Dragonball GT [Review]
It’s about time I got around to reviewing this, though I’m sure you, the reader, is saying there was no need to. Well, consider this another entry into the opinion pot of the “controversial” Dragonball GT. If you don’t know a lot about Dragonball GT already, I’ll tell you about it, but be warned: you may or may not like where it goes. Of course, you should read this review if you’ve watched Dragonball Z all the way to the end.
Warning:This post contains spoilers and may be censored for your safety. Read at your own risk!
To view the spoiler text, highlight the censored area.
No one likes Dragonball GT for many reasons. The main reason is that it breaks away from tradition of the original Dragonball Z story: Goku’s job is done on Earth, now his new job is to train Uub, the human reincarnation of the fat Majin Buu. Alright, maybe that was a odd way to end the story, but it was–or was not–a happy ending, right?
GT’s story begins with Goku in an intense training battle with Uub on Kami’s Tower. Tearing the tower the shreds, as usual, the two stop for a break. Around the tower, three familiar characters are re-introduced in GT. It’s Emperor Pilaf and his henchmen, Shuu and Mai. They’re Dragonball characters! And we thought it was a lost cause for the original characters when the end of DBZ rolled around–until that one episode with the Genki Dama (Spirit Bomb).
Pilaf is still determined to collect the Dragonballs and wish for immortality. Well, they find the Dragonballs… only to be faced by Goku. The Emperor is furious after all these years that he’s the sole reason he doesn’t have the power of immortality. So, what does an aging Pilaf do? Wishes that Goku was a kid again so he can crush him.
The wish comes true, thus creating the worst squeal to a long running anime series, joining ZZ Gundam.
Goku is now a kid again, which ruins Pilaf’s plans as the wishes are used up. But that’s not all: it also ruins Earth’s plans to stick around for years to come. Due to the dragon balls being used so much, including on Namek (since Dende is now linked to the dragon balls on Earth), Earth’s natural resources are depleting.
And to make matters worse: the dragon balls are scattered as far as space! Oh yeah, and they have to find it within a year, or else…
The search team is made up of Trunks, Pan, and Goku, in his Chibi form, of course. He stays like this throughout the entire series–except in the important parts of GT when Super Saiyan 4 is involved. The team travels space to find the dragon balls, where their adventures include Trunks being pressured to crossdress for a village (for a good cause), and the rest run into odd characters along the way: Para Para Bros., for example. The part of the series is actually exciting–only when their plans are foiled by the Z Search Team and the enemies turn into friends. By the way, if you remember the original releases of GT, you know now why these are the “Lost Episodes”–because they’re this boring. Good idea, FUNimation!
The dragon balls are eventually found. But… there is a new problem. Before the team heads back to Earth, a creature by the name of “Baby”, responsible by a scientist of the name Myuu, arrives before they do after a previous encounter. He claims himself as a Tsufuru (Tuffle): a race that was obliterated by the Saiya-jins years ago after being cheated out of their fortunes, or so the story goes… as would any elite space race would do. Baby arrives on Earth and eventually meets his target, Vegeta–who is now “moose-stache”-free–though only appearing a few times earlier in the series after his Daughter,
Bulla Bra, confess that it makes him look unkewl. We thank you, Bra.
This begins the second part of GT until when the fights and other random silliness until everyone is back to normal, and the possibility of Super Saiyan 4 is heavily discussed. This isn’t the worst part of the show, if not better than the space adventures, but expect to find Baby to be a bit overpowered, and annoying because of him being pre-occupied with Vegeta, taking away the trash talking.
That’s Dragonball GT for you: Goku is a kid again, Vegeta gets a “moose-stache” with mid-late 90s wardrobe, a wacky road-trip, a crossdressing son of a Saiyan Prince–this is what gives GT, which means Grand Tour, a bad name. “It’s like watching a bad fanfic unfold before your eyes,” some might say. I personally have a fond appreciation for the series for a couple reasons: it continues the story as promised, though it has been argued that Akira Toriyama has little to nothing to do with the series, with Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru the character designer. Well… at least some effort was put into it, right?
There has never been a traditional manga release for this, which also tells you that it’s not cannon at all and should not even exist. There are parts of Dragonball GT that would make you cry… in frustration: like the fact that in order to transform into a Super Saiyan 4 for a certain character, you have to use a machine hacked from Baby’s original plans. It was not meant to be in the first place, but it’s like taking steroids! And you skip a step! But if you’ve failed on your own to get there in the first place, this is the only thing you can do at an “old” age. It’s also nice that they’ve kept the Saiyan tradition that they keep their youthfulness in their senior years (Goku is 51; Vegeta is 64)… but how do they explain Vegeta’s haircut when Saiyan hair stops growing…?
This show is also an excuse to revive useless characters: as in Freezer and Cell. Even the movie characters. Android 17 returns in GT and has an arc centered around him, which is actually worth watching if you have found memories of the Android saga, before Cell’s appearance. Yamcha and Tien are just about non-existent… but did they need to exist in the first place? GT It has just about the same slapstick,
if not a little less, as ZZ Gundam. Although, like ZZ Gundam, it does get serious again–until a character does something that shouldn’t be done to ruin the flow of drama to follow towards the final episode. (By the way, I think ZZ Gundam wins when it comes to pulling together in such situations. Too bad it’s that horrible in reality.)
In conclusion: Dragonball GT is somewhat bad and somewhat good, depending on how you like the way a story is told: do you want it to end or do you want to continue, just for the heck of it? Just a theory: if you enjoy reading (quality) fanfiction and you like it, buy it. If you can’t tolerate any fanfiction, don’t bother. Or just borrow it to see if it’s worth your time, like reading if a fanfic is any good or not before getting too involved.
Pros: Continuation of a long running series by demand.
Cons: Non-canon material; drags on at the beginning with unnecessary plots.