A while ago, I had a conversation with somebody who had just finished re-watching the Dragon Ball series and this person in all of their super infinite, absolutely undying, eternally present wisdom said that they could see deeper into meaning of the Dragon Ball series (this person said this for every anime series that they watched) and so I decided to bite and asked what the meaning behind Dragon Ball Z was.
I was told that Dragon Ball Z is about more than just finding the dragon balls (which is true because it’s also about guys getting beaten up), DBZ is a deeper story which is meant to represent the inherent greed in human beings because of how the dragon balls are (occasionally) fought over and the lengths that characters go to, to find the balls shows what humans are like in terms of benefitting themselves…
Now when I heard this, I won’t lie, I thought ‘WOW! How did you come up with that!?’ it sounded deep and it kind of made sense until I started thinking about it. When I gave it some thought and applied what I knew of the DB series to what I heard from Profound-Sama-Sensei, I thought ‘wow, how did you come up with THAT?’ (Read this sentence in a confused voice). All of a sudden it just sounded so stupid and it felt like Doctor Deep was trying too hard to sound smart. I have my thoughts on trying to sound smart but that’s for another post (I say this but never follow up).
If I’m correct, I’m pretty sure that the only characters who knew about the dragon balls were the Z fighters, Frieza (and all those associated), the Kai’s, the Namekians and I think Babidi (really not too sure on that), there were a few others but not any that would prove this point.
From what I remember, the characters who were the most relentless in their pursuit of the dragon balls were Frieza and Vegeta and they weren’t even good guys so of course they were going to play dirty to get them. I’m also pretty sure that when the Dragon Balls were used in DBZ, they were used to perform selfless acts (restoring Namek, bringing back dead allies, etc.) Is there more that’s being said here? Are most humans evil with the capacity to care for others and perform extreme acts of kindness? It’s really confusing to me. Despite the series being named after the dragon balls, I thought that as the series progressed, they continued to take more of a backseat until they came back as the (ugh!) Black Star Dragon Balls (You know what, I’m sorry for bringing that up, it wasn’t even DBZ).
Maybe it’s me, because I didn’t see much to Dragon Ball Z other than beating bad guys up, friendship and more beating bad guys up (you know, typical shonen shit).
Is there a deeper message that you can see? Can you see the message that Johnny Insight claimed to see? Or am I paying this more attention than I should be? Let me know your thoughts.