Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

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Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by Regarder » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:02 pm

By degrees of freedom, I mean things like:
-The ability to fly and have degrees of freedom in three physical dimensions.
- The freedom caused by their being a fight unconstrained by tournament rules.
-The ability to use any character's technique.
- Mobility of attacks in the same sense as flight is mobility of the body, so a ranged attack is one level of freedom more than a melee attack, and a controllable ki attack one more, and then homing attacks even more so.
- The ability to sense ki is the sensory equivalent of this.
- Attacks having more effects than just being powerful.
- Characters not being constrained by specific limitations but simply being more powerful in all ways; speed, strength, durability etc.
- Characters not gaining injuries, or regenerating them, and/or having infinite stamina.

Is it more exciting to have those extra dimensions of power and ability or less exciting? It's sort of hard to tell because Toriyama's fight scenes are always exciting because he draws them so dynamically, but I like to judge things by definable moments in a fight scene that mean something for the fight, and therefore make each fight stand out from the others in terms of the actual moves used.

An example would how when no characters could fly ring outs made the Budokai meaningful (Tournaments being a limitation themselves), and then you had specific moments where a character would do something else like Goku cheating with Kinto'un, and then using his tail as a helicopter, or when Jackie Chun/Roshi had to use the Kamehameha to come back. Then when flight was introduced, at first it wasn't all that versatile or powerful, and it was kind of a suprise when one character learnt it, such as when Krillin did it against Piccolo Jr. Flying was also weak and levitation like at first. There were also more grappling type scenes in the 22nd Budokai because of this. Without that it comes across as an oddity, such as when Raditz didn't dodge by flying when Goku had him in a dubious full nelson. Another case also in the 22nd Budokai is that Chaozu and Tenshinhan had the technique but the gang didn't, so the final moment was defined by Tenshinhan being guaranteed a win unless Goku came up with something. Goku readied a Kamehameha but Roshi said Ten could simply nullify it no matter how big - which is against the usual flat power hierarchy thing - and then he got around that by using it to launch a powerful physical hit against the weakened Tenshinhan. I think it's telling that they took away the ability to fly in the ToP.

Tournaments have a rule set and ringouts allow for moments like when Roshi embedded his foot into the side of the ring. It can also be used for strategy; again in the ToP when Android 17 made the plan with Freeza so he would hide and then take the win when a weakened Jiren grappling with Goku was knocked off by Freeza's assault.

Moving on to the fungibility of techniques, I think certain techniques were more interesting when they were confined to specific characters. It also gives those characters more to do. Anyone can do a sharp spinning ki disc and anyone can do solar flare which takes away a little from Krillin and Ten. Yamcha gets it the worse though, because his only unique remaining technique is useless at the level of the fights now, and his Sokidan is just a controllable ki attack. Honestly, all small ki attacks could be controllable, or even homing by this point given what has been established. On the other hand, it feels a little better when Yamcha and Krillin learn the Kamehameha and show their ability to emulate the main character.

The ability to sense ki takes something away from fights personally, because it means that the only way someone is surprised is if they are just being dumb and not using one of their senses. Now they are not paying attention or getting cocky, and then BLAM laser gun to the back... but beforehand someone could be hyper-competent and still be surprised from behind simply because they don't have eyes in the back of their head. On the other hand, if every character can sense ki then you can suddenly reverse the dynamics of that for a nasty surprise, such as the memorable moment in the Android arc when they realize that the Androids don't have ki signatures at all. Or God Ki... when it couldn't be sensed... for a while.

Attacks that have more effect than just being strong. You've got explicit magic abilities like the Mafuba, or Boo's candy beam and character absorption, or the Android's and Moro's energy absorption. Lately, in Super more abilities like this have been introduced in line with the multiple Universes full of strange characters. This kind of freedom generally generates more memorable moments and turning points in a fight because it allows for strategy. This can be done poorly though. Hit's ability falls into this character but it's ultimately so arbitrary that the only way to beat it is just to say that it stops working on people who are too powerful.

Remember when Trunks was so convinced he was stronger than Cell, and then Cell proved that although he was (stronger than the suppressed state of Cell at that moment), he was far too slow, unwieldly, and lacking in stamina? That was a great turn about because of the limitations inherent in that grade of Super Saiyan and the freedom it lacked in taking all its abilities to the max. The first example of this is probably when Roshi beat Goku because his legs were longer. More recently we have characters like Dyspo who are much faster than they are strong. Characters like Burta had relatively weak claims to such a thing. Along with special attacks that do new things this is the best way to keep the series fresh and produce new "moments".

When characters were more limited in their ability to recover it made for better fights. I still think the best fight in the entire franchise is Goku and the gang Vs Vegeta. Everyone gradually accrues damage and loses power, only to try new strategies to get around this, and by the end, Goku and Vegeta are crippled and only Krillin is able to threaten anyone.

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Re: Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by FoolsGil » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:35 am

freedom doesn't matter. You need a great fight choreographer. the fights in the OG series were more interesting, because ki attacks were at the minimum. The Toriyama and the Toei artists had to be clever.

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Re: Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by theherodjl » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:15 am

The freedom caused by their being a fight unconstrained by tournament rules.
Most fights in DB go by tourney rules regardless because everyone's fighting styles are carbon copies of one another, there's also the fact that everyone non-verbally agrees to Bushido until they're actively trying to murder each other. Freeza, Cell, and a few other villains are even willing to fight fair until they lose interest.
Hit's style fascinates me because he breaks from the norm of trading blows with his opponent and just goes for striking vital points, not caring about going toe to toe with his opponents just to prove some inflated sense of pride in physical strength & durability. With how wide Ki techniques can vary, everyone ought to be fighting as if they come from different lands like how real world martial artists from different countries will demonstrate how their styles differ from other's.
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Re: Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:01 pm

Maybe characters not being constrained by specific limitations helps, a free-for-all is more random and unpredictable and so more exciting.
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Re: Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by Kataphrut » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:52 am

theherodjl wrote:
The freedom caused by their being a fight unconstrained by tournament rules.
Most fights in DB go by tourney rules regardless because everyone's fighting styles are carbon copies of one another, there's also the fact that everyone non-verbally agrees to Bushido until they're actively trying to murder each other. Freeza, Cell, and a few other villains are even willing to fight fair until they lose interest.
Hit's style fascinates me because he breaks from the norm of trading blows with his opponent and just goes for striking vital points, not caring about going toe to toe with his opponents just to prove some inflated sense of pride in physical strength & durability. With how wide Ki techniques can vary, everyone ought to be fighting as if they come from different lands like how real world martial artists from different countries will demonstrate how their styles differ from other's.
The fact that everyone fights so similar is one of those unfortunate missed opportunities about the series. The Turtle v Crane fights in the 22nd Budokai were some of the few times it felt like we were watching different styles of martial arts. But it went on to introduce demons, aliens, mutants, divine beings etc. and yet everyone is always able to just trade blows. Some characters will have unique gimmicks- Freeza uses his tail, Buu his stretchy properties, Black and Zamasu have energy swords, etc. But there's rarely that sense of different martial arts styles competing- a lot of fights descend into out and out brawls.

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Re: Are more degrees of freedom in Dragonball fight scenes less or more exciting?

Post by theherodjl » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:07 am

Kataphrut wrote:The fact that everyone fights so similar is one of those unfortunate missed opportunities about the series. The Turtle v Crane fights in the 22nd Budokai were some of the few times it felt like we were watching different styles of martial arts. But it went on to introduce demons, aliens, mutants, divine beings etc. and yet everyone is always able to just trade blows. Some characters will have unique gimmicks- Freeza uses his tail, Buu his stretchy properties, Black and Zamasu have energy swords, etc. But there's rarely that sense of different martial arts styles competing- a lot of fights descend into out and out brawls.
The reason for that is Toriyama, Toei, and Toyotaro are not actual martial artists so they just draw on paper what they think martial arts are. Their knowledge & inspiration obviously comes from martial arts films that demonstrate flashy & well-choreographed maneuvers which only define martial arts from a cinematic, oversimplified perspective. Because of this, some martial arts that are lesser known among the more popular styles from films go a bit unnoticed in DB. I would kill to see Eskrima/Kali show up in DB and turn the typical fighting formula on its head, forcing Goku & the others that there is more to fighting then a standing, rock-solid offense 99% of the time.
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