Archive for the ‘Anime’ Category


Episode 5 – Yamcha the Desert Bandit

I think we’re making progress. The voice over intro for the episode calls Oolong a “perverse pig.” Given he kidnapped underage girls to wed them, I think we’re inching closer to an accurate description of his character.

Wait. Nevermind. We got a “pat pat” to Oolong’s crotch in under two minutes. Goku, please, watch that terrible sexual harassment video from the 1980s.

When it’s revealed that the trio is off to Fire Mountain, Oolong transforms into a fish and bails out of fear of someone called the Ox King. Goku jumps in after him, but only after stripping, because it’s not Dragon Ball without Goku giving us a crotch shot.

Goku fails to catch the slippery fish-pig, but Bulma decides to lure him in with sure-fire bait: her panties. Yes, I’m still watching this. No, I have no idea what the hell is going on.

Once on shore, the trio begin their trek toward the mountain, though not until after Goku drops his pants and pees in the river. I’m starting to sense a theme.

Oolong tries to slip away again, but finds out the hard way that Bulma slipped him a special pill. Anytime she makes piggy sounds, he feels a sudden and intense need to defecate, proving that the phrase “happy as a pig in shit” just doesn’t work.

The episode pivots quickly to a battle between Goku and Yamcha the Desert Bandit. In case you were wondering, Yamcha is yet another food reference. It’s the Chinese term for dim sum. Sadly for Goku, he doesn’t get to eat. Luckily for us, he does not attempt to eat Yamcha or his feline friend, Puar (a shapeshifter who has bad history with Oolong).

The battle ends in a draw, as Yamcha is scared off by Bulma. Dude has the right idea.

In this episode, Goku eats: A pile of rocks. Not satisfying.

Notable differences from the manga: Goku only shows his crotch once. So… improvement?



Episode 4 – Oolong the Terrible

Episode four doesn’t waste any time putting Goku and Bulma back on the trail of the fifth Dragon Ball. Sadly, Bulma has forgotten her name again (as evidenced by the giant “BULMA” on her hat). Poor girl.

The Dragon Ball radar brings the duo to a small village that seems deserted. However, upon entering a home, Goku is hit in the head with an axe by a terrified man. Upon realizing their mistake, the townsfolk come out of hiding. It seems that the town is plagued by a monster named Oolong that is stealing young women. Goku and Bulma strike a deal: if the pair can rid the village of the beast, they’ll get the Dragon Ball.

Given that this is Goku’s first run-in with women other than Bulma, he needs to be sure that they are, in fact, female. He gives ’em the ol’ Goku pat-down to verify that they are sans wiener. It’s still supremely uncomfortable to watch a little boy pull a Trump.

Goku dresses up like the next victim to trick the shapeshifting monster, but gives himself away when he pees on a tree. After some witty repartee, Oolong reveals his true form to be a pig dressed in military garb. He can only hold a different form for five minutes, making him elusive. He refined the power because women were blowing him off.

In the end, Bulma and Goku grab the oinker and find out that he wasn’t capturing the underage girls to eat them. He took them to his palace (built on proceeds from swindling innocents out of money), because he wanted to marry them. Let me repeat that. The pig wanted to marry the elementary school-aged girls. Dragon Ball, I have questions.

It turns out the girls have gotten the better end of the deal, as their parents discover them living a life of leisure. So, to recap: a PIG gets “friend-zoned” (which is not a real thing, so stop using that term seriously), he kidnaps extremely young girls to marry them, they end up lounging by his pool (so he decides to kidnap more), and they forgot to call their folks because… reasons.

What. The. Frak?

In this episode, Goku eats: An axe to the face.

Notable differences from the manga: Oolong is revealed to be younger than Bulma. Bulma is revealed to have a 34C chest. One of these is useful information to make the kidnapping of young girls a bit less creepy. The other makes it creepy again. Oh, and the whole thing with Goku touching crotches has an official name: “pat-pat.” Oh goody.


Episode 3 – The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi

The third episode continues the riveting plot of the lost turtle, whom Goku and Bulma agree to help back to the sea. The strange tangent pays off, with a Dragon Ball at the end of the journey. However, while the little side-quest seems straightforward, the show’s strangeness rears its head again.

On the way to the sea, the trio encounter a giant soldier bear with an Austrian accent that wants to eat the poor turtle. The first combat sequence of the show happens quickly, as Goku dodges sword slashes and then bops the bear in the nose, making blood spurt out and knocking the ursine foe unconscious.

Upon reaching the sea, the turtle floats off to bring Goku back a gift for helping him. He returns with Master Roshi, a “turtle hermit” (a term that isn’t explained, but seems to be referencing the turtle shell Roshi wears on his back).

The old man, dressed in a garish shirt with letters randomly placed on it and reflective sunglasses, offers Goku his flying nimbus. The cloud allows those who are pure of heart to ride upon it, which Goku does for five minutes of the episode.

The most surprising sequence comes when Bulma realizes that Roshi is wearing a Dragon Ball around his neck. In order to pry it from his grasp, she offers to show him her underwear. While the manga explicitly shows Goku removing Bulma’s underwear the night before, the anime doesn’t.

This leads to a surprise for Roshi and the viewer when Bulma flashes the old man (multiple times). It’s not until the duo part ways with Roshi and the turtle and return home that Bulma realizes she wasn’t wearing underwear (because Goku removed them in the dark). She pulls out a submachine gun and peppers Goku with bullets, all of which harmlessly bounce off him.

The constant sexualization strikes me as odd, given that by all accounts Dragon Ball seems like a show for children. Later parts of the franchise run on youth-oriented networks, so I can only assume that the sexualization gets dialed way back later. This could explain why most Americans know Goku as an adult and not the monkey child first introduced in the series.

Emperor Pilaf (the blue farting guy) and his pals Shu (the ninja dog) and Mai (the female soldier) show up again. They are too late to get Roshi’s Dragon Ball, which he has already given to Bulma. The names are food references, of course. Shumai is a kind of dumpling. Pilaf is a rice dish.

In this episode, Goku eats: Nothing, though the turtle is understandably afraid when the bear suggests he is going to chow down on it.

Notable differences from the manga: Missing: Emperor Pilaf, Shu, Mai. Present: Bulma’s bare ass.


Episode 2 – The Emperor’s Quest

I’m starting to become concerned that “Dragon Balls” are a thinly veiled euphemism for Goku’s little boy parts. We are once again “treated” to extended shots of the monkey boy’s genitals before and after he gets a bath from Bulma.

Later in the episode, Goku puts his head on the sleeping girl’s crotch. As if that weren’t disconcerting enough, Goku spanks her there and realizes she is anatomically different than he is. He screams, and freaks out because Bulma’s “balls are missing.”

Let’s recap that. Goku expects that Bulma has testicles, puts his head on her crotch anyway, and then smacks her there (still thinking that she has a funsack). Kid, you’re an ass.

I’m starting to become concerned about the teenage girl. For other reasons. I understand the human body, thank you very much. At the start of the episode, her name is on her jacket in three places. Not pictured: the note her mother pinned to her shirt in case she is found wandering.

As if that’s not weird enough, we are further introduced to a couple of characters briefly shown in the first episode. The first is a squat blue thing who farts and blames it on the dog dressed as a ninja. The blue guy wants all the Dragon Balls, presumably so he, too, can wish for a boyfriend. Or maybe it’s to wish for Bean-O.

There’s also a human woman helping the blue guy. I don’t normally notice this stuff, but it seems like she’s wearing two different colors of eyeshadow. That’s what this show has done to me. I’m noticing animated makeup issues.

The episode concludes with a talking turtle far from home. If not for the sudden appearance of dinosaurs (yeah, I forgot to mention a mean pteranodon in the first episode), Bulma and Goku would have parted ways. Thankfully (?) a T-Rex stomping by prompts her to rejoin her companions.

Essentially, nothing happens in this episode except weird nudity and sexual innuendo. And farts.

In this episode, Goku eats: Bread, salad, a centipede, and an entire wolf (cooked). He also drinks coffee, which he says “tastes bad and makes me feel funny.”

Notable differences from the manga: The scene with Goku realizing Bulma is anatomically different is far more problematic in the manga. He fully removes her underwear after spanking her crotch. Again, the blue farting king guy, his dog ninja, and his human female lieutenant are absent from the manga at this point.


And so begins my Dragon Ball watch project. God help me.
Episode 1 – The Secret of the Dragon Balls

Why does Goku have a monkey tail? Why can I see his genitals? WHAT IS GOING ON?!

Ok, he lives with his grandfather… who is a ball. He has never seen a girl, but that’s probably a good thing since the first one he meets shoots him multiple times with a gun. He doesn’t die, though. He’s really strong and apparently bulletproof. Need more psychotropics to continue.

So, there are seven dragon balls, and if you get them all, you can make a wish. Bulma, the girl who shot and tried to kill the kid with the monkey tail, wants to wish for a boyfriend. She also offers to let the child see her butt in exchange for his grandpa ball.

Sure. Ok.

The first episode essentially contains no fighting, Goku is a child, Bulma feels a compulsive need to wear her name on her clothing, and a motorcycle explodes out of a capsule. I expected “KAMEHAMEHA!” I got the uncomfortable “WHYISTHISKIDNAKED?!” This bears further exploration, but not in a creepy way.

In this episode, Goku eats: Nothing on screen, though we assume he chows down on the giant fish he caught by dangling his tail in the river.

Notable differences from the manga: In the anime, Goku pees in the river and shouts, “Here comes the waterfall!” That isn’t present in the manga, but the tail fishing and the nudity are. The first anime episode also introduces another group searching for the dragon balls. They aren’t present in the manga yet.


From the outside, Dragon Ball is a colorful show with absurd fight sequences and over-the-top power moves launched against aliens. In a quest for something whimsical, but still action-packed, I was drawn to Dragon Ball Xenoverse, a fighting game with RPG elements that revisits classic moments from the show.

Having never watched the series or read the manga, I’m at a bit of a loss. So I decided to finally fill this hole in my cultural knowledge. So far, it’s not quite what I expected. That is to say, it’s completely bonkers, with weird filler and animated monkey-boy genitalia.

I’ve decided to chronicle my adventure through the source material. Assuming I don’t have an aneurysm along the way, you can find my evolving thoughts in episode-by-episode recaps (or aggregated here).