Dragon Ball Z: Nostalgia Review

Clouds are clearly full of Vitamins

Clouds are clearly full of Vitamins

If you are reading this and have no idea who that guy is, eating the clouds… Get out. Just… Just leave. Dragon Ball Z is still one of the best memories I had as a kid, along with Pokemon and Captain Planet. Seriously, I actually woke up at 6:30 in the fucking morning to make sure that I didn’t miss an episode of it before I went to school. I had to sit through that god-awful Aerobics program on Channel 10 before it started, but as soon as the theme song started up, I lost my shit and started throwing Kamehameha Waves everywhere… Or rather I tried to and failed horribly, but at 8 years old, I could do anything. But enough of slightly embarrassing childhood memories, let’s delve into why this is the best show ever.

Dragon Ball Z, or DBZ, is a continuation of the original Dragon Ball anime. That’s right, there was another series before Dragon Ball Z. Unless you’re a nerd, you probably didn’t even know that. In order to save myself a WHOLE heap of time, explaining the back story behind the first series, I’m just going to chalk it down to this:
The Dragon Ball series follows the Protagonist who is named Goku, a boy who has a monkey tail. Goku is found in the middle of a forest by a man named Gohan and is taken in by him and raised like he were his own son. Some years later, Gohan passes away and Goku is left to fend for himself until he stumbles across a girl named Bulma. She is looking for the Dragonballs, 7 mystical balls that when brought together will allow the collector a single wish. Together, her and Goku travel around to collect the Dragon Balls, meeting new friends and making new enemies. They battle Emperors, Armies, and even Demon Kings, but with Goku’s perseverance and strength, they all are defeated. The series concludes when Goku is a young man, and he is married to one of his childhood friends, Chi-Chi.

And this is where Dragon Ball comes into play.

Now I’m not going to make an entire review of the series because frankly that would take WAY too long, so instead I’m going to be listing who my favorite characters were, who my favorite villian is, which story arc I loved the most, and other things like that. So let’s start this off by showing:

My Favorite Hero

That moment when all the shit in the universe is about to hit the fan

That moment when all the shit in the universe is about to hit the fan

Gohan. Before the Majin Buu Saga, Gohan was and still is, my favorite hero in this entire series. It’s not because he’s got incredible power and can basically wipe the floor with any villain if he wanted to. It’s because he DIDN’T want to. Gohan is the son of Goku, who is arguably the most powerful man in the universe. Gohan’s schtick throughout the series was that he had an incredible power within him that only revealed itself once he was completely enraged. This was often achieved by family or friends being injured or killed. Once that power was out, Gohan was an unstoppable killing machine, laying waste to the ones who hurt those he loves. But the power would only last in spurts and then Gohan would go back to being a frail little boy who often needed others to protect him.

What I loved about Gohan was that he was a true pacifist. His father, a full-blooded Saiyan, LOVED to fight and loved to challenge himself constantly. Gohan didn’t. Gohan didn’t like hurting other people and only did so when it was needed. And even then, he was always restrained. He never wanted to kill, and he never wanted to fight. But he learned the hard way that sometimes in life, you have to do things that you’re normally against, in order to survive. But the MAIN reason I love this character is that hardly anyone put faith in him at all. When he was in the battleground, everyone saw him as just a child who shouldn’t of been there, especially during the Cell Saga. When he fought against Cell, everyone except for his father had no faith in him at all, writing him off completely. And guess who killed Cell and shut them all up?

My Favorite Villian

One of the BIGGEST trolls in DBZ history

One of the BIGGEST trolls in DBZ history

I love Cell as a villain. I really do. Out of ALL of the villains, I think Cell had the biggest purpose out of them all. For those who don’t know, Cell is a biological Android who is the sum of the DNA of all the greatest fighters in the world. Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, even Frieza when he came to Earth, all their DNA is in him. As a result of all of this, Cell has the powers and abilities of ALL of them. He is capable of gaining immense power after grave injury, just as Goku and Vegeta can, he can regenerate himself just like Piccolo can, and he is able to survive in space, as well as being cut in half, etc. just like Frieza. In other words, perfection. And that’s what Cell aspires to be. Perfect. His goal, or programming, was to absorb the Androids, 17 and 18, into himself and thus adding their power to his own. With that completed, he would be the ultimate warrior who would be unstoppable. But that’s not why I love Cell as a villain.

It’s because he is by far one of the smartest villains that the DBZ heroes have ever faced and one of the only ones to push them to brink of desperation. He ACTUALLY forced Goku to fight dirty during their fight, since he was such a bad-ass. And Goku is a very honorable fighter who hates using dirty tactics. The best of it all? CELL STILL SURVIVED! ANYTHING the heroes threw at him, he could take it and just shrug it off. Vegeta blasted him with an energy blast so powerful that it literally could be seen from another planet, and ALL it did was just blast off the left side of Cell.

But the most epic moment was when he was faced with a Super Saiyan 2 Gohan. Before Gohan transformed, Cell was dominating. He had all the heroes on the ropes and was trying to get Gohan to release his power so that he could get a proper challenge from him. And when it happened, Cell immediately realized the mistake that he had made. Of course, Gohan was too cocky during their fight, which had Goku sacrificing himself to try and save them all, but ultimately, Cell’s arrogance led to him being killed by the child who he had intentionally pissed off for shits and giggles. The irony of it all.

My Favourite Saga

The Cell Saga, as you probably could’ve guessed, was easily my favourite, as a child and now. It was the saga that saw the heroes at one of their lowest. Goku was recovering from a heart disease that nearly killed him, the Androids were chasing him down to kill him in his weakened state, and Cell was also attempting to track down the Androids. I also loved how a lot of the lower-tier characters managed to get a spot in the limelight during this saga. Krillin falls in love with Android 18 and is presented with a chance to stop Cell becoming complete by destroying her, but doesn’t. Piccolo manages to fuse back with Kami into their original form and actually achieve a power that knocked the Super Saiyan out of Vegeta, and uses that power to kick Cell’s ass, before Cell ran like a bitch. It was also one of the ONLY sagas that saw Goku using dirty tactics to try and win a fight (And also created one of the best techniques in DBZ history).

It’s also the saga where Gohan finally breaks out of his shell and becomes the bad-ass that we all know that he could be… Until the Buu Saga comes around, but I ain’t touching that. But overall, the Cell Saga was the only saga where in my eyes, the Heroes were tested to their complete limit and where the most drama and action in the entire series took place.

My Favorite Technique

KAMEHAMEHA, MOTHERFUCKER!

KAMEHAMEHA, MOTHERFUCKER!

… Yeah, enough said.

Vegeta

TAKE THAT, YOU BUBBLEGUM BITCH! I CHEW SPEARMINT!

TAKE THAT, YOU BUBBLEGUM BITCH! I CHEW SPEARMINT!

Bad. Ass. That is ALL Vegeta is. I’ve already said that my favorite character is Gohan, but Vegeta is the one that I respect the most. Out of EVERY character in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta is one of the most under-rated and often looked down upon characters. He’s always seen as second best to Goku, and for me… I find that wrong. Vegeta is the Prince of all Saiyans (Why he never referred to himself as King, since his Daddy is dead, I’ll never understand) and in the beginning of the series was FAR stronger than Goku was. Vegeta was literally attacked by Goku using Kaio-Ken boosts, Krillin, Gohan who transformed into a GIANT FUCKING MONKEY, and Yarjirobe. And he STILL survived. But before I list off Vegeta’s Crowning Moments of Awesome, let’s delve into his history.

Vegeta was born to King Vegeta, his father, who was the ruler of Planet Vegeta… For those of you got confused:
The planet where the Saiyans live is called Vegeta (Technically Planet Plant, but whatever)
The King of the Saiyans is named as Vegeta. he is often referred to as King Vegeta.
He named his son, Vegeta. He is often referred to as Prince Vegeta.

The Saiyans lived under the rule of Frieza, an intergalactic tyrant, who used the Saiyans as warriors to conquer other worlds. But the Saiyans’ ability to grow stronger after every battle had Frieza worried, so save for Goku, Vegeta and a handful of Saiyans, the Saiyan Race was wiped out by Frieza, their planet included. Vegeta lived directly under Freiza’s rule, serving him for most of his life until he came to Earth, after hearing that they had Dragonballs. He wanted Immortality, so that he could defeat Frieza and be free. But he was foiled by Goku and friends. He made his way to Namek, Piccolo’s home world, to use their Dragonballs, but ran into Goku and friends, as well as Frieza. Ultimately, Vegeta ended up working with Goku and friends and begrudgingly joined the heroes from there, taking part in the Cell and Buu Sagas.

What makes Vegeta a bad-ass you say? Simple. He has the mental resilience to basically be on the brink of death and STILL get back up to kick your ass. Seriously, short of either blasting him through the chest, cutting off his head, or any major amputations, Vegeta will get back up, injured as hell, and STILL kick your ass. The BEST example of this was during the final arc of the Buu Saga, where Vegeta was HORRIBLY outclassed by Kid Buu. He got his ass handed to him again and again… And he STILL got back up to help Goku stall for time. He literally was at the brink of death, and he STILL got back up. Vegeta in my eyes is the perfect warrior. One who once he has a goal set, will NEVER stop until it’s achieved and he will do ANYTHING to achieve it.

Let’s also not forget that Vegeta was instrumental in bringing down Frieza, Cell, and Buu. YES, he caused Frieza to get pissed off enough to want to kill them all. YES, he allowed Cell to become complete. YES, he allowed Buu to resurrect himself with Goku’s energy. But let’s not forget that it was Vegeta who inspired Goku to drop his restraints and fight like a True Saiyan against Frieza. It was Vegeta who distracted Cell long enough for Gohan to finish him. And it was Vegeta who had the idea to use the people of Earth’s energy to create a large Spirit Bomb to kill Buu, and even put himself near death to distract Buu long enough for Goku to gather energy.

I LOVE THE TASTE OF ENERGY IN MY MOUTH!

I LOVE THE TASTE OF ENERGY IN MY MOUTH!

Goku and Vegeta: Which is TRULY stronger

In all honesty.. It’s pretty apparent as to who is technically the strongest, in my opinion. Before I continue, fan boys and girls… This is MY opinion. I am allowed to have one of those. Please reserve all your Goku fangasms and keep them to yourselves.

Now then… I personally think that Vegeta is stronger than Goku. Without a doubt. Goku and Vegeta have clashed twice against each other. In a straight fight between the two, Vegeta has ALWAYS beaten Goku. The first fight during the Saiyan Saga had Vegeta pretty much dominating over the others, until he lost his tail and Gohan was able to transform into a giant monkey. If Yarjirobe hadn’t cut off Vegeta’s tail, then Vegeta would’ve won. Easily. In the second fight against Goku, both of them were at Super Saiyan 2 level. YES, I KNOW that Goku could’ve gone Super Saiyan 3, but he didn’t. Vegeta and Goku were pretty even, until Vegeta fought dirty at the end and KO’ed Goku so he could fight Buu. In EVERY instance they straight up fought, on equal ground, Vegeta dominated Goku.

There also is proof in their training. The highest level of Gravity that Goku has ever trained under was 100x Earth Gravity. Vegeta trains under 500x. Vegeta trains under this level of Gravity MUCH more than Goku ever does. Goku only trained under 100x gravity for just under a couple of weeks. Vegeta did it for the 7 years of peace between the Cell and Buu Sagas. And Goku STILL is stronger than Vegeta?! I don’t think so.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dragon Ball Z may be seen as a children’s show in the eyes of most, but when you look more deeply into it… It’s a perfect show overall. There’s drama, action, romance, etc. I might be biased in that opinion, but I always will have a deep spot in my heart for this children’s show. Because it taught me one of the most important lessons in life. Never give up even when the odds are down.

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