Post Reply Shonen Battle Anime and The Power of Friendship
448 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
29 / M
Offline
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
You know how, ever since Dragon Ball, tons of shonen battle anime involved giving each main-protagonist a group of companions to accompany him on his journey? You know? Like Naruto's classmates, the Straw Hat Pirates from One Piece, the shinigami captains from Bleach, Leorio, Kurapika, and Killua from Hunter X Hunter, etc.?

Why do you think shonen battle anime incorporate friendship and teamwork, even though they have the word "battle" in the name of their genre, implying the opposite of friendship and teamwork like it might as well be G.I. Joe or Transformers?

Also, what about Fist of the North Star? If it invented the shonen battle genre of anime, if only because it combined Bruce Lee with Mad Max, then did it introduce the Power of Friendship like most other shonen battle anime that came after it? Was Kenshiro backed up by companions similar to the shonen battle heroes who came after him, aside from just Mamiya and Rei alone?

To me, it would have mostly came from Dragon Ball just being loosely based after Journey to the West. The original Journey to the West featured four main heroes working together to achieve a common goal, including a priest, a monkey god, a perverted pig, and a desert bandit. So, it made sense for Goku to gather three-to-four similar characters throughout the first arc of Dragon Ball, as well as a slew of rivals and villains he would end up redeeming and gathering as his companions throughout the rest of his journey, e.g. Krillin, Tien, Chaozu, Piccolo, Vegeta, Android 18, Fat Buu, Uub, Beerus, etc.
2854 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
Why do you think 'battle' implies the opposite of friendship and teamwork?

Warfare demands some of the most pure teamwork of any activity in existence.

Have you ever heard of 'fox hole buddies'? It's the concept that facing death creates the closest friendships.

The odd thing to me seems to be the concept in most of these long running shonen anime, that a single character is the catalyst for changing everyone around them. Naruto, Gon in HxH, Asta in Black Clover, Goku in Dragonball, Luffy in One Piece.
18507 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / F / In a van down by...
Offline
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
The shinigami captains and everyone not named Ichigo were just meat shields pretty much.
36416 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Online
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
I don't think it's peculiar to Dragonball, though its major success helped define the genre.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2014/11/13-1/da-vinci-magazine-asks-japanese-readers-to-name-greatest-shonen-jump-manga

Shonen Jump's motto is "Friendship, Effort, Victory!" I can't find when they first started using it but it's been a long time. Those elements are proven to appeal to the readership, and are central to nearly every long-running series except some comedies.

Journey to the West had supporting characters. Tons of stories do. The overwhelming majority of memorable modern stories/entertainment have colorful supporting characters. Sherlock has Watson, there's two Hardy Boys, Batman and Robin. Shows like I Love Lucy, Mash, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons all require a good several supporting cast, if not being an ensemble where there's no main character.

Even things that focus on a single protagonist will have recurring characters eventually.

Having more than one character opens up multiple reactions, allows for comic relief, is a ready source of drama, and breaks up any monotony. While it's not always easy to fully develop supporting characters, their presence alone can make writing much easier and more dynamic. If the writer's stuck on what to do with one character, maybe another character "has an idea." Or if you're at a cliffhanger and really want to push the reader's emotions a bit you change to a sub storyline and focus on another character's adventures to leave them in suspense.

Goku's character is roughly a certain way. Characters are easier to relate to and remember if they're fairly consistent. If Goku was alone all the time, he'd tend to approach problems the same way(s), use the same (or little) dialog, and most importantly he'd have nobody to banter with. The adventure can't even start until he met Bulma because left alone he was just hanging out in the mountains.

Without reactions, Luffy (or any of the crew) doing crazy things isn't as amusing.


Was Kenshiro backed up by companions similar to the shonen battle heroes who came after him, aside from just Mamiya and Rei alone?

I'm not really up on the series, but Kenshiro spent a ton of time being followed by or trying to proactively protect the two kids, and spent a heck of a lot of time chasing Yulia (both literally and figuratively). There were also some recurring characters. Part of why I find FotNS somewhat boring is there's not much interplay compared to other shows. But it was fairly groundbreaking at the time for its style and violence.
41623 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / M / UK
Offline
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/15/18
Shounen Jumps's motto was "Friendship, Struggle, Victory" for a reason.

But it's a recurring theme in popular stories throughout time, including things like Jason and the Argonauts.
72907 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M / Seattle
Online
Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/15/18
It's one of those things where if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Yeah, in some way, shape, or form it's bound to happen, but for the most part it has worked to at least as an attention grabber. Pretty much, it's all about needing to make friends in order to defeat a great opponent since there's only so much one person can do. After all, without it, Goku wouldn't have even lasted past his first battle against Vegeta, Ichigo wouldn't have learned how to use Bankai, Naruto wouldn't have learned the shadow clone jutsu, or Luffy wouldn't even make it to the Grand Line, much less conquer it. Shonen Jump is getting that point across in a big way.
You must be logged in to post.