Fan Club Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball

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ShineCero

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Dragon Ball, written and illustrated by acclaimed artist Akira Toriyama (Dr. Slump), was first serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995 (later collected in 42 volumes). The origins of the series were inspired by the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West and various Hong Kong marital arts films.

The story starts with Son Goku, a young boy who lives in the woods all alone after his grandfather passes away. However, by chance, a spunky girl named Bulma runs into him in her search for a set of magical objects called Dragon Balls. She explains that by collecting all seven, it will summon a wish-granting dragon, capable of granting anyone 1 wish of their desire. Goku happens to be in possession of a Dragon Ball, a monument to his late grandfather. Refusing to parts ways with it, Bulma offers him a deal: join her on the journey to find the other Dragon Balls. With that… the two set off a journey! They will meet tons of whack characters, incredible battles, and memorable villains along the way as Goku grows from childhood to adulthood across 519 chapters (ending with the vicious Majin Boo!).

Obviously, Dragon Ball became a world-wide success since its debut (adding to Toriyama’s collection of successful works). Its anime-adaptation, debuting in 1986, unsurprisingly it became a tremendous success and took international world by like a raging hurricane (an example of how Dragon Ball products was hitting United States stores before the English dub properly premiered!). With over 260 million copies sold and its anime adaptation being dubbed in various languages, Dragon Ball is one of the most successful franchises in the world. Toriyama’s influences are felt across many manga and comics to this day. And Dragon Ball had an incredible “revival” following the success of Battle of Gods, bringing in new animated series, manga series, video games and the works.

It's extremely unfortunate that Akira Toriyama passed away March 1st, 2024. His contributions to inspired entire generations cannot be properly measured. He is one of the best comic artists and his influences will be forever immortalized as one of the greats. Thank you, Toriyama, for everything! Until next time.

This is a discussion thread for all things Dragon Ball. There is no spoiler policy in this thread, so read at your own risk.

Useful Links/Information

  • Kanzenshuu (considered this as the "Serebii" of Dragon Ball. It is the greatest, most informative resources for all things Dragon Ball and Toriyama's life works). They're in the process of creating their own Wikipedia!
  • Herms (One of the best translator for Dragon Ball, provides commentary of the series and the insight of the franchise).
  • Official Anime Broadcast of Dragon Ball, Z, GT, Super, and Movies via Crunchyroll.
  • Official Manga Translation of Dragon Ball, Z, and Super via Viz Media (Only United States where Dragon Ball manga is split into Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. International world, Dragon Ball is one entire story).
 
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In relaunching this thread, I’ll start off by discussing one of the most popular film characters in the franchise, Broly, more specifically, his 1993 incarnation. This is based on a thread on Kanzenshuu, but I’ve provided better screens and a bit more detail to expand their overall points. Please read my analysis 🤪

There is a common acceptance among the fanbase (at least in the western fandom) that it was Son Goku’s crying as the source for Broly’s insanity and/or hatred. Yet, upon rewatching the film numerous times—this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Let’s start with the premise of the discussion: Does Broly hate Goku solely because he cried? Let’s examine what the film, Burn Up!! A Red-Hot, Raging, Super-Fierce Fight!, says regarding their relationship first. Does Broly even remember Goku in the first place?

Goku first appears to Vegeta, Paragus and Broly at 20:22 mark; as Broly is within earshot, Vegeta refers to Goku by his Saiyan name during their exchange. There was immediate tension between Broly and Goku before Paragus activated the mind control device to calm Broly down.

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Paragus immediately had his mind control device checked out by the engineer, only to be told that it was working in perfect condition. Not satisfied with the results, he began to ponder what was truly making Broly act out. Thus, we’re prompted with Paragus’ speculation:

Paragus: Could it be Kakarot...? Does this mean that Broly’s instincts as a Saiyan have been awakened by Kakarot’s power and he is starting to overcome the limits of my control?

Paragus speculates that Broly reacted not to Goku entirely, but rather his power, and starts to fight off the mechanics of the mind-control to stimulate his instincts as a Saiyan. This is supported when Broly promptly attacks Goku at night starting at 26:25.

Prior to their short battle, Paragus dabbles on the history of Broly and reveals that because of his extraordinary power, he became more savage as he grew older:

Paragus: Broly was the very model of a Saiyan. As he began to develop, the extraordinary battle power he was born with increased and turned savage to the same extent as I, his father, felt terror towards him.

Throughout the film, from Paragus’ analysis and Broly’s behavior, nothing indicates that Broly even remembers Goku nor knew his name prior to his meeting in the hallway at 20:22. Instead, we’re given other explanations for Broly’s behavior.

The closet confirmation regarding Broly remembering Goku is from Mr. Takao Koyama, a screenwriter behind majority of the Dragon Ball Z films. Upon answering various questions, he was prompted with this one:

Does Broly remember his trauma as a baby as "the only memory of defeat"?

Koyama:
That's right. I didn't come up with it alone but decided after discussing it with other staff members. The memory of Broly losing to Kakarot, who is far weaker than himself, remains a traumatic memory. When Broly loses, he remembers when he was a baby. I meant to allude to his trauma (Why does Broly hate Kakarot) in that scene. I want you to judge for yourself whether this was properly conveyed to the viewers.

However, this doesn’t discuss upon their first meeting in that hallway scene—rather touches the ending where Goku defeats Broly. This ties to our next segment: What was the purpose behind the crying scene? Was Broly always this crazy?

Paragus stated clearly that Broly was always a crazed maniac, and the increase of power as he grew simply added to his barbarity and savagery. The whole purpose behind the mind control device wasn’t to just suppress his power—it was to suppress his sadistic personality. Once Broly’s Saiyan instincts were activated, he managed to break through the device and reveals who’s he is truly: a Saiyan who craves battles and destruction. Considering that both Goku and Broly take elements from Sun Wukong, it is not surprising that Broly had these characteristics of unhinged, battle maniacs with no regard for others. See how he threatened Goku and the others if they do not demonstrate the will to fight, he’ll simply destroy the entire world; praises them for putting up a fight despite being futile and causally destroyed the planet that the slaves were on or the sole purpose of enjoyment.

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During Paragus’ flashback, we’re shown Broly and Goku as babies, born on the same day. This is what Paragus states upon remembering such detail:

Paragus: "Broly and Kakarot were born on the same day, one right after the other. If it is Kakarot...", "Damn, the threads of destiny have once again intertwined here, have they? The two infants, born on the same day and laid down in adjoining beds..."

Furthermore, we’re introduced by two characters that comment on Broly and Goku respectively:

"I'm shocked by Paragus' son. He's just been born, and yet his battle power is already 10.000."

"Bardock's son, with a battle power of only 2, made Paragus' son cry! (laughs)"

"His battle power may be low, but that kid who they named Kakarot at least has a lot of guts!"


This is foreshadowing for the conclusion of this film and ties into what Koyama mentioned. Despite the huge gap in power, Goku still managed to affect Broly. This is showcase again when Broly practically dominated the battle, only for Goku to stand up once more and promptly defeated him (making him a two-time loser). Regardless of whoever the opponent is, Goku still stands and fights—because he has lots of guts. Paragus’ words, referring to their meeting as a matter of destiny and intertwined fate, gain a new meaning: Broly’s defeat by Goku was guaranteed.

Broly remembering that moment upon his defeat


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You can see Broly’s reaction after Goku gains power from his friends:

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Broly: W-what kind of guy is this?!

Goku: I ain’t letting you get away with this!

Broly sweats, starts laughing: “No matter how much power you absorb from those small fries, you cannot overcome me!

Goku: We’ll see… You never know until you try!


From that point, we can establish that Broly’s hatred for Goku began upon his defeat, twice now. Which trails over to the 10th film of the franchise—where Broly’s sole purpose is to defeat Goku. And Goten’s cry causing that bad memory of being defeated twice led to Broly’s ongoing hatred to Goku. This was directly stated by Krillin towards the end of the 10th movie:

"For that Broly guy to follow us all the way back to Earth, he must really be upset when he lost to Goku, huh?"
 
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