Saturday, December 9

History of Dragon Ball.

"Dragon Ball is a Japanese manga by Akira Toriyama serialized in the weekly anthology magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995".

Wikipedia entry.

I have to confess one thing here. I used to like the series until it becomes too powerful for my taste. I always remember fondly of adventures of young version of Goku, as he romps around the world with his wild antics and martial arts ability. I was having a good laugh as I flip thru the Chinese translation of the manga.

However when comes to middle part later on as he grew up, this is where my interest wanes. I mean, how many times you can see a fight that can destroy Earth, mountain, galaxy or hell, fighting in heaven after death you can take?

Mainstream public always wanted a fighting story with unlimited destruction but I am in the minority camp where I like to read about comedy of growing up, like for example the story of young Goku.

But like it or not, this franchise is still strong, with almost 22 years worth of run in popular media in most countries which were exposed to anime. In commercial sense, it is a resounding success but as story itself, I am not too sure what to say about it. I can count many of peers who grew up on Dragon Ball and still talks about it in excitement. 20 years from now, this process will be repeated again with old time Naruto fans. History repeats itself, automatically.


Shura said...

I agree. Early Dragon ball was actually an early look at what would be contemporary RPG-style gaming in my opinion (mind you DB was written in 1984), and the focus of Son Goku's youth was toward adventure and exploring the world. Dragon ball's world design indirectly influenced the concepts used in Dragon Quest: Dai no Daiboken and Dragon Quest: Emblem of Roto. Both mangaka had worked under Toriyama for a while, and in both mangas, it's quite evident of their influence from Toriyama, but also where they surpassed (in my not-so-objective critique) him in plotlines and characterization.
The height of young Son Goku's role in DB was the Piccolo Daimao arc (which had a GREAT finisher scene for a villain), but after that it went downhill with the Saiya-jin saga. Toriyama reportedly wanted it to end at the end of Freeza since Goku came at full circle with himself and reached the pinnacle of his performance, but unfortunately Shounen Jump "convinced" Toriyama to continue the series due to its immense popularity. Needless to say, Toriyama indicated in later interviews that he wasn't exactly pleased with what Jump was asking him to do. Dragon ball was a major cash cow for Jump. Unfortunately, Dragon ball lost the humor, travelogues, support characters, Asian cultural references, etc. that made it both funny and action-packed. Instead, the later story arcs were overshadowed by a Super Saiya-jin dominated world of testosterone slugfests. Worst of all, most fans of Dragon ball tend to ignore the story arcs of kid Goku.

AllHomeSecurity said...

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So far I have covered these cartoon series briefly, but I am planning to add more details on characters and individual episodes.

Dragon Ball cartoons
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Zatch Bell

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Stormy001 said...

Thanks Shura. Your comment is much more articulate and well phrased than mine.

Stormy001 said...

Hello Simone,

Sure no problem. I don't mind exchanging ideas with you on this topic.

Feel free to contact me if you have any queries about this kinda topics.

Nice site, and do you want to exchange links?

Thank you for your stopping by my humble blog.

Shura said...

No problem. It's refreshing to find people who remembered when Dragon ball when it had a good balance of action, comedy, drama, fantasy, and sci-fi. That's what made Dragon ball enjoyable back then and now.

Stormy001 said...

I remember good things, even they turn bad in the end. Hahahahha.