Hey guys. Welcome back! This week is a special edition of Ramblings. So special I didn’t include Ramblings in the title, or my regular intro image. I really need one for Ramblings columns that aren’t on video games. Anyway, I recently finished watching the first arc of Dragon Ball Super, which I watched on Crunchyroll, and I wanted to take a look back at Dragon Ball and DBZ from my own perspective, as well as talk about the first arc of Super. I’m certainly not Danny, aka Mr. Geekdom101 himself, but that’s what makes this interesting, isn’t it? It’s an outsider’s take on Dragon Ball. So here we go!
So, my experience with Dragon Ball and DBZ is limited. I don’t think I finished watching a full arc of either anime series. I tried finishing the Buu arc of Dragon Ball Z, but it was at the time when Cartoon Network was first airing the arc. They would have a week or two of new episodes, then for some reason they’d go back and rerun the earlier episodes of the arc. I don’t know if it was still being localized or what. Danny would know more, and I might be embarrassing myself here, but that’s the only thing I can think of. It was after the third or fourth time they went to reruns that I just got tired of watching DBZ. I mean, I liked it a lot, but I wanted to keep watching new episodes, not go back to reruns every week or two.
But let’s go back to the first Dragon Ball. I didn’t see much of that, to be honest. I saw the first Kamehameha and some of the martial arts tournament where Roshi had to destroy the moon to stop Goku from being a giant gorilla. Actually, I think I might have seen that whole arc. So maybe disregard my saying I never finished a whole arc. That one was pretty darn good, really.
Then came Dragon Ball Z. I saw some of the Saiyan arc, some of the Frieza one, a little bit of Cell, a little bit of the Androids, and maybe half of the Buu arc. I think there was a martial arts tournament or two in there, as well. As far as the Buu arc went, I know I saw Kid Buu, and I don’t know if there were any other transformations after that. I really enjoyed the Buu arc. I remember that much.
I always liked Dragon Ball enough to keep coming back, but at least when they were on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block, I never got into a habit of watching the series. Oh, I watched some of GT, as well. But that’s not canon, so let’s not talk about that. Actually, I don’t really remember enough about GT to really comment on it.
I guess you can say I’m sort of a fringe fan. Someone so casual they aren’t even a casual. I really want to change that. I’ve been hoping beyond hope that Dragon Ball and DBZ come to Crunchyroll as part of their partnership with Funimation, but if not I guess I can subscribe to FunimationNow, once that service officially launches. But for now, I can watch Dragon Ball Super, which doesn’t seem to require that much knowledge of Dragon Ball to enjoy. At least so far.
So yeah, Dragon Ball Super. DBS starts off by retelling the stories of the two most recent Dragon Ball Z movies, Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. Like I said, I finished the first arc, which retold Battle of Gods. I also saw the Battle of Gods movie. So I can actually compare the two. How about that?
Battle of Gods tells the story of the God of Destruction Beerus, his assistant Whis, and Beerus’s quest for the Super Saiyan God, a powerful being he saw in a prophetic dream of his. In the movie, Beerus’s awakening from his 39-year nap is hilarious, in my opinion. In Super, he just sort of wakes up, which was far less entertaining. There are some differences between the movie and Super, obviously. In the movie, there was a brief romantic sub-plot between Trunks and Mai which isn’t in Super, but apparently Super revisited the sub-plot in a later arc, despite it not existing in Super’s retold continuity. Oops.
Both the movie and the Super arc are great and very entertaining, though. I love the opening song for Super, or at least the one used in this arc. I don’t know if it changes, like some anime. Haven’t gotten far enough yet. They changed the ending sequence before the end of the arc, though, so the open probably changed at some point, too.
Dragon Ball Super has been really fun throughout the first arc. I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t seen it yet. I will say that Beerus and Whis are still hilarious, Vegita has some funny moments of his own, and the fight sequences are pretty cool. Really, though, I think Dragon Ball shines more when it’s comedic. Yeah, the action is cool and flashy, but the comedy is far more my thing. And the Dragon Ball series nail it.
Dragon Ball, in its various incarnations, doesn’t seem like an anime that you should take too seriously. Yes, there are some serious parts to it, but the comedy is brilliant, and there are some inconsistencies you can find if you really care to. But really, it’s entertainment, and darn good entertainment at that. One day I’ll watch the full Dragon Ball and DBZ series, but for now I’ll enjoy Super, which looks to be a great series on its own. I love it.
That does it for me. I hope everyone has a happy holiday season. You can find me on Twitter at @geekdombrandon, where you can complain I didn’t say Merry Christmas. See you all next time.