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13th February 2014

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Vegeta X Bulma - How in the World…?

Vegeta and Bulma arguing.

"Forever amazed that Bulma and Vegeta got together" - David Seibei on Twitter

If there was one couple that boggled my mind a bit when I was a kid, it has to be this one. When Dragon Ball Z got fans into anime and manga back in the day, fans were probably left in a shock when two seemingly different characters, Vegeta and Bulma, got together to have a kick-ass and handsome Super Saiyan of a son. Their relationship might make you think about how love works in the wackiest ways for better or for worse. Let’s take a look at one of the unique power couples in anime history in a month known for romance. 

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Tagged: Dragon Ball ZVegeta and Bulmapsychology of lovemangaanimeVegetaBulma

21st March 2013

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Frieza’s Frightening Power of Effeminacy (Dragon Ball Z)

Dragon Ball Z's Freeza, a very effeminate and powerful villain.

“You fool! This isn’t even my final form! Wait until you see my true power!”

And boy, does it make you look oh-so absolutely fabulous~

If there’s one anime/manga villain that has stood the test of time and encased the hearts of many, it’s none other than Dragon Ball Z’s own Frieza. The maniacal warlord and his power-ups continue to have relevance in Japanese pop culture today. however, what’s more interesting is his effeminate nature in contrast to the manly heroes. Is the character an indication of how effective effeminacy can be when it is supported by power?

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Tagged: FreezaFriezaDragon Ball ZAkira ToriyamaShonen Jumpmangaanimemanga psychologymanga characterpsychologypsychology of effeminacypower of effeminacyandrogynypsychology of androgynypsychology of Dragon Ball

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? 


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

28th September 2012

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Japan’s Investment in Dragon Ball Z - How Much Nostalgia Is Too Much?

Promotional poster for the 2013 Dragon Ball Z animated movie.

Japan must be summoning Shenron since they want to keep their world-class anime/manga series alive for all eternity. 

A nonprofit organization called UNIJAPAN recently decided to award 50 million yen (which is about $636,000 in U.S. dollars) to the production of the upcoming Dragon Ball Z anime movie coming out on March 30, 2013. UNIJAPAN is an organization that strives to help promote the efforts of Japanese filmmakers in overseas ventures. Given the fact that Dragon Ball Z is extremely popular worldwide, this doesn’t come as a surprise that the movie would get a huge investment from the Japanese government. Though one has to wonder how much nostalgia is too much.

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Tagged: Akira ToriyamaDragon Ball ZJapanese pop cultureToei AnimationUNIJAPANanimemangapsychology of nostalgiaJapan

14th September 2012

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DBZ = Life: A Review of “It’s Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide”

Cover to "It's Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide" by Derek Padula, author of "The Dao of Dragon Ball".

Ever thought about how Dragon Ball Z can play a huge role in growing personally as an individual? Here’s the e-book that you are looking for. Derek Padula, author of The Dao of Dragon Ball, has released a quirky read in "It’s Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide". He takes a look at the overwhelming popularity of the “It’s Over 9000!” meme, its origins, how it has transcended boundaries to stay relevant, and what we can learn from the series-long conflict between Son Goku and Vegeta.

The first thing I will say is that I am amazed at the detailed recap of the lives of both Goku and Vegeta. Derek provides an extensive look at how both individuals grew while being in direct conflict with each other. He brings out some great comparisons between the two Saiyans using the “nature vs. nurture” argument and “East vs. West” in terms of thinking. Another interesting insight is how Derek suggests that Vegeta had his mind opened after his first battle with Goku. If you think about it, Vegeta does go through a huge mental growth spurt afterwards and it heavily influenced his rebellious actions against Freeza. Derek also talks about Vegeta’s inner struggles with his ego and his constant need for attention, which was pretty enlightening. 

Perhaps my favorite part of the book was Derek’s emphasis on the Scouters. After all, the Scouters are the reason the meme exists. Derek points out that the Scouters reflect society’s tendency to view things by appearances. In real life, it’s not even funny how people continue to underestimate others and how the school system forces adolescents to go by appearances (similar to how Freeza teaches his warriors) as if they are the answer to everything.

I think the Scouters also reflect how society is so consumed with technology to the point of overload. People are worried that excessive technology use stagnates personal growth and it does to a certain degree. Derek talks about how Freeza and his men were obsessed with technology to the point that it led to their downfall. It made me think of Goku opening up Vegeta’s eyes as someone with an spiritual/outdoor nature telling an Internet addict, "Hey, get off your smartphone/laptop/tablet/desktop/video game console for an hour or two and go outside! You’ll feel healthier and learn a few things about yourself along the way! 

As someone who works in marketing, I was also impressed with Derek focusing on what the meme popular in the first place. You can’t get anywhere without a visually engaging story and that’s what makes DBZ the juggernaut it is. He talks about how the combination of both visual content and Internet culture has made “It’s Over 9000!” the pop-culture phenomenon it is today. We are living in a world where images and video are dominating eyeballs everywhere and more companies have to understand that for future success, like how FUNimation responded to fans who loved “It’s Over 9000!” by using the phrase in their marketing (which Derek mentions as well).

One minor flaw I found were the lack of images. Maybe it’s just me, but a e-book about one of the most popular anime/manga series of all time should have a few notable images to compliment chapters of the book. Though I do understand that there might be copyright concerns. Another thing was when Derek mentions Vegeta’s growth throughout the series, he didn’t really mention Vegeta’s rage against Cell for killing Trunks. I felt this was a really important moment as Vegeta truly showed the first sign of how much living on Earth changed him. Hell, he even apologized to Son Gohan for being an idiot and was the real hero by distracting Cell for Gohan! 

If you are a huge Dragon Ball fan, you owe it to yourself to read “It’s Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide”. It’s very well-written and will definitely get you thinking about how to apply Dragon Ball into your life. Ryo Horikawa, a man we should all thank for being the voice of Vegeta in Japan before DBZ’s rise in America, said that DBZ is like the Bible. If that’s the case, hallelujah and praise Kami-sama (or perhaps Shenron) for giving us Derek Padula and his amazing-thorough knowledge of what will always be THE “world-class” anime/manga series.

Review copy and cover image provided by Derek Padula. You can buy “It’s Over 9000! When Worldviews Collide” and his other book, “The Dao of Dragon Ball” at his “Books” page.


Tagged: Akira ToriyamaDerek PadulaDragon Ball ZIt's Over 9000!Son GokuThe Dao of Dragon BallVegetaanime characteranime psychologymanga charactermanga psychologyIt's Over 9000! When Worldviews CollideGoku vs. Vegetabook review

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