Specifically, a small handful of episodes in which our hero Son Goku has a brief meet-and-greet with a friendly farmer dude named Mousse…
“‘Sup, mah peeps!”
…His wife Eclair…
…Who, no offense, looks like she’s had her share of ’em!
…And their nine children, all of whom are also named after desserts.
From eldest to youngest, there’s Crepe, Cookie, Cocoa…
No, not him.
…Creme Puff (not the most macho name, but in his first appearance he informs us that his friends just call him ‘Puff’)…
“Mmmmmm, that’s not much better, kid.”
…The twins, Jelly & Jam…
I don’t have a joke for this, I just think it’s really cute.
Separated at birth??
…Cupcake and Pudding.
“A whole family named after desserts? You’re makin’ me hungry!”
I remember being oddly intrigued by these characters and kind of wishing we could’ve gotten a side episode focusing on them or something. The potential was definitely there.
“OK, it’s not perfect. Eleven characters is a pretty big number, and we’re on a budget, I personally would prefer the twins to be the youngest, ’cause that’s my vision, and I wouldn’t have so many boys, as girls are ‘in’ now…but it can be fixed. Have your people contact my people and we’ll discuss it over lunch. Ciao!”
This got me thinking about today’s Brain Candy, which also doubles as an Unpopular Opinion: my favorite moments from shows like Dragon Ball/Z…
…Or Dinosaur King…
…Or super sentai shows like Kamen Rider OOO…
…Or movies like Our Friend Power 5…
…Tend not to be the action/battle/fight scenes, but rather the silly comedy moments where the characters are just doing silly stuff at home with the zany slapstick, bizarro sound effects and musical stings, wild takes and all. In fact, I’d like to see a show like those that’s a pure comedy. In other words, a Dragon Ball/Kamen Rider/Dinosaur King/Hero: 108 type show, set in that kind of universe, but consisting of just the funny parts.
DRAGON BALL LOL. Rock the chuckles!
It would be set in the same type of universe as these shows, with the same literal nomenclature, futuristic architecture…
…The same mix of unique looking and dressing humans and weird animal creatures…
Who wears short-shorts?
…And the same kinds of way-out sci-fi tech and crazy powers…
…But the goofy stuff involving teenage boys obsessed with underwear, kawaii schoolgirls who are freakishly strong for no reason, soda cans that can transform into motorcycles, characters getting stuffed into suitcases and hung up on clotheslines and wives who reprimand their husbands by throwing their shoes at them would be the entire stories, not just filler material between the fight scenes. Why doesn’t some studio make a show like that? I’d watch the heck out of that!
I’m probably one of the very few Dragon Ball/DBZ fans who doesn’t hate Goku’s wife Chi-Chi.
Fun Trivia Fact: Chi-Chi’s name is a Japanese pun which translates to “Mother’s milk”. All of the Dragon Ball characters’ names are either puns or plays on words of some kind.
Yes, what Chi-Chi’s anti fans say I agree with. Sure, Chi-Chi overdoes it. Yeah, she can be a wet blanket at times and yeah, she goes ballistic on occasion, but in a way, I see her point! Her husband (and sometimes her son also) are always going off to fight or train to fight some alien or demon or otherworldly entity where there’s always the risk of them getting seriously injured or killed.
“Hey, honey bunch! I’m going away to to train for big fight with some invading alien fire breathing bowling pins who want to turn the planet into a giant bowling alley! If I don’t die, I’ll back next year-ish!”
Admit it, if that were going on in your household, you’d be stressed out too!
Given that Goku has actually died (and come back from the dead) not once, but twice and also once merged with the eternal dragon (and has come back from that too, somehow), Chi-Chi’s desire for a normal alien fighting free life seems perfectly understandable and sane to me.
It’s hard being the responsible one. People tend to label you as a “drag” and a “killjoy”. It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it! At least Chi-Chi has a sense of order and discipline for her son. She doesn’t just let him do whatever like Goku.
I know that I’m kind of a weirdo (assuming that’s not painfully obvious at this point). Perhaps it’s because I have kind of a “thing” for fictional wives and mothers (and also I’m a sucker for chicks with black hair), I don’t find Chi-Chi’s desire for a Leave it to Beaver lifestyle free of danger, chaos and invading weirdos to be annoying at all. I may not agree with her methods, but I do see where she’s coming from.
There’s also the fact that Chi-Chi is one of the physically strongest female fighters in the Dragon Ball universe, even if she’s relegated to being comic relief most of the time. The woman can fight! She and Goku have been living off of their fighting tournament earnings for years! Although it’s not always shown, Chi-Chi is really in love with her husband and on the infrequent occasions when we do get a tender moment between the two of them, it’s very sweet to see. It gives me the warm fuzzies.
Today Talkin’ Nerdy takes an in-depth look at an often overlooked minority, a sub-culture of society which doesn’t get a lot of press or attention, but nonetheless is a fraction of the populace that exists and stands out.
I’m speaking of course of the ‘animal people’ from Dragon Ball/Z.
You can’t address the elephant in the room here, because he went to get a snack from the commissary.
Since Dragon Ball‘s debut, these crispy critters have been sprinkled across the population of Toriyama’s version of Earth, yet few of them have ever gotten any major screen time or especially large parts, the exceptions being Oolong and Puar…
A Cat & Piggy Show
…And Shu, the dog ninja minion of Emperor Pilaf, along with his human general, Mai.
Shu looks pretty hot in that costume, Mai just plain looks hot.
Have you ever wondered where these ‘animal people’ come from? What their origin is? I’m glad I pretended that you asked that. I have my own personal theory as to where these ‘animal humans’ came to be; it’s a bit of a crackpot theory, and it’s not canonical, as it relies on Dragon Ball, Hero: 108 and Animal Jam all taking place within the same universe.
Also Waku Waku 7, since the Mechanic of Politank-Z is a dog.
“A dog who’s a cop/mechanic? What sort of sober, drug-free mind would come up with something like that? A regular Hemingway, this one!”
“I have another theory which links the Manhattan Project to the emergence of boy-bands and reality TV, if anyone’s interested.”
Anywho, this is my totally made-up, not true, but it works-for me theory:
In ancient times when the world was block after block of savage, untamed jungle, there were 2 major sapient tribes inhabiting the Earth: humans and animals, who lived together as equals and co-existed in peaceful, joyous harmony.
Peaceful, joyous harmony. We’re full of it.
As time progressed, the humans, i.e., the tribe with the opposable thumbs, began showing off their smarty brains, learning to master tools, discovering fire, inventing the wheel, covering their junk with clothes, etc., eventually creating what we now know as what passes for civilization and migrating to create more modern and technologically advanced cities and towns.
“Well we’re movin’ on up….to the East Side…to a dee-luxe apartment in the sky….”
The animals, meanwhile, stayed in the wild and remained “savage” for the most part, doing the jungle/tribal thing. However, the human and animal tribes stayed fairly close, and in due time, some humans began taking in animal ‘companions’ with them to the new cities, for one simple reason…
The animals were freakin’ adorable!
Since they were living in ‘man’s world’ (and also due to the the strict legal regulations), in time the transplanted animals began to learn to speak the language and adopt some of the mannerisms of humans, thus giving rise to the ‘animal people’ sub-class we know today. While they’re not considered to be of the same level of intelligence or evolution as humans (they can’t vote or own property and are rarely asked for their opinions in polls), they have nonetheless become an accepted part of modern society.
That’s how I’d do it anyway. No offense to Toriyama-San, but I like that idea better than the one of animals just being people with animal features. When anthropomorphism is exaggerated to the point where the animals are basically odd-looking people, that’s where I draw the line.
One final question I’ve always had regarding Dragon Ball‘s animal populace: why are there no animal Z-Fighters?
“We fight for truth, justice and Liv-A-Snaps!”
Can the animal people be taught to manipulate ki? Videl is an ordinary human who learned to fly…
“Just remember to think happy thoughts, dude!”
…So could an animal be taught this as well? Getting back to Hero: 108, First Squad a token animal member, my favorite character on the show, Jumpy Ghostface.
He would wrap his ears around his head like a ninja mask and work your behind with a jump-rope. Don’t laugh.
“I’m a ninja, I’m a Bunny Ninja!”
Not to be outdone (again!), Second Squad also had their own animal warrior, Golden Eye Husky.
G.E.H. has a super-durable body and can breathe fire….
Yet he still had his soft, cuddly side.
(I told you the animals were adorable.)
Personally, I think it would be kind of cool to see an animal kicking some ass alongside the Z-Soldiers.
-But wait, no, that would never work. That would just be ridiculous. Animals can’t be fighters. Can you imagine animal martial artists?
It’s time to geek out over a setting again. Today Nerdvana takes a look at the world of Dragon Ball.
This show rocks your balls!
Time for the obligatory disclaimer: this isn’t a review. By now there have been literally dozens upon dozens of reviews, commentaries and analyses on the adventures of Son Goku and the gang, which is why I’m not going to bother trying it myself. I’ll be specifically talking about the world that show is set in, not the show itself. Now, on to the fun:
Like most artists/writers, I’m a sucker for fantasy worlds. Some people prefer medieval fantasy, others prefer steampunk, some even fancy dystopia (I personally find dystopian settings to be about as much fun as a route canal, but that’s just me). One of my favorite fantasy settings is what I’ve come to term 30 Minutes into the Future, or the World of Next Tuesday. It’s a contemporary fantasy world setting which resembles our world, but not entirely. The version of Earth envisioned by Akira Toriyama in such works as Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump is a good example of the type of fantasy setting I’d like to make a cartoon about one day. One which resembles contemporary Earth, but tweaked and twisted with some futuristic, mythical and just plain outlandish elements.
Let’s start with the architecture. I love Toriyama’s environments and cityspcapes; the ovoid and spherical buildings and structures, mostly gleaming white.
I also like the designs and mythos surrounding its’ inhabitants.
People…people who like Dragon Balls…are the luckiest people in the world.
According to the story of Dragon Ball Online, which takes place in their year 1000, the humans have the longest established culture on Earth, and they’re also the most prolific, having spread to all corners of the world, including the Wastelands. As of Age 1000, the human race has become cross-bred with the Saiyan race, and as such, many believe that the race holds a powerful, hidden potential, due to their part Saiyan blood. This setting has spawned 3 main classifications of humans which I’d also like to adapt in a work:
Martial Artists – Warriors that specialize primarily in martial arts, with limited use of ki.
“Boot to the head!”
Spiritualists – Mystics that specialize in spiritual, ki (or mana)-based techniques.
-I’d prefer to be a Spiritualist over a Martial Artist, since I’ve always been more into Magic than Might.
Really, they’re both good choices. As long as I get to be one of the people who can fly, s’all good.
And finally, Engineers – Mechanics and inventors who build weapons and utilize technology.
“I’m blinding you, with SCIENCE!”
Which brings me to the next thing I love about Toriyama’s Earth: the advanced technology, particularly the innvations provided by the Capsule Corporation.
CAPSULE CORP. Bringing you into the future…this afternoon.
This company is responsible for the capsules which can store anything from a water bottle to a car to a tent to a small house.
In your face, Public Storage!
Plus, you get to live and operate from a giant yellow dome!
Also, I love the Capsule Corp. logo. It’s a typography geek’s dream. Dr. and Mrs. Brief, please adopt me.
Another cool device this world boasts is the freaking hovercar.
It’s a FLYING CAR. Come on.
From the makers of the hoverboard…
It’s 2015. The future is now.
..And the hovercycle.
Perfect for quick trips to the store, jaunts to the beach, cruising ’round the countryside or evading Storm-troopers on the planet Endor.
As previously stated, I really dig the designs and unique quirks of the people in Toriyama’s works.
The punnish names, the quirky clothes…
Body by Nature. Hair by Youthful Rebellion. Outfit by Hot Topic.
…The unusual colored hair…
“No dye job, honey. This is a natural purple.”
..I even like the talking animal people.
I’m aware of what Jason previously covered in Furry Confusion, and I agree with the points made there, but hear me out. On Toriyama’s Earth, 17% of its’ sapient population were talking animal people, because Toriyama just enjoys drawing them, however I’ve always felt that if you anthropomorphize animals too much then there’s no point in making them animals in the first place. That said, I do like the talking animal idea, I’d just execute it a little differently. In my head canon the Toriyama version of Earth is Hidden Kingdom from Hero: 108, only about a century or so in the future. In ancient times, animals and humans belonged to separate tribes which co-existed alongside one another. Humans began evolving and developing things like tools, weapons, vehicles, cities, burger joints and so on, while animals remained “savage” but eventually learned to speak the language of humans. This resulted in a sub-culture of sentient animals who are able to speak directly to humans but are still animals; they talk, occasionally walk upright but don’t wear full compliments of clothing, can’t operate vehicles or hold down jobs, and only the ones which are pets (though they prefer the term “companions”) live in houses and buildings. I’ve always wanted to do a story in which talking animals were a sort-of fun house mirror equivalent to the Mutants in the Marvel universe, and that’s how I’d execute this idea.
“You really have no life, do you?”
While we’re at it, let’s extend this “semi-anthropomorphism” to dinosaurs, since it’s already been established that dinos aren’t extinct in this world…
T-REX ON A SKATEBOARD! T-REX ON A SKATEBOARD!
…And why not extend that to their cousins, the dragons (as in the non-Eternal variety). They’re like dinosaurs but they can breathe fire, fly and other cool stuff.
A Dance with Dragons
BTW, this world follows Littlest Pet Shop logic, so people can have things like dinosaurs, dragons, monkeys, tigers, kangaroos and pastel colored pandas as pets.
Hello, toy sale tie-ins!
But you know who I truly envy in the Dragon Ball world?
“HA-HAAA! WHO DA MAN???!?”
Yeah, I know he’s a fraud and basically the joke/comic relief of the franchise, but you’ve gotta hand it to Mr. Satan; the guy’s the king of dumb luck. He managed to become stinking rich and super-famous, even getting an entire city named after him, for doing nothing. Classic case being in the right place at the right time. he is the Martial Arts Champion, so as normal humans go, he is actually pretty formidable, but he’s absolutely nothing compared to Goku and company.
Plus, you’ve gotta admit, that’s a pretty cool cape.
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