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.

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