Every now and then, people are able to create something that traverses all ages, and not simply sit within the boundaries of one generation when it comes to entertainment. This is most stark when considering the influence of cartoons, as people still continue to look at animation as being an art form that caters exclusively to children. While it’s true a lot of animated shows do this, it’s not true to say they do this all the time. In fact, animation can allow creators the chance to show things they wouldn’t be able to if they were using real people, often leading to some very mature and unpleasant situations.
Dragon Ball Z is a show that has managed to entertain both children and adults to this day, most likely due to the fact that it originally started as something other than a television show. Once the show came around, somebody must have pointed out that they could gain more popularity if they tried to pull in the children’s market, meaning it is sometimes less mature than the original source material. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though, as it allows people of various ages to enjoy the Dragon Ball Z lore.
We thought it would be nice to bring those people a chance to maybe learn something about one of their favorite shows. We decided we’d focus on more unspoken elements of the show even die-hard fans may not know about!
16. Why Would You Name Your Child That?!
When Western audiences watch shows translated from a different language, sometimes we can end up with some words and phrases that probably wouldn’t have made it into shows that were originally created within the West. This usually manifests itself in a bad translation which can be pretty humorous sometimes, but it can also mean people are running around saying things that may get them some odd looks outside of their own country. Believe it or not, the name Bulma is actually very close to the word panties in Japanese, something we assume was done on purpose by the original writer of the series, either to make an allusion to the character’s sexuality or just for a bit of a laugh. However, it now means that many children are running around saying Bulma with no idea that they’re actually saying the Japanese word for underwear!
15. Somebody Needs To Make Up Her Mind
There are a lot of cartoons out there that get away with putting in less work or doing something a little sloppy by cutting corners because they know children are never going to notice, but we reckon even adults won’t have noticed this. Prepare yourself, because once we point this out, you won’t be able to watch Dragon Ball Z without thinking about this fact. Ready? Bulma is constantly changing her hair. Okay, so it’s not the biggest revelation, but once we found this out, we couldn’t stop ourselves from glancing at Bulma’s hair every single season. This woman is constantly changing what is going on on top of her head. Somebody needs to tell her that her hair isn’t such a big deal and that she can get away with a standard cut for the rest of her life. That would save her a lot of time.
14. Seriously?! Whose Idea Was This?!
It’s nothing new to see a show take inspiration from real life to inform their narrative, but we think there’s probably some real-life topics that you shouldn’t touch if you want to avoid offending people. We’re not saying that all shows should do this, but a show that is concerned with keeping a child-friendly image should definitely not be depicting Hitler in their show. Okay, so it’s not actually Hitler, but there is a minor villain in Dragon Ball Z, a dictator that takes the form of a parody Hitler. Just look at the image above to see how close to the mark they truly got with this one! We can’t believe that there wasn’t some angry letters from parents of fans when this one first aired in the West.
13. Isn’t Making Children Fight A Bit Weird?
Depending on what part of the long-running series you’re watching, you may be surprised by the age of some of the main players of Dragon Ball Z. Not only do the Saiyans live for centuries beyond what age they actually look like, the people of Namek are actually a lot younger than you think they are. For this reason, Piccolo is actually much younger than you think — even only being a couple of decades old during later parts of the series. Unlike many of the other characters in the series who have looked young for years, despite being considered old on their home planet, the Namekians seem to look old at a fairly young age. Wouldn’t it be weird if we looked like a fully-grown adult before we’d even made it to a decade old?
12. Stop Humanizing Them!
If you know a lot about the series, then it won’t come as a surprise to you that these two characters are named Android #17 and Android #18. However, this isn’t the whole truth, as these two actually have real names, as well. The two of them are named Lapis and Lazuli, respectively, and actually come with quite a sad backstory as well. Before they became androids, they were human siblings and we’re assuming they weren’t bloodthirsty monsters before that. However, their story ends well, with Android #17 becoming a park ranger, marrying a zoologist, and adopting two children. As we all know, Android #18 married Krillin after the chaos that was the Cell saga, eventually having a child together named Marron. It’s good to know that these two were able to have a life of their own outside of their android past.
11. Exactly Why We Stopped Watching It
One of the problems with adapting a series to television is that you have to make sure you don’t overtake the original source material, a modern example of this being Game Of Thrones which seems to have decided to do its own thing for a little bit instead of waiting for the author to finish the series of books. During the Frieza saga, the anime caught up to the manga, but the writers didn’t want to overtake the original material, choosing instead to fill up the episodes as much as possible with fights. This, believe it or not, lead to the insane situation where the fight between Goku and Frieza took a collective time of four hours and thirteen minutes. To this day, people still consider this insane and struggle through the episodes when they attempt to watch the Dragon Ball Z series.
10. Where Does That Come From?
So, you will probably know as a fan of the series that Vegeta is considered to be quite hard-hearted, usually putting his own ego and obsessions with power before his family and friend. Sure, there have been times when he has managed to let love into his heart and compassion into his life, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still thought of as being one of the anti-heroes of the show in many ways. However, you will be surprised to know that this guy has a softer side that he really doesn’t want people to know. Believe it or not, but this guy is actually afraid of worms. Rather than making us want to laugh, this makes us wish there was an episode that explains what past trauma lead to this odd phobia! What has to happen in your childhood to make you scared of worms as an adult?
9. Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
If you’re anything like us, you spent parts of your childhood watching small amounts of animated dramas, usually made in a different country, without ever getting into them fully. This means, while we may have a basic understanding of these shows, we don’t know about the nitty gritty in a way that a lot of others know. Believe it or not, Yu-Gi-Oh! took inspiration from Dragon Ball Z when they decided to create a card named Tyler The Great Warrior. We won’t tell you too much, but if you consider yourself a real fan of Dragon Ball Z, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you look it up that the people working on the show took some major inspiration from the future timeline Trunks. We personally thought it was a nod to the rapper Tyler, The Creator, but apparently not!
8. We’re Glad They Didn’t Stick With This
We would be lying if we said there’s nothing that you can do that’s worthwhile with an alternative timeline in a famous narrative. It’s almost like a spin-off in the sense that it allows the writers to play with their characters in a way they otherwise wouldn’t have got away with. For example, there is an alternative timeline in which Future Trunks returns to his timeline and is eventually killed by Cell. This is explained by the concept of a multiverse, but we’re happy that the anime never directly showed us this depressing end to one of our favorite characters. Instead, we got to see the guy grow up to become a formidable fighter, one that was trained and eventually loved by his father who was originally cold toward him.
7. Think Ahead Guys!
Look, we’ve talked before about the fact there are some things you have to be really careful when adding to a narrative because they can very easily break it and add plot holes, despite the best intentions of the writers. These include things like being able to bring people back to life and time travel, both of which can open up a whole can of worms if you throw them into your story. However, in Dragon Ball Z, the problem that arises is Goku’s ability to use the Instant Transmission technique. Take a look on the internet and you will find a whole host of people arguing about why Goku didn’t use this technique to save people at various times. Fans will never have concrete answers to these arguments and that’s because it’s likely these plot holes were never considered by the writing staff in the first place.
6. Something To Be Proud Of
If you ask us, we always thought it was upsetting the way some of the characters were treated in the Dragon Ball Z episodes, especially when you take a look at people like Yamcha, Krillin, and Tien. Despite that, Krillin was actually able to help at pivotal moments throughout series. Not only that, but the guy has been through some stuff that none of us could withstand. For example, the little dots on Krillin’s heads are actually marks that were burned into his head in a similar fashion to many Shaolin Monks. This man has had wax burned into his forehead to the point where it has scarred him. We don’t know about you, but if we knew somebody like that in real life, we’d want to make sure that guy was on our side during a fight!
5. They Should’ve Kept This Look
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that somebody has to take a lot of time thinking about how the characters in shows like this should look, especially if they’re planning on trying to sell a lot of merchandise to children and adults that watch it. Well, it may shock you then, unless you’ve been watching from the very beginning, that Nappa once had hair. This is a pretty major piece of knowledge because people have long considered whether the bald character did have hair. During the odd moments where Nappa has been depicted as going Super Saiyan in various other spin-off material, it was his famous goatee that went blonde while his head continued to be hairless. We actually like the idea of a beard going blonde when a character goes Super Saiyan, so we wish the writers had actually done this in the main storyline.
4. They Say That This Sort Of Stuff Sells!
As we’ve already touched upon, the source material of Dragon Ball Z is actually different from the anime in many ways. This is true of both story choices and general content. For example, while the show has to try and keep a relatively strict tone as it specifically caters to children as well as adults, the manga has taken a different approach throughout its run. What we’re saying is, that the manga has regularly used nudity to titillate its readers, with the nudity usually revolving around Bulma. We know there are a lot of excited people reading this list right now, but before you rush off to Google, a lot of artists that have nothing to do with the original series have taken it upon themselves to draw the character in a series of compromising positions, so it’ll be hard for you to find an original.
3. Probably Wasn’t That Interesting Anyway
If you’ve been alive on this planet and made it to adulthood, then you’ve definitely heard of the concept that if you forget what you’re saying or what you’re thinking about, there’s a chance that it wasn’t really worth thinking about in the first place. However, Dragon Ball Z took this to the extreme when they had to write out the character Launch because the creator actually forgot they even existed. When they moved over to the new saga, they realized it would be easy to pretend that she never existed instead of trying to come up with a contrived way to write her into the story that had already been completed. As writers, we think it’s insane that the creator was able to forget a character they originally came up with! If you ask us, they clearly weren’t a fan of the character in the first place.
2. You Never Get Rid Of The Main Hero
Something that can kill a popular shows is a major shake up, one that completely goes against everything that came before it. This can take the form of a character defecting to the evil side or a major character being killed off, especially if they’re a favorite. For a short time, the concept that Goku would move away from being the main character so that his child Goten could become the main focus was considered. Personally, we think they definitely made the right move when they decided not to do this. There’s no way fans of the show would’ve been okay with this, especially for a prolonged period of time throughout the series. They would’ve rioted if the creators took away their precious Goku. That man has been the center of the show for years now, so they should keep it that way.
1. Disturbing Image
The thing about coming up with the lore surrounding a television show or narrative that is loved by children is that they have to come up with some way to explain adult concepts that take place in the real world. However, in the real world, we usually shield children from these concepts till they’re older, if we can, especially when it concerns things like prejudice and sex. Well, one thing that many of the young Dragon Ball Z fans probably don’t know is that the Namekians actually give birth to their young through their mouth in the form of eggs, where they gestate until they’re ready to hatch. Not only that, but this process is entirely asexual. Yeah, we know, we’ll never be able to look at a Namekian the same way again, either.
All information sourced from BuzzFeed.
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