Welcome to GeekStalgia. Kakorot…
Today we’re going to talk about a show that, for many Americans growing up in the 90s, including myself, was the gateway drug for their anime addiction. Dragonball Z, Akira Toriyama’s continuation of the original 1980s Dragonball series, was one of the most profoundly awesome action shows to grace my adolescent eyeballs. So we are going to hop in the Tardis, and go back to the late 90s, smuggle ourselves onto Tom’s Ship and give Goku the spirit energy needed to defeat earth’s mightiest threats.
Nowadays it gets harder and harder to have those shared live viewer moments like you used to when I was growing up. With theTivos, and theNetflixes, and Huli (that isthe plural of Hulu right, thought so,) you can basically watch whatever you want whenever you want.
But, in the glory days of Cartoon Network (not the… CN, cause eww) and Toonami, we had these pivotal after school hours where all the best shows were a must see. There was this sophisticated art of channel swapping that we mastered to juggle between the networks with the best kids cartoon blocks.
As a kid, you had to know what happened so that you could discuss all the awesome, at our ‘water cooler’ equivalent—lunch.
DBZ was like nothing I had seen in a cartoon before, the story continued from one episode to the next, the characters aged, the good guy didn’t always win (kinda) things we did not even know we were missing.
My favorite character:
He was always my favorite character, regardless of his bratty introduction at the beginning of the series. He is the son of the “world’s strongest” man and woman. What is really awesome about Gohan for me is his character development. From whiny baby to, under the tutelage of Piccolo, valiant warrior and then certified bad ass circa Cell Games!!!
My favorite memory:
Had to be the anticipation of Goku heading to Namek and him finally arriving after all our heroes seemed doomed. This was really intense for a middle schooler. Also in that arc was this badass moment; Vegeta takes multiple energy blasts to the face his entire being, close range, and steps out of them …
I remember the emotional roller coaster that each story arc, or saga would take me on. How, this was “so much better than American cartoons” (I would think in my elitist internal voice) with their random adventures and their crude art styles. Yes, I got pretty snooty when in came to Japanese anime. If you could draw it meant practicing your skills just to be able to draw these awesome characters. I started using up all my parents good color ink on Angelfire photo gallery images for references to draw (my parents still don’t know what happened with all that ink).
Obviously, DBZ holds a special place in my heart and really paved the way for the Pokemons , and Narutos that come to follow and in my Geekstalgic mind, it a takes me to a special time in my life, simpler time.
So what is your favorite DBZ memory? Who is your favorite Z fighter, or villain? What do you remember most about growing up with DBZ?
Let us know, in the comments below