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7th December 2012

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A Visual Lesson in Friendship by Dragon Ball Z


A powerful meme picture highlighting the relationship between Dragon Ball Z's Son Goku and Vegeta.

One of the best anime/manga memes that reminds you of how valuable friendship is and how it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Just seeing this gives me chills since I’m grateful for meeting those that I care about and want to protect. Imagine what life would be like if your best friends never existed.

Who said all memes have to be funny? 

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Tagged: mangaanimeDragon Ball ZShonen JumpAkira ToriyamaSon GokuVegetamanga characterpsychologypsychology of friendshippsychology of rivalriesanime psychologyDragon Ballpsychology of Dragon Ball Zanime memes

10th May 2012

Text with 42 notes

A Child Almost Lost in Confusion - Son Gohan’s Development (Dragon Ball Z)


Son Gohan's early childhood development from ages 4 to 9..

With parenting being quite an interesting subject these days (especially with how to properly raise the next generation of kids), let’s look at a child that was raised to be a fighter and forced to survive on his own at the age of 4. He’s also a child who would eventually be responsible for saving Earth from destruction. I’m talking about none other than Son Gohan, the son of the iconic Son Goku from Dragon Ball Z. If you think your early childhood was hectic, imagine if you were in Gohan’s shoes. Gohan’s early childhood development is an interesting case of parenting and one that is applicable in real life.

Gohan training with his two parental figures, Goku and Piccolo.

While Gohan’s parents (Goku and Chi-Chi) are the ones who gave him life, the one person to actively take a huge role in developing Gohan was Piccolo. Piccolo kidnaps a 4-year old Gohan to prepare him for the big battle against the Saiyans. Over time, he grows to love his pupil and considers him as one of his own. This relationship stays strong throughout the series as Gohan treats Piccolo with respect by calling him “Piccolo-san”. Piccolo has been around Gohan a lot, mostly because Goku was either dead or MIA. The only time when Goku and Piccolo are both there for Gohan was during the Androids/Cell Arcs.

A key moment in Gohan’s development during the Cell Arc was when Goku decides to send him out to beat Cell in the Cell Games Tournament. Piccolo questions Goku’s decision as Cell has shown how powerful he is compared to anyone else. Goku retorts by saying that Gohan has hidden strength that can defeat Cell. Piccolo then argues that Gohan isn’t a fighter at heart. While Gohan is getting pummeled by Cell, he goes on to say that Gohan is wondering why his own father isn’t rescuing him as his mentality is still that of a child’s. Goku begins to understand and decides to save his son, though things suddenly turn sour. In the end, Gohan eventually becomes stronger than Cell and defeats him to save Earth. 

A witty joke about Goku's parenting skills in Dragon Ball Z.

That moment in the Cell Arc makes you think about how parents interact with their kids. Goku isn’t the greatest father in the world. Is it because of Goku’s childhood since he grew up an orphan? Though the big problem is that Goku was too distracted by fighting that it hindered his development in other areas. You can say Goku has a bad case of uninvolved parenting. In reality, we face so many distractions that get in our way to progress as people. It’s interesting when people try to justify being distracted, yet they don’t realize that they have the willpower to stop them. Don’t get me wrong, certain distractions that are important (i.e. saving the Earth from evil and being the only person capable of doing so) do need to be addressed, but we should at least take some time to get to know and understand the important people in their lives better. Making up for lost time is an option that doesn’t always magically pop up when you need it.

Another point to address is Gohan’s nature when first introduced in the series. When you look at Gohan in the very beginning, he had the makings of a spoiled brat since his mother, Chi-Chi, was always trying to protect him. If it weren’t for Piccolo “kidnapping” him for a year, Gohan might have turned out to be a terrible person. When you think about it, there are children who become instantly pampered the second they are born. Now why does this continue to happen? You can argue that parents really aren’t sure on how to raise kids, are too passive with regards to authority, or that they spoil their kids because it makes them feel good. Chi-Chi seemed to focus her entire life around Gohan, like how some parents act when around their children. Unfortunately, this leads to more harm than good since children will develop an attitude that the world should bow down to them. 

Gohan showcases his true power in Super Saiyan 2 form.

The argument on whether Goku or Piccolo was the better parent is somewhat irrelevant, since Gohan turned out to be an outstanding young man who strives to fight against injustice because of both men’s influences. In the end, every child needs to have consistent, unconditional love alongside proper guidance throughout their development. The fusion of those two elements will give your child the strength of a Super Saiyan. It also might unlock an inner determination to go beyond their normal state as they get older and become even more than they are to revolutionize the world for the better.

As the late Whitney Houston once said, the children really are our future.

Comments

Tagged: Akira ToriyamaDragon BallDragon Ball ZPiccoloSon GohanSon Gokuanime psychologychild psychologymanga psychologyparentingpsychology of parentingmangaanime

19th January 2012

Text with 56 notes

Do Girls Really Like Vegeta?


Vegeta eating like a madman.

Yes, this is a man who oozes sexiness every time he walks into the room.

Like a fine wine that continues to age well, Dragon Ball is still continuing to be relevant in every anime/manga fan’s lives. Just recently, the ever-rageful Prince of the Saiyans, Vegeta, became a target both positively and negatively. Our anti-hero was voted #2 on a list of top 9 anime/manga boys that women wish were real. Gintama also made fun of his entire character in Episode 242 (Volume 42, Chapter 364 in the manga), where the girls of Gintama discuss Vegeta and question his appeal to women in front of a female Vegeta fan. As Gintama’s episode title proclaims, "Girls Like Vegeta". Is the bad boy appeal of Vegeta extremely powerful for women to resist? 

Here’s one girl’s thought about Vegeta:

"He’s always strong, but his loving tsundere-ness towards his family really gets me." (A quote about Vegeta from the list conducted by Girl Sugoren)

After hearing that quote, it makes me wonder about Vegeta’s popularity after the Freeza arc. Most of us know that he cried during the arc and begged Goku to beat Freeza. Was that the moment made girls go “Awwww”? Vegeta’s character slowly changed afterwards, as he started to settle down a little with a family while still being the prideful Prince of Saiyans that he is. The guy was literally a complete a-hole who didn’t care about anything, except defeating Goku in battle. Vegeta did show some signs of love to his family, as he went berserk when his son, Trunks (whose future version was also VERY POPULAR among girls) was killed by Cell and risked his life to save everyone from Majin Buu. Of course, there’s that confident smirk, evil laugh, and arm fold he does that seems to draw a lot of attention. 

With those characteristics that Vegeta has, why are girls drawn to them? Do we blame Hollywood? Do we blame the media? Or do we blame human nature? It could be girls’ inherent preference of “good genes”. "Good genes" in men tend to be a high level of masculinity and symmetry. Women at a younger age seem to enjoy seeing acts of bravery and risk-taking (which bad boys tend to do). There’s also the belief that girls secretly harbor the fantasy of turning the bad boy into a loving man who is committed to them. 

Vegeta with his wife and son, Bulma and Trunks.

Do Vegeta fangirls see hope that it’s possible for a bad boy to become a nice guy and still remain tough? Or do they appreciate the fact that Vegeta is a “bad boy” character that lives up to whatever perceived fantasies they have of him? It was interesting to see Bulma being attracted to Vegeta, but it somehow makes sense for her. Vegeta’s confidence in wanting to be stronger than Goku probably attracted her in the first place, since he was very determined to reach his goal at all costs. Also, as Trunks once stated, both his parents were lonely and that’s why they got together. A combination of strength and love can create interesting opportunities, don’t you think?

I do like to point out that the group of women who voted Vegeta on the Sugoren list were women in their 20s’. What happens when they get older? Will their opinions about “bad boys” change? Will they like Vegeta less? As women get older, their appreciation of certain types of men evolve. 

Vegeta seems like the perfect guy to many girls. He is still a “bad boy” at heart, but he also fights with some sense of altruism. I think this is the secret to his popularity among women. The fact he’s an somewhat altruistic, tough guy. Both younger and older women can find him to be a character that satisfies their criteria for a great male character. Vegeta has been able to activate so many emotions in people’s (especially women’s) hearts, that you can’t help but react (and women tend to focus on emotions). Look at all the things he has said and done over his history in Dragon Ball. 

Vegeta in a state of shock.

Even though I’m not a girl, I love Vegeta. He’s played a big part in how my personality is shaped. I don’t know about this perceived notion that guys don’t like him, but like Piccolo (as Gintama hints). All I can say is that guys might feel a bit inspired to develop some sense of pride to keep themselves strong. To the female Vegeta fans out there, is his pride a strong factor in why you love the beloved Saiyan Prince and do you perhaps enjoy that quality in a man? 

Power, brash confidence, and a good heart - when it comes to the ideal man, isn’t fiction just grand? 

Comments

Tagged: Akira ToriyamaDragon BallDragon Ball ZGintamaJapanese pop cultureShonen JumpVegetaVegeta fangirlsanime fandomfangirlsgirls love Vegetamanga fandommanga psychologyshonen mangabad boy psychology

26th October 2010

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The Return of “Dragon Ball”?


According to this article at Bleeding Cool, Akira Toriyama is looking to bring back Dragon Ball once more to the manga world.

The question that’s bothering me: Is the manga industry so bad to the point that we need a really old series to rejuvenate the scene?

I love Dragon Ball as much as the next person, but I’m worried that Toriyama and/or Shueisha may tarnish his legacy (if there will be a lengthy run). Then again, it can’t be as bad as Dragon Ball GT. Dragon Ball was the starting point for my love of anime & manga.

The resurgence of Dragon Ball may provide a spark, but the manga industry needs to look back at the past to develop for the future. Don’t just use past elements and place them in the present for short-term impact. Sooner or later, Dragon Ball will be gone again.

To quote from Final Fantasy X-2 (I’m sorry if you hardcore Final Fantasy fans are offended by me mentioning the game), “Knowledge of the past is the key to the future”.

**UPDATE: According to this Twitter status update by Masters of Manga, the return of Dragon Ball will NOT happen.**

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Tagged: mangashueishadragon ballakira toriyamashonen jumpfinal fantasypublishersmangaka

14th September 2010

Text with 16 notes

Growing Up With Vegeta (Dragon Ball)


Super Saiyan Vegeta as portrayed in the Majin Buu arc.

"I don’t care what my enemies do. I’ll just kill them all."

Do you guys remember the first anime/manga character that truly got your attention? I sure did. I want to share my experiences growing up with my first favorite anime/manga character, Vegeta, of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series. Arguably one of the most popular characters in the whole series and a character that served as an inspiration to a very popular meme, Vegeta was someone who I patterned myself off of when I was younger before Dragon Ball (and anime in general) made it big in America. His pride & arrogance was something new to me at the time.

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Comments

Tagged: Akira ToriyamaDragon BallDragon Ball ZShonen JumpVegetaanime psychologymanga psychologypsychology of pridepsychology of relatednesschildhood heroes

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