It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:07 pm
Because western comics don't build themselves around the protagonist growing stronger. The protagonists start the story about as strong as they're ever going to get and the drama comes from how the villain will be neutralized instead of depicting the new ways the hero will grow from week to week.
You realize of course then that without the main focus of Dragon Ball being the growth and development of Goku as a martial artist that it would then cease to be Dragon Ball, right? It wouldn't then be a martial arts fantasy story about the main character's lifelong quest to be the greatest fighter he can be: and at that point, why even have it be Dragon Ball at all anymore?
You're literally asking the series to warp itself into something so fundamentally different and disconnected from its narrative core that it ceased to have any remote connection whatsoever to its own identity and reason for being.
What is Dragon Ball? Its a martial arts fantasy serial about a character named Son Goku (heavily influenced by JTTW's Sun Wukong) growing from a young boy to a man and following his growth as a fighter from one martial arts teacher to the next, from one opponent and rival to the next, and tracing his development as a martial arts master. That's the series. That's the core hook. That's what this whole enterprise fundamentally is.
Without that central conceit, it isn't Dragon Ball anymore. Goku's lifelong path as a fighter is THE constant, its THE throughline upon which everything else hangs together.
By making the story less about Goku and his development as a fighter and more about him forever playing musical chairs fighting against the same rogues gallery over and over endlessly from one story to the next with his fighting ability stuck in perpetual stasis and the focus of the narrative more on the villains themselves... you've basically gutted almost everything that makes DB what it is. Its not even a martial arts or Wuxia story anymore at that point.
Martial arts stories are, at their heart, stories about competition and personal growth. They're about a fighter rising above escalating challenges from greater and greater opponents and tougher and stricter teachers as they develop and blossom into better and more talented fighters: and maybe someday become teachers themselves and pass along their skills onto a new generation of students.
This is the LONG tradition of martial arts narratives that Dragon Ball is firmly a part of. Without that, its no longer Dragon Ball at all anymore: in which case, why even bother? Why even have the Dragon Ball title and imagery anymore? To what ultimate end? At that point, it makes FAR more sense to just make it something entirely new and unrelated to DB wholesale.
It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:57 pm
Dragon Ball has been doing a pretty shit job at ending...
It had a perfectly fine ending that stuck for over 20 years. The series ran its course for over 11 years, going through countless dozens of new permutations and drastic status quo shifts, and developing itself until it eventually ran out of steam, as all things eventually and inevitably do, and came to a final conclusion. It remained dead, finished, and over with for literally decades
with almost no complaint from anyone.
The idea that the series NEEDED to come back, that Dragon Ball - with its 500+ anime episodes, 40+ manga volumes, and kajillion video games spanning across more than a decade - was somehow some "cut down before its prime/gone too soon" series with heaps of "unfulfilled potential" just waiting to be mined is a total fabrication from largely the Western fanbase post-Toonami who've typically shown ZERO semblance of perspective whatsoever on how old DB truly is, how long it went on for, and how exceedingly thoroughly it was wrung of original material, to say nothing of how burnt out the anime/manga consuming public had gotten on it by its (original) end.
It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:14 pm
I don't know why there's so much hate for "superhero" stories.
Just so we're clear: I don't in any way hate superhero stories. Never have. I've been reading superhero comics literally since the 1980s and the heyday of Watchmen, Frank Miller's Daredevil, and Chris Claremont's legendary Uncanny X-Men run. I was a diehard Marvel zombie all throughout my childhood, and I can wax poetic on great Batman comics every bit as much as I can my favorite Hong Kong Wuxia flicks.
The issue here is... none of that's REMOTELY tethered to Dragon Ball one iota. Dragon Ball ISN'T a superhero story, and never was. The idea of it being one is a complete and wholesale invention of both FUNimation (back in their original late 90s/early 2000s "reversioning" years) and the Western fanbase post-dub and post-Cartoon Network.
Making Dragon Ball, an Eastern martial arts fantasy serial, into a Western superhero story would totally rob it of what makes it unique, different, and interesting within the realm of Western media. We already have a TON of superhero stories and franchises. We're not running low on Justice League or Avengers material and the like.
What good exactly does it do Dragon Ball to remake it into a Western superhero series? How would the Western geek media landscape benefit from having this be one more superhero franchise to throw onto an already overstuffed pile? At what point did conformity and homogeneity become laudable attributes worth specifically aiming for?
Just as Western media is overstuffed to the gills with superhero franchises, so too is Eastern media overstuffed with Wuxia franchises. Dragon Ball doesn't stick out nearly
as much in the context of Eastern pop culture as it does in Western pop culture: so what point exactly is served that benefits DB here in the West by bending and warping it into something that FURTHER blends it in with what we already have more than plenty of?
Put simply, when I want a superhero story, I'll go to Marvel, DC, Image, and the like. There's no END to the options out there for that stuff when I'm feeling in the mood for it. That's NOT what I've been going to DB for for all these many years (more than 25 years now!). Dragon Ball is made to scratch a COMPLETELY different itch, one that's more of a kind with stuff like Dragon Tiger Gate and Zu Warriors than it is X-Men or Green Lantern.
So I'll just come right out and say what I think this whole "make DB more like a superhero story" thing (which has been a longstanding trope of U.S. DB fandom since at least the early 2000s) has always actually been about:
I think that its a combination of the fact that we originally got DB in a dubbed format that warped the series into more resembling a superhero action show, that the audience has largely been one that's totally ignorant of Eastern martial arts fantasy media, and is over-exposed and over-primed to superhero media instead, that COMPLETELY robs them of any context to appreciate what the series actually IS and always has been, rather than the skewed misappropriation of it that's been inside their heads all these years.
That combined with the notion that DB was somehow some short-lived series that never got a chance to fully grow or develop into its "full potential" as if this were the anime equivalent of the Joss Whedon show Firefly (an idea which is flat out fucking ludicrous on its face) has given the Western fanbase one GIGANTIC case of geek blue balls.
It leaves so many people with this nagging notion that "If ONLY DB did such-and-such like Batman or Justice League Unlimited or Ultimate Spider-Man, then it could've REALLY been something!"
Which is both TOTALLY antithetical to the fact that DB had gotten EONS of time and material with which to do and explore all KINDS of different storylines and concepts throughout its decade+ long run, and moreover the fact that... this franchise isn't and never has been fucking anime Justice League or Avengers.
This is and always has been the anime and Dr. Slumpian equivalent of something more like Fung Wan or The Force of Buddha's Palm, or something drawn by Wong Yuk-long. Dragon Ball is and always has been what happens when a Ma Wing Shing kung fu epic ingests an acid tablet made up of Toriyama's Manga Theater shorts.
Removing that entirely away from DB and replacing it with Marvel or DC would mean that what you'd have is no longer recognizably Dragon Ball in any meaningful way... at which point, why even bother to have it be VAGUELY tethered to DB at all?
I've said this plenty of times before, but it always bears repeating: the FUNimation dub hoodwinked a LOT of folks into operating under the false assumption that DB is, at its core, something ENTIRELY unconnected from what it actually is.
If an irreverently whimsical martial arts fantasy doesn't sound like something remotely appealing to you, then you really HAVE to ask yourself the uncomfortable and unfortunate question of whether or not this franchise was ever the right fit for you at all in the first place, and ponder the possibility that whatever it was that most hooked you deepest in the dub (which is the form that most folks here had first been exposed to DB under) is something that was in fact a total and complete invention and fabrication of exclusively the FUNimation dub and has ZERO presence whatsoever in the original Japanese series (or any other incarnation).