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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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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.