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Old August 4th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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So originally I was thinking I might do a review of Dragon Ball Z, but then I thought about how people think of it, which is essentially "a generic fighting show with loads of filler, unnecessary banter, and stretched out fights", and that's not the case, it actually set the stage for many of the nuances, conventions, and cliches that are found in not just anime, but also worldwide media in general, and it becomes more apparent in contemporary media (especially American movies and the like) as time goes on. Not only that, but there is Akira Toriyama set out to make a show filled with relationships, subtleties, complex storytelling mixed with pure testosterone, and unique, innovative fighting, and yet its true image is often represented and mistaken (mostly thanks to things such as Rock the Dragon (which is a great song regardless) and Toei Animation's slew of filler, coupled with censoring) and thus it became "the kids show with lots of fighting, powering up, and big hair", and that's not how it should be seen, so I decided I would do a much deeper look into the series and make it into a retrospective of the series as a whole and the characters and the world that inhabit it. There will be spoilers, so if you haven't seen Dragon Ball Z all the way through and plan to, take caution in deciding to read this. I hope you'll enjoy.

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Raditz





Raditz could be seen as a vicious character that is something of a blank slate, a simple introductory brute; this is understandable as there is truly nothing that makes Raditz unique, he is simply an evil generic character that knows how powerful he truly is, there's really nothing that makes him truly interesting and is really lacking in contrast to his younger brother, Goku. This was of course done on purpose. Raditz is more of a storytelling device rather than anything else. His purpose: introduce the Saiyan Race, explain Goku's character and heritage, and expose the underlying plot that is Gohan's hidden power that won't be realized for several more seasons. His role in the story is undoubtedly important as he is the beginning domino to the Rube Goldberg that is the chain of events that create the Saiyan and Frieza Sagas. If he had not told Vegeta and Nappa of the Dragon Balls they would not have come to Earth and killed several of the Z Warriors then Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma would not have traveled to Namek and met Frieza. His motive for coming to Earth is one that can be taken as one of love and one of curiosity.

Raditz comes to Earth looking for his brother Goku, whose true name is Kakarot. Kakarot was sent to the planet Earth twenty-four years prior and was expected to have exterminated the Earth's populace and then return to planet Vegeta for reasons that will be explained later. Raditz wondered why it had been so long and thus went to check up on him. Now, one could see Raditz as a simple cold blooded killer as he kidnapped his brother's son and attempted to kill Goku, however he does care about Goku. When he gets to Earth he's surprised due to the fact that people are alive, and thus when he finds Goku he's confused. However, it's not because he wants to be fair that he gives his brother a chance to prove himself but rather that he wants proof that this is his brother, that this was Kakarot, the is the same crying little baby that was sent to Earth 24 years ago. It is for this reason that when Goku refuses he shows no remorse in killing him as he considers Goku a "Disgrace to the Saiyan race". Also, Raditz had no intention of killing Gohan as he saw him as a beacon of light. While he also held slight compassion for Gohan as they were kin, but even more, because Gohan was also a Saiyan he thought that he could hone him into the cold blooded killer his father never was. Raditz, cold yet rather bare bones with emotions easily overshadowed by pride.


Vegeta




Vegeta is the character in the series that has the most development over the course of the series (with Gohan coming in a close second). In the beginning Vegeta is simply a cold, cool, and calculating yet bloodthirsty killer; if somebody's in his way then they just made a death wish. Unlike Raditz, however, Vegeta harbors no emotions- or rather, not on the surface, but I'll delve into that later. Vegeta has no problems with killing anyone and everyone, even his partner and guardian Nappa. Vegeta puts his pride above all else and makes it known throughout the series by commonly referring to himself as "The Prince of all Saiyans". When one insults the Saiyan race he is angered greatly, as an insult to the Saiyan race is an insult to his pride.

Vegeta comes to Earth because Raditz tells him of seven magic spheres that can grant wishes called the Dragon Balls. Vegeta requires these spheres for immortality, which he disguises as a simple means to take over the universe, but the true reason lies much deeper than that (I will also explain this later). As ironic as it may seem, when he lands on Earth Vegeta kills no one, and there are a couple possible explanations for this. One being that Vegeta wanted to have fun by watching and only dealing those that could actually defeated Nappa. Another more likely scenario is that he used the Saibamen and Nappa to gauge the strength of the one(s) he would have to fight. This is possible, as throughout the series Vegeta is shown to be rather smart and cunning, and to go into battle unprepared is a rather out of character decision.

Vegeta is also a very misunderstood character. While he is often seen as a merciless, cold blooded creature when he is on the side of "evil", this is not completely the case. Vegeta's motivation is rarely ever so black and white as to "kill everyone and destroy everything"; there is always a rhyme to his rhythm, and while his methods may come off as sadistic, it's the perfect scare tactic and works to feed his ego. Vegeta had an alternative motive to getting the Dragon Balls, one that holds his interest much more than universal conquest. While it is never stated (directly that is), Vegeta wants the Dragon Balls to gain immortality so that he could not only defeat, but get revenge on Frieza, the creature responsible for the destruction of his home planet and 99% of his people. Vegeta likes to believe he doesn't care about what Frieza has done and that the only reason he wants to defeat him is because he used Vegeta as a pawn. This is not the case, however. Vegeta knows deep down that he is enraged by Frieza's actions and it is this internal drive that drives him. However, Vegeta is overcome by arrogance and pride, and it is for this reason that he "breaks" spiritually and physically when he realizes that he cannot defeat Frieza.

As the show progresses, Vegeta's character develops to a rather large extent, and by the end of the Frieza saga he can be considered a "Good Guy". As he gains emotions of love, compassion, and sympathy his ruthlessness, aggressiveness, and evil nature regress. The reason for this stems from the story's main protagonist, Goku. Now, despite the fact that Goku showed mercy on Vegeta, Vegeta was pained with the more so damage to his pride, and he felt no regard for Goku, he only saw weakness in mercy. However, he was tormented by confusion, how could such a lower-class Saiyan that trained on a planet with such light gravity and inhabited by weak species possibly defeat him. He pondered and came across a rather baffling answer. Goku, unlike Vegeta, drew his power from the feelings he had for his friends. In contrast, Vegeta drew his power from his pride and ruthlessness, and yet he tried every possible way to become stronger than Goku. Sadly, each time he became stronger than Goku he would always quickly retake his lead over Vegeta. Because of this, Vegeta takes on a sort of "If you can't beat them, join them" mentality and decides to not only become good, but observe and follow Goku's methods without making it too obvious. Vegeta almost always tries to hide his feelings of love and affection, though it is shown on various occasions that he truly loves his wife, sons, and father. Vegeta's feelings for these people grow to a rather large extent, as he often makes drastic and sudden decisions for their safety, some major examples would be his extreme fit of rage and burst of power when Trunks is killed and also his sacrificing himself to save the Earth, sadly, both of those decisions lead to no avail. Even still, Vegeta's pride at times gets the better of him, often for the worse. One instance where this leads to rather disastrous events is when Cell goes to absorb Android # 18. Despite the rather recessive love for Trunks, he gladly injured him for a chance to fight a strong enemy. This is because Vegeta never forgets who he is and when he shows his emotions he feels not only like he's losing himself but that he's weak, the exact opposite reason for him to have harbored such feelings. However, he can't so easily get rid of these feelings of his own will and for this reason he lets The Great Wizard Babadi take control of him, to become "The Prince of Saiyans" he once was. This, however, doesn't quite work out, is feelings for his loved ones are entirely too strong, and he ends up sacrificing himself for them. Vegeta, a man once thirsting for blood and power, and now thirsting for strength and resolve.


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I want to know if you guys like this, because if not I will discontinue it. Also, I implore you to critique me as much as possible. Also, I actually made this a while back, but only recently decided to post it, so it might be in need of revision.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 12:20 AM
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I like it, it shows that you put alot of research and effort into it. One question are you gonna put the movie villains as well or just the show villains?
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Old August 5th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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I like it, it shows that you put alot of research and effort into it. One question are you gonna put the movie villains as well or just the show villains?
I'm still thinking about that. Broly will definitely be looked at, but he's the only one that I currently have planned.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 04:19 AM
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I'm still thinking about that. Broly will definitely be looked at, but he's the only one that I currently have planned.
If Broly's gonna be there Cooler has to too since he is Frieza's brother, but it's up too you, I'm just givin input
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Old August 6th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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If Broly's gonna be there Cooler has to too since he is Frieza's brother, but it's up too you, I'm just givin input
That's true, he is, but I don't know if he has enough character or backstory to warrant a look back. If I do look back on Cooler, it'll probably be short.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 08:32 PM
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That's true, he is, but I don't know if he has enough character or backstory to warrant a look back. If I do look back on Cooler, it'll probably be short.
Cooler has two movies dedicated to him and a backstory in each, I think you could come up with as much as, if not more then, you did for Raditz

Although plot wise he didn't have a major impact.. Anyway, just my two cents on the matter
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:41 AM
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Cooler has two movies dedicated to him and a backstory in each, I think you could come up with as much as, if not more then, you did for Raditz

Although plot wise he didn't have a major impact.. Anyway, just my two cents on the matter
Pretty much what he says, Frieza and Cooler have more backstory then their dad, who was the most pathetic villain IMO. Janemba was my fave villain of all time, even more then Kid Buu.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Janemba was my fave villain of all time, even more then Kid Buu.
If we are sticking to DBZ alone then I'd have to agree Janemba was an awesome villain though if we are including DB & DBGT My all time was Omega Shenron, just liked his attitude for some reason.

Back on topic;

The movie villains actually have a lot more detailed backstory then the shows villains since they had to be convincing within a 1-2h timeline where as the show had many many many episodes of build up
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Old August 7th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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If we are sticking to DBZ alone then I'd have to agree Janemba was an awesome villain though if we are including DB & DBGT My all time was Omega Shenron, just liked his attitude for some reason.

Back on topic;

The movie villains actually have a lot more detailed backstory then the shows villains since they had to be convincing within a 1-2h timeline where as the show had many many many episodes of build up
Maybe so, but there's little to talk about with a lot of them. Cooler, for instance, is Frieza's brother who fought Goku, lost, was absorbed by the Big Gete Star, and lost again; that said, there's little motive. He's similar to his younger brother in that he dominates without reason (or rather, out of desire and pure sadistic pleasure), and I may talk about that on Frieza's retrospective, but there's not enough to warrant for a full retrospective on Cooler. If I do look back on him, though, (which I probably will), then It won't be too long. Because of this, I might just look back at the movies themselves rather than the individual villains.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Believe me when I say I know that a lot if not most of the villains have little to talk about, only a few in my memory have solid facts behind them, Broli and Slug come to mind right away.

I'd also like to say that I'm not trying to push you into doing them, just offering an outside view on the matter.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Believe me when I say I know that a lot if not most of the villains have little to talk about, only a few in my memory have solid facts behind them, Broli and Slug come to mind right away.

I'd also like to say that I'm not trying to push you into doing them, just offering an outside view on the matter.
Broly and Slug have quite a lot to talk about, there are quite a few subtleties to there characters that there are to talk about, Broly is probably the most important and most well developed character in all of the Dragon Ball Z movies.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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Broly and Slug have quite a lot to talk about, there are quite a few subtleties to there characters that there are to talk about, Broly is probably the most important and most well developed character in all of the Dragon Ball Z movies.
Sorry, that's what I was trying to say is that those two came to mind as well developed villains.. Been drinking a good amount today what with it being my girlfriends b-day and all so my sentences may not be to coherent xD
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Old August 7th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Sorry, that's what I was trying to say is that those two came to mind as well developed villains.. Been drinking a good amount today what with it being my girlfriends b-day and all so my sentences may not be to coherent xD
Here's the deal, I'll try to talk about Cooler and Janemba and the others, I haven't really done my own personal retrospectives on them yet, so I have yet to truly look over their significance and subtleties. I'm going in Show order first, so next up will be the Frieza Saga villains (and Nappa), and then after the show's done I'll do the movie ones.

Also, I wish your girlfriend the best.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Here's the deal, I'll try to talk about Cooler and Janemba and the others, I haven't really done my own personal retrospectives on them yet, so I have yet to truly look over their significance and subtleties. I'm going in Show order first, so next up will be the Frieza Saga villains (and Nappa), and then after the show's done I'll do the movie ones.

Also, I wish your girlfriend the best.

There won't be much more then a paragraph on Janemba lol he was just an interesting character. As said earlier overall it's your choice who you do was just an outside opinion ;p

And thanks, I'm off now though, actual party guests are arriving now as opposed to the 5 of us that have been here all day lol
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Old August 7th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Yeah i was just sayin Janemba was badass, you dont have to include him. Based like what you was saying tho is true bout Broly, he had more impact story wise of the movie villains(considering he had bout 2 or 3 for him) and the fact he has history with goku. Cooler i just threw in because he was Friezas brother. What I wanna know is, and this is off topic, is who killed Pikkon? I seen a meme with him and goku bout this before and it made me wonder how the hell he was so strong and died, and then i remembered he was training for thousands of years....
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Old August 10th, 2012, 09:43 PM
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Can you also show you're view on Androids 16, 17, and 18? I feel like all of these characters show a major amount of development, 17 especially if you count GT.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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^I won't be doing anything related to GT (though I may look at a little of Dragon Ball, or at least reference it, but I will most likely cover 16-18.

Also, I've been revising this article little by little, and in a while it will have a much better presentation (I'll start using pics from the show and adding quotes). I want to do at least that before I continue on to the next characters.
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Old August 18th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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What would you say in regards to including Piccolo? He's a bit of a grey area due to his progression from villain to anti-hero and finally to a hero, even if he is a villain for a very short time in dbz and mainly features as one in db would he still be worth a look in this category?
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