TS Top 5: Dragon Ball Saga #1
As I mentioned before, this is pretty much the sequel to The Red Ribbon Army Saga. This time with artificial beings created by the RR Army as the main villains. I’ve chosen to group the Trunks, Androids, Imperfect Cell, Perfect Cell, and finally the Cell Games arc together into one saga. This contains most of my absolute favorite moments in series’s history. Despite the overall grim, dark tone in the entirety of this arc, it managed to captivate me and surprise me in ways that no other arc did. Part of it is my love for the intense, visceral battles that became the hallmark of this story. Personally, I felt like more was at stake here, and like more important character dynamics and shifts in characterization happened. Cell himself is incredibly unique, not being motivated by anything other than to genetically perfect himself, a being who exists entirely to consume and destroy. He can’t be reasoned with, because compromise is (quite literally) not in his DNA. And the Androids are pretty great too, a diverse trio with personalities that eventually clash and lead into engaging conflicts, not helped by the wrench Krillin throws into the mix by falling in love with Android 18. Aside from the villains, though, we have some stellar introductions that shift the tides of the series. We see Trunks come back from the future, instantly kill the rebuilt Frieza without any effort, and then reveal that he is the son of Vegeta and Bulma. Then towards the climax of the story arc, Gohan kicks Cell’s ass, royally obliterating him, because of his own willpower and determination (and a SSJ2 transformation as well) to win. His emotional realization that the entire fate of the world rests on his shoulders, coupled with his otherworldly support from Goku, is my personal emotional high point of the series. The torch has been passed, the (2nd) ultimate form of evil has been bested, and the world has been saved. Afterwards, Trunks returns to his timeline and kills the androids (including Cell) in bad ass fashion. Honestly, it feels like the best place the series could have ended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDN60JG1rV4
TS Top 5: Dragon Ball Saga #2
This is arguably the most famous and popular of all Dragon Ball sagas out there. For good reason, too. For this saga, I’m grouping the Namek, Captain Ginyu, and Frieza arc together. All of the core story mechanics we saw get introduced in the Saiyan saga are refined here. Transformations, character deaths, purely evil antagonists, secondary enemies that give other characters a chance to shine. These aspects, to me, arguably make the Frieza saga not only some of the best episodes of Dragon Ball Z, but one of the very best story lines in anime, period. When Frieza says Namek is going to get destroyed in five minutes, it takes multiple episodes for it to even get close to the one or two minute mark. But you never really care, because you’re on the edge of your seat the whole time. Secondly, the balance achieved here between the whimsical and the serious is impressive. It’s great entertainment to watch Goku avenge Krillin’s death by turning Super Saiyan for the first time, but also to see Ginyu get his body swapped with a frog and having to navigate the planet in that form. Vegeta’s death is one of the saddest moments in the series, whether in Japanese or in the Funimation dub. This is the closest Dragon Ball Z ever got to the spirit of the original Dragon Ball. Bulma (although she does absolutely nothing but bitch and moan through out the entire trip), Gohan, Vegeta and Krillin all end up working together in order to hunt down Dragon Balls, get in scraps with a diverse cast of villains (The Ginyu Force,) and explore different locales on a strange new world. Meanwhile, Goku gets to wreck some shit in his fight with Frieza. As for the part when Goku is lending Frieza his power instead of killing him, think about it from his point of view. A lot of Goku’s friends were his enemies at first. So he knows for a fact that it’s possible for bad guys to have a change of heart, and that’s what he hopes for all of his enemies. However, it just wasn’t the case for Frieza….or Dr.Gero for that matter. This chapter recaptured that sense of dangerous adventure that the original had, and I loved it for that. We got to learn more about Piccolo and Kami’s race. Gohan and Krillin made for one awesome duo. Goku was forced to (well sort of) kill a main antagonist and wasn’t able to win them over to the side of good for the first time (2nd if you count King Piccolo). And Vegeta began to realize that he fell much more on the side of good than he previously thought. Lastly, Frieza was an awesome villain and his fight with Goku will continue to remain one of my all time favorite fights in anime. Basically this saga represents everything I love about Dragon Ball Z. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8P0YQqrkwE
This is me trying to be cute
True Shit 101: There isn’t a word in the dictionary for how good you look.
thinking o boyz and shit
True Shit 101: If I were a stop light, I’d turn red every time you passed by, just so I could stare at you a bit longer.
TS Top 5: Dragon Ball Saga #3
The Red Ribbon Army Saga
In many ways this is the prelude to the Android Saga. Long before Gero turned himself into a cyborg, he was the head scientist and founding member of the most feared crime organization, the Red Ribbon Army. Too bad they never showed or even referenced him at all. But keep in mind that Akira Toriyama was never really the writer to think that far ahead into a story, plus I doubt he ever thought he’d ever make it so far to have Goku become a father and is revealed to be an alien whose planet was destroyed by an evil galactic overlord lol. ANYWAYS, this arc pretty much focuses on the RR Army’s conflict with the one-man army known as Son Goku in a struggle to see who claim all 7 dragon balls first. It’s definitely the longest arc in the original Dragon Ball anime. For this saga, I’m grouping the Red Ribbon Army, General Blue, Commander Red, even the Fortuneteller Baba arc together. It’s just jam-packed with stuff. A tower of death, an underwater pirate base, an ascent to almost-Heaven and its cat-god, a tournament of classic monster characters… And even a “Dr. Slump” crossover. You get to watch Goku learn about the world and really go on his own journey. And to be honest, beyond popularity, this is the only arc where comparisons to One Piece ring very true to me. Especially when you have a lot of the more popular “Z” era stuff taking place on interchangeable cliffs and canyons. This saga is full of action, humor, suspense, all with the beautiful art designs by Toriyama you’ve come to know and love all these years. Instead of almost random plots in each episode, there is a definite start, finish and character development. Goku truly grows as both a fighter and a person and his battles with Mercenary Tao and General Blue are awesome. I enjoyed watching him climb up Korin’s Tower, train with Korin, taking out the entire RR Army single handily (too bad it’s gonna really bite him on the ass several years later in DBZ) and Goku finally seeing his grandpa again. To me they were few highlights of the story. Overall it’s an awesome arc, one I even recommend to One Piece fans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVCID1gtMpo
TS Top 5: Dragon Ball Saga #4
This is where the comedy/adventure “Dragonball” series begins it’s transformation into its more action oriented sequel, “Dragonball Z”. The scene where they found Krillin’s corpse is, one of the most chilling moments in the series, and the demon King Piccolo was an awesome villain. He was really the first Dragon Ball villain to set the tone for the rest of the series and the first serious threat to the planet in the series as well. He was so terrifyingly effective that the whole arc was basically a long series of non-stop victories for him until Goku’s final punch. Before he dies, King Piccolo spits out an egg that hatches out a nasty little Namekian who has begun his own minor reign of terror. This is Piccolo Jr., better known as the Piccolo of DBZ. The story-line will not turn back to humor until the Majin Buu Saga in Dragon Ball Z. Through out this entire saga we’re introduced to Tien Shinhan, Chaozu (yes I’m counting the Tien Shinhan arc as part of this saga as well), Kami, Mr. Popo, and Yajirobe as well. By the end of the saga, Goku is now the tall, muscular young man we see him as in DBZ. Krillin’s grown up a little too, and so has Chi Chi. This saga not only contains a very interesting storyline but some great fights as well such Goku vs Tien, Piccolo Jr vs Krillin, Goku vs Krillin, Jackie Chun vs Tien, etc. Though this story does indeed try to repeat the same plot points as the previous sagas, I feel it stands on its own as a watchable saga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VRzjEvW7qo
TS Top 5: Dragon Ball Saga #5
Now before I start, I just want to clarify something: This list along with any other list I choose to do is solely based on my preferences so it is ok for any one of you to either agree or disagree with the choices and opinions I make on this list. However it is not cool to be a dick about it. Now that we got that out of the way lets get started. The Cell Arc of Dragon Ball Z had the most definitive ending in the entire series to me. The original DBZ story line was suppose to end after the Android Saga with Gohan as the new savior of the Earth. But Toriyama started to regret that decision because he didn’t think Gohan’s personality was fit to take over Goku’s hero role. So he created the Buu Saga to bring Goku back. As much as I really do like Majin Buu, I have to admit that as far a character standpoint; he is a very simplistic character, Toriyama tries to add more interest in regards to Buu by giving him all these forms and transformations. In my opinion, he has the most cop-out reasons for getting more powerful. Much like the previous main antagonist, Cell; he absorbs people to become stronger. The idea of Fusion is introduced, and the awesome Gotenks is formed… only to be eventually undone and made irrelevant. Gohan, now an older teenager, undergoes the most boring training possible (literally sitting down for several episodes) to trounce Buu… and only does so for a few seconds before getting pummeled. Not to mention the fact that the Supreme Kai who was assumed to be an awesome and powerful figure according to Piccolo; turned out be one of the most useless characters in the DB franchise despite his status. It all boils down to the resurrected Goku powering up to Super Saiyan 3, building a special attack, and winning thanks to some dumb twists. However despite what I just said, I still enjoy this saga. I mean I have to if it made it on the list right. As much as there are a couple of things going against it, there are just as much positive things that make it a decent arc. This is actually the funniest saga in the DBZ anime. I do love that we were introduced to fusion characters such as Gotenks and Vegeto. The first time we see Goku transform into a SSJ 3 was pretty epic. Despite being an annoying addition to the Cell Games arc, Hercule actually managed to become a likable character. I found some of his antics funny and he actually contributed a lot this time around as far as convincing the fat Buu to turn good and getting the people of Earth to give their energy to Goku so he could beat Kid Buu. I even liked his daughter, Videl and the episode where Gohan teaches her how to fly. Out of all the characters in this last chapter, Vegeta’s character got the most development. I ultimately think Vegeta is the true hero of this one, sure it was Goku who killed Buu but Vegeta was the one who came up with the spirit bomb idea. This also featured some awesome fights such as Goku vs Majin Vegeta, Gotenks vs Super Buu, Vegeto vs Ultimate Buu, etc. Now despite the repetitive nature of the story, how useless the non-saiyan characters are, and the inconsistencies and confusions involving which of Buu’s many forms are stronger than the other; This wasn’t a bad saga, I felt it was an ok conclusion to the dragon Ball lore. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOHmPZTq33U
True Shit 101: Consider this a little bit of a teaser of mine for something brand new I plan on doing on occasion. Today will be the start of something new I created called TS (True Shit) Top 5. This week will be the DB saga addition & each day I’m counting down my favorite sagas in the entire dragon Ball franchise (excluding the Garlic Jr and GT sagas) from #5 to #1!