Innominate Anime Dragon Ball Collab: Part 2 <3

The Dragon Ball collab post of the century has finally arrived!

☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

After much ta-do and ta-da, bloggers Scott, Leth, and I have finally completed this collaboration post in honor of the “podcast-that-wasn’t.” (What podcast, you ask? Check it out!) Before you jump in here, I’ll direct you to Scott’s posting of part one wherein my fellow bloggers and I discuss Dragon Ball proper, our experiences with the franchize, and DBZ’s Frieza Saga! (Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you’re done…) (^ω~)

If you’ve already read part one, it’s time to pick up on part two below! For easy reading, we’ve color-coded our contributions thusly:

Scott (S) (Mechanical Anime Reviews): orange

Shoujo (SJ) (Shoujo Thoughts: Otaku Ramblings): pink — That’s me!

Leth (L) (Lethargic Ramblings): blue

Now, let’s jump back into the waters of Dragon Ball with our discussion of Z’s…


Namek Saga

S: This saga was incredibly long. Oh man,  especially when it came to an entire season of our characters versus Freiza, but it was all powerful and fun stuff. There are so many fun dynamics here. Seeing Vegeta team up with Gohan and Krillin to do that alliance of convenience thing against the larger threat of Freiza and his forces is just stuff of greatness. Especially when they are fighting with each other up front and then betraying each other when it came to the dragon balls later on. All this combined with the unique personalities of the Ginyu force and you have the stuff of legends.

L: The Ginyu Force were fantastic. Poses and all!

SJ: Oh, my gosh. The Ginyu Force! How could I forget them! And now I’m thinking about DBZ Abridged… I’m sorry, Scott. Please continue. ^_−

S: And then there is Goku. Man, Goku goes through some stuff too. He does his Goku hero thing which involves him saving the three mentioned above when they are up against the Ginyu force. Fantastic stuff there too, but seeing the body switch ability was something that messed around with Goku’s fighting expectations. Even when Ginyu couldn’t find the the way to unlock Goku’s abilities, it was still something we haven’t seen in this show before.

Last but not least, Freiza. Do we really need to say anything about him? Everyone knows who he is. Freiza is only the most popular villain that has come out of the Dragon Ball franchise for a lot of good reasons. His many transformations, his personality, his lack of understanding of time. Love Freiza to death. You can see why he came back in Super. I guess the super saiyan thing is here too with the build up to it throughout this season. Really impactful during this arc because it’s something special and came through emotional impacts, but ruined when everyone else was able to do it. Still a memorable moment though. On to you guys now.

SJ: I too want to reflect on Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation. That is WAS built up to for the whole series, that it WAS intended to be the highest achievable power form, that it WAS prompted by Krillin’s death, that it WAS only the pure-of-heart Goku that could do it… honestly, those things made it the best transformation for me in BDZ, period. Goku became the Legendary Saiyan in his enormous sorrow and rage over Krillin’s death, and that was an incredible moment, but it’s been undermined so many times in the series since then. (Like, why wasn’t ChiChi killed stupidly by Buu enough to drive Goten into a new level of power, and while we’re at it, WHEN DID GOING SS1 BECOME SO SIMPLE A CHILD COULD DO IT?? Yes, I know that Gohan could as an *older* child, but he’s also supposed to be this literal prodigy intended to surpass even Goku—before Toei had it’s way, thanks guys.) The increasing transformations really watered down the enormous impact of that first SS moment.*

*Just as a note, the power increases during the Cell Saga didn’t bother me; they were merely unnamed increases in power and ability, but not significant enough to warrant a separate transformation. I also enjoyed how a specific type of increase had consequences on Future Trunks as a fighter, but this isn’t the arc wherein to discuss that. ☆〜(ゝ。

(Still SJ, sorry it’s blue): And yeah, Scott, you’re correct about the emotion! One of my favorite scenes in all of DBZ happens within this arc: Vegeta, in the throes of death, mourning his losses and what he had become.

SJ: Check out this video, guys. 

I cry very real tears over this scene. It breaks my heart, and drives home the depths of Vegeta’s character, his suffering. No one should ever go through what Vegeta went through even as a little child, but it happened, and his Saiyan nature In combination with psychological trauma and how he was raised molded him into the multi-faceted villain—and ultimately even family man—he would become.

Listening to Chris Sabat flawlessly deliver that highly emotional monologue is also a testimony to the man’s overwhelming acting ability. Truly, I wish I could capture how very much the moment means to me, but I fear for once that words are lacking. ❤ THIS SCENE GIVES VEGETA MEANING, and it’s deeper meaning than one expects within this Shounen fighter, and I… I just love it.

Well, I gotta go re-watch that clip and bawl my eyes out. Leth, do you have anything to add?

L: I most certainly do, Shoujo!

So I’ll get straight to the point with this one, the Namek Saga, or Frieza Saga which is how I’ve always referred to it, is my favourite arc in the series and also one of my favourite arcs in any fighting Shounen series.

It was a lengthy arc for sure, but not unnecessarily so, and it managed to top the already dire and chaotic stakes of the Saiyan Saga to insanely new heights. To start with, Goku isn’t even present for a large portion of the arc and is lagging behind, recovering and training, while Gohan and Krillin are sent to Namek on their own to find the Namekian Dragon Balls and combat any threats that get in their way.

The bad news? The threat they encounter is not only far more powerful than Vegeta and Nappa, but he’s also far more psychotic and terrifying and has an entire gauntlet of powerful henchmen for our heroes to deal with. Like Scott, I really appreciated that Toriyama made Vegeta into a reluctant hero original Dragon Ball style. Seeing a powerful, old nemesis team up with our heroes to take down a common enemy was some amazing stuff, as Vegeta was far more evil, self-serving and less goofy than the villains that came before him which made his dynamic with our heroes even more interesting and entertaining.

The Ginyu Force were incredibly silly villains, but every one of them was also unique and brought something new to the table. One of my favourite moments was when Captain Ginyu swapped bodies with Goku and we had to watch Gohan and Krillin struggle against the techniques and power of Goku which was a whole new kind of ordeal. Naturally they manage to overcome it because Ginyu is a little daft, but it remains one of my favourite parts of the series because again, it presented a situation that seemed impossible for our heroes to overcome.

Which brings me to Frieza, the big bad of this arc and the reason why I love this part of Dragon Ball Z so much. Frieza is terrifying. Not just by Dragon Ball standards, but by Anime standards. While most main villains tend to have some funny personality quirk or sad backstory to justify their actions, Frieza does not. He is simply pure evil. He has no reason for being a bad guy other than he just likes to do bad things and is a power hungry monster who will stop at nothing to prove that he is the most powerful, most threatening, most tyrannical being in the entire universe. And he’s awesome.

While there are other villains who show up later on in Dragon Ball Z who dwarf Frieza in terms of power level, he’s always felt like the scariest and most terrifying villain in the series in spite of that. The characters were scared of this guy and seemed far less confident in taking him down than they ever did with the likes of Cell and Majin Buu despite them being far more powerful. And every time they managed to overcome him, he just kept coming back in a new transformation, even more powerful and threatening than before.

It’s become a bit of a meme that the fight between Goku and Frieza lasted far too long for its own good, but I honestly loved every second of it and have rewatched more times than I can count. It showcases everything that’s amazing about Dragon Ball Z and its fights and keeps getting more exciting with every phase and is full of unforgettable moments. One of my favourites being the part where Goku spends ages charging that insanely large Spirit Bomb and Frieza has no idea what he’s up to the entire time. When he noticed that insanely large ball of energy in the sky and looked genuinely terrified for the first time in his life as it was hurled towards him, I screamed so darn loud with excitement because it was so hype! Even today that moment still gives me chills!

And of course, there’s the Super Saiyan transformation where Goku finally fulfils the legend we’ve been hearing so much about and ascends to a new form in a scene that is so iconic that I’d dare say it’s become one of the most iconic moments in Anime history.

The Frieza Saga is, in my opinion, the best arc in Dragon Ball Z and even after all these years, it remains one of the best arcs across all fighting Shounen series. My only real complaint with this arc, which may be a tad controversial, is that I feel it could have served as a perfect ending for the series. Goku overcomes “the most powerful being in the universe”, brings his friends back to life and fulfils the legend of the Super Saiyan which was implied to be some sort of “end game” for the series. Apparently, Toriyama originally intended this arc to be the ending of the Manga until Shonen Jump said no and he was forced to make more arcs. I don’t know how true that is though, but it would have worked perfectly as an ending to the series in my opinion.

That all being said though, I do really like the later story arcs in spite of that and I wouldn’t change them for the world. More on those later!

Android/Cell Saga

SJ: This saga is the most nostalgic one for me, and as such I’m sure I’m willing to overlook just about anything wrong with it; I love the plot, I love the characters that are introduced, and I love the (wait for it) character development. (Surprise?)

It’s the arc from which SO MUCH evidence that Goku, bumbling as he may be, loves his family, loves ChiChi. Here are a few of my favorite clips, for good measure.

While this characters did have to become stronger in ways that might have devalued the initial Super Saiyan transformation, I can say confidently that, of all the times this ascendance occurs, this is the least problematic. I don’t think it did so at all, really. The characters may be stronger than they were as Super Saiyans originally, but their transformation hasn’t modified their form. Really, it’s more of our characters getting used to exercising their current power to its utmost. Goku and Gohan learn how to maintain the ascended state, Trunks learns the drawbacks that come with channeling too much power without accounting for loss of speed…

S: I feel like the series was more focused and at its best when Freiza was the main bad guy. It really tied everything together and gave Dragon Ball Z it’s own focus.. That being said, I love almost everything about the Android/Cell sagas too. I like how Future Trunks set the tone of the series in the beginning by appearing out of nowhere and beating a new and refurbished Freiza. It was a huge note that Freiza is now the end all, be all in this world. Especially since he brought the doom of the Androids.

Speaking of Androids, the whole affair felt a little unfocused. I mean, we got two sets of androids and then Cell. Where do all these villains come from? That being said, the transition between each set of androids and Cell made everything worth it. I don’t know how, but Toriyama made the mess of multiple sagas work together somehow. It’s just great stuff and works amazing.

L: Like Shoujo, the Android and Cell Sagas are also the most nostalgic for me, mostly because they aired at the time where I started to get really into Dragon Ball Z and it became a huge part of my life.

I guess I’ll start with the complaints though. I was never a fan of how they kind of devalued the Super Saiyan transformation. Trunks having it was fine, because he was from the future which made it feel more justified, but Vegeta? And then Gohan? Suddenly we have four “legends” all at once despite the fact it was only meant to happen every 1000 years or whatever.

Like Scott, I also wasn’t too keen on how unfocused things felt and while I liked the villains, they weren’t Frieza and it felt weird seeing the main villains constantly being swapped out in favour of another, more powerful one. Part of the reason for his lack of focus and the constantly changing villains was again due to meddling from Shonen Jump though, so it’s not something I’m too annoyed by. It ain’t Toriyama’s fault and he did a great job pulling it all together in the end.

Future Trunks was awesome, and watching him take down a revived Frieza with little to no effort was incredible. It was something else to see this completely new character wipe the floor with the tyrant who just spent the entire last arc tormenting our heroes with his near unstoppable power. And the news that an even worse threat was on the way? Damn. Intense stuff.

Cell was also a really cool final villain for this arc and while he wasn’t as menacing or charismatic as Frieza, he was still pretty awesome in his own right. I especially liked how he had the abilities of all of the Z-fighters, and even Frieza, for his own personal usage. It made his battles more interesting and unpredictable.

SJ: Oh, my gosh, yes. Future Trunks is to this day one of my favorite characters. It might sound silly since it wasn’t explicitly stated, but Trunks wants so badly for this father he has never known to love him, to want him. And he’s shocked when he encounters this Vegeta who is seemingly much “worse” than his mother ever conveyed. He takes it upon himself to save her life and his own from the hovercraft explosion when his dad is literally RIGHT THERE and could not be bothered. He sees how imperfect and selfish his father is and has to come to terms with that, but this arc is actually one of the largest for Vegeta’s development as well. He sees and interacts with his son as a man. And then it happens; Cell shoots him, and everything falls apart in his mind, and it’s the first time his world has been rocked. There are so many versions of that scene, and while I prefer Vegeta’s monologue in the original, the pacing of Kai seems much more organic.

A while ago I found a “theatrical” version (read: fan-edited) of that scene. The context isn’t changed, but elements from the original and Kai are combined and music is added in. My favorite part is the internal dialogue when Vegeta goes berserk (all from the original material ABOUT HIM elsewhere in the arc).

When I watched it, it hit me so hard. It takes everything going on internally (and you know how much I love that!!) and brings it to audience attention. I truly believe when watching the original that THIS THEATRICAL shows what is going on in Vegeta’s heart behind the scenes, and it’s amazing. (Plus, everything that flashes through his mind is LITERALLY what he monologues about in the original, but they showed it in scene form rather than just stating it or worse, implying it!! His self-loathing and recrimination is ALL originally him.) Here’s the trailer if you want to cry:

S: Finally, can we talk about Gohan? I want to talk about Gohan. I know that Shoujo talked about all of those power ups better than I probably could, but let’s talk about the pay off called Super Saiyan 2. This was something that was built up during the entire series starting with Raditz. Gohan always had a hidden potential that came out of nowhere and it has either gotten Gohan and friends out of a lot of jams or it made each situation worse. Either way, Super Saiyan 2 was the pay off the show needed. I sometimes that Dragon Ball Z could have ended with the Cell stuff, but unfortunately….

SJ: You mean you weren’t impressed with the Pepto Bismol pink monster and totally out of character and canonically inaccurate material, Scott? 😛

S: I thought I was being subtle…

L: You’re not alone, Scott (kinda).

SJ: On the Gohan stuff, it’s such a shame what they did to him after a while. The Cell Saga was FANTASTIC for his character!! All that about him being the next generation of protector—-the beautiful combination of humanity and Saiyan heritage born of love between two races (much like Goku’s initial transformation, when you think about it!) resulting in incredible power—-only to later let it fall by the wayside… 😦 He didn’t want to fight, and I get that. Piccolo got it. Goku (eventually) got it. But still, Gohan fights not out of Saiyan vice/pride, but out of love for those he wishes to protect. Nothing about that equates with letting his skills fall by the wayside in Super. It isn’t in his character! The only time he did cave to that more vicious Saiyan side of himself (read: didn’t finish Cell when he had the chance), Goku died. Big deterrent there not to fall to that side of himself again, I should imagine. I think it scared him. What am I babbling about now? I don’t know. There’s just so much about Gohan that was left unexplored. (ALSO GT is a FanFiction. FIGHT ME.)

Now, if someone wants to talk about Mystic Gohan our discussion of the next saga, that probably wouldn’t go awry…

L: On the subject of Gohan, I really liked what they did with his character arc here. His hidden potential is something that had been hinted at since the very beginning of Z and seeing it finally come out in the form of a second Super Saiyan transformation was awesome! It made for an incredible final battle against Cell and allowed Goku to finally pass the torch to his son after sacrificing himself, which was super feelsy and had my bawling my eyes out as a kid. I was so sad!

Goku passing the torch to Gohan would have made for a perfect ending for the series in my opinion, as it not only symbolised the end of Goku’s journey as a hero, but it came at a time where every loose end in the series had been tied up in the neatest way possible. Gohan’s hidden potential was finally realised, Cell was defeated, Goku had passed on his legacy and even Vegeta had finally grown to abandon his pride and become a family man and generally happy resident of Earth.

But unfortunately, this was not meant to be. Because Shonen Jump! The Buu Saga was next and… Oh boy… I heard this is Scott’s favourite arc.

S: (Hiss)


And, with Scott’s beautiful snek imitation, we close on this installment of the collaboration post! I now direct you to Leth for discussion of the Buu Arc, Dragon Ball Super, and more!

Contribute to our discussion in the comments below, and feel the HYPE!

Image result for hype dbza meme
Credit to DBZA :p

Love,

Shoujo

Honor and the End-All: A Goku and ChiChi Expose (or “I Can’t Go On Not Loving You”)

Author’s Notes:

-Cover image from drops-miico on Pintrest-
Do I really need to say it at this juncture? Spoilers ahoy!
We are looking only at the anime, filler included. A post written without filler inclusion (and only on the subtitled version) could arguably reach the same place with a little stretching, but we’re operating strictly within the series with which many of us (USA-based 90s babies) grew up. That also means we are looking at the original Funimation dubs of DB, Z, and Super. These series tell a continuous story in which Akira Toriyama always had a hand. GT is an abomination.* The subtitled original will also be included in discussion, but only at points were the dubbed material has not yet been made available. Movies, for our purposes, are included as fair game if needed, though much of our discussion won’t involve them. Toriyama has said that he views the movies as an alternate universe, but as seen in Future Trunk’s timeline, our adult characters’ personalities and motivations remain fundamentally unchanged without the addition of great sorrow or duress.
Lastly, as with Victor’s Blush Means Everything, my opinions may hereby be stated as fact in the interests of simplicity.
Also, I apologize now for the length of my sentences.



Image result for goku chichi
Image color edit from super-saiyans.tumblr.com

Consider your end-all-be-all.

For Goku, this end-all is the world, with very little emphasis placed on his own standing or relationships. Goku will sacrifice what he must in the heat of battle, as much as it may later pain him excruciatingly to have so done.

For ChiChi, this end-all is her world, and her relationships are the single most critical thing at the expense of all else. She will regretfully but firmly condemn the world to burn if she can keep her loved ones safe but that much longer.

Two characters, to end-alls, but within this dichotomy exists greater similarity that one might care to admit. We see mutual pride, honor, sacrifice, focus, and love displayed on screen, even if these traits manifest themselves in vastly separate ways.

Opposites in nearly every practical showing, Goku and ChiChi are alike in honor.


Goku is child-like, naïve, simple, and strong; these endearing traits are what draw ChiChi to Goku by the days of their second childhood meeting. In some ways, ChiChi is just as outrageous as Goku, because even after five years without contact, she tracks him down at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament that he might make good on his childhood promise to marry her (a promise which I might add he made on accident).

Finding out that Goku didn’t understand what marriage was at the time, she’s heartbroken. The man she’s obsessed over for a half decade (in very teenage fashion) didn’t understand the impact of his words upon her, but she’s not about to force him into capitulation. Quickly, however, a now worldlier Goku proposes on the spot, saying that his heart knows what it wants.

As a child, Goku was raised by his grandfather, Gohan, in the woods. While his innocence never truly leaves him, kid-Goku’s naivety is unparalleled. On top of that, he hasn’t yet experienced the biological or hormonal changes necessary for sexual love (eros), nor as he generated the experiences or breadth of understanding necessary for a mature, unconditional love (agape). He loved his grandfather, but that love is firmly within the realm of a young child’s love for a parent. It is innocent, but also selfish.

Goku as a teen is still simple, but he has grown into a young man with the capacity for eros. ChiChi has grown into a beautiful, incredibly strong young woman. These simple truths (when combined with a fondness for the childhood memories he shares with ChiChi) lead Goku—who now understands marriage on a very surface level—to acknowledge his fledgling feelings (somewhat driven by Saiyan biology—see below) in the way most befitting his honor after such confusion.

“ChiChi, will you marry me?”

ChiChi is taught what it means (in a very surface-level, simplistic sense) to be a homemaker by Octagon (in GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS DB FILLER). I propose that Goku— being the simple and happy-go-lucky man that he is—learns a great deal from ChiChi during their marriage’s earliest days about how a small, traditional family operates and what it looks like. Through the end of DB and by the time that they appear in Z, it has become obvious that Goku has grown to care for his wife in deeper way than at proposal. The series and movies paint a protective picture of the love that Goku holds for his little family, something that must have come from a natural, Saiyan heart and not something that ChiChi could ever have hoped to teach (else it come off more like the protection of a guard dog). Appearances indicate that the two were quite happy during their uninterrupted time as a family with baby Gohan.

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I cannot stress enough that these were two unprepared teenagers who jumped into something wholly unknown and grew together into something, if not all-together perfect, unexpectedly necessary.

ChiChi is a ferocious, honorable woman—strong of will and body; her unyielding temperament is one of the things that that Goku finds most irresistible about her (confirmed by Super). It’s in his Saiyan blood to seek out such a mate, and he truly hit the jackpot with ChiChi: beauty, brains, and brawn. As a territorial, passionate wife and mother, ChiChi truly loves nothing more than her family. In the early days, she doesn’t have much fear for their future; while still temperamental and feisty in all the ways that Goku loves (and wouldn’t you have to be to keep a Saiyan male in check?), ChiChi sleeps soundly with her knowledge that Goku is the strongest man alive. She is unworried and serene, for although she might kick up a mighty fuss over young Gohan’s school work, she knows that no one can touch her little family so long as their grand protector is around. Goku has grown into manhood and taken that role truly to heart.

 

The next thing she knows, Goku has gone off to see his friends and hasn’t come home.


She storms Master Roshi’s island…

Not even having considered that something could have happened to her husband, she rages, “WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE IS MY SON?”

Then the news comes.

It sinks in.

He’s died.

Piccolo has kidnapped their five-year-old son.

Goku is not the strongest being in existence anymore.

Maybe, she thinks, he never was.


ChiChi used to think that Goku was invincible. She considered her husband to be the strongest man in the world, and it was evident even in Dragon Ball that his massive strength and simplicity appealed to her. Events have now taught her otherwise.

They will only continue to do so over and over again.


For all that the fandom mocks her, ChiChi has truly had a rough go; consider the similarities between Goku and ChiChi again. Consider that, while ChiChi is far less naive than Goku, she holds equal equity in tunnel vision. Whereas Goku loves his family (and I insist on this truth), his tunnel vision is always locked on the next major battle or threat (Super expands upon this, but not yet in dub.); ChiChi’s eyes are focused on her family.

ChiChi loves Goku with as much passion as she rages at him. It is in her nature to be passionate in all ways. His every death breaks her heart, and every absence grows it fonder; even after his seven-year disappearance and Buu saga, all ChiChi wants is to live like a family of four in their little house.

[Please ignore the fact that I’m trying not to laugh at Vegeta’s emotional constipation. “Yes, son.” I’m dead.]

[And now I’m trying not to cry at that “I love you.”]

Although Goku’s focus lies on the world, he indeed loves his family; he is overtly protective of them when not blinded by his Saiyan vices. What, you may ask, are those vices? Goku’s nature is to be simple, protective, strong, kind… But in addition, Goku’s reacquaintance with newer and more powerful opponents has only served over the years to highlight some of his most negative traits.

Goku will always irresponsibly lust for battle; it’s in his Saiyan blood. He can love ChiChi and their family as much as he is able, but the salivation for combat will always sing sirenically in his ear; his resulting tunnel vision leaves little room for anything else in the heat of bloodlust. Goku fights to protect the world, his family/friends, and their mutual innocents, but there are times that as much simply won’t hold true. There are times that Goku loses himself to the excitement of potential combat and surrenders sight of everything else. It’s in his nature, that very same nature that ChiChi loves in all other ways.

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This, combined with their world priorities, leads the two to clash quite extremely over the course of their marriage, whether they be in love or no.

Because ChiChi knows that Goku is no longer guaranteed victory in battle, she worries. For some time, she resents his friends for dragging Goku back into this life (in her mind, likened to reintroducing someone with a strong family history of alcoholism to unlimited beer and wine stores). While she later comes to be good friends with Bulma, this takes a great deal of time and resolved acceptance.

ChiChi berates Goku in their more comedic, obvious moments, but that does not mean she doesn’t love him always and care for him in the interterm. Behind it all, ChiChi understands that, as much as she may love Goku, he will never understand her worldview. She will never truly be able to hold him back from fighting—due to both good (world view, honor) and bad (Saiyan vices) reasons. However, it is also something that she, in spite of this understanding and because of her worldview, will always desire.

Having understood this, however, ChiChi—unable to hold and protect Goku—executes this single-minded prerogative where she can; ChiChi will do ANYTHING to protect her children, and if this means coming off as a “nagging” wife to her husband’s friends (and the audience)—if this means challenging Goku—then so shall it be.

Goku’s Saiyan vices have become quite prevalent to his characterization, but his original traits—those for which ChiChi most loved him—have not fallen by the wayside. Indeed, they’ve only strengthened over time. A Saiyan draws his power from his relationships. Though he craves the thrill of combat, he reaches new levels of power when fighting to protect rather than conquer (one of the reasons that Vegeta’s power lagged behind that of Goku for so long, but that’s a post for another day**).

Each and every plateau Goku reaches is overcome in a fit of emotion. Goku fears not for himself while agonizing with the heart virus, but for his family and best friend. His feverish nightmares are terrible to behold. Goku is in agony, and for their evocative emotional ferocity alone, they are some of my favorite moments in all of Dragon Ball Z. Much of Goku’s feelings are ascertained through small, rare moments like this… Moments when you can hear the desperation, the tears in his voice.

Powerless to do anything more than watch as his son and best friend are murdered. Powerless as his mate’s neck is snapped before his eyes. Of all the deaths that he has seen, even in dreamscape, ChiChi’s is the one of the few that brings him to tears. Dragon Balls or no, that is one of the few he cannot stand.

Goku has been accused of terrible parenting for a number of reasons, but I would like make a supposition regarding the fundamentals of his race. Goku simply cannot fathom why his progeny wouldn’t have the same hunger for battle as does he. While he is furious over the idea of Gohan dying in battle, it doesn’t scare him. Gohan is half-Saiyan. Fighting, dying, the way of the warrior… it’s is in his blood. He saw Gohan survive a head-on, flying collision with a tree as an infant, so he’s come to believe firmly that a) Gohan has the potential to be far stronger than he, and b) Gohan will grow into a man with responsibilities; he is the next generation of protector. Goku would not dream to shelter him from that responsibility (worldview) and newly minted heritage (honor). He is also incredibly combat savvy, knowing who to save in a combat moment and who he can return to life when. In short, Goku is incredibly irresponsible by human standards, but all of his actions are in-keeping with his worldview. You will notice that, by the time he realizes that Gohan has not inherited this Saiyan lust for combat (during the Cell Saga), he calms down and allows Gohan to grow into his own man. Gohan reaches the peak of his power, but never grows into his potential because, as Piccolo finally gets through to Goku, it isn’t in Gohan’s nature.

There are thousands of more words worth of suppostitions to make and content to address, but I’ll leave this evaluation here for today. As always, feel free to comment below with your own thoughts on ChiChi and Goku as characters or on their relationship, and we’ll discuss. I can’t wait to hear from you.

How does everyone feel about a Vegeta x Bulma examination in the future? Gender roles in Dragon Ball? Parenting in-universe and in the future timeline? The relationship between Piccolo and Gohan?

I rewrote this post when it was nearing completion, tackling it with another tone and angle, so I’m sorry about the delay.

Love,

Shoujo

*I never said that I wouldn’t be biased. These are my ramblings, after all.

**I love the character of Vegeta and his progression. Fight me.

Video Evidence Extras (and cute stuff):

Saiyans Only Like Strong Women (Piccolo is all of us)~

Piccolo Finally Gets Through to Goku that Gohan isn’t a Fighter~

ChiChi Sees Gohan About to Compete in the Cell Games~

ChiChi Supports Goku and Gohan in Training (A Vote of Confidence)~

Goku finds out that Zamasu Killed ChiChi and Goten~

Goku Rages After Discovery that Zamasu Killed ChiChi and Goten~

Unoffical English Dub (with voices of the real VAs) of “Goku finds out that Zamasu Killed ChiChi and Goten”~

Goku and ChiChi Are Married~

Goku Sacrifices Himself for the World and for Gohan (Tell Your Mother I Had to Do This)~

ChiChi Trains Goten in Goku’s Absence~

DBSuper Panel, Zelda Announcements, & Cosplay for Days!! (AX2017, Day 2 & 3)

This whole experience has been mind blowing.

I write today as Chronic and I camp the hall which is to hold the DBSuper Panel in three hours. The hall doesn’t clear, and based on the number of Dragon Ball shirts I see in this crowd, I’m pretty sure many others are camping, too. In the mean time, we’re watching a live drawing from artists behind The Legend of Zelda manga and 2003 Astroboy, after which Chronic will leave to go find food and que up for his Jojo Fan Panel. The love drawing is pretty cool; also, their music for the motion comic playing on the big screens keeps messing up. First the computer played some pop song, and then fans either tried playing the ocansca or other music from their phones; it was pretty funny! Now the drawing begins!

ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ

Announcement: NEW IN 2017 FROM THE ARTISTS BEHIND ZELDA!!!



ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ

I plan to make separate posts for similar cosplays (ex: Yuri on Ice or Dragon Ball cosplays), but I’ll include others here for your perusal! Please ignore the lack of formatting; my phone connectivity is terrible here.


Four minutes to panel start!! Here we go!!

ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ

…that panel. It was soooo~ worth the wait. I’m not going to say much except that I SCREAMED and laughed, and if you replay the live stream on Twitch, I’m sure you’ll hear me shreaking “It’s so true!!” in regards to Vegeta being a better father than Goku, and maybe “Christ Sabat, we love you!!” at the end.

​​
​My throats hurts. Worth it. I’m just going to leave this here:


In other news. I also found the art wall where your allowed to leave your mark! I saw some truly awesome pictures done by con-goers, such as this…messed up… tribute! 😛


Of course, I had to leave my own small mark…

Now I’ll sit and enjoy these cosplay AMVs until Chronic is done with his Trigger panel and we can head back to the hotel! They’re really fun!!

‘Til next time!
Shoujothoughts

My Favorite Attack Someone Used in an Anime (30 Day Anime Challenge, Day 23)

 

Gah! No more Hakuouki. I forbid myself. *firmly points at self* No. Stop.


I guess I could start looking into Sailor Moon attacks, but I don’t think that any of them wow me like they did when I was a child. I could look at Dragon Ball Z or Super, but I don’t know that even now I particularly remember any one attack that made my heart stop or anything.

There was a moment though… a moment that was just, for a fighting anime, too freaking cute…

WAIT, no, two moments, though one was far more intense than cute.

WAIT AGAIN, maybe they’re both intense rather than cute, but they are attacks that stem from an explosion of emotion. Oh! And they both have one character in common:

This angry man right here.

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Image from Rayzorblade189 on Deviant Art.

As was the case when I wrote on my favorite examples of armor, gear, or weapons, I chose an attack based on the emotion behind it. Believe it or not, I’ve always found Vegeta to be a prime example of an evolving character, and he’s one anime character for which I’ll always hold a soft spot even if action titles aren’t really my thing. Watching him transform from evil destroyer of worlds (no, not Beerus!!) to emotionally stunted (but ultimately caring) family man is beautiful and one of the reasons that I enjoy Dragon Ball Z/Super as much as I do. The still-ongoing transition is slow and realistic, fraught with ups and downs, but after the Buu Saga, I knew. I knew that Vegeta had finally become the man all the fanfiction writers wanted him to be.* Dragon Ball Super has only confirmed that.

Thus, I present the following attack moments for your consideration.

Cell kills Trunks and Vegeta fights Cell, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Ep. 95

This scene, depending on it’s incarnation, portarys a Vegeta with varying degrees of self-awareness. For purposes of this post, I first focus on Kai.

He has yet to accept Bulma. He has yet to accept that he is a father. He has yet to accept his station as a whole. This lone prince cares for nothing and no one; he is alone, the last scion of a proud yet long irradiated race, and he doesn’t feel such petty emotions as love. He knows only the pursuit of power, and will confidently sacrifice anyone and anything who gets in his way. This is Vegeta…

…but suddenly Trunks is murdered, and everything has changed.

This is the moment in which Vegeta explodes, as though realizing for the first time that he has a son. “He’s dead,” says Yamcha, and suddenly Vegeta’s vision tunnels to a speck. “It’s impossible,” he murmurs, and yet even now he doesn’t fully understand why his rage is so consuming. Vegeta doesn’t fathom love, even if somewhere inside he feels it. All he can comprehend is that the creature who murdered his son much die, and by Vegeta’s own hand.

Between the original scene in DBZ (Ep. 189) and the remastered in Kai, I prefer the timing and visualization of Kai ‘s pacing and fight scene because the timing between Trunk’s being hit and Vegeta’s recognition of the fact seems much less awkward. Yet I cannot seem to forget original’s moment in which Vegeta soliloquies. In perhaps my favorite lines of the show, he says:

How could I let this happen to my son? He has sacrificed everything for me, and I have done nothing but ignore him. No! I won’t give up on him! There is still time to change things. Cell has crossed me for the last time. He has tricked me in battle, mocked my Sayan ancestry, but THIS. This time he’s gone too far! He will pay the ultimate price for what he has done to my son!

The theatrical edition of said scene (in Kai) as below is not cannon, but I feel like it’s creator really captured all that was going on in Vegeta’s head. All the emotions which one might to him ascribe are fully exposed, and all of it makes perfect sense, and not one iota of it is out of character.  Vegeta doesn’t pretend to understand, but all of these thoughts keep running through him mind, fueling his rage. I truly believe that this is what Vegeta experiences in this moment, and this video gives the thoughts and feelings that he experiences (and yet we as the audience are not originally privy to) a visual representation. It’s a compromise between the emotion of the original and the timing of the Kai, and I appreciate that.

Vegeta fights Berus, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods

In case you didn’t know it, this is the “THAT’S MY BULMA!!!!!!” moment, and I love it. The impact, relevancy, and importance of Vegeta and Bulma’s complex relationship is the subject of a post for another day, but I will say that those two have been though some $#it (if you’ll pardon my French). What she did not always but finally now means to him is portrayed sublimely in this moment. Having accepted his inevitable death, Vegeta approaches his demise with the grace of a warrior. He’s prepared to take the final hit.

…and then Bulma gets in the way, and the results are glorious.

In that shining moment of combat, his strength even surpasses that of Goku. Throughout the series we have seen time and time again that ultimately Vegeta’s own life—HIS ENORMOUS PRIDE, EVEN—is less important to him than his closest loved ones. For the Prince, his family is paramount; nothing else matters so much. This realization was a long time in coming for the Prince; comparing his demeanor in Battle of the Gods to his demeanor in the aforementioned fight scene (Kai), one can clearly ascertain that his transformation was not over night.

This particular scene has at least two incarnations, but I hold that the one featured in Battle of the Gods best portrays the emotion of Vegeta’s blinding rage and power. When we get to the dub of that portion in Super, I may need to reevaluate, but based on the blocking of both scenes I doubt my opinion will change. Super substantially over-dramatized the hit itself, and made Vegeta’s reaction into something more comical. In Battle of the Gods, the hit just was, and Vegeta instantly became beast without time for rational decision. In Super, he briefly struggles to master his power before attacking; in Battle of the Gods, he runs on his rage.

There’s also the fact that Super’s animation at the time was pretty bad comparatively and the blocking poor, but I won’t get into it today.


So, what is your favorite attack? Leave a comment and let me know!
Sayonara!

Shoujothoughts

*There is a LOT of awesome, realistic (within the context of the series, I mean—it’s not like people can really fly), easy to find fanfiction written about the relationship between Vegeta and Bulma. I highly suggest you check it out. If you need a recommendation, I have them to give.

 

 

P.S.

How about that moment in Super when Goku’s IT is messed up and he pops into Bulma’s room on accident? When she screams, Vegeta comes running to discover Goku in their bedroom with his basically naked wife and both he and Bulma are furious. Goku goes, “It was an accident! I didn’t come to see your sagging breasts!” I about died.

I wonder how the dub will handle that line, rofl!

My Favorite Fighter Anime (30 Day Anime Challenge, Day 10)

DRAGON.

BALL.

Z.

DBZ_key.jpg
Image above taken from the Funimation website

That’s enough said. Fighting anime titles are not really my thing (as I’m sure you’ve ascertained by now, unless you’re new, in which case “WELCOME!”), but I am so nostalgic for this show that the reminiscence alone would be enough to have me watching Dragon Ball Super every week while waiting for the English dub–which has aired as of my proofreading, woohoo! (And having seen the DUB TRAILER, I need to watch the “Resurrection F” movie ASAP!) Anyway, I’ve rambled on about DBZ in a previous 30 Day Anime Challenge post, so I won’t wax on about it here. I’ll just leave you with this:

Believe it or not, I watch Dragon Ball Z ( and Super) for character development, progression, and relationships far more so than fighting. How often do you find a series of any type which chronicles so great a time span in the lives of its characters?

Oh, and I totes ship Chichi x Goku and Bulma x Vegeta. Vegeta has some of the best character progression in the entire series! I can’t wait to see where they take it in “Super.” Don’t let me down; where is Bulla!?


Click the link below for DBZ arc summaries:

http://www.dragonballz.com/exploretheuniverse/sagas


Later, gaters!

Shoujothoughts

 

The Very First Anime I Watched (30 Day Anime Challenge, Day 1)

Answering this question turns out to be trickier than one might anticipate, but I expected nothing less from the 30 Day Anime Challenge, and so I offer my own inquiry in response. Do I go with the literal answer, or the one that launched my journey into anime?

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The first anime title that I ever watched was probably “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” I rented the VHS to watch at my grandma’s house as a kid. Do you remember those days? This was the same period I spent watching “A Troll in Central Park,” a simpler time. I loved “Kiki,” and I remembered the film for years without knowing its name only to eventually rediscover it; to this day, the film can “carry me away as light as a feather.” I didn’t understand what anime was, but it was my first, and I remember it fondly.

 


Like many of us as kids, I still didn’t understand what anime was when watching my first anime series, “Sailor Moon R/S.”

sailor-moon-s

I watched Sailor Moon at my grandma’s house after school (probably on Toonami). I remember some of the early “Sailor Moon S” episodes on her TV, and remember renting “Sailor Moon R: Promise of the Rose” from the video store with her. Who didn’t love Tuxedo mask and magical girl powers? I would play Sailor Moon with a light up princess wand that made sounds, swinging it in arcs on my front lawn in the sun. I had a small Sailor Moon doll. I remember it, remember Alan and Ann and the Doom Tree. Without the rose nostalgia glasses, I get that is isn’t the best series in the world, but it was something, and it is fondly recalled now. (You should have seen my face when I found out, as an adult, that Zoisite was a man. And now, knowing how censored Sailor Moon was in the West, I must wonder… How did some of those villain’s outfits pass inspection!? Granted…I didn’t notice how risqué the villain apparel was as a child… And those Outer Sailors that were lesbians rather than cousins? And Sailor Moon as the “messiah” or something? Boys turning into sailor girls? Okay, those last bits were not even broadcast in the US, but still, I swear… this could be a whole post in and of itself.)

Anyway, moving on…


I also watched the entirety of the Android/Cell Sagas from DBZ because I saw my older cousin watching them (you guessed it, at grandmas) and for a time I rushed home to watch those seemingly dozens of episodes in which nothing happened but screaming as they attempted to defeat Cell. It started with my cousin, and continued for me, because DANG IT, I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT TIME ON “DRAGON BALL Z.” Good times, good times. I’ve to this day never felt the impulse to watch much of Dragon Ball, but you know what? Even though fighting anime isn’t really my thing, I’m excited about the potential of Super. I’ve watched a bit of the sub. I’m ready for the dub. Here we go, Funimation. Don’t let me down!

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Image used created by Alainperdriel on DeviantArt

Finally, let me touch on the anime that began my rambling journey. I obviously knew what anime was at this point about one year ago, but I didn’t expect to find… what I found… in humoring a good friend of mine and watching an episode or two…

Anime has become something for me that I had never expected it to be. Anime isn’t just for children. In fact, I’d wager that much of anime has an entirely different audience in mind: teenagers, young adults, older adults, too. Anime isn’t just girls with big eyes and bigger breasts. It’s is an art form, an often misrepresented medium of expression. It’s fun, touching, heart WRENCHING, silly, psychological, horrible…

I owe these eventual revelations to a show called “Ouran High School Host Club.” To take it from the “About” section of my blog, below is a very brief explanation my anime journey’s inception. It all began with this reverse harem shoujo romance. ❤

Here’s the deal. I really don’t want to watch anime, okay? It’s not my thing. I saw some ill timed “Inuyasha” on TV as a kid and it basically turned me off the idea of anime forever. (Long story?) Plus, anime just seems so dirty! I mean, come on, [insert names of guy friends], each side of her chest is bigger than her head, and it’s falling out of her shirt. Why would I want to watch that?

So no, I don’t watch anime. Everybody knows it. Well… “Kiki’s Delivery Service” was anime. I loved that as a kid, but I didn’t know it was anime at the time, so I’d still say I’m not really into anime. “Sailor Moon”? I watched every episode I could, but that’s different. “Dragon Ball Z”? I rushed to grandma’s house every day after school to watch! At first it was an effort to be like my older male cousin, but then….well, I had to find out “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TIME ON DRAGON. BALL. Z!!!”

Okay, so I like very specific 90s anime and nothing else…none of this icky stuff. Oh, and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” I watched it with some friends. But I still don’t really like anime, because even if it isn’t dirty, it’s weird! “Spirited Away” scared the jeebies out of me as a kid! Creepy spirits that eat people? Parents getting turned into pigs? *Shudder* See what I was saying?

It’s just not for me.

Six Months Ago [EDIT: A Year Ago]:

…Okay, buddy, I am polite. I’m not really interested, but we have nothing else to do while we wait for our other friend to get here. I will watch an episode of this anime on Netflix that you really want my to see…

ouran

OH. MY. GOSH.

KISS KISS FALL IN LOVE!!!

 

 

Tell me, please, truly. I want to know; how did your journey begin?

 

Until next time,

Shoujothoughts