Top Plot Twists in Dragon Ball Z
Top Plot Twists in Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball's characters are characterized by incredible twists and turns. The thing is, a lot of those plot twists come from Dragon Ball Z.
The main attraction of the Dragon Ball series is its unique characters and the fight choreography. Even if the anime's action pales in comparison to the fights in Akira Toriyama's manga, many fans wouldn't say they watch or read Dragon Ball just for the story. Believe it or not, the story is pretty good.
Dragon Ball's character-driven stories have incredible twists, most of which come from DBZ. In Dragon Ball Z, the animated version of the original Saiyan Arc coincided with a radical change in tone and tone of the anime series. The maturation of the story makes the subsequent Dragon Ball more dramatic.
Kakarot is a Saiyan
The animation was a creative way to separate Dragon Ball and its subsequent second part, Dragon Ball Z. Although plainly seamless, the division between DB and DBZ was completely arbitrary. Fans didn't think it would end up being a good split between the two.
In the original manga, this Saiyan Arc continues directly after the end of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai without interruption.
This is the effect of the Saiyan arc. After about 200 chapters, everything takes a turn. Goku's long-lost brother from space turns out to be a Saiyan from Planet Vegeta, destined to destroy Earth. It was a brutal turning point that would guide Goku's development in the two stories to come.
Goku saves Vegeta's life
Goku spends a great deal of the saga being dead and out of reach of other characters. Still, it doesn't mean he doesn't make progress. Through the exchanges with Kaio when he is resurrected, Goku passively works on his Saiyan identity and embraces his heritage. When the Namek arc ends, he realizes who he is, but it is not until the battle against Vegeta that he truly becomes Saiyan.
Shocked by the outcome of his battle with Vegeta and unwilling to let an opponent like that go, Goku asks Krillin to save Vegeta's life. How cute, right? This fits a lot with our hero's character if you remember that he gave Piccolo a Senzu. Now, it's much more extreme because, unlike Piccolo, Vegeta has done nothing to suggest that he has any merit. Goku is just doing an act of selfishness.
Frieza has the ability to transform (several times)
In the anime, this change is interrupted, but in the manga, Zarbon tells Vegeta that Frieza can indeed change into different forms. Vegeta gets this information very early on and only learns it when fighting Frieza. Vegeta does not waste his stamina fighting the villain because he has changed his form, but he challenges Frieza to transform once more.
It's a clever strategy, but it doesn't work because Frieza can change and transform multiple times, three times in total. This fight against Frieza ends up being a battle of survival as Krillin, Gohan, and Vegeta wait for Goku to recover and Piccolo to arrive.
Son Goku, Super Saiyan
Goku's fight against Frieza was all about small swings and tiny plot twists. When we watch them fight, Goku seems to be doing well. Apparently, this was far from the truth: he's already surpassed his Kaioken 20 times.
The fight seems to be a disaster, and everyone pushes their own limits. Frieza looks like he is having a hard time. In fact, we learn he is not using 50% of his strength. If that wasn't pretty bad like it sounds, Goku's last hope, the Genki Ball, ultimately fails.
When Krillin finds Frieza, he immediately flies through the air and dies in front of Goku. An angry Goku performs the legendary transformation that Frieza feared. In many ways, Frieza would have been better dead. Why is that, you might ask? Goku completely humiliates the galactic tyrant by becoming Son Goku, the Earth-born Saiyan.
Mysterious young man
Frieza is the plot generator of Dragon Ball in general. He is the one who destroys planet Vegeta and triggers the whole plot that follows.
In the exact episode where this villain is apparently defeated, the Namek arc ends, the Cell episode begins, and Gohan learns that Frieza will go to Earth - this time with his old and beloved father. The protagonists get into another fight, which they will obviously fail without Goku, but they are lucky.
A mysterious young man from the future appears just to meet Frieza. Trunks transform into a supervillain and kills Frieza's entire army, Frieza, and his dad, King Cold. Frieza is beaten in the blink of an eye, a new superstar emerges, and the most dangerous threat in the series is revealed: artificial humans.
Trunks does not recognize Androids 19 and 20
Trunks' simple introduction is already full of information. Still, the information it provides about the future is quite impressive. Dragon Ball had matured, but the Cell saga suddenly presented a bleak future timeline where all the main characters except Bulma were dead. That's bleak, even if we are talking about Dragon Ball. We learn about Trunks, a guy that had to grow up without his father. Sadly, he creates a sort of butterfly effect by traveling backward, as he can't recognize the Android 19 severed head. Unfortunately, when he meets the Dragon Squad again, Trunks reveals that he can't recognize either 19 or Dr. Gero and only recognizes the Artificial Humans way too late.
Cell as a character is possibly the most important element of the saga, the roulette wheel of the villain. He was the ultimate enemy in Dragon Ball Z: Dr. Gero's terrible creation.
Similarly, the saga is as crucial for the series as for him. At the beginning of the series, King Cold and Frieza are the main villains, but then they are replaced by Dr. Gero and Android 19. Soon 18, 17, and 16 follow, and soon Cell himself makes his debut.
For this reason, it's easy to believe that Cell is mysterious in retrospect. Cell destroys the mystery from the start, but his sudden appearance is shocking. After dealing with artificial humans, this villain shows up with the abilities of Vegeta, Goku, Piccolo, Freeza, and King Cold Ki. The idea of Cell wiping a whole city off is scary, and that's literally how they introduce us to him.
Goku stays dead
The moment of truth in the Cell games is when Gohan finally transforms into Super Saiyan 2. Sadly, does not take this chance to defeat the villain. Instead, Gohan starts playing with his food, beats Cell, and tries to humiliate him as Goku did with Frieza. Regrettably, Cell had other things planned out.
Having no choice, Goku bids Cell farewell and teleports him off Earth. They both appear to die together, but Cell barely survives the blast. When it's time to wait for all the dead to return, Goku decides to stay dead, which harms the plot badly. In the end, this is reversed, but Toriyama wanted to keep this plot point.
The Dragon Ball finale is a turning point for almost every important scene and for one main reason: Toriyama was more involved than usual. From the two mergings to Goku's transformation into Super Saiyan 3, to Boo's transformation, everything. Most important, though, is the scene where Goku attacks Genki Dama.
Goku gathers acquaintances, but his attitudes soon make the Earth alien to him and Vegeta. After Mr. Satan rebukes humanity for betraying its eternal savior, Earth surrenders to Dragon Ball's true heroes.
Goku trains Oob
The ending of Dragon Ball Z is controversial in many ways, the most controversial being Goku training Oob. After a series of dramatic arcs, Dragon Ball does not end with a final battle with Boo but with Goku getting a new apprentice. We did not know we wanted this, but it is the best ending for this series.
Since Dragon Ball is primarily the story of Goku's entry into the world of martial arts, it feels very fitting that the story ends with Goku challenging his disciple to a fight and becoming a master himself. More importantly, being memorable allows for an ending that values the plot more than what happened to Dragon Ball.
Even when considered by many like a kid's show, Dragon Ball is the type of anime that changed an entire generation. People love Dragon Ball because they grew up watching the adventures of Goku. Being this close to a show during your childhood will make you love it forever.
Some say that part of the success of DB is that the anime aired at the exact moment it needed to air. Some say that if Dragon Ball were released maybe 20 years before or later than it actually was, it would not have had the same effect. It can be true, but we will never know. For now, we enjoy the DBZ merch, like Dragon Ball Z posters, Dragon Ball statues, or Dragon Ball Z backpacks. For now, we're happy that Dragon Ball had the effect it had during those years.
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