The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

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The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by GhostEmperorX » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:53 pm

Any view on this can go either way, but I think that as a result of how different it is from a lot of concurrent media to it, there isn’t much besides production and air dates that link it to either the 80’s or 90’s time period. This could be because of references to older periods, or some other aesthetic preference by Toriyama, but it looks like the case for the show especially when it’s considered how unique it ended up being as a franchise.

Would this set of inferences make any sense for the most part? Wasn’t sure how to put this.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by KBABZ » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:35 pm

I disagree, there's a lot of the style that feels very 80s to me, like the design of Bulma's inventions or the type of technology in Kame House like the TV and VCR. Stuff like that was of course considered modern back when they were written and animated, but today it's wonderfully retro. Similarly, Bulma's inventions and the everyday technology seen in Super reflect today, like cell phones and flatscreen TVs.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by GhostEmperorX » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:22 am

KBABZ wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:35 pm
I disagree, there's a lot of the style that feels very 80s to me, like the design of Bulma's inventions or the type of technology in Kame House like the TV and VCR. Stuff like that was of course considered modern back when they were written and animated, but today it's wonderfully retro. Similarly, Bulma's inventions and the everyday technology seen in Super reflect today, like cell phones and flatscreen TVs.
So, only the technology? Plus I mostly mean general aesthetics that a lot of said concurrent productions had or went with.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by Sadala Elite » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:35 am

Early DB/Saiyan saga is very 80s anime aesthetically

The art style of the Buu saga anime reflects the mid/late 90s style a lot.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:29 am

GhostEmperorX wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:22 am
So, only the technology? Plus I mostly mean general aesthetics that a lot of said concurrent productions had or went with.
Well IMO Toriyama's idea of futurism is also rather 80s, sort of an extrapolation of The Jetsons that utilizes geometric shapes that were becoming popular thanks to computer-generated imagery (this is why EA's original logo was a Cube, a Cone and a Sphere).

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by GhostEmperorX » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:24 am

Sadala Elite wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:35 am
Early DB/Saiyan saga is very 80s anime aesthetically
If we’re going by the likes of FotNS, Saint Seiya, Bubblegum Crisis, and other popular material of that time, it really doesn’t share many elements with them.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:28 am

A lot of the fashion, references, and tech is reflective of its era. The art/animation often looks like it came from 80's/90's.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by MasenkoHA » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:49 am

Roshi’s love of jazzercise videos alone dates the series to the 80s

Some of Bulma’s hairstyles (the one at the epilogue of the Namek saga and the one during Cyborg Freeza come to mind) scream late 80s/early 90s. Hell Kuririn’s hair in the Boo saga was extremely 90s (hence the update to a modern do in Super)


Kaio’s monkey being named Bubbles in reference to Michael Jackson’s monkey named bubbles is a pretty strong indicator of the series being from the 80s/90s at the height of Jackson’s international fame.


While a lot of the Kikuchi score invokes 60s/70s cheesy martial arts flicks some of it does sound pretty 80s:

This one in particular:
https://youtu.be/7Je3gUf-8bE


Hell a lot of the insert songs have a very 80s flavor:

https://youtu.be/K8JwUGR9Sok

https://youtu.be/qs-SONWYHtM

https://youtu.be/fL_2M-goidA

As the series progressed to the 90s characters like Cyborg 17, 18(pre Boo before she started dressing like a mom going to Target), and Pan couldn’t look more 90s especially Pan.


Yes the series is meant to feel ageless, timeless, etc but it’s pretty clear that it was a product of the 80s/90s

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:57 am

GhostEmperorX wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:53 pm
Any view on this can go either way, but I think that as a result of how different it is from a lot of concurrent media to it, there isn’t much besides production and air dates that link it to either the 80’s or 90’s time period. This could be because of references to older periods, or some other aesthetic preference by Toriyama, but it looks like the case for the show especially when it’s considered how unique it ended up being as a franchise.

Would this set of inferences make any sense for the most part? Wasn’t sure how to put this.
On the contrary, it comes off to me as an extraordinarily 80s show, almost to the point of parody.
The two main reasons why people don't seem to get "80s" from Dragon Ball seem to be because the dub went out of its way to change everything and because of Toriyama's art style, direction, and general way of writing.

I mean for goodness sakes, the Saiyans and Freeza Force are quite literally "muscular glam rock/jazzercise space pirates"
Bardock's such a badass manly dude in badass armor, with his headband, spandex, wrist warmers, and leg warmers. Except, of course, he's wearing some Mad Max-esque chestplate armor, so that cancels out the 80s-ness of course. Same deal with the likes of, say, Zarbon or Raditz. Nothing 80s about their designs, right? (Also, I didn't find some images with aerobics types wearing leg bands, but you get the point, right?)

And it's not like the Artificial Humans, whether #8 and Major Metallitron of #16 and the twins, weren't blatant references to Terminator.

See, one big reason why Dragon Ball's "80s-ness" can be hard to get is because of how completely commidified the 80s are nowadays. To be "80s", you need neon, you need A E S T H E T I C, you need synthwave, you need gratuitous Japanese megacorps, you need over-the-top New Wave fashion, and whatnot. Hell, Dragon Ball even has the lattermost! But because it does it HONESTLY (as it was actually made in the 80s) and as a cartoon utilizing a futurist 80s aesthetic that's not rooted in cyberpunk, it actually reflects 80s Japan way better than so many 80s throwbacks try to nowadays. Yet that also ironically means "it's not 80s enough."

I don't know how brick phones, mom jeans, Hong Kong kung fu, and glam metal aerobics pirates isn't 80s enough, but I was that way once myself...
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by DrBriefsCat » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:43 pm

The original Dragon Ball manga and anime would be considered politically incorrect today (atleast by Western standards). I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but the tasteless jokes/crass humor were common in shounen fare of the 1980's. A modern remake may tone down a lot or adapt things differently today.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by ABED » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:01 pm

DrBriefsCat wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:43 pm
The original Dragon Ball manga and anime would be considered politically incorrect today (atleast by Western standards). I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but the tasteless jokes/crass humor were common in shounen fare of the 1980's. A modern remake may tone down a lot or adapt things differently today.
Dunno about that. Muten Roshi is REALLY creepy around that one woman in the Super episode that takes place at Tenshinhan's school.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by DrBriefsCat » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:13 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:01 pm
DrBriefsCat wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:43 pm
The original Dragon Ball manga and anime would be considered politically incorrect today (atleast by Western standards). I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but the tasteless jokes/crass humor were common in shounen fare of the 1980's. A modern remake may tone down a lot or adapt things differently today.
Dunno about that. Muten Roshi is REALLY creepy around that one woman in the Super episode that takes place at Tenshinhan's school.
There were complaints from a watchdog group in Japan after that episode of Super aired in 2017.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:20 pm

Not every show needs to be Kimagure Orange Road to be tied to the 80's.

To be honest, even if the opening post's point is true, this is a PLUS rather than a minus. Not many works can claim they are this timeless.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by jjgp1112 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:48 am

Aside from what's already been mentioned, the Android saga has liberal inspiration from T2 - Trunks is John Conner with super powers and purple hair, for instance.

Also, most of the fashion, particularly Bulma's, are straight out of the late 80s/early '90s.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by linkdude20002001 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:18 pm

The art style is very 80s. Well, at least the part of the comic written in and around the 80s. It kinda starts fading away during the Saiyan arc in 1988 till it reaches full-on pointyness.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by DrBriefsCat » Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:39 pm

The animation quality of the original Dragon Ball TV series, painted on cels and photographed on film, is very much on par with other anime TV productions of the era such as Urusei Yatsura. Not as clean or stable as a digital production like Super. Some of the shots in Super could reach theatrical quality today, atleast on the touched up/fixed up versions on the Bluray/US broadcasts. The initial Japanese TV broadcasts of course had inconsistencies.

The animation quality dipped a bit between the original show and Z around the Freeza saga and fluctuated depending on the episode. TV anime productions of the 1990's were often criticized for not having as good, competent animation as TV animation that came out in the late 1980's. This may have had a lot to do with the recession Japan went into in 1991 after the bubble they were experiencing in the previous decade. Dragon Ball Super came out around 2015, when Japan's economy was slowly recovering from the slump and digital animation could more easily be fixed and touched up compared to the cel era.

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:43 pm

It's meant to be an alternate Earth with its own culture/history.

But as mentioned, a lot of that culture draws from its zeitgeist (culture at the time of its making), and its production elements (animation, music) is distinctly 80s.
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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:16 pm

DrBriefsCat wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:39 pm
The animation quality of the original Dragon Ball TV series, painted on cels and photographed on film, is very much on par with other anime TV productions of the era such as Urusei Yatsura.
DragonBallFoodie wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:43 pm
its production elements (animation, music) is distinctly 80s.
I agree with this too, this is also a big factor these days. One thing I've found is that, as someone who doesn't have much love for the clean digital look of Super, there's a lot to appreciate about the classic "Dragon Ball 001 to GT 064" era with its traditional animation and optical visual effects, especially if you haven't seen one or two of the series (OG-DB and GT being the most common).

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Re: The original DB Manga and anime adaptations don’t reflect their era much

Post by Vijay » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Toriyama had futuristic vision I suppose.

Took classic Chinese myth, gave it his own spin of humor + advanced technology & made a mark in anime history😎

And it's an aspect I've always appreciated of DB& Z in particular.

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