Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Dragon Ball Fanboy vs Akira Toriyama and Toei part 4: The Right Way To Power a Character Up!

With a new tournament arc coming for the Dragon Ball Super manga and not too far after that in the anime, the Dragon Ball community has run rampant with speculations on just what Piccolo and Buu as well as Gohan's role will be in this new God of Destruction tournament.  You can find some of my own speculations here (  Mainly, I have no hope for Toei and Toriyama at this point so I believe Piccolo and Buu will be a non-factor in the arc and only exist to provide comedy relief and to job out to the other team.  BUT...let's be more hopeful in this post, shall we!  For now I'm going to think of the best ways I can to power up some of my favorite members of the Z-Team.  I think there's some time before the whole 5 days to train thing that Piccolo and Buu have to contend with.  My frame of reference will start from the last episode of Dragon Ball Super that I watched (and that I will watch until the show's quality improves) episode 23.

Piccolo - Let's start with my favorite character.  The Namek here should already be one of the strongest characters in the show just going by the show's own rules and the fact that he's the creator's favorite.  What Piccolo suffers from the most is Toriyama's own lacking memory.  At two points in the show, Piccolo is shown to be the type of character who makes incredible gains while training.  This seemed to be somewhat dropped after his relevance in the Android arc.  Piccolo should also have an incredible technique pool if he possesses Kami's memories (which he does since he knew of Cell's evil) and should know Kami's Instantaneous Movement technique which is superior to Goku's own Instant Transmission.  With that and the fact that he possesses the former Kami of Earth inside of him, Piccolo should be able to get some training from some higher realm deities.

So my version of events goes like this (some spoilers will be ahead).  Some ideas I give credit to youtuber Mike from Laughingstock Media for (, specifically the keeping Piccolo in the afterlife stuff.  So after Piccolo is killed by Frieza, he lets it be known to the powers that be in the afterlife that he doesn't want to be wished back.  His body disappears from the Earth or Namek and he requests to be brought back in a year or something like that.  In the afterlife he trains.  Why?  Cuz he's the badass demonic Namekian Piccolo who mostly cares about fighting and strength.  Anyways, Piccolo visits King Kai again and completes his training with him.  King Kai informs his former Earthling students and all of them get a burning desire to fully master King Kai's training as well.

Piccolo masters King Kai's training in a mere day or two. From King Kai, he gets the Kaioken which he notes gives him an ability that allows him to rival Buu.  But it's not good enough for him and he goes on to train with some of the masters of Otherworld.  He learns some cool stuff and gets a cool new technique or two.  Finally, he meets his dad, the all powerful Katas.  From Katas Piccolo learns the true secret of his Namekian origin and what it means to be a true Super Namek.  He is able to tap into the ancient tribal power of the Dragon Clan, a power locked within himself.  It sounds a little fan-ficky but this is at least stuff that's potentially represented in the show.  Anyways, through some ancient Namekian knowledge Piccolo gets a boost of power.  I would have that boost be a Namekian centered technique, which grants the user a tremendous power boost at very little cost.  It would pretty much be a green colored Kaioken technique with healing properties.  Like an aura that constantly heals Piccolo and those around him (allies) which would make him into a high tier support character, but a badass to boot.  It's redundant to give Piccolo two types of Kaioken, but in this version this plot point would serve two purposes.  One: Hearing of Piccolo's Kaio Training and mastery of Kaioken ignites a fire in Tien and the other humans too.  And two: Piccolo's mastery of the Kaioken would get him familiar with the properties of his new Namekian based version of it.  Hell, maybe Piccolo, genius fighter that he is, develops this type of technique on his own.  Imagine that, a Kaioken that actually heals you!

Piccolo by PhazeN1 of Deviantart

After the yearlong training session, Piccolo is wished back.  At this point he surpasses resurrected Frieza's first form by a large margin.  I would say, to make things pointlessly cyclical, to put him a little over resurrected Frieza's second form/second suppressed state.  That's a respectable level for a year of hard training with these new power boosting techniques.  I wouldn't even mind putting him over Final Form resurrected Frieza, but I'm more conservative with my power level increases (I literally shuddered at Frieza's ridiculous FnF gains).  Now that he's back, the events of the DBS manga kick in and he has 5 days to train for the new tournament along with Buu who he's greatly surpassed.  Whis decides to train them both hard, seeing a godly nature in them.  Whis is also fairly impressed with Piccolo's training gains in only a year.  He finds it remarkable that someone who isn't a genius like Freiza can attain such power so quickly.

From here Piccolo can enter the tournament as is and be somewhat of a threat.  I'm fine if he stops here, but since I'm a Piccolo fanboy let's train him up some more.  He takes on Buu as a training partner and they get training from Whis himself.  They get the same training as Goku and Vegeta.  Piccolo starts at a comparable power as them and Buu is just durable as hell, so they survive the Beerus training and Whis' trials.  Buu gains a huge boost in power from this alone and Piccolo jumps up a little as well.  They are both chucked inside of Whis' staff and learn to "not let their ki leak out."  I'm still not sure what that means or what it does, but it seems to make people godly so they learn that.  Piccolo and Buu have godly potential inside of them.  Piccolo because he absorbed Kami who has been shown throughout the show to be a legit godly being.  Even Dende could sense Beerus and I don't think he's any more proficient as a Kami than Kami himself (even though his Dragon Balls are better).  Katas, Kami/Piccolo's father may even be some type of deific being.  Who knows, but that's my fast lane method for getting Piccolo up to snuff for the tournament in DBS.  Here you have character motivation for getting stronger (getting one shotted by Frieza while trying to protect Gohan), a clear route for training, some good power boosting techniques that aren't too far outside the realm of reality, and some really powerful trainers and training methods.  Piccolo could easily become a beast if some care was put into his character progression.  My hopes for decent sub character development was shattered a long time ago so I don't expect anything close to this in this new anime (yup I'm a downer).

Tien - I wouldn't get too crazy with Tien's power boost.  My first priority would be the beginning of a shift in Tien's role in the series.  You see, in Dragon Ball Online, Akira Toriyama wrote a story about the future of the Dragon Ball Universe (about 200 years later).  In the future, it is known that Tien is the founder of The New Crane School of martial arts (  Many consider the game's story as canon material since Toriyama is said to have been heavily involved with the game's production.  Anyways, I'd like to see Tien and Krillin slowly shift to their roles as masters in the new show.  But to start, Tien always trains.  He does it non-stop and never gives up.  The logical step would be for Tien to get his potential unlocked by Moori (if he can), Elder Kai, and then fully master the Kaioken technique which all might put him on the level of a fully powered Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 2.  But that's played out and boring at this point.  I think Tien has the potential to discover some show breaking techniques on his own anyway and not share it with the rest of the cast  Seriously, he is that gifted!

Anyways, continuing from Piccolo leaving King Kai's planet, we have the Earthlings all going there to train after hearing of Piccolo's amazing results.  I myself would have the entire earthling cast go there for training to defend Earth since most of them came face to face with Frieza.  I'd have Tien, Yamcha, and Chaozu joined by Krillin, #18, and Roshi.  I think it's a great opportunity for one master to meet another and could be rife with comedy as Roshi is forced to train alongside his former pupils and a beautiful woman.  Tien and Krillin make the biggest gains here.  It's also discovered that #18 can't learn the Kaioken thanks to her unique energy type.  King Kai notices that Tien is a natural with the technique, moreso than anyone else including Goku.  Tien reveals that it's because his Kikoho technique produces a similar effect on his body and he's mastered the technique to minimize the strain on his body.  Therefore his Kaioken usage is equally less strained and he can push himself to higher levels with it than the others.  Fighters like Roshi, Chaozu, and maybe even Yamcha still don't learn the full Kaioken...okay I'll throw Yamcha a bone and say he learns it too.  Roshi gets a power boost similar to what the boys did before when they trained during the Frieza arc. #18 and Chaozu get a slight power boost.  Every Earthling basically takes what they learned from King Kai home with them and uses it as a foundation for their new personal training, especially Tien.  He goes ham with it (no, not Oolong :-/).

So Tien tests the upward limits of the Kaioken and discovers that he can take it really far before it starts to really rip his body up.  Then he starts testing it with his other techniques like multiform and Kikiho and discovers some powerful combinations.  During one training session, he strains his body too far and discovers a new limit in himself.  Now this is where my Tien power scaling reaches a branching path.  Path 1 will be the logical path, using only methods shown so far in Dragon Ball, while Path 2 will be something more fanciful, with my own addition to the lore, but not very far from what we've seen.

Path 1:
Fan made Mystic Tien
Tien pushes himself to the brink with Kaioken and learns to use it as naturally as a Saiyan would use the original Super Saiyan form.  He continues to apply the Kaioken theory to his various techniques so that they can hit harder, even while he is at a lower power level.  He finds ways to boost his specific techniques far higher than his human body can go.  For instance, his Kikiho grows immensely in power and is able to hit with a power of Kaioken x 500 even though Tien can only raise his body to Kaioken x 50.  He can now one shot Buu saga level threats.  He also learns to use the multiform/Kaioken combo to power his clones to high levels while one stays at rest or uses a less strenuous Kaioken level so that the exhausted clones have a fresh body to return to.  He becomes more of a technique master in this regard, with powerful techniques that still make him a tricky opponent to face even for powerful threats.

Path 2:
Three eyed, four armed human?  Sounds legit.
He learns his body is not actually like a normal Earthling's.  The body straining techniques reveal this more and more.  Tien pushes himself to the brink every day and his power reaches new heights.  Suddenly his former limitations seem so far away and his ability to grow grows exponentially.  He ponders this while training with Chaozu.  King Kai, who's watching, posits a theory to Tien.  He states that there was a race of beings from long ago that were known as war gods.  They were a multi-eyed and multi-armed people (similar to Hindu gods) with extremely high battle powers and a love of combat like the Saiyans.  As a matter of fact, in the past they had often clashed with the Saiyans and were considered rivals, though the War Gods were many times stronger and only the strongest Saiyans stood a chance against them.  War Gods were one of the most durable races in the universe, but an out of control disease (or freaking Beerus) managed to take them all out.  Tien possesses a small measure of this War God blood.  It's affecting his body more and more as he reaches new limits.  The more he strains his body with Kaioken and Kikoho, the more his War God blood reacts.  Now, whenever Tien reaches his brink, his inner War God comes out and he grows four arms, dark red skin, and he can use the multiform without splitting his power.  The War Gods were possibly lower tier deities so this could open a path for Tien to gain some god ki.  I think it's a cool idea, but admit that it is over-the-top and adds lore that wasn't present before.  I don't think it's all that bad considering all the recent additions to the lore.  And Tien is one of those characters whose past is mostly blank so his history can easily be expanded upon.  This is the easiest way to make Tien into a relevant character again and even a suitable rival for Goku again.  One could only hope.

Gohan - This is definitely the easiest powerup on today's list.  Gohan has always had all the potential in the world, starting out with a power greater than all the martial artists on Earth and growing exponentially from there.  He's had his potential unlocked literally three times in the show so far and some of the latest chapters of the Dragon Ball Super manga reveal that Vegeta thinks that he has even more potential still.  The sky is the limit for this man and he will continuously surpass it and then fall waaaaaaaaay below it because Toriyama and whoever else deem it necessary for whatever reason to repeat this character regression endlessly.  All Gohan really needs is another BS powerup from the latest revealed deity, which would be Whis.  If we aren't just giving powerups away then Gohan has several paths he could consider.  Path 1 will be the standard one, path 2 will be one that's a little less obvious and much more character driven, and path 3 will be one that I'm having some fun thinking up.

Path 1:
Gohan gets Super Saiyan God and then Super Saiyan Blue.  This is standard and at this point, very boring.  I'd much rather see Gohan tread his own path to power (no pun intended).  But this is the most obvious way he could get stronger.  Since he would want to get stronger after Piccolo's death and his own humiliation at Frieza's hands, he might go to Whis for training.  Most likely he'd skip red haired Super Saiyan God form and go straight to blue (still not sure how this works).  Gohan might even just seek Goku for training and attain the form by training with him or Vegeta or both.  Very standard, very boring.  And now we'd have three blue haired characters doing the same types of moves *yawn*.

Path 2:
Okay, this is a little more interesting.  After being humiliated by Frieza and having his master killed in front of his very eyes, a useless feeling Gohan goes on his own training journey to get powerful again.  He attempts self training to get his stamina and control of his full power again.  He fully unlocks his powers again (black haired form) through vigorous self training.  Vegeta gives him tips for a good daily regiment and Bulma makes a gravity chamber modification to his house.  On his own, Gohan powers up past his Buu saga Ultimate self and seeks a method to even surpass that.  He considers the path that his father and Vegeta are taking, but the Elder Kai contacts him and tells him that there is another way.  He explains to Gohan that the ways Whis trains are suitable only for those who wish to destroy.  He then tells Gohan that there is a way for Gohan to become a more gentle god than one like Beerus.  He tells Gohan that it is possible for a god to be both strong and gentle like himself, a god that cares for all life.  He opens Gohan up to the path of the Kai's and Gohan attains a different sort of god form this way, one that is the most serene yet.  He always stays in a relaxed looking base form no matter how strong he gets, but he has power on par with Goku and Vegeta.

Path 3:
Gohan goes the route of true martial arts disciple after his humiliation at Frieza's hands.  As Gohan has never really been a fully fledged "martial artist" I figured it'd be some fun character development for him.  He can seek out training from the various Z fighters and even learn some of their techniques.  Mainly it would just be an arc about Gohan learning the virtues of fighting and learning to enjoy it as his peers and masters do.  He could learn from Roshi, Tien, Piccolo (again), Vegeta, King Kai, Whis, etc.  Then after that he could do some intense self training and with his ridiculously high potential that would probably automatically put him at Goku and Vegeta's SSB level. This path just turns Gohan into a battle freak like Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta, and Tien.  It's fun though and a major change for Gohan.  He'd still remain his pacifist self, but have a newfound love and respect for fighting.  Now, he'd always find some time to train, at least every so often.

Buu - Since this is getting so long, I'll make Mr. Buu the last one I do today.  Buu has a lot of paths open to him as well when it comes to gaining greater strength.  First and foremost, we know nothing of Buu's potential.  We don't even know all there is to know of his physiology.  He's magical in nature and for all we know could be constantly getting stronger just from breathing.  I would guess that that's not the case, but what do we know?  I think Mr. Buu does have a high potential to get much stronger.  I think with proper training that Buu could easily get to Golden Frieza and SSB level.  He already starts with an amazingly high base.  Buu was also a life form that the Kais feared so in many ways he's higher than even the gods in the universal heirarchy.  His function seemed to even be on par with what god's of destruction did.  Maybe he was once an out of control god of destruction, who knows?  Buu might even be able to surpass Beerus in only a week, anything is possible with him since we know so little.  I'll try to ground this with the two path approach, maybe more.

Buu absorbed this god eons ago, the Grand Supreme Kai

Path 1:
Buu absorbed a god (the god of gods, Daikaioshin) and thusly has god ki.  Simple, right?  Whis sees this in him and trains him to bring this power out though "without it leaking."  This is a very straightforward way of giving Buu God Ki and a shot at attaining higher levels.

Path 2:
Buu is already a godly being and can access God Ki whenever he wants to.  With simple training Whis is able to help him unlock this.

Path 3:
Buu's magical nature makes it so that his potential is insanely high and with intense basic training he is able to far surpass even Freiza.  He also gains some new abilities through magic, like splitting himself into two characters with unique personalities, Skinny Grey and Buff Pink.  Okay, I'm having a little too much fun with this one, but the point is that he gains some new magical techniques.  Buu could benefit from some Whis training, but if Whis only trains those with God Ki potential and if Buu doesn't have such potential (in this scenario) then maybe Buu finds a different trainer.  Maybe the Piccolo scenario I made above has this powered up Piccolo decide to train Buu so that they could rightfully defend Earth.  These two do have some similar abilities and Buu did take over Piccolo's spot as Dragon Ball's resident demon.  Maybe his super form would look something like Super Buu.

Path 4:
Buu absorbs someone really strong.  I think this one is highly unlikely.  It's one of those "bad guy" techniques that the good guys just don't use.  Think about Piccolo's giant form, Vegeta's Oozaru, and Tien's Four Witches.  There are just certain techniques that get dropped to make a character a good guy and the absorption will be one of them, mark my words.  Besides that, it'll just be ineffective against stronger opponents.

Created by Justice 71 of Deviantart
Well that wraps up this exciting episode of Dragon Ball Fanboy.  Next time we'll talk about ways to power up Goten, Trunks, Krillin, and #18.

Thanks for reading this article my glorious readers!  You all have a great week ahead!

Part 2:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dragon Ball Super and Team Universe 7: Piccolo and Buu

Team U7 includes: Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Majin Buu, and Monaka while Team U6 consists of (from left to right) Hit/Heat, Cabe, Frost, Botamo, and Magetta.

Hey Dragon Ball fans!  This post is a follow-up of my last post about Piccolo's role in Dragon Ball Super.  You can find that post here  Anyways, continuing from there, it looks like Toriyama and the Toei crew have found some use for Piccolo in the main storyline again.  As if the image at the top wasn't enough of a spoiler, I'll preface the rest of this post my declaring there to be SPOILERS ahead.  Read at your own risk.

Now, with that out of the way, let's get started.  Those of you who've been keeping up with Dragon Ball Super's manga know that there is a multi-universal tournament about to kick off between Beerus' team of universe 7 fighters against his brother Champa's team of universe 6 fighters.  Both teams have now been shown in full.  And I'm excited to say that Piccolo has made the cut.  He is a part of team universe 7!


Just seeing this poster gets me hyped up and feeling like this new arc may just be something special.  It takes me back to some of my favorite arcs in DBZ when Goku, Piccolo, and Vegeta were the mainstays of the series.

The series was always at it's highest point when these three got the most screentime and development.  If Piccolo is properly utilized in this new arc then the series may find its way again. So I'm wondering what they'll do with him on the team.  Will he get to fight?  Will Buu fight?  I mean, if Goku and Vegeta are competing one would think that there will be strong fighters of their caliber on the opposing team to challenge them.  If that is the case then where does Piccolo and Buu fit into all this?  We're consistently lead to believe that Piccolo isn't much stronger than he was at the Cell games.  He's most likely still far below Buu unfortunately.  But from what we've seen with this new content, it seems that with the most intense training (like with Tagoma) that even Piccolo can potentially make some ridiculous training gains to make him a prominent fighter again.  We'll get back to this in a little bit though.

The Most Likely Scenario:

Here's what I'm afraid of. Piccolo and Buu are not really needed for the tournament.  They are simply team filler.  If we judge by previous tournaments then this is the most likely scenario.  Usually in the Dragon Ball tournaments there are about 4 top tier fighters with two of them being far above the rest, along with a handful of jobbers.  The jobbers also get some cool moments, but they are mostly there to make their opponents look powerful.  Think of Yamcha's role in the original Dragon Ball series.

In the first Tenkaichi Budokai we see in Dragon Ball the above formula applies to Goku, Krillin, and Roshi who are top tier and manage to almost effortlessly sweep through the competition.  You can add Nam as a forth there.  Goku and Roshi perform at a level far above the others here.  I've posted a photo of the tournament fighters to show who all competed, but please ignore the power levels.  These coincide with what I'm saying, but they are not official. Credit goes to forum user Black Hawk.

Disregard the power levels here.

In the second Tenkaichi Budokai that we see the four are mostly the same with Goku, Krillin, and Roshi at the top again but they are joined by the main antagonist of the arc, Tenshinhan aka Tien.  Though the fights are portrayed as nearly even, Goku and Tien perform at a level seemingly far above the other two.  Roshi may still be at their level though, but you still see the pattern here, right?

Disregard the power levels here.

Now we go to the final Tenkaichi Budokai in Dragon Ball and we have Tien and Goku joined by newcomers Shen (Kami in a human body) and Ma Jr. (Piccolo).  Though Tien is really strong and gives Goku a great fight, he is still far outclassed by Goku, Piccolo, and most likely even Shen.  We don't really get to see too much of Kami in his fight with Piccolo so we don't exactly know how strong he is.  So we can still kind of go with Piccolo and Goku being way ahead of the rest.

Disregard the power levels here.

Now for the last tournament we pretty much have Goku and Vegeta waaaaaay ahead of everyone else and maybe Gohan and Supreme Kai or Gohan and Piccolo behind them.  Now in this new God of Destruction Tournament arc in Dragon Ball Super it's probably the same.  I would say that Goku and Vegeta are going to be quite powerful as the latest chapter of the manga has shown that they've been training for three years in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.

The prevailing theory is that they may have gotten stronger than Beerus in that time.  Along with them you have Monaka the red alien at the rear of the U7 team.  Monaka was said to have been the fiercest warrior that Beerus has ever faced.  Monaka now looks quite old and my theory is that he/she has lost a lot of power, but who exactly knows at this point anyway.  Now that we have this new team based tournament style for the series we can change the numbers up a little bit from previous tournaments and include at least two more to the formula.  So with this tournament we'll have a total of six characters who are top tier, and four characters who are of the highest tier, with maybe two barely at the very top above the other two.


So I think it'll work like this for the Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 tournament arc: Piccolo and Buu are probably going to be complete jobbers (people who lose to show the strength of an opponent).  I don't think they're going to get a power boost at all, well not a major one anyway, well not one to compete with the big boys I should clarify.  Toriyama may subvert our expectations again and have a tournament that's not even completely about fighting.  If it is completely about fighting then two of the fighters on the Universe 6 team may have strength comparable to Buu and Piccolo.  My guess would be that the Botamo (the bear looking guy) and Meggeta (the robot) will be close enough to Buu and Piccolo to make those fights more even.  Whatever the case with the lower tier fighters, the higher tier fighters will follow the known Dragon Ball formula.  You can think of Goku and Vegeta as the top fighters in our universe, taking that top tier spot and either below or above them will be Monaka who was said to give Beerus some trouble in the past.  On the opposite side I believe the purple guy, Hit/Heat, will be top tier along with the small Saiyan, Cabe.  Joining them will be the Frieza looking guy, Frost.  So altogether I think there'll be six high tier fighters (Goku, Vegeta, Monaka, Hit, Cabe, and Frost).  Of those six, four will be above the rest or simply take precedence (Goku, Vegeta, Hit, Frost).  Monaka will probably have a gimmick to why he/she isn't as reliable as Goku and Vegeta.  My guess would be old age/laziness.  Hopefully it doesn't play out like this and Akira plans something far more creative for us.

Back to training...

So let's get back to Piccolo and Buu.  Goku handpicked them to be on the team.  His decision seemed like a more pragmatic one than anything.  He picked them in terms of strength and usefulness I think.  Buu, because he was next in line (hopefully under Gohan) and he's nearly invincible.  Piccolo, because (besides Gohan and Buu) he's the next strongest.  He also has the most fighting experience besides Goku, Vegeta, and possibly Tien.  He is also a very unique fighter with a diverse pool of useful techniques.  Goku and Vegeta are seen training in a unique dimension in Whis' staff during the Fukkatsu no 'F' arc of Dragon Ball Super in order to master their god forms.  Now they've been shown to train for three days in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber which you all know equals three years.  This is after they already learned Super Saiyan Blue.  So their level of strength at this point must be insane!

Buu and Piccolo 

Maybe they should combine.  That would mean they would be a combination of 5 or more people including 2 gods.

So what about Piccolo and Buu?  They only have 5 days to train.  Will they also train in some crazy new dimension?  My hope is that they do.  I hope they end up training with Whis, maybe together.  What's cool is that they have similar abilities when I think of it.  Magic, object materialization, regeneration (though Buu's is better), stretchy limbs (Buu's is better again), and sweet capes (Piccolo's is waaaaay better).  But I hope that they get more than simple basic training.  I hope they unlock something godly within themselves as well.  These two seem to have the best potential to be gods.  Buu because he literally absorbed the highest Kaioshin, Daikaioshin.  And Piccolo because he literally absorbed the Earth's god, Kami.  Maybe both can get new forms as well.  With the ridiculous powerups we've seen in Dragon Ball Super so far, I would have no qualms about Piccolo and Buu getting some crazy powerups to make them much closer to Goku and Vegeta's level.  We've seen Piccolo make some of the best training gains in the past before Frieza was reintroduced (and now Tagoma) so it's not too crazy here.

Before I hope for too much here, I'll end my speculations for now.  So far DBS hasn't lived up to my expectations so hopefully, this time around, Toriyama and crew do something cool that brings me back into the show and lets my imagination run with how cool his new story is, rather than ways that I could do it better.  They have introduced a very cool cast of characters into this tournament and even given Piccolo a role in it.  Time will tell if this proves to be as good as the hype it builds.

Thanks for the browse my glorious readers!

Check out my updated opinions with part 2:

Also my dream powerups for some of my favorite characters:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Here are the winners of my book giveaway.

From the end of October until today, I had a giveaway on for my book, Average Joe and the Extraordinaires.  The giveaway coincides with the one year anniversary of my book's release.  Today I am here to announce the winners of that giveaway.

Three lucky winners will be receiving the stylish paperback copy of my book, Average Joe and the Extraordinaires.

Those winners are: 

Laura Feijóo Álvarez of Spain
Kadie Turcotte of the U.S.
and Željko Cindrić of Croatia

Congratulations ladies and gentleman.  I hope you enjoy your new copies of AJE.  Gotta love that new book smell!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dragon Ball Super Insults Your Intelligence, Akira Toriyama Lost It, and Toei Blows: Part 1: Battle of Gods

I think Toriyama and Toei should call everything from the two new movies along with the anime and manga Plot Device Z: Battle of Deus Ex Machina, Plot Device Z: Resurrection of Inconsistency, and Plot Device Super respectively.  With Dragon Ball Super, it now feels that Toei and Toriyama are barely even attempting to create anything remotely coherent anymore.  We have barebones art and animation quality for the anime, a manga that moves too fast, and three different sources of canon for the show.  I'm only considering canon important in this regard because it affects the future of the show and things are now diverse enough (Tagoma, god healing, Ginyu's return) that its inclusion in one canon should affects future storylines in other canons (such as Goku not being able to heal after getting shot in FnF).  That's all just to say that all of this new Dragon Ball content is definitely disjointed and feels poorly planned and executed.

Now Let's Recap starting from Battle of Gods in 2013.

BoG was filled with some awesome ideas, great comedy, and some pretty awesome new characters in Beerus and Whis.  I loved the movie, but that didn't stop me from groaning at the inconsistencies I saw and wishing for just a little more from the movie.  As far as inconsistencies go, it had the least offenses compared to all the new content since "Yo, Son Goku and Friends Return!"  Regardless it did have some pretty big inconsistencies.  There were also a lot of missed opportunities that could've made the experience so much better.

Inconsistency 1: Kaiosama's planet is back without any mention of how it returned.  There was enough padded time in the movie to explain this.  They could've even handwaved it by saying that King Kai remembered that he could restore himself (stupid, I know), but to not address it at all was problematic.

Inconsistency 2: Bulma's Age being 38.  Almost forgivable, as women lie about their age all the time, but the movie never really treated it as a joke or had another character call BS.  Most of us fans know that Bulma is supposed to be much older at this point in the series.  By the time of the Buu Saga, she is definitely pushing 40 already at the bare minimum.  If you consider the timeline she should be in her mid forties.

Inconsistency 3: Vegeta's SSJ2 beyond SSJ3 rage boost.  Nothing ever said that this wasn't possible so it's more of a contrivance than an inconsistency, still it's kinda lame considering how it wasn't even explained properly.  I like what it did for Vegeta's character, but it just breaks much of what we've learned about the show and with no real explanation.  I mean, this sort of thing is what makes these new additions to the series horrid to me.  If you're going to break the show, as in things we know are already established, such as SSJ3 being leaps and bounds ahead of SSJ2 then for the sake of the fans, at least do it with a proper explanation instead of a wink and a nod and we barely get that really.  Casual show breaking is the theme for 2015 Dragon Ball it seems.  Oh and where was a boost of this nature when Trunks from the future died?  Vegeta seemed more angry back then, but he never got such a huge boost, never even went SSJ2.  Seems like a plot boost to me.

Inconsistency 4: This one's mostly for those of us who keep track of Battle Power, but no one else really cares.  But having Gohan having such a low showing against Beerus compared to even Buu was unnecessary.  This was a guy who was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of Vegeta, Buu, and even Goku as an SSJ3.  How did he diminish so quickly?  I rate this one lower than the others because its very possible in-universe that Gohan slacked off a lot and Goku and Vegeta caught up and surpassed him in the years between the end of the Buu Saga and BoG.  It's just so jarring considering how power has worked in the show so far and how far ahead of everyone else he was.

Missed Opportunity 1: Not including Tarble in the movie.  Including Videl's Saiyan fetus in the god ritual was just laughable.  This would have been a great opportunity to include Vegeta's brother into the canon and even as a regular character in the movies.  Why introduce a character that you'll never use again Toei and Toriyama?  Though Tarble's existence is a bit of an inconsistency in itself in many ways.  They could've even had Supreme Kai get Tarble via Instantaneous Movement, since the Earth was in danger.  I guess that when I think of it, I'm fine with no Tarble.  Since all he brings to the series is unneeded questions.  What sucks here is that they mention him in the movie.  If he just wasn't canon to the movie that would be fine, but he's instead mentioned then replaced with an unborn Saiyan baby for no reason at all really.  I had to scratch my head at such a strange decision.

This folks, is a grown ass man in his late 30's :-)

Missed Opportunity 2: Having such a lame and unbelievable way to achieve Super Saiyan God.  So according to this nearly any group of "righteous" Saiyans can achieve this form as long as they have the correct number of people.  And what does "righteous" even mean if an unborn fetus can contribute to the ritual?

Missed Opportunity 3: Not introducing a cooler look for Super Saiyan God (though the form has grown on me and I prefer it waaaaaay over the lazy Blue Super Saiyan God form.  They should've done more with a fire motif IMO even with the hair.  Think of how cool it would be if Goku's hair became more and more like fire as he progressed in power.)

Missed Opportunity 4: Making Gohan so weak.  Would've been much better to have him put up a better fight than at least Buu.    I think Gohan and Vegeta shouldn've had the same showing against Beerus, with both putting up decent fights, but then have Vegeta surpass him with the rage thingy.  That way it shows that they were initially still somewhat close at least, instead of having Gohan be a complete scrub.  Remember, Gohan was way above Vegeta in the Buu arc, like in a whole other ballpark.

Missed Opportunity 5: Not having some other new, cool character introduce what Super Saiyan God is, rather than Shenron Ex Machina.  Maybe an actual "righteous" Saiyan other than the main cast.  Even Old Kai would've made sense here, but then again people would've asked "where was this knowledge during the Buu saga?"  To which you could counter that there weren't enough Saiyans around. They could've even done something cool with Tarble, had him be like an intergalactic archaeologist and find something on the legend to bring to Earth, something to expand the lore.  I personally like the new righteous Saiyan character idea the most.

Missed Opportunity 6: Making the Super Saiyan God transformation so complex yet not taking the time to properly explain it.  So its temporary and you can lose it, but if you're skilled enough, you can absorb it?  And when you absorb it, you can fight in normal form, but still have similar powers?  But are you weaker in the non-red form?  Goku seemed to be putting up a slightly better fight or at least comparable fight even when he looked "base" or just "normal Super Saiyan."  We are told that he absorbed the power, but come on!  We need more than that to understand if his final god form transformation at the end while absorbing Beerus' attack even did anything.  Besides a power up and invisible ki, does the form do anything else?

Missed Opportunity 7: Calling the new Saiyan god form Super Saiyan God instead of simply calling it Saiyan God or just God Form.  Now every dragon ball fan looks stupid saying stuff like Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan Blue.  They're really doing all this with no planning aren't they?  Sloppy.  Super Cyan and Blueper Saiyan is hilarious though.  But seeing as how this is an error really, I like to call it Blooper Saiyan

Missed Opportunity 8: Super Saiyan God as a concept literally comes out of nowhere.  There has never been any mention of this in the show and it's not even blended into the existing lore smoothly in the movie.  Beerus literally wakes up screaming random nonsense.  Hell, even Vegeta, Saiyan lore master, doesn't know about it.  It would have been cool if they just retconned the Super Saiyan of Legend to be the Super Saiyan God and made all the other forms of Super Saiyan be inferior offshoots, but it seems us fans are far more creative and imaginative than Toriyama and Toei nowadays.
Just retcon this...

...into this.  Not hard considering all the other retcons introduced.

Missed Opportunity 9: Retconning Frieza's destruction of planet Vegeta to an order from Beerus.  It diminishes Frieza's character and does absolutely nothing new for the show.  It doesn't even add to Beerus at all.  We already know Beerus is great at destruction, now he just seems like a conniver which goes against his established character as someone who kinda just likes to blow stuff up, fight, and eat.  He's just kinda like an unrestrained Goku in many ways.

All that said, once I actually sat down to watch the movie, none of it seemed to matter.  I simply put all the inconsistencies and dumb additions to the Dragon Universe out of mind and enjoyed a fairly good movie.  Since I was starved for new Dragon Ball content and the movie had just about everything going for it including action, comedy, good art, great animation, and pure nostalgia; I was easily caught up in the hype and my body was ready for the next installment.  So I'd say in the grand scheme of things, that BoG wasn't that bad.  It seemed to set a new tone for the series, one that I was a little leery about, but way more excited for than anything else.  So if I can overlook inconsistencies and missed opportunities of this nature then I can certainly overlook whatever may come next, right?  Well, what comes next is Resurrection 'F', a movie that could use the tagline "50% of the stuff you love with 50% unnecessary and unexplained world breaking horse shit."  Or even better, "You'll love the action and the colors, but everything else is lazy as hell with no research done by our staff!"

Honorable mentions: Pilaf and crew seeming to only get one wish from Shenron (I don't really care.)  Same with Shenron simply leaving after it answered the question about SSJG.  I think it was done for simple comedy affect and it doesn't even seem to count as a wish really, but who knows since it was also unexplained.  Beerus being tender enough with his slap not to splatter Bulma's whole existence over her party guests.  I mean, why would he care?  You know how much holding back he would have to do to not kill her with just a touch?  I just chalk it up to BoG Beerus being a fairly amicable guy, despite Bulma's actions being highly disrespectful.  All in all, it just doesn't bother me that much.  There's probably more inconsistencies, but I can't currently remember them.