Jun 29, 2014
Soul_Punisher (All reviews)
If anyone knows of Shounen anime Then there is No doubt
anyone would of course heard of Dragon ball Z which I'm obviously sure
most people who are reading this review have and are not hopefully sleeping under a rock.

Its One of the earliest shounen animes along side others. The show itself has probably had
one of the Biggest impact of a shounen anime I've seen in my lifetime growing up besides the likes of attack on titan, Fullmetal Alchemist and Death note and yet till this day
it has many viewers still checking it out. some have finish seeing it, some re watch it, some if not Loads of people own it or they don't, but they sure as hell know about it already.

This series has its fair share of flaws upon viewing but it also makes up for some of these many moments in the series that are so awesome and unforgettable that in its own right has become an Iconic series in its story along with akira toriyama's art style alone in the world of anime which is why its easily one of my favorite animes and NO, I don't mean that in a Nostalgia kind of way,

Here is my review..

Story - 9
In most Shounen animes the stories tend to have similar concepts of the whole Heroes (Underdogs) Overcomes the powerful Villain scenarios where seeing to do the impossible is very typical of course, but that has always been the trait in many cases whether the protagonist of a show is surrounded by friends or enemies.

DBZ is an Old anime that started off in this trend. It was also influence by a lot of movies,
shounen animes such as saint seiya, other mythological stories and a blend of eastern and
western cultural references from the past.
The world of Dragon ball has a lot of these and so much more to its own universe
even though a lot of its focus is on the fighting since it is a battle shounen anime.

The story mainly centers around our main protagonist Goku and his son Gohan
for some years after the previous series Dragon Ball.
Goku for the remainder of the time has trained to become the strongest warrior he
possibly can be, enough to defeat his enemies and of course to look out for his family however what is unknown to him at this point is his brother that is unknown to him Radditz an evil alien warrior who comes to earth seeking goku out which for the
most part changes the many fate of the characters for the entire series to come.

From the point Radditz meets Goku, He is told about his past and his heritage about being part of a powerful alien tribe known as the Saiyans or Saiya-jins If you prefer
It includes the reason why he is here on earth especially from the original Dragon ball series where goku's own origin at the time was hardly known about and was almost a mystery until now. (pretty much the anime superman's origin story with some differences mainly with goku who actually was sent to destroy everyone on earth not to save it.)

and long story short,
Goku decides to put aside of what he is and from the rest of the series he, his son gohan, along with his friends and new allies in Piccolo, Vegeta, trunks and other characters continue on fighting against those that pose a threat to the earth along with the rest of other civilizations which becomes a Huge order with some ridiculously over the top relentless training that the characters have to take to ascend pass their limits in order to protect their loved ones and the of course the universe.

Basically Its quite a simple story yet some events can change drastically making it to be an overwhelming struggle at an alarming scale even with the exception of the dragonballs.
The story itself is split into different arcs known as sagas each with a different story scenario and different antagonists who have their own agendas.
The villains play a big key role in the development of certain main characters
as well as the story and fights.

Within the setting of this series there are features similar to the original series for starters the fighters can create Chi / Ki to gain incredible surge of immense power and abilities.

Also from a world setting stand point you have Prehistoric Giant creatures, Futuristic technology, the afterlife, Supernatural elements, Different animal species, wishing the dead back to the living, and of course many memorable moments that the characters do in the series that can range from simply epic, to funny, to sad, to stupid, to strange, to Downright bad ass or Just plain evil which can be seen in every arc.

However there are of course minor issues that I do have about the story and that is mainly with the incredibly slow pacing and lack of progression with certain characters of the original series dragon ball.
Not to mention missed opportunities for other story developments and a little inconsistency with the writing within the arcs sometimes where some might get quite slow and repetitive or might have fillers to drag on some episodes here and there,
Frieza not being able to know what 5 minutes of time is also laughable in this case as well.

The Ki powering up which will also leave viewers having to endure these pacing issues unless they have to skip some seconds or minutes ahead,
But then again those were the 80s and 90s with certain animes.

But that being said these are mainly the issues in my opinion that I feel take a long time for any specific build up with this series only because the anime at the time I know was trying to catch up with the manga from time to time when it was broadcasting on TV channels like toonami and other channels back then which is understandable since its also the case for other
shounen animes of late as well.
I've also notice some people tend to think the titled dragon ball referring to obviously the 7 orange magical orbs to grant wishes, tend to hurt and devalue the series mainly because of the insignificance of death most of the time. (which there are)

Now To simply address those who say Death always makes a convincing plot twist for a show to be good, I've notice viewers complaining that in ordered to feel something for characters they need to die in order to give yourself some sense of attachment of feelings towards that specific character or moments if you will? but I'm sorry, Is it just me or as a viewer does that seem kinda strange??
let me explain.

If that is the case then most anime should have their main characters dying left and right to make the story better, to feel some sense of pity to the characters along their path in the story (WRONG.)

The fact is, it doesn't prove anything what so ever yes it can be somewhat important and I can understand if its meant to give some shock value but honestly that sounds very cheap for character development and Plot progression if you ask me, Its already overused nowadays
in a lot of animes without any significance of knowing and enjoying these characters for the most part and yes I haven't forgotten about that little popular quote itself stating
(PEOPLE DIE WHEN THEY ARE KILLED) or even (YOLO) blah blah blah.
But interestingly enough when you think about it the dragon balls is what made that unique prospect within its own series stand out.
Because It gives the characters that much more of an objective to strive in finding the dragon balls when events could go so horribly wrong which a lot of times is the premise and sometimes seems to be the case throughout the series, its also the same for some villains too like for example when vegeta and nappa arrived on earth vegeta told his saiyan compatriot nappa when you destroyed the city that can also ruin our chances of locating the dragon balls
this is true in a sense if they become reckless in finding them.
You see, That is what the original Dragon ball did within its own series,

If all you cared about was seeing how characters die than there is no sense of this series to begin with here. It would only make the journey seem non-existent to a point since these sagas of the series is mainly about the journey and the battle shounen experience.

So think to yourself, is death necessary in all things always?

That is what makes DB/DBZ unique and different in a good way and If that is not your thing well than I'm sure there are plenty of other animes that take up a lot of serious death tolls for the most part and only guarantee you very little insight about the characters before they are pretty much one foot in the grave.

With all that being said, the story is a mix of intense fights, light hearted comedy and
serious moments too along with a sense of sci fi and supernatural elements to it.
From each arc there are some of the most memorable arcs I've seen in shounen animes in general, they may not be as thought provoking as other shows I've seen but it still has these enjoyable merits that for a 1989 -1994 series, it can still hold its ground today in terms of that entertainment.

Characters - 10
Like I said about the main issue I had from before with its story was just the lack of some of the character progression from the original series dragon ball who are mainly on the sideline for the most part and ironically at the same time other characters are really amazingly well written including Vegeta, Gohan, krillin, Trunks, and Piccolo not to mention goku and vegeta who have one of the best rivalries in the shounen genre. even some of the villains like Radditz, Cell, and Frieza etc are done amazingly well.
Sure most of the characters are stereotypes here and there but they are of course shonen characters at the end of the day so what do you expect, it is a battle shounen is it not?

The Characters are easily the main driving force of the show and can easily get the blood boiling and muscles pumped up when it goes to the extreme almost bringing out an inner fighter in you especially when watching it. The characters have some really good interactions with one another and can easily make you have a personal attachment to 1 of them in some way in terms of their personality.

Art - 6
Old series tend to have an outdated look for examples the original Dragon ball, Berserk, Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Saint Seiya, Shadow Skills, Fist of the north star, Yu Yu Hakusho, Slayers etc,
DBZ is no different in that regard.

Its funny because for its generation the art and animation style in its action was actually ahead of its time of the late 80s and are still till this day entertaining to watch since its a mixtures of very long and short fights and are sometimes done sometimes in an excessively dragged out fashion but with a very Fast pace rate where you see characters having hand to hand combats in this sky with a mixture of projectiles, powerful impacts and explosions along with gut wrenching body blows that always seem to intensify the more you watch.
If I had to describe the action it would be like an over the top street fighter meets the Justice league with some supernatural elements here and there.

And yes Of course, the animation is re-used often which is obviously noticeable and sometimes it can be lacking which is a real shame but thanks to Akira toriyama's art it actually has a great distinct look to it like for example some of the features in the environment would start to feel the intensity of the battles including where the locations are, especially details to the characters like the look of cell for example to me is one of the most unique looking design for a villain that I've seen in anime as he undergoes different transformations not to mention Super Saiyan transformations like Super Saiyan 3 Goku which looks freakin BadAss!! and that is saying a lot for the depiction of the other characters in Toriyama's art.

No doubt the animation is the weakest aspect of the show which might turn of some people who are looking into animes with great animation But to be fair for others who are open minded this isn't that much of a big deal though I wouldn't mind for a newly updated animation for this series as much as anyone would for example like what other animes have started to do like Hellsing Ultimate, evangelion rebuilds and the new sailor moon crystal series reboot etc,
If DBZ had new animation such as that chances are this section could easily be a 10!
but for now its only just passable, animation wise speaking it doesn't quite
contend too well with others from other battle shounen series unfortunately but its art is
still pretty decent enough regardless.

Sound - 8
Now Sorry if I'm going on a little rant here, but by chance Have you ever heard anyone debating over what sounds better in the series?
Funimation?, Ocean?, Dub Vs Sub Vs DBZ Kai vs Bruce Faulconer vs other dubs, This that yady Yadda, But For me I'm in the group of I've seen them all and don't really care mainly because
at the end of the day its THE SAME FREAKIN SERIES!!!!!
And possibly most, if not, a Hell of a lot of people know the popular story now
OVER 9000 Times Already!!!!!!!!!

Back on topic, seriously besides that for the record both dub or sub were kinda rough around the edges, its obvious that it could clearly be better however a lot people still like to debate over this which i can understand but I don't see the point as I don't have anything against any voice actors or Voice actresses after all Nobody is perfect and I have already stated that this is an old school anime not to mention at the end of the day It is a matter of preference.

Ether way, if you do watch this anime and you want a more clearer translation i would also recommend watching DBZ Kai for its Translation its not perfect by any means but its a lot more accurate to the manga still.

So the dubs and subs in some areas can be quite debatable I hear, but i feel both do suit
a lot more in a different kind of way, and for the music the openings and closings is ok, a little cheezy at times and can sometimes leave much to be desired. The music for the dub and sub seems to fit well for some of the overall tone of the series as the music blends in well with the action, supernatural themes, sci-fi themes and comedic themes unfolding in this show, at times again it can sound a little repetitive after a while for a series that is 291 episodes long and so i feel the music is fair no matter which version of the show your watching So to me for this category of sound I'd say its pretty decent still, but it could be lot more better.

Enjoyment - 10
I have re watched this anime series more times than any other anime in general and for a series that finished Decades ago and I'm still in my early 20s I still enjoy the build up with its characters, interactions, morals and a Crazy fun story that is very inspirational like its predecessor dragon ball.
It simply feels like family to me and that is more than enough of an enjoyable series with some of the most iconic and memorable moments and fights that I have grown to love about anime in general to date, simple as that.

If you really need to see an old epic action shounen fighting show its definitely worth giving this a shot.

Overall - 8.5
Now I've already stated the positives and negatives towards this without blinding my inner
fan boy to this particular anime. While People might say its overrated like other animes they honestly would have a point, But to others This anime became a gateway to anime in general for a lot of people out there as well as myself back then. Its also a significant template used in other shows to build off on and I couldn't be any more thankful for this as this is one of my personal favorite animes of all time that pave the way for shounen animes and a lot of others in general to take notes and to get out there in the big pond themselves and do justice like many others. I'm not saying Dbz is the best but it has succeeded globally for what its done and its that simple.

Dragon ball / Dragon ball Z has had its influence for so long now and yet still
continues to pass it down for the next generation.
Without a doubt its just like that saiyan goes

''Legends never die''

It is what it is and for the most part if you're still skeptical about this anime do not worry because i know its not meant for everyone. But there is a little something for everyone
as it has different forms of entertainment making it a revolutionary Shounen anime
in its own right.

Other shounen anime Reccomendations -
I'll point you to Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Death note, Fullmetal Alchemist (old and new), Fist of the north star, Saint Seiya, Hajime no Ippo and the Hunter x Hunter series