What do you want with Broly?

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:45 pm

kemuri07 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:17 am
ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:56 am
Well that was pretty good, but considering good wins out all the time and the gods don't usually actively participate in the story, I'd hardly call that cynical. Evil is punished and virtue is usually rewarded. Zen Oh doesn't lead anything. He comes in at the very end and holds a tournament to find out if mortals are worth saving. Ultimately 17 proves they are by making a wish that isn't self centered.
That is exactly what we see in Dragon Ball
This is of course, BS, and as I recall, not the first time you've made some completely exaggerated claim.

I don't see how sincerity is mocked. If anything, the one thing DB doesn't lack is belief in people, even flawed ones. It shows even the worst of us is capable of change for the better.
Ok yeah...but you're missing the point. And we've already said that the show mellows out from that initial tone post-Pilaf when it starts settling into being an action-adventure show. The first arc of Dragon Ball is very different from anything that follows, and I absolutely agree that the first story arc of Dragon Ball has a mean streak in a way that the rest of Dragon Ball, and the entirety of the franchise, does not. That's literally what anyone is saying.

Because while, yeah, the Pilaf arc ends with everyone going their separate way and being fairly decent towards each other, nearly every moment up to that point is most of the characters (particularly Oolong and Bulma) being terrible to everyone around them. Goku is the "good one" but that's only because he's a complete fucking moron.
That doesn't make it cynical. If the point it's driving towards is the characters growing and maturing then it's not cynical. In fact it says something hopeful.
OK, so these aren't actual responses. I could just as easily compile a similar list for Blame! or Vampire Hunter D or Berserk, all series which are explicit in their cynicism. Ditto wuxia novels like The Smiling, Proud Wanderer where we even get a happy ending for the protagonists who abandon the world of politics and go get married. Cynical stories aren't going to be nihilist stories which seems to be what you two think cynicism tranlastes into. Usually the writer of a cynical story is trying to find things worth holding on to and arguing in favor of those things. Now Toriyama isn't one to proselytize but you do see a familar mantra throughout DB's arcs. 'Work towards your own selfish ends and don't stress the larger world too much.' And with that becoming the de facto mantra of most shonen since Dragon Ball's publication I don't think I'm just imagining things either.
You're the one who's so mistaken. No, cynicism isn't about people can't be trusted, they're mostly garbage, and life sucks, then you die, but that's not what we see in DB. Why does the fickleness of the gods play into this? You put way too much emphasis on gods as if they mean a damn thing in DB world. What we see in DB is the belief that if you work hard, it doesn't matter what level you into. And where did you get the idea that everyone descends into brutes at the drop of a hat?
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:45 pm

The way some of you are defining cynical you can pretty much apply it to anything edgier than Blue’s Clues.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:24 pm

Do you two commit to being as thickheaded as possible in every thread you post in or am I just getting special treatment right now?
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:19 pm

No one is saying that a work of fiction has to display diabetic levels of sweetness in order to not be cynical. Something like Lord of the Rings can get pretty dark, but I certainly wouldn’t call that cynical. There’s just a certain level of mean spiritedness and irreverence to much of Dragon Ball that makes it noteworthy. That kind of stuff is a trademark of Toriyama’s writing.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:02 am

WittyUsername wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:19 pm
No one is saying that a work of fiction has to display diabetic levels of sweetness in order to not be cynical. Something like Lord of the Rings can get pretty dark, but I certainly wouldn’t call that cynical.
That's the part of this convo that annoys me the most. Masenko and ABED are equating cynicism with edginess. There's lots of dark stories ultimately meant to be uplifting (the 2016 film A Monster Calls comes to mind) and plenty of light material that's deeply cynical about humanity. Cynicism has nothing to do with dead bodies on the page or "woe is me!" monologues.

Tolkein's writing is actually super illustrative of that. Lord of the Rings has huge battles with lots of good people dying but ultimately they die nobly, making Middle Earth a better place for the men who stand to inherit it. Even the traumatized by war Frodo manages to find peace in the end even if he has to leave the world to do it.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:33 am

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:02 am

That's the part of this convo that annoys me the most. Masenko and ABED are equating cynicism with edginess.
Neither I nor Abed have equated cynicism with edginess. That’s such a load of bull and I have no idea where you pulled that from. You’re all trying to make Dragon Ball seem more cynical and edgy than it actually is.

Characters in this story have selfish streaks and it has antagonist! Much cynical story.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:43 am

I never equated cynicism with darkness or edginess.

And can we stop with telling people they are stubborn/bullheaded/opinionated? It's a ridiculous claim and it's ALWAYS the other person being stubborn even though the person saying it is just as stubborn.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by Skar » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:08 am

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:24 pm
Do you two commit to being as thickheaded as possible in every thread you post in or am I just getting special treatment right now?
I remember a member here who used to argue that almost every innocent and random scene had an ulterior darker meaning behind it like Goku. I think it comes down how you choose to interpret the story. If someone is more cynical by nature, they might choose that interpretation for scenes that weren't what the author's intended. You're assuming these guys are thick-headed for not agreeing with your opinion. I don't know if you're a cynic but maybe you believe they're not sincere in their view and have some other motive for disagreeing?

Dragonball was written for a young audience so I think it was meant to be a fairly simple. There could be some moments that can be considered cynical but not to the degree some fans argue since a lot of it would likely go unnoticed by the intended audience. It's a story about a martial artists who want to improve themselves but there are still moments with characters doing good things for the sake of it and not for selfish reasons. The DB universe is better off at the end of the series at the end and safer overall than at the beginning since every major threat throughout history has either reformed or taking care of.

The argument about the gods really only applies to DBS but it's a new spin on how gods were previously written. In the original manga, the gods were pretty decent and selfless. Kami was willing to sacrifice himself to stop Piccolo, King Kai helped Goku several times and concerned for his safety, and the Kaioshin gave their lives fighting Buu. Old Kai was a perverted old timer and wanted something in return for unlocking Gohan's potential but he gave his life to Goku. We don't know how DBS ends but it's possible gods like Beerus and Zeno take their jobs more seriously or at least become less reckless. Now that Zeno has a friend and had fun watching the ToP, he might be more lenient and not wipe out universes over some annoyance like the previous six unseen universes.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:32 pm

Skar wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:08 am


Dragonball was written for a young audience so I think it was meant to be a fairly simple. There could be some moments that can be considered cynical but not to the degree some fans argue since a lot of it would likely go unnoticed by the intended audience. It's a story about a martial artists who want to improve themselves but there are still moments with characters doing good things for the sake of it and not for selfish reasons. The DB universe is better off at the end of the series at the end and safer overall than at the beginning since every major threat throughout history has either reformed or taking care of.
This. It's a story written for Japanese grade schoolers by a dude with a slight pervy streak who enjoys humor about pee pee and balls and poop on sticks.
The argument about the gods really only applies to DBS but it's a new spin on how gods were previously written.
And, as Abed pointed out, the Gods don't wipe out the multiverse because Cyborg 17 made a selfless wish. Literally the exact OPPOSITE of cynical. Again the people accusing Dragon Ball of cynicism are confusing narrative conflict and flawed characters as "cynicism"

In the original manga, the gods were pretty decent and selfless. Kami was willing to sacrifice himself to stop Piccolo, King Kai helped Goku several times and concerned for his safety, and the Kaioshin gave their lives fighting Buu. Old Kai was a perverted old timer and wanted something in return for unlocking Gohan's potential but he gave his life to Goku. We don't know how DBS ends but it's possible gods like Beerus and Zeno take their jobs more seriously or at least become less reckless. Now that Zeno has a friend and had fun watching the ToP, he might be more lenient and not wipe out universes over some annoyance like the previous six unseen universes.
But again, characters being selfish doesn't automatically make the story cynical. Especially if they learn to be less selfish or not selfish.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:48 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:32 pm
And, as Abed pointed out, the Gods don't wipe out the multiverse because Cyborg 17 made a selfless wish. Literally the exact OPPOSITE of cynical. Again the people accusing Dragon Ball of cynicism are confusing narrative conflict and flawed characters as "cynicism"
I don’t know how many times this needs to be said, but the idea of the Tournament of Power being a test was Toei’s idea, not Toriyama’s. That would suggest that Toei probably didn’t like the dark implications of Toriyama’s draft, so they added that little tidbit at the end in order to make it seem like the tournament wasn’t a massive waste of time. If anything, that actually reinforces the idea that Toriyama’s work has a mean streak to it.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:57 pm

It doesn't matter whose idea it was. It is what is in the story.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:17 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:57 pm
It doesn't matter whose idea it was. It is what is in the story.
It’s in Toei’s interpretation of the story that Toriyama came up with. The manga version doesn’t mention anything about the Tournament of Power being a test. In fact, in the manga, the Grand Priest is actually surprised by #17’s wish, and 17 himself implies that he made the wish specifically as an act of defiance against Zen-Oh.

I much prefer the anime version of events, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that if Toriyama had provided more than just a rough outline, he probably wouldn’t have gone with the “it was all a test” twist.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by kemuri07 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:05 am

ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:45 pm
kemuri07 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:17 am
ABED wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:56 am
Well that was pretty good, but considering good wins out all the time and the gods don't usually actively participate in the story, I'd hardly call that cynical. Evil is punished and virtue is usually rewarded. Zen Oh doesn't lead anything. He comes in at the very end and holds a tournament to find out if mortals are worth saving. Ultimately 17 proves they are by making a wish that isn't self centered.


This is of course, BS, and as I recall, not the first time you've made some completely exaggerated claim.

I don't see how sincerity is mocked. If anything, the one thing DB doesn't lack is belief in people, even flawed ones. It shows even the worst of us is capable of change for the better.
Ok yeah...but you're missing the point. And we've already said that the show mellows out from that initial tone post-Pilaf when it starts settling into being an action-adventure show. The first arc of Dragon Ball is very different from anything that follows, and I absolutely agree that the first story arc of Dragon Ball has a mean streak in a way that the rest of Dragon Ball, and the entirety of the franchise, does not. That's literally what anyone is saying.

Because while, yeah, the Pilaf arc ends with everyone going their separate way and being fairly decent towards each other, nearly every moment up to that point is most of the characters (particularly Oolong and Bulma) being terrible to everyone around them. Goku is the "good one" but that's only because he's a complete fucking moron.
That doesn't make it cynical. If the point it's driving towards is the characters growing and maturing then it's not cynical. In fact it says something hopeful.
OK, so these aren't actual responses. I could just as easily compile a similar list for Blame! or Vampire Hunter D or Berserk, all series which are explicit in their cynicism. Ditto wuxia novels like The Smiling, Proud Wanderer where we even get a happy ending for the protagonists who abandon the world of politics and go get married. Cynical stories aren't going to be nihilist stories which seems to be what you two think cynicism tranlastes into. Usually the writer of a cynical story is trying to find things worth holding on to and arguing in favor of those things. Now Toriyama isn't one to proselytize but you do see a familar mantra throughout DB's arcs. 'Work towards your own selfish ends and don't stress the larger world too much.' And with that becoming the de facto mantra of most shonen since Dragon Ball's publication I don't think I'm just imagining things either.
You're the one who's so mistaken. No, cynicism isn't about people can't be trusted, they're mostly garbage, and life sucks, then you die, but that's not what we see in DB. Why does the fickleness of the gods play into this? You put way too much emphasis on gods as if they mean a damn thing in DB world. What we see in DB is the belief that if you work hard, it doesn't matter what level you into. And where did you get the idea that everyone descends into brutes at the drop of a hat?
Dude what? That's not cynicism. That's nihilism.

Yeah..Kinda agree that you seem to be intentionally missing the point. No one is arguing that DB.as a whole, as in post-Pilaf to the end of Z, became a lot more optimistic. It's been said in this thread multiple times already. What is being said is that early DB, as in the slapstick, gag-heavy days of DB, if not cynical than it had the tendency to be mean-spirited. That is literally all that's being said.

Christ, man.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:00 pm

kemuri07 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:05 am
Yeah..Kinda agree that you seem to be intentionally missing the point. No one is arguing that DB.as a whole, as in post-Pilaf to the end of Z, became a lot more optimistic. It's been said in this thread multiple times already. What is being said is that early DB, as in the slapstick, gag-heavy days of DB, if not cynical than it had the tendency to be mean-spirited. That is literally all that's being said.

Christ, man.
Um, calm down. I don't see the mean spiritedness you guys see. And why the hell would i INTENTIONALLY miss the point. If the show becomes more optimistic over time, it's not cynical. To change for the better implies you have to start somewhere worse. And just because it's been said multiple times already in no way means I'm obligated to agree. Are we saying DB or the Pilaf arc are cynical? I'm confused. If you're claiming that no one is arguing became more optimistic then why bring up the incompetent gods and Zen-Oh?

I'll give you the argument about the definition. I was confused. Cynicism and nihilism are different, but still related. While I think the argument can be made about Toriyama distrusting religious figures or certain institutions, I don't think that's the same as the story or the world being cynical.
WittyUsername wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:17 pm
ABED wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:57 pm
It doesn't matter whose idea it was. It is what is in the story.
It’s in Toei’s interpretation of the story that Toriyama came up with. The manga version doesn’t mention anything about the Tournament of Power being a test. In fact, in the manga, the Grand Priest is actually surprised by #17’s wish, and 17 himself implies that he made the wish specifically as an act of defiance against Zen-Oh.

I much prefer the anime version of events, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that if Toriyama had provided more than just a rough outline, he probably wouldn’t have gone with the “it was all a test” twist.
I'm limiting this to the anime. I've never read the Super manga. None of this is relevant. You can only go with what is in the story because it is the story.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by WittyUsername » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:21 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:00 pm
I'm limiting this to the anime. I've never read the Super manga. None of this is relevant. You can only go with what is in the story because it is the story.
[/quote]

But part of my argument was about how Toriyama’s writing tends to have a cynical edge to it. Since Toriyama wasn’t the one who came up with the twist, I would think that only serves to reinforce my argument.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:17 pm

Can you say why you think it's cynical without using the word? I think that would be helpful to all involved, especially me.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by WittyUsername » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:55 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:17 pm
Can you say why you think it's cynical without using the word? I think that would be helpful to all involved, especially me.
People here seem to have different ideas on what defines something as cynical, so I guess it’s tough to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.

In the world (or universe) of DB, there’s a general sense that things are kind of screwed up. The people of Earth (more so once Mr. Satan is introduced) are often portrayed as selfish idiots, and the main cast of characters also tend to have their selfish streaks. Toriyama himself has stated that he considers Goku to be an inherently selfish person who only really saves the world by accident, and indeed, Goku has been shown making some pretty baffling and selfish decisions for no reason other than to enjoy a good fight. Yes, I know that it’s a martial arts series, but it’s also a series where world ending threats are a regular occurrence, so it’s difficult to not view the decisions these characters often make as boneheaded.

Then you have the fact that Freeza’s empire/organization were/are presumably a dominant force in the universe, with everyone either being powerless to stop them, or being completely apathetic to them. That is a rather dark implication, especially now that Freeza is currently alive again in the story.

Of course, we’ve also already talked about the first arc of the series, but that arc is notable because it has a certain sense of mean-spiritedness and irreverence to it. It’s a gag story where nothing is really taken seriously, and some downright appalling behavior is played for laughs. Yes, the characters are not completely irredeemable scumbags, but you don’t really get the impression that they learned anything by the end of their ordeal.

Once again, I’m not saying that a work of fiction has to be the Care Bears in order to not be cynical. LotR can get pretty dark, but it’s still ultimately a hopeful story about good overcoming evil.

Also, I’m not saying that DB is a story that revels in cruelty and misery. I’m just saying that Toriyama’s writing has a certain sense of irreverence to it that makes it noteworthy. People have pointed out that Toei has had a tendency to make DB more of a traditional good vs. evil story, and that’s probably for a reason.

To be clear, I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing that DB isn’t strictly focused on good vs. evil plots. It’s not a Western superhero story, and that’s fine. Just because something is geared towards kids, doesn’t mean it has to promote positive messages or whatever. If Dragon Ball Minus is any indication, Toriyama is pretty bad at telling wholesome and heartwarming stories anyway.

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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:08 pm

I don't get the sense that the population at large in DB are self centered jerks. They may be ignorant of the larger universe and the strong people who populate it aren't just out for themselves.

I would be careful of equating irreverence with cynicism. And while I think your point about none of the gods stepping in to stop Freeza, that feels less like saying the universe itself is cynical and more like people in positions of power are not to be trusted or are incompetent. The difference is Goku and Trunks, mortals, did stop him. I also don't think that someone like Freeza existing with no one powerful enough to oppose him is a sign of cynicism. It's just good storytelling. The higher the mountain, the greater the victory.

This was good food for thought, even though I don't outright agree, it does give one reason to pause.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:22 pm

Skar wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:08 am
I remember a member here who used to argue that almost every innocent and random scene had an ulterior darker meaning behind it like Goku. I think it comes down how you choose to interpret the story. If someone is more cynical by nature, they might choose that interpretation for scenes that weren't what the author's intended. You're assuming these guys are thick-headed for not agreeing with your opinion. I don't know if you're a cynic but maybe you believe they're not sincere in their view and have some other motive for disagreeing?
I have no problem admitting to being a cynical person. It's one of the few things about myself I actually like! But I don't push cynicism onto things that aren't. I'm perfectly happy to let optimistic stories do their own thing (and also happen to enjoy most of them, even incredibly saccharine ones like Steven Universe and MLP). I also get that some scenes/characters are going to be up to audience interpretation and that that interpretation may not be one the writer considered. Dragon Ball wasn't my first anime or manga, so it's not as if I'm one of those people who mistook the story for being more adult than it actually is. It's a combination of wuxia pastiche and gag manga written by a self-admitted contrarian.

And as for why I'm seeing deliberate pigheadedness on the part of Masenko and ABED, just look at their responses to WittyUserName bringing up that bit of ToP trivia. Witty's point was, pretty obviously, that it was TOEI who softened Zeno's intentions and that Zeno as a friendly, benevolent sort of god is something TOEI is adding to Dragon Ball. Toriyama's vision for the Lord of Everything is very different. His Zeno is much more indifferent to the lower realms which is consistent with the Z-era gods we were introduced to. The broader implication being, Toriyama's vision for the cosmos of Dragon Ball isn't optimistic.

It'd be one thing if they didn't get what Witty was getting at and asked for clarification but their immediate response to an argument that they didn't fully understand was to attack then dismiss it. That's been how they've handled this whole conversation. Masenko even replied with "Sure, Jan" at one point. That's not engaging in good faith. Call me an asshole if you like but I'm not going to treat two people being disengenous with kid gloves.
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Re: What do you want with Broly?

Post by ABED » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:30 pm

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:22 pm
And as for why I'm seeing deliberate pigheadedness on the part of Masenko and ABED
Take a breath. This isn't deliberate. We just don't agree with you. I didn't attack wittyresponse. I did question your argument b/c I've seen plenty of times where you have made ridiculous claims by taking things out of context of blowing things out of proportion.

Your issue is you think this is cut and dry and obvious, like no one could POSSIBLY or reasonably disagree with your assertion, but there are plenty of counters to be made
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