Gohan's Development

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Gohan's Development

Post by HourglassIndigo » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:53 pm

Okay, before you brush this off as another thread complaining about Gohan in Super hear me out. I'm actually okay with what toriyama did to him. While I feel like he had potential to still be a great fighter, I'm not dissappointed that he quit fighting. It makes sense, because throughout Z, Gohan never wanted to fight. He only ever fought when it was necessary. He wanted to study, not fight. People seem to forget that. In Super, he's done with fighting. But when Frieza shows up, he participates in the battle (despite being defeated). I hope I don't piss any Gohan fans off, but it seems that they sometimes overestimate Gohan and forget who he is. While some choices I don't agree with, a good bit of them make sense. Sorry if you guys don't like Gohan threads, I just wanted to talk about this.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by ekrolo2 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:00 pm

Gohan's whole "journey into a fighter" is basically a headcannon created by the hype of his initial performance against Cell. Everyones loves to cite the whole Android & Cell Saga as Gohan taking over for his dad but he does precisely fuck and all during that whole arc!

Seriously, go back and read it, he literally does nothing throughout that entire arc and even against Cell its not what people are thinking. Goku doesn't throw him at Cell to see if he's ready to become a true fighter or protector, he's just another body being thrown at Cell that'll hopefully get rid of him. He's literally more than a conveniently powerful pawn in Goku's scheme.

Gohan's recent situation makes sense for him and no amount of people subscribing to weird headcannons is going to change that. This might be easier for me to say since I'm not particularly a fan of his but those are my two cents on the subject.
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Hero » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:24 pm

ekrolo2 wrote:Gohan's whole "journey into a fighter" is basically a headcannon created by the hype of his initial performance against Cell. Everyones loves to cite the whole Android & Cell Saga as Gohan taking over for his dad but he does precisely fuck and all during that whole arc!

Seriously, go back and read it, he literally does nothing throughout that entire arc and even against Cell its not what people are thinking. Goku doesn't throw him at Cell to see if he's ready to become a true fighter or protector, he's just another body being thrown at Cell that'll hopefully get rid of him. He's literally more than a conveniently powerful pawn in Goku's scheme.

Gohan's recent situation makes sense for him and no amount of people subscribing to weird headcannons is going to change that. This might be easier for me to say since I'm not particularly a fan of his but those are my two cents on the subject.
Cell Games SSJ2 Gohan is actually my favorite character in all of fiction and I love Mystic Gohan, but I agree that Gohan never was a fighter at heart and him focusing on his family and work makes sense with him.

The only problem is... make it matter! Take DB Online for example where he writes a book that teaches everyone on Earth how to control ki and gets everyone into martial arts. Gohan didn't even raise a fist yet changed the world more than Goku ever could. That is how you use Gohan well. In Super we get Gohan doing some unspecified major or work... we're never given a reason to care and that's why it's so boring and infuriating.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by HourglassIndigo » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:30 pm

Hero wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:Gohan's whole "journey into a fighter" is basically a headcannon created by the hype of his initial performance against Cell. Everyones loves to cite the whole Android & Cell Saga as Gohan taking over for his dad but he does precisely fuck and all during that whole arc!

Seriously, go back and read it, he literally does nothing throughout that entire arc and even against Cell its not what people are thinking. Goku doesn't throw him at Cell to see if he's ready to become a true fighter or protector, he's just another body being thrown at Cell that'll hopefully get rid of him. He's literally more than a conveniently powerful pawn in Goku's scheme.

Gohan's recent situation makes sense for him and no amount of people subscribing to weird headcannons is going to change that. This might be easier for me to say since I'm not particularly a fan of his but those are my two cents on the subject.
Cell Games SSJ2 Gohan is actually my favorite character in all of fiction and I love Mystic Gohan, but I agree that Gohan never was a fighter at heart and him focusing on his family and work makes sense with him.

The only problem is... make it matter! Take DB Online for example where he writes a book that teaches everyone on Earth how to control ki and gets everyone into martial arts. Gohan didn't even raise a fist yet changed the world more than Goku ever could. That is how you use Gohan well. In Super we get Gohan doing some unspecified major or work... we're never given a reason to care and that's why it's so boring and infuriating.
I totally agree, if Super implemented that idea, I think it'd be amazing.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Lord Beerus » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:41 pm

ekrolo2 hit the nail right on the damn head. SSJ2 Cell Games Gohan painted a horrible, warped image in the idea of the western fanbase that Gohan's true character was that incarnation during the Android/Cell arc. Not even taking into consideration that he was out of character during that moment. Gohan is not a fighter, no matter how hard some fanbase may push the image that he is. He was a just a boy a with a crapload of power that let loose when the time was needed. And when it wasn't needed, he studied so that he could have a future and eventually family and provide for them. That's it.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by MediaFanGirl93 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:46 pm

I understand your concern.

Coming from a huge Gohan fan, the recent threads about his development are becoming very annoying. I understand that the way Gohan is portrayed in recent movies and stuff is what fans don't like, but what's the point of complaining over stuff we have no say in. I've even seen some recent Chi-Chi threads and it's annoying, and I even like her as a character as well.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by fadeddreams5 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:29 pm

He wanted to study, not fight. People seem to forget that.
Nobody forgets this. It just so happens that this is a series about fighting and Gohan used to fight at will. He may have not liked it (he sort of did when it didn't involve killing), but he still did it because he had to protect his loved ones. More importantly, he displayed a hidden power that closed the gap between himself and any of his adversaries. The Android saga may have failed to develop his character properly, but the SSJ2 (which wasn't "SSJ2" at this point in the story) transformation was something every fan expected to happen at one point in the series.

People claim the Cell Games created a warped image of Gohan in the eyes of fans. Well, I disagree. It was the Buu saga that did this. It was the Buu saga that coined "SSJ2" and stripped the uniqueness out of that transformation. It was the Buu saga that began this pattern of Gohan not training. It was the Buu saga that introduced child prodigies who can become SSJ, making Kid Gohan less special as a result. People have become incredibly apologetic over the character's current status because of something that began in this saga. Had the Buu saga never existed, nobody would claim "Gohan never liked to fight! If DBZ continued, he'd be a scholar who stopped training!" Not at all. I, for one, would have expected him to continue both his training and studying. His father died--indirectly because of him. This should have been an incentive to take over; not because he likes fighting, but because, as the saying goes, "with great power comes greater responsibility."
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:55 pm

fadeddreams5 wrote:People claim the Cell Games created a warped image of Gohan in the eyes of fans. Well, I disagree. It was the Buu saga that did this. It was the Buu saga that coined "SSJ2" and stripped the uniqueness out of that transformation. It was the Buu saga that began this pattern of Gohan not training. It was the Buu saga that introduced child prodigies who can become SSJ, making Kid Gohan less special as a result. People have become incredibly apologetic over the character's current status because of something that began in this saga. Had the Buu saga never existed, nobody would claim "Gohan never liked to fight! If DBZ continued, he'd be a scholar who stopped training!" Not at all. I, for one, would have expected him to continue both his training and studying. His father died--indirectly because of him. This should have been an incentive to take over; not because he likes fighting, but because, as the saying goes, "with great power comes greater responsibility."
That's...still basically people taking how Gohan was in one arc, the Cell arc, and assuming that's the only way for the character to be going forward though. The Boo saga, whether someone likes it or not, does exist, and in the original manga no less, so it definitely 'counts' going forward. If someone wants to say the series ends at the Cell arc for them, then fine, it ends there - why any such person would then feel the urge to look at the newer material coming out at all, I'll never understand, but stopping wherever someone wants in a series is certainly their choice.

People can have all the problems with Gohan's current status they want, but unfortunately people always seem to criticize specifically this new era of material, despite the fact that it had already started happening in the original series. Gohan spent two whole arcs getting built up before he finally got to be the big heroic lead, and then he sat out a pretty good chunk of the major fights in the following arc, and still didn't end up getting to close it out (despite getting another free power hand out to become the strongest). For all anyone realistically knows, he could end up getting to do something down the line in Super. The way most people act though, if he does, I suspect people will then just switch to griping about it 'taking too long' or 'still not being enough'.

And as I've said before, even if he doesn't get to do something else 'fighting relevant'? Then that's fine, at least for me. The series may be predominantly about fighting, but fighting should not be the only measure of a character's worth. Tons of people still like Bulma, she doesn't fight. People like Kaio-sama, and despite being a fighter, we never actually see him fight. Why should the other main fighting characters only be measured by their fights either?
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by fadeddreams5 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:11 pm

The series may be predominantly about fighting, but fighting should not be the only measure of a character's worth.
It is when the character was established to have more potential in that aspect than anyone else in the story, and was the strongest in two different sagas. There's this certain side people want to see from Gohan because it was already there, yet they've stripped him of it for no good reason besides wanting to make Goku and Vegeta special.
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by dbzfan7 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:15 pm

His development went from scared child dependant on daddy, to reluctant fighter who fought for his fallen friends, to suddenly more reluctant to fight for what's right but independently capable, to becoming his own man at a price, to learning nothing from his previous mistakes, and then ending right back where he started as incapable and completely reliant on daddy like a child again. So he came full circle in a pretty shit way by ending off near right back where he started. Gotta agree with a past comment that most people who don't particularly care about the regression either don't care about Gohan, or didn't like him period.

His story is that of wasted potential, but so is literally every character who's had potential ever. Goten, Trunks, Oob, Boo, pretty much anyone with potential was tossed aside. Though really anyone not named Goku is essentially tossed aside. That will include Vegeta, Beerus, Whis, and anyone else eventually. Just takes time til they aren't appealing, and then as worthless as used condoms.
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Lord Beerus » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:24 pm

fadeddreams5 wrote:People claim the Cell Games created a warped image of Gohan in the eyes of fans. Well, I disagree. It was the Buu saga that did this. It was the Buu saga that coined "SSJ2" and stripped the uniqueness out of that transformation. It was the Buu saga that began this pattern of Gohan not training. It was the Buu saga that introduced child prodigies who can become SSJ, making Kid Gohan less special as a result. People have become incredibly apologetic over the character's current status because of something that began in this saga. Had the Buu saga never existed, nobody would claim "Gohan never liked to fight! If DBZ continued, he'd be a scholar who stopped training!" Not at all. I, for one, would have expected him to continue both his training and studying. His father died--indirectly because of him. This should have been an incentive to take over; not because he likes fighting, but because, as the saying goes, "with great power comes greater responsibility."
That's not the case though. Remember the period right after the Freeza arc where Goku was still in space and everybody else on Earth? During the year when everyone was on Earth, Gohan did not train at all. Hell, he's literally show with his head in a book and prior to that mentioned he didn't do his homework. So the whole "Gohan prefers to study than train and fight" trait was a part of Gohan's personality way before the Majin Boo arc really brought up the character trait in more detail.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by fadeddreams5 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:56 pm

Lord Beerus wrote:
fadeddreams5 wrote:People claim the Cell Games created a warped image of Gohan in the eyes of fans. Well, I disagree. It was the Buu saga that did this. It was the Buu saga that coined "SSJ2" and stripped the uniqueness out of that transformation. It was the Buu saga that began this pattern of Gohan not training. It was the Buu saga that introduced child prodigies who can become SSJ, making Kid Gohan less special as a result. People have become incredibly apologetic over the character's current status because of something that began in this saga. Had the Buu saga never existed, nobody would claim "Gohan never liked to fight! If DBZ continued, he'd be a scholar who stopped training!" Not at all. I, for one, would have expected him to continue both his training and studying. His father died--indirectly because of him. This should have been an incentive to take over; not because he likes fighting, but because, as the saying goes, "with great power comes greater responsibility."
That's not the case though. Remember the period right after the Freeza arc where Goku was still in space and everybody else on Earth? During the year when everyone was on Earth, Gohan did not train at all. Hell, he's literally show with his head in a book and prior to that mentioned he didn't do his homework. So the whole "Gohan prefers to study than train and fight" trait was a part of Gohan's personality way before the Majin Boo arc really brought up the character trait in more detail.
Let me rephrase: the Buu saga was the one that first established Gohan getting weaker from not training. Not even Krillin suffers from this.

My point being, if the Buu saga wasn't in the picture and DBZ ended after the Cell Games, fans wouldn't have expected or wanted any new saga featuring a weaker Gohan that doesn't train, let alone what we've gotten in Super and GT. Yet, because we have, people are quick to defend that direction of the character, which is just bad, no matter which way you look at it.
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by 90sDBZ » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:10 pm

The problem a lot of people have isn't that he lacks a passion for fighting. That's acceptable enough. I think the real problem with him post-Buu saga is that his development seems to have been contradicted. After he nearly got killed by Fat Buu he seemed to take his defeat really seriously and actually started to take his training seriously again with the Z-Sword. It seemed clear that he felt a great sense of regret at having let the Earth down, and was determined to make things right. This was further shown during his beating from Buutenks, were Buu's taunting about his failure really seemed to hit a raw nerve.

To me, Gohan doesn't need to be a battlehungry maniac or anything, but he should at least be prepared in case shit hits the fan again. His sense of responsibility for the Earth seems to have gone out the window. At least after Cell he had the excuse that he didn't think any bad guy stronger than him could exist. After Buu proved that theory wrong he should have stayed on top of his training. Some might make the excuse that having Goku around again has allowed Gohan to make himself redundant as a fighter, but he should still be smart enough to know that his father isn't invincible.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by zDBZ » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:47 pm

Disclaimer: Gohan is my favourite character.

I would agree with the OP in the sense that I wasn't disappointed with Gohan's lack of training...in the Buu saga.

That Gohan doesn't enjoy fighting/training for its own sake, unlike his father (and brother...and all the other saiyans we meet) is one of the things I like about his character. And the fact that he didn't stay in shape after the Cell Games cost him a fair bit of strength is something I like about the early-to-mid Buu saga. It offers a bit of fun at Gohan's expense at first, but eventually, his lack of training is shown to have real consequences, pointed out by both Vegeta and Goku, and Gohan has to deal with the weight of those consequences when he fails to stop Buu's release. There's an arc going on here, one that finds its resolution when, between working at the Z sword and receiving Old Kai's unlock, Gohan makes up for his sloth and returns to save the day.

...And then all that gets tossed out the window, because God forbid anyone but Goku secure the kill.

I have not seen "Super" yet, but I've been fairly well spoiled on what happens. To me, it sounds like a re-tread of Gohan's Buu arc, with less logic (how does he lose so much more power in four years than he did in seven?) and little reason to think he'll have a more meaningful payoff this time.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by trick007z » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:08 pm

I think people neglect to remember that Gohan's journey is different from Goku's. Goku wanted to fight. He initiated his own training. He always had a desire to get stronger and be the best. That was his defining character trait.

Gohan was swept up in it. His experience with Martial Arts is getting kidnapped by his uncle. Watching his father die. Being kidnapped by a demon and cut off from his family. Watching all his friends get slaughtered. Going to try to bring them back only to get caught up in a planet wide genocide. Not training for a period of time after that. Being confronted with an apocalyptic future where he needed to train. Finally being forced to in a complete nightmare scenario, where he again watches his dad die, and loses complete control of his emotions and identity. He never once expressed a desire to be a hero or a savior.

Gohan always was a character who fought because he had to, not because he wanted to.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by SingleFringe&Sparks » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:10 pm

I accept that Gohan isn't a fighter. Why should we all just assume that a character can only be valued by a single trait that superficially entertains us. I like DB more so for what qualities characters represent about their growth and reliability to their goals, but I get that Shounen doesn't have room for characters like Gohan if that's the standard, but I don't just assume that all the Saiyan characters have to be a mini Goku army. Its better on Toriyama to give them all different ways of utilizing or exploring the power they get to fit their own motivations, though this seems to be downplayed now from the flanderization and saturation of the Form's original attributes. Gohan (and Broly) was the only one to show himself actually affected by it as a double-edged ascension that added a new dimension of their warrior motif, but it shouldn't have had to be always skewed to a literal representation. Goku's SS form was bathed in so much philosophical weight when he announced it and Vegeta contrasted him perfectly while Gohan was in between. It was only by Trunk's and the generation after it where the forms just became a coming of age thing used for "justice" and "Protecting my friends" that completely undermined it and then Mystic Gohan cemented it from how the fans interpret shallow, superficialized power ups today.
Last edited by SingleFringe&Sparks on Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Lunatic Fringe » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:27 pm

I think the extremes of people who want Gohan to be nothing more than an angtsy ball of rage have been properly called out enough as it is but there's another extreme that I think rarely gets discussed about and that's the insistence that Gohan should'nt be fleshed out beyond being nothing but a nerd that studies just because he's not as battle crazy as his Dad it, no matter how empty any of his pursuits are and how little relevance to the story they actually do. Like, I don't think it's a sin for him to take into consideration his own shortcomings on the battlefield if he feels like it gets in the way of protecting his friends and family and want to do something about rectifying his self-defined failures. There's plenty of room for studying, too, but I don't think that anything he's really done on the studious side of things really warrants this call for action for him to never don a gi ever again just because he's a geek. I mean, seriously, what missed opportunities are there for his studious underatking as presented by the series as of now? His vague occupation? The lack of relevance his smarts actually do? I mean, if he were working side by side with Bulma for the sake of working on inventions or something, that'd be one thing but...we don't even get that or anything similar.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by SingleFringe&Sparks » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:53 pm

Lord Beerus wrote:ekrolo2 hit the nail right on the damn head. SSJ2 Cell Games Gohan painted a horrible, warped image in the idea of the western fanbase that Gohan's true character was that incarnation during the Android/Cell arc. Not even taking into consideration that he was out of character during that moment. Gohan is not a fighter, no matter how hard some fanbase may push the image that he is. He was a just a boy a with a crapload of power that let loose when the time was needed. And when it wasn't needed, he studied so that he could have a future and eventually family and provide for them. That's it.
I think its more about the western fanbase not understanding the purpose of how Gohan being out of character was a highlight of his overall development. Everyone seems to forget the quotes Gohan made about fearing he'd lose control and go too far, only then proving it by wanting to see cell "suffer more" and how he wanted him to "die by his hand." Gohan going SS2 was not him "awakening into a true hero." It was him giving into the side of him he feared. Though the dub took that part of his character development out and made it seem that way in the headcanon of what the fans of his character insist. The idea that Gohan was supposed to be the one to take on the "mantle" is something parroted so much and argued in the wrong context, it glosses over what actually happened in that fight. If we take the consistent of what SS forms did to Goku and how Vegeta described its effects, then Gohan shouldn't have been seen so drastically different.
Last edited by SingleFringe&Sparks on Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Zephyr wrote:The fandom's collective fetishizing of "moments" is also ridiculous to me. No, not everyone needs a fucking "shine" moment. If that's all you want, then all you want is fanservice, rather than an actual coherent story. And of course those aren't mutually exclusive; you could have a coherent story with "shine" moments! But if a story is perfectly coherent (and I'm really not seeing any compelling arguments that this one is anything but, despite constantly recurring, really poorly reasoned, attempts to argue otherwise), and you're bemoaning the lack of "shine" moments as a reason for the story's poor quality, then you're letting your thirst for "shine" moments obfuscate your ability to detect basic storytelling when it's right in front of you.

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Re: Gohan's Development

Post by Sun Wukong » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:11 pm

I don't mind he quit fighting. But at the very least he should have maintained his strength from the buu saga. Its like he didn't learn anything from his mistake from slacking off for 7 years straight. Even if he didn't get any stronger but stayed stagnant for 2 years I think it would have been the best of both worlds (ChiChi & Bulma's influence along w/ Piccolo & Goku's influence). I know he would have still lost to Freeza but at the very least he would have been able to put up more of a fight & go down gracefully.
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