Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 19: Goodbye, Warriors Review (Akira Toriyama)

Yaaaaaay, the stupid Cell storyline is over!! 

In the fight for the fate of the world, Cell goes to full power but he’s no match for Son Gohan who’s on some kind of mega-super-hyper-steroids Saiyan level. So Cell, being a sore loser, does something desperate and not one but two main characters die as a result. The world is saved though! 

I took a week off of Dragon Ball Z thinking that maybe I was overdoing it and that’s why I wasn’t enjoying the series as much as I usually do, but, after this book, I think it’s just the whole Cell/androids storyline that’s been boring me. 

The tension and excitement with Gohan and Cell’s final battle just wasn’t there. Gohan’s so impossibly powerful that there’s no challenge even though Cell keeps coming back at him. It becomes tedious to read as you know Gohan’s gonna beat him, Akira Toriyama’s just drawing it out to fill up a book. And the way Gohan beats Cell once and for all was totally uninspired. 

Then – the deaths. First off, the little intro paragraph by Toriyama that prefaces each book? It contains a major spoiler so you know the character that’s going to die about 100 pages before it actually happens – nice one, Toriyama (though the cover is kind of a giveaway too)! 

But though it’s a major character, death in Dragon Ball is even more of a joke than in superhero comics from Marvel/DC. The instant that character dies, they appear in the afterlife, totally intact, with a halo above their heads. Death is more of a minor inconvenience that any kind of finality! 

There’s also the coda where Trunks goes back to the future to defeat the androids and Cell, which only further underlines the mess Toriyama made with the whole time-travel trope. If Cell died in the past, what would he be doing in the future? Because there are multiple timelines co-existing at the same time, blah blah, blah, and I can’t even be bothered explaining it again – that part of the story was simply complete and utter NONSENSE! 

So the big fight is dull and unexciting, the deaths are ineffective in eliciting any sense of sadness because nobody really dies in this series, and the only thing I felt when the book was over was relief that this arc was over and done with! 

Volume 19 is Toriyama on autopilot, tying up loose ends and setting things up one last time for the final arc: Buu. I’m praying to Shenlong that the series ends on a high and the next six books are much better than the last six have been!

Dragon Ball Z, Volume 19: Goodbye, Warriors

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