The absolute best present I got this year was a Dragon Ball GT box-set my husband gave me for Christmas. I have a love for Dragon Ball that spans decades. In fact, finding out on our first date that we both loved Dragon Ball was what secured a second date between us.
In the 90’s, I fell in love with Dragon Ball Z. For those not familiar with the popular anime series, I’ll give you a brief recap. For those familiar, you can skip the rest of this paragraph. Dragon Ball started as a manga—or a comic book series—but in the mid-80’s, it was turned into an animated show—an anime. Dragon Ball ran from 1986 to 1989 and was comprised of over 150 episodes. Dragon Ball Z—commonly referred to as DBZ—ran from 1989 to 1996. It contained almost 300 episodes. Dragon Ball GT came next, running for only two years. Twelve years later, in 2009, Toei Animation began to release DBZ Kai—a re-edited and remastered HD version of DBZ that sticks more closely to the manga story line. This reduced the number of episode from 291 to 167. Now, Dragon Ball Super is being made. It is in its second year and over 70 episodes have been released. DBS is the first new iteration in eighteen years, though it picks up only four years after the last series. Cartoon Network will start airing the dubbed version of DBS in January of 2017. But of course, I have Crunchyroll, so I don’t have to wait for Toonami. Not that I have cable, anyway… Nineteen movies and four TV specials also help to round out the vast library of Dragon Ball animations.
I have seen every single episode of DBZ at least twice, but many of them I’ve seen enough that I can quote much of the dialogue. I’ve seen all of the movies and TV specials. I’ve watched most of Dragon Ball, but the website I used to watch it on was taken down and I’ve yet to acquire the DVDs. Dragon Ball GT, though… Well, I’ve never seen any of it. Until I got the box set for Christmas, that is. It’s only two seasons, but I can now say I own an entire series of something.
I was thrilled to open it as well as anxious to return home and begin watching it. I’ve made my way up to disk three of ten. So far, I love it! Vegeta was somehow able to cut his hair and grow a creepy mustache, even though it’s pointed out numerous times in DBZ that a Saiyan’s hair never changes from birth. The story mostly revolves around an adult Trunks; Videl and Gohan’s young teenage daughter, Pan; and Goku traveling around the universe in search of the black-star dragon balls. Emperor Pilaf has reappeared, found the universal dragon balls, and accidentally wished for Goku to be small again. Now Goku has one year to find the black-star dragon balls, which have scattered across the Milky Way, or the Earth will implode. He also cannot be an adult again until the dragon balls are brought back to Earth and used to make another wish. The trio of Saiyans lands on various planets, help or save their inhabitants, and collect dragon balls. It’s a lot of fun, so far.
I can only hope that by the second season, they return to Earth. As much as I love these three characters, much of the fun of the show has always been the wide range of regular personalities. I haven’t seen Krillan, Yamcha, or any of the other Z fighters at all. I barely saw any of Vegeta, Bulma, Master Roshi, or Mr. Satan. Chichi only had a brief cameo/freak-out. And all of that was in the first episode or two. Since I watch it on marathon mode, it is hard to tell sometimes when one is ending and another one beginning.
Moving on to disk four, it has new bumpers that start in the middle of season one. We do get to actually start to see things happening back on Earth once again. Vegeta shaves his creepy mustache, but not without pronouncing it moo-stAHsh. I was simultaneously creeped out and thrilled. Vegeta is still a complete asshole. You’ve got to love it. That prince never changes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Goku is amazing and all…I mean, I know he’s supposed to be the hero of the show, but sometimes I think that Vegeta might be my favorite long-term character. He’s such a prick and he doesn’t even bother trying to hide it. The prince of all Saiyans is also not without his redeeming qualities. When I think back to DBZ and Beerus appears at Bulma’s birthday party…Vegeta freaked the hell out when Beerua back-handed his wife. His rage when he exploded into a Super Saiyan and screamed, “That’s my Bulma!” shows that the seemingly heartless prince does have a soul after all.
I suppose if I’m going to give credit where credit is due, the folks over at Team Four Star have definitely helped to craft my favoritism for Vegeta. Any fan of the show would have to also be familiar with DBZ abridged by TFS. They’ve done a fantastic job of sticking to the storyline to make a proper abridged, but they’ve also made it insanely funny. Some of the greatest DBZ quotes are actually from DBZ abridged. Those guys have my utmost respect and appreciation for their parodies. As a fan of anything Dragon Ball, I’m grateful for their contributions to the franchise.