November 1-3, 2019
Written by Cristian Stanic
It’s fair to say that Dragon Ball Z is one of the most influential animes of all time. It’s been a part of countless childhoods, and was the start of many anime journeys, up there with Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokèmon and One Piece. Not to mention it basically started the English dubbing industry as we know it today.
With the voice behind Teen Gohan and Kid Goku, Stephanie Nadolny, last week confirmed as a guest at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Melbourne (21–22 April) and Gold Coast (28-29 April), it’s a good time to explore the mostly undiscovered gem of the original Dragon Ball. Here’s why you should watch the original Dragon Ball right now.
Yes, it turns out before they were background characters who were too weak to even help out Goku anymore, the other Z-Fighters were actually super interesting. When Yamcha was introduced as the desert bandit who tried to rob Goku and Bulma, he handed Goku’s Saiyan butt to him in a fight. Tien was one of Goku’s strongest opponents in the World Martial Arts Tournament, and he had an ‘almost girlfriend’ in Launch. Launch was once a mainstay cast member who lived in Roshi’s house. Where is she in Z? One shot in the Buu saga. She was funny, too.
The running joke in Z of being able to gather all the Dragon Balls in 10 minutes will probably be lost on most people who didn’t have to spend 20 episodes actually collecting them. It was a challenge! It took patience! Endurance! Now gathering the Dragon Balls is a meme. The Z-Fighters grab them when they’re short a few dollars change. In the original show, they have such an element of mystery to them, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. The first time Shenron appeared was incredible. The world of original Dragon Ball was smaller than Z, but it felt so much bigger in scale. It was an epic fantasy adventure, and there were interesting new characters at every turn.
Let’s face it, in Z, the winner of a fight boils down to who can scream louder and longer for the strongest power-up, or whoever can shoot the biggest beam. Any time the characters are in a pinch, they can just whip out a new form of Super Saiyan. In Dragon Ball, the fight choreography is insane. Just watch Goku vs. Krillin at the World Martial Arts Tournament when they’re kids if you don’t believe us. Characters had to use strategy and cool techniques to win, and we kinda miss it.
Z can keep Freiza and Cell, original Dragon Ball’s got the best villain of all time. Mercenary Tao. This dude knocks down pillars, trees, whatever, with just a tap of his fingers, THROWS IT, AND THEN JUMPS ON IT MID FLIGHT! And that’s how he gets around! If that isn’t enough of a reason to go back and watch Dragon Ball, we don’t know what is.