Dragon Ball Reviews: Season 1

And at long last, we have reached... the start. This screened on Japanese TV in 1986, and is the very first Dragon Ball anime show, according to the opening chapters of Akira Toriyama's manga. You can most definitely begin here in the event you have never seen any Dragon Ball before; in fact, you had take the exact same standing as the audience that are first, not 'spoiled' on developments in the future. If, on the flip side, you have already viewed the later shows (Dragon Ball Z and GT), then you definitely will discover lots of characters whom you know well, but who are all meeting each other for the 1st time.


The hero is Goku, of course - here a feisty little boy who lives alone in the wild and looks and behaves about six (there is fun confusion about his actual age). He is extremely powerful and cheerful, has a furry tail, was brought up with a martial arts master (now squished)... and that is about all we know about him. In section one, he falls upon a fairly selfish teen girl called Bulma, who seeks the seven Dragon Balls which can allow wishes when gathered... and off the two trot to experience.

Really foolish experience, also. Through almost all the set, the tone is slapstick animation humor, with worries or no serious risks - not an anime that is idyllic youth, but definitely an idealised one. It is really goofy, in the dazed-looking creatures to the storytelling that is apparently haphazard where houses and automobiles pop from pills that are miniature, as well as a mobster bunny who is able to turn people into carrots is included by the opponents. (In the event you are perplexed from the punchline to his story, there is a conventional Asian fable of a bunny on the moon, beating rice cakes.) Add in toilet humour - there is an, ahem, running gag of colors of zany with diarrhoea - and support characters, including a cunning Jekyll and Hyde gal who deserves her very own show now.

However, the show's also filled with lewd, ecchi humour, courtesy of dirty old man martial artist Kame Sennin and pervy panty-loving pig Oolong. Quite frankly, this can be amusing for some time and after that gets, well, embarrassing. (See the show alongside a British children' modern, Dangermouse, and tell us truthfully which gets the more grownup gags.)

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Thank heavens for Goku himself, who is presented throughout guileless, innocent, pleasant and straightforward, though his manner of telling lads and girls apart wants lots of work, needing nothing over enjoyment and food. The ecchi is largely phased out by the finest and fourth cd, Goku's first tournament championship, which will be extremely rousing, cheesily larger-than-life pleasure.

by Andrew Osmond

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