Dragonball has always been there for me. When I was a wee lad running around in California I was already showing my geeky leanings; I was obsessed with Star Wars, Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles, so as you can guess I watched a lot of TV.
During one of these binges I stumbled across an episode of the Saiyan saga of Dragonball Z, and I was immediately hooked! I sat through hours of that series since it was the late 90’s, and Dragonball was in its earliest days of being dubbed for the western market, and Cartoon Network was showing about ten episodes at a time. It changed my life fairly rapidly, where I used to play in the park as a Jedi, I was now a Saiyan. Han Solo was my first real hero, and now he was replaced by the loveable goofball and planet breaking fighter Goku!
Let’s talk a little more about me and Goku shall we? Since first watching, and even now I’ve always felt like I relate to Goku more than any other fictional character. He’s a happy-go-lucky simpleton with a drive to train hard, a love of nature, and a bottomless pit of a stomach. Honestly that could be my Twitter bio and I doubt anyone would question that for a second… So I’ve modelled myself on Goku’s personality, sure, but there is more to the series that appeals to me than just its leading man. For example, every single hero character in Dragonball has a drive to protect their friends and get stronger to defend their home. Even the “weaker” characters like Krillin and Tien are shown training hard in times of crisis to keep themselves in the best possible position to leap into action! It all comes to a head during the final arc of Dragonball Super, The Tournament of Power, where usual badasses Goku and Vegeta are joined by a group of other warriors to fight for their universes survival with Tien, Piccolo and even everyone’s favourite pervert, The Turtle Hermit, Master Roshi are shown holding their own and in some cases absolutely dominating universal level fighters! If that doesn’t inspire you to train harder I don’t know what will!
Another noticeable thing that Dragonball has done for me is how I treat those around me. I try my best to be polite and helpful to strangers in the same way as Gohan or Future Trunks; even though I’ve never had a huge number of friends, I’ve been sure to care for those I do have like they were my family, just like how the Z Fighters look out one another even though they live all over the world, and can go years without contact (Talking about you Salman!).
So with all this Dragonball love as you can imagine (And know for sure if you read my previous article), I was beyond hype for Dragonball Super: Broly. Finally a Dragonball movie that I could actually see in a cinema! So I doubled down on the snacks and caffeine drinks so I wouldn’t miss a second – Before going into the screen I stood with my friend and looked at all the fans waiting for this massive event; there were Turtle school t-shirts everywhere and you could hear so many conversations throwing theories back and forth or just talking about the most badass moments of the whole series! Now, we’re not here to talk so much about other people, we’re here to talk about me and what this means to the screaming little fanboy in my soul. Obviously Dragonball has a huge number of movies backing up the series, though before the 2013 release of Battle of Gods, none of these were canon… So even with 3 films under his belt and clearly being a fan favourite, big bad Broly has never been a canon character. DBS: Broly changes that, and, along with a richer and more satisfying backstory, makes this classic mega-beast part of the series proper with potential to appear again in the recently confirmed continuation of the Super series! I couldn’t be much happier with this after watching the movie, and being deeply impressed with Broly’s new personality and character; no longer is he a sadistic lunatic and he is now a victim of his father’s schemes and someone who just needs a friend or two!
…So now you know about my love for an anime series that started in the 80’s and it’s not just me either; Dragonball has had a huge impact on the world as a whole. I’m hard pressed to find people of my own generation who are either not fans or have never even heard of it, and Goku himself has become one of the main varied icons of pop culture. With his spikey hair and orange martial arts Gi, he’s an easily recognizable figure across all forms of media. From the main series to video games and even food products! Goku and pals are everywhere, and show no signs of going anywhere. With the recent reveal of a new Dragonball RPG coming, and Goku being one of the many mascots for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, there’s no doubt that the Z Fighters will keep their current fans and even gain more as time goes on!