“There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

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“There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by DerekPadula » Wed May 20, 2020 8:55 am

I translated a new interview with Akira Toriyama's editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, and published it on my site:

https://thedaoofdragonball.com/blog/int ... agon-ball/

He says, “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” and, “Dragon Ball is a work without substance.” Do you agree? Please read the interview and share your thoughts.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Ringworm128 » Wed May 20, 2020 10:15 am

Yeah, apart from some minor character development and such, and some interesting lore; there really isn't much to the story.

With the huge influx of 30 something pseudo intellectuals lately trying to make out everything has hidden depths, it's good to admit some series are just dumb fun.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Zestanor » Wed May 20, 2020 10:19 am

I mean I see what he’s saying. The narrative and characters take a backseat to the artwork, and this is confirmed by Toriyama who did not remember his own story.

I think what he is saying is this: Dragon Ball avoided preaching. It has various ethical tropes like justice, perseverance, respect for family and elders, but these things are just part of the ethos. Much can be said about those, but that’s not the same as literary depth. The one time, IIRC (and this might be anime only) that DB broke the mold and got preachy was when No. 8 Hatchan was wailing one-dimensionally about killing being wrong, and then he killed White. And that was weak, admittedly.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed May 20, 2020 10:43 am

Torishima is entitled to his opinion, but personally I couldn't disagree with this more.

I like a lot of IPs in all forms of media, but apart from Star Wars none of them have inspired me to the extent Dragon Ball has.

I know we've discussed it previously in the lessons of Dragon Ball thread, but I think how much the series resonates with potentially millions of people worldwide and encourages them, to never give up and believe in themselves no matter what the odds speaks for itself.

Dragon Ball is so much more than a simple gag manga.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Matches Malone » Wed May 20, 2020 10:52 am

If you just read that one line, or just part of the interview, you'll end up taking this completely the wrong way, at least I did.

This line "children don’t want to be preached to when they read comics, so we had to make it more interesting at the time" is the key to understanding not only where he's coming from, but even agreeing with it. He's right. Not only children, but even adults get involved with entertainment such as DB to escape reality. I don't want DB telling me that political view A is better than B, or this real life politician is bad because of X, Y, &Z. Torishima completely understood this, resulting in as he says, "having to make it interesting". Torishima doesn't mean there's no value in the sense of great characters and stories, he means it doesn't get involved with real life issues.

Now look at Western entertainment, a lot of it now completely revolves around politics. You can't watch a TV show or read a comic without being reminded about "orange man bad". I get it, people don't like Trump, but do we have to be constantly reminded about it ? When I watch a TV show, I just want to see the good guys fight the bad guys, what your politics are, or whether or not you like a specific political party is irrelevant to that, and it just feels forced and out of place. That's not to say you can't write stories that do revolve around real life issues, but lately everything has been so biased and forced that it ends up losing it meaning.

That's how I take his comments, but I could be completely wrong and he does mean DB is just a stupid comic with 0 value, which I completely disagree with, but I think he's smarter than to say something that wrong.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by ABED » Wed May 20, 2020 11:23 am

I don't think there's anything to learn but that's different from being inspired. I know plenty of people who see Goku's relentless pursuit to better himself physically as a source of inspiration to do the same.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed May 20, 2020 11:53 am

ABED wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 11:23 am
I don't think there's anything to learn but that's different from being inspired. I know plenty of people who see Goku's relentless pursuit to better himself physically as a source of inspiration to do the same.
I would say learning is a life experience that encompasses much more than just academia and politics. If band A (let's say the Beatles) influences band B (let's say Oasis) you could argue that the latter learned from the former's style and approach to creating and performing music. Similarly a bodybuilder who the reads Dragon Ball manga is learning from an example set by Toriyama in the way he wrote Goku.

Torishima isn't wrong with his statement that kids don't want to be preached to, but they don't have to be. The beautiful thing about art is that what it teaches often occurs subconsciously and it's only with time that we reap the rewards of it. That's how it's been for me with Dragon Ball.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by emperior » Wed May 20, 2020 12:21 pm

“You don’t strive in the martial arts to win, but rather to not lose to yourself“

“There’s always someone stronger out there”

“Even the lowest born can outdo the elite if they work hard enough”

To say there’s nothing to learn from it is just wrong. And subjective.
The fact it didn’t force those teachings is the reason why they work.

And Goku’s purity is in that he doesn’t improve to prove his superiority or to fuel his ego, but just to be better than he was the day before.
There’s a lot to learn from this mentality.

So, while they may have written it without trying to teach anyone anything, there’s still stuff that inspires people to be better and to have a positive approach to life.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by FoolsGil » Wed May 20, 2020 12:42 pm

Hmmm. Well you could say to Torishima:

Image



But in my honest opinion, Torishima isn't necessarily wrong, but one thing: Just because Dragonball is to some meaningless, doesn't mean it isn't inspiring. And some of those inspired people, have done meaningful amazing things.

Also - The Death of The Author is the Birth of The Reader
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed May 20, 2020 12:45 pm

But just because this guy said there's nothing to learn, are we supposed to just accept it? How's he know what people learned from it?

I, personally, always saw it more or less as mindless fun, but I've seen people discuss how the series affected their lives. So if Dragon Ball taught someone to value their friends or try their best or do the right thing when it's not the easy thing, are those not lessons that Dragon Ball taught someone that they'll carry forever with them? Or should they go, "You know, as a kid, Goku's training in his spaceship really taught me to try my absolute hardest at everything I do... but this guy said that there's nothing to be learned, so screw it?"

I just think that it's a dumb thing to say regarding a series that has become a cultural icon and means different things to so many different people. You can say, "Hey, don't drive yourselves crazy looking for the deep meaning of it all," but don't say that there's nothing to learn from it. That's a statement that tries to turn something subjective and personal into a blanket statement.

Sure, it's a little weird if a grown adult sat down and started weaving out life lessons from it, but a 5-year-old or someone who doesn't have positive role models in their lives? I don't know, I can't say this guy made the right call.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Matches Malone » Wed May 20, 2020 2:25 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:45 pm
But just because this guy said there's nothing to learn, are we supposed to just accept it? How's he know what people learned from it?
I think the way he's using the word learn is different from how we're using it. Adding to what I said above, he could be talking in terms of academic value. Yes, fans can count plenty of things that they've learned from DB, but is it worth teaching in schools and colleges like Shakespeare for example ? Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but I just can't see someone like him believing such a thing.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Sadala Elite » Wed May 20, 2020 6:50 pm

Ringworm128 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:15 am
Yeah, apart from some minor character development and such, and some interesting lore; there really isn't much to the story.

With the huge influx of 30 something pseudo intellectuals lately trying to make out everything has hidden depths, it's good to admit some series are just dumb fun.
Basically this.

Also, even Toriyama himself has said in an interview that Dragonball is nothing more than just a fight show lol.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed May 20, 2020 7:04 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:25 pm
TheGreatness25 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:45 pm
But just because this guy said there's nothing to learn, are we supposed to just accept it? How's he know what people learned from it?
I think the way he's using the word learn is different from how we're using it. Adding to what I said above, he could be talking in terms of academic value. Yes, fans can count plenty of things that they've learned from DB, but is it worth teaching in schools and colleges like Shakespeare for example ? Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but I just can't see someone like him believing such a thing.
I don't think this is the case. It's not something that needs to be said because no anime/manga/cartoon/movie/comic/etc. is taught in schools like that. I don't think anyone has ever suggested such. So, coming out with such an off-the-wall statement is akin to him saying that DB can't be used as a manual for time travel -- duh.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by TheBigBoy » Wed May 20, 2020 8:47 pm

He's right lmao and that's OK!

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by LoganForkHands73 » Wed May 20, 2020 9:01 pm

Torishima dishing out those reality checks to that poor interviewer. There's a Death of the Author argument here and I'd definitely say that Torishima is viewing things through the eyes of a businessman. I don't think he's necessarily being dismissive of what people gleaned out of Dragon Ball, more that his and Toriyama's intentions for the series weren't nearly as complex. They were, after all, always writing for children.

I don't feel the need to get overly defensive of why I like what I like. Even if something is primarily entertainment fluff, I can still enjoy it while admitting it for what it is. I can understand the translator's shock but he seems to be overly defensive. It brings me back to the Martin Scorsese's innocuous comments on Marvel movies and the ridiculous amounts of fan insecurity and fake outrage they generated. The Doctor Who fanbase get similarly defensive whenever someone insinuates the fact that Doctor Who is mainly aimed at kiddies.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Sadala Elite » Wed May 20, 2020 10:09 pm

LoganForkHands73 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:01 pm
Torishima dishing out those reality checks to that poor interviewer. There's a Death of the Author argument here and I'd definitely say that Torishima is viewing things through the eyes of a businessman. I don't think he's necessarily being dismissive of what people gleaned out of Dragon Ball, more that his and Toriyama's intentions for the series weren't nearly as complex. They were, after all, always writing for children.

I don't feel the need to get overly defensive of why I like what I like. Even if something is primarily entertainment fluff, I can still enjoy it while admitting it for what it is. I can understand the translator's shock but he seems to be overly defensive. It brings me back to the Martin Scorsese's innocuous comments on Marvel movies and the ridiculous amounts of fan insecurity and fake outrage they generated. The Doctor Who fanbase get similarly defensive whenever someone insinuates the fact that Doctor Who is mainly aimed at kiddies.
And the funny thing about the Scorsese situation was that he never even said that they were bad films or only for children in that interview lol.
Last edited by Sadala Elite on Wed May 20, 2020 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Saikyo no Senshi » Wed May 20, 2020 10:15 pm

This just sounds like an artist trying to dodge responsibility for their work. Granted Torishima isn't the artist, but he played a pivotal part in the creation of DB and even Toriyama has said things like this in the past which kind of sucks. No wonder you see so many fans use this exact same excuse to dismiss any problematic aspects of the work.

Torishima's entitled to his opinion of course, but the fan analysis and interpretations which makes sense within the context of the work are valid and important.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Kid Buu » Wed May 20, 2020 11:00 pm

I agree. There's nothing wrong with liking the series but Dragon Ball is about as deep as WWE.
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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by Sadala Elite » Wed May 20, 2020 11:18 pm

Saikyo no Senshi wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:15 pm
This just sounds like an artist trying to dodge responsibility for their work. Granted Torishima isn't the artist, but he played a pivotal part in the creation of DB and even Toriyama has said things like this in the past which kind of sucks. No wonder you see so many fans use this exact same excuse to dismiss any problematic aspects of the work.

Torishima's entitled to his opinion of course, but the fan analysis and interpretations which makes sense within the context of the work are valid and important.
"This just sounds like an artist trying to dodge responsibility for their work."

That is not at all what Torishima is doing smh. You sound exactly like the type of people he is addressing: folks who project meanings, themes and messages into stories where they don't exist.

Heres some useful advice, never put more thought into something than the person who created it. And unless intended otherwise, fans' interpretation of stories hold inherently less credibility than the author's.

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Re: “There is nothing to learn from Dragon Ball,” says Akira Toriyama’s editor, Kazuhiko Torishima

Post by WittyUsername » Wed May 20, 2020 11:41 pm

Sadala Elite wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 11:18 pm
Heres some useful advice, never put more thought into something than the person who created it.
I think online discussions would be pretty boring if everyone subscribed to that line of thinking, especially when it comes to Dragon Ball.

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