Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

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Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by UI Peter » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:18 am

I've notice over the years that much of the fandom seems to knee-jerkingly dismiss any suggestions on ways to improve the writing of the series, even when they themselves are highly critical of it. For instance, many such suggestions are often dismissed with inane responses like "Dragonball is not an ensemble", "Toriyama wouldn't approve", "this is a kids series" or "lore is not story" when nobody was even mentioning lore lmao. Its like these enforce low standards on the series.

Does anyone else feel this way?

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Matches Malone » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:00 am

Yes, but this seems to be a more recent thing with Modern DB due to how low quality its been, both in terms of writing and production. Instead of calling it out for what it is, fans not only dismiss any criticisms, but go as far as to try and convince critics that the original had the same problems, which is factually wrong. Not only does modern DB not live up to the standards of today's anime, it doesn't even live up to its predecessor's standards.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:31 am

I feel that standards are hard to enforce in a story that worked on little structure and comedic subversion and was probably never intended to reach its cosmic epic proportions. Knowing what DB is, maybe the fandom could be over-tolerant.

But then that's me.
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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Skar » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:11 am

I've noticed these types of comments less often after the initial hype, honeymoon phase or whatever you want to call it dies down. It's easier to offer criticism now without someone accusing you of having nostalgia goggles for the original and claiming no one ever criticizes it for its flaws. I've always hated that argument because the only way someone could legitimately believe that's true is if they only recently joined the online fanbase and didn't notice that the original had been criticized, dissected, etc since at least the early 2000's.

On the other hand, I have lowered my expectations for modern DB which might be the cause of some of these types of comments. I've gained more respect for Toriyama and willing to accept that he's no longer in his prime so he can't offer more. I try not to judge it as a full-fledged sequel and only as a temporary revival like many others we've seen in recent years. DB/Z covered Goku's life from the beginning of his journey at the age of 12 to his "retirement" as a martial arts master in his late 40's. The development for the characters happened over the course of many years. DBS is midquel and only covering a small portion of Goku's life in Z towards the end. The only expectations I try to have is hopefully some fun new characters, no unnecessary regression for the older cast, and the plot isn't bogged down by too much fan service.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Jiren The Alpha » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:00 am

What if the majority of the fandom likes the writing? and what are this low standards?

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:15 am

Definitely. The same Deviantart recolor forms that got mocked by the fanbase in the mid 2000s are now the same forms in the show that are somehow insanely popular.

I'm not into modern Db anymore, but whenever something new is announced my expectations couldnt be any lower. There's just been too much fanservice and bland characterization from the main cast at best.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by mute_proxy » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:21 am

The same goes for the manga, whenever Toyotaro gets criticized, you're slapped with "Toriyama approved, it's Toriyama's story, the Dragon Ball room supervised, etc." so you shouldn't criticize, cuz the higher ups think it's ok, so it is ok.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Michsi » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:38 am

mute_proxy wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:21 am
The same goes for the manga, whenever Toyotaro gets criticized, you're slapped with "Toriyama approved, it's Toriyama's story, the Dragon Ball room supervised, etc." so you shouldn't criticize, cuz the higher ups think it's ok, so it is ok.
I think the "Toriyama approved" reply is mostly brought up when people try to pin everything wrong with the DBS manga on Toyotaro. Technically, there should be several other people overlooking the story, one of them being Toriyama himself.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:43 am

Quite honestly I thought this was talking about all facets of the franchise, not just the writing. Things like music, art direction, and of course the aspects unique to the 90s dubs and their presentation on the uncountable releases over the past two decades, are all things that westerners don't question and even hold up high on gilded pedestals. Now that said this is a franchise aimed at 13 year olds with a focus on fighting the big bad man and certainly comes off as shallow at first glance, but it has been and can be so much more than just a cheap hype cash-in.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by MasenkoHA » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:46 am

If anything I think the fandom expects too much from a franchise that should have stayed dead in 1997 and was only brought back for a cheap nostalgic cash grab.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Desassina » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:04 am

It goes both ways. The 80s/90s anime exposed people to a feeling of Dragon Ball that is different than the manga, and when the author returned to give these studios a proper one through his contribution, it was both not the single work of an author (i.e. manga written solely by him) nor the prime time anime that it used to be (in terms of production values and target audience). So no, I think that Dragon Ball fans enforce too high of a standard, based on their experience with a product that is displaced in time. Had they been fans of Akira Toriyama instead, they would have followed his style until it changed to what it is now, which means that modern Dragon Ball would have the latter to live up to and not the writers and animators' style of then.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by DBPirate » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:27 am

As someone who watched the entire series at the same time, I can't relate to this idea. I actually thought that the Kid Buu saga was the weakest point of the whole storyline, rather than anything modern. Modern DB has some issues, but I think they're greatly exaggerated.
Dbzfan94 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:15 am
Definitely. The same Deviantart recolor forms that got mocked by the fanbase in the mid 2000s are now the same forms in the show that are somehow insanely popular.

I'm not into modern Db anymore, but whenever something new is announced my expectations couldnt be any lower. There's just been too much fanservice and bland characterization from the main cast at best.
I don't understand the criticism about the designs. If SS God and Blue are just lazy recolors, then what would you call Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2? Super Saiyan 4 is the only form that isn't a simple iteration on the original SS design. Personally, I never got the love towards it. SS4 comes across to me as the over the top DeviantArt form, not the God forms.
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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Matches Malone » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:36 am

DBPirate wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:27 am
I don't understand the criticism about the designs. If SS God and Blue are just lazy recolors, then what would you call Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2?
SsjG definitely got too much hate, as its got more going for it then a simply recolor, but the hate towards Blue is very much justified, as it removed everything that made SsjG unique. In terms of what I'd call Ssj1 and 2, Iconic forms that stood the test of time.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:46 am
If anything I think the fandom expects too much from a franchise that should have stayed dead in 1997 and was only brought back for a cheap nostalgic cash grab.
Should it have stayed dead ? yes, but that doesn't mean fans shouldn't expect the bare minimum from it, such as consistency within the writing.
Jiren The Alpha wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:00 am
What if the majority of the fandom likes the writing?
It won't change the fact that the writing is inconsistent with itself and with what came before.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by VegettoEX » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:05 pm

One thing I personally want to drive home is that there is no singular hivemind of a "fandom".

There are literally millions of fans worldwide from all walks of life from all different points in time, and it is rare for any two people to perfectly line up in their opinions and expectations; don't bother looking for a general "consensus" even within the same native language of fandom, because it just doesn't exist!

Skar wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:11 am
I've noticed these types of comments less often after the initial hype, honeymoon phase or whatever you want to call it dies down. It's easier to offer criticism now without someone accusing you of having nostalgia goggles for the original and claiming no one ever criticizes it for its flaws. I've always hated that argument because the only way someone could legitimately believe that's true is if they only recently joined the online fanbase and didn't notice that the original had been criticized, dissected, etc since at least the early 2000's.
There's a lot of really spot-on insight right here. I don't know that I could sum it up more effectively and succinctly than this.

In particular, however, that above bolded emphasis of my own in the quote is another point I want to highlight. While there is fair criticism of communities to have the same conversations over and over and over again ad nauseam, it's generally due to new people coming in. Anime notoriously drives new fans in and out over the span of just a few years, and during those hot years of excitement, fans want to discuss every little aspect; it doesn't matter (or occur) to them (nor should it) that people have been literally having those exact same discussions for decades now.

For older folks that have stuck around, when you've already had that discussion seventy times, sometimes you just don't want to have it anymore.

On a personal level, I have been accused of both of the following statements simultaneously regarding the same product by different parties:

"I can't believe VegettoEX supports {insert specific item}."
"I can't believe VegettoEX doesn't support {insert specific item}."

Whether it's a particular home release, a moment of silence in an English dub, a particular jingle in a piece of music, a turn of phrase in a subtitle translation... I really, truly need to drive home that everyone's coming to this series from a different angle, and sometimes you just can't win even if you are genuinely trying to be completely honest, transparent, and consistent.

I... don't know where my answer just went there at the end, but it made sense in my head.
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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by JulieYBM » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:17 pm

Desassina wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:04 am
It goes both ways. The 80s/90s anime exposed people to a feeling of Dragon Ball that is different than the manga, and when the author returned to give these studios a proper one through his contribution, it was both not the single work of an author (i.e. manga written solely by him) nor the prime time anime that it used to be (in terms of production values and target audience). So no, I think that Dragon Ball fans enforce too high of a standard, based on their experience with a product that is displaced in time. Had they been fans of Akira Toriyama instead, they would have followed his style until it changed to what it is now, which means that modern Dragon Ball would have the latter to live up to and not the writers and animators' style of then.
Judging Dragon Ball by standards influenced by interests other than Dragon Ball is not an issue. Everyone has influences other than just Dragon Ball. I don't really understand this posts' message. I might be missing something.
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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Kendamu » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:44 pm

VegettoEX wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:05 pm
For older folks that have stuck around, when you've already had that discussion seventy times, sometimes you just don't want to have it anymore.
This is where I've been at for quite awhile. The part that eluded me, which caused a lot of unnecessary frustration on my part, was the idea that the folks having these conversations now haven't been fans for over 20 years already and haven't had these conversations already.

So, when I saw all these criticisms for the thousandth time I just had the knee-jerk reaction of, "This is an animated series of Kung Fu movies that goes from 'Jackie Chan underdog' moment to 'Bruce Lee badass moment' on the regular to make the story move forward. Why are you trying to overcomplicate this?" Then, shortly after you'd hear me aay, "What do you mean you've never seen Way of the Dragon?! Get off my lawn!!" :lol:

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by WittyUsername » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:15 pm

I don’t know how relevant what I’m about to say is to the greater discussion, but I do sometimes get the impression that some people think that since Dragon Ball was made as a goofy fighting comic for kids, it means that it shouldn’t bother striving to be anything more than that. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who’s directly made that argument word for word, but it’s something that I feel is implied from time to time.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Dragon Ball needs to be some super deep psychological story for adults, but I don’t see why it can’t aim to be just a bit more complex than what Toriyama is capable of writing. You can have entertainment for kids that still manages to challenge them on some level. Hell, the Bardock and Trunks specials are good examples of that.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by Kendamu » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:30 pm

The only reason I'm against going into Trunks and Bardock Specials territory on the regular is that those were uncharacteristically "dark" for Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Ball isn't a "dark" series overall. Going into that territory on the regular just reminds me of Funimation's crappy strategy back in the day where they tried to make it seem darker than it really was that culminated in the US opening, ads, and packaging for the Ultimate Uncut release. So it makes me uneasy to see, "The best Dragon Ball stories are the ones with sad endings. Let's make the main series like that!"

They kinda tried it with the Goku Black stuff, I guess, and that ending was garbage. I'd rather not get into that territory again.

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:40 pm

DBPirate wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:27 am
I don't understand the criticism about the designs. If SS God and Blue are just lazy recolors, then what would you call Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2? Super Saiyan 4 is the only form that isn't a simple iteration on the original SS design. Personally, I never got the love towards it. SS4 comes across to me as the over the top DeviantArt form, not the God forms.
They set the standard "look" for Super Saiyan and SS2 wasn't properly defined when it first debuted, so they a pass on it (whether SS2 is justified in this is up for debate). I think the best point of comparison is to look at Frieza, and to a lesser extent Cooler: each of their forms looks quite different from each other, with Frieza's final form being a radical departure from the others. Then Golden Frieza shows up and literally changes the colour. By the same merit Super Saiyan Blue is literally Super Saiyan 1 with the colours changed, seemingly put in to justify the movie having A Transformation in it for the good guys (and this not mentioning Rose). Think of if Piccolo got a radical transformation in the manga, and then in Super he gets two new forms that only swap out the colours; that's effectively what Super's done with Frieza and Super Saiyan thus far.

My theory for WHY this is stems from the reactions to Super Saiyan 3 and 4, which at least in any of the circles I've been a part of have been rather divisive designs erring on the side of "ew no".

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Re: Does anyone else feel that much of the DB fandom enforces low standards?

Post by MasenkoHA » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:07 pm

Super Saiyan is just Toriyama saving on time and ink

Super Saiyan 2 is just Super Saiyan with lightning and erect hair

Super Saiyan 3 is just Toriyama being bored and drawing Goku with Raditz hair

Super Saiyan 4 is Toei being Funi before Funi and going for a hardcore look

Super Saiyan Red/Blue/Rose/Heart Gold/Soul Silver is just Super Saiyan with different hair color


False Super Saiyan is just Kaio-Ken

Think I covered everything

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