DBZ is still DB

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by superfan2024 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:51 pm

KBABZ wrote:
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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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.
For clarification, when I said "be apart of Dragon Ball" I wasn't talking about the franchise/brand, I was talking about the context of this topic, more specifically regarding the OG 42 volumes if this is what the author of this thread was implying about the split with Raditz and beyond.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:53 pm

superfan2024 wrote:For clarification, when I said "be apart of Dragon Ball" I wasn't talking about the franchise/brand, I was talking about the context of this topic, more specifically regarding the OG 42 volumes if this is what the author of this thread was implying about the split with Raditz and beyond.
Ah, in this case, no, I wouldn't consider it part of the OG run despite Toriyama's involvement.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:21 pm

The DBZ era is a new beginning for DB. Gone are the days of dirty humor, martial arts tournaments, and wacky villains. You're immediately introduced to a new version of Goku in the form of Gohan, who challenges his father for the "main character" spot. The villains are more sinister than ever before, and the stakes are raised higher than anyone would expect. The tone becomes even more serious and bleak. Even the Majin Boo saga, in all of its absurdity, cannot escape this darkness.

Sure, DB was always changing, and the evolution is gradual. However, I think the distinction between the 23rd Budoukai and Raditz is very clear. It's a fresh start for the series, and in no way "just another new story arc".

Having said that, yes, DBZ did still have perverts and tournaments and comedy, because it's still Dragon Ball. It's just not as heavy or significant as it was in the earlier arcs. Notice how it really falls apart when Toriyama attempts to reintroduce these elements in the final saga? It results in some dreadful and unwatchable episodes in my view.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:23 pm

MyVisionity wrote:The DBZ era is a new beginning for DB. Gone are the days of dirty humor, martial arts tournaments, and wacky villains. You're immediately introduced to a new version of Goku in the form of Gohan, who challenges his father for the "main character" spot. The villains are more sinister than ever before, and the stakes are raised higher than anyone would expect. The tone becomes even more serious and bleak. Even the Majin Boo saga, in all of its absurdity, cannot escape this darkness.

Sure, DB was always changing, and the evolution is gradual. However, I think the distinction between the 23rd Budoukai and Raditz is very clear. It's a fresh start for the series, and in no way "just another new story arc".

Having said that, yes, DBZ did still have perverts and tournaments and comedy, because it's still Dragon Ball. It's just not as heavy or significant as it was in the earlier arcs. Notice how it really falls apart when Toriyama attempts to reintroduce these elements in the final saga? It results in some dreadful and unwatchable episodes in my view.
The Ginyu Force and Buu aren't wacky villains? Gohan is in no way a new version of Goku. He's just the main character's son. Piccolo and his son are both very sinister. And even though the series gets more serious over time, it never ever becomes bleak. There are moments of darkness, but it's never bleak. I'm still at a loss as to how you can earnestly believe Piccolo is wacky/campy/whatever term you used. He revels in his evil, but he's not Skeletor. He actually succeeds in murdering people. Meanwhile Buu turns people into candy.

It absolutely is just another new story arc. It's no different than when other series bring long story arcs to a close and begin new ones. They're fundamentally the same show, but the previous threads were wrapped up. Buffy is still the same show after the high school years.

As for the tournaments, they aren't as significant because Goku finally won the most important one to that point.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by NewKakarot » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:46 pm

ABED wrote: I'm still at a loss as to how you can earnestly believe Piccolo is wacky/campy/whatever term you used.
I think it may be because he was originally sealed in a rice cooker and he had the Pilaf Gang with him at first. That's about it though

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:58 pm

NewKakarot wrote:
ABED wrote: I'm still at a loss as to how you can earnestly believe Piccolo is wacky/campy/whatever term you used.
I think it may be because he was originally sealed in a rice cooker and he had the Pilaf Gang with him at first. That's about it though
Yes, while Piccolo Daimao may be a serious villain there are some wacky/campy moments with his character I.e. his almost crippling fear of the Denshin Jar. I always laugh when Roshi throws the Hoi Poi Capsule containing it and Piccolo starts quaking in his boots when he realizes what's inside.

I mean think about it, a Mazoku who is scared of a rice cooker. :lol:
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:15 pm

ABED wrote:The Ginyu Force and Buu aren't wacky villains?
I refer primarily to the main villains of each saga. So not really counting the Ginyu Force. Boo and his arc are a bit of an exception because it was deliberately a return to the silliness of the past. But even so, I still feel more dread and terror from the Boo arc than I ever did in the Daimao arc.
ABED wrote:Gohan is in no way a new version of Goku. He's just the main character's son.
Certainly in terms of personality and character traits, Gohan is the "anti-Goku" in many ways. However that doesn't change his positioning in the story.

The central focus almost immediately shifts to Gohan when the story begins and continues that way throughout the Saiyajin saga. It happens again on Namek. Goku takes a backseat to the "new Goku", his son. He may still be the lead, but he has to share the spotlight with Gohan. Like it was stated earlier, Toei had apparently considered naming it "Gohan's Big Adventure".

ABED wrote:And even though the series gets more serious over time, it never ever becomes bleak. There are moments of darkness, but it's never bleak.
I think things get bleak quite a bit, such as in the Freeza and Cell battles, culminating with Majin Boo, which might just be the bleakest.
ABED wrote:I'm still at a loss as to how you can earnestly believe Piccolo is wacky/campy/whatever term you used. He revels in his evil, but he's not Skeletor. He actually succeeds in murdering people. Meanwhile Buu turns people into candy.
It's all of the gags with Pilaf on the airship, and the stuff with the Denshi jar that makes it so silly. You would never see that in DBZ. And the way he comically reacts to everything. "Oh no, the Jar!!"... "What??!! He's alive and got a magical staff"... "What??!! His attack left a hole in my chest!!!". It's all so over the top and weird in a way that just doesn't happen in DBZ. Boo turns people into candy and still manages to be more terrifying than Daimao. The tonal difference had become too different by then to return to the wackiness of Piccolo Daimao.


ABED wrote:It absolutely is just another new story arc. It's no different than when other series bring long story arcs to a close and begin new ones. They're fundamentally the same show, but the previous threads were wrapped up. Buffy is still the same show after the high school years.
BtVS didn't add a new lead character for Buffy to share the focus with in Season Four. There was no big tonal shift, etc. Also I'm not really sure if it's fair to compare a live-action American series with a Japanese anime/manga series.
ABED wrote:As for the tournaments, they aren't as significant because Goku finally won the most important one to that point.
I think if Toriyama truly wanted to continue on with more tournaments he would have. It seems to me he was just over the whole Tenkaichi Budoukai thing and wanted to try different things.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:36 pm

I get the joke of it being a rice cooker, but it's not actually a rice cooker. It's a prison that he was stuck in for several hundred years. And the Pilaf gang being there doesn't tonally clash as they spend most of their time walking on egg shells.

You say the Buu arc is an exception, but that one arc is a LONG damn arc. It's practically a third of DBZ. Hardly an aberration. And where is this dread you feel in that arc coming from? The Majin Buu arc isn't bleak. The stakes are big, but it's still Dragon Ball we're talking about. I have a hard time feeling any dread over a giant gumball monster. Even as big as the stakes are, they don't feel big, they feel over the top.

Gohan didn't become the main character in either the Saiyan or Freeza arc. He's an important main character but not THE main character.
It's all of the gags with Pilaf on the airship, and the stuff with the Denshi jar that makes it so silly. You would never see that in DBZ. And the way he comically reacts to everything. "Oh no, the Jar!!"... "What??!! He's alive and got a magical staff"... "What??!! His attack left a hole in my chest!!!". It's all so over the top and weird in a way that just doesn't happen in DBZ. Boo turns people into candy and still manages to be more terrifying than Daimao. The tonal difference had become too different by then to return to the wackiness of Piccolo Daimao.
How is his reaction to dying over the top? I'm sure you can find a youtube clip. Show me this over the top reaction. He has a damn hole in his chest! What gags in the airship are you talking about? Thing is, the gags are never done at his expense, whereas Buu is constantly acting goofy, to the point that he falls asleep during a fight and even sips on an ice-cream during their fight. But sure, DBZ is so tonally different. There are no gags. Daimao is frightened of being locked up again. Your rationales in this aren't mere opinion. They are just wrong. Vegetto turns into a fighting candy for christ sake. The tone of the entire Buu arc is wacky. What exactly do you find so terrifying about Buu. One thing I've noticed is you cherry pick moments and downplay the same elements when they go against your point. The Buu arc has a laundry list of goofy stuff and yet, that somehow is just a bunch of moments, but somehow Piccolo is over the top.
I think if Toriyama truly wanted to continue on with more tournaments he would have. It seems to me he was just over the whole Tenkaichi Budoukai thing and wanted to try different things.
Of course he was over them. Goku became the champ! You can't go any higher.
BtVS didn't add a new lead character for Buffy to share the focus with in Season Four. There was no big tonal shift, etc. Also I'm not really sure if it's fair to compare a live-action American series with a Japanese anime/manga series.
Neither did DBZ. Gohan didn't become a lead until late in the game, and he didn't carry the Saiyan or Freeza arc any more than other characters. And there was no big tonal shift between DB and DBZ. It was constantly moving in different directions despite your claims to the contrary, and Buffy did make big tonal shifts over the seasons. Did you see how depressing season 6 was? Point is, it's all the same show, just like DB is all one story with constantly changing tones, characters, structures, etc. The only thing Toriyama seems to settle into once he gets to DBZ is the formula of Goku being taken out early in the arc.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Son Dragon » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:55 pm

DB: Toriyama is developing the story to increase it's popularity
DBZ: Toriyama keeps fighting with editors over what different villains should look like.
DBGT: Toriyama gives the story to his editors

Bonus Round:

DBSuper: Toriyama has become the editor and his successor work with him to create the story!!!

And there you have it DB in nutshell!!!

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Zephyr » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:02 am

The only actual creative change that corresponds to the Piccolo/Saiyan split in the manga is Toriyama's editor. His first editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, moved on after the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai. His next editor, Yū Kondō, was there until Cell absorbed #18.

That first change in editor cleanly matches the DB/Z split in the anime, which, naturally, comes with a new opening theme song. The second change in editor comes pretty close to lining up with what Gaffer Tape aptly described as the next most logical split point: the Cell/Boo boundary, which, conveniently, also serves as another boundary between two different openings.

Dragon Ball, the comic book written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, is one story. But if you felt the need to break it up into sections, I think the editorial changes largely show where to do that: into thirds, rather than halves. Deliberately or not, the anime pretty much does exactly this.

---

On the topic of tonal genre, though, I think it's more important to look at the story in one piece, rather than in three distinct sections. I see Dragon Ball's tone less as something that changes over time, and more as something that receives additional layers over time.

At its lowest, most fundamental, and foundational layer, Dragon Ball is a comedy. Akira Toriyama, by trade, writes funny comics. He's a comedian. His art is cartoony. Characters are named in accordance with elaborate and interrelated systems of name puns. His panel layout is rooted in comedic timing.

Naturally, being a fantasy martial arts series, it's also filled with action. This is the next layer up. The art gradually becomes more angular, largely in order to better facilitate action scenes, but this is still an angular deformation of his cartoony art style. Despite drawing fights and action sequences, the paneling is still firmly rooted in his comedic sensibilities. In a way, the fights are illustrated using, and flow with, the timing of jokes and their punchlines (no pun intended).

Finally, we have the drama. Things get genuinely grim for the first time with Tao Pai Pai, and hit the next major stops with Tenshinhan and Piccolo, before giving way to the likes of Vegeta, Freeza, and Cell. In other words, theres a very gradual increase in the density of the "drama layer", before we come out on the other end with the Boo arc. The final arc is arguably a huge return to form, with gags finally regaining their previously held prevalence, now sitting side by side with the drama. You could almost describe Dragon Ball as "a comedy, with a bell curve of drama in the middle".

It's worth noting that, even in this bell curve, the foundational layer of comedy never goes away: it's a dramatic story, but one that is presented by a comedian, in his cartoon-rooted art style, featuring fights that retain his gag timing, involving characters named after musical instruments, food items, food containers, and so on. This is to say nothing of characters like Kaio, the Ginyu, and Mr. Satan, who more directly inject comedy into arcs that otherwise (seemingly effortlessly) trick the reader into taking deathly seriously.

The far end of this curve, the Boo arc, also does a lot of self parody and bucks a lot of conventions that previous arcs had set up. That "bell curve of drama" almost acts like a setup for a joke, to which the Boo arc itself is the punchline. Meaning that even though Dragon Ball gets serious as fuck, and for quite a while, that seriousness acts, in the big picture, in service of the larger joke that the work as a whole represents. It builds, and builds, getting increasingly serious, stringing the reader along, tempting them to get more and more invested, getting them used to a certain narrative rhythm, only for the final arc to boldly declare: Gotcha!

I don't know if anyone here is familiar with Dave Chappelle, but he is a comedian. He's been in films, has had several stand up specials, and was most famously the namesake of Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show. He eventually left the show on very bad terms and made extensive efforts to avoid attention from the media and public. He recently had a slew of stand up specials on Netflix. At the very end of the last one, he tells a story about Iceberg Slim, a pimp who wrote an autobiography. There's a story in the book that Chappelle says encapsulates his experience leading up to his grand departure from the show. That bit feels incredibly similar to this reading of Dragon Ball that I'm presenting: it's a relatively very serious portion of an otherwise comedic performance, presented by a comedian, flexing his aptitude for comedic timing, and it still ultimately ends with laughs. I'd recommend the special itself for anyone who enjoys comedy.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Kid Buu » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:23 am

Gaffer Tape wrote:
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.
Makes you wonder if Toriyama will just one day just turn the Super manga into Volume 43+ and just move the Uub stuff around.

....I shouldn't even put that out there. Should I?
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Shaddy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:31 am

Anyone new would be disoriented as hell by the shift in quality if that happened.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Lujin_16 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:14 am

Dragonball Super has more similarities with Dragonball than Dragonball Z and GT is more similar to Dragonball Z than Dragonball Super

Just my opinion don't attack me :lol:

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Kokonoe » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:22 pm

Maybe Z is more "serious" because they are older?

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:14 pm

Kokonoe wrote:Maybe Z is more "serious" because they are older?
That's definitely part of it. It's a lot harder to be silly and carefree when the protagonist is a grown man with a wife and son.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:34 pm

I don't think that's it at all. It's a natural direction to go in a long running story to up the stakes and change up the tone. The tone was going in that direction WELL before Goku had a kid. Despite one poster's weird claims, the two Piccolo arcs are quite earnest.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:58 pm

ABED wrote:I don't think that's it at all. It's a natural direction to go in a long running story to up the stakes and change up the tone. The tone was going in that direction WELL before Goku had a kid. Despite one poster's weird claims, the two Piccolo arcs are quite earnest.
Yet the seriousness only began to pick up once Goku was aged up against Ma Junior, and then got a wife and kid. Sure it was headed in that direction, but the aging gave Toriyama license to go places he likely would not have if Goku remained a kid.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:26 pm

The physical growth was done so drawing battles was easier, not so it would have been "more appropriate". The Daimao arc opens from the cliffhanger of a slain child. Toriyama didn't care what he did or did not "have license" for. The guy did what he wanted.
I see. So then after that, Goku grew up…
I got a lot of pushback on that at the time. Apparently in shōnen manga changing what the main character looked like was a big no-no, but I didn’t care about that. His head/body ratio made fighting hard, so I said that if the series was going to start focusing more on battles, then I needed to make him an adult. But this really shocked them: “The series has finally gotten popular, and now you want to go and change everything!” That was the kind of reaction I got.

How did you manage to convince everyone at the editorial office?
“Convince” probably isn’t the right word. First I drew a sketch of adult Goku and sent it over to the editorial office to get their feedback. But then I started drawing the rough draft before I even heard back from them. (laughs) By the time I sent the rough draft to the editorial office, there wasn’t any time left to make major revisions, so they were just like “if you’re so dead-set on doing this, then fine…”

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:31 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
ABED wrote:I don't think that's it at all. It's a natural direction to go in a long running story to up the stakes and change up the tone. The tone was going in that direction WELL before Goku had a kid. Despite one poster's weird claims, the two Piccolo arcs are quite earnest.
Yet the seriousness only began to pick up once Goku was aged up against Ma Junior, and then got a wife and kid. Sure it was headed in that direction, but the aging gave Toriyama license to go places he likely would not have if Goku remained a kid.
Your insistence of it only picking up then is WRONG by a country mile. It started when Tao Pai Pai murdered Bora. The 22nd TB is fairly earnest and is capped off by Goku finding the dead body of his best friend who is only a teenager. And the Piccolo Daimao arc is NOT a farce despite your weird insistence that it is. You might find it funny, but it's clearly not meant to be seen as such.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Kokonoe » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:17 pm

Hmm I think you need to hear a little more of my view. I'm not saying Z started that, but it was around when Goku started "growing up" per se, progression wise when it took a more mature tone and I feel that only elevated due the growth of each character.

That said, I feel like Nappa murdering everyone was a clear tonal shift as it kinda undid everything we knew about the series, Raditz as well since Goku dies and Piccolo is a ally of all things. But I will freely admit that when original Dragon Ball finally aired on Toonami and when I watched as a kid or teenager, I still felt it was quite similar despite a few differences. It's not so different that you go "wow this is really jarring", like maybe the first little bit? But I wouldn't say jarring, I mean it makes sense as this is the beginning of Goku's journey. Gohan if you look at him as a kid wasn't really that serious either, though unlike Goku he was a coward due to how he was raised.

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