Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Lujin_16 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:43 pm

the namek arc was really scary when i watched it as a kid lol i cared so much for Krilin/Gohan and Bulma i mean it was a nightmare

thinking how can they survive against Frieza,Dodoria,Zarbon,Vegeta,Ginyu Force??

and yes you are right after that there was not that much tension anymore maybe a little but that's all..

Other Dragonball Arcs that had tension were the Zamasu Arc & King Piccolo

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:08 pm

Kokonoe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:49 am
Yes outside of Android 16. Which still remains the most impactful death of the series to me.
Why 16? The death of that old couple at the hands of the sniper in the Buu arc was more emotional.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:16 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:08 pm
Kokonoe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:49 am
Yes outside of Android 16. Which still remains the most impactful death of the series to me.
Why 16? The death of that old couple at the hands of the sniper in the Buu arc was more emotional.
I'd say it's because they took a character that was originally meant to be a villain and had a subplot of him progressing into what he was by the brief time he was "alive" and discovering what the world is like similar to a child despite the fact he had the intellect of an adult. Then when it all reaches to the point where he gets torn apart by Cell he uses his last moments, in a caring manner to try to help Gohan mature from what he learned in that brief period. He dies during a speech to Gohan which made it even more tragic and being that he is an Android, he can never return again so his death was in fact a genuine death in a series known for characters coming back. All these variables are unique for this series.

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:21 pm

I don't find him tragic. He's somewhat interesting in that his programming to kill Goku is VERY literal. That's the only bad thing he wants to do. It's unexpected, but I don't love the character and I don't find his end tragic. There's no connection between him and Gohan and his final act is to tell Gohan something he already knows.

The fact that he's a robot means it's not really a death.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:33 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:21 pm
I don't find him tragic. He's somewhat interesting in that his programming to kill Goku is VERY literal. That's the only bad thing he wants to do. It's unexpected, but I don't love the character and I don't find his end tragic. There's no connection between him and Gohan and his final act is to tell Gohan something he already knows.

The fact that he's a robot means it's not really a death.
I can't really agree. If Gohan knew this he would've not held back against Cell. It took this speech and his death to ignite that motivation within Gohan to ascend to the next level. Gohan was getting bopped around due to his hesitance to go all the way.

I consider it a death. He was essentially human mentally, in fact I'd argue he was probably one of the more human characters in Z. Him being a robot just makes that even stronger for me that he got to that level.

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:45 pm

But this isn't Gohan's first rodeo. He's fought some of the worst villains in the universe. He knows that sometimes you have to fight in order to defend the good. His hesitance is out of character. It's an inorganic moment. Toriyama was trying to up the drama, but it is forced because Gohan has too much experience to not know that fact.

He's sentient, but he's not human. His programming could conceivably be put in another robot. It's the same issue I have with WestWorld. It's not just that. Gohan has no emotional connection to 16. I get emotional attachments to even non-sentient objects, but there has to be a reason for it and a genuine connection. 16 lacks that.
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:16 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:45 pm
But this isn't Gohan's first rodeo. He's fought some of the worst villains in the universe. He knows that sometimes you have to fight in order to defend the good. His hesitance is out of character. It's an inorganic moment. Toriyama was trying to up the drama, but it is forced because Gohan has too much experience to not know that fact.

He's sentient, but he's not human. His programming could conceivably be put in another robot. It's the same issue I have with WestWorld. It's not just that. Gohan has no emotional connection to 16. I get emotional attachments to even non-sentient objects, but there has to be a reason for it and a genuine connection. 16 lacks that.
I saw it as him getting older and understanding his actions more, similar to how Goku when he got older was far less willing to kill someone but you can see him in the Red Ribbon army just killing tons of people. I also feel like this was about something else as well, such as his character progression to finally master his unlocked power. This was the first time everyone was essentially counting on him instead of Goku and his power was needed. Gohan generally had those spurts of power when he got really angry right? But when he calms down he's not like that anymore, this is more of Gohan having control of that angry more powerful side of him in the form of Super Saiyan 2.

As for his attachment, I think it's not in the general sense. Android 16 represented 'life', and Gohan has in the past gotten really pissed off in the Frieza saga for people he had no history with. This was about a waste of a life in some respects which infuriates him alongside that speech that clearly spoke to him on a personal level more than his own father's words cause they were more striking less about powering up and more about accepting his own self.

Though I'll say this. Let's say your perception is correct in this regard at least on the initial paragraph you mentioned. I'd still consider this the best death of the series with flaws in mind as the pros of it all outweigh the potential inconsistency of it.

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:39 pm

BUt he doesn't understand it more. He backtracks in order to learn a lesson he already knew?

ANd it's just factually untrue that Goku is less willing to kill. People say that because it sounds meaningful but it's not actually true. He doesn't kill a ton of people because he never again faces hordes of enemies. He's no less willing to kill his enemies now than he was when he was younger.

You make it all sound like Gohan learned some profound lesson that allowed him to achieve his goal, but at no point in the narrative is that true. He becomes Super Saiyan 2 and he LOSES control over his emotions. He masters nothing.

I know Gohan has lost his temper over seeing innocent people being harmed, but 16 isn't alive and his words didn't teach him anything about himself. He never didn't accept himself.
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Kokonoe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:45 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:39 pm
BUt he doesn't understand it more. He backtracks in order to learn a lesson he already knew?

ANd it's just factually untrue that Goku is less willing to kill. People say that because it sounds meaningful but it's not actually true. He doesn't kill a ton of people because he never again faces hordes of enemies. He's no less willing to kill his enemies now than he was when he was younger.

You make it all sound like Gohan learned some profound lesson that allowed him to achieve his goal, but at no point in the narrative is that true. He becomes Super Saiyan 2 and he LOSES control over his emotions. He masters nothing.

I know Gohan has lost his temper over seeing innocent people being harmed, but 16 isn't alive and his words didn't teach him anything about himself. He never didn't accept himself.
Ginyu Force he scolds Vegeta for killing a downed opponent. He holds back against Frieza despite everything he did. That's to me really different than how he would go after opponents in the original series.

He masters his power, but just cause he masters his power doesn't mean there still isn't more to learn. Martial arts is a journey, and Super Saiyan tends to inflate the ego a bit. It's still far better than his random spurts.

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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:49 pm

He has zero compunction about killing Yakon quickly and decisively. When Goku lets someone go and when he kills them isn't something Goku is consistent about. The RRA arc is the last time he fought a horde of villains, so of course it will seem like he was mowing more down.
He masters his power, but just cause he masters his power doesn't mean there still isn't more to learn. Martial arts is a journey, and Super Saiyan tends to inflate the ego a bit. It's still far better than his random spurts.
He doesn't master his power. He brings out his full power, but he doesn't master it, and no, turning SSJ doesn't inflate the ego.
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Tavarano » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:57 pm

The Tori-bot wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:00 am
Tavarano wrote:
What's with that page? There are two panels from a completely different scene randomly stuck to the bottom. The fact that they're in normal b&w and not greyscaled is a bit of a tip-off...
They are not randomly stuck, because the latter happens right after the former, Gohan and Kuririn are laughing in Dende's face right after his friends were killed, it's the so called element of poison, you can notice Dende's shocked reaction.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by jjgp1112 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:22 pm

Tavarano wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:57 pm
The Tori-bot wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:00 am
Tavarano wrote:
What's with that page? There are two panels from a completely different scene randomly stuck to the bottom. The fact that they're in normal b&w and not greyscaled is a bit of a tip-off...
They are not randomly stuck, because the latter happens right after the former, Gohan and Kuririn are laughing in Dende's face right after his friends were killed, it's the so called element of poison, you can notice Dende's shocked reaction.
That's...not at ALL what's happening there and not even how its presented.

You're coming off as somebody fresh off of reading Dr. Slump once and now trying to shoehorn it's conventions into every piece of Toriyama work while conflating his slapdash writing and quotes with some hidden cynicism where there is none.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:17 pm

This is a massive dropping of context. They didn't happen right after the other and they aren't laughing. They are celebrating Goku getting on Namek within a few days time. Given what they just went through, hearing that Goku will be arriving to help is cause for celebration.
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Tavarano » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:17 pm
This is a massive dropping of context. They didn't happen right after the other and they aren't laughing. They are celebrating Goku getting on Namek within a few days time. Given what they just went through, hearing that Goku will be arriving to help is cause for celebration.
The only dropping of context is that I didn't include some panels in between that I thought were not relevant, the point is still the same, they are so dehumanized that the quite brutal death of namekians including a child doesn't bother them at all and yeah they're not just laughing, they're dancing, jumping and laughing, the reaction is deliberately written to be so obnoxious (for lack of better word) in the context. Don't miss the shocked Dende's reaction, it's very relevant as Toriyama tends to do these little, silent, shocked reactions when something shady is happening in his writing. Also this writing is patternal, Goku is written to run on all fours to get food soon after Kuririn is killed after 22nd budokai, Goku and Vegeta play rock paper scissors right after their sons were killed in Buu arc, in DBS characters had a barbecue right after Future Trunks' timeline was erased.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:35 pm

Tavarano wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm
ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:17 pm
This is a massive dropping of context. They didn't happen right after the other and they aren't laughing. They are celebrating Goku getting on Namek within a few days time. Given what they just went through, hearing that Goku will be arriving to help is cause for celebration.
The only dropping of context is that I didn't include some panels in between that I thought were not relevant, the point is still the same, they are so dehumanized that the quite brutal death of namekians including a child doesn't bother them at all and yeah they're not just laughing, they're dancing, jumping and laughing, the reaction is deliberately written to be so obnoxious (for lack of better word) in the context. Don't miss the shocked Dende's reaction, it's very relevant as Toriyama tends to do these little, silent, shocked reactions when something shady is happening in his writing. Also this writing is patternal, Goku is written to run on all fours to get food soon after Kuririn is killed after 22nd budokai, Goku and Vegeta play rock paper scissors right after their sons were killed in Buu arc, in DBS characters had a barbecue right after Future Trunks' timeline was erased.
Dende was still in shock after nearly dying and being saved by complete strangers. And I'm certain you know all this. You're doing this to get a reaction.
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by jjgp1112 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:27 am

ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:35 pm
Tavarano wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm
ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:17 pm
This is a massive dropping of context. They didn't happen right after the other and they aren't laughing. They are celebrating Goku getting on Namek within a few days time. Given what they just went through, hearing that Goku will be arriving to help is cause for celebration.
The only dropping of context is that I didn't include some panels in between that I thought were not relevant, the point is still the same, they are so dehumanized that the quite brutal death of namekians including a child doesn't bother them at all and yeah they're not just laughing, they're dancing, jumping and laughing, the reaction is deliberately written to be so obnoxious (for lack of better word) in the context. Don't miss the shocked Dende's reaction, it's very relevant as Toriyama tends to do these little, silent, shocked reactions when something shady is happening in his writing. Also this writing is patternal, Goku is written to run on all fours to get food soon after Kuririn is killed after 22nd budokai, Goku and Vegeta play rock paper scissors right after their sons were killed in Buu arc, in DBS characters had a barbecue right after Future Trunks' timeline was erased.
Dende was still in shock after nearly dying and being saved by complete strangers. And I'm certain you know all this. You're doing this to get a reaction.
Yeah, Dende's reaction is clearly framed as "...what in the world are these strange people talking about?!" not some incredulity at their callousness.
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Re: Were deaths meaningless / with no tension after the Namek story arc?

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:21 am

The Namek arc itself was essentially a struggle to earn the revivals in the wake of the Saiyan arc, as was a decent portion of the Piccolo arc (remember the inciting incident is a death, so there's a significant part where there's hope for a revival. Naturally, as tends to be the case with any kind of obvious next option in that storyline, Piccolo subverts it in a shocking, unprecedented way, but for a time, revenge + "must revive dead guy!" was the story of the Piccolo arc), and all of that stemmed from Goku's quest to revive Bora in the Red Ribbon arc. So, arguably death was somewhat cheapened because it wasn't permanent, dating back all the way to the Red Ribbon arc, which was the third Dragon Ball story Toriama ever told, but the revivals still had to be earned by the charcters going through absolute hell.

Then, after that, we had the Cell and Boo arcs, where it was never "oh this person's going to die and be revived no big", because the failure state wasn't "this guy dies", it was "Everything dies!", so it gets around that problem; if someone dies, the problem isn't that they'll stay dead, it's that they're now not around to stop the big bad from destroying everything, and thus... Well, yeah, as a consequence, the dead person would stay dead. Though, really, the question is less "Are they going to be dead, then?" and more one of "How the hell are they going to get out of this?!"... Though of course, in typical Toriyama fashion, this is all subverted when Goku does stay dead.

And there are still lasting consequences, of course; as I just touched on, the Cell arc ended with Goku deciding to stay dead, and given we never saw #16 again, many believe he was un-reviable, but most importantly, though, is what happens to the characters during, and in the aftermath, of a storyline. Everyone saw just how broken Vegeta was during and after the fight with Cell, and the lengths he went to in the Boo arc to get his last chance to get his rematch, to the point where he ended up murdering countless people and assisting in the revival of Boo to get his fight with Goku that he so desperately wanted...
And in the end, he sacrifices himself, and eventually comes to admit Goku to be his better, concluding his character arc in the original Toriyama run.

Death wasn't rendered meaningless after Namek, but it was significantly cheapened. However, that doesn't mean there was no tension, it just means all the tension was on other things.
Similarly, you don't watch Doctor Who, or superhero movies, or Star Trek to see who lives and who dies; death may be an interesting piece of tension to pile onto something one time or another, but if 100% of a story's tension comes from who lives and who dies, it's either not that great a story, or you're watching it wrong (much as I hestitate to say anyone's watching something wrong, to be honest, if you're entirely watching to see who lives and who dies, that can't be an enjoyable way to watch anything, except maybe a trashy horror movie, so... Much as I always stick to an attitude of "you do you, fam", I would be very critical of taking such an attitude).
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