Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 14: Evil Premonition Review (Akira Toriyama)

Well, I was kinda hoping this wouldn’t happen for this series because it’s been mostly impossibly good but it finally did: this is the first Dragon Ball book that I didn’t like. That was a helluva run though: 29 volumes, a few of which were average, but most were really good, some extraordinary, and none bad. Until now. 

We’re still with the memorably named androids #16, #17 and #18. #16 looks like Ahnuld in the ‘80s, #17, I was shocked to learn, was a boy because he looks identical to #18 who’s a girl, only he has darker hair. #18 fights Vegeta and defeats him, even in Super Saiyan form, which is so lame because they’re boring characters and they’re mega-powerful for some reason as well. I suppose it's good to see a strong female character for the first time in 30 volumes though! 

Meanwhile, Son Goku takes his medicine but needs time to recuperate - 10 days is the arbitrary number thrown out by someone who isn’t a doctor - and it’s lucky for them too because rather than fly and be at Goku’s home in 2 minutes, the androids decide to take a road trip in a slow van because plot contrivance. I hate these characters.

The worst part though was Trunks’ revealing of how time-travel works in the Dragon Ball universe. Somehow Akira Toriyama has managed to make time-travel even more complicated! See, I thought he travelled back in time to change the past which would then alter the future - it’s a standard trope that kinda makes sense. But, apparently, he went back in time so that some parallel world in the future would have a world without the androids in it - no matter what he does, his future reality will always be this dystopian nightmare. So, his whole mission about going back has zero impact on his future reality - in other words, it’s completely pointless. 

Not least because, if you think about it, if there are endless parallel worlds, then chances are there’s a reality where the androids are defeated by Goku - or not even created by Dr Gero - so Trunks wouldn’t need to go back and change one reality’s future because there probably exists one which is better than his future reality without his intervention. And then how does he know he's travelled back to the right past world anyway? Oh man, this piece of exposition was so crushingly stupid! 

There’s also the possibility that the androids might not even be bad guys - if this happens to be the case, I’m gonna be so mad because all of this would’ve then just been treading water for nothing… but no, I won’t give up on this series, I’m in this til the end (besides I want to see Buu!). But this story arc is totally piss-awful! 

Luckily, a lizard-like alien called Cell appears at the end and he looks like a decent villain for our heroes to fight, so I’m hoping the whole androids thing is dropped (seriously, I wouldn’t care if Toriyama did a Poochie, “I’m going away to my home planet now…” and got rid of them that way!) and the series picks up again. But wow, this book suuuuucked so bad, I’m so disappointed.

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 14: Evil Premonition

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