How quite (t)droll.ruler9871 wrote:The idea that Yamcha being a joke/meme character is a Modern DB thing isn't true:
Yamcha was always written as a joke since day one, never a badass.
You don`t only sound like a broken record but act like one too.
Yamcha being a "badass" (what is even a "badass here"? Someone who isn`t a butt monkey? Someone who always get his arse kicked for the man character? In that lens, who is a badass besides Goku?) is not the issue. It`s not about being courageous either, because Yamcha has been instrumental in saving the Earth twice from a giant ape Goku and also the main character`s main lives.
The issue with Yamcha is that Toryama was too complacent with the writting. Kuririn was easily (and early) taken out at Baba`s tourney. Tenshinhan was easily (and early) taken out at Piccolo`s arc. Same with Chiatzu. The difference is, Yamcha`s case is the one where power levels came around and we knew the Saibamen were argueably weaker than almost everyone. This is even stated again after the Yamcha fight, as if to reinforce it.
It doesn`t really matter if we logic that Yamcha was never stated to use his full power (and that the Saibamen did with the explosion, most obviously) or that they were fighting with tournament estipulations. The power levels gives fans an equal logical reason to be overly critical. The double edge sword is that since Toryama wanted (again) an early sacrifice lamb to sell how dangerous they were (think again of Kuririn at the 22nd Bodukai arc) it meant Yamcha going down in a manner most conflicting with the power levels at disposal - an issue that the mentioned characters above did not had to face because we already knew the opponents in question were indeed stronger
So, if Yamcha was the one stronger one here and *everything in the manga sequence* points that he was, than how did he still got taken out so early? Well, you can say by surprise and that is indeed correct. But the precise manner goes harder than that. He was dumbed down. And this is strike number two: in order for the scene to play as Toryama wanted, he had to make the character and fans narratively forget that Yamcha had already been lectured at not letting his guard down before (against God, for instance).
So, what happens is= power levels + the character now being a cock head idiot.
He wasn`t the only one dumbed down time to time in his series. Take Tenshinan, for instance. Cool head, great tactician...except when he turns his back on a Saibamen who is not knocked out. He only turns back when Chiatzu warns him and he`s lucky that Toryama wanted a suicide dive and a Kikoho to go after, so the dumbing down wasn`t as appearant.
Yamcha was never made into a joke in the series under Toryama, that`s on marketing and the new material/production teams post 2008.