Dragon Ball Z

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Breaking through the shining cloud
I'm gonna fly away, fly away
Spreading through my body, feel the power through my soul

Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボール Z, Doragon Bōru Zetto) is the long-running sequel to the popular shōnen series Dragon Ball made by Akira Toriyama. The anime first premiered in Japan in April of 1989 (on Fuji TV) and ended in January of 1996, comprising of 291 episodes in its entirety.




About Dragon Ball Z

Take even a cartoon like Dragon Ball Z. I mean, it’s a cartoon, but it’s one of the deepest cartoons in history. Its hero, Son Goku, starts out as a kid, begins martial arts training like San Te [the protagonist from “Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin]", and goes off on a quest for seven balls that unleash dragons that can grant wishes. Now, that’s a fantasy, obviously, a children’s story. But it’s also based on a sixteenth-century Chinese folk novel, about a Buddhist monk who travels to India to find the Buddhist sutras. That voyage represents a journey to enlightenment. But to me, Dragon Ball Z also represents the journey of the black man in America. ~ RZA
  • Dragon Ball Z tells the story of an underdog and outsider. In his book The Tao of Wu, the rapper Rza says the story of Dragon Ball Z, “represents the journey of the black man.”
    “You see it more clearly as the story goes on,” he writes. “Son Goku has super powers and doesn’t realize it—a head injury destroyed his memory, robbed his knowledge of self. Then one day, gets stressed beyond his limits and Hulks out into his alter ego, Super Saiyan—a nigga with dreadlocks.”
  • Some fans of the show relate to a character that doesn’t know their heritage.
    “I’ve been thinking a lot about where I come from and who came before me in my family and circling back to Dragon Ball Z, it does resonate with me a lot,” DJ Kirkland, a comics artist working on the miniseries Black Mage, said over Twitter DMs. “Those of us that are black and born in the U.S., at least some of us to an extent don’t know where we’re from and I feel that is something that a lot of people of color can identify with.”
  • “Goku loves his son so much,” Kirkland said. “And while he’s kind of an idiot when it comes to ChiChi sometimes, he’s a good dad. … When I was super young, I didn’t really think about it too much, but as I got older, seeing how much Goku cared for [his son] Gohan was something you didn’t really see very often.”
  • “The first thing that Goku did while he’s dead and in hell was he started this crazy ass journey to go and try to get stronger again,” Jones said. “Even when this fool’s dead he’s like, ‘No days off.’”
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