Friday, August 26, 2016

A Dragon Ball Fanboy vs Akira Toriyama and Toei on Transformation Usefulness vs Cool Factor p1

Z Forms: SSJ - SSGSSJ

Super Saiyan


Cool Factor: Straight up legendary.
The iconic form that's represented the most in the movies and games.  This form was instantly legendary when it was unveiled in the Goku vs. Frieza fight on Namek.  The first transformations of Goku, Trunks, Vegeta, and Gohan to this form were all epic, if not seminal moments in the Dragon Ball Z anime.  Though it was soon outclassed by other forms, nothing really comes close to the original Super Saiyan form when it comes to effectiveness, epicness, and great design.  Pale yellow/golden hair along with the aqua blue eyes and golden aura give this form a majestic feel and it is very striking to see characters normally with deep black hair and eyes transform this way.  The gain in muscle mass and the fierce expression that normally accompanies the transformation really strikes the point that it is the form of legendary warriors ... that is until the children get it, then it quickly becomes a lame and unearned plaything.

Usefulness: Useful and versatile.
Inside the show, the form grants a 50x power boost and can seemingly be improved upon and fully mastered to grant even more power.  This makes it extremely useful when it's first introduced especially since the boost had very little drawbacks to it.  It was the pinnacle of powerups for a short while, probably longer than any other powerup that the show has had.  Everyone with Saiyan DNA tried to attain then master it.  Outside the show, the form was great for creating a new sort of hype and coolness around the show.  When other characters sought out and gained the form, it made for some really good drama and payoff for the viewers.  Not to mention that the form is easily recognizable to anyone who has even glanced at Dragon Ball Z in passing.  It's been featured in the most movies, of course, since everyone uses it.  There are two versions of the form, raw and full power/mastered.  Such a spectrum of power and utility makes it the most effective transformation yet.


Super Saiyan 1 - Grade 2 

Super Vegeta


Cool Factor: Pretty freakin' cool...but we've seen it before.
Buff Roshi anyone?  Buff Frieza?  Filler Buff Piccolo?  I think you get it by now.  Still, even though it's not 100% original it's still very awesome to see Vegeta ascend to this form for the first time and beat the ever loving hell out of Cell.  I think this form is deserving of the title Ascended Super Saiyan.


Usefuless: Great stepping stone to mastery.
A very useful upgrade to the original Super Saiyan form.  Increases speed, power, and durability to greater levels.  It's not officially known how much it does, but it is significant.  I wish we got to see more of the form actually, but it's eventually greatly outclassed by Super Saiyan 2, so in the end it ends up not being very useful.  I do think it was and remains an effective transformation though, at least until one perfects the first form outright.


Super Saiyan 1 - Grade 3

Cool Factor: Looks cool but quickly ends up in a trash bin.
When we first saw Trunks' eyes turn all white and him bulk up to ridiculous levels I thought that it was the end for Cell (not really but I thought Trunks would win at least).  Trunks took an episode or two to power up and Perfect Cell even admitted that Trunks was stronger, but then proceeds to school the young Saiyan and even humiliate him to the point he gave up on life.  Probably the worst showing for any new transformation.

Usefuless: Not useful (so far).
Even in the show it wasn't a very useful form.  While the form greatly reduces power it also greatly reduces speed.  That tradeoff is a death nail for most characters in the DB-verse.  Speed is key to winning fights.  Slow characters have no way to use all that power to hit faster characters especially since no one really uses Solar Flare effectively.


Super Saiyan 2


Cool Factor: Badass as all hell but no lasting appeal (unless Gohan's using it).
You can't mention Super Saiyan 2 without mentioning Gohan's epic transformation into the form against Cell.  It was a character defining moment for Gohan and one that still blows fans away to this day.  Gohan has and will always have the best Super Saiyan 2 transformation in the show.  If Gohan had never attained the form then it would actually be a pretty boring one compared to the original Super Saiyan transformation.  The hair gets spikier and there's a very slight charge of lightning around the body.  Not much of a change if you ask me, and seeing Goku and Vegeta transform really drives that point home.  Young Gohan's first Super Saiyan 2 transformation was very distinct though.  It has always been a beloved fan favorite transformation and one that I still consider badass though in the grand scheme of things, since it was only a power boost, it wasn't around for very long, and since it didn't look that distinct from Super Saiyan 1, it faded into the background pretty quickly.  If it did something specific or changed the character's look a little more, then I think it would have left a stronger impression on people.

Usefulness: Powerful but proves to be a one trick pony.
Inside the show, the Super Saiyan 2 transformation is twice as strong as the original Super Saiyan transformation, making it much better than the first.  The improvements include strength, speed, and durability.  Gaining the form required a high level of training and for Gohan a traumatic emotional catalyst, but after gaining it, it seemed effortless to maintain it as long as you trained regularly.  In the show it proves to be the most balanced form until the god forms are introduced.

Outside the show however, the form was never played up to be a big deal unless Gohan was using it.  Images of Super Saiyan 2 Goku and Vegeta are not as iconic as images of their Super Saiyan 1 versions.  I don't think the form was striking enough to gain much attention, whereas every other Super Saiyan form has a standout quality.  Super Saiyan 2 is definitely the most subtle so for marketing purposes Super Saiyan 2 is fairly useless.  Not to say that Super Saiyan 2 stuff looks bad.  I believe the opposite, that it looks really cool.  But outside of us hardcore fans, who can really tell the difference between the forms without having it explained to them?

Now, in my personal opinion, it's a wasted form after Gohan uses it against Cell.  Just giving Gohan a rage boost would've accomplish the same effect.  I think either the form should be reserved for Gohan only, or Toriyama should've had it specialize in something, like speed for instance.  It's definitely wasted since Super Saiyan 3, Fusion, and the Elder Kai powerup are all introduced right after.  Making it double the power of the previous form was also a mistake since it doomed the first form of Super Saiyan to obsoletion and set the stage for its own obsoletion later on.  That was the death nail for the show when it came to power balancing especially for Saiyans and other characters who were already struggling to keep up.

Super Saiyan 3
 

Cool Factor: Highly original, sticks with you.
A drastic new look along with a huge power boost accompanied this new form that Goku hid from Vegeta as they pounded each other's faces in in Super Saiyan 2 form.  Now this form looks GODLY!  The only thing I never understood about it was the lack of eyebrows.  I still don't get that.  I think it would look even more cool with eyebrows, but as is, it's great!  I think a Saiyan's muscle mass and height gets bigger as well which makes it a very intimidating form.

Usefuless: Like new technology, powerful as heck, but drains all the batteries.
In the grand scheme of things it's not a very useful form, but then again, I suppose we've never seen it completely mastered.  What SSJ3 grants is a huge boost in just about every category.  The "official" boost for it is 4x whatever SSJ2 is which makes it 400x a saiyan's normal base level.  BUT SSJ3 comes with a humungous drawback called stamina drain.  This transformation seems to be the most taxing one yet.  Goku can't hold the form for very long and has to recharge in the middle of a fight with an opponent of similar strength.  It's quickly thrown away in the new material in favor of a more simplified god form.  I would still like to see a mastered SSJ3 form, preferably with mastered eyebrows XD.

Super Saiyan God



Cool Factor: Takes time to get used to, but actually a badass form with potential.
I'll admit, I hated this form at first.  I thought it was a lazy palette swap and an unimaginative retread of the Kaioken technique.  And the way you attain it is the biggest asspull in Dragon Ball history in my opinion.  After looking at it for a while and truly understanding what it was and where it could go, I began to see it as brilliant.  I like Toriyama's philosophy for it.  He wanted something simple and striking and he succeeded.  For me the form is at its weakest when it's motionless and doesn't have the fiery aura like you see in the picture above.  The flat magenta color of Goku's eyes and hair just looks too plastic-like to me.  But once the fighting starts and Goku starts "burning up" the form truly begins to shine.  I was hoping there'd be more to it too.  I wanted to see its concept and design pushed forward even more.

Usefuless: Great potential, but grossly underutilized.
The power boost granted from the power up is off the scales.  It's probably the biggest power boost that the show has ever had.  In universe it's considered a temporary form, though those with genius level fighting instincts, like Goku, can absorb the power into themselves permanently and make it their own.  In the anime the form even grants the ability to heal mortal wounds.  In the manga the form seems more permanent as Goku is seen transforming into it in the U6 Tournament arc.

As I said above, I wish we got to see more of the form.  I think the potential for a design that expanded upon it would have been better than what we ended up getting in FnF.  The flame-like design of the aura and hair and how unique, mysterious and temporary the powers seemed to be opened a new path forward into the Dragon Ball universe that made it truly exciting again.  But it was never really expanded upon and what replaced it turned out to be particularly flat and incongruent.  So I feel this particular form never really achieved it's ultimate potential, which I think could've saved the franchise.


Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan/Super Saiyan Blue/Super Saiyan Beyond God



Cool Factor: Every bad thing a transformation could be in one...cool aura though.
Flat. Boring. Unimaginative. Asspull. Recolor of previous form. Dumb name. Does nothing knew. Completely forgettable. Laughable even.  Okay, to be fair Super Saiyan 2 just made the hair spikier and added lighting to the aura, but at least it felt like an organic transformation.  This form just looks and feels like plastic.  It's almost as if it were made to be a toy.  The red form was jarring but it at least simplified things again and made them fresh, with new concepts such as making a character more lean.  Blooper Saiyan is just a plain ol' retread with different coloring.  The only thing I like about it is the aura and the way it looks all static-y.  If they had that aura, plain black hair and maybe some glowing blue eyes, then I think I could get behind this as the ascended form of Super Saiyan God.  As is it just feels like a cheap attempt to make new toys.  Nothing organic about it.

Usefuless: Just an obligatory power boost, move along.
It doesn't really do much either, so of course it's temporary until they get the next new form.  I think it's telling how even with the form Vegeta gets schooled against Hit.  It's already been demystified as nothing special.  As a matter of fact since it's conception Goku and Vegeta have done nothing but get their asses kicked while using it.  At full power Golden Frieza wrecked SSB Goku pretty bad.  Normal Frieza killed SSB Vegeta with a planet explosion.  Hit absolutely wrecked Vegeta so bad that they had to retcon SSB being a form with perfect ki control since the transformation itself now drains stamina and greatly reduces ki apparently.  Without the aura to back it up, it proves to be the flattest looking form yet and clashes with the character's uniforms, making them both took like vibrant taffy.  When the aura is done right, you can kind of forgive the form.  Can't wait until it gets replaced though.

When the aura is done right, you can kind of forgive the form.



Honorable Mention:
Legendary Super Saiyan


Cool Factor: Absolutely dominating.
Say what you will about Broly, but Legendary Super Saiyan is pretty damn badass.  It was especially so when it was first introduced.  The green color of the hair and huge muscle mass also made me see this as the Incredible Hulk form.  Definitely one of the more unique forms, up there with SSJ3.  One thing I never got was how it was so fast compared to Super Saiyan Grade 3.  The first movie Broly appeared in made this form absolutely stick in the minds of the fans and a lot of the DBZ fan community believe that Broly has the potential to be the strongest character of them all.  I don't fall into that camp since I've observed many of Broly's limitations in his many appearances, but there's definitely room for other interpretations.

Usefuless: The best of the ascended forms.
What if you take all that power from Super Saiyan Grade 3 and add a proportional speed increase as well?  You get Legendary Super Saiyans, that's what.  Broly wipes the floor with all grades of Super Saiyan 1 including the mastered version of the form.  Even an (arguably) mastered Super Saiyan Goku stands no chance against him without the combined power of the other Z Senshi.  Broly ran through four Super Saiyans and a Super Namek during his road trip of carnage.  And I say road trip because Broly was a Mack truck while the Z Senshi were helpless pedestrians.  The form does lose all usefulness compared to Super Saiyan 2.  It's possible that it could have surpassed it (if Gohan was indeed using it in the Broly sequel), but I just don't believe it did.  Though at the end of the day I still don't get why this form has so much speed and grade 3 is so slow. *shrugs*


Final opinions:
So all in all you can see that I'm a major fan of the more original transformations.  Some have more potential for expansion than others.  I am starting to get fatigued on them all though.  They've already lost what made them special since there's a new one with each new arc or movie, etc.  By making them palette swaps now it quickens that fatigue.  I believe the forms each need something more unique to them.  They need a real reason for their use otherwise it's just a countdown until they are obsolete and that's no fun.

Out of all the newer forms, I believe Super Saiyan 3 and the original Super Saiyan God (red) form have the most potential for expansion of abilities and updated designs.  I think the forms should specialize to give the Saiyans a reason for using lesser forms other than the need to hold back or test opponent's strength.  SSJ3 could be the new grade 3, a form that maximizes power at the cost of stamina and some speed.  SSJ2 can be the speed focused form as already emphasized by the lightning bolts and svelte designs.

For the higher forms, I think it's not too late to branch from SSG and go back to the fire motif.  Emphasize the auras and make the hair changes more subtle and not candy-like.  It cheapens it.  If they're going to keep transforming then each of the forms needs to specialize too.  Maybe SSB can be that form that they can conserve ki by fighting in while other forms burn through it like mad, or a form that powers ki blast attacks or something.  What I'm saying is that the forms need to do something and if not, they at least need to look stylish or functional.  Now, I can't say that for SSB or the rumored Super Saiyan Rose.  I think the coolest thing they could do is have the hair become more and more fire-like until maybe it blends in with the aura almost.

Anyways, thanks for reading my ramblings glorious readers and please share your opinions as well.  Til next time, everyone.  Take care.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Indie Book Corner: Sky Ghost: The Night Before, by Alexandra Engellmann (Free Download)

https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Ghosts-Before-Fantasy-adults-ebook/dp/B01JOC3GBY
Click for download page.


Action packed short story with plenty of cutthroat humor.


Sky Ghosts: The Night Before is a fast-paced action comedy with a lot of brutal swordplay and appropriately dark humor.  It stars a young adult age girl named Pain who's out to protect the streets of New York from the big bad Sky Beasts, a rival gang composed of those with powers like hers.  I've been a fan of these SG books for a while now.  This brand of metaphysical fantasy and supernatural action is just my cup of tea.  This short introduction story serves up more of what I like about the series, namely the bloody action and awesome characters.  You won't find very many characters out there quite like my favorite pair of Pain and Marco, both stars of their own books that I also enjoyed immensely.  This one hit my action junkie spot quite nicely and also gave me more than enough “inappropriate” jokes to laugh at.

As someone who's been with this series since the beginning and who is privileged enough to call the author friend, it's quite a joy to see the progression in the writing style.  This one hits all the right points at just the right time which creates a little powerhouse of a short story that hits with great impact.  Because of that, I'll be patiently awaiting the proper series sequel whenever Alexandra gets to finishing the damn thing.

Anyways, check out the free preview guys and gals and that me know what you think of it.


My Other Sky Ghosts Reviews:


Sky Ghosts: All For One - http://belartscorner.blogspot.com/2015/02/indie-corner-sky-ghosts-all-for-one-by.html (still the most viewed review)
Sky Ghosts: Marco - http://belartscorner.blogspot.com/2015/09/indie-book-corner-sky-ghosts-marco-by.html


Where to find Alexandra


Monday, August 22, 2016

Indie Book Corner: The Family: The Brotherhood, by Donte M. McNeal

https://www.amazon.com/Family-Brotherhood-Donte-M-McNeal-ebook/dp/B01GZ7IP0I
Click for purchase page.


Strong character drama amidst violent futuristic gang warfare.


The Family: The Brotherhood is Donte McNeal's first published outing and it is a wonderful debut.  I've been keeping up with many of Donte's Wattpad.com stories such as Godhood: The Ascension and Stardust.  I loved those stories for their over the top combat, unique worlds, and colorful characters.  The Brotherhood exemplifies many similar qualities to those books, but it is also vastly different and I'll tell you why.

For starters, the Brotherhood is a much more grounded book.  The story stars Leone King, a noble young man who is just out to do the right thing.  Leone lives in a world ruled by poverty, corruption, and violence.  It's a world where those who can't protect themselves are subjected to the violent whims of local gangland overlords.  Leone grew up in such a world along with his best friend Nicholas Black.  Both boys grew up with differing upbringings and mentalities and thanks to a life changing event both gain very different visions of how to handle this violent lawlessness and thus is born the major conflict of the book.  We have Leone opting to bring people together in a vast community of well-meaning people just out to make a better world and we have Nicholas who wants to climb to the top of the food chain and simply rule over all the chaos himself.  What comes of all of this is a very interesting drama filled with a ton of great character relationships and conflicts.

While this book is very different from the other Wattpad stories of Donte's, a single thread links them all and that is strong characterization.  I can't help but to really care for the characters in each of his stories, especially this one.  These characters honestly feel like people I've known over my 27 years and many of them of people I'd like to know.  Not only do the characters possess several dimensions, but each of them serves more than one purpose in the story as well.  No one really feels wasted here.  Leone and Nick could carry the book entirely by themselves, but Donte's superb cast of sub-characters really make it all stand out as something more enjoyable.  For me to memorize ANYTHING, especially character names is an accomplishment and so me memorizing them all deserves some kind of gold metal on the part of the author.

The plot itself is very straightforward, but teases at more complexity in the sequel.  Here, it simply serves to move Leone and Nick's character drama forward at a nice pace.  I have no problem with that here because the leads and their conflict were so strong.  Their scenes together were definitely the highlights of the book, especially the bloody tension-filled climax.  There were also a few subplots thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.  The overall concept of the story, one of a good gang vs. a bad gang, is handled nicely.  There is some retrospection on the very nature of what a "good" gang is with Leone questioning the role he and his group plays, so it elevates the book beyond simply being a simple action book.

I had one hell of a good time with this book and feel that it sets the tone greatly for a successful series run.  I can't wait to see what else Donte has in store for these characters since the ending teased something absolutely insane.  Being a friend of Donte's, I can't help but feel it'll be something very unexpected.  Have a look at it yourselves and tell me what you think.


The Quick and Dirty


+Leone King is a very relatable lead who just wants to do the right thing.
+Nicholas Black is a great foil for Leone and a very fun character to read.
+The Family is a unique organization with interesting, far reaching, and noble goals.
+The sub-characters all shine brilliantly.  The Family feels like a...well, a family.
+A good and satisfying portrayal of leadership and its hardships.


Where to find Donte


Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Dragon Ball Fanboy vs Akira Toriyama and Toei part 3: Transformations

Transformations have been a mainstay in the Dragon Ball series since Frieza uttered his lines about second, third, and final forms.  Even before that you had people turning into giant apes, turning into younger version of themselves, bulking up, growing giant, growing multiple arms, and even Garlic Jr.  So it comes as no surprise that transformations have become a cornerstone in the series development.



Transformations are so vital to the series, that when you can't get a new one, you aren't important anymore.  Look at characters like Piccolo, Tien, Krillin and now even the half human Saiyans.  No new transformations equals no more use for you in the plot based fights.

So today I'm here to discuss with you all the usefulness of transformations in the show.  Are they still necessary?  Will continuing to create new ones break the show even more?  Will we fans ever stop being interested in Dragon Ball if the transformations stop?  I'd like to talk about that stuff as well as my overall feelings on the new transformations introduced in Dragon Ball Super.  Then I'd like to talk about the resounding effects transformations have had on other shounen manga as well as if transformations were an overall good idea for the Dragon Ball franchise overall.

The Purpose of Transformations


Having characters that are able to transform does a few things for the Dragon Ball franchise.  As far as the story goes, it can add a sudden shot of tension to the story when a villain or hero gets a new form in the middle of combat.  It can also add length to an epic confrontation and allow for others to have epic fights against an arc's main villain like with Frieza, Cell, and Buu.  It adds a level of excitement and hype as fans wait week to week for heroes and villains to achieve new forms and show off what they can do.  When it comes to merchandising, transforming characters can potentially rake in a lot of $$$.  Look no further than franchises such as Digimon, Pokemon, and Transformers for confirmation on this.  Then of course you have Dragon Ball and the countless shounen products that have followed Dragon Ball's blueprint for success.  Each form represents a chance to market it with new toys, clothes, games, and other accessories.

So with all that said, it sounds like a no-brainer to include as many cool transformations into a show as possible, right?  Not really, when you think about it.  While transformations are cool and do a great job at bringing a dose of hype into a show, overusing them can cause them to lose any sort of meaningfulness and become downright silly.  So let's now go over the usefulness of transformations.



Negatives of overusing character transformations

We're quickly moving in this direction

 

Towards the end of Dragon Ball Z things became a bit of a mess.  It started with the introduction of power levels and power multiplications and just ran rampant after alternate forms of Super Saiyan were introduced.  The original form being a 50x boost was soon outclassed after its introduction and so a boost was needed for that to thwart another transforming foe and so we get a "new form" which doubles the power of the Super Saiyan boost, giving Saiyans a 100x boost to power overall or so the guides tell me.  So when another power transforming villain is introduced, even that's not enough and so yet again the heroes must gain a new form that quadruples that, or so the guides tell me.  But no, the show must go on, so new, more powerful villains are again introduced.

In GT we have the likes of Baby, Super 17, and Omega Shenron who are all also technically transforming villains.  For that, even Super Saiyan 3 and 400x boost isn't enough, so Goku and Vegeta need to get a new form that's even more powerful than that.  Enter Super Saiyan 4 which is 10x as strong as Super Saiyan 3 which makes it 4,000x stronger than a Saiyans base form.

In Super we have Super Saiyan God greatly outclassing Super Saiyan 3 by at least ten times, putting it on par or above the Super Saiyan 4 boost in GT.  Then we get into vague and even laughable territory with the horribly named Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan since we're never told how strong the form really is in comparison to Super Saiyan God (later they make it more clear that it is superior).

Where I'm going with this is, where does it stop?  It's already gotten silly and even a tad pointless with forms that are just recolored versions of stuff we've already seen.  SSG Goku just looks like a skinnier version of Goku when he uses Kaioken.  It's a very basic design but on its own you get used to it and can see it as a cool new form.  I do like the idea of taking things back to basics so I got into the form and actually liked the way that the aura looked.  The aura gave the form a 'godly' feel.  It gave me a feeling of fire and I figured each new extension of the form would give it more of a "red hot" feel.  Instead of taking that form to it's next evolution Toriyama gave us something completely different (really more of the same) and incongruent with his current ideas called Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, which is really just photoshopped Super Saiyan 1.  We didn't even have a chance to get used to SSG before it was replaced with a new laughable transformation.

I think transformations have overall been a great thing for the Dragon Ball franchise and served a great purpose at hyping the fanbase up.  But it was only hype when it was given to a character that we thought was already far outclassed and when it came out of nowhere it blew us away.  Now only the already strong people get them and it's not much of a surprise anymore.  Even the reveal for some of the newer forms have been lackluster. What I'm saying is that the series is becoming too reliant on them and that the newer forms have not and will not sustain the hype if they continue to be creatively stagnant.


Transformations should grant alternate abilities, not just power.

 


Killua using Godspeed in HxH
For Frieza, it was cool to see new transformations power him up, because each of his forms besides his final one was a suppressed state.  He was purposely limiting himself in a sort of armor.  Cell's transformation power ups were cool because he literally absorbed vital components into his structure to become a more complete being.  Buu's power ups made a lot of sense because he was literally absorbing other people.  He even inherited abilities (like Piccolo's intelligence) and weaknesses (like Gotenk's fusion limit and Daikaioshin's purity) of those he absorbed.  Now though, I think the time for huge powerups from transformations should be at an end.

I think the show needs to rethink its direction and have each transformation provide some useful ability so that the form has a real use and not just quickly get outclassed and discarded when someone else reveals a new form.  That is my wish for the show going forward so that it doesn't continue to discard characters every time an arc goes forward.  Other shows have already figured this out.  I need Toriyama, Toei, Toyotaro and company to figure it out too before they fatigue even the most diehard Dragon Ball fans.


Influence on other shounen anime and videogames

 

I'm not sure exactly what DBZ has influenced over the years, but I would hazard to guess that it's a lot.  I think the transformation trope, now prevalent in most shounen battle mangas comes directly from Dragon Ball.  I have a feeling that the trope of transforming boss characters in videogames may come from Dragon Ball as well, but it's just a hunch more than anything.  Over time, I believe these other shounen mangas have capitalized on the trope better than Dragon Ball in its later years.

Newer anime and manga series have taken what Dragon Ball made popular and added a fresh and tactical spin to it.  Thankfully we're past the early 2000s where everything was an ex machina hidden demon form and now things are generally more creative.  I think for DB to stay viable it has to learn from its students or at the very least Toriyama has to dig further for better ideas and more inspiration.  The original SSG form was very similar in concept and design to Luffy's Gear 2 in One Piece which itself was similar to Kaioken in Dragon Ball.  What I'm saying is that the three above transformations/powerups were very good and Toriyama needs to capitalize on fresh and organic ideas like that instead of shoehorned ideas like SSGSS, Golden Frieza, and now Super Saiyan Rose.

Anyways, that's my two cents.  What are your favorite forms from Dragon Ball and from other shounen series?  Thanks for browsing, my glorious readers!  Take care.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Introducing the story that made me an author: Hell Warriors

Hey guys and gals, Belart here.  Corny intros aside, I'm here to tell you about something near and dear to my heart and that is my first still unreleased novel, Hell Warriors: A Hero in the Flames.




Hell Warriors has been an important project of mine since 2008. I've been drawing characters for it since like 1998. I finished my first draft for it in some old ratty school notebooks back in 2008 when I lived alone and did nothing but write, work, draw, and play videogames. Hell Warriors has always been a story about badass demon hunters. In that first story, we are introduced to 3 of the youngest core members: BRAK, Devilin, and Creepy. BRAK is the only human member of the group and was raised by the group's leader, Sergio. Before meeting Sergio, BRAK grew up alone in Detroit, living under different aliases that lived different lives connected only by violence. BRAK's new name is currently an acronym of all of his previous aliases.

BRAK is currently raising Devilin, the self proclaimed son of the devil whose appearance and powers back up his claims. They have a mean back and forth relationship, with Devilin adopting many of BRAK's worst habits, though at the end of the day they have a brotherly bond. BRAK is also looking after a young ghost boy named Creepy, whose family was brutally murdered in front of his own eyes. Together the three attempt to reign in demonic crime in Detroit, while the rest of their allies are overseas tackling another problem.

I've decided to upload my third or so draft of the book to Wattpad so that others can read it before I drastically alter the story for official release. I am satisfied with this story as it is and enjoy how it reflects much of who I was back then nearly ten years ago. But I don't think it's viable as a consumer product. I do think it's a very fun story that has a strong narrative and some interesting themes and I do think a lot of people will enjoy it as is. Hell, nearly a thousand people have already begun to enjoy it on Wattpad already. So please check it out and let me know what you think of it. I'm looking forward to updating the story in the near future.

Hell Warriors 2010