When it comes to the greatest animated shows of all time, “Dragon Ball” or “Dragon Ball Z” are usually high on everyone’s list. The show had memorable characters, impressive stories, and it created its own universe that is still making an impact to this day.
However, with everything great comes some stuff that isn’t as great; some might even say ‘bad.’ Please note that despite the title of this article, us at The Latest Pull wholeheartedly agree that the Dragon Ball franchise is not only one of the greatest animes of all time, but one of the most important series in all of pop culture.
7) Ridiculously overpowered characters
Take a look at the progression of main villains over the course of the franchise. In the original series, you had basic men like Yamcha who grew to become heroes. You had the slightly more threatening like Emperor Pilaf and the Red Ribbon Army, who posed a threat, but could be defeated with simple training. Finally, you had the long running villain, King Piccolo, who required a great deal of attention and training. Skip ahead to “Dragon Ball Z.” At first, the villains progressed at a nice steady pace with Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, the Ginyu Force, and Frieza, but then everything went haywire with the introduction of the androids.
Think about it this way, it took unlocking the Super Saiyan, which had not appeared for thousands of years, to even have a chance of beating Frieza. Frieza is then picked apart easily by Trunks who could not even scratch the androids. Sure, villains need to get stronger as time goes by, but to have Frieza, a villain who was hyped up ridiculously, get butchered as if he were nothing, was more of an insult to his character. However, this can be forgiven as this set the tone for the villains that were to come like Cell and Majin Buu. However, things got way too ridiculous in “Dragon Ball GT” with Omega Shenron. Although he was a really cool character, it took way too much to eventually take him down. Super Saiyan 4 Goku is strong enough to take down an army of Frieza’s without breaking a sweat. “Dragon Ball Gt” made that perfectly clear. However, not even a fused Goku and Vegeta at Super Saiyan 4 could defeat him. Although the more powerful villains are cool, the steady progression got out of whack with the over powered characters who have the potential to destroy the universe by sneezing.
6) The lack of physically strong female characters
Do not be fooled by the title, characters like ChiChi, Bulma, and Pan are awesome, and an essential part to the franchise. However, the only real female fighter is Android 18, who at times had the role of damsel in distress. She could hold her own in a few fights, and she even got the best of Vegeta from time to time, but what the franchise really lacked was a female Super Saiyan.
The show even had plenty of opportunities with partial Saiyans like Bulla and Pan. Although they fought from time to time, neither ever became a Super Saiyan, and posed a major threat to villains. Even ChiChi who started as a worthy fighter, assumed the role of stay at home mom once “Dragon Ball Z” started. Bulma had her contributions in the Frieza Saga and the Imperfect Cell Saga, but she was never a physically strong fighter. Hopefully in the new Dragon Ball series, the show will gain the strong female character(s) it desperately needs.
5) The pervy moments
When you watch the later episodes of “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball GT,” you would never have guessed that there was a scene where Bulma flashes her naked lower half to Master Roshi, or several scenes of nudity. There is definitely a difference between awkward little kids who don’t understand the birds and the bees, and characters pulling down the underwear of their sleeping friends.
4) The filler episodes
Not all the filler episodes were bad. For example, the episode where Goku and Piccolo attend driving school is a fan favorite. However, when a filler episode is placed right in the middle of a high action arc, problems arise. Not only that, the franchise was also known for recap episodes that went over the events of the last five to 10 episodes. The creators even created “Dragon Ball Z Kai,” which was “Dragon Ball Z,” but without all the filler episodes. The fact that they could recreate the show, but without a chunk of the episodes, and it could still make sense, is ridiculous.
3) Characters that were missed opportunities
Imagine if when you were watching the original series, and you found out that Goku had a brother and dad that were both strong warriors. You probably would have been going crazy in anticipating seeing those characters. However, you would have been gravely disappointed to see that Goku’s brother wouldn’t even survive 10 episodes, and that Goku’s father would receive a single 45 minute movie, and a short special episode. This outraged many fans, so how did the creators respond? By doing the same thing with Vegeta’s brother Tarble.
2) Characters that were ruined over time
As I said before, female characters like ChiChi and Bulma were also downgraded as the series progressed. However, characters like Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, and even Piccolo essentially became useless since their powers couldn’t even compare to that of the Saiyans. In the original series, Yamcha was actually a cool character with his bandit prowess, and his sword fighting. However, in “Dragon Ball Z” he loses his sword, and soon becomes the show’s punchline.
1) Waiting for Goku all the time