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"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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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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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.
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.
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?
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"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.