Dragon Ball's story arcs

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Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:37 am

This thread is all about the story arcs in DB, whether it is what you consider the different arcs? What are your favorite arcs or least favorite? For instance, do you consider Fortuneteller Baba's tournament a part of the Red Ribbon Army arc or separate? I consider it separate. What say you?
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Doctor. » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:39 am

You can consider the Red Ribbon a saga with various arcs inside of it, such as the Baba tournament, the army raid, the General Blue section of the story, etc.

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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ekrolo2 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:00 am

I just decide them based on what the objective or villain is. Fortuneteller Baba has nothing to do with the RRA so I count her arc as its own thing. You could count Blue and Ginyu as their own arcs but they're basically parts of the RRA and Freeza's empire respectively so I just count them into those arcs.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:06 am

I do think episodes revolving around a subordinate villain can be considered sub arcs. The first five years of Supernatural form one big arc, but I do think there are sub arcs within it that make up the big myth arc. The same thing applies to Dragon Ball. I've seen where some consider Baba's tournament as part of the Red Ribbon arc because Bora's fate hasn't been resolved and Goku hasn't collected all of the dragon balls which is what he set out to do, but in that case, I would consider that the "Second Hunt for the Dragon Balls" arc. Ultimately, that's not how I think of it. I think of them as two separate arcs with one leading into the other. I've seen some consider the Vegeta/Saiyan arc and the Freeza arc as one giant arc which baffles me.

Just as an aside, I would like to know the rationale behind the "Commander Red Saga" DVD ending on the episode BEFORE Goku defeats the entire Red Ribbon Army. Yes, Red was dead, but it makes no sense to cut it off right before the end.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ekrolo2 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:10 am

I get that but if we apply that logic to the Saiyan arc where its ending isn't resolved completely up until the very end of the Freeza arc once everyone's revived and back home things would get messy lol. I've seen people lump in the Saiyan arc as just the first chunk of the Freeza arc but Freeza's such a non-entity in that to the point where it seems Vegeta and Nappa are their own bosses doesn't work for categorizing it as a mere sub arc for Freeza.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by sintzu » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:11 am

I split the original into 10 arcs :
Gt and Super would be :
The Red Ribbon Army, Namek, Android & Buu arcs could be split into multiple parts but it wouldn't make much sense to name them as arcs when in fact they're just parts of an arc.

I think the original got better with each arc so my favorite to least favorite is the list upside down.

In terms of GT I think Baby was overall good, Super #17 and the shadow dragons were wasted potential & the Black star search is one of the worst things I've ever seen.

In terms of Super I think the Beerus arc was an unnecessary overlong version of an already great movie, RF was am improvement over it's movie in terms of the plot but the production was a mess & the champa arc was overall good but it could've been a lot better.

We currently have 7 arcs spread between the 2 shows and non of them have managed to live up to what the original had but that might change based on the upcoming arc's preview.

If I were to rate them in comparison to each other the original arcs would be 7 and above while GT and Super's would be 6 and below.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:14 am

ekrolo2 wrote:I get that but if we apply that logic to the Saiyan arc where its ending isn't resolved completely up until the very end of the Freeza arc once everyone's revived and back home things would get messy lol. I've seen people lump in the Saiyan arc as just the first chunk of the Freeza arc but Freeza's such a non-entity in that to the point where it seems Vegeta and Nappa are their own bosses doesn't work for categorizing it as a mere sub arc for Freeza.
I would consider Vegeta and Nappa their own bosses at that point. Them going for the Dragon Balls was them declaring their independence from Freeza.

I wouldn't consider the Hunt for the Black Star Dragon Balls its own arc as it doesn't have an ending. I see those early episodes as one long 1st act before meeting Baby. It's like the Cyborgs at the beginning of the Cell arc, there's no ending so I can't consider it to be even a sub arc.
Last edited by ABED on Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Doctor. » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:15 am

I'd rank and separate the arcs in the series as such:

1 - Freeza arc (fantastic)
2 - Saiyan arc (fantastic)
3 - 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai arc (great)
4 - Red Ribbon Army arc (great)
(5 - Battle of Gods film (good))
5 - 21st Tenkaichi Budokai arc (good)
6 - Majin Boo arc (above average)
7 - Piccolo Daimao arc (above average)
8 - Champa arc (above average)
9 - Hunt for the Dragon Balls arc (above average)
10 - Battle of Gods arc (average)
11 - Artificial Human arc (average)
12 - 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai arc (average)
13 - Resurrection F arc/film (bad)
14 - Bebi arc (bad)
15 - Shadow Dragons arc (bad)
16 - Black Star Dragon Ball arc (terrible)
17 - Super 17 arc (terrible)

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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Cetra » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:17 am

Dragon Ball 1-16 are an entirety for me, without ever splitting it up to arcs.

Freeza
Cell
Boo
Battle of Gods
Fukkatsu no F
Mirror Tournament
Goku Black
.
.
.
Baby
Super 17
Shadow Dragons

If I had to:

- Dragon Ball
- Tournament 1
- Red Ribbon
- Tournament 2
- Piccolo - maybe even one with Tournament 2 so Tournament 2 would be a introduction just like what others see as sub sagas in Z is seen as introduction by me
- Tournament 3
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:20 am

Cetra wrote:Dragon Ball 1-16 are an entirety for me, without ever splitting it up to arcs.

Freeza
Cell
Boo
I'm interested in the why. Why don't you consider DB to have separate arc? Why do you put the Vegeta and Freeza arcs together as one?
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Cetra » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:21 am

ABED wrote:
Cetra wrote:Dragon Ball 1-16 are an entirety for me, without ever splitting it up to arcs.

Freeza
Cell
Boo
I'm interested in the why. Why don't you consider DB to have separate arc? Why do you put the Vegeta and Freeza arcs together as one?
We have already had this dicussion months ago.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ekrolo2 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:22 am

ABED wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:I get that but if we apply that logic to the Saiyan arc where its ending isn't resolved completely up until the very end of the Freeza arc once everyone's revived and back home things would get messy lol. I've seen people lump in the Saiyan arc as just the first chunk of the Freeza arc but Freeza's such a non-entity in that to the point where it seems Vegeta and Nappa are their own bosses doesn't work for categorizing it as a mere sub arc for Freeza.
I would consider Vegeta and Nappa their own bosses at that point. Them going for the Dragon Balls was them declaring their independence from Freeza.

I wouldn't consider the Hunt for the Black Star Dragon Balls its own arc as it doesn't have an ending. I see those early episodes as one long 1st act before meeting Baby. It's like the Cyborgs at the beginning of the Cell arc, there's no ending so I can't consider it to be even a sub arc.
True, but the way they talk and act about their wish, its less about getting revenge at Freeza and more "We'll be able to become really strong and fight forever!". The idea that they're all underlings to someone along with the whole Saiyan & Freeza conflict isn't really hinted at until Namek. And even then, the whole story for that takes a large amount of that arc to become what everyone knows it is.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:24 am

Cetra wrote:
ABED wrote:
Cetra wrote:Dragon Ball 1-16 are an entirety for me, without ever splitting it up to arcs.

Freeza
Cell
Boo
I'm interested in the why. Why don't you consider DB to have separate arc? Why do you put the Vegeta and Freeza arcs together as one?
We have already had this dicussion months ago.
Clearly I don't remember. I recall having a discussion a while ago about the freeza and Vegeta arcs, but not about considering Dragon Ball to be one arc.
True, but the way they talk and act about their wish, its less about getting revenge at Freeza and more "We'll be able to become really strong and fight forever!". The idea that they're all underlings to someone along with the whole Saiyan & Freeza conflict isn't really hinted at until Namek. And even then, the whole story for that takes a large amount of that arc to become what everyone knows it is.
I'll grant you that Toriyama hadn't thought up Freeza hence a reason why there's not foreshadowing, but I wouldn't say that it stops them from being independent agents striking out on their own. Going after the DB's wasn't simply them getting revenge, it was an end in of itself. Vegeta wants power. I don't even think killing Freeza was primarily about getting revenge.
Last edited by ABED on Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Neo-Makaiōshin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:27 am

As far as the manga goes :

1. Hunt of the Dragon Balls arc
2- 21st Tenkaichi arc.
3- Red Ribbon Army arc/Hunt of the 4 Star Dragon Ball Arc.
4- 22nd Tenkaichi arc.
5- Piccolo Daimao arc.
6- 23rd Tenkaichi arc.
7- Saiyan arc.
8- Freeza arc.
9- Android & Cell arc.
10- Buu arc.

The 4th arc in the manga I tend to go with either the Red Ribbon Army Arc or Hunt of the 4 Star Dragon Ball Arc as names. The former mainly because of popular naming and the later due to the 4 Star Dragon Ball being the driving force behind the arc. Now I tend to include the Fotune Teller Baba section of the story as also part of the Arc and not a separate Arc, the main reason being (similar to why I call this arc Hunt of the 4 Star Dragon Ball) the story begins with Goku looking for his grandfather Dragon Ball and ends with Goku very emotional and touching reunion with Son Gohan.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Cetra » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:33 am

ABED wrote: Clearly I don't remember. I recall having a discussion a while ago about the freeza and Vegeta arcs, but not about considering Dragon Ball to be one arc.
I did not notice that you also wanted to know specifically about vol. 1-16 first before I answered. As a Role-Playing Gamer it is pretty simple to me. The great finale of something is the final boss. Everything else up to the final boss is part of one story that gradually brings the story further but ultimately leads to the real deal. In Final Fantasy VII it starts with fighting Shinra but continues with Chasing and finally fighting Sephiroth. In Final Fantasy IX you start off with a simple mission of kidnapping the princess because her uncle is worried about the circumstances, which, as things are revealed later, are all thanks to Kuja who is the final boss (not counting Necron here). In Nier Gestalt you have to live and fight for your daughter, trying to find a cure for the Black Scrawl just to find out that everything is tied to the Original Nier, the Shadowlord. I see Freeza, Cell and Boo as the Final Bosses of an RPG. I do not see Vegeta, 17, 18 and all the other runts als final bosses. Dragon Ball has no such thing except Piccolo Daimaou - you could "pseudo-replace" it with a similiar goal, therefore I edited my previous post a few minutes ago. That said, it does not mean, I do not see them being impossible as being called sub sagas. I just prefer to take them as mere introduction. Chapters of a greater part.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:39 am

Interesting, though I wouldn't consider Dragon Ball as all leading up to Piccolo Daimao I and II. The Red Ribbon Army has nothing to do with Piccolo. You use the example of FF7, but the fight against Shinra and Sephiroth is all intertwined. I would consider Vegeta to be the final boss. The Saiyan arc has a complete story.

Act 1 - Raditz arrives; tells Goku he's a Saiyan; Goku and Piccolo team up to kill Raditz; Raditz warns Goku of the oncoming threat
Act 2 - Everyone trains for the upcoming battle; Vegeta and Nappa arrive; Nappa kills several heroes; Goku arrives, defeats him; Vegeta kills Nappa
Act 3 - Goku battles Vegeta; Gohan and Kuririn help him defeat Vegeta; Climax - Goku convinces Kuririn to let Vegeta leave

Vegeta is acting independent of Freeza's orders.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Cetra » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:41 am

ABED wrote:Interesting, though I wouldn't consider Dragon Ball as all leading up to Piccolo Daimao I and II. The Red Ribbon Army has nothing to do with Piccolo. You use the example of FF7, but the fight against Shinra and Sephiroth is all intertwined.
I did not say that I am counting the stuff of Red Ribbon, etc. for Piccolo. Yet, if we actually want to go further we could still see it as that. A simple training of Gokuu and his adventure until he is confronted with the first real thing. Piccolo can hardly be seen as anything connected to anything because he appears out of nowhere but in a way it still can fit. Especially with Pilaf.

And it does not matter to me how often you are gonna repeat that "Vegeta is independent" argument. I will surely not revive this argument. RPGs also have "side villains", still I would never count them as part of an actual saga, worth as much as that of a main villain. Vegeta's motivation does not change the fact that this entire chain of events is just a tiny domino stone of what ultimately leads to meeting the one who is he working for, no matter "if he does not do it for him at that time". By all means, the Saiyajin arc has no complete story. So many things that happen in this series of events is made to lead to something new.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:55 am

And it does not matter to me how often you are gonna repeat that "Vegeta is independent" argument.
But why? He's not an underling doing someone else's bidding?
Vegeta's motivation does not change the fact that this entire chain of events is just a tiny domino stone of what ultimately leads to meeting the one who is he working for.
It's not all leading directly to Freeza. Vegeta's reasons for coming to Earth have nothing to do with his former boss and the reason the team goes to Namek is because of the consequences of what happened on Earth which weren't because of Freeza. It's not like in Supernatural where everything was leading towards Lucifer and the Apocalypse.

And the Red Ribbon Army arc is independent the episodes except that a few things happened that lead to Goku going on his quest which lead him into conflict with the Red Ribbon Army, but the RRA has no connection to Daimao, so I couldn't consider them a minor boss to Piccolo's main boss.
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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Nejishiki » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:00 pm

If anyone is interested in official divisions, Hujio has compiled the list of official arc divisions by publishers. I personally subscribe to Toei Animation's second listing.

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Re: Dragon Ball's story arcs

Post by Cetra » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:05 pm

ABED wrote: But why? He's not an underling doing someone else's bidding?
Because a neurotical guy like me can break down every single event to its own thing then as there are always aspects that differentiate them from others as they fulfill something. But it is ridiculous. I rather prefer to sum it up as an entirety, especially when there is something as convenient as the big bad guy.
ABED wrote:It's not all leading directly to Freeza. Vegeta's reasons for coming to Earth have nothing to do with his former boss and the reason the team goes to Namek is because of the consequences of what happened on Earth which weren't because of Freeza. It's not like in Supernatural where everything was leading towards Lucifer and the Apocalypse.
You see? You bring up Supernatural which perfectly could also be argued to consists of sub arcs. Yet the Lucifer thing is a perfect way to sum it up. By your logic you would never see it as "Lucifer arc" but as "John Winchester arc", "Yellow Eyed-Demon Arc", "666 Seal Arc", "Four Horseman of Apocalypse" arc, "Lucifer arc", et cetera and would under no circumstances just call it the "Lucifer" arc. And Freeza, no matter how much you want to see that or not IS the boss that waits at the end of the road. Freeza is the Lucifer here. You would probably come and say now "but everything great was to revive Lucifer, Vegeta did not do something for Freeza". That is totally irrelevant though. It is the other bits that count. The fact that Goku was introduced to the fact he is from outer space, the fact that there is a hint that the Dragon Balls are from somewhere else, the fact that almost everyone dies so they have no other choice but to explore space which was to conclude anyway after aliens arrived. All that. And you might think Vegeta not doing this for Freeza might be so significant but the fact that his story is also tied to Freeza is significant for me.I also do not see that as "Freeza was probably not even planned", but as an already existing entirety. And that is my last word about this topic. I will not repeat that half-year old argument. You think this, I think that. And that is it. I am sure there are a lot of people that see it more the way you do.
ABED wrote: And the Red Ribbon Army arc is independent the episodes except that a few things happened that lead to Goku going on his quest which lead him into conflict with the Red Ribbon Army, but the RRA has no connection to Daimao, so I couldn't consider them a minor boss to Piccolo's main boss.
Either you have not read that pseudo-list that I posted before "in case someone wants me to break it down to something realtively fitting with some goals when there is no final boss" or you have forgotten that I do not count 1-16 as an actual seperate thing anyway and just did that for you.
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