Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

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Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:35 pm

Evidently a working title for Dragon Ball Z was Dragon Ball:Gohan's Big Adventure https://comicbook.com/anime/2019/07/12/ ... tle-anime/, which my God, that is a terrible title for a tv series. Maybe a one off movie where Gohan gets lost and meets some friends on his journey to find his parents or something like that.

I know "Should Gohan have become the main character?" topics have been done to death. But it did get me thinking Toei seemed to be a lot more invested in Gohan becoming the main character than Toriyama ever was. We know Toriyama flirted with the idea in early Boo saga before deciding Gohan wasn't up to snuff but on Toei's end of things Gohan was very prominent in pretty much all the Japanese OP and ED especially We Gotta Power (where Toei apparently thought Gohan's non-Videl classmates would be a lot more important than they actually were?) plus the anime exclusive Garlic Jr arc lets Gohan take center stage as the main character while Goku's in space.

Was Toei banking on Gohan becoming the new main character because he had replaced Goku as the "cute kid character that was close to the audience age?" they seemed sold on the idea long before Toriyama experimented with it with the Great Saiyaman stuff.

Though clearly Toei lost just as much interest in Gohan as Toriyama had given GT.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by JulieYBM » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:55 pm

Just seems like they were trying to be shrewd by fixing the focus upon the new child who was around the age of the intended audience. "Put thine child front and center and thine pockets will fill aplenty!" or something.
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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:04 pm

JulieYBM wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:55 pm
Just seems like they were trying to be shrewd by fixing the focus upon the new child who was around the age of the intended audience. "Put thine child front and center and thine pockets will fill aplenty!" or something.
Agreed.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:42 pm

I find it funny and very interesting how Toei really tried to initially push the show in early development as being centered around Gohan then ended up scrapping that soon after, up to and including that quite frankly terrible working name before settling on calling it just Dragon Ball Z. Then attempted the same several times more in the Cell and early Buu arcs before pretty much junking it all again and putting Goku back in the forefront with his being given the Old Kaioshin's life to be brought back.
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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by MyVisionity » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:50 pm

I don't think there was really much of a fascination at all. I think Toei's interest in Gohan as the main character was limited to the DBZ planning stages, which is why the OP/ED are Gohan heavy. After that they just didn't bother to change them until the Boo saga, which by that point Gohan was actually positioned to be the main character in the manga.

Garlic Junior may have just been "Goku's away from Earth so who is the next best character to center the arc around?".

As for Sharpner and Erasa in the main credits, I think that was just Toei looking to fill out the group shot at the end after so many characters had departed. Kinda like Happy Days after Ron Howard and the rest left the show.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Vijay » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:34 pm

Was Gohan ever a main character? Or ya'll confuse "high power levels" as "main character" when the kid's PL was recorded by Raditz's scouter?

Gohan always had enormous dormant power, thx to his hybrid gene. Just as Goten & Trunks

But there's more to a main character than mere high power level. It's as bad as DBZ detractors claiming DBZ is a show abt PL obsessed Meatheads.

TOEI is fascinated with Gohan is just as dude's were fascinated with any other kids in the show. If ur takin DBZ OP/ED's as an example, heck Goten & Trunks had most-screen time in M10 & TOEI dedicated entire M11 for the 2 kids to shoulder. You were saying?

Gohan is a vital tool. As seen in Saiyan Arc, dude becoming Oozaru was one such moment. Him becoming SSJ2 @ CG was nother. Dude turned into Great Saiyaman-leadin to participation to TB-leadin to Boo's revival-Ultimate Gohan's absorption-Goku's revival were crucial moments.

As far as I know, dude always needed sumone to carry his baggage/hold his back. It's either Piccolo or Goku for most of the time. And while I appreciate the fact he is sumone that broke the mould in DBZ family (by far, most educated & a scholar) it's an accomplishment for him and Chichi.

For Goku & the series, it's always fighting to protect & prepare for future cosmic challenges. And dats where Gohan's role is trivial and even when he does matter, as said dude is merely a piece that plays the role: being useful for the moment😊

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Matches Malone » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:46 am

I don't think it was just out of their own interest, as I think Toriyama may have told them what he was planning, and they jumped the gun with it. Gohan being the new kid due to Goku growing up surely helped as well.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Saiga » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:23 am

Vijay wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:34 pm
Was Gohan ever a main character? Or ya'll confuse "high power levels" as "main character" when the kid's PL was recorded by Raditz's scouter?
Uh, he was literally called the main character within the manga. I don't think it's us getting confused.
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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Vijay » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:17 am

Saiga wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:23 am
Vijay wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:34 pm
Was Gohan ever a main character? Or ya'll confuse "high power levels" as "main character" when the kid's PL was recorded by Raditz's scouter?
Uh, he was literally called the main character within the manga. I don't think it's us getting confused.
Roshi himself said Gohan wud replace Goku as main character. But that was end of Cell Games/Early Boo Arc. When Goku was not around

But it's pretty evident even in Saiyan-Namek-Frieza-Garlick Jr (if u count filler)-2/3 of Android/Cell Arc that Gohan had high "PL" yet isn't cut to be main character.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:25 am

Vijay wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:17 am
Saiga wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:23 am
Vijay wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:34 pm
Was Gohan ever a main character? Or ya'll confuse "high power levels" as "main character" when the kid's PL was recorded by Raditz's scouter?
Uh, he was literally called the main character within the manga. I don't think it's us getting confused.
Roshi himself said Gohan wud replace Goku as main character. But that was end of Cell Games/Early Boo Arc. When Goku was not around

But it's pretty evident even in Saiyan-Namek-Frieza-Garlick Jr (if u count filler)-2/3 of Android/Cell Arc that Gohan had high "PL" yet isn't cut to be main character.
Nobody but you even mentioned Gohan’s power level. I tend to avoid power level discussions like the plague myself.

Again the point is Toei considered calling Dragon Ball Z Dragon Ball:Gohan’s Big Adventure and even before Gohan temporarily took over as the main character in the Boo saga certain aspects like Head Cha La and Zenkai Power treated him like the main character.

This has nothing to do with Gohan’s power level and has to do with what Toei themselves did to treat Gohan more like he was the main character even when he wasn’t.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Toxin45 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:56 pm

Gohan was ment to succeed goku by some but that didn’t come to pass.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by MechaTrunks » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:33 pm

SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:42 pm
I find it funny and very interesting how Toei really tried to initially push the show in early development as being centered around Gohan then ended up scrapping that soon after, up to and including that quite frankly terrible working name before settling on calling it just Dragon Ball Z. Then attempted the same several times more in the Cell and early Buu arcs before pretty much junking it all again and putting Goku back in the forefront with his being given the Old Kaioshin's life to be brought back.
Well, I think may had been true for the first part of Z that had 25 filler chapters or so with Gohan at the center, but what you say about the Cell saga and beginning of the Bu saga it's because that's what happened in the manga (I recall reading that Toriyama said in an inteview that he wanted to pass the baton from Goku to Gohan but that in the end he put Goku at the center again because he was a better protagonist for a shounen manga).
I mean, in the beginning of the Bu saga there are some filler Gohan centric chapters, true, but it's also true that just after the end of the Cell saga we have Goku centric filler with the otherworld tournament.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Tai Lung » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm

gohan would have worked as protagonist because he is popular although maybe it wouldn't have lasted long

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:48 pm

Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm
gohan would have worked as protagonist because he is popular although maybe it wouldn't have lasted long
Being popular and working as a protagonist are two different things.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Tai Lung » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:32 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:48 pm
Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm
gohan would have worked as protagonist because he is popular although maybe it wouldn't have lasted long
Being popular and working as a protagonist are two different things.
an important part of that is that the character is loved by the spectators or fans ... gohan just like goku we saw him grow and develop in battles and in life for what i think would have been accepted by the fans and worked in principle but ... unlike goku not having rivals, not liking fights and not having chemistry with his opponents makes him unsuitable to star in a shonen series

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:30 am

Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm
gohan would have worked as protagonist because he is popular although maybe it wouldn't have lasted long
Toriyama said things didn't go that direction because he didn't feel that Gohan was interesting enough to take on such a role. I don't think he should've been pushed to the side like he's been in modern DB, but Toriyama made the right call.

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Neo-Makaiōshin » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:43 am

Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:32 pm
an important part of that is that the character is loved by the spectators or fans ... gohan just like goku we saw him grow and develop in battles and in life for what i think would have been accepted by the fans and worked in principle but ... unlike goku not having rivals, not liking fights and not having chemistry with his opponents makes him unsuitable to star in a shonen series
Not having rivals, not liking fight and not having chemistry wouldn't have been the problem, the problem would have been that the audience is being asked to cared more and be more invested in character that they are just introduced over another character that they (and Toei) has invested hundreds of episodes watching grow and develop.
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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by Tai Lung » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:53 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:30 am
Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:31 pm
gohan would have worked as protagonist because he is popular although maybe it wouldn't have lasted long
Toriyama said things didn't go that direction because he didn't feel that Gohan was interesting enough to take on such a role. I don't think he should've been pushed to the side like he's been in modern DB, but Toriyama made the right call.
Gohan and Kefla's fight in the manga is proof of that, a vain and out of character fight
Neo-Makaiōshin wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:43 am
Tai Lung wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:32 pm
an important part of that is that the character is loved by the spectators or fans ... gohan just like goku we saw him grow and develop in battles and in life for what i think would have been accepted by the fans and worked in principle but ... unlike goku not having rivals, not liking fights and not having chemistry with his opponents makes him unsuitable to star in a shonen series
Not having rivals, not liking fight and not having chemistry wouldn't have been the problem, the problem would have been that the audience is being asked to cared more and be more invested in character that they are just introduced over another character that they (and Toei) has invested hundreds of episodes watching grow and develop.
technically we also saw gohan develop from boy to man not as much as goku but much of the audience also wanted

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Re: Gohan 's "main character" status and Toei's fascination

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:26 pm

It always seemed to me like the only time Toei really pushed Gohan as the protagonist was in the Boo arc, and the manga flat out claimed that he would be the main character by that point, so you can’t entirely blame them. I guess there’s also Zenkai Power, but I’m pretty sure that was just meant to be a cutesy song.

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