Saturday, July 25, 2015

Superhero Media: Dragonball Z - Season Six

For those not in the know, the Cell Games Saga was the intended original ending to Dragonball Z, with Goku dying and Gohan taking over as defender of the Earth. There's a nice echoing of the end of Dragonball in that, with Kami trying to pawn the Guardian job off to Goku after the defeat of Piccolo Jr. With Cell perfected, he declares a tournament where each warrior may battle him in turn, with the survival of the planet as the prize; again, nice repetition of themes there. The whole of season six is filled with flashbacks, references to past events and great cameos like Mercenary Tao and King Furry. Seriously, were you aware that Dragonball Earth is ruled by a Monarch? The saga also has something rarely seen in Dragonball Z; downtime. There a several whole episodes of the characters, Goku and Gohan especially, taking time off and not doing much of anything. 

So let's talk about the elephant in the room; "Ascended" Super Saiyans. In the Majin Buu Saga, we're introduced to the concept of Super Saiyan levels, one, two and three, all of which sounds pretty dumb, not surprising as Goku is the one explaining it. I hate Super Saiyan three and the very concept that it is a series of levels to climb. When Goku, and later Vegeta and Trunks, reach the level of Super Saiyan, they're fulfilling an ancient prophecy and also breaking the curse put upon their violent race. With the idea that Gohan surpasses Goku to be the new defender of the Earth, Gohan's "Ascending" beyond Super Saiyan is a nice touch, it just leads to dumbness in Majin Buu Saga and beyond. 

So I haven't really mentioned the actual fight yet, when Gohan and Perfect Cell finally go toe-to-toe. It's actually pretty good, it does drag in parts, especially when Gohan decides to be dumb for about five episodes straight and let Cell live, but it has much lest posturing than other DBZ battles and some really good moments. Ascended Gohan punching Cell so hard that Android 18 pops out is pretty classic, as is Gohan still keeping Cell on the ropes with one arm broken. The one thing that disappoints me with the Cell Games Saga is that it's not actually the end of Dragonball Z. I much perfer a programme to have a decent and well though out ending (Luther, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad) rather than limp on into infinity. Free the Future would have been about the best ending DBZ could have had and it's a little sad it didn't stop there.


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