Dragon Ball Z is an anime that almost 90s kids loved. Not only did it achieve legendary status in Japan; DBZ catapulted the Anime genre in the West. But was it that perfect show we all thought it was as kids? Certainly not. Whether or not our standards for entertainment were lower in our younger years or that fact that we have so much choice of anime now days; it’s definitely safe to say DBZ did had its flaws. And since everyone loves lists….
1: Frieza is DBZ’s Greatest Villain
These day everyone seems to love their villains just as much as their heroes. Look out character like The Joker or Loki. Just as loved as their hero counterparts. Names like Broly, Kid Buu and Cell first come to mind when it comes to DBZ’s most popular villians. However, did you ever consider that maybe, just maybe Frieza is the epitome of DBZ villains?
Here me out. You’re supposed to hate the villian, you’re supposed to want the villians to lose and while anti-heroes such as Broly and Vegeta and even Cell have their legions of fans (strictly in the Vegeta camp here); nobody like Frieza. He has this ability to fabricate anyone and everyone into forgetting their own problems and focusing all their hate of him instead. That’s why Frieza is the ultimate DBZ villian.
While Kid Buu was just a brainless brute Frieza knew exactly what he was doing when he was enslaving entire planets for decades. Frieza had played the strings in the heroes’ lives from the very start. Goku’s landing on Earth, Gohan being forced into fighting, Vegeta being the way he is; some many lives were affected because of Frieza’s own greed. He is the corrupt politician, the slave trader, the racist, the remorseless tyrant. Despite not being human; what Frieza represents is the very worst of humanity.
2: DBZ should have ended after the Frieza Saga
Controversial I know but… did you know Dragon Ball Z was supposed to end at the conclusion of the Frieza saga? When considering everything that happened in the world of Dragon Ball by the end of Frieza’s arc everything had come around full circle. Questions asked from the very beginning of the Dragon Ball anime such as Goku and Piccolo’s origins as well as the origins of the Dragon Balls themselves had finally been answered.
As mentioned before, Frieza’s actions contributed to the show long before he made an appearance. DBZ often dealt in escalation. The show started off with the gang chasing the Dragon Balls for trivial desires and by the Piccolo Frieza Sagas they needed them to save their fallen friends. Once Goku fought for the honor of his school and once Goku once fought to protect to save the plaent Earth and now he was fighting to save the entire universe. How exactly do you escalate from the entire universe?
3: Too many Super Sayians
The Super Sayian was supposed to be a legend that only occurred once every thousand years. Well, Toriyama cr*ped all over that as DBZ became The Super Sayian Show. It’s literally the first thing you think about when you think of DBZ. Goku, in order to save his friends, the Dragon Balls, the honor of his people and ultimately the entire universe from this remorseless dictator; had to fulfill an ancient prophecy of a extinct race that hadn’t occurred in over a millennium to a point it was passed off as a myth. That was a cause worthy of becoming that legend.
But then everyone else and their uncle eventually became a Super Sayian to the point were it was no longer special but rather a standard requirement that everyone eligible had to have. It really cheapened its “legendary status”. And once Super Sayians came into play; the others Z Fighters had no chance of keeping up. Even Piccolo eventually became useless
4: Everyone does the same thing
“There are things that only I can do and there are things only you can do.” That is one of my favourite quote from the anime One Piece. A perpetual theme in One Piece is that no one person can do everything. And Luffy’s friends make up for what he himself cannot do. Each of team being picked for said purpose. Each of them have a role of play earning their presence in the show. While not being a traditional fighter, Usopp had to be reminded that even he has a role to play.
On the other hand, in Dragon Ball Z, everyone does the same thing. Goku, Gohan, Picoolo, everyone. Martial arts, ki blasts and little else. When one person is the best at this one thing, no one else has nothing to offer. For example what does Krillin offer than Goku already doesn’t? That’s why so many characters spending their days sitting idle at Kame House.
5: Dragon Ball Z lost its way
Using One Piece again as an example, One Piece set a clear goal from the very beginning and that goal has remained the same throughout the entire series. To find the treasure “One Piece”. Even after a main arc, Luffy would only be a step close to his true goal as so the story has an already-made reason to continue.
Dragon Ball Z never had this. It was more of a stop and start anime especially after the Frieza saga. It very much because a case of waiting for the next big-bad villain to show up every time the current one had been defeated but after a while that just becomes mundane. Like Dragon Ball GT.
While this article may lead you to think otherwise; I do love Dragon Ball. Manga and Anime will forever be in debt to Dragon Ball. Shows such as One Piece, Naruto and Bleach were all inspired by DBZ in some way or another. While Dragon Ball Z wasn’t perfect we all still love it!