What really happened to GT?

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

Moderators: Kanzenshuu Staff, General Help

User avatar
Kunzait_83
I Live Here
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 5:19 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:38 pm

I've banged this drum a bunch now in other threads, but people who mainly/only judge the series from the perspective of North American fans who got into it via Cartoon Network in the late 90s/early 2000s often really have ZERO idea how out of step they are with regards to how Dragon Ball was viewed and regarded, not only in its native Japan, but throughout much of the rest of the world at the time, including older North American fans who were into it well before the dub.

Understand guys: just because there are plenty of those among you who had never heard of Dragon Ball (or anime in general) until Cartoon Network came into your lives circa 1999/2000 when you were in elementary school... that experience and perception you had of anime and Dragon Ball back then was NOT universal to everyone else (including in North America), and its been a HUGE mistake on the part of the later post-dub North American fanbase since then over the years now to continually project the perspective and experience of Toonami kids onto the entire rest of the world and the entire rest of the Dragon Ball fanbase.

Once again, it cannot be overstated the degree to which franchise burnout was hitting Dragon Ball as a whole starting around the latter chunk of the Boo arc. While there were some like me who were still enthusiastically engaged with it at the time, there was also a LOT of fans back then who were genuinely getting bored and burnt out, and felt that the series had about run its course and needed to end soon.

GT did provide SOMEWHAT of a boost in interest very early on, but that was very fleeting ultimately. It had its share of detractors from the getgo as well (mostly due to Toriyama not being involved) and while it came onto the scene with a ton of hype, it ultimately still flamed out because... Dragon Ball had been ongoing for a LONG time by then. Once again, while the whole thing may have been freshly brand new to you guys in '99/2000, there were folks out there who'd been following it since at least the late 80s and for roughly ten years straight. Imagine getting into Dragon Ball circa 1987/1988 and following it through its early years all the way through its many changes and shifts in its core cast, its tone and focus, etc. Imagine how you'll feel by the time 1995/1996 rolls around.

I was myself somewhat late to the party: I first heard of DB in 1990, but I seriously got into it sometime roughly in late '92. So by the time the late-end Boo arc had arrived in '95, it was only my second story arc of the series (that I was following in real-time, not counting the earlier ones I'd backtracked to) and I was still more "fresh" to the whole thing compared to the vast majority of anime fans around me back then who were all much, much older on average and had been following DB (or at least been aware of it) for some years longer (and across way more story arcs).

While I was glued to the Boo arc the whole way through, sometime roughly around when Gotenks and Super Boo had bust out of the Room of Spirit and Time, there was a a whole LOT of those older fans (some of whom once again had been around since original DB) who were seriously starting to look at their watches and check the fuck out.

While there were still fans like myself who were still very much into it, I can still vividly remember there also being PLENTY of discourse throughout the broader fan community where the general consensus was effectively "Dragon Ball's been going on WAY too long" and "Dragon Ball's running low on steam and low on vitality and needs to finally wrap it up for good soon".

And that was all during the late Boo arc of Z: GT ultimately did the exact opposite of help matters there, as it was seen in many corners of fandom as an artificial life-extension of what was by then a tired, exhausted franchise. GT still had its fans, definitely, but they were largely the die-hards like me: in mid-90s pre-Toonami anime fandom terms, Dragon Ball was kinda becoming vaguely similar and roughly analogous to what a lot of Simpsons' fans were starting to think of that series by the early/mid 2000s: its a classic, and an ubiquitous standard that everyone knows and regards fondly to one degree or another, but one than had also gotten long in the tooth now and was way past its prime.

So understand that from the perspective of a guy like me, who well remembers THAT time in DB history... from my perspective, the constant clamoring among younger, post-dub fans today of being ravenously hungry for more new DB material as far late into the game as the 2010s is just.... surreal and bizarre. On the one hand, there's already FUCKTON of material there from the original 80s and 90s run as it is: 500+ episodes of anime, 42 volumes of manga, and over a dozen feature films, plus all the video games to boot. That should be MORE than enough DB for anyone in any lifetime.

On the other hand though: the dub had the luxury of burning through the series after it was already complete. Even though thanks to all the delays and production clusterfucks going on behind the scenes it still ultimately took FUNimation roughly the same amount of time as the Japanese version to run through the whole thing (1996 - 2005 or so, which is fucking absurd for simply dubbing a show that's had all the hard work of being animated from scratch already done FOR them), a VAST majority of its U.S. fanbase didn't come onboard till a bit later in once it had left the graveyard shift of syndication and made its way into a primetime cable channel slot.

And further add to that the fact that the vast majority of the post-dub U.S. fanbase had never even bothered with any of original DB and just flat out ignored it completely: so that further cuts over 150 episodes and six story arcs worth of material from the equation for them. And for the relatively few that did bother with original DB, they were getting it alongside Z rather than having to wait for everything sequentially.

From the perspective of a typical U.S. fan who probably first got into DBZ on Cartoon Network lets say in the early 2000s: that's roughly around five years of rapidly burning through all of the material on a DAILY (rather than weekly) basis. Not having everything drip fed to them via weekly chapters of the manga or episodes of the anime, but getting EVERYTHING downed in much larger gulps every single weekday across a roughly five years stretch.

That's a COLOSSALLY different experience from what those of us from back in the Japanese run did: which is get a little drip drab at a time every week (or for those of us collecting fansubs/raws overseas, a slighter larger drip drab every month or so) over the course of a close to TEN YEAR long period. And much, MUCH fewer pre-dub fans looked towards pre-Z original DB with a skeptical eye: if anything there were FAR more fans back then who felt that original DB was vastly superior to Z and that Z in general was a significant step down. So that adds that extra 153 episodes/6 story arcs (and/or their equivalent manga volumes) onto the whole deal, as well as having gone through them all properly in sequential order for those older fans.

Like the early 2000s Cartoon Network fans who came after me, since I was (by the standards of the bootleg VHS fansub era) late to the party and got into things in '92, my experience following the Japanese version was also spread across something closer to five years rather than a decade: but despite that I A) was still affixed to the MUCH more gradual schedule of the weekly Japanese release (which as a foreign fan during those days was more closer to monthly) and B) unlike apparently a lot of CN-era fans (many of whom were, at least in their earliest periods, totally clueless of not only DB's age, but even that it was Japanese at all), I was going into things from the beginning with foreknowledge that this series was already quite old and had been ongoing for many, many years longer than from when I'd first heard of it.

So even though I had a lot more "this is so fresh and new to me" enthusiasm during the late-period material than the more jaded older fans who'd been there since original DB, I still had more than plenty of solid perspective right from the jump that I was a late arrival to a party than had been ongoing for a very long stretch of time prior to me.

My point of rehashing all that is simply this: the perspective of most U.S. fans, who mainly know this series via FUNimation and Cartoon Network and how they'd handled and released it, is WILDLY, markedly skewed and tends to leave many of them with the (decidedly false) impression and visceral feeling that DB as a franchise is MUCH "newer" and MUCH shorter/quicker to burn through than it actually is and CLEARLY was if you'd been following it during its actual original Japanese run.

A five year daily jaunt (with breaks in between, and getting a LOT more material clumped together at once) from 1999 to 2004 or so of about roughly 350 episodes worth of material is nowhere NEAR the same thing as a weekly drip-fed (one little bit per week or a few bits per month) odyssey from roughly 1986/1987 to 1995/1996 of over 500 episodes worth of material.

This I think is at least a significant part of why it is that so many U.S. fans tend to treat Dragon Ball as this early millennial series that had a more than decent run for a few years but still left itself with plenty more room to be fleshed out and to grow more and doesn't feel at all tired to them... as opposed to what it really is: an 80s through 90s decade-long, 500 episode dense monstrosity that had, by most people's standards towards its final years, overstayed its welcome by a decent length of time and left many fans feeling a mixture of fond wistfulness as well as genuine relief that it was finally over and no longer dragging its feet out the door.

My bigger point here ultimately being: even though Dragon Ball was a fresh new toy in the eyes of mainstream U.S. children who didn't know of it until Toonami, there were still plenty of people (the world over) who HAD been following it long many years before then for whom, by GT's run from 1996 to 97, DB had gotten to be an immensely tired and stale franchise zombie that had been going for at least a few years and a few story arcs too long.

Your perspective of how you experienced DB as U.S. children in the early 2000s is NOT universal to the rest of the world (particularly Japan's, for purposes of this topic here): and so while you may see GT (and the original series run overall) as a cool if relatively short-lived thing that didn't get enough of a chance to really spread its wings fully and show its potential, there were PLENTY of other corners of fandom from many years long before then for whom GT was a belabored, needless further extension of something that was long over-bloated in length as it was already.
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.

User avatar
ABED
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 16995
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:23 am
Location: VA
Contact:

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by ABED » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:48 pm

Pokémon is primarily a video game. Not really the same thing.
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
Happiness is climate, not weather.

User avatar
TheMikado
I Live Here
Posts: 4866
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:28 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by TheMikado » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:03 pm

ABED wrote:Pokémon is primarily a video game. Not really the same thing.
And a card game, and a dozen other pieces of merchandise. Pokémon is literally a different type of anime as it’s a more monster of the week variety similar to tradition American Saturday morning cartoon shows which did not rely on serialized storytelling week to week.

It’s basically possible like most other cartoons, to jump in at any time because the main characters and especially their ages don’t change. Making it indefinitely targeted at a specific demographic.

User avatar
JohnnyCashKami
Temporarily Banned
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:16 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:51 pm

Dragon Ball GT was sadly cancelled but hey, it had a beautiful bittersweet ending. There's tons of people who hate GT but even they probably like how things were wrapped up in GT, too.

Akihito Tokunaga's music helped immensely whereas the Menza score just ruined it, as to how it was originally intended to be experienced.

Piccolo Daimaoh
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5406
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Piccolo Daimaoh » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:29 pm

Is there confirmation that GT was actually cut short? I mean it's likely that the writers wanted to keep it going as long as possible, but was anything officially said?



Granted that it was cut short, I think it's because GT wasn't really resonating with fans. More so the first arc, which they later tried turn around but by then it was too late. This is probably also why Path to Power flopped and a Hero's Legacy was only released as a TV special.

User avatar
Robo4900
I Live Here
Posts: 3359
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:24 pm
Location: In another time and place...

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:25 am

Piccolo Daimaoh wrote:Is there confirmation that GT was actually cut short? I mean it's likely that the writers wanted to keep it going as long as possible, but was anything officially said?

Granted that it was cut short, I think it's because GT wasn't really resonating with fans. More so the first arc, which they later tried turn around but by then it was too late. This is probably also why Path to Power flopped and a Hero's Legacy was only released as a TV special.
Arguably, it had an extended run. IIRC its initial order was for 40 episodes, then it got an extension of a further 24 plus a special.
Akira Toriyama wrote:Like many things people endlessly insist that I said, I never said this.

User avatar
VegettoEX
Kanzenshuu Co-Owner & Administrator
Posts: 16462
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:10 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by VegettoEX » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:58 am

Robo4900 wrote:Arguably, it had an extended run. IIRC its initial order was for 40 episodes, then it got an extension of a further 24 plus a special.
I have never read legitimate citations for this information.
:: [| Mike "VegettoEX" LaBrie |] ::
:: [| Kanzenshuu - Co-Founder/Administrator, Podcast Host, News Manager (note: our "job" titles are arbitrary and meaningless) |] ::
:: [| Website: January 1998 |] :: [| Podcast: November 2005 |] :: [| Fusion: April 2012 |] :: [| Wiki: 20XX |] ::

User avatar
Robo4900
I Live Here
Posts: 3359
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:24 pm
Location: In another time and place...

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:45 am

VegettoEX wrote:
Robo4900 wrote:Arguably, it had an extended run. IIRC its initial order was for 40 episodes, then it got an extension of a further 24 plus a special.
I have never read legitimate citations for this information.
Hm. Now that you mention it, I can't remember where I heard this. Might just be misinformation I picked up and never put under a microscope.
Akira Toriyama wrote:Like many things people endlessly insist that I said, I never said this.

User avatar
Drayenko
Beyond-the-Beyond Newbie
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:29 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Drayenko » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:50 am

Just to name an example. The Slam Dunk anime never adapted the last arc (It was "canceled"). We're talking here about a GIGANTIC manga, with incredible sales. I looked it up and it seems to be that the anime wasn't cancelled due to poor ratings or anything, but due to an argument between Inoue (Author) and the Anime production company. So, again: Final Bout had good sales from what I can gather (a game based on GT nonetheless). What were the main forms of income for Dragon Ball at that time? I honestly don't know.

Heck, maybe they were thinking long term, and the series would produce the same income with our without an anime. Maybe 64 episodes was the idea from the beginning(?). Although, I've always understood that the Dr. Slump 97' anime was produced because GT was cancelled and they had a contract still. Can anyone confirm that?

And again, I'm not a GT fan or anything. I just honestly believe we've never had all the facts on what happened.
Last edited by Drayenko on Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Kurakaio
Newbie
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:11 am

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Kurakaio » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:55 am

Drayenko wrote:Just to name an example. The Slam Dunk anime never adapted the last arc (It was "canceled"). We're talking here about a GIGANTIC manga, with incredible sales. I looked it up and it seems to be that the anime wasn't cancelled due to poor ratings or anything, but due to an argument between Inoue (Author) and the Anime production company. So, again: Final Bout had good sales from what I can gather (a game based on GT nonetheless). What were the main forms of income for Dragon Ball at that time? I honestly don't know.
Bleach was also cancelled despite being as popular as Slam Dunk. Its weird...

User avatar
Hellspawn28
Namekian Warrior
Posts: 14010
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:50 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:21 pm

Piccolo Daimaoh wrote:Is there confirmation that GT was actually cut short? I mean it's likely that the writers wanted to keep it going as long as possible, but was anything officially said?
Knowing Toei, they probably wanted to milk GT and keep it as long as they could. The Heroes Legacy special felt like that the show didn't go well as they plan and they were going to end it soon since it aired after the Baby saga and before the Super 17 saga.
PS4 username: Guyver_Spawn_27
MAL Profile: http://myanimelist.net/profile/Hellspawn28
Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/GS27/

Piccolo Daimaoh
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5406
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Piccolo Daimaoh » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:49 am

Yeah, that's probably the likeliest reason. But VegettoEX said, there's no official confirmation and it's unlikely that there ever was/will be. The only thing would be find out the TV ratings at the time and infer from those that GT wasn't going well, but that would be pretty hard to do.

User avatar
VegettoEX
Kanzenshuu Co-Owner & Administrator
Posts: 16462
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:10 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by VegettoEX » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:51 am

Piccolo Daimaoh wrote:The only thing would be find out the TV ratings at the time and infer from those that GT wasn't going well, but that would be pretty hard to do.
That has been documented for years and is available right here on the website.

Ratings are just one tiny piece of the story and don't really tell much.
:: [| Mike "VegettoEX" LaBrie |] ::
:: [| Kanzenshuu - Co-Founder/Administrator, Podcast Host, News Manager (note: our "job" titles are arbitrary and meaningless) |] ::
:: [| Website: January 1998 |] :: [| Podcast: November 2005 |] :: [| Fusion: April 2012 |] :: [| Wiki: 20XX |] ::

Piccolo Daimaoh
Born 'n Bred Here
Posts: 5406
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: What really happened to GT?

Post by Piccolo Daimaoh » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:01 am

Oh, okay. Thanks for that.


I'm assuming the "rating shares" are the percentage GT got out of the entire TV audience for that time slot. So yeah, it probably doesn't tell us much, especially since they vary widely from week to week.

Post Reply