November 18, 2017 : Bulma And Her Relevance

There was some sad news reported this week – the Japanese voice actor who portrayed Bulma passed away. I never knew of her (although it looks like she had quite the career, including Meryl Stryfe from Trigun); and this doesn’t really impact the version of DBZ that I watch, but it’s still a bummer nonetheless.

The news actually got me thinking of the character of Bulma, and her role in the Dragon Ball franchise. Nowadays, she’s relegated to comic relief or Filler Material (and has been for quite some time). However, she did play a much more important role when Dragon Ball first started. She was the connecting character that framed Goku’s unbelievable skills, helping enfold the world of Dragon Ball.

She became less relevant when the tournament Sagas began. As DBZ moved on, she stayed around to help advance the story through her technological prowess (allowing for space travel and quick Dragon Ball hunting). Her knowledge of Dr. Gero sped along the faster moving plot of the Android and Cell Saga. However after that, she remained on the show mostly to be an incubator for half Saiyans. Although one could argue she also acts as an anchor for Vegeta.

Overall, Dragon Ball does a good job of ‘discarding’ obsolete characters. They will do an occasional call back for nostalgia sake, but they don’t let them bog things down. Bulma seems to be the exception. She seems to still sticks around, probably for the reasons mentioned above.

It’s easy to dismiss Bulma. She doesn’t have any powers, which is what DBZ became and the focus of Dragon Ball Super – and we had to endure her dealings with Frog Captain Ginyu (insert shudder here). However, the more I think about it, Bulma is the strongest female character in the franchise. She might be annoying at times, but you can also say that about what Gohan has became after the Cell Saga.

So for that, I think I have a new found respect for Bulma. She was (and still is… sorta) an important character. More so than Krillin. Although, every time he dies, it angers a Saiyan – and the aftermath of that is pretty cool to watch.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:40 pm

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October 14, 2016 : Dragon Ball Super Set To Air In Europe – What About North America?

I realize I’ve made a lot of Dragonball related posts lately – although it’s tough for me to apologize for it. That said, there’s been some news lately about premiere dates for Dragonball Super. While Europe will be fortunate enough to see the new series in the next few months, a North American release date has not been set.

Rock The Dragon

Talks for a US release date is ongoing; and while nothing has been set, it sounds like we won’t be watching Super for another year or so. The show has been airing in Japan for over a year now, with over 60 episodes already aired. By the time we can finally watch it, there will be plenty of episodes in the can – hopefully none of them consist of Goku and Piccolo getting a driver’s license.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:12 pm



September 30, 2016 : Dragon Ball Z: The Fall of Men

I don’t know how it took this long, but I just stumbled on this DBZ Fan Fiction live-action film. It was released a year ago and made by Black Smoke Films, a French production company.

It takes place in an alternate universe during the Android/ Cell Saga. I thoroughly enjoyed it; and given the fact that it now has over 20 million views, I am not alone.

The narrative was solid, but you have to accept that it didn’t stay true to the manga/ anime. Personally I like how they created their own spin on the story. However, what I really liked was all the subtle references to the series – both DBZ and Dragonball.

The YouTube Channel also has several Featurettes as well as an 85 minute Making-Of film. The only downside to these extras is that they are in French, but they do have English subtitles.

posted by Pi Visuals at 1:44 pm

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August 6, 2015 : Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (And The Transitive Property)

Last night, I saw Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ – and I wasn’t the only one since the movie is killing it during it’s limited release in the theaters. In fact, I tried to see the 7pm show, but it was sold out. Instead, I had to wait around for the 8pm show, which also had a good sized crowd. The takeaway lesson from this is to buy tickets online… particularly for the Iron Giant super-limited-theatical-release.

As for Resurrection, it was solid. I liked it more than its predecessor, Battle Of Gods; However, ultimately it was still a DBZ movie, and I find that the franchise shines in episodic format because it is given adequate time to create the world and properly define the characters’ hierarchy of power.

In order for the movies to move the plot along (and keep things entertaining), the story has to employ ‘DBZ-math’ – which entails forgetting the Transitive Property. For example, Fighter A is stronger than Fighter B; and Fighter B is stronger than Fighter C. According to ‘DBZ-math’, Fighter C can easily go toe to toe with Fighter A.

Still, Resurrection was fun; and I don’t want to give away anything, so below is my spoiler-free, bullet-point takeaways:

At the end of the day, Resurrection ‘F’ was worth it. I’m still not sure how the new series will turn out, but the movie does hint at the general direction it will take.

posted by Pi Visuals at 4:59 pm

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May 3, 2015 : A New Dragon Ball Series Is Gonna Happen

It’s been 18 years since the last Dragon Ball Series, and that had an asterisk since it was GT (creator Akira Toriyama was not involved with that although he did give his blessing for its production). However, that will soon change as Dragon Ball Super will premiere in Japan this July. Toriyama is overseeing the project, but he will not direct. No US release date has been set, but there’s no doubt it will be made readily available to US audiences eventually.

The latest addition to the franchise has come out of the success of the two most recent theatrical films, Battle Of Gods and Resurrection F (the latter of which is set to air in America this summer). This new series will take place after the Majin Buu saga, which probably means they won’t acknowledge anything that happened in GT… not a bad idea.

There is no doubt that I will check out the new series. However, I will have fairly low expectations. It is tough extending the life of these types of shows. Each season or story arc requires an even stronger bad guy, and I find that that devalues previous enemies (and starts to get stale story wise). Plus, I still believe that Gohan should have supplanted Goku as the main protagonist after the Cell Saga. He was the one that truly developed and transformed (pun intended) from the Saiyan Saga through Cell. Going back to Goku in the Buu Saga felt tiresome to me.

Oh well. It’s still cool news; and when it does finally air, I will look forward to cool action sequences… and perhaps some Mr. Popo. However, if there is an episode with getting a driver’s license, I’m out.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:16 am

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October 29, 2010 : New Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball creator, Akira Toriyama, has supposedly been talked into creating new material for the series. The story is pretty sparse with the details, but I am torn with the news.

Get Buu out of there, and it's the best poster ever.

Being a huge fan of DBZ, I can definitely get excited about the prospect of new Dragon Ball Manga (and no doubt anime to follow). However, DBZ was starting to sputter at the end – even with Toriyama involved. Dragon Ball GT didn’t have the creator and was awful. However, I think DBZ peaked during the Cell saga (which was awesome). The Buu saga was pretty disappointing, and I’m not sure how much better anything new would be.

Besides, there are countless questions as to the specifics of any new material. When would the story take place within the Dragon Ball universe? Who would be the main character(s)? How much stronger can the bad guys really get?

Ultimately, I would prefer Toriyama create an entirely new series. That would be more interesting to watch.

posted by Pi Visuals at 9:11 pm

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December 14, 2008 : Rock The Dragon!

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Dragonball Movie.

After years of rumors, it looks like the DBZ series will finally create a live action movie.  The flick, scheduled to come out in April of next year, occurs during the Dragonball portion of the time line.  This means that Goku is pretty young (in high school, which is slightly older than what he was in the anime/ manga) and Piccolo is the antagonist.

If there's a Spirit Bomb, so help me...

As a huge fan of DBZ, I can say I am definitely interested in the movie – and optimistic that it will be worth watching.  After all, Stephen Chow of Kung Fu Hustle fame is producing it.  In addition to that, Chow Yun-Fat stars as Master Roshi and the stunt  performance company that worked on the Matrix is working on the film.  They even have Winston from Ghostbusters (Ernie Hudson) in it!

My only concern is that the movie will deviate too far from the anime/ manga.  While this has positives (the movie opted to cut out certain crappy characters like Turtle, Puar, and Oolong), it could lose it’s authenticity that made DBZ so awesome.  At which point, this could upset a lot of hardcore fans and result in an overall lousy product.

Ultimately, the success of the first movie will dictate if future ones get made.  Hopefully the movie will be worth the wait and live up to the franchise’s reputation.  Even though I was a hoping a Dragonball movie would eventually come to fruition, I am really waiting to see a live action Vegeta on the big screen – that will truly be awesome.  And sadly, that requires a sequel or two…which means more waiting.

posted by Pi Visuals at 4:53 pm

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