Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

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Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Neo-Makaiōshin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:05 pm

On my personal experience with the Dragon Ball community (Be it inside or outside of Kanzenshuu) there seens to be a sizeable group of fans (again, on my own experience) that are adamant to any kind of new information that retroactively changes previously stablished stuff, and has infamously turned into a sinonymus & derogatory word for "bad writing" in this fandom and others more (again, my experience).

I don't understand, why are some fans so adamant about this? Why do they not want their previously stablished knowledge be retroactively be changed? Are my facts twisted for not understanding them?
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by UltimateHammerBro » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:25 pm

I may be reading too little into this, but it seems really obvious to me. If I get some information, I expect it to stay it that way unless there's a good, in-story, explainable reason to change it. An out-of-universe retcon, contradicting something already established for no particular reason, does seem bad writing to me. I really can't think of anything deep to explain about it. If I'm told that something's blue, they'll have to give me an amazing reason for me to believe it was always red.

The slightly rough wording you've used in the title makes me think you won't be agreeing with me, but hey, that's my two cents.
Then again, I don't know what you're exactly referring to, and I've been out of touch with the franchise recently, so it may be a spoiler to me.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by sintzu » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:27 pm

The problem is how the retcons are being done.

One retcon most don't like is how they changed planet Vegeta being destroyed by Freeza out of fear of the Saiyans to doing it because Beerus told him to. The reason most don't like it is because it changes too much about Freeza and his relationship with the Saiyans.

On the flip side changing Buu's origin from being made by Bibidi to existing from the dawn of time hasn't gotten much hate if any which is probably due to it improving Buu's origin and making him stand on his own instead of being a copy of Cell's origin.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:32 pm

Retcons are absolutely fine as long as they come naturally, the easiest example being when Goku turns out to be an alien. What doesn't work are things like Beerus being the one who ordered the destruction of the Saiyans, which irreparably devalues something important that came before it. Or DBM, which invalidates a beloved, already-existing, and superior narrative.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by TheGreatness25 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:34 pm

It's about nostalgia, really. If we weren't nostalgic, we wouldn't feel so strongly about it, I believe. Personally, I fall victim to it too.

Imagine that there's a story that you grew up with. You know that story nearly inside and out. You've watched it your entire life. You've read it. You've signed up to a forum to talk about it. And then... one fine day... 20 years later... the story changes. It kind of makes you scratch your head and wonder, "What the hell?" The most troubling thing is that it's so unnecessary. It's like "So you took my knowledge of it and pissed on it... just because?" That's kind of the feeling I get. Super has actually been good for me. I mean, I don't watch it (yet), but just kind of loosely following along based on what I see from here and other places, it really helped me out. In the beginning, I was so upset that Super was coming out and kind of getting rid of GT for that very reason: that it's taking the established story that I knew for two decades and kind of makes it inconsequential. But honestly, it helped me step back and look at things from a different perspective. It's just a cartoon/comic book. It's so removed from the previous incarnation (by 20 years, in fact), that of course it's not going to be a smooth transition. And it doesn't have to be because I am no longer the target audience. To the target audience, I don't think that Super can do anything because that target audience did not grow up with that story embedded in them. Thus, what do they care if Burdock used to be a totally different character? They know him as he is now and who cares about the past?

A lot of us didn't grow up with watching all of Dragon Ball before Dragon Ball Z, so to us, Goku being an alien was no big deal. But to those that followed it weekly for years, that revelation might have ruffled a few feathers, and it absolutely would if there was a long gap between DB and DBZ (real life, not in-universe I mean).

So in the end, I think that it's just pure nostalgia. Lazy writing? I mean, yeah... but sometimes you need lazy writing to kind of push yourself out of that corner that you paint yourself into. Super chose to start at a point where it was kind of painted into a corner by default, so it had to shove itself out and a lot of that might come off as lazy. But you know what? It's easy to lazily write something, get out of that corner, and continue onto bigger and better things than to dwell on that. Like Prison Break. It ended -- that's it, case closed. Well... there was a new season. They were painted into a corner, so they had to get out of it through some stupidity. But hey, you get the stupidity out of the way, and you move on. That's what Super is doing, I think.

To answer your question, I think it's just us nostalgic fans who long for the days of our Dragon Ball, but that day will never, ever come simply because we've outgrown it.

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by ABED » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:59 pm

Depends on the retcon, but one's that create contradictions hurt my ability to enjoy a story. Then there are retcons that aren't necessarily contradictions but bother me because they put events in a different light than they originally were. For instance, if two characters meet by chance, I generally don't like retcons where it's revealed that it wasn't a chance meeting, someone manipulated the meeting or it was destined.
Sometimes you need lazy writing to kind of push yourself out of that corner that you paint yourself into.
Really?

Sintzu, that's not a copy. Cell was created through science. Buu was created through magic. That's not the same origin. And until you wrote that, I've never seen one person make a fuss about their "similar" origins.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by TheGreatness25 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:10 pm

ABED wrote:
Sometimes you need lazy writing to kind of push yourself out of that corner that you paint yourself into.
Really?
Yes, really. If the story is concluded and you tied up all the loose ends... to somehow pick it up and want to do more with it, sometimes you have to take those tied up loose ends and do something stupid with them. For example, if they wanted to start the series during GT's time, but have the characters in their prime and they wrote something about how they all used the Dragon Balls to be young again, it would be stupid, a cop-out, and utterly ridiculous... but that's just one tiny aspect that's a means to continue the story the way they want to. Sometimes, I feel that's what they should have done.

Let's not pretend like Z didn't have this, okay? Oh what a coincy-dink, Goku was growing up fine the entire time and now suddenly they are in their prime way longer than the rest of the cast. That's pretty lazy writing, but serves as a means to an end. Hey, look! Super Saiyan Goten and Trunks! Does it make sense? No, but it's just one little thing that serves as a means to continue the story and we move on. If Super retcons things, it's just a means to continue the story -- to intertwine the characters more (like Beerus wanting Freeza to destroy planet Vegeta) or some other soft of explanation. Burdock was changed to cater to the fans who seemingly always looked at him as a hero anyway. We have yet to see if that will go anywhere, but if it does, then Minus served as a means to continue the story.

Again, sometimes you have to do something that seems stupid and a cop-out and even a little lazy just to get yourself out of that corner and move on. That's my initial point.

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by ABED » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:18 pm

Sometimes, I feel that's what they should have done.
Or the characters can just not be in their prime. I don't think it's ever necessary to do something stupid just to get yourself out of a corner. That's a cop out for bad writing.
That's pretty lazy writing
I don't think so at all. First, Goku didn't age when he was dead, and second, some people age better than others. I don't see what's lazy about it at all.
Does it make sense? No, but it's just one little thing that serves as a means to continue the story and we move on
One move I would argue wasn't necessary to move the story forward.

Bottom line, if continuing the story requires bad writing, you may want to rethink your approach.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by sintzu » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:21 pm

ABED wrote:Sintzu, that's not a copy. Cell was created through science. Buu was created through magic. That's not the same origin.

Until you wrote that, I've never seen one person make a fuss about their "similar" origins.
It's not the same but they're similar, both were created by someone to cause destruction. They also had similer powers as they both could absorb people and regenerate. There was nothing "wrong" with buu's origin but as a whole it showed that Toriyama was running out of ideas and his new one fixes some of that.

Maybe not but it's still something that I think could've been handled better and it seems like Toriyama also thought that.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by ABED » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:25 pm

sintzu wrote:
ABED wrote:Sintzu, that's not a copy. Cell was created through science. Buu was created through magic. That's not the same origin.

Until you wrote that, I've never seen one person make a fuss about their "similar" origins.
It's not the same but they're similar, both were created by someone to cause destruction. They also had similer powers as they both could absorb people and regenerate. There was nothing "wrong" with buu's origin but as a whole it showed that Toriyama was running out of ideas and his new one fixes some of that.
Cell's goals were specific. Buu was created simply to destroy.

Vegeta and Freeza are also similar. Both are royalty of sorts, they are both arrogant, and both are calm and collected until someone proves to be a nuisance or genuine threat. Plus, both transform to power up. There are always similarities.

On topic, it depends on what you consider a retcon and what it is that was changed. As always, it depends on execution.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by TheGreatness25 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:52 pm

ABED wrote:Bottom line, if continuing the story requires bad writing, you may want to rethink your approach.
No, the bottom line is that sometimes they don't think that people would dwell on their retcons and inconsistencies but rather the story as a whole. But they clearly don't know the fanbase. "Bad writing" is subjective; this is about retcons and changes. My answer was designed to address that question, not the question of "bad writing."

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:56 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:"Bad writing" is subjective
That isn't true, though. Writing isn't like painting, there are specific rules and formulas you must adhere to. Internal consistency, for example.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by TheGreatness25 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:05 pm

Well, Dragon Ball suffered from that way, way, way long before Super was introduced. Plus, when I see "good writing," what comes to mind is criticism of the actual story, which is subjective. I'm pretty sure that their goal is for the story to outweigh the inconsistencies, but people do dwell.

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by ekrolo2 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:43 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:It's about nostalgia, really. If we weren't nostalgic, we wouldn't feel so strongly about it, I believe. Personally, I fall victim to it too.
Making a lot of assumptions there, especially for folks like me who have no nostalgia for Dragon Ball. You also wrongly assume someone needs to have deeply rooted feelings of attachment to get annoyed by bad writing, you don't, bad writing is perfectly detestable on its own merits.

Super also didn't need to paint itself into a corner by being pre-EoZ: just make the show a few years after Oob and Goku train and go on from there. The ENTIRE existence of the new material completely devalues whatever little worth Oob has as a character. He's supposed to be Goku's last great opponent come back to fight him again, that doesn't mean anything since Goku's 10 month old turd can one shot Kid Boo.

The various retcons are universally like this, they try to connect the dots and play with continuity but they really fail at this. The only one that actually kind of works is the potara one by giving an actual explanation for why Vegetto breaks down.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Neo-Makaiōshin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:06 pm

Jinzoningen MULE wrote:
TheGreatness25 wrote:"Bad writing" is subjective
That isn't true, though. Writing isn't like painting, there are specific rules and formulas you must adhere to. Internal consistency, for example.
Is there an royal academy of storytelling that sets the rules and formulas like [insert nationality] royal academy of language?
Lore is NOT story, and it never was, and you should stop spreading this nonsense.
Content is NOT substance.
Bunch of characters doing stuff do NOT make an esemble cast.
Secondary characters are secondary, they do NOT deserve or are entitled to having more screen time.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Jinzoningen MULE » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:11 pm

Neo-Makaiōshin wrote:
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:
TheGreatness25 wrote:"Bad writing" is subjective
That isn't true, though. Writing isn't like painting, there are specific rules and formulas you must adhere to. Internal consistency, for example.
Is there an royal academy of storytelling that sets the rules and formulas like [insert nationality] royal academy of language?
There doesn't need to be, it's universally preferable for stories to follow certain channels. The example I gave was internal consistency, so let's stay there. Do you need anyone to tell you that it's important for cohesion in a narrative, rather than being comprised of a string of incoherent statements with no insight into anything? Obviously not, there are universal standards for these things.

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by floofychan333 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:18 pm

Having to rethink everything is extremely annoying in some cases. Also, inconsistencies are such a pain in the ass to deal with and run rampant in Dragon Ball.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by ABED » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:49 pm

Even paintings have to have some form or they are just splotches on a canvas or a tower of sponges and cease to be art. Random noises aren't music. Stories need internal consistency. The issue with judging stories is there are so many different attributes and any author will be better at some than others.
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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Desassina » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:46 pm

What if I didn't dislike retcons? I know that I made a thread about canon being confined to its products, regardless of whether they should continue one another or not, and that its changes did not apply retroactively. However, they help us continue to move and to take nothing for granted, when documenting facts without the frames of our personal taste is better. Perhaps we're lazy and had rather sit on our own assumptions, exploding in every direction once triggered, instead of moving towards something and making choices along the way.

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Re: Explain why you dislike retcons and want everything be unchangeably set on stone

Post by Gog » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:15 pm

Jinzoningen MULE wrote:Or DBM, which invalidates a beloved, already-existing, and superior narrative.
How does DBM invalidate Dragon Ball on a whole? :shock:

Regardless, a retcon is fine if it's organic and adds more to the world as a whole. They're some of my favorite story devices, but they can also be some of the worse as well.

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