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Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball is another one of the giants in the anime industry.  Can you fathom a show with about 600 episodes, a popular card game, action figures and several movies?  It’s a show that is enjoyed by thousands of kids across America, but to the untrained eye it’s difficult to comprehend why.

For action enthusiasts, the show’s concept seems rather intriguing.  The story is essentially a series of fights that take place between highly skilled combatants.  Unfortunately it’s highly stylized and over dramatic.  The fight sequences leave so much to be desired.  In a typical fight scene, there’s so much talking between the fighters that you wonder why they don’t sit down for a cup of tea and chat about their differences.  You’ll see one guy punch another guy, and then for the next 5 minutes it will cut between the two characters and show what each person thought of the punch and the implication of said punch.  Then they’ll talk for another 10 minutes and another punch will be thrown.

If you think what I just said is a gross exaggeration, you’re right.  But that’s how frustrating the show is to me as an adult who knows exactly what he wants from anime in the action genre.  There are three seasons of Dragon Ball:

Season one: Dragon Ball

With 153 episodes, this is no slouch of an opening season.  The story begins with a young man named Son Goku.  His mission in life is to collect the 7 dragon balls in order to receive 1 wish from a powerful dragon.  The season focuses on his martial arts prowess as he defeats countless monsters and skilled opponents.

Season two: Dragon Ball Z

The biggest season of Dragon Ball ever, DBZ had 273 English-dubbed episodes, and 291 fan-subbed episodes.   The story focuses on Goku’s brother, Raditz, who mysteriously returns to Earth and announces (rather nonchalantly) that he wants to destroy the planet.  Though it’s far more violent than the first season, it’s still a yawner when it comes to true action and violence.

Season three: Dragon Ball GT

In an obvious cash grab, Dragon Ball GT was created to close out the story arc.  The creator of the series, Akira Toriyama, did not even take part in the making of the 65 episodes in GT.  Many fans believe that the only reason this series was made was to stoke interest in the new video game that was coming out at the time.