DBZ is still DB

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DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:06 pm

I didn't realize how controversial this point was or that there would be so many people on this very forum who still cling to the idea that DB and DBZ are so different as to be two completely different shows. They aren't. There are so many flaws in their argument. For instance, the insistence that DB and DBZ in different genres. DB is more fantasy, comedy, adventure, and martial arts while DBZ is more serious and sci-fi. There's a lot more I could add, but I'm lazy and I insist on you guys doing the work for me :)
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by NewKakarot » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:16 pm

Some people argue that they're split starting with the appearance of Raditz (like in the anime), because that's apparently the start of a tonal shift?

Idk, I personally thought the tone shifted starting with Krillin's death and Piccolo Daimao, but I don't think the change is drastic to the point of it really being a different series.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:25 pm

On the manga, it was one whole series but the anime version had it split to two series. Dragon Ball with 153 episodes and Dragon Ball Z with 291 episodes. The Majin Boo arc kind of feels like it could have been a sequel to Dragon Ball Z since it felt very fresh and new but it was just kept as another arc.

There's also the Full Color mangas of Dragon Ball series, it covered first Z and then Dragon Ball (Boyhood arc). Viz has yet to release it all in English.

Dragon Ball Z definitely feels very different from Dragon Ball due to the use of Saiyans, visiting alien planets, the Other World, Gods, beam attacks, etc. Dragon Ball was more down to earth, imo.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Gaffer Tape » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:28 pm

I'm totally with you on this one. It's maddening how people feel and treat it like two different series when they really, really aren't. But I'm going to be lazy too and just copy and paste my thoughts from a Dragon Ball Dissection episode where I covered this topic:

In my experience, I have heard the split defended by fans. Specifically, I hear it defended by fans who are devoted to the Z portion, who generally aren't as big a fan of the stuff that came before it. Or alternatively, I hear it from fans who prefer the replacement American musical score and use the split to justify why the original music is okay for Dragon Ball but not appropriate for Dragon Ball Z. And it usually boils down to a handful of arguments: 1. Dragon Ball is an action comedy while Dragon Ball Z is an action drama. 2. Dragon Ball is about Goku as a kid while Dragon Ball Z is about Goku as an adult. 3. Dragon Ball is fantasy while Dragon Ball Z is science fiction. 4. Dragon Ball is about Goku while Dragon Ball Z is about Gohan.

So let's start with number one, which is usually the one I hear justifying the replacement of the musical score. Is the Z portion generally more serious than the DB portion? Yes. But that's in a general sense. For the most part you could split the series at any point, and what comes after the split would generally be more serious. And that's because, as a whole, Dragon Ball gets progressively more serious. The Red Ribbon Arc is more serious than the Hunt for the Dragon Balls arc. And to completely devalue that, the Boo arc is less serious than the Cell arc, although, like a lot of this content is going to be, it's not something Toei would have been aware of at the time. But if I was forced to pinpoint one moment where the series shifted to a more serious tone, it would have been right here (visual of Kuririn's death--this was originally presented as a video). The start of the Piccolo arc is the most abrupt shift to an action-oriented, battle to save the world type story, which is why fans at the time thought the story was going to end at its conclusion. Same thing for number two. Yes, Z exclusively features an adult Goku, and DB generally features a childlike but technically adolescent Goku. But again, Goku “grows up” at the beginning of the 23rd Budoukai arc. And don't tell me that legal adulthood in Japan is 20, and according to the timeline Goku is 18. Toriyama said he came to his editor insisting he make Goku an adult in that arc, not the Saiyan arc. It's in that arc where everyone freaks out that Goku has grown up, not the Saiyan arc. The number is just semantics. Goku is presented as having matured a whole arc before the Z split.

As for the third point, the fantasy versus science fiction, there is certainly something of a case for that. Goku and Piccolo, previously rooted purely in fantasy, are rewritten in the Saiyan arc to be of alien descent. The next arc has the characters go out into space. The next arc has the villains as robots and biotechnology with the story rooted in a time travel premise. And little by little, the Chinese-inspired topography and classic martial arts feel is replaced. Still, I have a hard time with the term “science fiction” being used to describe any part of Dragon Ball. As the name implies, science needs to be involved, and Dragon Ball doesn't even attempt to incorporate it. If anything, it's replacing an East Asian fantasy with a space and technology fantasy. And that's not taking into account the fact that Dragon Ball, from day one, has featured advanced technology, most notably its Hoi Poi Capsules, flying cars, and futuristic cities, none of which would be out of place in a science fiction work.

For the 4th point... yeah, before the split is a Gohan-free zone. In fact, one of the titles Toei pitched for this rebranding was, I kid you not, Dragon Ball: Gohan's Big Adventure. Calling him the main character over Goku? I'd argue against that. Yes, Gohan has more room to develop, while Goku becomes relegated to the guy who shows up at the last minute to save the day, but Goku's still clearly the star.

But while I still maintain the series does not need to be split into two, that doing so probably does more than a small disservice to the earlier material, and that the supposed rationale for it involves quite a bit of hindsight and somewhat inaccurate generalizations, did it end up serving as a good spot in which to split it? Actually... yes! Prior to this arc, the story had come to a wrap-up point so conclusive that Kame'sennin had to address the audience to tell them it wasn't the end of the story. It introduces Saiyans, who, for better or worse, will dominate the series from this point on. It introduces Gohan and Vegeta, who will be two of the most important characters for the rest of the series. It starts out with a reunion of characters who haven't seen each other in a long time. Gohan does serve as something of a launching pad for a “new generation.” Even the character of Lunch is written out between the two arcs, although since Dragon Ball Z added her to some early episodes, that one doesn't quite work out. Other than between the Cell and Boo arcs, I can't think of another point in the series that would serve anywhere near as well to split it. That's not to say I agree with it. As far as I'm concerned, it's one series, and I usually refrain from saying Dragon Ball Z or DBZ while talking about the franchise unless I am absolutely specifically talking about something from that particular TV series or the movies related to it. I'm just saying, as far as choosing a point goes, especially given how little information they had about the future direction of the story, they did an amazing job.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:47 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote:I'm totally with you on this one. It's maddening how people feel and treat it like two different series when they really, really aren't. But I'm going to be lazy too and just copy and paste my thoughts from a Dragon Ball Dissection episode where I covered this topic:

In my experience, I have heard the split defended by fans. Specifically, I hear it defended by fans who are devoted to the Z portion, who generally aren't as big a fan of the stuff that came before it. Or alternatively, I hear it from fans who prefer the replacement American musical score and use the split to justify why the original music is okay for Dragon Ball but not appropriate for Dragon Ball Z. And it usually boils down to a handful of arguments: 1. Dragon Ball is an action comedy while Dragon Ball Z is an action drama. 2. Dragon Ball is about Goku as a kid while Dragon Ball Z is about Goku as an adult. 3. Dragon Ball is fantasy while Dragon Ball Z is science fiction. 4. Dragon Ball is about Goku while Dragon Ball Z is about Gohan.

So let's start with number one, which is usually the one I hear justifying the replacement of the musical score. Is the Z portion generally more serious than the DB portion? Yes. But that's in a general sense. For the most part you could split the series at any point, and what comes after the split would generally be more serious. And that's because, as a whole, Dragon Ball gets progressively more serious. The Red Ribbon Arc is more serious than the Hunt for the Dragon Balls arc. And to completely devalue that, the Boo arc is less serious than the Cell arc, although, like a lot of this content is going to be, it's not something Toei would have been aware of at the time. But if I was forced to pinpoint one moment where the series shifted to a more serious tone, it would have been right here (visual of Kuririn's death--this was originally presented as a video). The start of the Piccolo arc is the most abrupt shift to an action-oriented, battle to save the world type story, which is why fans at the time thought the story was going to end at its conclusion. Same thing for number two. Yes, Z exclusively features an adult Goku, and DB generally features a childlike but technically adolescent Goku. But again, Goku “grows up” at the beginning of the 23rd Budoukai arc. And don't tell me that legal adulthood in Japan is 20, and according to the timeline Goku is 18. Toriyama said he came to his editor insisting he make Goku an adult in that arc, not the Saiyan arc. It's in that arc where everyone freaks out that Goku has grown up, not the Saiyan arc. The number is just semantics. Goku is presented as having matured a whole arc before the Z split.

As for the third point, the fantasy versus science fiction, there is certainly something of a case for that. Goku and Piccolo, previously rooted purely in fantasy, are rewritten in the Saiyan arc to be of alien descent. The next arc has the characters go out into space. The next arc has the villains as robots and biotechnology with the story rooted in a time travel premise. And little by little, the Chinese-inspired topography and classic martial arts feel is replaced. Still, I have a hard time with the term “science fiction” being used to describe any part of Dragon Ball. As the name implies, science needs to be involved, and Dragon Ball doesn't even attempt to incorporate it. If anything, it's replacing an East Asian fantasy with a space and technology fantasy. And that's not taking into account the fact that Dragon Ball, from day one, has featured advanced technology, most notably its Hoi Poi Capsules, flying cars, and futuristic cities, none of which would be out of place in a science fiction work.

For the 4th point... yeah, before the split is a Gohan-free zone. In fact, one of the titles Toei pitched for this rebranding was, I kid you not, Dragon Ball: Gohan's Big Adventure. Calling him the main character over Goku? I'd argue against that. Yes, Gohan has more room to develop, while Goku becomes relegated to the guy who shows up at the last minute to save the day, but Goku's still clearly the star.

But while I still maintain the series does not need to be split into two, that doing so probably does more than a small disservice to the earlier material, and that the supposed rationale for it involves quite a bit of hindsight and somewhat inaccurate generalizations, did it end up serving as a good spot in which to split it? Actually... yes! Prior to this arc, the story had come to a wrap-up point so conclusive that Kame'sennin had to address the audience to tell them it wasn't the end of the story. It introduces Saiyans, who, for better or worse, will dominate the series from this point on. It introduces Gohan and Vegeta, who will be two of the most important characters for the rest of the series. It starts out with a reunion of characters who haven't seen each other in a long time. Gohan does serve as something of a launching pad for a “new generation.” Even the character of Lunch is written out between the two arcs, although since Dragon Ball Z added her to some early episodes, that one doesn't quite work out. Other than between the Cell and Boo arcs, I can't think of another point in the series that would serve anywhere near as well to split it. That's not to say I agree with it. As far as I'm concerned, it's one series, and I usually refrain from saying Dragon Ball Z or DBZ while talking about the franchise unless I am absolutely specifically talking about something from that particular TV series or the movies related to it. I'm just saying, as far as choosing a point goes, especially given how little information they had about the future direction of the story, they did an amazing job.
You hit the nail on the head with those points, as i still personally consider it one whole story the way that the manga does unlike in the anime where they went with said split after episode 153 which drew the anime only Wedding Dress aka Fire Princess filler arc to a close. I just don't get the complaints of people who say Dragon Ball isn't serious when it does eventually get to be that by the Piccolo Daimao arc, as Toriyama had already likely intended to only continue with the lighter Dr. Slump style comedic tone for so long before eventually moving over to a heavier hitting form of action more akin to what we see in Z.

To refer to each point you laid out

1. The setups of both are not mutually exclusive, the more gag based tone segues into the harder hitting action after a certain point.

2. It's all a chronicle of his growth over time not just his age but as a fighter as well.

3. There are some science elements involved, but Dragon Ball isn't science fiction like Star Wars.

4. Seriously?? They were going to name the show that????? I am glad that they didn't because it ultimately wasn't The Gohan Show.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:58 pm

I think both are different, however there's no denying that Dragon Ball starts becoming more and more Z-like as it goes, particularly through the two Piccolo arcs, and by the last episode it's "DBZ Episode 0". Yeah they're different if you compare them at certain points, but one turns into the other. It's a single continuous, evolving work and that applies equally to the way it's written and the way it's drawn, and to ignore that is to ignore how the original work was created in the first place. DBZ is as much a "new show" as Sailor Moon R is to Sailor Moon. And yet people don't split THOSE up into different shows, they just say "The Sailor Moon anime".

The only reason why DBZ got a new amount of music from Kikuchi was because the production of Z was a fresh start even if the story wasn't (which, as most of us here feel, was entirely unnecessary). And even then Kikuchi still used a lot of the old stuff; a classic piece that debuted in the second ever DB arc was used for an End of Z episode for crying out loud!

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:17 pm

I’m 100 percent sure if

1. Toei didn’t rebrand the anime from Radditz onward as Z (which wasnt how the manga did it!)

And
2. If Funimation didn’t, more or less, skip ahead to Z

We wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

The tone and feel of course gradually changes into something more serious (while never losing its campiness or wackiness!) as the series progressed but it didn’t come out of nowhere when Raditz arrived. Toriyama didn’t just wake up one day and go “hmm I’m about to completely change the genre and tone”


First you have the Shenron arc which is easily the most comedic light hearted fluff. Also originally intended to be the only arc

Then you have the Roshi arc which while still incredibly comedic in tone and execution the series finally finds its footing as a martial arts series. (Its arguably a martial arts series in the first arc but this was when it became the main focus)

Then there’s the Red Ribbon Arc while it also has a lot of comedy and farce in it it still plays itself much more serious and straightfoward than the previous two arcs. We get our first, comparivately serious antagonist. Actual stakes and illusions of consequences with a good guy dying. Goku almost dies for the first time.

By the Piccolo Daimou arc we get our first dead serious villains (camp elements surround him but again the Saiyan saga had the Z fighters battle characters named after vegetables and Freeza saga had a Sentai parody) and there’s very little reason to distinguish anything between this saga and Z other than kid Goku.


And by the Piccolo JR it pretty much IS Dragon Ball Z as we know it. If I took a clip from Goku and Piccolo JR fighting and slapped some Faulconer crap on it and showed it to a casual fan I would have zero trouble convincing them it was a scene from DBZ

The arrival of Radditz didn’t mark a complete tonal shift rather it was a work in progress that pretty much completed its progress by the Piccolo Jr arc if not the Daimou saga

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:23 pm

From the Pedophilia in Dragon Ball thread:
ABED wrote:
The rice cooker, the gags in the airship with Pilaf & Co., his campy personality, etc. etc. make him sillier than Freeza. Even Boo is treated more seriously in his later forms. I personally find Piccolo Daimao to be hilarious, but can't say the same for Vegeta, Freeza, or Cell.
How is he campy? I fail to see the camp in murdering people left and right, including Kuririn at the very beginning. There's an air of dread that hangs over the entire arc. Pilaf and company were lackies whom he discarded when they were no longer of use to him and there weren't gags on the airship. And even in Buu's later forms, he's still often silly. What was light about the tone of the Piccolo Daimao arc?
The Piccolo Daimao arc alternated between light-hearted and heavier tones, with Piccolo himself portrayed as comically evil. His over-the-top fear of the Denshi jar, his weird old man shtick on the airship, his child-like glee and anger. Takeshi Aono just makes him a mixed bag. Plus all of the Yajirobe material etc. Maybe it's not as wacky in the manga, but it's what I see in the anime.
ABED wrote:
Like I said before, silly parts within a more serious whole.
The same could be said for your list of the Daimao arc.
Except the silliness in DBZ are bit pieces. The Daimao arc is much more heavily slanted towards "wacky", while including some serious bits like Kuririn and Muten Roshi's deaths etc.
ABED wrote:
If anything, the dub made it less serious and more campy
What? We clearly don't see things the same way. Freeza's dub personality is the essence of camp.
I said *less* serious, and *more* campy, as opposed to the original Japanese.
ABED wrote:
Even Bobbidi and Majin Boo's antics feel darker and heavier than anything in the Daimao saga.
Because killing the protagonist's best friend and master isn't heavy.
Heavy yes, but compared to the Boo saga's tone...

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:35 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
Except the silliness in DBZ are bit pieces
No more than the Daimou arc

. The Daimao arc is much more heavily slanted towards "wacky", while including some serious bits like Kuririn and Muten Roshi's deaths etc.
Except just the opposite. The whole ordeal takes a serious tone and slant with the comedy bits offering some levity.

It was a serious story with goofy elements not a wacky story with some serious elements
ABED wrote:
Heavy yes, but compared to the Boo saga's tone...
I find it a bit hilarious you try to pass the Piccolo Daimou as being comedic while pretending the Buu arc wasn’t silly.

Villains named after a song in Cinderella

Two kids fusing together using a goofy dance and that fusion coming up with derpy attack names like Buu Buu volleyball and galactic donut

A bubblegum monster that turns people into candy and is obsessed with it (even when he becomes “serious”)

Fighting coffee candy

A god that is persuaded to help out at the promise to feel up a woman

But no the Buu arc was more serious than the Piccolo Daimou arc

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:14 am

DB is changing all the time. Most will agree on that point, but it seems some believe it keeps changing until it reaches DBZ then it settles in, but it's just not true. The tone isn't uniform.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by superfan2024 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:57 pm

Very very very ignorant question, but would consider Super as still apart of DB? (Excluding the obvious fact that Super itself isn't apart of the 42 volumes).

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:18 pm

superfan2024 wrote:Very very very ignorant question, but would consider Super as still apart of DB? (Excluding the obvious fact that Super itself isn't apart of the 42 volumes).
Well yes. I mean, it has Dragon Ball right there in the name. GT is also Dragon Ball by the same measure.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Cetra » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:25 pm

Heads, arms and legs are part of the same body. You can still refer to them by their own name instead of saying "the body". Just because the manga does not differentiate between the sections does not mean those sections do not or cannot have their own name. At the same time it does not make them "not part" of the same body. It is all about what is meant. I rather say "DBZ" instead of "Dragon Ball vol. 17-42". I rather say "Dragon Ball Super" instead of "Dragon Ball vol. 42,85". I rather say "Dragon Ball GT" instead of "Dragon Ball vol. 43". The latter ones are taken with a bit of freedom to bring in more examples. Of course they are not in the original vols.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Gaffer Tape » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:28 pm

superfan2024 wrote:Very very very ignorant question, but would consider Super as still apart of DB? (Excluding the obvious fact that Super itself isn't apart of the 42 volumes).
No. Well, I should clarify. It is part of the Dragon Ball franchise, obviously. But it is not Dragon Ball in the context that is being discussed here, that being the original storyline that ran from 1984 through 1995, and which was subsequently adapted for television. The terms Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are adaptations that split for no other reason than marketing what was, by every conceivable metric, one series originally, which was called Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball GT, Super, and anything else conceived and created separately from that original series, is not a part of the original Dragon Ball. That is not a judgment of quality or a declaration of canonicity. It is simply the fact of the matter: Dragon Ball Super is not a part of Dragon Ball as it is being discussed here but rather a true sequel series released decades after the original.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by NewKakarot » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:42 pm

I guess it doesn't help that the VIZ releases of the manga are all split between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. I think the only exception is the 3-in-1 release

Oh, and the Full Color sets. But they released them starting with the Saiyan Arc, even in Japan from what I've heard

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Jaetinh » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:12 pm

It honestly annoys me when people refer to the Dragon Ball franchise as DBZ and I believe it's mostly the people who grew up with the English dub. People who think DBZ is one thing and DB is another thing (prequel) are deluded. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and many other European countries had all 42 volumes released back in the day so luckily most European people think of Dragon Ball as Dragon Ball and not just DBZ. I've never had an interaction with a person who asked 'Do you watch Dragon Ball Z', only 'Dragon Ball'. Must be because I've never interacted with an American DB fan.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Gligarman » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:24 pm

NewKakarot wrote:I guess it doesn't help that the VIZ releases of the manga are all split between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. I think the only exception is the 3-in-1 release
Definitely true. Despite some blatant false advertising regarding it being "uncut and uncensored," the 3-in-1 release is till the best version to collect in English because it's still the least edited version and it has the proper chapter numbers. With that said, one of the reasons why Battle of Gods is still my favorite DB movie is because it was silly. It was basically a feature length version of the half hour special they put out a decade ago which I thought was fantastic! I feel like once the later part of the series started to take itself too seriously for too long the show lost a bit of its identity. That's why over time I've come to appreciate the Buu saga a lot more because it had its intense moments, it's cool moments, but it remained silly throughout. Regardless of who's fighting who DB should be silly. That's what makes it stand out.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Michsi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:45 pm

When referring to the anime, yes and no. Stylistically speaking they are different enough that I don't blame someone who loves Z to not be taken with early DB. The Piccolo Saga may start leaning towards the tone that Z is known for and the 23rd TB definitely as action driven as any Z arc, but all in all, DB is definitely less "thrilling" and intense than Z aims to be. Yes, they are not completely different, but I think splitting the two and handing Z over to another director was a good move. At the very least not a bad one.

For the record, I'm someone that loves DB.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MKCSTEALTH » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:49 pm

I feel the two shows flow fairly well together as far as natural progression is concerned. The revelation that Goku is an alien does add a sci-fi twist, and while there isn't as much emphasis on the adventure over battling new foes, overall Dragonball was about Goku's progression as a fighter. The adventure was a means to that end in my opinion

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:50 pm

It was a good move in that a simple change in marketing made all the difference in terms of popularity.
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