Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

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Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by xarmyz » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm

Dragon Ball's villains are sometimes written off as just being "evil for evil's sake." but honestly if you study history and current events (see the thread on a certain American voice actor.) you'll find that most terribly people in real life don't have very complex motives for the things they do and often just bullies who abuse the power that they have because they think they can get away with it. Perhaps they don't go to the kill everything extremes of a Piccolo Daimao, Freeza or Cell but the underling mentality is there. "I am stronger/better than you and you can do whatever the hell I want because I've got authority/wealth/am part of the right people."

And that those who do think they that they're cause is noble and that they are the heroes of their own story, they ideals are often revealed to be if give close inspection total insane bullshit that more often than not is only cynical half-believed to justified grabs for power and contained hegemonic domination or they just self righteous sociopaths like Zamasu who thankfully is never portrayed by Super as anything but that and who "Ideals" are never take seriously as anything other than monstrous privileged racism and holier than thou egotism unlike far too many "but maybe he has a point" antagonists in fiction.

Indeed, Anime and manga in general has a very bad habit of being overly sympathetic to it's villains despite the fact that they are horrific mass-murderers because they have tragic back-story or the overrated value of moral ambiguity. (Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are two of the biggest offenders in this sort of thing.)

Put it this way, does not the current President of the US when he screams and raves on TV and Twitter about things not going his way, remind you of Freeza losing to Goku on Namek and pitching a temper tantrum over it?

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:26 pm

xarmyz wrote:Dragon Ball's villains are sometimes written off as just being "evil for evil's sake." but honestly if you study history and current events (see the thread on a certain American voice actor.) you'll find that most terribly people in real life don't have very complex motives for the things they do and often just bullies who abuse the power that they have because they think they can get away with it. Perhaps they don't go to the kill everything extremes of a Piccolo Daimao, Freeza or Cell but the underling mentality is there. "I am stronger/better than you and you can do whatever the hell I want because I've got authority/wealth/am part of the right people."

And that those who do think they that they're cause is noble and that they are the heroes of their own story, they ideals are often revealed to be if give close inspection total insane bullshit that more often than not is only cynical half-believed to justified grabs for power and contained hegemonic domination or they just self righteous sociopaths like Zamasu who thankfully is never portrayed by Super as anything but that and who "Ideals" are never take seriously as anything other than monstrous privileged racism and holier than thou egotism unlike far too many "but maybe he has a point" antagonists in fiction.

Indeed, Anime and manga in general has a very bad habit of being overly sympathetic to it's villains despite the fact that they are horrific mass-murderers because they have tragic back-story or the overrated value of moral ambiguity. (Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are two of the biggest offenders in this sort of thing.)

Put it this way, does not the current President of the US when he screams and raves on TV and Twitter about things not going his way, remind you of Freeza losing to Goku on Namek and pitching a temper tantrum over it?
I agree that tragic backstories are overrated and often not true to real life villains, but I don't think DB's villains are more true to real life. Powerlust is a real motive but there's still a rationalization every single evil person has. DB's villains don't really rationalize their behavior in that way. Most of the big bads are evil for the sake of evil, often because that's what they were designed to do.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Dr. Casey » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:36 pm

The world takes all kinds, so I'm not sure if any kind of character is technically unrealistic. I personally think that most people that are cruel, evil, or simply angry jerks are that way due to nurture moreso than nature, and that they could have been different people had they known different upbringings that contained less pain, loneliness, more moral guidance and loving relationships, etc - but that doesn't apply to everyone. Some people are simply sadistic, messed up people by nature because their brains are wired differently. (And, contrary to the idea that nobody thinks of themselves as 'evil,' some people do relish behaving cruelly and recognize their actions as such. There's a lot of validity to the idea that people rationalize their actions and try to think of themselves in the best light possible, and I think it's applicable to the great majority of people, but it's not an absolute rule and there's some who actively own their depravity and consider it a source of pride.)

Sympathetic villains and straightforwardly evil ones can both be either well-written or not; that's a can of worms and an essay that I don't feel like writing right now, but I think that both variants have plenty of representation in reality. Ivan the Terrible was a sensitive kid with a nightmarish childhood that might have been not so, well, terrible if his upbringing had been different (the loss of his wife and potential mercury brain poisoning also didn't help; he was less brutal during his earlier years as ruler). Ted Bundy on the other hand was likely screwed up from the start going by the story where he surrounded his aunt with knives while sleeping when he was three years old.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:49 pm

There's some truth to the whole Hollywood "everyone's the hero of their own story", but it doesn't stand in their mind as doing good, so much as a feeling of self-esteem. Self-esteem is a need everyone has and even people who know they are doing evil things, they do so because it gives them a feeling of power they perceived they lacked. Killers get a feeling of efficacy because the power they have over people when taking their lives. Point being, not everyone believes themselves to be good, but they do have to be able to look themselves in the mirror.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by MasenkoHA » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:19 pm

Well let’s look at our villains

Pilaf-umm well he does say he thinks him ruling the world is for the best of humanity. I suppose in his mind he’s the good guy but we’re not suppose to take him too seriously

Commander Red and the Red Ribbon Army- Well Red just had a Napoleon complex. The members of the Red Ribbon Army just believed in his vision of a new world order. Gee why does that sound familiar...

Tao Pei Pei- He’s a killer for hire. That’s not unheard of even if they don’t usually use their tongue

Tenshinhan- Hardly a bad guy. Just an arrogant asshole

Piccolo Daimou/Piccolo Jr- Literally the dark side of an intergalactic traveller given corpeal form and his subsequent reincarnation

Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta all the Saiyajin really- It’s in their culture. Basically alien Spartans.

King Cold, Freeza and their forces- Tyrants and people who are “just following orders” isn’t unheard of

The Cyborgs- Death machines built by a loon who wanted to avenge the demise of his army that was going to create a new world order

Cell- Created to become Perfect and test his abilities and kill Son Goku. Also had Freeza and Vegeta in him

Buu- Created to be evil


I don’t think any of them are evil just cuz unless they were created or born that way

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ruler9871 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:52 pm

ABED wrote:There's some truth to the whole Hollywood "everyone's the hero of their own story", but it doesn't stand in their mind as doing good, so much as a feeling of self-esteem. Self-esteem is a need everyone has and even people who know they are doing evil things, they do so because it gives them a feeling of power they perceived they lacked. Killers get a feeling of efficacy because the power they have over people when taking their lives. Point being, not everyone believes themselves to be good, but they do have to be able to look themselves in the mirror.


No it isn't. In fact, in many cultures (including East Asia) it is actually considered overrated and a mostly bad thing.
http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/25 ... umeister25
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/bbc00.pdf

The idea that murder and violence stems from low self-esteem for example is one of the most misleading and disastrous myths widely believe in the contemporary West.
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: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ABED » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:41 pm

We've had this EXACT conversation. I have ZERO interest in doing it again, in large part because I believe your conception of self esteem to be way off base. The second article uses self esteem in that BS way they talked to kids about in school. It amounted to little more than "feel good about yourself".
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ruler9871 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:35 pm

ABED wrote: The second article uses self esteem in that BS way they talked to kids about in school. It amounted to little more than "feel good about yourself".
That's literally all it is. Its a hormonal/genetic instinct. Trying to make it anything more than that is BS.

And who is this "we" are you refering to? You must be confusing me with someone else.
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: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ABED » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:46 pm

ruler9871 wrote:
ABED wrote: The second article uses self esteem in that BS way they talked to kids about in school. It amounted to little more than "feel good about yourself".
That's literally all it is. Its a hormonal/genetic instinct. Trying to make it anything more than that is BS.

And who is this "we" are you refering to? You must be confusing me with someone else.
Maybe, but that is a HELL of a coincidence because I've had this exact conversation with someone and they linked to the same sort of articles, and made the same sort of argument. And they even used that same line about the idea that violence stemming from low self esteem is a disastrous myth. Maybe it wasn't you, but regardless, I don't agree at all. If all self esteem meant was "feel good about yourself" (which is incredibly vague), it lumps too many unlike things together, i.e. an intellectual package deal.

In any event, no DB's villains aren't more true to life. Toriyama uses a lot of archetypes, and people, even evil people tend to be more complex in their reasons and motives.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by SupremeKai25 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:02 pm

and who "Ideals" are never take seriously as anything other than monstrous privileged racism and holier than thou egotism unlike far too many "but maybe he has a point" antagonists in fiction.
Speak for yourself, thank you very much. I think that Zamasu makes very good points about the foolish inaction of the Gods, the violent and insufferable nature of mortals, and the sin that Trunks committed when he tore reality itself into pieces. I will agree that Zamasu was a genocidal maniac (so are Beerus and Zeno by the way, and they killed for far less), but let's not act like mortals are innocent puppies. One only needs to look at Universe 6's Earth, turned into a toxic wasteland after the word wars waged by the earthlings, to realize that Zamasu, while not considering the bigger picture, was right to believe that destructive war is in the very nature of mortal kind.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Jackalope89 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:06 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:Well let’s look at our villains

Pilaf-umm well he does say he thinks him ruling the world is for the best of humanity. I suppose in his mind he’s the good guy but we’re not suppose to take him too seriously

Commander Red and the Red Ribbon Army- Well Red just had a Napoleon complex. The members of the Red Ribbon Army just believed in his vision of a new world order. Gee why does that sound familiar...

Tao Pei Pei- He’s a killer for hire. That’s not unheard of even if they don’t usually use their tongue

Tenshinhan- Hardly a bad guy. Just an arrogant asshole

Piccolo Daimou/Piccolo Jr- Literally the dark side of an intergalactic traveller given corpeal form and his subsequent reincarnation

Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta all the Saiyajin really- It’s in their culture. Basically alien Spartans.

King Cold, Freeza and their forces- Tyrants and people who are “just following orders” isn’t unheard of

The Cyborgs- Death machines built by a loon who wanted to avenge the demise of his army that was going to create a new world order

Cell- Created to become Perfect and test his abilities and kill Son Goku. Also had Freeza and Vegeta in him

Buu- Created to be evil


I don’t think any of them are evil just cuz unless they were created or born that way
Freeza actually was created to be evil. He was based off of landsharks of whom Toriyama equated with the worst people there was.

And Freeza is a psychopath. In short, some psychopaths are simply born with something in their brain wired differently. They are incapable of feeling empathy and are natural born liars. Key signals to this are torture and mutilation of animals at a young age, bullying other children, and constant lying and manipulation.

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ABED » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:23 pm

Freeza actually was created to be evil. He was based off of landsharks of whom Toriyama equated with the worst people there was.
He meant "created" in the story. Buu was created by Babidi, Cell was created by Dr. Gero, etc.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ruler9871 » Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm

xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm

Indeed, Anime and manga in general has a very bad habit of being overly sympathetic to it's villains despite the fact that they are horrific mass-murderers because they have tragic back-story or the overrated value of moral ambiguity. (Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are two of the biggest offenders in this sort of thing.)
That's because the Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad (and Japanese themselves aren't the least bit sorry for any of their own mass murders against other countries).

Most people in general don't care nor have any empathy for people who aren't family, tribe or close friends. Nearly every major political authority (king, emperor, dictator, US President, etc) is a mass murder by job necessity but most don't care, because why would anyone with common sense care about the suffering of their mortal enemies?

Also, people come with many different personalities, motivations and predispositions. So to say any one to type of villain is "more true to life" is false.
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: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Cipher » Fri May 17, 2019 6:18 am

It depends on what angle you come at it from. I do think its tendency to not dance around the sort of straight-forward maliciousness that its villains inhabit could be seen as-
ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
That's because the Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad
I'm sorry, what the fuck?

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Kamiccolo9 » Fri May 17, 2019 11:00 am

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by VegettoEX » Fri May 17, 2019 11:07 am

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
That's because the Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad (and Japanese themselves aren't the least bit sorry for any of their own mass murders against other countries).

Most people in general don't care nor have any empathy for people who aren't family, tribe or close friends. Nearly every major political authority (king, emperor, dictator, US President, etc) is a mass murder by job necessity but most don't care, because why would anyone with common sense care about the suffering of their mortal enemies?

Also, people come with many different personalities, motivations and predispositions. So to say any one to type of villain is "more true to life" is false.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:07 pm

xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Indeed, Anime and manga in general has a very bad habit of being overly sympathetic to it's villains despite the fact that they are horrific mass-murderers because they have tragic back-story or the overrated value of moral ambiguity. (Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are two of the biggest offenders in this sort of thing.)
While I myself generally find that much of the big Shonen mega-franchises (Naruto and One Piece in particular, but even more generally speaking overall) to be overly reliant on "tragic villain with sympathetic backstory" as kind of a lazy storytelling crutch for cheap pathos without really doing anything especially compelling or interesting with it or making it count for very much in the broader long term of the story... that doesn't seem to be what you (xarmyz) are specifically criticizing these tropes for here.

You seem to be (and please by all means do correct me if I'm wrong here in my appraisal of your post and if I'm misreading your intent) criticizing the very CONCEPT of using ANY kind of "villain with sympathetic motivations". And more eyebrow raising, you seem to be taking issue with "moral ambiguity" IN AND OF ITSELF as both a theme and a storytelling device.

And while themes and tropes can be badly handled or misused (and I definitely think there are some millennial examples of Shonen mega-franchises that are, to one extent or another, very much guilty of this; to say that these themes and tropes are innately problematic IN AND OF THEMSELVES... that's is just on its face moronic and downright anti-intellectual.

Most of the greatest narratives and works of fiction and art ever conceived use moral ambiguity and sympathetic villains to absolutely BRILLIANT effect. Moral ambiguity is at the heart of the work of many of the greatest writers in literature from William Shakespeare, to Herman Melville, to Mary Shelley, to Robert Louis Stevenson, to Kurt Vonnegut, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, William S. Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, and on and on and on.

While moral clarity is of course also very much important as well and is certainly not to be discounted or undervalued: moral ambiguity is an INCREDIBLY key tool to so many of the most intelligent works of fiction, literature, and art, primarily because they challenge and make us think so much on exactly WHY we hold firm to certain moral concepts: both to reaffirm genuinely important and critical moral standards as well as to call into question some moral standards that might well be misguided and fundamentally flawed in and of themselves, and thus help us to further better ourselves as people.

Both moral clarity AND moral ambiguity serve VERY important roles in art and fiction together in tandem, and storytelling would be VASTLY weaker if we had only examples of the one without the other. To throw the very concept of moral ambiguity in storytelling as a whole under the bus seems not only incredibly foolish and dumb on its face, but also wildly reactionary and rooted in a particular type of simple-minded, fear-based authoritarian mindset: right is always right, wrong is always wrong, everything is purely black and white, do what you're told at all times no matter what, etc. and anything that ever calls these innate truths into question in any way must be treated with hostility and stamped out.

And also frankly, art and narrative fiction would not only be of far, FAR less cultural and personal value and insight without moral ambiguity, they'd also be INCREDIBLY dull, stagnant, and stale to mind-deadening degrees.

Once again, if I'm misreading the intent of your post, then I very much apologize up front for the misunderstanding: but this type of weird, bizarre streak of anti-intellectualism that tends to run through many corners of not just Dragon Ball's fanbase, but broader Shonen anime & manga and much of current-day "geek culture" overall (and a great many swathes of Kanzenshuu's community is certainly no exception to this type of awful mentality, and never has been) is something that has GREATLY bothered me for a long, long, LONG time now, and still continues to.

This type of thinking - of the "lets just have all our pop cultural works and heroes get back to some type of over-idealized 'aw shucks' cornball family values or a vision of a kind of square jawed 1950s ideal" sort that generally seems to go hand in hand with a lot of the "my childhood nostalgia" crowd - this type of thought process tends to be VERY depressingly prevalent in an ever-increasing number of circles within online fandoms and "geek media" spaces.

A mentality where where genuinely mature, challenging, and subversive works of adult fiction and art (and I mean of the REAL sort, not the strawman cliche of "grimdark and gritty equals instant maturity" that the internet LOVES to incessantly harp away on) are treated with incredibly misguided and ridiculous hostility, while works of lowest common denominator pandering, childish comfort food (that bring people back to a "rotting my brain watching soul-deadening Saturday morning cartoon dogshit on TV as a child" that they find WAY too comforting and appealing) are overly revered and held up to ludicrous standards.

And lastly, while I agree on Kishimoto being generally incredibly hacky and trite overall in how he handles many of his pet themes, I find that Togashi generally tends to use moral ambiguity to FANTASTIC and very thoughtful effect: particularly in Yu Yu Hakusho, which on basically every front utterly trounces not only Dragon Ball as a piece of martial arts fantasy fiction and as a long-form Shonen manga & anime, but frankly just about almost EVERYTHING ELSE within those same specific realms of Japanese media.

Kishimoto tends to treat "moral ambiguity" in Naruto like that of a stereotypical 14 year old kid who thinks that Linkin Park lyrics are the absolute height of deep philosophical profundity. Togashi however by comparison (at least pre-Hunter X Hunter) generally overall has a FAR more subtle, mature, and thoughtful grasp of lending actual shades of genuine depth and nuance to many of his villains. I'm thinking especially of Toguro from Yu Yu Hakusho here, who is easily one of the single most compelling, psychologically rich, and fascinating characters in ANY of the so-called "Battle Shonen" franchises, by overwhelming leaps and bounds.



Oh and speaking of stereotypical "edgelord" 14 year old kids who think that they totally understand the dark, ugly nature of mankind, we move on now to THIS little gem of faux-intellectual 4chan nihilism.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
That's because the Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad
Oh. Oh boy. Strap yourselves in ladies and gents, its gonna be one of THOSE rides.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
(and Japanese themselves aren't the least bit sorry for any of their own mass murders against other countries).
List of War Apology Statements Issued by Japan.

Many Japanese want PM Abe's apology for Tokyo's WW2 atrocities (from a national survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun)

Ex-PM Murayama says Japan must keep his 1995 landmark apology as global pledge

Another A+ student of history and current events we have here I see.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
Most people in general don't care nor have any empathy for people who aren't family, tribe or close friends.
Merriam Webster wrote:projection noun
pro·​jec·​tion | \ prə-ˈjek-shən \
Definition of projection

6b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects
especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
Psychological Projection

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
Nearly every major political authority (king, emperor, dictator, US President, etc) is a mass murder by job necessity but most don't care, because why would anyone with common sense care about the suffering of their mortal enemies?
While the first half of this statement is certainly very much accurate and undeniably true (that a great, vast majority of major political authorities throughout human history have often tended to be ego-driven, narcissistic, brutal, and myopic homicidal sociopaths who often engage in senseless horrific bloodshed out of a combination of greed and primitive, barbaric tribalism), the second half - that most people generally and broadly speaking don't care or are typically unfazed by this - is... uh. Certainly not quite so cut and dry. To put it the utmost mildly.

Peace Movements Throughout History

The New York Peace Society (established in 1815)

Vietnam War Protests

Protests Against the Iraq War

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Anti-Imperialism Throughout History

Thousands Rally in Support of American Aid to Darfur (2006)

March For Our Lives

The Yemen Peace Project

Family Separations Push New Protesters to Join Immigrant Activists

Protests Against the Trump Administration Family Separation Policy

Native American Activism: 1960s to Present

1930 Salt March

History of Protest and Dissent in China (including the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the 2011 Pro-Democracy protests)

The French Revolution

Selma to Montgomery March

Civil Rights Movement

Black Lives Matter

Martin Luther King Jr.

Mahatma Gandhi

Just a bit of a scratching the surface starter's guide for basic history on human/social resistance to authoritarian barbarism in general.

But no, clearly NO ONE across humanity gives two shits about horrors and violence committed by political leaders against them or against other nations. That's why history is filled to the brim with 100% of humanity across the board simply laying down and accepting whatever horrible acts are committed by their leaders, and why political dissent, revolutions, and rebellion are complete historic myths that have never actually happened.

Our modern education system clearly still working wonders as ever.

xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Also, people come with many different personalities, motivations and predispositions.
EXACTLY RIGHT.

And yet **at the very same time** and within the **same fucking breath** you also espouse grotesquely idiotic generalizations such as "The Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad" and that "most don't care" when their political leaders commit mass murderous atrocities.
Merriam Webster wrote:cognitive dissonance noun
Definition of cognitive dissonance
: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously
Cognitive Dissonance

Just a veritable buffet all around of breathtaking ignorance, stupidity, and a healthy dash of uncritical, un-self aware, warped psychological neurosis on top to boot.
Last edited by Kunzait_83 on Fri May 17, 2019 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
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Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by sintzu » Fri May 17, 2019 1:16 pm

xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Does not the current President of the US when he screams and raves on TV and Twitter about things not going his way, remind you of Freeza losing to Goku on Namek and pitching a temper tantrum over it?
If I were to make a list of American politicians who act like Freeza when they don't get their way, I don't think Trump would even make the top 10. The way he presents himself when he doesn't get his way is by no means perfect, but there are faaaaaaar worse examples than him, especially on the left.

In terms of the question, I think both types of villains are true to life. There are people like DB's villains who for the most part are bad for the sake of being bad. They have no reason to be so or logic behind it. There are however, people like Naruto's villains who are bad either because that's how they were treated when they were powerless or because they believe what they're doing is the right thing.

In terms of what type is better, I think it depends on the writer as each writer has his/her own strengths and weaknesses that impact their writing. Freeza for example is nowhere near as complex as someone like Itachi or Pain but through Toriyama's writing he made Freeza just as good of a villain.
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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Fri May 17, 2019 1:33 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:07 pm
You seem to be (and please by all means do correct me if I'm wrong here in my appraisal of your post and if I'm misreading your intent) criticizing the very CONCEPT of using ANY kind of "villain with sympathetic motivations". And more eyebrow raising, you seem to be taking issue with "moral ambiguity" IN AND OF ITSELF as both a theme and a storytelling device.
I don't believe that's what he was saying at all. It seems more like he was complaining about things like 'This guy tried to conquer the world and killed over a billion people, but his dad beat him when he was a kid, so we'll just forgive him for everything'.

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Re: Dragon Ball's depiction of evil in its villains: actually more true to real life?

Post by ruler9871 » Fri May 17, 2019 2:15 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:07 pm
xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Indeed, Anime and manga in general has a very bad habit of being overly sympathetic to it's villains despite the fact that they are horrific mass-murderers because they have tragic back-story or the overrated value of moral ambiguity. (Masashi Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi are two of the biggest offenders in this sort of thing.)
While I myself generally find that much of the big Shonen mega-franchises (Naruto and One Piece in particular, but even more generally speaking overall) to be overly reliant on "tragic villain with sympathetic backstory" as kind of a lazy storytelling crutch for cheap pathos without really doing anything especially compelling or interesting with it or making it count for very much in the broader long term of the story... that doesn't seem to be what you (xarmyz) are specifically criticizing these tropes for here.

You seem to be (and please by all means do correct me if I'm wrong here in my appraisal of your post and if I'm misreading your intent) criticizing the very CONCEPT of using ANY kind of "villain with sympathetic motivations". And more eyebrow raising, you seem to be taking issue with "moral ambiguity" IN AND OF ITSELF as both a theme and a storytelling device.

And while themes and tropes can be badly handled or misused (and I definitely think there are some millennial examples of Shonen mega-franchises that are, to one extent or another, very much guilty of this; to say that these themes and tropes are innately problematic IN AND OF THEMSELVES... that's is just on its face moronic and downright anti-intellectual.

Most of the greatest narratives and works of fiction and art ever conceived use moral ambiguity and sympathetic villains to absolutely BRILLIANT effect. Moral ambiguity is at the heart of the work of many of the greatest writers in literature from William Shakespeare, to Herman Melville, to Mary Shelley, to Robert Louis Stevenson, to Kurt Vonnegut, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, William S. Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, and on and on and on.

While moral clarity is of course also very much important as well and is certainly not to be discounted or undervalued: moral ambiguity is an INCREDIBLY key tool to so many of the most intelligent works of fiction, literature, and art, primarily because they challenge and make us think so much on exactly WHY we hold firm to certain moral concepts: both to reaffirm genuinely important and critical moral standards as well as to call into question some moral standards that might well be misguided and fundamentally flawed in and of themselves, and thus help us to further better ourselves as people.

Both moral clarity AND moral ambiguity serve VERY important roles in art and fiction together in tandem, and storytelling would be VASTLY weaker if we had only examples of the one without the other. To throw the very concept of moral ambiguity in storytelling as a whole under the bus seems not only incredibly foolish and dumb on its face, but also wildly reactionary and rooted in a particular type of simple-minded, fear-based authoritarian mindset: right is always right, wrong is always wrong, everything is purely black and white, do what you're told at all times no matter what, etc. and anything that ever calls these innate truths into question in any way must be treated with hostility and stamped out.

And also frankly, art and narrative fiction would not only be of far, FAR less cultural and personal value and insight without moral ambiguity, they'd also be INCREDIBLY dull, stagnant, and stale to mind-deadening degrees.

Once again, if I'm misreading the intent of your post, then I very much apologize up front for the misunderstanding: but this type of weird, bizarre streak of anti-intellectualism that tends to run through many corners of not just Dragon Ball's fanbase, but broader Shonen anime & manga and much of current-day "geek culture" overall (and a great many swathes of Kanzenshuu's community is certainly no exception to this type of awful mentality, and never has been) is something that has GREATLY bothered me for a long, long, LONG time now, and still continues to.

This type of thinking - of the "lets just have all our pop cultural works and heroes get back to some type of over-idealized 'aw shucks' cornball family values or a vision of a kind of square jawed 1950s ideal" sort that generally seems to go hand in hand with a lot of the "my childhood nostalgia" crowd - this type of thought process tends to be VERY depressingly prevalent in an ever-increasing number of circles within online fandoms and "geek media" spaces.

A mentality where where genuinely mature, challenging, and subversive works of adult fiction and art (and I mean of the REAL sort, not the strawman cliche of "grimdark and gritty equals instant maturity" that the internet LOVES to incessantly harp away on) are treated with incredibly misguided and ridiculous hostility, while works of lowest common denominator pandering, childish comfort food (that bring people back to a "rotting my brain watching soul-deadening Saturday morning cartoon dogshit on TV as a child" that they find WAY too comforting and appealing) are overly revered and held up to ludicrous standards.

And lastly, while I agree on Kishimoto being generally incredibly hacky and trite overall in how he handles many of his pet themes, I find that Togashi generally tends to use moral ambiguity to FANTASTIC and very thoughtful effect: particularly in Yu Yu Hakusho, which on basically every front utterly trounces not only Dragon Ball as a piece of martial arts fantasy fiction and as a long-form Shonen manga & anime, but frankly just about almost EVERYTHING ELSE within those same specific realms of Japanese media.

Kishimoto tends to treat "moral ambiguity" in Naruto like that of a stereotypical 14 year old kid who thinks that Linkin Park lyrics are the absolute height of deep philosophical profundity. Togashi however by comparison (at least pre-Hunter X Hunter) generally overall has a FAR more subtle, mature, and thoughtful grasp of lending actual shades of genuine depth and nuance to many of his villains. I'm thinking especially of Toguro from Yu Yu Hakusho here, who is easily one of the single most compelling, psychologically rich, and fascinating characters in ANY of the so-called "Battle Shonen" franchises, by overwhelming leaps and bounds.



Oh and speaking of stereotypical "edgelord" 14 year old kids who think that they totally understand the dark, ugly nature of mankind, we move on now to THIS little gem of faux-intellectual 4chan nihilism.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
That's because the Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad
Oh. Oh boy. Strap yourselves in ladies and gents, its gonna be one of THOSE rides.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
(and Japanese themselves aren't the least bit sorry for any of their own mass murders against other countries).
List of War Apology Statements Issued by Japan.

Many Japanese want PM Abe's apology for Tokyo's WW2 atrocities (from a national survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun)

Ex-PM Murayama says Japan must keep his 1995 landmark apology as global pledge

Another A+ student of history and current events we have here I see.

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
Most people in general don't care nor have any empathy for people who aren't family, tribe or close friends.
Merriam Webster wrote:projection noun
pro·​jec·​tion | \ prə-ˈjek-shən \
Definition of projection

6b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects
especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
Psychological Projection

ruler9871 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 pm
Nearly every major political authority (king, emperor, dictator, US President, etc) is a mass murder by job necessity but most don't care, because why would anyone with common sense care about the suffering of their mortal enemies?
While the first half of this statement is certainly very much accurate and undeniably true (that a great, vast majority of major political authorities throughout human history have often tended to be ego-driven, narcissistic, brutal, and myopic homicidal sociopaths who often engage in senseless horrific bloodshed out of a combination of greed and primitive, barbaric tribalism), the second half - that most people generally and broadly speaking don't care or are typically unfazed by this - is... uh. Certainly not quite so cut and dry. To put it the utmost mildly.

Peace Movements Throughout History

The New York Peace Society (established in 1815)

Vietnam War Protests

Protests Against the Iraq War

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Anti-Imperialism Throughout History

Thousands Rally in Support of American Aid to Darfur (2006)

March For Our Lives

The Yemen Peace Project

Family Separations Push New Protesters to Join Immigrant Activists

Protests Against the Trump Administration Family Separation Policy

Native American Activism: 1960s to Present

1930 Salt March

History of Protest and Dissent in China (including the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the 2011 Pro-Democracy protests)

The French Revolution

Selma to Montgomery March

Civil Rights Movement

Black Lives Matter

Martin Luther King Jr.

Mahatma Gandhi

Just a bit of a scratching the surface starter's guide for basic history on human/social resistance to authoritarian barbarism in general.

But no, clearly NO ONE across humanity gives two shits about horrors and violence committed by political leaders against them or against other nations. That's why history is filled to the brim with 100% of humanity across the board simply laying down and accepting whatever horrible acts are committed by their leaders, and why political dissent, revolutions, and rebellion are complete historic myths that have never actually happened.

Our modern education system clearly still working wonders as ever.

xarmyz wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm
Also, people come with many different personalities, motivations and predispositions.
EXACTLY RIGHT.

And yet **at the very same time** and within the **same fucking breath** you also espouse grotesquely idiotic generalizations such as "The Japanese (and many others) generally don't consider mass murder to be all that bad" and that "most don't care" when their political leaders commit mass murderous atrocities.
Merriam Webster wrote:cognitive dissonance noun
Definition of cognitive dissonance
: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously
Cognitive Dissonance

Just a veritable buffet all around of breathtaking ignorance, stupidity, and a healthy dash of uncritical, un-self aware, warped psychological neurosis on top to boot.

1. The only one projecting and being a pseudo-intellectual here is you. Universal empathy is a largely modern western ideal. The rest of the world is mostly clannish when comes to empathy.

And you missed read what I post: that most people worldwide are indifferent when their leaders (as in, the ones on their side that they support) commit mass violence against outside and enemy groups.https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... 8117477458
Hence why Genghis Khan (and his descendants) is still a national hero in Mongolia, why Peter the Great & Joseph Stalin are still looked at mostly positively in modern Russia, same with Mao and the classical emperors in China, Caesar & Augustus in Italy, Alexander the Great in Greece, etc.


2. Most of those national apologies issued by the Japanese were forced on them by the UN and America after losing WW2 (and wouldn't have done so if the Axis won). They generally don't reflect the real feelings of everyday Japanese on this (hence why many Japanese war criminals from the Imperial era are still praised as heroes in contemporary Japan, to the ire of contemporary Koreans & Chinese.)

3. And no, its not contradictory to point that "people come with many different personalities, motivations and predispositions" and that many groups are indifferent to their leaders atrocities as long as ita in their interest. You are making a false dichotomy
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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