The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Dragonball Z

Title: Dragonball Z aka DBZ
Genre: Action
Company: Toei Animation
Format: 291 episodes
Dates: 19 Apr 1989 – 31 Jan 1996

Synopsis: Follow Goku and his companions as they seek to prevent the destruction of the universe at the hands of the ruthless Frieza with as much muscle as possible!

The Highlights
Music: Decent.
Everything Else: Really, really bad.

I seriously don’t know where to begin. Right now, on one hand, I have my favorite TV show from my pubescent years while on the other I have a steaming pile of shit. As much as I would love to write a glowing review from the vantage point of my 13 year old self I just can’t bring myself to recommend Dragonball Z to anyone regardless of the nostalgia value it contains. While Dragonball Z is arguably one of the most popular anime ever, I can whole-heartedly state that it is also one of the worst. Besides the above-average musical score, DBZ suffers from poor animation, God awful pacing, and a chronic lack of originality after the first 40 episodes.

Primarily, DBZ suffers from being highly consistent in it’s inconsistencies. If the basis of the show is to watch people fight each other, then they should be punching or kicking each other, right? Surely every so often some fist-like blurs whiz around on the screen, but for the most part Dragonball Z is lip service. The characters will throw a flurry of punches and become so winded that they have to stare at each other and discuss their upcoming strategy and how much more powerful they are than one another. Unfortunately, the loser in this pissing contest of “epic” proportions is the viewer. Additionally, during each new “epic” battle, it takes somewhere between five and six episodes for the story to progress through five minutes worth of events. Each saga lasts approximately 40 episodes and as soon as a saga is completed, the story skips ahead somewhere around ten years and three kids. Then it’s back to week-long ten minute time frames. Lather, rinse, repeat.

However, if the constant repetition isn’t enough to make one turn off the TV, the choppy and erratic animation will surely do the trick. I could take a box of crayons to a pre-school and get a flip-book better animated than Dragonball Z. The only difference is I wouldn’t make a killing on merchandising and licensing a terrible story about intergalactic muscle-men.

The only even remotely redeeming part of Dragonball Z is the soundtrack, which isn’t great, but makes the whole experience slightly more tolerable. For whatever reason I still get kind of excited when I hear the fight songs and I have this urge to reminisce so hard that I consider running upstairs to get my old Goku costume out of the trunk. Thank God I have some sense left.

Of course Dragonball Z is targeted to entertain pubescent males and it succeeds quite well having managed to hold my attention during those years better than Power Rangers and Justice League. However, to the more seasoned anime fan, DBZ is nothing more than a nuisance, and should be watched only to remember those times when you enjoyed kicking the crap out of your sofa.

The Rating: 2

Reviewed by: Seven

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