pm

VegettoEX wrote:Well, I mean the Super Saiyan 2 Gohan full-page is amazeballs.
Oh yea, that's fantastic. Always loved how the shading is done for the clothes when the SS aura is up.
funrush wrote:What plot holes does this arc have?
This is always a touchy subject because the definition of a plot hole is never clear cut. You can stretch it so much that any little contradiction becomes a plot hole or you can narrow it down that nothing is a plot hole, because you can always find an excuse for everything. Nevertheless, what I personally consider a plot hole, is when an event contradicts previously established information and it can't be explained with information that the series gives us.

So, Cell saying he could only regenerate due to the lump in his head, when he regenerated his upper body back when Goku used the Kamehameha against him. You can say "oh, the lump survived the Kamehameha because it's extra resistant" or something, but I think that's just making up excuses the series doesn't bother to give you. There's also another case of Cell not knowing about Piccolo's regenerating when he has been shown to know the techniques of the dragon team members and has their memories. Trunks also straight-up says that the androids of his future are #19 and #20 when talking with Goku.

There are also a bunch of sketchy stuff like Bulma not telling Trunks about Gero's lab or Mr. Popo not telling everyone about the RoSaT but those are more easily explainable, like Bulma only knowing about Gero in the present timeline because Trunks came to the past and distorted stuff and Mr. Popo could be dead in the future timeline.

There are probably more, but those are the ones I can remember at the moment.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by fadeddreams5 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:18 pm

Gohan was not OOC. I'm sick of reading that.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Zanza » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:24 pm

VegettoEX wrote:
Zanza wrote:Just because the Cell arc was more unpredictable doesn't mean it's better than the Freeza arc.
I never said that was the sole reason. You seem to want to harp on that, but I mentioned several other things that I liked. I'd love to talk more about that if you're interested. I'm fully capable of explaining why I like things, and may even like things in spite of what I acknowledge and concede as "flaws". I'm not, however, interested in an expletive-filled response that outright dismisses my opinions.

I'm glad you have parts of the series you like. I'm really glad I have parts of the series I like. It's super awesome when fans overlap, but it's also super OK when they don't. It's great that there's not necessarily a giant hivemind in fandom. That would make for really boring conversations ("You like that? Me, too. Cool. So anyway. Umm.").
I apologize, then. Yeah, I did focus on that aspect of your stance too much, but I guess that's because it stood out to me the most. The Cell arc is known for its unpredictability, both positively and negatively, so that particular topic caught my interest amongst your post. Still, it was stupid of me to ignore your other reasonings.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:37 pm

Any sufficiently long-running franchise has people saying that it was "ruined forever" by one or another thing. The Transformers wiki has a funny article on that kind of thing:

http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Ruined_FOREVER
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:44 pm

I consider the Buu Arc to be the most enjoyable out of the original 42 volumes, so no, I don't think the arc right before it marked its "downfall."

It may be a bit sloppy, but it's fun, dammit. I mentioned this in another thread:
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And the Buu Arc is overflowing with DB charm.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by VintageSaiyan » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:48 pm

fadeddreams5 wrote:Gohan was not OOC. I'm sick of reading that.
I'm not familiar with this? I thought he was pretty in character through the whole arc.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Doctor. » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:58 pm

VintageSaiyan wrote:
fadeddreams5 wrote:Gohan was not OOC. I'm sick of reading that.
I'm not familiar with this? I thought he was pretty in character through the whole arc.
The complaint comes from Gohan's behavior in the Cell Games. The people who take this position say that he has never presented himself as an individual who was against fighting and killing evil beings like Cell, so he's acting out of character when the story suddenly portrays himself in such a way.

I think it's nonsensical to affirm he was out of character, personally.

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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by Zanza » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:03 pm

VintageSaiyan wrote:
fadeddreams5 wrote:Gohan was not OOC. I'm sick of reading that.
I'm not familiar with this? I thought he was pretty in character through the whole arc.
I'll try to explain the best I can without shoving my thoughts in:

During SSJ Gohan vs Cell, Gohan didn't even try to fight back. Despite the horrible things Cell did, Gohan was reluctant to attack. He proceeds to tell Cell that their fight was "meaningless", that he doesn't want to kill Cell, and insists that he just give up. Then when Cell uses his Cell Jrs. to attack the others, Gohan simply stands there and watches his friends get mercilessly beat down.

Compare this to the Gohan in the Namek arc. He never hesitated to fight if someone's life was in danger, and had zero qualms with killing those Freeza soldiers who destroyed their ship.

That's what people refer to when talking about his OOCness.
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Re: Did the Android arc mark the downfall of Dragon Ball?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:12 pm

And I'd counter that with Gohan has gone through A LOT of growth since then, and as a part of the adolescence process he's going through, he's free to change his mind about the way he acts and what his values are. He was still just "a kid" on Namek, and while he's still a tween at best, he's seen some shit. He's making a stand, and good for him on that. He's seen what happens to himself when anger takes control, and he was right - look at the way he acts when he turns Super Saiyan 2. It's exactly what he's saying he's afraid of becoming.

A character changing their mind and acting differently does not inherently mean "out-of-character". If all characters acted exactly the same way for their entire existence, they'd be real damn boring.

I've changed my mind about a lot of stuff over the course of my life so far, and I'm sure I'll change my mind even more about some of that. I act a lot differently than I would have theoretically done and outright did physically act in prior, similar circumstances. That's being human. Gohan's part human!
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