Friday, October 31, 2008

DB... Z?

Wow, uh, Piccolo... is, uh... white.

So that's a trailer for the new DRAGONBALL movie that's supposed to be coming out in April. I know, I'm opening myself up to a lot of ridicule here, but--

I am a fan of the Dragonball series. I love how innocent Goku was as a kid. How his naivete was what got him into trouble. How he was always unknowingly super-powerful and would work harder whenever he faced an obstacle. But mostly, that he just wanted to have fun.

That brings me to my point -- or question -- or something...

Where is the fun?

Is it just me, or do all Manga / Video Game movies / Comic book movies (before the year 2000) all have the exact same feel?

Do they need to be so serious?

Why is it marketed as an intense adult action movie, when it should be a fun Family film for all ages?

I ask this simply because it seems like the same problem over and over again with these types of movies. Someone with money liked the franchise it was based on, they bought the rights, and hired people who have no idea what the series is really about.

-- you know -- the good stuff, the characters, the journey, the emotional core of the story ...

...the things that are the reason these franchises have developed a following that lasts decades.

In the trailer, Goku says the line:
I'm not ready for this.

That's not a line Goku would EVER say. He's naive. He never knows what he is up against, charges in head first, and usually gets his butt handed to him a few times before he actually triumphs. That's actually a big part of the appeal of his character.
I'm not ready for this.

is not only something the character would never say, but it is also incredibly cliche.

Anyway -- to jump to the 2nd part of this rather twisty convoluted post --

The trailer looks like they completely missed what was fun and exciting about the series. In fact, it looks like they completely skipped this part of the Dragonball series and jumped right into DBZ.

If it is DBZ, where is Vegeta?


Vegeta is the BEST thing about DBZ. Once Goku becomes an adult, he loses that innocent charm he had as a child. Now he has to deal with real issues. With raising his own son Gohan. With his wife Chi-chi. With his nemesis that is still after him, Piccolo. But he's still that same lovable goof -- and that wears thin.

Which is where Vegeta, a new power hungry nemesis, plays such an important role.

Vegeta is an incredible character, especially considering the Dragonball universe. Goku is the hero. But let's face it, Goku has no direction. He just wanders into things. Vegeta on the other hand is driven!

To put it simply, Vegeta wants to be the best. He works his ass off to be the very best. But no matter what he does, he is always second to Goku. Now is when Goku simply stumbling into things becomes a piece of dramatic action. Goku's easy going, innocent, good nature coupled with his natural talent is infuriating to Vegeta. Everytime Vegeta thinks he's the top dog, Goku one up's him -- and most the time it's not even on purpose. That is great character conflict.

It's just who Goku is.

And it's just who Vegeta is. Forever doomed to be second best.

I think, to have Goku as an adult without Vegeta in the film, is to only tell 1/2 the story.

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