Author Topic: Dragon Ball  (Read 5096 times)

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 05:24:36 PM »
The end of Namek was the best time to end it, honestly. I know a lot of people like Cell and Buu, but they have always felt extraneous to me. The Saiyan and Namek were one long story that had an end and the other two were self-contained and not much of value would have been lost without them.

Well, if Toriyama had it his way, the series would have ended after the first year of it's serialization. After he decided to make the series into a more of a tournament-style format, drawing inspiration from the reader-reception to the Penguin Grand Prix races in Dr. Slump, the series started to become very popular, so naturally it was decided to continue the series for a while longer (though he didn't realize just how long that'd ultimately be  :lol:).

Anyway, my point is that Toriyama never really had a plan for Dragon Ball's story. He really just made it up as it went, so I personally don't feel that the Cell and Buu arcs are any more extraneous than any other parts in the series. Quite frankly, a lot of good stuff, especially Vegeta's character development, came from those parts, so I can't imagine the series without them, myself.

Also, the Buu arc was shorter than Namek in the manga, and I still feel that it's problems mostly stemmed from the anime version.

The Buu arc is 99 chapters long. The Namek arc is 88 chapters. The Buu arc is longer.  :P

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 05:27:32 PM »
Is that also counting the pre-Namek stuff, or just when Bulma and crew land on Namek and on from that point?

Also, 11 chapters is like 3-episodes worth of difference in terms of length. You really can't say that it's THAT long compared to any other major arc of the series.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 05:36:50 PM »
That's counting everything from after Vegeta leaves earth. The Namek arc comprises chapters 242-329 of the manga. The Buu arc is chapters 421-519.

And I did not make any suggestion that I consider the Buu arc to be significantly longer than the Namek arc. All I was pointing out was that it is longer, which is true.

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 05:37:27 PM »
The end of Namek was the best time to end it, honestly. I know a lot of people like Cell and Buu, but they have always felt extraneous to me. The Saiyan and Namek were one long story that had an end and the other two were self-contained and not much of value would have been lost without them.

Well, if Toriyama had it his way, the series would have ended after the first year of it's serialization. After he decided to make the series into a more of a tournament-style format, drawing inspiration from the reader-reception to the Penguin Grand Prix races in Dr. Slump, the series started to become very popular, so naturally it was decided to continue the series for a while longer (though he didn't realize just how long that'd ultimately be  :lol:).

Anyway, my point is that Toriyama never really had a plan for Dragon Ball's story. He really just made it up as it went, so I personally don't feel that the Cell and Buu arcs are any more extraneous than any other parts in the series. Quite frankly, a lot of good stuff, especially Vegeta's character development, came from those parts, so I can't imagine the series without them, myself.
Well, he kind of had to have an idea for Namek when he started the Z half, since ending it at the end of the Saiyan arc would have left an untold number of holes and would have been rather lame. The point is that the story from Raditz's arrival to the Frieza's defeat is basically one long story that has a definitive end (Vegeta even gets a second chance at life, which is good enough for me, honestly) and with the appearance of the strongest warrior in the universe. As far as I'm concerned, it was a fine enough ending.

Cell and Buu are not really connected nearly as well as Saiyan and Namek are. Honestly, they could have cut Cell out entirely and the Buu arc still could have happened with slight adjustments. I'm not decrying their mere existence or anything, I'm only saying that they are simply not as well done as the first half of the series.
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LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 05:55:29 PM »
Well, he kind of had to have an idea for Namek when he started the Z half, since ending it at the end of the Saiyan arc would have left an untold number of holes and would have been rather lame. 

No, not really. This article highlights some problems with assuming that. There are many contradictions to the original motives and backstory of the saiyans that appear later on in the Namek arc that indicate Toriyama had not thought up of Freeza, his organization, or super saiyans and whatnot until he got closer to the end of the Saiyan arc. When Kami first showed up, Toriyama did get the idea that he and Piccolo would be aliens, but that doesn't necessarily mean he at the time was considering making an arc about visiting their homeworld. I agree the Saiyan and Namek arcs blend flawlessly, but that is more of a happy accident and stoke of good writing/ret-conning than actual planning on Toriyama's part.

The point is that the story from Raditz's arrival to the Frieza's defeat is basically one long story that has a definitive end (Vegeta even gets a second chance at life, which is good enough for me, honestly) and with the appearance of the strongest warrior in the universe. As far as I'm concerned, it was a fine enough ending.

Cell and Buu are not really connected nearly as well as Saiyan and Namek are. Honestly, they could have cut Cell out entirely and the Buu arc still could have happened with slight adjustments. I'm not decrying their mere existence or anything, I'm only saying that they are simply not as well done as the first half of the series.

I can agree that they were not as well done as what came before, and that they operate more stand-alone than Saiyan and Namek did, but I still think a lot of value came from those arcs as well. I just don't think they can be considered extraneous because Dragon Ball was never a manga that was planned to go to one, specific ending, and Toriyama didn't plan to stop at the Namek arc in the first place. 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 06:03:50 PM by Cartoon X »

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 06:16:21 PM »
I didn't mean it was perfectly planned out, few stories are written that way, just that he saw it as an obvious end point when he came to it which is why the Frieza battle was played up like was (and unfortunately infected every other battle manga from that point forward) and the ending was framed out like it was. I don't think either Cell or Buu had that much put into them compared to the rest and don't think they offer nearly as much as the first half does. That said they're fine, but I'm never going to consider them as good as the first half. Which... makes sense, since Toriyama himself apparently didn't like them as much as the earlier stuff.

They're not manga-"Three Kings" level of awful, I just don't find them very interesting story-wise.
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LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 06:29:18 PM »
It's still debatable whether or not he ever was planning to end the series with the Namek arc, since he has never said a word supporting that assertion in interviews, and despite how climatic the ending of that arc feels and all the build up to the battle with Freeza, it's not like he was suddenly told by his editors he couldn't just stop the series when he was drawing the end of it or something, so he was probably already planning what he'd do for another arc by the final few chapters of the Namek arc.

And as far as ending points go...Toriyama was always saying he'd end the series "soon." As I said earlier, he originally wanted to end it in the first year. Then he wanted to end it after 10 volumes. And so on, and so on. The Namek arc was no more obvious an ending point to him than any of the previous or later arcs. He ultimately just kept drawing because he still felt like it, be it because of the fan support, the money, or some other incentive, and stopped when he jut couldn't do it anymore, and no one desired to force him to.

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 06:31:47 PM »
I still say Buu is underrated. Never cared for Android/Cell, though. Just read the Gotenks vs. Buu fight in the manga and tell me that it's not comical on the level of early Dragon Ball style gags. And all of the moments between Mr. Satan and Buu were hilarious. If you're judging the arc purely compared to Saiyan and Namek, no, it's not as good in terms of being plot or character-driven, but if that's the case than you're completely missing out on the "fun" of the arc. It was a clear attempt for Toriyama to return DB to it's early day roots while keeping some of the "action epic" elements of the later parts of the story in-tact. It wasn't by any means a perfect blend of the two, but it still ended up coming together better than Toriyama himself is willing to give it credit for, and IMO is certainly the most unique story arc in the series in a really good way. Needless to say I'm only referring to the manga version, here. I still don't care for how it was handled in the anime.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2014, 06:48:42 PM »
I'll always stand by my belief that Vegeta's character arc was perfectly finished in the Buu saga. I think he'd be a far less developed character without it. And Majin Buu himself I've always loved in concept, since his first form is completely unassuming of what you'd expect a powerful villain to be, and his motivation for doing what he does is not malicious, but simply because he didn't know he could do anything else because that was never an option for him. Mr. Satan and Buu becoming friends is still one of my favorite parts of all of Dragon Ball, and are the only parts of the anime that still hold up well for me to re-visit. The later Buus are just fun for being fucking insane, and I love insane characters. And of course, I love the return of the balance between action and humor in the series that had been missing since arguably the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. I personally find the type of gags used in the arc (especially in the Gotenks fight) feel more late-Dr. Slump than early Dragon Ball, but that's a really, really good thing and actually worked really well with the high-action spilling over from the previous arcs.

While I feel that the Namek arc is the highlight of the "Z" portion of the manga, I'll always stand by the Buu arc, and I'm glad it was made.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2014, 06:06:08 PM »
Toriyama has revealed some new facts about Androids 17 & 18. What, you ask? Their names. #17's name is actually Lapis, and #18's is Lazuli. Weird names, but it's nice to know they actually have ones.

Also,

Quote
Toriyama also revealed that after the Cell arc No. 17 becomes a park ranger at a nature preserve. He's well suited to the work and shows no mercy to poachers! In this happy ending, he's well paid and married to a zoologist with two adopted children.

Well! I certainly didn't expect that.  :D

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2014, 06:39:00 PM »
It turns out Toriyama doesn't like the Majin Buu arc. He felt that the battle against Buu lasted so long and that it was too violent and repetitious, and he came to hate drawing it, which turned him off from trying to draw battle manga ever again. Well, I love the arc, but I can understand his reasoning. It also explains why every manga he drew since Dragon Ball was a gag or comedy-adventure series.

Besides, it's clear Toriyama's talent and passion was in gag manga. Dr. Slump is arguably more creative and unrestrained than Dragon Ball is. Dragon Ball itself didn't start out as a fighting manga, but more of an adventure-comedy. Toriyama was talented in how he can effortlessly create really fun and exciting fights, but I can see how it got boring for him to draw long battles and story arcs by the time he was working on the Buu saga, when it's clear he'd rather work on shorter-length stories with comedic character interactions.
Yep, the Buu saga sucks.
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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2014, 06:43:12 PM »
Toriyama has revealed some new facts about Androids 17 & 18. What, you ask? Their names. #17's name is actually Lapis, and #18's is Lazuli. Weird names, but it's nice to know they actually have ones.

So... they're named after a gemstone? Makes as much sense as any other pun in this series.

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2014, 05:52:47 PM »
So, I've started reading Dr. Slump, and currently managed to finish the first volume. It's enough to know that I'll probably enjoy this series, as it's classic Toriyama humor, and I just love his sense of humor. I rarely ever read pure comedy manga, but I've always found that there's nothing like Toriyama's gags. Too many other manga kind of feel like they are going with by-the-numbers jokes (something that Oda is really guilty of, lately), whereas others I just flat out don't find funny, either because it's badly written or it's just a cultural thing which I don't understand. Now, there are still plenty if stuff where I do enjoy the humor, like OHSHC, FMPF, and and the little that I've read of Excel Saga, among others, but there's just a certain quality to Toriyama's gags that just make them feel so memorable, and incredibly well-suited for comics over any other medium.

Anyways, I did notice a rabbit (or cat?) mask turn up in DS in one panel that looked remarkably similar to the one that Grandpa Gohan wore in DB. I just love little recurring details like that between different works from the same creator. It reminds me of that panel in Rurouni Kenshin where the Straw Hat Pirates logo shows up, before OP was even serialized; though, the one shot had already been out for a while, and in this case Oda worked as an assistant to Watsuki prior to OP's serialization (and this was also a case of 2 series by different creators, but it's still really neat).

Anyways, I've also been re-watching and re-reading my favorite bits from Dragon Ball. I just adore this series. I almost feel offended that it has been stuck with this "mindless action series" label that just really isn't true of the series at all. I really do wish that more people experienced this series via the manga first rather than the FUNimation dub (which is, and always was, awful, even though most of those VAs have improved tremendously over time). The series is really a brilliant comedy at first, and even when it does start to get more serious, it never feels like it takes itself too seriously to the point of losing its over-the-top charm. Sure, none of the serious story arcs are story-telling gold, but they aren't meant to be. They are kept engaging by presenting you with a very odd but unique tone, like something out of a superhero comic, except with Toriyama's spin on it with his sense of style and humor.

I often see this series getting compared to Avatar just because it was the most popular anime during that show's run, but I've always disagreed with the comparison, myself, because both series are incredibly different in terms of their tone and focus. Even comparing the more serious portions of the series, I just don't feel that they are similar, so the comparison is pretty moot. Now, would I say that Avatar is a better written story with deeper characters than DB. Absolutely. But DB was never meant to be that kind of series in the first place, and on a personal level, I enjoy it far more on re-watches because it was always more about delivering on the "moment-to-moment" entertainment value (whether it be gags or action), as opposed to being something that you could appreciate more when looking at the bigger picture (which is what I consider Avatar to be). In short, I could re-read or re-watch any select bit of any DB arc that I like, completely out of order, and still find it immensely enjoyable (which is what I've been doing, lately). With a series like Avatar, I'd need to re-watch it from start to finish to really enjoy it again, which is why I haven't gone back to it in quite some time.

Basically, though, I'm just trying to point out why DB appeals to me so much, even though there are technically much better written action shows and comedies out there. It's just the odd stand-out nature of the series, which can't possibly be replicated, which is really what keeps drawing me back to it. It's easily my 2nd favorite Jump manga (and could have easily been my favorite were it not for some of the weaker arcs).

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2014, 12:13:01 AM »
Also, I found this video series that's doing a pretty damn well-done retrospective of Dragon Ball:

http://youtu.be/C6vtdSgKQF8

It's definitely worth a watch if you have the time for such lengthy videos.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Dragon Ball
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2014, 07:54:35 PM »
Oh man, I almost forgot, but today's the 30th anniversary of Dragon Ball! :joy:

I would start re-reading today in celebration it if I could, but I don't have the time tonight. I definitely should do it sometime before the year is up, though. It's been a while.