The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:15 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:42 pm
SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:35 pm
I really don't get skipping over the original DB series to Z either, because in doing that you're passing a large chunk of the manga's story and a lot of the things which are established here that are revealed later.
Agreed.

I think it's just that a lot of westerners just grew up on Z, and if they gave DB a try, they only watched material in the first 13 episodes, decided "nah this is stupid kids' shit" and never went further. And it's totally baffling to me... Would people skip Fellowship Of The Ring if The Hobbit was also contained within its first several chapters and Peter Jackson adapted Two Towers first, before then going back and doing Fellowship, then Return Of The King?

Would people skip the first third of Breaking Bad if they'd only seen the latter two thirds? Would they just gain the outlook that "Eh, it's not important enough for me to bother going through it."
Ditto for Game Of Thrones, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Mad Men, Community, etc. etc.?

Every show has its startup time, and if you've only seen the show starting from the middle of its golden years onwards, it could be weird trying to go back to the beginning, but consistently skipping the entire first... Well... I've said first third, but really it's closer to the first two fifths...

Again, it's 2020, not 1996, we should all know better than to skip 153 episodes/194 chapters all willy-nilly.

And Toei should have known better in 2009 as well, when they did Kai.
That seems to be the case for quite a few fans, including those here in the States who were introduced to the franchise through Z back in the day although when you actually watch the show it only really has that type of distinctive Dr. Slump style of over the top gag comedy for the first couple of arcs. Then it really transitions to the more DBZ like action based angle in the later half around the 22nd Budokai but especially the Piccolo Daimao arc and it doesn't make sense to me either. But of course, seeing as Z is the most popular of the three series the original 153 episodes too often get sidelined and are underrated. This despite that they are both one story in the manga which was split in half during the original run of the anime to rebrand for marketing purposes back in 1989.

Still though, you really shouldn't skip the original DB because you miss so much like how the characters first met and so on.
Last edited by SuperSaiyaManZ94 on Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
DB collection related goals as of now:

1.) Find decent priced copy of Dragon Box Z Vol. 4

2.) Collect rest of manga

3.) Get rest of Daizenshuu (2-7)

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:17 pm

1. Discussion of works of art without some application of aesthetic theory is ultimately a waste of time. Everyone has better things to do (like brushing up on aesthetic theory before discussing art), and too little time to do them all. Concepts like "art reflects the artist" and "genres are lineages of art" seem practically foreign to people most of the time. When genuine intellectual depth is paid much lip service, but strikingly relatively little mind or effort, discussing Dragon Ball (the funny comic written and drawn by Akira Toriyama) is only a frustrating waste of time.

I'm not bemoaning this reality. Folks like VegettoEX, Gaffer Tape, Derek Padula, Cipher, and Kunzait (just to name a few) have set the academic bar insanely high. And this is also not to put anyone down. Not everyone is interested in, or has the patience for, or the time for, or the financial means necessary for, understanding this sort of stuff with this degree of nuance and sophistication; even if one does, it can often take years of reflection before certain things "click" (I speak from experience).

2. "Fandom", insofar as it is centered on having a community (constructed around some mutually-emotionally-familiar person or piece of art) rather than on discussing the relevant aesthetic merit, is by this point in time little more than a glorified capitalist cult. If this seems like an incredibly bizarre and out-there hill to die on, look into Edward Bernays, and what his ideas are, and how they have been used, and by whom. Chew on these well-documented historical connections until you begin to appreciate how thoroughly surrounded-at-all-times we are by his ideas in action (and then try to speak of a "free" market with reference to any of it).

For added effect, remind yourself what kinds of consequences supporting certain brands can have. Any person or company can do this if they make enough money, obviously, but popular brands which cultivate devoted fandoms have a steady source of money, to do with whatever they please. Supporting a brand you like out of some propaganda-instilled duty to "consume legal product" all-too-easily risks complicity in sweat shops, factory farms, the rape culture that pervades the entertainment industry, and of course genocide.

When everyone is focused on the "franchise", or keeping up with all of the "merchandise", on top of paying relatively little mind or effort to matters of genuine intellectual depth, discussing Dragon Ball (the funny comic written and drawn by Akira Toriyama) makes my skin crawl. I'm once again not putting anyone down, here. I was a Power Rangers fiend as a kid, and I didn't realize for a long time what sorts of indirect consequences even seemingly innocent and private actions can have in a social-system as intimately and thoroughly connected as the one we have today.

3. So, I don't think about and discuss Dragon Ball as much as I did when I was a kid. Sharing with others the lived-experience of having enjoyed this specific piece of art doesn't do it for me anymore. I've figured out what I like about it and why I like that about it with reference to my larger worldview as an adult. I'm satisfied. My thirst is quenched. And when something else of merit connects back to Dragon Ball, I can and do appreciate it that much more. But it's both bad for me and bad for everyone else if I dwell on some singular Beautiful piece of art for too long, no matter how much aesthetic merit it possesses, because most people don't care about it for those same reasons, to this same extent, in this manner. And I also have better things to do, especially right now.

That most people don't want to think critically about art is one thing. That people want to support companies that sell good products is one thing. Not thinking critically, however, throws into the trash the primary skill that keeps people able to discern the good products from bad ones in the first place. A piece of art which is also a good product is ostensibly a Beautiful one. However, with little attention given to nurturing critical thought (or to studying aesthetic theory, the thing most concerned with Beauty), people are simply supporting products that make them happy, because they cause happiness. This seems fine, until you realize that the the companies profiting off of the satisfaction of your happiness are simply providing a fix to an addiction they fostered in the first place.

That all of most of the kind of stuff I'm talking about so often gets flippantly dismissed as "cliche" is but one more grotesque layer to everything. The con goes deep enough that the major players probably aren't even aware of it, which is yet another grotesque layer to it. It requires no conspiracy. It is immanent. It runs on auto-pilot.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:02 pm

The idea that DB should've ended after the Namek arc is one I'll never understand. By removing the Cell and Buu arcs we end up losing great characters, character development, new concepts, epic fights, etc.

I understand believing GT shouldn't have happened, or even modern DB, but removing nearly 200 chapters from the original manga ? If there's one hill I'd choose to die on, it's this one.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Dr. Casey » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:07 pm

Yeah, I agree. I think the Cell and Buu arcs added a lot and Dragon Ball would be a lesser story without them. In-universe, the two arcs add an additional 21 years to the story. A lot happens in that time.
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Re: The Hills we die on.and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by jjgp1112 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:13 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:46 am
Dragon Ball is Goku's story and no DB series should be centered on the next generation.
Absolutely, 100%. At the end of the day, it's Goku's story and his path to improvement. Once Goku ceases to be the central figure, it's no longer really Dragon Ball.
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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:17 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:42 pm
It's 2020, not 1996, we should all know better than to skip 153 episodes/194 chapters all willy-nilly.
No one says you should skip Naruto and jump into Shippuden, or skip the first 500 episodes of One Piece, etc. DB should always be watched from the beginning, just as you would with literally everything else you come across, be that anime, movies, TV shows, etc.
Grimlock wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:52 pm
I find myself in a constant struggle against nostalgia, safe zone and old formulas. Three of the worst villains of the "primary" Dragon Ball.
What makes this worse is the fact that modern DB was started by a movie that took every risk imaginable.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:20 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:02 pm
The idea that DB should've ended after the Namek arc is one I'll never understand. By removing the Cell and Buu arcs we end up losing great characters, character development, new concepts, epic fights, etc.

I understand believing GT shouldn't have happened, or even modern DB, but removing nearly 200 chapters from the original manga ? If there's one hill I'd choose to die on, it's this one.
It's a lot easier to see that because it happened. You can't missed what was never there. In a hypothetical scenario where Toriyama did end things after Namek, do you think you wouldn't have been satisfied?

I like the Cell and Buu arcs and think they're worthwhile but at this point I can't say had they not existed I would feel cheated. I would've had a very different answer when I was younger.
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Re: The Hills we die on.and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by FoolsGil » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:23 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:13 pm
ABED wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:46 am
Dragon Ball is Goku's story and no DB series should be centered on the next generation.
Absolutely, 100%. At the end of the day, it's Goku's story and his path to improvement. Once Goku ceases to be the central figure, it's no longer really Dragon Ball.
Dragonball stopped being Dragonball a long time ago. We may be following Goku, but the spirit of the series, the story of Goku, is dead.
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Re: The Hills we die on.and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:32 pm

FoolsGil wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:23 pm
Dragonball stopped being Dragonball a long time ago. We may be following Goku, but the spirit of the series, the story of Goku, is dead.
Apart from the BOG movie, I agree with this. Modern DB has a long way to go before it's on the level of the original manga. Goku is pretty much a shell of his former self, while the franchise as a whole is so afraid to leave its safe zone we can't even get new outfits for Goku and Vegeta. The Moro arc has so far made the right moves, but things are a very long way from being on the right track.
ABED wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:20 pm
It's a lot easier to see that because it happened. You can't missed what was never there. In a hypothetical scenario where Toriyama did end things after Namek, do you think you wouldn't have been satisfied?
Would the ending be exactly like the one we have now ? Or would it be completely changed where all plot points were resolved ? Even then, I think ending it that soon would've been a mistake, and overall very unsatisfying. Why end it right when it's just getting started ? Goku just became an adult, he was given a son, his main enemy Piccolo became a good person, Vegeta was now becoming a main character, etc. There'd be so much wasted potential, and I can't imagine a DB that ended so soon.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by emperior » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:36 pm

I definitely hate when people are like “read/watch XYZ series, trust me, it’s much better than DB” as if people don’t have subjective tastes. I get it that many like One Piece, but I don’t and the fact I am a DB fan doesn’t mean I have to like it or any other fantasy anime focused on people fighting.

Also, I hate the “modern DB has no soul” idiocy I have read from some people. What the heck does it even mean? If someone comes at me with a fairly deep analysis about WHY modern DB sucks compared to the original manga, then be my guest.
I am not saying that those who say that Super sucks compared to Toriyama’s manga are wrong, and I actually agree that it’s worse, but I do not agree with meaningless statements.
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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:41 pm

emperior wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:36 pm
I definitely hate when people are like “read/watch XYZ series, trust me, it’s much better than DB” as if people don’t have subjective tastes.
I definitely hate it when anime fans try to downplay what DB is as a way of making what they're recommending seem better. Without the original DB, people's holy One Piece wouldn't even exist, much less be what it is today, and this applies to a lot of popular shonen.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:46 pm

I'd imagine there would be SOME differences like have Goku return, but after the wishes are made and the Namekians are sent to New Namek, all the plot threads have been resolved. Maybe have an extended denouement. You say it ended that soon, but after nearly 30 volumes, it's a pretty long series. I'm not arguing that DB should've ended with Freeza or I'm not glad the last two arcs exist, just that I would've felt satisfied with what we got. Piccolo just became a good guy but that's the end of his arc. I never felt some pressing need to see him and Kami reunite and the story doesn't feel like it was shouting for it either.
What the heck does it even mean?
It means it was calibrated to appeal to fans and sales figures not necessarily what was best for the story. At least that's what I take that statement to mean.
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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Matches Malone » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:57 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:46 pm
Piccolo just became a good guy but that's the end of his arc. I never felt some pressing need to see him and Kami reunite and the story doesn't feel like it was shouting for it either.
Maybe they didn't need to reunite, but they weren't exactly on talking terms, so I would've wanted to see that resolved. It's like fans saying Vegeta's arc ending with him deciding to never fight again would be satisfying if DB ended after Cell. I just can't imagine a Vegeta who didn't get his rematch with Goku, who didn't become a good guy by giving up his life for others, and who didn't admit that Goku was better than him.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:04 pm

At this point, I think the main hill I’d die on when it comes to Dragon Ball is that Resurrection ‘F’ is quite possibly the worst movie in the franchise, not counting the live action ones. These days, I have trouble thinking of so much as a single redeeming quality about it. Back in the day, I was at least inclined to argue that the movie had some nice animation going for it, but upon looking back at it, especially after the Broly movie, it’s occurred to me that it and BoG only look marginally better than Super. The CGI in particular is just atrocious.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Majin Buu » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:41 pm

Dbzfan94 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:48 pm
My personal hills

The whole Dub vs sub that exists to this day is insufferable to read in 2020.

the fans of either version (yes, both sides) who throw jabs at each other and/or their preferred version needs to stop.
Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:18 pm

Agreed.
Not sure if these are criticizing me specifically or not, but I want to respond to the general sentiment either way.
Whether you like Funi's dubs, Ocean's dubs, the Japanese version, the manga, the French dub, the Spanish dub, or whatever else, you need to just enjoy the show, and stop telling other people that their version is wrong.
The dub vs. sub debate is a very real fault line that informs a lot of the reasons why the western Dragon Ball fandom is the way it is. People shouldn't attack others for their preferences, but ignoring/downplaying the significance of this doesn't help either.

Neither is ignoring the very real differences between the versions that make certain discussions difficult to have among fans of those different versions. As a fan of Japanese DBZ, I've outright stopped talking about DBZ outside of this forum unless I'm with like-minded people or people I know won't give me shit for my preferences because a discussion almost inevitably leads to something that wasn't the same across our preferred versions, resulting in crossed signals at best and outright mockery at my expense at worst.
Furthermore, I think fans of one version should do themselves a favour and try giving the other versions a go.

For the record, I have watched all of the Funi/Saban dub and over 3/4ths of the Funi dub (I dropped off in the middle of the Buu arc once we got the International Channel). Even after finding out about the Japanese version around the time of Season 3, I still had to watch the dub for longer than I would have liked because I couldn't afford to purchase fansubs.

I've watched more than enough of dubbed DBZ to know that I don't like it and prefer Japanese DBZ.
At various points in my life, I've watched the Japanese version, the Funi dubs (including probably every single episode of DB, Z, and GT), and the Ocean dubs (including Saban Z, Westwood Z, Blue Water DB, and Blue Water GT), and y'know what? I enjoyed all of them immensely, and I still hold a strong nostalgia for ALL of those versions.
Good for you, but that's not everyone's experience. People don't have to accept versions of the show they don't like.
Getting cross about some unfortunate business decisions from over 20 years ago, and shitting on various actors who work their butts off for this show is just crazy
There's a difference between criticizing a voice actor's performance and "shitting" on them. I'll disagree with those who criticize Nozawa's performance as Goku till the end of time, but I recognize that merely saying you don't like her as Adult Goku because she doesn't sound masculine enough isn't "shitting" on her.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Grimlock » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:50 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:17 pm
What makes this worse is the fact that modern DB was started by a movie that took every risk imaginable.
Modern Dragon Ball for me starts with Tarble's OVA. It and Movie 14 are great but unfortunately not without some flaws of the things I mentioned.

Vegeta getting his armor back is still a step down. I always loved that each saga Vegeta was getting rid of it, to the point of not wearing it at all in Majin Buu saga. If he needed to wear an armor just because of nostalgia factor, then let's wait until Movie 15 arrives (not that I think his Movie 15's outfit invokes any nostalgia but anyway). Each piece of the armor removed always felt to me like Vegeta was slowly integrating himself onto Earth, a very subtle theme going on using just the visuals, aided by his personality, of course. Also, I can ignore Goten, Trunks and Marron not aging in the OVA, but not around Movie 14.

These details may seem nothing but they are of great deal and importance, at least to me.
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Re: The Hills we die on.and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:51 pm

Locust wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:51 am
I read it -
It's a very, very good story and absolutely everyone should read it at least once. It's a classic for a reason.
Read Journey to the West y'all.
It's been a hot minute since I read it, I really should do a re-read, so thanks for the push
While I approve of rereading Journey to the West (though it's still a good idea to reread it when you have the time), my personal recommendation is to not stick to it entirely just because "It's the origin of Dragon Ball." There's more to Dragon Ball's origins and influences than just that one story. Indeed, I feel that there may even be a bit of overhyping of JttW in the Dragon Ball fandom when Toriyama himself has gone on record stating that he used the story more as a base to get DB started. Every Japanese (indeed, anyone in the Sino sphere of influence) knows the fairy tale of "Journey to the West" much like every American knows the tall tales of John Henry or Paul Bunyan or every Briton knows of King Arthur. It's easy for kids to get. That's why he went with it when he was really just going for a kung fu story. That's why it's a good reason to read it if you never have before, but also to not remain steadfast to it and never branch out from there.

There are three whole other Classic Chinese Novels, of which you can still feel some of in Dragon Ball (though obviously to a far lesser root). Especially Water Margin, which most prominently features that classic trope of the martial hero collecting masses of allies and friends (including unsavory types) over time and is arguably the first wuxia story at that. Or, hell, why not something like the Condor Heroes series?
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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by ArmenianPepsi » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:12 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:12 am
In the past, I'd have probably gone into some diatribe about Funimation ruining Dragon Ball or something else silly and immature like that.

Realistically, while I wouldn't necessarily call it a hill to die on, I do think Funi's circa 1999 dubbing style, and their skipping of DB, did some damage to the brand, and it bugs me that the home video is so poor in visual quality, but I am glad Funi do good dubbing work from Kai onwards, and I'm glad their releases have consistently been uncut and contained Japanese subtitled tracks, since 1999.

So, I think the only hill to die on I really have is that you are wrong if you skip OG DB. I don't care which version you grew up on, it's just wrong to skip the entire first third of the story. It's 2020, not 1996; we should all know better.
Preach it! To me the only "Wrong" way to watch DB is if you skip out on OG DB entirely. But if you do watch it, then everything else is fair game. You can freely watch and enjoy any flavor of DB of your liking. So long as you grant the same freedom to others as well.
Matches Malone wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:02 pm
The idea that DB should've ended after the Namek arc is one I'll never understand. By removing the Cell and Buu arcs we end up losing great characters, character development, new concepts, epic fights, etc.

I understand believing GT shouldn't have happened, or even modern DB, but removing nearly 200 chapters from the original manga ? If there's one hill I'd choose to die on, it's this one.
I can understand wanting to slim down or cut away small parts of the arcs like Kai did. To keep closer to the manga and generally improve the pacing of the story. But cutting out entire essential arcs is questionable. Like I think the Buu Saga dragged on a little too long but I dont want it gone all together.
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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:21 pm

As much as I was previously inclined to think that the Freeza arc would’ve made for a fitting end to the series, I’ve since come to rethink that viewpoint. As flawed as the Cell arc and especially the Boo arc are, I think they each did expand on the story of Goku and friends in meaningful ways that helped justify their existence. Plus, despite the long running fan rumors, Toriyama was never forced to continue the series past Freeza (or Cell), so it’s not like he had zero passion for the stuff that came after that point.

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Re: The hills we choose to die on and the fights we battle for when it comes to Dragon Ball

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:25 pm

Sure in the same way T2 continues and concludes Terminator in organic ways but The Terminator is still a complete story.
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