Disregard the fact that it says Logan Ruckman, Brendan actually wrote this.
DRAGON BALL REVIEW
Back when I was younger, my older brothers and I used to watch both DB and DBZ. I was very young at the time so I do not remember too much about the series, but around a year ago my friend bought all nine seasons of DBZ, and I watched it with him and then decide to borrow the first season.
I watched the first season, but over a course of at least two months, so I didn’t remember everything 100 percent that was happening, but soon after I started the second season. I made it half way through before getting caught up in other things and not continuing to watch the show. Now a few months ago I decided to start watching DBZ again, so I watched a few episodes of the first season before quitting. I couldn’t continue without watching DB first. So here I am, in late March, I receive all five seasons of the Funimation (my favourite) dub in the mail. A month and a few days later, I have finished the entire show and here is my review. Now this review contains spoilers, so if you don’t wish to have anything spoiled for you, quit reading.
First off, I wanna talk about the story. It starts off with Goku (a lonely boy with a tail who lives in the forest alone after his grandpa died) meeting with a girl named Bulma who is searching for the Dragon Balls. Goku’s grandpa gave him a Dragon Ball to remember him by, but the story of the Dragon Balls is that there are seven of them, all numbered by the amount of stars on each ball, and once they’re all brought together, a person may summon the eternal dragon Shenron and have any wish granted. They go through so much, including foiling Emperor Pilaf’s plans, to stopping the Red Ribbon Army, to defeating King Piccolo, to fighting Junior. The martial arts tournament occurs three times in the series, with Goku losing twice in the finals (when he could’ve won them, but as Krillin says, he has bad luck), and winning it once. I don’t want to go too far into detail about the story, but plenty happens throughout the 153 episodes of this fantastic show. The way it starts, and the way it ends, it truly makes you feel happy inside due to the sense of adventure that you won’t get from anything else. I’d have to say the entire plotline with each saga in the series is absolutely great!
Now, I want to talk about the characters and why they were great.
Goku is a loveable character, young, and goofy. He always has a smile on his face, is very honest, and trains hard just to be the best. He isn’t as aware with the real world as everyone else is, but he learns a lot throughout his adventure. He has to be without a doubt my all time favourite fictional character. He’s a perfect representation of a true hero. He saves the world and doesn’t ask for fame or fortune, he just wants his friends and the world to stay safe.
Master Roshi is probably 100 percent different from the one you know if you don’t watch the uncut version. He’s a goofy old man with a good sense of humour, and has tons of highly inspirational and wise quotes, which speak to the heart and are very true, especially those about training and martial arts. He’s small in his shirt, but when he flexes, he’s more ripped than anyone. But, his real character is how he’s such a (I hesitate to say) horn-dog. He’s always trying to get some action, especially with Bulma, but nothing ever goes his way.
Krillin is a great character as well. He’s probably Goku’s main competition, always training harder and harder to beat Goku, but never makes it that far. He’s also very short when compared to Goku when they’re adults, but early in the series they start off as the same height which is funny. He seems more rude at first, but he turns into a kind person who develops a strong bond with Goku, and that makes him very likeable. Definitely my third favourite character.
Bulma is the person who basically started this entire series. She can be really nice and helpful at times, but she’s quick to anger, but it’s amusing. She’s constantly getting mad at Master Roshi for trying to get a peak, which is a big funny joke running in the series. She develops a good friendship with Goku as well. There are times in the series you get to see her naked, which some may find good but I find it funny and a reason to use how the series isn’t meant for kids. Definitely an awesome character!
Yamcha is a pretty sweet guy too. He trains to be better than Goku, and believes he will be someday, but doesn’t achieve that. He is a friendly guy but towards his opponents he’s an entirely different person. He’s also a goof when it comes to girls so it’s pretty amusing. He’s a great asset to the main characters.
Tien Shinhan is a cool guy. You don’t get to know him as much as the other characters, but he’s very cocky against his opponents, but he can back up his talk. He starts off as a real ass, which almost makes you not want to like him. But after the World Martial Arts Tournament, he becomes a good ally to the rest of the crew.
Chiaotzu is a quiet character, but happens to hold a nice spot in my heart. He has a high voice, and he’s Tien’s closest friend (or whatever you’d wanna call it), and adds some humour to the show sometimes. Although not really canon, in Mystical Adventure Chiaotzu and Tien have a talk which shows a lot of emotion and gave me a lot more respect for Chiaotzu. I apologize for talking about the movies, but it’s something you don’t see in the show but it’s something that you know is there. Definitely a great part of the cast!
Oolong is a funny character. He’s a pig, and has some dirty thoughts too just like Master Roshi. In the episode he’s introduced in he’s basically an enemy, but an episode later he’s helping them on their quest. He becomes good enough friends with the rest of the crew and always helps out when he can, even when he doesn’t want to. Another great character in the series.
Puar is another cool character. He attended shape shifting school with Oolong as well. He’s closest to Yamcha and follows him everywhere. He speaks in a really high voice and is basically a flying cat. He’s had one of the funniest moments in the entire show, where he turns into Goku while Goku is passed out and Oolong turns into Bulma while Bulma is passed out. It was pretty damn funny if you ask me.
Now I’ll explain just a bit about the main enemies, because I don’t feel the reason to go into detail on secondary characters and the villains.
Goku had to fight Emperor Pilaf several times because Pilaf wanted the Dragon Balls to rule the world, Goku fought the Red Ribbon army because the leader wanted the Dragon Balls to become taller and rule the world, and then he had to stop King Piccolo who was resurrected by Pilaf from destroying the world. After that, he basically stops Piccolo at the World Martial Art’s Tournament.
Now, onto the music. All I can say about the music is that it’s absolutely fantastic. There are several reoccuring tunes that happen throughout the series, and a good amount of work was put into their composition because it sounds incredible. As soon as the first episode starts it has such a cool sounding theme playing right before you see Goku, and then there are the battle themes, and the theme that plays when they’re traveling, etc. Just a mix of great music here and there. It’s another strong point to the series and everyone should recognize it.
The animation is hand drawn, and also looks superb. Akira Toriyama has got to be my favourite artist because the stuff he produces looks just great. The look he’s made with the DB series is great, and I say it couldn’t suit the series any better than that. The backgrounds look great too! But it really comes up to the fighting scenes. During a fight there’s always a nice use of flashing lights and big blasts of energy which aren’t the same each time and look great. Definitely an amazingly animated show.
The voice acting is spot on too. Every voice actor represents each character perfectly, especially Stephanie Nadolny’s job with Goku. I can’t picture anyone else voicing each and every character, so watching a different dub would be incredibly hard for me. These voice actors bring the characters to life and the rest can speak for itself, all you have to do is watch the show.
Overall, I have to conclude that Dragon Ball is a fine accomplishment in the world known as anime. It brought one of the most successful manga series ever to life in an incredible fashion, and it captured Akira Toriyama’s manga perfectly. I enjoyed every second of this series, and I can honestly understand why it is Logan’s favourite anime of all time. Everything about this show is masterful, and I have to conclude that Dragon Ball is definitely my second favourite anime of all time, and anyone interested in anime should watch it, but prepare to be highly addicted and to lose many hours of your life. But it’s worth spending the time watching the series, you won’t regret it. Akira Toriyama, thank you for your creation.
Voice Acting: 10/10