DBZ is still DB

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:31 pm

Zephyr wrote: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.
I'm not saying the aging was necessarily done to make things more serious, just that the aging is part of what allowed the tone and story to become what it did. A slain child and a gang of demons has nothing on what happens in DBZ.
ABED wrote: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.


The seriousness may have started earlier, but it doesn't become significant enough to challenge the silliness until adult Goku.

The Piccolo Daimao arc is littered with humor and comedy throughout. I doubt that was unintentional. It's certainly plenty serious and dark as well, but the rest of the tone is undeniable. Especially compared to the Z-era stuff, where even the Boo saga managed to sustain a dark and grim atmosphere.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:41 pm

MyVisionity wrote:the aging is part of what allowed the tone and story to become what it did
This is where I'm not following. What specifically about Goku growing up "allowed for" the story to continue the natural trajectory it was already heading in? Bad shit happened to kids before Goku grew up, and bad shit happened to kids after Goku grew up. Nothing suggests that the "way worse stuff" that happens after Raditz wouldn't have still happened had Goku simply not grown up.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:50 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
Zephyr wrote: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.
I'm not saying the aging was necessarily done to make things more serious, just that the aging is part of what allowed the tone and story to become what it did. A slain child and a gang of demons has nothing on what happens in DBZ.
ABED wrote: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.


The seriousness may have started earlier, but it doesn't become significant enough to challenge the silliness until adult Goku.

The Piccolo Daimao arc is littered with humor and comedy throughout. I doubt that was unintentional. It's certainly plenty serious and dark as well, but the rest of the tone is undeniable. Especially compared to the Z-era stuff, where even the Boo saga managed to sustain a dark and grim atmosphere.
A slain child is not nothing, especially given it's Kuririn.

All of the arcs have comedy throughout, doesn't mean it's not grim. The Buu arc is far more comedic. You cherry pick moments in the Piccolo arc and the Buu arc, yet somehow the Buu arc has only a few moments of comedy, but the Piccolo arc is the farce? You brought up the Pilaf gang and their antics, but how did that undercut Piccolo? He doesn't join in on them. DBZ's not that dark or grim. Yes, I know the stakes get universal, but it feels SO big as to be laughable. I think you overestimate how grim things actually get and how dark DBZ gets.

Last but certainly not least, even if I agreed and DBZ does get darker and grimmer, it was the end of a journey that began years prior. It didn't appear out of nowhere. Raditz's arrival was definitely a big turning point, but it was also the latest after a few big ones.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:58 pm

Zephyr wrote:
MyVisionity wrote:the aging is part of what allowed the tone and story to become what it did
This is where I'm not following. What specifically about Goku growing up "allowed for" the story to continue the natural trajectory it was already heading in? Bad shit happened to kids before Goku grew up, and bad shit happened to kids after Goku grew up. Nothing suggests that the "way worse stuff" that happens after Raditz wouldn't have still happened had Goku simply not grown up.
Like Toriyama said, making Goku an adult made the battles easier to draw. If the process becomes that much easier, then the fighting can progress that much further, to the point where you can up the intensity levels of the battles like with Ma-Junior, Raditz, Vegeta etc. Even with the natural trajectory, I doubt you would have seen the things that unfolded in the Z-era if Goku was still a kid. Like him getting blasted through the chest and dying, or characters losing limbs, etc. Also, I can't see a young Goku traveling to outer space and taking on the likes of Freeza's army. In DBZ you had Gohan travel to Namek, but he was accompanied by an adult Bulma and Kuririn, while fighting alongside adults most of the time throughout the series.
ABED wrote:All of the arcs have comedy throughout, doesn't mean it's not grim. The Buu arc is far more comedic. You cherry pick moments in the Piccolo arc and the Buu arc, yet somehow the Buu arc has only a few moments of comedy, but the Piccolo arc is the farce? You brought up the Pilaf gang and their antics, but how did that undercut Piccolo? He doesn't join in on them. DBZ's not that dark or grim. Yes, I know the stakes get universal, but it feels SO big as to be laughable. I think you overestimate how grim things actually get and how dark DBZ gets.
The difference for me is in the overall atmosphere of the episodes, which involve things like music, direction, editing, writing etc. Using the Boo arc as an example, there is a consistent feeling of dark, sinister foreboding almost from the jump (at least when the Boo plot begins during the tournament). Yes, there are the typical comedic and lighter moments throughout, however they never really detract from the seriousness of everything that is occurring. Even with all of Majin Boo's antics, the tone never really veers from the typical Z-era darkness or the hopelessness and dread of the Boo arc. (With possibly the exception being the Gotenks/Vegetto battles, but that stuff was poorly conceived in my view.)

The Daimao saga, in contrast, lets you know almost immediately that even though things have taken a darker turn, here's the Pilaf gang so things can't really be that serious. Here's the weird old man Piccolo, sleepin with his eyes open and drinkin soda pop or whatever... The whole thing just switches back and forth from light to dark, without the same consistency of the Z-era. You also have the rice cooker thing, all of the Yajirobe stuff, whatever the filler characters are up to, etc. It's darker, and serious, but also fun and light-hearted.

The real issue here I think is that the Piccolo arc was coming right on the heels of the silliness and lighter tones of the first few arcs, and so the more serious stuff was only just beginning to find its way. As opposed to something like the Majin Boo saga which had the darker and serious arcs leading up to it.
Last but certainly not least, even if I agreed and DBZ does get darker and grimmer, it was the end of a journey that began years prior. It didn't appear out of nowhere. Raditz's arrival was definitely a big turning point, but it was also the latest after a few big ones.
Agreed.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Lord Beerus » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:14 pm

It's always boggled my mind how people divide the series and treat everything prior to Raditz arriving as completely different story. It's not. I made this point in another thread I stand by it:

Are there shifts in the tone of the story and time skips in the narrative? Yes. But they occur across the story and don't abritatrily happen in grand significance when the Saiyan arc kicks into high gear. Dragon Ball is one story, despite how the anime may want to create some differentiation by throwing in a "Z" at the end of the anime that covers the Saiyan arc and beyond portions of the manga

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ruler9871 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:36 pm

Lord Beerus wrote:It's always boggled my mind how people divide the series and treat everything prior to Raditz arriving as completely different story.
It's just an Anglophone fan thing. Most of the world sees and treats Early DB and Z as one long story.
zarmack wrote:The whole "Dragonball is only supposed to be light and funny" mentality that exist in a lot of the fandom is in many ways even dumber than the "edgeload" side of the fandom. You know, the contrarians who think DB should be a Slice-of-Life series, the folks who worship Pre-Raditz Dragonball uncritically, the folks who downplay and often flat-out deny that Dragonball is an action series, the folks who try to push that false argument that none of the serious moments in the series were mean't to be taken seriously, etc.

Dragonball doesn't have a single tone. It has both silly and serious moments, both humor and drama, just like real life. The idea that a work of fiction should be only all-comedy or all-serious is unnatural and frankly, retarded.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:44 pm

The Daimao saga, in contrast, lets you know almost immediately that even though things have taken a darker turn, here's the Pilaf gang so things can't really be that serious.
But that's just not true. They aren't doing shtick. They are mostly walking on egg shells. What I find baffling is what you consider "momentary". The Pilaf gang is only in the arc until Piccolo regains his youth and they aren't doing gags the whole time. They aren't a focus. The Buu arc is full of gags. That whole section where he's waiting to fight Gotenks and Mr. Satan befriends him is long and is mostly comedy. The Gotenks fight is one giant protracted gag and it lasts forever.
With possibly the exception being the Gotenks/Vegetto battles
That's a big f'n exception.
The whole thing just switches back and forth from light to dark, without the same consistency of the Z-era. You also have the rice cooker thing, all of the Yajirobe stuff, whatever the filler characters are up to, etc. It's darker, and serious, but also fun and light-hearted.
But the lighthearted stuff works to its benefit. Yajorobe provides some comedy, but it's not a bunch of lighthearted gags. The light heartedness of some stuff provides a great contrast to the dark stuff and in fact allows it to land even harder. The Buu arc stuff doesn't do it nearly as well. The filler characters weren't doing lighthearted stuff. I'm not sure whom you're referring to. Your last sentence also applies to the Buu arc.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:46 pm

ABED wrote:The Daimao saga, in contrast, lets you know almost immediately that even though things have taken a darker turn, here's the Pilaf gang so things can't really be that serious.
But that's just not true. They aren't doing shtick. They are mostly walking on egg shells. What I find baffling is what you consider "momentary". The Pilaf gang is only in the arc until Piccolo regains his youth and they aren't doing gags the whole time. They aren't a focus. The Buu arc is full of gags. That whole section where he's waiting to fight Gotenks and Mr. Satan befriends him is long and is mostly comedy. The Gotenks fight is one giant protracted gag and it lasts forever.
The whole thing just switches back and forth from light to dark, without the same consistency of the Z-era. You also have the rice cooker thing, all of the Yajirobe stuff, whatever the filler characters are up to, etc. It's darker, and serious, but also fun and light-hearted.
But the lighthearted stuff works to its benefit. Yajorobe provides some comedy, but it's not a bunch of lighthearted gags. The light heartedness of some stuff provides a great contrast to the dark stuff and in fact allows it to land even harder. The Buu arc stuff doesn't do it nearly as well. The filler characters weren't doing lighthearted stuff. I'm not sure whom you're referring to. Your last sentence also applies to the Buu arc.
I agree here. Pilaf is in the Daimao arc, but the majority of the time, they're terrified and too afraid to do very much. They doing the same fourth-wall-breaking antics at the end of the first arc, they're constantly trying to appease Daimao and not get themselves killed.

Yajirobe is another good example. Any story that is dark consistently, 100% and always, tends to become a melodramatic drag that starts losing substance as bad thing after bad thing happens. Having light-hearted characters and moments breaks up the pace a bit. This is why, after Goku has his first moment of being irreconcilably upset and enraged before getting his ass kicked, we have a moment where we see his love of food and gets in trouble with Yajirobe as a change of pace. Similarly, the sheer terror of Majin Buu nlowing up cities at random is broken up by the comedy of failed Gotenks fusions. Cell's rise to Perfection is often broken up by cutting away from the battle to focus on somebody else in a less stressful situation. Stuff like that.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:34 pm

MyVisionity, your name means you clearly enjoy Buffy and Angel, so I'll use that as an example. One of the reasons those shows are so good is because they have great drama and great humor, often in the same scene. The magic of Whedon's writing is it uses those elements not to undercut the other but to accentuate both. The Trio is so buffoonish and silly but when they make that turn by the end, it feels that much darker and real. The Ginyu Force works great because they are both goofy and ruthless. I get why the Denshi Jar/rice cooker didn't work for you, but the doesn't mean the entire arc is a lighthearted farce.

KBAZ is correct. Constant darkness unbroken by humor or something light is easily very monotonous. I like some drama with my comedy and comedy with my drama. It's the execution that matters. Justified is one of the funniest shows I've seen and yet the drama lands.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Captain Strawberry » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:43 pm

I think when you really get into the genre of original Dragon ball of it being a fantasy genre then suddenly changing to a different genre, it does feel like a different series to me.

Even Boruto feels quite different from Naruto to me.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:50 pm

Captain Strawberry wrote:I think when you really get into the genre of original Dragon ball of it being a fantasy genre then suddenly changing to a different genre, it does feel like a different series to me.

Even Boruto feels quite different from Naruto to me.
Boruto is literally a different show. DBZ isn't. It's still Dragon Ball. And what genre does DB switch to?
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Captain Strawberry » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:52 pm

ABED wrote:
Captain Strawberry wrote:I think when you really get into the genre of original Dragon ball of it being a fantasy genre then suddenly changing to a different genre, it does feel like a different series to me.

Even Boruto feels quite different from Naruto to me.
Boruto is literally a different show. DBZ isn't. It's still Dragon Ball. And what genre does DB switch to?
Sci fi.

I guess that's mostly why I treat DBZ like its own thing.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:17 pm

Captain Strawberry wrote:Sci fi.

I guess that's mostly why I treat DBZ like its own thing.
That's not quite true though. Right from the first Chapter, Bulma uses a pocket-sized Dragon Radar whilst using a futuristic motorbike and carries with her an entire house (with power and running water) in her pocket thanks to Hoi Poi capsules, to say nothing of when Goku visited West City with all its flying cars, oddly-shaped buildings that look like they came from The Jetsons, transport tubes and more (like Bulma's Shrink Watch). Dragon Ball has had science fiction in it for a long time, it didn't need to go to space to get them (Dr. Gero's Androids were predated by Gatchan/Eighter and Major Metallatron by four years). The major element that "DBZ" introduced (which again is debatable because Toriyama wrote Dragon Ball as a single continuous story rather than being in two halves) is characters and story elements from space, and coming from space does not exclusively mean that's where the science fiction starts.

One of Dragon Ball's most unique qualities has been mixing futuristic elements with things that were either modern for the time (like CRTs, motorbikes and cars of the day, handguns, etc) and stuff from centuries past that make up the classic Wuxia elements like how it handled martial arts, as well as settings like Mount Paoz.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:26 pm

As KBAZ points out, sci-fi elements were always a part of DB. Add to that, villains coming from outer space doesn't mean they aren't using martial arts. They punch, kick, use ki, just the same as terrestrial fighters. The genre didn't change.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Captain Strawberry » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:25 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Captain Strawberry wrote:Sci fi.

I guess that's mostly why I treat DBZ like its own thing.
That's not quite true though. Right from the first Chapter, Bulma uses a pocket-sized Dragon Radar whilst using a futuristic motorbike and carries with her an entire house (with power and running water) in her pocket thanks to Hoi Poi capsules, to say nothing of when Goku visited West City with all its flying cars, oddly-shaped buildings that look like they came from The Jetsons, transport tubes and more (like Bulma's Shrink Watch). Dragon Ball has had science fiction in it for a long time, it didn't need to go to space to get them (Dr. Gero's Androids were predated by Gatchan/Eighter and Major Metallatron by four years). The major element that "DBZ" introduced (which again is debatable because Toriyama wrote Dragon Ball as a single continuous story rather than being in two halves) is characters and story elements from space, and coming from space does not exclusively mean that's where the science fiction starts.

One of Dragon Ball's most unique qualities has been mixing futuristic elements with things that were either modern for the time (like CRTs, motorbikes and cars of the day, handguns, etc) and stuff from centuries past that make up the classic Wuxia elements like how it handled martial arts, as well as settings like Mount Paoz.
Futuristic technology is one thing but aliens from outer space in a Chinese fantasy kind of setting is big too much of a leap for me.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Zephyr » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:28 pm

MyVisionity wrote:Even with the natural trajectory, I doubt you would have seen the things that unfolded in the Z-era if Goku was still a kid. Like him getting blasted through the chest and dying, or characters losing limbs, etc. Also, I can't see a young Goku traveling to outer space and taking on the likes of Freeza's army. In DBZ you had Gohan travel to Namek, but he was accompanied by an adult Bulma and Kuririn, while fighting alongside adults most of the time throughout the series.
Yet there's nothing to suggest we couldn't see others get blasted through the chest and die, lose limbs, etc (Goku was blasted through the chest against Ma Junior, before the "Z era"). Nothing suggests that Goku would need to be an adult to go into outer space and take on Freeza's army.

Where are these ideas coming from?
Captain Strawberry wrote:Futuristic technology is one thing but aliens from outer space in a Chinese fantasy kind of setting is big too much of a leap for me.
Why?

Check out A Chinese Tall Story some time. It's a fantasy adventure story, loosely based on Journey to the West, which involves an aliens coming to Earth.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Captain Strawberry » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:49 pm

Zephyr wrote:
MyVisionity wrote:Even with the natural trajectory, I doubt you would have seen the things that unfolded in the Z-era if Goku was still a kid. Like him getting blasted through the chest and dying, or characters losing limbs, etc. Also, I can't see a young Goku traveling to outer space and taking on the likes of Freeza's army. In DBZ you had Gohan travel to Namek, but he was accompanied by an adult Bulma and Kuririn, while fighting alongside adults most of the time throughout the series.
Yet there's nothing to suggest we couldn't see others get blasted through the chest and die, lose limbs, etc (Goku was blasted through the chest against Ma Junior, before the "Z era"). Nothing suggests that Goku would need to be an adult to go into outer space and take on Freeza's army.

Where are these ideas coming from?
Captain Strawberry wrote:Futuristic technology is one thing but aliens from outer space in a Chinese fantasy kind of setting is big too much of a leap for me.
Why?

Check out A Chinese Tall Story some time. It's a fantasy adventure story, loosely based on Journey to the West, which involves an aliens coming to Earth.
I don't know. I don't usually like aliens in my fantasy stories (even though DB already starts out mixed with ancient Chinese and futuristic). I suppose it makes the "Earth" for me less "magical" and smaller. Which is somewhat true when Z came out, Earth's world building became less of a focus but I guess it's only natural as a write to go beyond Earth when the characters become so fast and fast. It was less of a focus of "fantasy" and more so of "sci-fi" which is kind of the opposite in how you are introduced to the show.

Oh and thanks for sharing :D I'll check it out sometime!
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by MyVisionity » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:27 pm

ABED wrote:MyVisionity, your name means you clearly enjoy Buffy and Angel, so I'll use that as an example. One of the reasons those shows are so good is because they have great drama and great humor, often in the same scene. The magic of Whedon's writing is it uses those elements not to undercut the other but to accentuate both. The Trio is so buffoonish and silly but when they make that turn by the end, it feels that much darker and real. The Ginyu Force works great because they are both goofy and ruthless. I get why the Denshi Jar/rice cooker didn't work for you, but the doesn't mean the entire arc is a lighthearted farce.
I haven't thought about those shows in a long time, but I think I would liken the Trio to Majin Boo, whose behavior is ridiculous while the saga surrounding him is dark and serious. Similar to Season Six of Buffy. If anything, I would compare Piccolo Daimao and his arc to something like The Master and Season One, or The Mayor and Season Three. Those seasons didn't have the "dark" and dreary tone of Six, but were instead more balanced and lighthearted, and featured main villains who were both parts serious and silly.

I don't have a problem with the Denshi jar, I just think it's too silly to work in the later sagas. I also don't think the entire arc is farce, but more balanced than the later arcs which lean more heavily serious.
Captain Strawberry wrote:
ABED wrote:
Captain Strawberry wrote:I think when you really get into the genre of original Dragon ball of it being a fantasy genre then suddenly changing to a different genre, it does feel like a different series to me.
And what genre does DB switch to?
Sci fi.
I had forgotten about this. Yeah, DBZ totally switches to Sci-fi.

The earlier stuff may have involved elements of Science Fiction, but the genre itself was still more action/adventure/fantasy overall. Once Raditz hits Earth, the shift into Sci-Fi begins and doesn't let up until the Boo saga, which revives the fantasy elements alongside the sci-fi.

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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:09 pm

The Trio is more like Pilaf if we're being honest. They were kids who committed crimes for fun until they stepped over the line from immature kids to murderers/rapists. Buu was always past the line. I do agree that Piccolo is perhaps more akin to the Mayor or The Master in that both were pure evil and reveled in the fun of it. Hell, you could also make an argument that Piccolo is also like Angelus. However, I'm failing to see this light tone you're talking about. Apparently your ENTIRE argument hinges on the Pilaf gang and a rice cooker, even though as I and others have pointed out, they weren't doing gags. They spent most of it cowering in fear. The entire Buu arc is not dark and serious. It's silly. It tries to have its cake and eat it too, but I don't think the stakes quite work. There are some great moments, but overall, Toriyama doesn't shift tones quite as well as he did previously.
I just think it's too silly to work in the later sagas.
Vegetto the fighting candy!
The earlier stuff may have involved elements of Science Fiction, but the genre itself was still more action/adventure/fantasy overall. Once Raditz hits Earth, the shift into Sci-Fi begins and doesn't let up until the Boo saga, which revives the fantasy elements alongside the sci-fi.
How? They come from outer space, but they still battle using martial arts. Going into outerspace and fighting aliens is about as sci-fi as it gets, but it's literally not about the science. That's a means to an end. The basic tropes of the story are the same.
Last edited by ABED on Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DBZ is still DB

Post by Zephyr » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:16 pm

Captain Strawberry wrote:I don't know. I don't usually like aliens in my fantasy stories (even though DB already starts out mixed with ancient Chinese and futuristic). I suppose it makes the "Earth" for me less "magical" and smaller. Which is somewhat true when Z came out, Earth's world building became less of a focus but I guess it's only natural as a write to go beyond Earth when the characters become so fast and fast. It was less of a focus of "fantasy" and more so of "sci-fi" which is kind of the opposite in how you are introduced to the show.
That's the thing, though. Earth is no less magical, it just turns out that the universe is also pretty magical. Ki blasts and bukujutsu are still fantasy martial arts techniques. Goku still travels through and trains in a mystical afterlife. The Namek arc is squarely predicated on going to get magical wish granting orbs, to revive others who travel through and train in the same mystical afterlife. Even the Cell arc has the four main characters train in a magical room that transports them to a dimension where time flows differently, so they can more effectively engage in martial arts in their Super Saiyan states, so they can participate in a martial arts tournament held my a creature formed by combining the DNA of the universe's greatest martial artists.
MyVisionity wrote: Yeah, DBZ totally switches to Sci-fi.

The earlier stuff may have involved elements of Science Fiction, but the genre itself was still more action/adventure/fantasy overall. Once Raditz hits Earth, the shift into Sci-Fi begins and doesn't let up until the Boo saga, which revives the fantasy elements alongside the sci-fi.
The focus has always been on martial artists doing fantasy martial arts against other martial artists. Sometimes there are more and different sci-fi things going on in the background, or as window dressing, or as a vehicle to deliver more fantasy martial arts, but it's never not fully enveloped in fantasy. Every ki blast, every flaring aura, and just about every instance of flight, are 100% pure fantasy 100% of the time.

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