Is Goku a superhero?

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rereboy
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by rereboy » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:24 am

ABED wrote:Goku isn't a superhero, but there's an implication that because he's not actively looking to help people that the strangers he encounters and helps taints his heroism.

Even superheroes don't always fight for others as much as an ideal - justice.
What superheroes feel and defines them is more correctly illustrated in uncle ben's words: with great power comes great responsibility.

They all feel the responsibility to help, to use their skills in stopping bad things. And that's why they actively search for bad things to stop.

Goku doesn't feel that responsibility.

And yeah, from a realistic point of view, it does taint his heroism a bit because he could easily do much more but Dragon Ball isn't meant to be viewed from a realistic point of view.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:37 am

rereboy wrote:And yeah, from a realistic point of view, it does taint his heroism a bit because he could easily do much more but Dragon Ball isn't meant to be viewed from a realistic point of view.
Where I disagree with this is that NEITHER is the superhero genre meant to be seen from a "realistic" point of view. If you were to take superheroes and paint them through a lens of utter realism, you'd get Watchmen: where they're ANYTHING but "heroic" or "good" and are more just profoundly screwed up people with DEEP psychological issues who project all their inner demons out onto the rest of the world under the guise of "altruism", when in reality they're just authoritarians (which are anything but "moral").

Both Wuxia and superheroes are meant to be seen within their own self-contained fantasy prisms. And within those prisms, they have their own, EXCEEDINGLY different (both between themselves, and between ficiton and reality), ideals of "good" and "heroism" or "right and wrong".

In the Marvel or DC universe, Goku would be a shitty superhero because he doesn't give fuck one about actively looking out for helping others, unless a situation to do so falls almost literally right into his lap (and it doesn't get in the way of distracting him from his current opponent if he's in a fight). Conversely within his own daffy, loopy, Dr. Slump-esque little Wuxia-land, Goku is the model of heroism, because he fights and grows as a martial artist with the most honor and the "purest" sense of "fair competition".
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by rereboy » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:42 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Where I disagree with this is that NEITHER is the superhero genre meant to be seen from a "realistic" point of view.
Sure, neither is meant to be viewed in a completely realistic point of view, but superheroes/comics are meant to be viewed, generally, in a more realistic point of view (especially more recently) than Dragon Ball. They all have irrealistic things and we can't exactly take it seriously but its connection with the actual, real world and the issues that exist in it is far more evident and stronger than it is in Dragon Ball.

But, of course, this degree of connection also depends greatly on the comic/superhero in question.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:07 pm

rereboy wrote:
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Where I disagree with this is that NEITHER is the superhero genre meant to be seen from a "realistic" point of view.
Sure, neither is meant to be viewed in a completely realistic point of view, but superheroes/comics are meant to be viewed, generally, in a more realistic point of view (especially more recently) than Dragon Ball. They all have irrealistic things and we can't exactly take it seriously but its connection with the actual, real world and the issues that exist in it is far more evident and stronger than it is in Dragon Ball.

But, of course, this degree of connection also depends greatly on the comic/superhero in question.
Even in the most *ahem*, "realistic" examples, superheroes are VERY much divorced from reality. Its especially ironic (and kinda sad) that Batman is STILL somehow seen as the epitome of "superheroes as realistic" because in the real world he'd be seen as the EXACT antithesis of heroism. He's an utter whackjob with a roadmap of psychological scars and a history of child abuse and god only knows what kinds of beyond fucked up sexual hangups.

Again, this is the monkey wrench that Watchmen (historically) threw into the ENTIRE superhero genre back in the day and that its been seen as "needing to recover from" by comics fans ever since (who've stopped looking to Watchmen and examples like it as "validating" their genre with adult themes since about 15 years ago or therabouts and instead see it much more as having "ruined the power fantasy" for them).

The entire core premise of the superhero (taking the law into one's own hands because "you're special") is STEEPED to its utmost core in fascism and ragingly out of control id/ego. Its own ideals of morality, when applied under a real world lens, reveals it as fundamentally broken to its core. Where it diverges WAY more sharply from from reality than even the superpowers or space aliens or what have you, is in the degree to which it bends and twists its own logic out of shape as a means to escape from that glaring, core truth to the base-most concept.

The idea that a raving psycho like Bruce Wayne is actually a "noble hero" is WAY more of a fantastical leap to make than even the most sci fi of his gadgets and more disconnected from reality than Ra's al Ghul and his reanimating Lazarus Pits. No matter how well written the Batman story (and there are indeed some DAMNED excellently written Batman stories out there without a doubt) that contort themselves into whatever pretzel-like knots of justifications for him, in the real world Bruce Wayne would be seen, very much correctly, as every bit the dangerous nutcase as his Arkham-dwelling rogues gallery is.

But again, Batman DOESN'T exist in reality: he's a fictional character, from a series of stories that are every bit as fantasy-driven and absurd as Lord of the Rings or Journey to the West or Mother Goose. His universe only uses the surface-level artifice of "reality" as exactly that: surface level artifice. And because he's a fictional creation living in a fictional world, we're spared the burden often of having to deal with the "real world" ramifications that the core nature of his character creates. Hence the whole pesky definition of the word "escapism".

Mythical martial arts ficiton/wuxia and superhero fiction may have a WHOLE lot of differences that starkly separate them, but in no way shape or form is one anymore closer to reality than the other. Dragon Ball's world is simply more outwardly whimsical in its tone about its absurdity than is Batman's, which is more brooding and gothic about it. And there's NOTHING wrong or more inherently superior about either: its just "tomayto tomahto".

There's only one superhero story* that's in ANY way connected to reality in any meaningful sense, and that's Watchmen: which is a large part of the reason why it "broke" the genre the way that it did in the first place.

*On the other hand though there's also X-Men, which has a LOT of reality-based ideas that are baked much more deeply into its central-most themes and premise in ways that vastly differentiates itself from the entire rest of the superhero genre in really unique and awesome ways, but that's neither here nor there.
http://80s90sdragonballart.tumblr.com/

Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by rereboy » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:51 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
There's only one superhero story that's in ANY way connected to reality in any meaningful sense,
Er... Sorry, but I'm going to completely disagree.

Pretty much all Superheroes tackle real issues at one point or another, usually under the form of moral issues. Those clearly relate to our reality, even if the context for them is different, and are, therefore, meaningful.

Spider-man, for example, in just a few issues, tackles the relation between power and responsibility and the consequences of denying that responsibility, which can be extrapolated to a multitude of situations, and is a clear meaningful moral issue for even the real world.

Even with issues that don't require much of change of context, like cancer and drugs, we've seen Captain Marvel die of cancer, we've seen Green Arrow dealing with his sidekick's addiction to drugs and many more.

Dragon Ball clearly shies away from reality and real issues, even moral ones, much more than Superheroes usually do. Therefore, the point of view that they require is usually more realistic.

As for hiper-realistic Superhero comics that, due to their nature, tackle real life issues, Watchmen is clearly not the only one in existence. You might consider it to be more meaningful than others due to how deep it is and how much quality it has, but it's not the only one that has any meaningful relation with reality or the only one that is hiper-realistic.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by ABED » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:58 pm

He's an utter whackjob with a roadmap of psychological scars and a history of child abuse and god only knows what kinds of beyond fucked up sexual hangups.
Wait, what!? When was Bruce abused as a child?

Regarding comics and real world issues, even fantasies can tackle real world issues even if they don't have an answer.
it does taint his heroism a bit because he could easily do much more but Dragon Ball isn't meant to be viewed from a realistic point of view.
It truly depends on your view about what constitutes heroism.
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:11 pm

ABED wrote:Wait, what!? When was Bruce abused as a child?
Everything, and I mean everything about the "Robin" concept, when applied fully to the real world, would by almost ANYONE'S sane definition constitute as child abuse of if not the highest possible order then damn close to it.

Again, don't misunderstand me: I like Batman as a general fictional character (certainly in a great many of his comics and a few other pieces of media) just fine for exactly what he is (a gothic/urban fantasy figure) but if you really, and I mean TRULY applied full throttle real world logic to the character, Bruce Wayne is an utter monster of a human being. He's not within the context/confines of his own stories, because his stories are set in a high concept fantasy world (that only resembles our own) of monolithic "dark-deco" gargoyle statues and government facilities that resemble medieval dungeons more than anything else, all ramped up like 40s pulp noir on steroids.

But if you ripped Bruce Wayne out of the comic pages and thrust him into "our" really real world, he's a SUPER rich guy who suffered a considerable traumatic experience as a kid and spent his entire life since then silently obsessing and obsessing and obsessing about it until he finally cracked and decided to "cope" with it in the most over elaborately psychopathic way imaginable: dressing up in a giant bat costume, using his vast fortune to buy himself a ton of high grade weaponry, teach himself ninjitsu, and use those skills and arsenal to stalk the streets and back alleys of the worst ghettos at night and beat the dogshit out of junkies and muggers (the same kinds who traumatized him as a child) going above and around the law (with the help of one renegade cop who would SURELY be thrown in jail for being an accomplice to this psycho), rather than oh I dunno... simply pouring his vast fortune into helping to cleanse law enforcement and politics of corruption like any sane, rational thinking person would, and being a genuine philanthropist and force for change at both a ground and high level.

Oh and along the way, roping in not one, not two, and no longer three, but now FOUR pre-pubescent little boys into immediate danger by accompanying him on these late-night excursions into dangerous, gun-filled, gangland areas.

Again, within the confines of these stories, this is all PERFECTLY sane and rational, because this is also a world that includes a poisonous plant lady, a guy stuck in a high tech freezing suit, a birdman in a tux, a woman who is a "cat burglar" in the most absurdly LITERAL sense of the phrase imaginable, a 500 year old man kept alive as a relatively youthful dude by ancient mystical chemicals buried hundreds of feet beneath the earth (and who leads a secret ninja army to boot), a criminal mastermind who dresses like a Lucha Libre and is addicted to super steroids that make him inhumanly strong, a guy dressed as an actual scarecrow and is armed with "fear gas", a guy who dresses in a suit made of goddamn question marks and leaves riddles everywhere, a guy who mesmerizes people with a top hat and thinks he's a fairy tale character from a Lewis Carroll book, an alligator man living in the sewers, a literal mutant Man-Bat, and of course a guy dressed as a fucking circus clown - and his gal Friday - who are both responsible for more unspeakably brutal homicides than anyone on the planet and yet who are STILL able to constantly walk around a free man & woman, rather than stuck in a maximum security cell until their dying breaths or they stick the needle in their arms.

CLEARLY this is a fucking comic book/super noir fantasy world, so you roll with all this ludicrousness just fine and dandy. It all works on its own fictionalized terms, in a very Robin Hood by way of 40s Pulp Noir (with a whole lotta potent hallucinogens thrown in) sort of way. But again, pretend for a moment (if you can) that Batman WAS NEVER so deeply ingrained into your psyche as a pop cultural icon since your earliest toddler years. You didn't grow up with this guy as your standard-bearer of masculine vitality and selfless heroism or whatever else have you as depicted in countless movies, cartoons, comics, etc.

Pretend that this is just a REALLY rich dude in real life who used all his money to dress in a great big bat costume and who went around at night taking the law into his own hands by beating up hoods and crackheads in back alleys with his fists and an arsenal of tasers, throwing knives, and ropes. While on top of all that dragging a SMALL CHILD into the fray with him night after night.

Particularly slimy and grotesque being the MEANS in which he's roped in this kid to this nightly act of lunacy: adopting him, and while acting as a parental-like figure consoling him at what is easily the single most vulnerable point in his entire short existence (reeling from the violent death of his family: thinking specifically of either Dick Grayson or Jason Todd here), and using THAT as a means to "mold" this emotionally devastated little boy into becoming his criminal accomplice (because Batman in real life WOULD BE a fucking criminal, and a particularly insane/unstable one at that: The End, no room for discussion), thus putting him in direct harm's way on a regular basis.

If your first immediate visceral response somehow ISN'T "this guy belongs in a padded cell on a ton of meds for the rest of his goddamned life for endangering and ruining god only knows how many people's lives", you probably belong in the next cell over right beside him. Lets not even go into the race/class angles of this, because then our "hero" Bruce REALLY doesn't look so good anymore.

Again, NONE OF this shit stands up to the slightest ounce of scrutiny in real life. And that's not at all a BAD thing in and of itself and is more than perfectly okay for ANY piece of fiction. But just don't for a second see it as anything other than what it is: pure pulp fantasy on steroids. Batman has no more a basis in reality than does any other fantasy fictional creation from Harry Potter to Pikachu to Freddy Krueger.
ABED wrote:Regarding comics and real world issues, even fantasies can tackle real world issues even if they don't have an answer.
rereboy wrote:Er... Sorry, but I'm going to completely disagree.

Pretty much all Superheroes tackle real issues at one point or another, usually under the form of moral issues. Those clearly relate to our reality, even if the context for them is different, and are, therefore, meaningful.

... *snip*
Yes, of course, OBVIOUSLY superheroes tackle TONS of real world issues, and often do so in that time-honored fantasy method: high-concept metaphor. Marvel in particular: DC's history with "real life issues" dealt with in their work is... a lot more spotty overall in comparison (Vertigo notwithstanding).

Spider-Man deals with all KINDS of youth-oriented (and later on even very much adult) issues about growing up and the now standard "power/responsibility" dynamic. Hulk, at its best, has been an absolutely stellar outlet for stories of dealing with personality disorders and childhood trauma/abuse. Daredevil has some of the best stories and character pieces dealing with Catholic guilt, among other things, that I've come across in the comics medium. The Punisher, at his best anyway, has at varying times been a fantastic means of discussing the grief and discomfort with fitting back into mainstream society that military vets face.

And as I mentioned briefly before, X-Men's core conceit (a subcultural activist movement, that just happens to have costumes and superpowers, who's primary goal ISN'T crime fighting and acting above the law, but rather helping a discriminated upon minority group deal with their personal problems AND fight for their equality against societal bigotry) is so steeply marinated to its fundamental core in real-world issues of VAST importance, that its one of those rarer than rare few superhero stories that, more often than not at least, DOES manage to successfully raise itself "above" the core-most problem with the genre that I'm about to hammer upon.

My point wasn't that the superhero genre DOESN'T EVER tackle real world issues, particularly in a meaningful way. Anyone who's read almost ANY superhero comic of note the last 30+ years knows that they clearly do. My point was more to, again, the core-most central concept of the superhero, the seed/germ of an idea through which ALL ELSE springs forth.

"Guy/Gal puts on a costume/transforms into another guise, adopts an alter-ego, and goes above and beyond the law to help others and beat up 'bad guys', circumventing law & order solely because they're 'special' in some way".

However well and however meaningfully relevant to real-world issues this conceit has been done (and it clearly HAS been done spectacularly well and VERY much meaningfully to real life issues many, many, times over) only a particular select group of examples have truly and successfully tackled the elephant-in-the-room basic-most problem with the genre: that its core conceit that it all stems from is fundamentally broken from a "real life" sense of morality.

Unless you're either a true, genuine, died in the wool anarchist who believes in NO sort of societal system of any kind whatsoever, or a harder than hardline authoritarian fascist (a political extremist basically on either end of the spectrum: in which case ONLY THEN would you have a leg of consistency to stand on to argue in favor of the superhero genre's core sense of "morality" being in any possible way applicable to real life), then its impossible to get away from the fact that the fundamental concept of the superhero (adopts alter ego, elevates themselves as above the law due to "being better and more special than the common folk") is steeped in an authoritarian-like mentality of "I'm above and beyond the law because I'm more moral than thou and I have physical power over you and everyone else".

I'm hardly saying anything the LEAST bit new or revelatory here: this has been the subject of god only knows how many COUNTLESS scholarly essays, books, and studies and so forth over the last 30, 40, 50-ish years. This is so over-treaded an intellectual territory here its basically become an exhausted cliche in and of itself. Much of the whole genre, post-Watchmen, spent the better part of a decade or two wrestling with that very issue, to one degree or another.

I probably shouldn't have said that Watchmen is the ONLY work that tackles this central issue: its certainly among the very, very BEST, arguably THE best period, to do it, but yeah its definitely not at all alone and there's plenty of others that have done so as well: Brat Pack, which I think I offhandedly mentioned earlier, being another great example. Daredevil has also taken many a fine stab at it as well from time to time, if only by the very nature of Matt Murdock's ingenious duality of being a "lawyer by day, vigilante by night".

The superhero concept has indeed proven an excellent and durable outlet of metaphor for a number of excellently told stories that tackle all kinds of relevant real world issues: but after the 80s and 90s, we've increasingly moved away from examining too closely the damaged sense of immorality and ugliness lurking at the heart of the basic-most idea, with the 2000s in general being seen as a "reconstruction" of the classic ideal of the superhero (while still trying to balance making them function as commentaries on real life issues).

All that basically means is that people have since began to more and more argue in favor of "Don't think TOO hard about it, just enjoy the bright costumes and flashy laser blasts, and wallow unashamedly in the Power Fantasy aspect of it, without being overly cognizant of the uncomfortable moral ickiness that's kinda unavoidably at the center behind it all".

Martial arts fiction as a whole DOES have its share of core themes as well, themes which it does also act as metaphor/commentary on. The issue being that the core root of the genre, wuxia in particular, is so heavily steeped in ancient, antiquated medieval ideals (Asian medieval at that) that there's MUCH more of a disconnect to the modern day: a similar issue that plagues Western medieval fantasy (I tend to equate them often for a reason).

They're fascinating to examine and think about all the same, provided you're interested in such things: but there's definitely much less of an "immediacy" to connect with, unless you're into martial arts/other forms of sports & physical competitiveness yourself at least (and tons of later, more "modern" examples of martial arts fiction/wuxia do indeed try to make more modernized parallels, to varying degrees).

Dragon Ball is further compounded by the fact that it was made by the same guy who largely made lightweight fluff like Dr. Slump and Cowa! Not only is it mythical martial arts fantasy, but its from a dude who's pretty wonky & silly himself at heart. But the genre's fundamental themes (of competitiveness, antiquated "honor" etc.) ARE still baked in there, to a surprisingly fair degree, if only by unavoidable happenstance.
http://80s90sdragonballart.tumblr.com/

Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by ABED » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:15 pm

Brevity is your friend and second, you didn't answer my question, when was Bruce abused?

Yes, if Batman existed in real life sans the kinds of villains he faced, he would be insane, but that still doesn't answer the question. And Bruce didn't mold either Jason or Dick or Tim into being Robin. They chose that path on their own. Why would you go into such a long winded rant about an issue everyone knows? We get that it's pure fantasy.
then its impossible to get away from the fact that the fundamental concept of the superhero (adopts alter ego, elevates themselves as above the law due to "being better and more special than the common folk") is steeped in an authoritarian-like mentality of "I'm above and beyond the law because I'm more moral than thou and I have physical power over you and everyone else".
This view is completely and utterly ridiculous. It's not steeped in anything. The value from these books has nothing to do with how it pertains to the real world. But if we accept the idea that if Superheroes did exist, so would supervillains and then I think superheroes would be perfectly justified. Again, this is all so beside the point. And the value besides just fun from DB that I get is the upbeat sense of life.
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:22 pm

ABED wrote:Brevity is your friend and second, you didn't answer my question, when was Bruce abused?
I never said he was, I said (or at least meant to say) that he'd be GUILTY of child abuse. My earlier mention was that he has a "history of child abuse", which he does through Robin.
Last edited by Kunzait_83 on Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by ABED » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:24 pm

Fair enough but I fail to see what your issue is in that very long rant. Do you look down on someone who is looking to comics or DB purely for the fantasy?
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:34 pm

ABED wrote:Fair enough but I fail to see what your issue is in that very long rant. Do you look down on someone who is looking to comics or DB purely for the fantasy?
I'm not sure how you got that from his post. That's literally the opposite of what he was doing.
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:32 pm

ABED wrote:Fair enough but I fail to see what your issue is in that very long rant. Do you look down on someone who is looking to comics or DB purely for the fantasy?
No. Not at all. Where the hell would you even BEGIN to get that from?

My "issue", if you even want to call it that, is only for one to simply be aware of the underpinnings in the media that they consume. I DON'T in any way think that very many things are COMPLETELY made within a vacuum of meaninglessness (SOME things are sure, but not most things): creative works spring from a human mind, and a human mind - particularly a creative one - is RICH with ideas and concepts, both explicit and implicit, intentional or unintentional.

MOST creative works that are worth a damn in ANY way have underpinnings and a meaning (however small and simple or vast and complex) beneath the obvious exterior. To deny that is to deny one of the most CRUCIALLY important components of ANY creative work (some might argue THE centrally most important point, depending), no matter its format or medium.
ABED wrote:This view is completely and utterly ridiculous. It's not steeped in anything. The value from these books has nothing to do with how it pertains to the real world.
Claiming that an ENTIRE GENRE OF FICTION that has existed for over 70 years now (at least) is "not steeped in anything" isn't just wrong, its thuddingly, willfully blind. Any genre of creative work that has existed for this long and with THIS palpably dense of a history behind it of course is steeped in SOMETHING, SOME form of a recurring idea or conceit. It wouldn't have lasted this long or hit upon so vital a nerve in so many people across so many different generations/cultural lines were it otherwise.

If you break down the basic-most idea of a superhero, its an individual (or small band of individuals even) obtaining power of some kind, and using that power to take the law into their own hands. Acting above/outside the law because one thinks/believes that their own personal power makes them above it IS the very definition of authoritarianism. We have law & order and concepts like "innocent until proven guilty" in the real world for a reason, the same reason why vigilantism is illegal (Daredevil getting all the props in the world for actively reflecting more often on this, and in a smarter/more meaningful way, than most superhero series usually tend to). There's just NO possible logistical way around that, and to deny it is to just be willfully ignorant/obtuse.

Superheroes make for a fun, if childish, power fantasy sure, but there's a VERY dangerous moral ground you're treading on when you make too much light of these kinds of themes without ever really thinking it through at any point. So long as you're actively cognizant of it, its all well and good fun, but being consistently blind to it after awhile (or worse, AGREEING with it fundamentally on a deep-seated level) leads to all kinds of fucked up views from people who take this stuff WAY too seriously. I've been a comics fan for just about my entire life now: I've met ALL kinds of fans, including some REALLY out there ones with some fairly terrifying worldviews culled from having lived and breathed this stuff WAY too deeply and without any serious critical thought given to any of it in the process.

Again, I know I'm not saying anything the least bit mind blowingly relevatory here, but this all stemmed from the claim that "superheroes are more steeped in reality than Dragon Ball". I disagree very much with that, for the most part anyway. They're very much more modern in their core themes sure, and deal with much more immediately modern issues: but there's NOTHING the least bit rooted in "realism" about almost any of it. Spider-Man isn't steeped in reality more than Frodo is just because he lives in an actual real life modern city and deals with actual issues a teenager/20-something from today would face: it just makes him much more immediately relatable, which is a totally different/separate thing from "realism".

Since this all started from comparing the superhero genre to DB, which is based in/part of mythical martial arts fiction: with mythical martial arts fiction (wuxia, what have you) the genre has its roots in medieval Asia. Context is EVERYTHING: humanity was in a VERY different place back then, times were WAY more primitive, we still had feudal castes and so forth, governments/monarchies were WAY less stable, etc. The idea of an individual skirting the law and taking it into their own hands within that timeframe had a VERY different meaning and connotation to it within that context: and in any case, the idea of going above/around the system because the system can't cut it wasn't even THE sole central premise of ancient martial arts fiction (rather its a sub-theme that's more comparatively ancillary) the way that it is with superheroes: self-improvement/realizing one's own innate potential through competition and hard work is more the central theme (and one that more often than not usually has fuck-all to do with superheroes, hence at least part of the STEEP disconnect I feel between the two genres).

Superheroes meanwhile have their genesis in the mid 20th century. Its a VASTLY younger, more modern genre in comparison to mythical martial arts fantasy/wuxia, and it came from a MUCH more advanced era: one where the idea of an individual going above/around the law and placing themselves apart from it is FAR less justifiable from ANY reasonably moral standpoint (again, unless you believe that EVERYTHING that humanity has worked and striven for towards a democratized/civilized society is inherently wrong and needs to be tossed aside in favor of either total anarchism or authoritarianism).

The closest, purely American equivalent to something like traditional martial arts fantasy fiction (or at least this particular aspect of it) would be the Western: where the government/system was SO primitive and so in its earliest vestigial stages, that the idea of a lone, skilled gunman taking the law into their own hands is FAR more reasonable and morally justified considering the no-mans'-land that much of America still was at the time.
ABED wrote:But if we accept the idea that if Superheroes did exist, so would supervillains and then I think superheroes would be perfectly justified.
Only MAYBE when you get to insane, god-like levels like the kinds of upper threats that a Superman-type character would face. Which is where you REALLY spiral out there into DEEP fantasy, because you're basically talking about gods (which is part of DC's whole shtick in the first place: characters that are Icons of Modern Myth and such rather than just mere people). But MOST of them, ESPECIALLY of the kinds that are more like much of Batman or Spider-Man's rogues gallery? There's NO reason why, in real life terms, the law couldn't deal with a serial killer like The Joker, or a simple crook who just uses movie special effects like Mysterio and so forth (assuming someone in real life would be deranged enough to try that shit).

Again though, as you said, that's taking this WAY farther off-topic than its already gotten, so I'll leave it at that.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by rereboy » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:04 am

ABED wrote:It truly depends on your view about what constitutes heroism.
Even if you believe that Goku is a hero, like I do, I don't see any way to deny that Goku would have bigger worth as a hero if he concerned himself a little more with using his abilities to stop bad things like Gohan did. It would merely add to him, not detract from him, as a hero. As for the classification of "superhero", such a concern is required, imo.

Even among heroes, there are those who excel and are on another level.
Kunzait_83 wrote:Yes, of course, OBVIOUSLY superheroes tackle TONS of real world issues, and often do so in that time-honored fantasy method: high-concept metaphor.
Yeah, but, like I said, my point was not that they adhere strictly to a realistic point of view. My point was just that the point of view required for them is usually closer to a realistic point of view than what Dragon Ball requires.

If Superhero comics are usually detached from reality, Dragon Ball is even more so.

Besides that I only disagreed with you on Watchmen being the only one meaningful in terms of the real world and I've already explained why. Watchmen might be up there in terms how meaningful it is, but lots of superhero comics are meaningful.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by ABED » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:07 am

If you break down the basic-most idea of a superhero, its an individual (or small band of individuals even) obtaining power of some kind, and using that power to take the law into their own hands
The most basic idea of a superhero is someone gaining some type of power and using it to do some good or right some sort of wrong. Ethics and laws would be radically different in such a world. And you'll find nuts pretty much everywhere. It's not the medium that's the issue, it's those people being irrational. There are sports fans that take things way too far, there are college students that take disagreements way too far.

Anyway, Goku isn't a superhero, bottom line. He's heroic, but he has plenty of shortcomings though none of them I would consider to be out of malice.
I don't see any way to deny that Goku would have bigger worth as a hero if he concerned himself a little more with using his abilities to stop bad things like Gohan did.
But apply it to real life examples, would a doctor be more heroic if he/she didn't have a social or family life? What if the hospital and patients ALWAYS came first? What if all they ever did when they weren't eating or sleeping was treating patients?
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by rereboy » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:22 am

ABED wrote: But apply it to real life examples, would a doctor be more heroic if he/she didn't have a social or family life? What if the hospital and patients ALWAYS came first? What if all they ever did when they weren't eating or sleeping was treating patients?
Gohan didn't sacrifice his friends, family, career and so on because of Saiyaman, but he still, through Saiyaman, showed concern in being proactive and using his abilities to stop bad things. If Gohan was already an hero due to everything he had done during the Cell arc and before, he only became an hero of even greater worth by doing that.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:57 pm

rereboy wrote:Besides that I only disagreed with you on Watchmen being the only one meaningful in terms of the real world and I've already explained why.
Right, which I've taken back in my very next following post because I almost then immediately remembered like several others that I honestly shouldn't have discounted/forgotten about at all to begin with.

(Seriously, Brat Pack is incredibly awesome and deserves way, way, way more love in general)
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:04 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
rereboy wrote:Besides that I only disagreed with you on Watchmen being the only one meaningful in terms of the real world and I've already explained why.
Right, which I've taken back in my very next following post because I almost then immediately remembered like several others that I honestly shouldn't have discounted/forgotten about at all to begin with.

(Seriously, Brat Pack is incredibly awesome and deserves way, way, way more love in general)
Incidentally, and this will have a point later, would you consider V for Vendetta to be a superhero comic?
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by baneofdemon22 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:43 pm

After watching Batman V Superman, I would definitely say so. :lol: Goku is far more proactive in superheroics in his iconic gi than any of those guys.

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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by ABED » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:46 pm

rereboy wrote:
ABED wrote: But apply it to real life examples, would a doctor be more heroic if he/she didn't have a social or family life? What if the hospital and patients ALWAYS came first? What if all they ever did when they weren't eating or sleeping was treating patients?
Gohan didn't sacrifice his friends, family, career and so on because of Saiyaman, but he still, through Saiyaman, showed concern in being proactive and using his abilities to stop bad things. If Gohan was already an hero due to everything he had done during the Cell arc and before, he only became an hero of even greater worth by doing that.
That didn't answer the question.
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Re: Is Goku a superhero?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:01 pm

Kamiccolo9 wrote:Incidentally, and this will have a point later, would you consider V for Vendetta to be a superhero comic?
That's... not really much of an easy "yes" or "no" answer. It definitely has distinctive ELEMENTS of superhero fiction for sure (or at the very least the sort of much older "pulp hero" characters that superheroes spawned from: V has a crapton of Zorro in him for sure), but honestly the comic is far, far more concerned with its own vastly more complex politically oriented themes of terrorism and anarchism vs fascism than it is with a lot of (though again, certainly not ALL of) superhero fiction's more rigidly and childishly simplistic black and white take on morality (I don't necessarily mean for that to be a knock on superheroes mind you, but it is what it is).

On the one hand, one can make a case that as an anarchist, as a symbol of rebellion and dissent, V is very much diametrically opposed to the more authoritarian-leaning streak inherent within the makeup of the "traditional" superhero. On the other hand, he's also still a guy in a costumed identity with enough of an ego-streak to place himself apart from the system of law & order in his world (however out of control and corrupt it may be). That's a very, VERY oversimplified, over-condensed skimming over of a vastly, vastly more nuanced dichotomy, but I don't want to do one of my usual-length posts on a DB forum that's centered solely around V (much as I fucking love that comic to pieces).

I sometimes once in awhile find myself flip flopping on whether or not I count V as a "superhero" comic or not: a part of me doesn't think there's a simplistically pat yea or nay answer for that, and there's a great deal of room for debate that validly argues either way, and I've seen my fair share of both over the years. For what its worth though, if I had to pick, I'd probably lean much more towards "no" than "yes". I see V more as a figure of political revolution (whether or not one personally agrees with what said-revolution ultimately stands for is irrelevant) and upending a broken system who just happens to wear a mask, than I do a superhero symbolizing an ideal of purely "right" against "wrong": certainly not a superhero of any "traditional/classical" mold. As much as it also hides his real identity, the Fawkes getup almost feels more like just an extra bit of the kind of over-the-top visual/symbolic statement that a very zealous political figure would make use of to grab attention and further their message: plus it also goes towards the whole notion of what V represents as an idea of dissent and anarchy as being more important than whoever the hell he as an individual really is.

The overly simplified answer to a distinctly not-simplistic question: V's less a superhero to me than he is a political revolutionary with a slight Zorro/Errol Flynn-esque streak to him.

Also for what its worth, Alan Moore himself has said several times in the past that he doesn't consider V to be a superhero and has argued against that reading of the story as being a part of the superhero genre. So there's that. Clearly V wasn't INTENDED to be one at least, but that of course doesn't (nor should it) stop one from making a case that the book may at least unintentionally be one should one have a good enough argument for it. I'm probably not the guy who'd do that though ultimately, as I much more see where Moore's coming from and what he says he was trying to do with the book than I ultimately do those who still see it as a superhero narrative regardless. Even if its not a part of the genre though, there's at the very least SOME shred of an influence from it that's present to whatever degree that sort of muddies the waters a bit.
baneofdemon22 wrote:After watching Batman V Superman, I would definitely say so. :lol: Goku is far more proactive in superheroics in his iconic gi than any of those guys.
From both the looks of the movie, the creative team/studio that its from, and what general word on the internet has indicated about it, Batman V Superman would be a soundly coherent superhero narrative indicative of what the wider genre represents in the same way that bands like Nickelback and Limp Bizkit are creatively capable musicians who are indicative of what the wider breadth of hard rock music comprises.
Last edited by Kunzait_83 on Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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