Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

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Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by The Great Saiyaman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:07 am

Hello, first time poster, wanted to say how wonderful it is to finally be in a Dragon Ball community where I can nerd out about my favorite anime of all time!

Anyway, personally, as flawed as Cell saga it was, it was also perfectly consistent with what came before, the escalation worked well and the twists made sense in a build-up kinda of sense. I felt right, so to speak, that Goku sacrificed himself or that Gohan defeated Cell, despite on closer inspection being clearly moves of the past being repeated a little. But nevertheless, I am perfectly happy with everything up until that point.

However, I feel Dragon Ball, starting immediately with Goku and Vegeta's returns in the end of the Buu saga, became about those two and no one else. Don't get me wrong - I do love Vegetto and the final fight in the Kaioshin Realm and the Genki Dama, but I feel this all could've been saved up for use for a further, more final installement, as I do think the Buu saga was ready to be over when Gohan returned from the Kaioshin Realm. It diservices him and the arc a lot when Toriyama, I feel, caved in to pressure by the editors to hand the series back to Goku, It should've been different.

Its been a huge issue with me ever since way back when I was a little kid. I liked Super, certainly a lot better than GT (which only ever made one good thing, and that was the Goku Jr. special) and I enjoyed it numerous references to the original Dragon Ball... but I do think it definitely caters to the Goku/Vegeta team fan-favorite, to the extent that logical gaps are made in favor of that team up.

Anyway, sorry if my first post is such a rambling one. Does anyone else feel the same, or similarly at all? Thank you for your comments in advance!

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:28 am

It wasn't editorial pressure that put Goku back as the main character. Toriyama simply didn't feel Gohan was right for that role. While I agree that Goku and Vegeta's return messed with what Toriyama had been setting up to that point, I think of it as more of a course correction. I find them much more interesting than whatever story about passing the torch he intended to tell. I don't find "passing the torch" that interesting of a theme.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:44 am

Factually speaking the Buu arc can be seen as that because it is the most contested of the DB+Z arcs. But that can be chalked up to how off the leash it is overall, having both horrifying acts of destruction and incredibly goofiness all within the same chapter.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:44 am

Probably yes.

With the debut of Trunks and the emergence of Gohan's ability, there didn't seem to be any need to keep Goku and Vegeta in the focus anymore. So the Buu saga had to be written to enable Goku and Vegeta to become significant again and bring them back, which IMO took away from the development in the Cell saga.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:51 am

DragonBallFoodie wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:44 am
Probably yes.

With the debut of Trunks and the emergence of Gohan's ability, there didn't seem to be any need to keep Goku and Vegeta in the focus anymore. So the Buu saga had to be written to enable Goku and Vegeta to become significant again and bring them back, which IMO took away from the development in the Cell saga.
But WHY? Trunks is brand new and a completely different character from Vegeta whose goals were complete at the end of the Cell arc. And Gohan is strong but he's not interested in fighting. Why do those two characters mean there's no need to keep the focus on Goku and Vegeta?
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:00 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:51 am
But WHY? Trunks is brand new and a completely different character from Vegeta whose goals were complete at the end of the Cell arc. And Gohan is strong but he's not interested in fighting. Why do those two characters mean there's no need to keep the focus on Goku and Vegeta?
[/quote]
The way I see it, a lot of DBZ was trying to set up Gohan to take over after Goku's death, with Goku dying three times (at Raditz's hand, the battle with Frieza and his sacrifice to stop Cell).But as mentioned, Toriyama felt Gohan was too straightlaced so he had to bring Goku back repeatedly.

You have a point about Trunks though. If Toriyama was willing he could have given him more focus.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:07 pm

It's not in dispute that Toriyama had tried to pass the torch from Goku. What's being debated is whether that was a good idea and if the decision to switch focus back onto him (and Vegeta) was the right one.
If Toriyama was willing he could have given him more focus.
But why put it on Trunks instead of Vegeta?
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ruler9871 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:06 pm

I personally consider the Majin Buu & Goku Black (anime) sagas to be better than the Android/Cell arc overall, and the ToP (anime) & Baby sagas to be equal to it overall. Though I would say the Android/Cell saga is better than literally every other arc that came after it besides those 4.
zarmack wrote:The whole "Dragonball is only supposed to be light and funny" mentality that exist in a lot of the fandom is in many ways even dumber than the "edgeload" side of the fandom. You know, the contrarians who think DB should be a Slice-of-Life series, the folks who worship Pre-Raditz Dragonball uncritically, the folks who downplay and often flat-out deny that Dragonball is an action series, the folks who try to push that false argument that none of the serious moments in the series were mean't to be taken seriously, etc.

Dragonball doesn't have a single tone. It has both silly and serious moments, both humor and drama, just like real life. The idea that a work of fiction should be only all-comedy or all-serious is unnatural and frankly, retarded.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:33 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:07 pm
But why put it on Trunks instead of Vegeta?
I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:34 pm

DragonBallFoodie wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:33 pm
ABED wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:07 pm
But why put it on Trunks instead of Vegeta?
I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
Why put the focus on Trunks and not Vegeta?
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by The Great Saiyaman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:36 pm

ruler9871 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:06 pm
I personally consider the Majin Buu & Goku Black (anime) sagas to be better than the Android/Cell arc overall, and the ToP (anime) & Baby sagas to be equal to it overall. Though I would say the Android/Cell saga is better than literally every other arc that came after it besides those 4.
Majin Buy, well, I like it until Goku comes back. Should not have come back, at least not yet.

Tournament of Power was meh, Tournament of the Universes was much better to me.

The Goku Black arc, while I love the whole backstory with Zamasu and such, basically was too thin, and it clearly shouldn't have featured Goku and Vegeta as its stars.

Which is it, for me. Super is basically the Goku & Vegeta show for a long time, and I'm not cool with it. At the very least, the Majin Buy saga doesn't become that until the very end of it.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ABED » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:51 pm

The Great Saiyaman wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:36 pm
ruler9871 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:06 pm
I personally consider the Majin Buu & Goku Black (anime) sagas to be better than the Android/Cell arc overall, and the ToP (anime) & Baby sagas to be equal to it overall. Though I would say the Android/Cell saga is better than literally every other arc that came after it besides those 4.
Majin Buy, well, I like it until Goku comes back. Should not have come back, at least not yet.

Tournament of Power was meh, Tournament of the Universes was much better to me.

The Goku Black arc, while I love the whole backstory with Zamasu and such, basically was too thin, and it clearly shouldn't have featured Goku and Vegeta as its stars.

Which is it, for me. Super is basically the Goku & Vegeta show for a long time, and I'm not cool with it. At the very least, the Majin Buy saga doesn't become that until the very end of it.
But it is Goku's show.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by Shaddy » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:28 pm

Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously? No, not necessarily. Mostly they're worse than what came before the saiyan saga.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by xarmyz » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:09 pm

No, because there is no objective agreement around here about what the good parts of Dragon Ball really were and it's just endless arguments about how the series was better before Piccolo/Saiyan/Freeza/Cell/Buu/GT/Super. Really, it is the curse of humanity to never really agree on any matter of art and entertainment.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ruler9871 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:42 am

Shaddy wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:28 pm
Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously? No, not necessarily. Mostly they're worse than what came before the saiyan saga.
How? I always thought Early DB was extremely overrated by much of the fandom and anime hipsters outside of the King Piccolo/23rd TB saga. I don't anything from it that's better than the Saiyan or Namek sagas by any objective standard.
zarmack wrote:The whole "Dragonball is only supposed to be light and funny" mentality that exist in a lot of the fandom is in many ways even dumber than the "edgeload" side of the fandom. You know, the contrarians who think DB should be a Slice-of-Life series, the folks who worship Pre-Raditz Dragonball uncritically, the folks who downplay and often flat-out deny that Dragonball is an action series, the folks who try to push that false argument that none of the serious moments in the series were mean't to be taken seriously, etc.

Dragonball doesn't have a single tone. It has both silly and serious moments, both humor and drama, just like real life. The idea that a work of fiction should be only all-comedy or all-serious is unnatural and frankly, retarded.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by Raimundo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:16 am

Personally no. Post-Freeza Saga Arcs on average dropped in quality. I find Cell saga worse than Boo saga. I also find it worse than FT and ToP.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by Cursed Lemon » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:26 am

If DBZ had ended at the Cell saga, it would've been a very fitting ending. However, it kept going...and let's be honest, Dragon Ball is The Saiyan Punchorama Show. Vegeta and Goku have the strongest drive for pure fighting competition, there's no way they can't be the main characters.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:32 pm

The Boo arc was an interesting direction for Dragon Ball to take following the Cell arc.

The story always progressed in some way from one arc to the next, always refining itself, and the Cell arc was -- in a lot of ways -- a culmination of the transformation the show had undergone since pretty much the very beginning, way back in the Pilaf arc.
The Boo arc was interesting in that it felt like a progression, but at the same time also felt like something of a curveball. It was undeniably Dragon Ball, but it was a return to the more mystical elements that had been somewhat de-emphasised in the Freeza and Cell arcs in favour of a more sci-fi lean.
The Boo arc was also interesting in its rather hectic general flow and structure; Gohan is the main protagonist and he's doing high school stuff, then tournament stuff, then Goku and Vegeta are back in the limelight doing their thing, then they're gone again and it's Goten and Trunks resisting the evil force of Babidi and Boo, then it's back to Gohan, but then it's back to Goku and Vegeta, and then it's over... Lots of things are tried, there's a heavy element of the show deconstructing itself, almost outright parodying itself with some of the shenanigans Gotenks gets up to, but things don't really come to any conclusion, and basically are just kind of dropped in favour of moving onto the next thing, until the next thing is something of a coda/epilogue to the Dragon Ball saga as a whole...

I wouldn't say the Boo arc is particularly weaker than what came before; there are certainly better Dragon Ball stories from before Boo, but it has a lot of the same flaws you'll see in a lot of Toriyama's work -- the disjointed storytelling of the Boo arc really is nothing compared to the Cell arc, the Cell arc just pulled it off a little better by having everything tie up nicely at the very end -- and honestly, while there's a lot to criticise, it is undeniably the next chapter of Dragon Ball after Cell.

After Boo, we got GT. GT was definitely weaker than the original run, no question. It had ambition, it had a lot of great stuff, it looked great, it sounded great, it brought us to the best conclusion Dragon Ball has ever had, and probably will ever have... But on watching the entire original run, GT is certainly the weakest point.

After GT was Super, which kind of sucks. It's got a lot of good action, and the characters introduced in the Battle Of Gods movie that kicked things off are a lot of fun, but the series itself is just a string of rehashes, character regressions, mindless fan wankery, etc. Aside from a few great moments, it's just a long string of attempts to bank on nostalgia by making a show purely out of fan-service, built around just doing large-scale fights and praying desperately that the fights looking good will save it from being hated... And I guess that worked.
The stories still suck, though.

So... I wouldn't say post-Cell is all weaker than what came before, but post-Boo is definitely weaker than what came before.

Still, something's later entries being weaker doesn't mean its later entries are invalid. Over the years, I've increasingly felt that the pre-Raditz material was the best material, so... To copy this thread's phrasing, post-Piccolo material is weaker than what came before. Does that mean it was a bad move to run past the Piccolo arc, and they should have concluded with the 23rd Tenkaichi? No, of course not... I'm very happy we got Z, GT, and the three new movies.

And ultimately, if something continues on into the territory of being bad, or just simply weaker than it was in its prime to the point where you're not interested anymore, you can just not watch it, of course. DB, Z, and GT aren't going anywhere; if, like me, you're a downer on Super, Super isn't tarnishing the history of the franchise with its inane fan wankery, it's just a floundering new thing that I can totally ignore if I like.
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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:36 pm

DragonBallFoodie wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:00 pm
with Goku dying three times (at Raditz's hand, the battle with Frieza and his sacrifice to stop Cell).
Goku never died on Namek. He is knocked unconscious, and that is anime-only, I believe. His appearing from the water right after the wish to Shenron made it look like he died and was resurrected, but that is not the case.

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Re: Are Arcs/Sagas written and/or made post-Cell weaker than what came previously?

Post by ruler9871 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:52 pm

Cursed Lemon wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:26 am
If DBZ had ended at the Cell saga, it would've been a very fitting ending. However, it kept going...and let's be honest, Dragon Ball is The Saiyan Punchorama Show. Vegeta and Goku have the strongest drive for pure fighting competition, there's no way they can't be the main characters.
Gohan could have easily worked as the new protagonist if Toriyama didn't undo what he did with Cell Games Gohan in the Buu saga.
zarmack wrote:The whole "Dragonball is only supposed to be light and funny" mentality that exist in a lot of the fandom is in many ways even dumber than the "edgeload" side of the fandom. You know, the contrarians who think DB should be a Slice-of-Life series, the folks who worship Pre-Raditz Dragonball uncritically, the folks who downplay and often flat-out deny that Dragonball is an action series, the folks who try to push that false argument that none of the serious moments in the series were mean't to be taken seriously, etc.

Dragonball doesn't have a single tone. It has both silly and serious moments, both humor and drama, just like real life. The idea that a work of fiction should be only all-comedy or all-serious is unnatural and frankly, retarded.

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