When I think of fighter anime the first thought that comes to mind is Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball is a show most people are familiar with (or there at least familiar with Dragon Ball Z) and is a show I grew up watching. For a few years before second grade I shared a room with my brother. This meant all of our stuff constantly littered the floor, it was hard to clean, and we had to agree on things such as what was on our TV at night. If you read my first anime watched post you’ll know that we chose Cartoon Network and, subsequently, Toonami.
This is where I watched both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, but I have always preferred Dragon Ball. Over the years I’ve only met a couple people that agree with me, but I’ll try to make my points for why I like Dragon Ball over Dragon Ball Z. Firstly, I love the comedy. I have always laughed more at Dragon Ball than I did Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Z, as I remember it, was always more focused on the fights than on the comedy, which isn’t a bad thing, but for me the comedy element of Dragon Ball is one of its best features. The show never takes itself too seriously. If you need proof the first summoning of Shenron is a good example. That scene was priceless.
Also, my personal favorite villain is Emperor Pilaf. He’s some sort of alien, in no way deserves the title Emperor, and is basically the comic relief villain in a show that is all comedy. I love him and I love his subordinates. No matter how he tries he will never get his wish to rule the world, but it is funny to watch him try.
I also prefer the fights. You may call me crazy, but no, I don’t like the long ridiculous fight scenes in Dragon Ball Z. There are good fights and I loved the part where Gohan beats one of Cell’s forms, but that doesn’t mean that every fight needs to last 7 episodes and consist entirely of screaming. Mind you I haven’t really watched Dragon Ball Z since I was a child but I have fairly good memories of the plot, as with most shows I watched as a child (apparently I was really into the plots of shows, who would have figured?). The only reason I want to rewatch, and finish, Dragon Ball Z is for the androids and Gohan and Cell’s fight. However I will willing rewatch Dragon Ball at any moment because it is just a much brighter and more enjoyable show for me. The fights don’t take themselves too seriously, but they are mainly grounded in logic, and, get this, they have a fast pace. Everything feels like it’s happening in real time and not some suspended time where fights last for 10 days.
Dragon Ball reigns supreme as my favorite fighting anime because it seamlessly blends its action with its comedy, its funny moments with its plot, and features a great cast of characters. This show will forever hold a place in my heart for introducing me at a young age the greatness of Shonen anime that can be just as good and satisfying as a good romance.
P.S. Krillin is my favorite character, in both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Who’s your favorite character from the Dragon Ball franchise?