Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

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Kokonoe
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Kokonoe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:33 am

ulisa wrote:
Kokonoe wrote:
ABED wrote:Those quotes don't negate my point. Gohan wasn't working as the lead in a fighting series given Toriyama realized Gohan wanted to study more than fight.
Which is his own fault for changing his character in the Buu arc. Gohan pre Buu was in fact a fighter, his motivations were his friends but he freely skipped school lessons and disobeyed whomever if it meant getting stronger. Eventually you see after his progression from being a coward child that he ends up even enjoying the sparring he does with people and it became a part of who he is.

Gohan in Buu doesn't feel like Gohan to me at all, and I'll go as far as to say it doesn't feel that way even when he goes to his "fighter" side with Ultimate Gohan. I mean you can look at the portrayal of Future Gohan as how he would've been written if it was Cell saga era but Toriyama kinda just did what he wanted to at this point with the Buu arc and Gohan suffered for it.

I don't even care for the Great Saiyaman thing because there's no even hints at it early on in the series that he's into super heroes. Really this Gohan just does not feel the same.
I am definitely inclined to agree with you. Gohan may not have been a fighter by desire at the beginning but quite frankly, I don't think we know if that would have been the case if Goku had been allowed to introduce him to it like he wanted to. ChiChi was so dead set against it that I suspect Gohan didn't really feel he had a choice to like it or not. I've always felt he liked the martial arts, the fighting and battles no but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy the sporting part of it. He always seems to enjoy the friendly spar with his father or Piccolo and being a protector by nature, it makes sense that he would use it to help other people.

I always felt that his character shifted after the time jump myself and I think you phrased it perfectly here: it doesn't feel like Gohan. Gohan in the Buu saga just doesn't feel like the way the child in the Saiyan and Freeza sagas would have turned out. Granted, you could argue that characters can change a lot as they grow but for such a shift, I would have liked to see explanation for it. I see Gohan in Movie 9 the way I think Gohan after the Cell Games likely should have gone: still studies but also enjoys spending time outside and sparring. He doesn't have to have the same motivation of "I want to get stronger" as his father. I think his motivation of "I have to be able to protect the people I care about" is just as reasonable. Particularly in the anime, his entire trigger for becoming Super Saiyan is fury at himself for the times he wasn't able to protect people he cared about! I just don't see that strong a motivator "going away."
It certainly felt really off I also agree. I see a lot of people say this was his natural progression as he got older, but it doesn't add up. I mean you can look at any other character that "grew up" in Dragon Ball and they still remained themselves regardless of whatever hobby or focus shift happened. Gohan was someone else in the Buu arc and either or not someone enjoys this newer Gohan more or less is up to the individual, but at the end of the day he's not the "Gohan" we knew from the previous arcs as you stated.

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:22 am

You are dropping a LOT of context. Gohan dropped lessons because he had to. During the peaceful period, there was no pressing need to do so. Gohan IS still himself. Gohan enjoys a good spar WITH HIS FATHER. I'm sure he enjoys the sport, but it's whom he's spending time with not necessarily what they are doing. You make it seem like he's not the same character, but people change a lot. He didn't even change in unprecedented ways, he just changed in ways you didn't like. We do see the reason for the change - the peaceful period between the Cell and Buu arcs.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ulisa » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:35 pm

I don’t think we’re dropping context. I just think we interpretted scenes and reasoning differently. I personally always follow the anime so I consider everything included in that medium.

Gohan ditches his studies a lot and not just when enemies are coming. He doesn’t present as some one that loves to learn, he seems to me like a kid that wants to plead his mother. The times he looks happiest to me is when he’s with his father, friends or out in the mountain with the animals not with his books. The only thing I see from him that indicates he likes to study before the time skip is him saying “I want to be a great scholar” to Bulma and then Piccolo which I have always said sounds rehearsed to me. Given I can’t recall Gohan ever saying it again, it always felt more like a ChiChi wish than his own.

I’m not arguing that he’s a brute that loves a fighting challenge like his father; he’s not. However, I do see someone that has taken protecting other people very seriously, no doubt because of what he’s seen. That becomes pretty clear during the Time Chamber. Maybe fighting isn’t something he’s driven to do constantly but it’s always made more sense to me that he enjoys the sport of it and sees the importance of staying strong to protect people he cares about. I just never saw this supposed “love of studying and learning” that the end of Z suddenly taps into.

Personally, if people interpret the peace time as what made Gohan go completely into his studies, that’s their prerogative. I’ve just never bought it.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:42 pm

Gohan ditches his studies a lot and not just when enemies are coming.
Are you including filler? Because there are always enemies coming. The one time they didn't was when they went to Namek and that's understandable. He didn't do it for the fun of it. He went because he felt responsible and wanted to help bring his friends back to life. The time they didn't come? No surprise, during the 7 year gap.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ulisa » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:46 pm

Yes, I include filler. When I consider the anime, I consider everything in that medium which includes filler. I know some people don’t but that’s just me.

Ultimately I think of Toriyama wanted to me to believe Gohan truly wanted to be scholar, I needed to see more love of it than we got. As is, it feels like a big jolt to me.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:53 pm

ulisa wrote:Yes, I include filler. When I consider the anime, I consider everything in that medium which includes filler. I know some people don’t but that’s just me.

Ultimately I think of Toriyama wanted to me to believe Gohan truly wanted to be scholar, I needed to see more love of it than we got. As is, it feels like a big jolt to me.
I get your point and understand it to a degree, but it's not exactly out of nowhere. Making him yet another fighter takes away something unique about him. The arc could've been cleaner, but going SSJ2 as somehow being the ultimate climax of his arc is far worse. It's not a character arc, it's just him attaining more power because apparently you can have your full potential be pulled out again and again. What exactly is compelling about "And NOW he's reached his potential, no, NOW he's finally reached, no, wait... NOW he's finally reached it" a compelling character arc?

I still stand by my belief that after a long enough period, usually a few years, changing the main character is counterproductive.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Cursed Lemon » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:56 pm

Gohan absolutely could've been the main character, but the series would've had to switch gears with its approach to the how-and-why of all the battles that arise. Dragon Ball is not a...deep franchise, and the thing that drives its engine is that the conflicts are pretty much as surface level as Goku's personality; some huge asshole likes to destroy things for fun, Goku likes to save the world for fun. With Gohan's more considerate personality, the battles would've probably had to take on a little more of a philosophical bend to inject some meaning into what is happening. The Cell saga is the perfect example of that, where Gohan has to reconcile his dislike of fighting with the fact that he's the only one strong enough to save the world.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:06 pm

That's an issue I have with Gohan in that arc, he never had an issue before with his dislike of fighting stopping him from doing what needed to be done. The only thing that stopped him was either his fear or lack of battle power. He got over the former in the Saiyan arc, and turning SSJ2 solved the latter. However, in order to facilitate the drama, Toriyama gave him an inner conflict that didn't feel organic.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by NewKakarot » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:23 pm

I haven't really read anything here (because there's too many posts, not enough time), but I'll throw in my 2-cents anyway (mostly based on memory, no sources)

When Gohan became the main character, it looked like Toriyama wanted to make it about his adventures as the Great Saiyaman (likely as a nod to shows like Kamen Rider, which I think he's stated to be a fan of). Just my theory, but I think he quickly realized that doing that wouldn't take the story go anywhere. It's not like Gohan would ever face a criminal he couldn't defeat, and the only real challenge he would face was trying to keep his identity a secret. You can only write a story about Gohan fighting crime for so long before it gets old. His identity is the only thing he really has going for him, and Videl figures it out on the first crime scene where they work together (in the manga, it takes longer in the anime), and immediately sets up the next tournament. And then a tournament with Gohan would just be boring, the only character who would really pose a challenge to him at this point is Vegeta, and it's not like they're at each others necks or anything (heck, Vegeta wouldn't have joined if Goku didn't announce he would come back). The plot needs Goku there for anything interesting to happen.

But those are just my thoughts. Nothing against Gohan, as he's one of my favorite characters, but Goku needed to come back

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Tavarano » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:28 am

NewKakarot wrote:heck, Vegeta wouldn't have joined if Goku didn't announce he would come back
This part is incorrect, Vegeta has decided to join the tournament right before Goku announced his return.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by NewKakarot » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:35 am

Tavarano wrote:
NewKakarot wrote:heck, Vegeta wouldn't have joined if Goku didn't announce he would come back
This part is incorrect, Vegeta has decided to join the tournament right before Goku announced his return.
Oh, thanks for the correction. Even so, Vegeta joining the tournament wouldn't lead to anything interesting, as he has nothing against Gohan. Point is, there's really nothing at stake, he's a good guy at this point (or at the very least neutral)

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Cipher » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:37 am

What we get at the beginning of the Boo arc is fun (and the transition back to Goku not handled as gracefully as it could be), but no, I don't think he could've sustained the series, and I think Toriyama just had the sense as a storyteller to see the writing on the wall there.

He's too reactionary; his interests were never going to play well with driving the plot in a significant way, which is what the usual cast of Toriyama assholes (ninety-five percent of the Dragon Ball cast included) specialize in. Gohan waiting around for threats was never going to provide quite the thrust that Goku causing, escalating, or overall just having fun with them does.

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:16 pm

It doesn't surprise me that he would want to do a slice of life manga given he is a gag manga artist, but as you said, there is no story there, the audience wasn't liking it, and Toriyama was writing and drawing to make money.
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by VDenter » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:31 pm

No. Gohan as a character peaked in the Freeza arc and ever since then he has mostly been a bore. He is relegated to the background for 95% of the Cell arc and as iconic and epic as his transformation is, i was frankly more happy that someone finally got to curb stomp Cell because everything in the Cell arc started to drag on by that point but there is no reason why that person had to be Gohan in particular. Gohan when you get right down to it is just a inferior and less interesting character than Goku is. It's even more evident when Gohan becomes and adult. I'm struggling trying to find even one attribute that makes him more interesting or more deserving to be the main character than the person who was since chapter 1 of this series.

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Tai Lung » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:08 pm

Kokonoe wrote:I find Gohan to be more interesting. Goku has kind of a set mold in who he is without much evolving from that. Gohan is a character that progressed his personality throughout the series so I would've loved to see his progression as he got older and older being he's more "human" than Goku in a sense. I mean I love Goku at the same time for what he is, but I felt it was his time to move on and for Gohan to fulfill his role.

It honestly would've been pretty cool if there were just generations of his family as time went on so like say Pan would be the main character later on and offer something fresh, a girl main character in Dragon Ball.
that is true but it's less interesting when it comes to writing fights
in retrospect, it is easier to understand the author's decision to continue with goku as the protagonist
1.- It is more difficult to continue a story of fight shonen if your protagonist does not like to fight
2.- Goku has more facility to make friends and rivals because he is more charismatic and has a lot of love for fights
on the contrary gohan started being an antisocial child and very overprotected by his mother, his first friend was piccolo but it was more because of the situation that forced them to be together the other friends he did on his own at school were not warriors.
3.-gohan is considered more a human than saiyan who seeks a peaceful life so only seek to defeat the villain without enjoying the fight which would take much fun to the matter regarding the fight there is no chemistry between opponents
4.- Even future gohan did not want to have the life of a warrior, he just wanted to have the life of a normal human being, which if he achieved the gohan of the present

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by TenshinFan » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:38 pm

I'm fine with gohan's trajectory as a character but one thing I'll say is that Oob definitely should have been the main character in GT

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by NewKakarot » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:42 pm

TenshinFan wrote:Oob definitely should have been the main character in GT
Honestly, I always forget that he was in GT. He really doesn't get to do much there. Welp.

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:44 pm

TenshinFan wrote:I'm fine with gohan's trajectory as a character but one thing I'll say is that Oob definitely should have been the main character in GT
Why? That makes even less sense than Gohan. Goku was the main character for a decade at that point. What sense does it make to switch it to a character the audience met a few weeks prior?
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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Uub is way too flat of a character to be a protagonist, honestly.

He should have been more prominent than he actually was in GT but he couldn’t carry a series to save his life

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Re: Do you still think Gohan should've been the main character?

Post by Tai Lung » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:18 pm

ABED wrote:
TenshinFan wrote:I'm fine with gohan's trajectory as a character but one thing I'll say is that Oob definitely should have been the main character in GT
Why? That makes even less sense than Gohan. Goku was the main character for a decade at that point. What sense does it make to switch it to a character the audience met a few weeks prior?
more options?
gohan the public was fond of him although he was not the indicated to continue a shonen
caulifla he has the same love for fights that goku and desire to become stronger
uub He appeared very little and is not known much
pan she has the spirit of adventures that goku has.
goten the adult goten ... is the one who has less character to be a protagonist

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