Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

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Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:58 pm

I dont think anyone can actually qualify as a sue seen as it is a meaningless sexist buzzword. But I would like to see what YOU think.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by ABED » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:04 pm

There is the male equivalent - Gary Stu, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the concept out of hand just because sexist douchebags will use the term at the drop of a hat.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:16 pm

I don’t think there would be any real example of one in the story, although the definition of one seems to vary from person to person. I certainly don’t think Goku is a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu?) because even though he’s a carefree prodigy who’s able to overcome all odds on a regular basis, he’s also a goofy and kind of dimwitted manchild who gets called out by the other characters (mostly Bulma) from time to time.

I think some might argue that Future Trunks is a Gary Stu, since he’s introduced effortlessly killing off Freeza, has a tragic backstory and is the son of two relevant characters in the story, but he does get smacked around quite a bit the Cell arc, and the characters are initially hesitant to trust him. Plus, his fight with Perfect Cell establishes that he has a lot to learn about being a great fighter.

I guess there is Caulifla and Kale, who both learn to become Super Saiyans somewhat easier than Cabba, but the Super Saiyan transformation in general basically became a joke when Goten and an eight year old Trunks somehow learned to do it offscreen.

I don’t watch much anime or read much manga, but if there’s a manga/anime character I would say qualifies as a Mary Sue/Gary Stu, it would probably be Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:23 pm

Future Trunks. I love him to death but he's practically right out of edgy Dragon Ball fanfic.

I'd still sleep with him tho... Literally the perfect twunk (at least his Z-era version was)
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by ABED » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:57 pm

Trunks is probably the closest but he doesn't really do much beyond the first few episodes. He's quickly eclipsed. A hallmark of this type of character is they are often better than most of the main characters at even the things they specialize in and save the day. An example I often see cited is Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:10 pm

Now that I think about it, Vegeta’s response to Trunks’ death is the first true indication that he’s actually capable of caring about people other than himself. Considering that Vegeta is the same person who gleefully killed his longtime ally who happened to be one of the last surviving members of the Saiyan race, in addition to being indifferent to the death of his father, that is pretty noteworthy. The idea that Trunks is the one who brought out Vegeta’s humanity could potentially be seen as a Gary Stuish quality.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by JulieYBM » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:43 pm

This thread is such a wonderful explanation of the history of the Mary Sue.
so this is random but I've been thinking a lot about Star Trek and the origin of the Mary Sue term... So when I attempted to watch ST a while back, I was sort of shocked at how much kissing was in the show. It seemed like every other episode featured a woman from an alien planet+probably with some sort of succubus-type powers, and with very little clothes on, that would always try to force control over the male leads, sometimes w/a kiss!!... but the ml would always overcome this, through the strength of their mind. now+this is a male power fantasy. women who were ST fans did what they do best. they transformed it to make it into their fantasy. for fanfiction publications, they began writing about a character who was a new recruit, very special with some special ability+who all the male leads would fall for, and who would nearly always die sacrificing herself for the crew. female power fantasy. and women were writing about this at such a pace that another woman called it out. she was tired of seeing these unrealistic, self-insert characters+and I think she was wrong to criticize it. I think she was wrong to make fun of the female power fantasy. later when Paula Smith discused what Mary Sue was, she walked back on her initial reaction a bit by explaining that women HAD to write themselves into the male-centric story+that OF COURSE they would when the story existed the way it did. but the damage was done. now we see the term used incorrectly all the time and for some reason it's justified by there being a "male-equivlent" (it's not). and young girls continue to write fanfic in their own+fan space, away from young men, because they want to rewrite their favorite male-centric stories with a self-insert, non-male character that represents them. Smith even said writing this sort of fanfic is simply a step in writing that makes you a better writer, but we continue+to criticize it.

anyway, I just wanted people to remember why ST actually created Mary Sue criticism. It was because of all the kisses.

women wanted to write a character that wasn't a succubus or an evil alien to kiss their male leads.
As such, I don't know if I could call anyone but perhaps Gokuu himself or the Muten Roushi a Mary Sue. They literally exist as the characters most Toriyama-esque. I think the Muten Roushi probably fits a bit better, though, because he's such a perverted figure in the story and fulfills the role of mentor, too, which is equivalent to Toriyama's own god-esque status as the creator.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by SSJgogeto » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:57 pm

I don't think there's a Mary Sue in Dragon Ball. However, IMO there's at least two Gary Stus: Trunks and the old Bardock.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:58 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:10 pm
Now that I think about it, Vegeta’s response to Trunks’ death is the first true indication that he’s actually capable of caring about people other than himself. Considering that Vegeta is the same person who gleefully killed his longtime ally who happened to be one of the last surviving members of the Saiyan race, in addition to being indifferent to the death of his father, that is pretty noteworthy. The idea that Trunks is the one who brought out Vegeta’s humanity could potentially be seen as a Gary Stuish quality.
For me it's how suddenly it happens that tips the encounter into Sue territory. Vegeta goes from holding Trunks in complete contempt to being willing to go an a doomed charge to avenge him. That's too reminiscent of fanfiction (and actual published stories tbh) where the main character dies and suddenly their estranged parent has an epiphany.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:00 pm

SSJgogeto wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:57 pm
I don't think there's a Mary Sue in Dragon Ball. However, IMO there's at least two Gary Stus: Trunks and the old Bardock.
Why do you consider the old Bardock to be one?

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by JulieYBM » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:08 pm

I'd offer the old take on Bardock makes him really unrelatable by making him a scumbag who just accidentally stumbled upon psychic powers and a plot to destroy his people. In comparison to the Bardock we see in Dragon Ball Super: Broli--an evolved Saiyan who has grown weary of his own people's cultural battle and blood lust--there's something to relate to in how he wishes to protect his family and punch-up at Freeza.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by MyVisionity » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:19 pm

ABED wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:04 pm
There is the male equivalent - Gary Stu, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the concept out of hand just because sexist douchebags will use the term at the drop of a hat.
Just because there is a "male equivalent" doesn't mean that the concept is not inherently sexist. The very fact that it's called "Gary Stu" should indicate that. I agree though that there may be certain aspects to the concept itself that are worth considering.

I'm not sure if Dragon Ball has any of these types of characters. Goku comes to mind, but I'm not sure if that really applies to him. Especially since he's the main character.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by SSJgogeto » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:20 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:00 pm
SSJgogeto wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:57 pm
I don't think there's a Mary Sue in Dragon Ball. However, IMO there's at least two Gary Stus: Trunks and the old Bardock.
Why do you consider the old Bardock to be one?
He's the father of the protagonist, have somehow his own armor and a PL of 10000. Also, he can see the future and can even transform in Super Saiyan. Too much for a supposedly average saiyan.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by ABED » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:22 pm

The point was never his relatability but the tragic irony of being able to see the death of your own race and being utterly powerless to do anything about it, but the one person who isn't is the one you shunned for being a nothing - and your child on top of it all.
MyVisionity wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:19 pm
ABED wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:04 pm
There is the male equivalent - Gary Stu, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the concept out of hand just because sexist douchebags will use the term at the drop of a hat.
Just because there is a "male equivalent" doesn't mean that the concept is not inherently sexist. The very fact that it's called "Gary Stu" should indicate that. I agree though that there may be certain aspects to the concept itself that are worth considering.

I'm not sure if Dragon Ball has any of these types of characters. Goku comes to mind, but I'm not sure if that really applies to him. Especially since he's the main character.
I get your point, though I don't necessarily agree. Would it be any better if the term was unisex?
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by JulieYBM » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:26 pm

I actually like self-insert characters but I definitely feel like these needs to be a critical eye from a creator to create a good dramatic arc for that character. The 'Mary Sue' term is so eye-roll inducing to me. There's always that underlying tone of mocking women creators in supposedly 'male-dominated' spaces, like geek franchises (DC/Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who). I think that's something that needs to be confronted.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:46 pm

JulieYBM wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:08 pm
I'd offer the old take on Bardock makes him really unrelatable by making him a scumbag who just accidentally stumbled upon psychic powers and a plot to destroy his people.
It's one of those things where you kinda have to be into that type of story before hand otherwise it runs the risk of being alienating. Me I love it because old Bardock reminds me so much of the type of character you'd see in a Moorecock book but I can see why "murderous deadbeat dad realizes his genocidal boss is genocidal" is hard sell for some.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by MyVisionity » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:06 pm

ABED wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:22 pm
Would it be any better if the term was unisex?
I would think so, at least to a certain extent, but I can't say for sure. It's really about figuring out which aspects of the concept are legitimate and which are not, while leaving the sexism out of it.

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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by Robo4900 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:08 pm

No one. Because "Mary Sue" characters are quite rare in mainstream media because the version of this that one could perceive as a good-faith criticism is generally only a failing held by the most amateur of amateur writers, and Toriyama in particular is generally quite good at character writing; his failings generally come in the form of characters being fundamentally ill-conceived such that they're massively uncomfortable to watch (Roshi, un-watered-down Popo), and his tendency to have his female characters either lose all agency and become a walking flanderisation (Videl was watered down into personality-less armcandy who follows Gohan around, and Chichi became an irritating nag present purely for comedic purposes), or simply disappear from the story (Lunch).

So, if it applies to male characters, Toriyama is generally better than that, as are most writers who write the media you care about, and if it applies only to female characters, his women generally don't have the requisite agency or presence to be "Mary Sue" characters anyway.
So, depending on whether it applies to men too, or just women, the answer is either "Toriyama is a better writer than that", or "Toriyama isn't a good enough writer for that to apply." :lol:
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:08 pm

I agree with Future Trunks, especially when we take Super into account.

- He gets a new form out of nowhere that lets him compete with God tier characters
- He learns the Mafuba in minutes, when it took Goku a whole day (and Goku is already the guy who can master a technique that took 50 years to develop in seconds)
- He invents a better version of one of Goku's strongest attacks from out of nowhere, and defeats a villain that Goku, Vegeta, and even Vegeto couldn't defeat.
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Re: Who is a Mary Sue in Drago Ball.

Post by JulieYBM » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:21 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:06 pm
ABED wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:22 pm
Would it be any better if the term was unisex?
I would think so, at least to a certain extent, but I can't say for sure. It's really about figuring out which aspects of the concept are legitimate and which are not, while leaving the sexism out of it.
The birth of the term is literally rooted in sexism and punching down, though, so it's difficult's an inherently derogatory term.
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