Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

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Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

Post by Jord » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am

Super had that awful pedohilic romance which was presented as 'sweet' instead of awkward/funny. I am talking about the romance between kid Trunks who is about 8 years old and present day Mai, who is 41 years old. Yes she has a younger (childlike) body but she's still an adult with an adult mind and memories. At least when Muten Roshi did it, it was a different time and it was portrayed as wrong with him getting whacked on the head and stuff. Mai-Trunks was placed as straight and felt awkward to say the least.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by TheatreStyleKai » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:50 am

I don't remember any kind of backlash at the time, though it really did stick out in my mind while I was watching those episodes. I thought it was just going to be a gag that would be dropped quickly, but for some reason they've been keeping it going and it just seems deranged to me. That said, considering how much of mama's boy Trunks is it doesn't shock me that he ended up with a love interest the same age as his mom.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by omegacwa » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:51 am

Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am
Super had that awful pedohilic romance which was presented as 'sweet' instead of awkward/funny. I am talking about the romance between kid Trunks who is about 8 years old and present day Mai, who is 41 years old. Yes she has a younger (childlike) body but she's still an adult with an adult mind and memories. At least when Muten Roshi did it, it was a different time and it was portrayed as wrong with him getting whacked on the head and stuff. Mai-Trunks was placed as straight and felt awkward to say the least.
I guess it's fine because she was reverted to being a child?

Did people complain when the Twilight books/movies came out and Edward (100+ years old) was dating Bella (17 years old)?

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by Brodes » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:58 am

She had her memories, yeah, but seemed to have a child-like mind to go with the new body. All three of them did.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by KBABZ » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:59 am

Brodes wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:58 am
She had her memories, yeah, but seemed to have a child-like mind to go with the new body. All three of them did.
To be fair with Pilaf you'd barely even notice! Shu too, Mai always seemed like the most mature of the bunch.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:56 am

omegacwa wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:51 am
Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am
Super had that awful pedohilic romance which was presented as 'sweet' instead of awkward/funny. I am talking about the romance between kid Trunks who is about 8 years old and present day Mai, who is 41 years old. Yes she has a younger (childlike) body but she's still an adult with an adult mind and memories. At least when Muten Roshi did it, it was a different time and it was portrayed as wrong with him getting whacked on the head and stuff. Mai-Trunks was placed as straight and felt awkward to say the least.
I guess it's fine because she was reverted to being a child?

Did people complain when the Twilight books/movies came out and Edward (100+ years old) was dating Bella (17 years old)?
Yes, they did.
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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by mute_proxy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:17 am

Remember the days when every other post wasn't something pedophilia, sexual assault or LBGT discrimination related. Those were the days. The simpler days.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by VegettoEX » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:20 am

mute_proxy wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:17 am
Remember the days when every other post wasn't something pedophilia, sexual assault or LBGT discrimination related. Those were the days. The simpler days.
Somewhat unbelievably, you can simply choose to not post and not engage in conversations that you don't have any interest in, just as everyone else is free to create threads about current, ongoing, topical material that they do take an interest in.

It's a show that just ended last year, it's a legitimate question/reflection, and isn't one that should come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the source material. Don't care? Just keep walking. It's all good.

(I'd apologize for the sass... or rather, I wouldn't have even started with it... but come the hell on man.)

Topic creator: yes, it's come up quite a few times.
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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by Jord » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:42 am

omegacwa wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:51 am
Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am
Super had that awful pedohilic romance which was presented as 'sweet' instead of awkward/funny. I am talking about the romance between kid Trunks who is about 8 years old and present day Mai, who is 41 years old. Yes she has a younger (childlike) body but she's still an adult with an adult mind and memories. At least when Muten Roshi did it, it was a different time and it was portrayed as wrong with him getting whacked on the head and stuff. Mai-Trunks was placed as straight and felt awkward to say the least.
I guess it's fine because she was reverted to being a child?
The problem is, she wasn't reverted to being a child, her body just got younger. Same as with Goku in GT. She didn't suddenly display more child like behavior. She just got a younger vessel.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by JulieYBM » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:46 am

I don't believe there was a big outrage outside of some English-language forums. Shoutacon and lolucon are popular among Otaku and the relationship in general isn't even heavily played as a real romantic or sexual interest, either.
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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by Grimlock » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 am

I think the only problem here is a mature woman accepting to date a 12-year-old boy. I mean, there are countless of cases where the woman would dump the guy for his childish behavior. Then again, there's no much sense in applying real world issues in a cartoon, so at the end of the day this is a big whatever. We just go with it. :roll:

By the way, Mai is not 41 years old by the time Movie 14 happens, this is just another mistake. Unless you think that she is 12 when Pilaf saga occurs.
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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by omegacwa » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:57 am

Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:42 am
omegacwa wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:51 am
Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am
Super had that awful pedohilic romance which was presented as 'sweet' instead of awkward/funny. I am talking about the romance between kid Trunks who is about 8 years old and present day Mai, who is 41 years old. Yes she has a younger (childlike) body but she's still an adult with an adult mind and memories. At least when Muten Roshi did it, it was a different time and it was portrayed as wrong with him getting whacked on the head and stuff. Mai-Trunks was placed as straight and felt awkward to say the least.
I guess it's fine because she was reverted to being a child?
The problem is, she wasn't reverted to being a child, her body just got younger. Same as with Goku in GT. She didn't suddenly display more child like behavior. She just got a younger vessel.
I honestly think it would be a hell of a lot worse if she was dating say, adult Trunks. Just from a visual stand point I'm sure people would have been way more disgusted. It's not like Mai is an Adult Dwarf. She is literally in the body of an 8-12 year old.

I'm not sure there is an appropriate way to have her in a relationship except played for comedy which is basically what they did.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by TheOverlyMadHatter » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:25 pm

I mean... It's not like he was at all suggestive to the child version of her. They just understood that they shared a bond across time.

And on Child Mai's end, yeah, she was definitely smitten, but in the way a tween would be smitten with a popular boyband member, for Kid Trunks to be jealous about, or whatever. Kid stuff like "he's so cool" and such.

I'd raise an eyebrow if he had to "feed" a senzu to Kid Mai, though. :lol:

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by KBABZ » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:39 pm

Jord wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:42 am
The problem is, she wasn't reverted to being a child, her body just got younger. Same as with Goku in GT. She didn't suddenly display more child like behavior. She just got a younger vessel.
Honestly I disagree with this: Goku, be it through the script or by the wish itself, clearly got more child-like when Pilaf wished him to his younger self, and when he's Super Saiyan 4 and back as an adult, his behaviour is more mature by contrast.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedohilic storyline in DBS?

Post by ChibiGoku » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:02 am

Honestly, the problem with this whole situation is it often comes up a lot in media in which characters are turned back into a child, either through a wish, a drug (in Detective Conan's case), or they're sent back in time. Most of the time, the writers aren't thinking about the issue regarding the mental age of the characters, but thinking more in line of what they're physical age at that point and time is.

I think it's okay to point the issue out, but I also need to make note how common it tends to crop up in these type of works. Also, even if Mai fell in love with someone who was older, this brings up another issue and uncomfortable dynamic, given her physical age. So unfortunately, there'll always be a somewhat problematic angle to this sorta plot/story telling dealing with these type of characters and storylines.

Still, no harm in discussing this.

EDIT: Also yeah, to answer the OP's comment. While other people already posted this before, there was a lot of discussion about this when it was airing. In fact, this did get briefly brought up when Battle of Gods, I think, was shown in theaters. but the TV series definitely doubled down on this a bit.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:31 pm

I just want to say that we should all remember that, assuming I'm remembering correctly, Trunks and Mai never actually do anything. They flirt a bit and that's it. No kissing or any other "touching." They hang out. Big deal. I know the age part is still odd but.. I chalk that up to Japan having its own values and moral views. Perhaps they see it as just funny? I dunno. I never cared. I still remember when seeing RoF in theaters and Mai said, "I have a boyfriend named Trunks and if anything happens to me, you'll be sorry!" Everyone cracked up. It's worth it for me.
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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:24 pm

I remember it being pretty split online, but don't really think there was any real backlash. It does make me wonder how it would be received if GT Goku (as a child) was drawn to be given Chi-Chi a kiss or if that version of Goku found some little girl on a distant planet that he started hitting on -- things that Goku would never do, but I am curious how that would be received.

Anyway, what works for me is trying not to think too much into it.

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

Post by WittyUsername » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:41 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:24 pm
I remember it being pretty split online, but don't really think there was any real backlash. It does make me wonder how it would be received if GT Goku (as a child) was drawn to be given Chi-Chi a kiss or if that version of Goku found some little girl on a distant planet that he started hitting on -- things that Goku would never do, but I am curious how that would be received.

Anyway, what works for me is trying not to think too much into it.
Wasn’t there a moment in episode 40 of GT where Chi-Chi was freaking out because she (for some reason) assumed that Goku was leaving her for a younger girl?

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Re: Was there any backlash to the pedophilia (Mai & Trunks) plot point in DBS?

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:00 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:24 pm
I remember it being pretty split online, but don't really think there was any real backlash. It does make me wonder how it would be received if GT Goku (as a child) was drawn to be given Chi-Chi a kiss or if that version of Goku found some little girl on a distant planet that he started hitting on -- things that Goku would never do, but I am curious how that would be received.

Anyway, what works for me is trying not to think too much into it.
I think the Goku in GT thing is a big part of why Trunks/Mai doesn't bother me as badly, because we've already kinda/sorta broached this subject. Granted that's a little different, with them being actually the same age rather than the age gap with Trunks and Mai, as well as them already being in a relationship prior to Goku turning younger...at the end of the day though, it doesn't really bother me mostly because it's 100% purely fictional. Nobody in real life is ever going to end up in a relationship with someone who appears to be their age but was actually magically changed to be much younger.
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