Dragon Ball Z (seasons 1-7)

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Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z.jpg
"Cha-La Head Cha-La!"
Genre: Adventure
Martial Arts
Comedy
Running Time: 24 minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: April 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996
Network(s): Fuji TV
Indosiar (Indonesia)
Seasons: 9
Episodes: 291
Previous show: Dragon Ball (anime)
Next show: Dragon Ball GT


Dragon Ball Z (Japanese: ドラゴンボールゼット Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Zetto) is a 1989-1996 Japanese anime television series created by produced by Toei Animation. It serves as the sequel to the original Dragon Ball anime. It adapts the later 325 chapters of the original Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama.

Plot

Dragon Ball Z follows the adventures of Goku and his son, Gohan. Teaming with some of the galaxy's greatest warriors, including enemies-turned-friends Piccolo and Vegeta, they defend the Earth from an assortment of bloodthirsty villains hellbent on conquering or destroying the entire universe.

なぜそれがドラゴンを揺さぶるのか (Why It Rocks The Dragon)

  1. Amazing animation. The designs of the characters are very faithful to the original manga while at the same time having some kind of detail to the art, depending on the animator in charge of the series.
    • The art-style is also a step-up from the prequel anime due to Akira Toriyama's slowly evolving drawing style.
  2. There are tons of memorable moments that became a legendary staple of anime history such as Goku and Vegeta's beam struggle, Goku's transformation into a Super Saiyan and Gohan's transformation into a Super Saiyan 2.
  3. Alot of memorable heroes, most of which return from the prequel anime/manga such as Goku, Bulma, Master Roshi, and Krillin.
    • New additions to the cast that are just as awesome and likeable such as Vegeta, Trunks, and Goku's son, Gohan.
  4. Unlike the previous anime/manga, the villains are actually intimidating and powerful, each more threatening than the last. Frieza, a galactic tyrant who was responsible for Planet Vegeta's decimation, has become Goku's most enduring enemy. Other threatening villains include the Saiyans, Cell, and Majin Buu.
  5. Epic and action-packed battles, much more intense and explosive than the original anime, such as Goku's fights with Vegeta or Frieza, and Gohan's showdown with Cell.
  6. The voice acting in the original Japanese version is phenomenal, just like previously. The Funimation dub is also kind of decent as well.
  7. Memorable, legendary music by Shunsuke Kikuchi (for the original Japanese version). The Funimation dub's score by Bruce Faulconer is also pretty good, too.
  8. Its popularity spawned a lot movies and TV specials, including Fusion Reborn, Cooler's Revenge, Bojack Unbound and Bardock: The Father of Goku. Although these were no longer canon, they provide some side stories for the franchise.
  9. While being a shonen series with lots of action, just like most shonen anime, it presented a lot of comedic and slice-of-life moments throughout its run.
  10. It also features some emotional or epicly badass moments, such as Vegeta's dying breath on Goku, Goku's speech against Frieza, and Android 16's dying speech to Gohan.
  11. It spawned some hilarious memes, such as the "Over 9000", "Shoop Da Whoop" and "This isn't my final form" quotes, and "Farmer with a shotgun".
  12. It features very iconic and listenable songs, such as the first opening song, "Cha-La Head Cha-La", which also became one of the most legendary theme songs in anime history and is considered the definitive song of the Dragon Ball franchise.
  13. "Rock the Dragon" is also another memorable opening for the initial English Dub.
  14. This show, along with Pokémon, Naruto and Sailor Moon, helped popularize anime to western audiences. It was such a massive hit with the west that a new wave of interest for Japanese animation had blossomed and to this day, continued to expand and become much a part of the western industry.
    • The show's popularity overshadowed the previous anime and the original manga where it was adapted, and for this reason, Dragon Ball has became one of the biggest manga and anime franchises of all time and one of the biggest in general.
    • The show also helped inspire other artists such as Masashi Kishimoto, Eiichiro Oda and Tite Kubo with their own works, which they themselves, garnered acclaim.
  15. While not the best, the Majin Buu arc introduced us to awesome concepts like the Fusion Dance, an expanded universe, the next Super Saiyan level, and more.

Bad Qualities

  1. The Majin Buu arc is the weakest in the series and have its fair share of problems, despite it introducing some cool concepts;
    • The power-scaling became irrelevant during the Majin Buu Saga and has been a recurring problem with the franchise since.
    • Some of the memorable characters have been downgraded in this arc;
      • Gohan, the boy who saved the world by defeating Cell, becomes a complete joke by the time the Majin Buu Saga rolls around due to him having neglected his training in order to become a scholar. To add insult to injury, he starts masquerading as the costumed superhero "Great Saiyaman", which, at best, makes him more of a butt-monkey than a real hero. Even though he finally manages to regain his strength through the Elder Supreme Kai's ritual, he is ultimately defeated and killed by Buu, with Goku finishing the job with a Spirit Bomb and reclaiming his position as main protagonist.
        • This was reportedly due to heavy fan backlash that forced Toriyama to bring Goku back to life after his planned "final" death in the Cell Games Saga.
    • The newer characters are completely wasted:
      • Videl is killed by Majin Buu in a horrifying fashion and ultimately gives up on fighting completely to become a stay-at-home mom.
      • Goten and Trunks are shuffled off to the sidelines after failing to defeat Buu.
      • The Supreme Kai, despite being built up as a "god-amongst-gods", turns out to be utterly incompetent at his job.
    • The older supporting characters barely ever do anything significant at all, with even the likes of Master Roshi and Tien Shinhan being demoted to support roles.
      • Yamcha is downgraded from a bandit with gynophobia who later helped defeating King Piccolo into a pinata for the villains.
      • Master Roshi went from a pervert but wise old man who trained Goku, Krillin and Yamcha into an obnoxious comic relief
      • Granted that this show has this flaw from the beginning, especially with characters like Launch, who was almost completely forgotten about after the Saiyan Saga, but it was taking up to the eleven in this arc.
      • Bulma is the only exception to this rule, as she remains the Z-Fighters' primary gadget builder.
  2. The series ended rather abruptly, same with the original manga. Goku simply leaves his friends behind to train Uub just so he can fight him, which is rather underwhelming.
  3. While it had some memorable moments, it also has some incredibly dumb moments such as Goku giving Perfect Cell a senzu bean before the latter fights Gohan.
  4. Some unlikable characters, such as Chi-Chi, Garlic Jr, Mr Satan (Cell Saga and early Majin Buu Saga), Babidi, Kid Trunks, Good Buu and Gotenks (the last three, depending on your view).
  5. It has some bad episodes, such as the infamous "five-minute countdown" in the climax of the Frieza Saga (that contains 8 episodes (192 minutes)) and the entire "Garlic Jr. Returns" Saga.
    • Though enjoyable, the filler episodes can be a very redundant watch.
  6. The Bruce Faulconer soundtrack can be pretty redundant or out-of-place at times, like that it keeps playing on dramatic scenes that originally had total silence.
  7. Some of the dubs have their fair share of problems:
    • The Funimation dub has some corny dialogue, like when Yamcha randomly sings about cat food during the Trunks Saga.
    • The Ocean and Westwood dubs are easily the worst English dubs of DBZ, due to their bad voice acting and unoriginal soundtrack.
    • Linda Young's voice as Frieza is not really fitting, as he is supposed to be male (at least DBZ Kai and DBZ Abridged' have Frieza voiced by a man).
    • Krillin's voice can get annoying in some of the dubs.
    • The English dubs, especially the Ocean and early Funimation dubs, like many anime at the time, suffer primarily very campy dialogue, as they try to deviate from the original Japanese script, using excessive euphemisms like "gosh" too often. The result is some characters like Yamcha or Krillin talking very awkwardly in some scenes. Despite not mostly censoring the action and violence, the dubs refrain from swearing which feels out of place.
      • Christopher Sabat's initial portrayal of Vegeta suffers the most, being an even campier and hammered imitation of Brian Drummond from the Ocean dub. Thankfully, he improved his voice acting since, his tone becoming deeper and more serious to suit the character.
      • What makes this even more confusing is that the Funimation dubbed video games follow the original Japanese dialogue despite the show's dubbing having completely different scripts.
      • Thankfully, from Dragon Ball Z Kai onwards, all of Funimation's dubs were more faithful to the original Japanese scripts, plus adding mature language.
    • Like the Dragon Ball, the French dub became infamous amongst the Dragon Ball community as it completely censors the fights, has childish script and its opening sucks. All these problems happened due to Club Dorothée advertising the show to little kids.
      • Thankfully, after the Frieza arc the censorship was radically decreased but unfortunately the script became even more childish.
    • The European Portuguese dub (which is based on the French dub) is also quite infamous because in many scenes the characters seem to be moaning (especially during the Frieza arc).
    • The European Spanish dub was heavily criticized because they initially changed the name of the Kamehameha to "Onda Vital" (Vital Wave), although this was later corrected.
    • The Infamous Speedy dubs made in Malaysia, which made Gohan Goku's brother for some reason.
  8. The series suffers from inconsistent art-styles, due to both time constraints and animators creating their own rendition of the characters rather than following the drawing board.
  9. The series also contains holes in its official storyline. For example, according to series lore, villains such as Frieza are sent to Earth's Hell when they die on the planet itself, whereas in this series, he is shown with the other villains in a rather different rendition of Hell. This is due to the fact that Toriyama did not come up with such concepts beforehand, and this Hell is filler material that has since been declared non-canon.
    • The series, especially the later arcs, suffers from real time-based plot holes in-universe; for example, the aforementioned 5-minute Namek explosion episodes, and the bulk of the entire Buu saga taking approximately 2 days in-universe, which is squeezing practically real-time days upon days of an entire storyline.
  10. The audio was a mixed bag in the original Japanese version, as the VHS and DVD versions where released, it got more muffled and more distorted, to the point where it was impossible to even hear the characters, thankfully Funimation kept the original audio to make it be able to hear the music and voices.

Reception

The show was acclaimed by critics, viewers and Dragon Ball fans in general. It is also considered to be the best anime based on the Dragon Ball manga, though the Majin Buu Saga was not as well-received.

It was also Toei Animation's most successful anime series at the time, along with Sailor Moon.

Trivia

  • The famous "IT'S OVER 9000!!!" and Shoop Da Whoop memes originated from two episodes of Dragon Ball Z.
  • Ricardo Silva, a voice actor and the singer known for interpreting the intro of ''Chala Head Chala'' in the Latin American dubbing also intros and songs from other series, died on February 7, 2021 (just the same day as his birthday) at the age of 67 due to respiratory complications from COVID -19. After his death, many of his fans were in mourning because Ricardo was part of the childhood of many generations in Mexico and throughout Latin America.

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