Most of us are already familiar with the international phenomenon that is Dragon Ball, but what about it made this anime so big around the world and still manages to unite generations of fans and bring new ones? Well, today I will try my best to find out just that, from the characters to the episode long power-ups and transformations. Beware of spoilers for the entire series all the way up to Super.
When it comes to the dragon ball universe, we have a lot, and I mean a lot of characters. However, the cast always boils down to the Goku/Vegeta families of Saiyans. Goku is the same happy go lucky loon throughout the anime, and that’s just it, there’s something satisfying about seeing a grown man act like a foolish child yet still be the most powerful being in existence, it brings out the child in all of us who grew up watching this anime (granted I myself did not have the pleasure of watching it during its original run on western TV). Then we have Vegeta, a proud Saiyan who serves to contrast Goku, even in parenting, and to be his rival as a fighter and the interactions between them is always fun to watch.
As for Goku’s family, we have Gohan, the prodigy child of Goku with Chichi who managed to defeat the ultimate android, Cell and almost destroy Majin Buu, though he retired from fighting he is going to make his comeback in the upcoming tournament of power during Dragon Ball Super. Gohan was very powerful as a child as he trained with Piccolo in order to learn to control his powers and eventually had his tail cut off when Piccolo finds out about his great ape form and destroys the moon. As a teenager, Gohan is as powerful as Goku was during the Cell arc when Gohan achieves the power to become a super Saiyan. Gohan later becomes an adult when he dedicates his life to studying after being absorbed by Buu. Gohan’s personality changes drastically from the beginning of DBZ to present day DB Super, as he goes from a shy kid to an angry but compassionate teen until finally becoming a responsible adult, more so than Goku could ever dream to be. Due to his extensive development as a character, Gohan is definitely my favourite character of the DB universe.
The insane transformations
What would Dragon Ball be without its iconic episode-long transformations? NOTHING! The franchise has shown us too many transformations to count. We all remember the time when Goku went Super Saiyan for the first time and how long that took to actually get to the fighting and it seems as though with every new level of power, the first power up time is doubled with the English voice actor for Goku in Dragon Ball GT passing out from the shouting involved in Goku’s Super Saiyan 4 transformation! However, the beauty isn’t only during these epic and equally frustrating moments but also the sheer awesomeness we get during the actual fighting scenes, even though all the moves they use are the same as always, there’s always just something about witnessing as our favourite characters learn to achieve new levels of Godhood that makes our inner fanboys jump from joy *cough* Super Saiyan God Blue Goku Going Kaioken x 100 *cough*.
But in the end what is it about Dragon Ball that has this effect on all of us? Honestly, I don’t know, however, I can say that for most of us who grew up with these characters, it joys us to watch as they grow and learn, how we get to see our favourite characters have families and children. And for those of you who maybe started watching/reading only recently, I guess the epic over-the-top fights and the dumb comedy that surrounds the series are just the perfect escape from the real world in times we really need it or just to have some fun and enjoy the show that’s being presented to us.
Thanks for reading!