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Pet Sins October 1999

DragonBall and DragonBall Z

Synopsis

Son Gokou, a baby of the Saiyans, a bellicose alien race, arrives on earth in a spaceship. He is raised by a human "Grandfather" and has no memory of his past. Later, he confronts Vegita, a Saiyan prince seeking to extend his aggression to earth.

The Saiyans have a legend that once in many generations, one from among them would arise to become a SuperSaiyan -- a temporary (but recurring) condition which endows the warrior with immense destructive powers. The 2 Saiyans embark on an arms race to achieve SuperSaiyan form, while battling alien monsters.

Some characters: (from DragonBall to DragonBall Z)

Vegeta,  Gokou, Gohan, Trunks and their blond SuperSaiyan forms

Gokou -- Saiyan raised as human

Chichi -- daughter of GyuMaOu, wife of Gokou

Gohan -- son of Chi Chi and Gokou

Vegita -- Saiyan prince

Buruma -- childhood friend of Gokou, spoilt, materialistic woman, later wife of Vegita

Trunks -- son of Vegita and Buruma, returns from the future as a Super Saiyan

Tenshinhan -- a disciple of Crane Elder (a peer of Turtle Elder) and ally of Gokou

Kamesennin (Turtle Elder) -- Gokou's teacher, perverted old man who asked Buruma to expose herself

#17, 18 and 19 -- Cyborgs created by Dr Zero of the Red Ribbon Army

The Supersaiyan form (Master Race theory?)

Vegita, Gokou and Gohan, clearly yellow-skinned and black-haired East Asian types, become pale, green-eyed blondes when they achieve the Super Saiyan form.

interracial couplings

Since DBZ is written by an Asian male, we get a rare reversal on the white guy-Asian woman stereotype.

Kuririn and No. 18 Cyborg #18 and Kuririn: A tall slender blond beauty marries a short, obviously East Asian former Buddhist monk. They have a daughter Marron.

Buruma and Vegita: The pale-haired blue-eyed Buruma, Gokou's childhood friend, couples with Vegita to produce Trunks, the violet haired, blue-eyed warrior in Dragonball Z.

Lunch and Tenshinhan: A blonde with a semiautomatic and a motorcycle takes up with a bald East Asian Buddhist monk type.

Sexist elements

Frequent bust shots of Buruma. The old pervert Kame Sennin, teacher of Gokou, routinely looks through girly mags and ogles young women. So does Oolong, a shape-changing pig. Buruma's ex-boyfriend, Yamucha, has a roving eye.

In a cartoon series about fighting, there are no serious female fighters except Chi Chi (Gokou's wife) and #18, both of whom do not get as much screen time as the boys.

Other tidbits

  • General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army (bad guys) is gay.
  • Freeza gay? There is a scene in which he fixates on the Ginyu force (5 muscular alien warriors) and blushes.
  • Minor black character appears as the henchman of a white bad guy.
  • Purple-faced thick-lipped sombrero-wearing creature appears as an evil cyborg in one DB movie.
  • The one rare dark-skinned human hero, Babu, appears at the end of DBZ as a powerful young fighter whom Gokou takes under his wing.
  • A cameo role goes to the Native American hero who takes on the Red Ribbon army over the plight of oppressed (Latino-looking) workers.

1999