Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

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Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:51 pm

People in this fandom often debate about who's the smartest and/or most skilled fighter in the series, but the more I've watched and thought about it, I've realized that smarts and technical skill doesn't really make in difference most DB fights.

Let me start off by pointing out that no one in the DB franchise is truly bright by real world standards. They're all pretty much idiots lmao. ALL of them at least twice are shown to make really dumb choices either in gag scenes and/or mainly to move the plot forward in one way or another (the Android arc is the most infamous example, but you could find examples of this in every arc in the franchise). And many of the characters fans try to pass off as smart (like Piccolo and Gohan) tend to be actually either dull or average at best.

As for skill, nothing in the series really seem to suggest that it matters that much. People like to argue that skill was important in Early DB, but if anything, that series more than any other installment highlight how irrelevant skill actually is in DB. Whenever a character would try a special tactic or technique on Goku (like Roshi and Tien did in their tournament fights with Kid Goku) and some of the others, he would either copy it, counter it and/or throw it back at them, showing them and the audience that it is essentially useless. The only things that ever seem to make a difference in DB fights since day one are raw power and willpower.

For example, Piccolo and the humans were all smarter and more trained/skilled than Nappa, yet they were all completely useless against him simply due to his higher power level. Virtually every Z-fighter is smarter and more skilled than Fat Buu, yet SSJ2 Gohan, Majin Dabura, Shin and Majin Vegeta were all useless against him. The only thing that seemed to work against Fat Buu was simply having more raw power than him (SSJ3 Goku, SSJ Gotenks, Kid Buu, etc). People like to argue that Goku is better trained, more skilled and smarter (in combat) than Vegeta, yet when the 2 of them fought with equal levels of power (SSJ2 Goku vs Majin Vegeta) Goku couldn't actually beat him. If anything, it looked like Vegeta had the edge that entire fight. If skill and battle smarts really mattered in DB then Goku according to this view should have easily stomped him without using SSJ3.

If you look are other battle anime/manga like Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Naruto/Shippuden/Boruto, Hunter x Hunter, Yu Yu Hakusho and the likes of even Bleach & One Piece, you actually see fights where skill and intelligence actually do matter not just in the outcome, but in every step of the battles.

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:25 pm

I've have yet to have seen convincing evidence of any of these characters being exceptionally smart, let alone geniuses.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Kaiza_Toshiyuki » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:32 pm

zarmack wrote:I've have yet to have seen convincing evidence of any of these characters being exceptionally smart, let alone geniuses.
Um...Gohan.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:34 pm

Kaiza_Toshiyuki wrote:
zarmack wrote:I've have yet to have seen convincing evidence of any of these characters being exceptionally smart, let alone geniuses.
Um...Gohan.
Not in battle he isn't. The best plan in the ToP he could come up with was to stay in the middle of the arena so they don't fall off.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by KBABZ » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:37 pm

Personally I've always felt that Goku was the most clever when it comes to fighting because a lot of the time he's thinking about what I call battle tactics. That is to say, he's not just thinking about the next move, but the move after the move after that, three steps ahead. He's able to weigh up the costs and benefits of, say, using a Kaio-Ken x4 or x10 against an opponent like Vegeta or Frieza, and do it anyway because it's his only shot. He's also one of the earliest characters to wrap his head around ki management and uses it to great effect on his opponents who can't be bothered to properly learn about it at all. It's a remnant from when the series was grounded in the more "traditional" martial arts where that sort of thing was much more important, as opposed to later when it became more about who had the hot new power form look. And at a certain point intelligence will only get you so far with the way fights in Dragon Ball work.

It's also important to keep in mind that intelligence in battle is kinda relative in Dragon Ball. Goku's only the smartest person in the room because the opponents he faces rarely think about fights the way he does, and are easily susceptible to being irrational and just throwing ki at them with no plan.
zarmack wrote:People like to argue that Goku is better trained, more skilled and smarter (in combat) than Vegeta, yet when the 2 of them fought with equal levels of power (SSJ2 Goku vs Majin Vegeta) Goku couldn't actually beat him. If anything, it looked like Vegeta had the edge that entire fight. If skill and battle smarts really mattered in DB then Goku according to this view should have easily stomped him without using SSJ3.
What your describing did happen; Goku was pretty even with Vegeta during the fight and he didn't feel the need to pull out SS3 in order to have the upper hand and keep things under control. As revealed later (for better or worse), Goku entered that fight more to satisfy Vegeta than to have a good fight, so he almost certainly tailored his performance to that.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Kaiza_Toshiyuki » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:47 pm

zarmack wrote:
Kaiza_Toshiyuki wrote:
zarmack wrote:I've have yet to have seen convincing evidence of any of these characters being exceptionally smart, let alone geniuses.
Um...Gohan.
Not in battle he isn't. The best plan in the ToP he could come up with was to stay in the middle of the arena so they don't fall off.
And that worked until he went against the plan and went to the edge. It doesn't need to be some elaborate plan, it just needs to work. Like if someone asked you to tie their shoes, then they were disappointed that you didn't take an hour researching the best shoe tieing method.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:52 pm

I don't recall anyone IRL inventing a time machine or super robots...
Cool stuff that I upload here because Youtube will copyright claim it: https://vimeo.com/user60967147

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:21 pm

KBABZ wrote:
zarmack wrote:People like to argue that Goku is better trained, more skilled and smarter (in combat) than Vegeta, yet when the 2 of them fought with equal levels of power (SSJ2 Goku vs Majin Vegeta) Goku couldn't actually beat him. If anything, it looked like Vegeta had the edge that entire fight. If skill and battle smarts really mattered in DB then Goku according to this view should have easily stomped him without using SSJ3.
What your describing did happen; Goku was pretty even with Vegeta during the fight and he didn't feel the need to pull out SS3 in order to have the upper hand and keep things under control. As revealed later (for better or worse), Goku entered that fight more to satisfy Vegeta than to have a good fight, so he almost certainly tailored his performance to that.
There was no suggestion nor evidence that Goku could have beaten him in just SSJ2. Vegeta was mad that Goku could have went SSJ3 (and could have handled Fat Buu, meaning he didn't have to die). If Goku was holding in his SSJ2 form Vegeta would have noticed and forced him to get serious.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by KBABZ » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:37 pm

zarmack wrote:
KBABZ wrote:
zarmack wrote:People like to argue that Goku is better trained, more skilled and smarter (in combat) than Vegeta, yet when the 2 of them fought with equal levels of power (SSJ2 Goku vs Majin Vegeta) Goku couldn't actually beat him. If anything, it looked like Vegeta had the edge that entire fight. If skill and battle smarts really mattered in DB then Goku according to this view should have easily stomped him without using SSJ3.
What your describing did happen; Goku was pretty even with Vegeta during the fight and he didn't feel the need to pull out SS3 in order to have the upper hand and keep things under control. As revealed later (for better or worse), Goku entered that fight more to satisfy Vegeta than to have a good fight, so he almost certainly tailored his performance to that.
There was no suggestion nor evidence that Goku could have beaten him in just SSJ2. Vegeta was mad that Goku could have went SSJ3 (and could have handled Fat Buu, meaning he didn't have to die). If Goku was holding in his SSJ2 form Vegeta would have noticed and forced him to get serious.
But... Vegeta didn't notice...

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:42 pm

KBABZ wrote:
zarmack wrote:
KBABZ wrote: What your describing did happen; Goku was pretty even with Vegeta during the fight and he didn't feel the need to pull out SS3 in order to have the upper hand and keep things under control. As revealed later (for better or worse), Goku entered that fight more to satisfy Vegeta than to have a good fight, so he almost certainly tailored his performance to that.
There was no suggestion nor evidence that Goku could have beaten him in just SSJ2. Vegeta was mad that Goku could have went SSJ3 (and could have handled Fat Buu, meaning he didn't have to die). If Goku was holding in his SSJ2 form Vegeta would have noticed and forced him to get serious.
But... Vegeta didn't notice...
He didn't notice SSJ3 (which is a transformation), but he could easily tell if someone was holding back in the current form. When they started their battle, Goku turned SSJ2 first. This didn't shock Vegeta at all, then when Vegeta turned SSJ2 afterwards Goku was shocked, suggesting that he wasn't in any major degree stronger than Vegeta in just SSJ2.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by KBABZ » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:21 pm

zarmack wrote:
KBABZ wrote:
zarmack wrote: There was no suggestion nor evidence that Goku could have beaten him in just SSJ2. Vegeta was mad that Goku could have went SSJ3 (and could have handled Fat Buu, meaning he didn't have to die). If Goku was holding in his SSJ2 form Vegeta would have noticed and forced him to get serious.
But... Vegeta didn't notice...
He didn't notice SSJ3 (which is a transformation), but he could easily tell if someone was holding back in the current form. When they started their battle, Goku turned SSJ2 first. This didn't shock Vegeta at all, then when Vegeta turned SSJ2 afterwards Goku was shocked, suggesting that he wasn't in any major degree stronger than Vegeta in just SSJ2.
Goku being able to turn SS2 isn't surprising because A) He kinda has a reputation for doing that sort of thing, and B) He was able to spend time in Other World training with the best dead fighters in the universe, plus King Kai as a teacher. Vegeta being able to do it would be shocking because he was able to accomplish it with much less desirable circumstances. But don't confuse shock at the transformation with shock that Vegeta would be capable of beating him. As RoF showed (and Super Perfect Cell), just because you have a fancy new form doesn't automatically mean you'll win.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:23 pm

KBABZ wrote: As RoF showed (and Super Perfect Cell), just because you have a fancy new form doesn't automatically mean you'll win.
That argument goes both ways in this case.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by KBABZ » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:36 pm

zarmack wrote:
KBABZ wrote: As RoF showed (and Super Perfect Cell), just because you have a fancy new form doesn't automatically mean you'll win.
That argument goes both ways in this case.
Correct, but SS3 in itself showed my argument against Buu; Gotenks went at Super Buu with SS3 and lost, and Goku had to do without it in the final battle with Kid Buu. Ascended Super Saiyan is the driving principle behind why Goku had himself and Gohan concentrate on mastering SS1 rather than chasing SS2. Gohan in SS2 really struggled against Super Perfect Cell, and by the same measure, Super Perfect Cell did not win against SS2 Gohan.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:02 pm

KBABZ wrote:
zarmack wrote:
KBABZ wrote: As RoF showed (and Super Perfect Cell), just because you have a fancy new form doesn't automatically mean you'll win.
That argument goes both ways in this case.
Correct, but SS3 in itself showed my argument against Buu; Gotenks went at Super Buu with SS3 and lost, and Goku had to do without it in the final battle with Kid Buu. Ascended Super Saiyan is the driving principle behind why Goku had himself and Gohan concentrate on mastering SS1 rather than chasing SS2. Gohan in SS2 really struggled against Super Perfect Cell, and by the same measure, Super Perfect Cell did not win against SS2 Gohan.
1. SSJ3 Gotenks and Super Buu were evenly matched. Gotenks only lost because the fusion wore off.
2. SSJ3 Goku couldn't beat Kid Buu (despite being equal) because he lost his stamina while Kid Buu has infinite stamina.
3. Goku and Gohan had no idea that SSJ2 even existed while they were in the Rosat. What kind of argument are you making with this?
4. SSJ2 Gohan struggled with SP Cell because he was weaker, and SP Cell lost because he was briefly caught off guard by Vegeta's blast.

None of this has much to do with skill or intelligence.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Lionel » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:16 am

Welcome to the easy but oh so accessible world of Dragon Ball. Yeah, I feel inclined to agree mostly. Dragon Ball doesn't exactly go out of the way to emphasise the intricacy and martially subversive value of skill and intelligence, at least not all or dare I say most of the time. There's some occasional exploits that look like they required a more thorough process, but generally the combat can be summed up with ordinary punches, kicks and offensive/defensive ki projections. Power is the ultimate defining attribute of success in this manga. If it was interested in technicality and brainpower then I imagine we would be seeing dramatically circumstances in this show throughout each arc. Heck! I see Hit with his Kyushojitsu as being a rare valuable example of a typology of fighting ability that has something more to show than just the weight of his ki. If Toei were willing to give the attention to detail it deserves then there's no telling how far Hit could go since the principles of Kushojitsu are rooted in internal destruction of your opponent instead of external. Hit probably could have found a way to neutralise Jiren by damaging his respiratory system or inducing unconsciousness by attacking someplace adjacent to the brain like the temple area.

Sad thing is that I do believe there is potential with the techniques of the show. We just never see any of it get taken past a rudimentary standard of utilisation. Take Piccolo's magical abilities. I think in the Daizenshuu it's described as an ability that enables the person to create any physical substance they can imagine. Do you know the kind of potential such a power would have if used properly? Weapons creation (obviously but it shouldn't be limited to just swords or spears), biologics, particle manipulation, bodily reconstruction (could remove a lot of the need for sensu), physics exploitation, ect. Any character that such a technique like that would be one of the most dangerous in the series, provided their creativity and intelligence was up to par for using it properly. If you want to go for just standard fisticuffs and power then use this magic to do something that enhances your physical stats. For example, strengthen the bonds and arrangement of your body's carbonic atoms to increase the hardness of your body to the point that it surpasses katchin (manga). Build up your reflexes by increasing myelin in your nervous system (think that's how it's done). Right there you have a way for increasing your strength in terms that exist outside of basic ki supplementation.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Waluigiman » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:49 pm

Strange. I felt it was the opposite.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Ssjcell » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:28 pm

Examples of skill / intelligence in Dragonball
Piccolo vs Goku piccolo takes control of the fight by using Tien as a human shield essentially takes control of the fight by crippling Goku
Piccolo vs Goku Goku allows piccolo to grow enough to dive down his throat and retrieve kami
Radditz vs Goku Goku grabs radditz tail twice
Sneaks up with full Nelson ends fight
Goku vs frieza Goku gets sent under water and charges up two powerful blasts to distract frieza long enough to nail frieza with a powerful kick
Goku vs cell warp Kamehameha
Gohan vs cell Vegeta delivers a blast that distracts cell long enough for Gohan to finish things
Buu saga Buu absorbs everyone basically and transforms vegito into candy

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by zarmack » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:46 pm

Ssjcell wrote:Examples of skill / intelligence in Dragonball
Piccolo vs Goku piccolo takes control of the fight by using Tien as a human shield essentially takes control of the fight by crippling Goku
Piccolo vs Goku Goku allows piccolo to grow enough to dive down his throat and retrieve kami
Radditz vs Goku Goku grabs radditz tail twice
Sneaks up with full Nelson ends fight
Goku vs frieza Goku gets sent under water and charges up two powerful blasts to distract frieza long enough to nail frieza with a powerful kick
Goku vs cell warp Kamehameha
Gohan vs cell Vegeta delivers a blast that distracts cell long enough for Gohan to finish things
Buu saga Buu absorbs everyone basically and transforms vegito into candy
None of that is particularity clever nor signs of higher IQ.

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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Hulk10 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:11 pm

I'd disagree with that. Bulma's intelligence is clear to me. How can you see someone who can build robots and advanced machines like a Time Machine and not acknowledge them as a genius? The problem is that the characters often do very stupid things. But that doesn't make them actually stupid. Take Goku for example, he shows moments of brilliance in fighting, but not in other things. They all have their moments of intelligence and brilliance. Even Bulma does some very stupid things from time to time. But no one is perfect, we need to remember that. So its really not appropriate to say that intelligence in Dragon Ball is highly overrated.

Skill on the other hand, sometimes is, as often enough, the least skilled but most powerful beings win fights. Master Roshi as Jackie Chun won against Goku due to skill but that's about the only time I can think of where skill mattered aside from Goku defeating Frieza. Other times brute force won out. Gohan used brute force to defeat Cell. So neither of the topic's statements are entirely true. To some they might seem so, but I disagree.
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Re: Skill and Intelligence in Dragonball is highly overrated

Post by Ssjcell » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:42 pm

zarmack wrote:
Ssjcell wrote:Examples of skill / intelligence in Dragonball
Piccolo vs Goku piccolo takes control of the fight by using Tien as a human shield essentially takes control of the fight by crippling Goku
Piccolo vs Goku Goku allows piccolo to grow enough to dive down his throat and retrieve kami
Radditz vs Goku Goku grabs radditz tail twice
Sneaks up with full Nelson ends fight
Goku vs frieza Goku gets sent under water and charges up two powerful blasts to distract frieza long enough to nail frieza with a powerful kick
Goku vs cell warp Kamehameha
Gohan vs cell Vegeta delivers a blast that distracts cell long enough for Gohan to finish things
Buu saga Buu absorbs everyone basically and transforms vegito into candy
None of that is particularity clever nor signs of higher IQ.
They are examples of when skill and cunning won out over battle strength for example Gohan was more powerful then super Buu but he lost because of buu's tricks

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