Fanart Friday returns, and it's going to show you its true power. Last week, we got to see fanart of sidekicks and backup characters--y'know, the ones who usually don't take center stage--but this week, we're celebrating one of anime's most beloved and important titles: Dragon Ball! Much like our tributes to Sailor Moon and Fullmetal Alchemist, we'll try and hit all the bases! You'll see some of the O.G., a fair bit of Z, and just a dash of GT as we look through the cast of Akira Toriyama's shounen classic.
With Dragon Ball coming back not only in anime form as a movie, but in another massive Jump video game crossover, people are remembering why they loved Dragon Ball so much in the first place. Looking through art for this week's Fanart Friday, I remembered, too. Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
by chamba (lineart), kotecarvajal (colors)
It's always nice to see the whole gang charging into battle. That's one thing I'm looking forward to with the new movie--hopefully everybody gets a chance to shine, even if some of them got left in the dust power-wise.
Originally, I was a DBZ fan first--it's what I saw first, after all, and assumed that as the series went on, it just got better and better. Honestly, after all this time, it's the first part of the manga that really holds up for me, especially the World Tournament arc from volumes 15 and 16. Goku vs. Majunior/Piccolo is really the best fight in the entire series.
by Uli Matos院長
It's kind of amazing how popular Vegeta still is, even after the years and years people have had to realize what a gigantic bag of dicks he is. Almost every bad thing that happens in the series is his fault exclusively, and no amount of badass attitude can make up for millions of deaths due to pride. Thanks, Vegeta.
Piccolo, on the other hand, quickly learned from his mistakes and turned out to be not such a bad guy after all. Of course, there was the filler episode where he and Goku had to go and get drivers' licenses, which caused quite a bit of chaos...
Not to mention that Piccolo is a much better father to Gohan than Goku ever was.
But personally, I'm always more in it for Dragon Ball's supporting cast. Krillin (Kuririn or Ku Li Lin if you're a purist) is my all-time favorite of the "fighter"-type characters, mainly because he has to work for what he gets in every single fight ever. Then he ends up marrying a supermodel who can murder him on sight if she so desires. Life does work out in some ways.
Part of the problem with a constantly-shifting power scale like Dragon Ball's is that fun, interesting characters like Yamucha get left behind because they just aren't strong enough to compete. Yamucha dying almost immediately during the Nappa/Vegeta fight was supposed to be a shock, but then afterwards he ended up doing less and less, and finally just getting dropped from the series' action altogether.
I mean, is there ever any real limit to what Saiyans can do? Destruction of planets, extreme speed and power, flight, and an endless appetite for... uh... gummy worms?
That's why I miss the days when there was a consistent ceiling--when Master Roshi was the baddest one around.
Speaking of characters who just completely disappeared, Tien/Tenshinhan is another former rival of Goku's who joins the fight for good. Bipolar babe Lunch also disappears, searching the globe for the three-eyed man she has a crush on. See, all the fun characters are the ones who leave!
Vegeta's past is pretty self-explanatory--he was a prince of a regime that was already under Frieza's boot, so a lot of his father's stress got taken out on him. Frieza was a good saga-ender for the series, building up to an epic confrontation with almost every major character that was available. By the way, check out the rest of Javas' work, it's awesome stuff!
Of course, then Vegeta has to show up on Earth actin' all rowdy and start a gigantic martial arts/superpower throwdown. See what I was saying about bad things being his fault?
Then later on, during the epic fight to the finish with Frieza, Vegeta goes off and tells Frieza to power up to his final form. Shortly after powering up, Frieza kills him. Did you know that the fight between Goku and Frieza took about two and a half volumes in the manga, and eighteen episodes in the anime? Yeah, I'll take some goofy filler episodes instead, please.
You'd think Vegeta would have learned his lesson after that, but nooooooooo, he goes and tells Cell "go ahead, absorb the Androids, become more powerful! I would be ashamed to beat you at anything less than your Perfect form!" So this mess has to be cleaned up by Gohan this time. Nice one, Vegeta!
And then years later, after having had plenty of time to reflect on his past screwups, Vegeta joins everybody to try and keep Majin Buu from awakening. What does he do? HE WAKES HIM UP. I'm almost ashamed to admit that Vegeta was my favorite as a kid. What a dumbass.
At least Gohan grows up some. Actually, Gohan grows up a lot--not only does he become a scholar and successful family man like his mom wants him to be, he ends up becoming a more clever and intelligent fighter than most of the other Saiyans and half-Saiyans.
Bardock was also pretty creative with how he fought--if you watch the TV special where he takes on Frieza's whole army, he cooks up some pretty nasty surprises so a low-level Saiyan warrior like him can take on the really big guns.
Damn straight he's got your back! Mr. Satan is a coward and a liar and a cheat, but when it all comes down to the wire, he has more courage than anyone would ever admit. After watching Vegeta get curbstomped by Majin Buu, Satan is ballsy enough to draw Buu's attention--when Buu could kill him in an instant. No wonder he's my favorite!
by Uli Matos院長
One more from this artist! Trunks was a smart way to get more female fans on the DBZ train--do we have anybody here who remembers Nora Jemison's fanfics The Last Warrior and Full Circle? I hope I'm not in trouble for dredging up that bit of ancient internet history...
It's kind of insane how popular Broly is, especially since he's just from the movies. He showed up in movie #8, then reappeared in #10 and got launched into the sun. Of course, even that can't end a popular character's reign, so he was cloned for another go in #11! It's rare to find what's essentially a filler character who has this much of a fan following.
Nerdy Japanese lesson time! In Japan, the Saiyans are called Saiya-jin (サイヤ人), a play on the word "yasai" (vegetable). So that kind of explains why it's irked the hell out of me for years when people say "say-en" instead of pronouncing it closer to "scion." And usually, I don't care about things like that at all.
You always wonder who the most dangerous characters are in Dragon Ball, and the answer is simple: these guys. A country bumpkin idiot like Son Goten teaming up with a pampered, superpowered rich kid like Trunks is one of the deadliest combinations you can ever find, especially since these two are just out to have fun. I mean, they're still good guys, but...
I mean, they can even fuse into one person for a short time, who's much more powerful (and sadistically playful) than both of them combined! They're a menace, I tell you, a menace!
I take it back. These two are the most dangerous, intimidating characters in the entire series. As competing moms, they keep bratty kids with superpowers in line. And then they cheer them on in a tournament, which is a whole 'nother bag of competitive craziness.
In fact, most of Dragon Ball's female cast is pretty scary, but for different reasons. Videl probably has it easiest and stays the most calm, since her man--Gohan--is the most level-headed and overall normal of the "fighter" cast.
God, it would've been so much easier if Raditz hadn't been such a giant tool the minute he showed up. He coulda met his nephew, all his little brother's friends and family, and could've just chilled and had mountains of barbecue until it was time to fight Frieza.
Of course, this is assuming we have a nicer, friendlier, less psychotically angry Vegeta.
And then Master Roshi can read his smut in peace.
Everybody always gets into the Superman vs. Goku argument, but the truth of the (fictional) matter is that they wouldn't fight. They'd team up and be best buds, because they're both big-hearted country boys who hate bullies.
And that's all for this week! You'll notice I didn't dig around for much Dragon Ball GT artwork--the less said about that series, the better. Who are some of your favorite characters in Dragon Ball? What parts of the story stick with you the best? Do you prefer the anime or the manga? Sound off in the comments!
Like I say every week, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just send me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to get something in for next week, we'll be bundling up for a WINTER-themed installment!
Thanks once again for checking out Fanart Friday--have a great weekend, and we hope to see you next week!