Dragon Ball: Episodes 14-28

February 8, 2007 on 10:06 pm | In Dragon Ball | 3 Comments

“The Tournament Saga”

Science would suggest that the moon is something that is vaguely essential to the running of the Earth. Now, Dragon Ball, full of communist pigs and owls though it is, is not actually set on Earth. Still, I think that moons are in place for a reason, regardless of planet!
Take heed, children who watch Dragon Ball: do not destroy the moon!

In summary: tournament arc, happy fun times!

Goku goes to train under the Turtle Hermit! Joining him is ex-Buddhist martial artist, Kuririn. After passing their aptitude test by finding a “pichi-pichi girl”, in the form of the multiple personality boasting Lunch, Goku and Kuririn undertake nine months of hard training!
Then they enter the Tenkaichi tournament to determine who is number one under Heaven … could it be Goku? Kuririn? Yamucha? Or perhaps even the mysterious gentleman Jackie Chun?

Per square inch, The Tournament Saga of Dragon Ball holds more laughs than your next leading Saga of Goku. One of the chief reasons for this is that Toriyama chose this junction to add Kuririn to the mix. Far from the bland caricature of nothingness that we got “treated” to in Dragon Ball Z (I’m sorry, but it’s really dull by comparison!) so that we could make way for Vegita and his brethren, Kuririn is a miniature ambition factory who’s not afraid to admit that he doesn’t have a nose if that means victory. Also, he has a heart of gold. Back in those days, hilarious character flaws were always partnered with hearts of gold.
I loved those days.

Due to the frequent appearances of Muten Roshi (Turtle Hermit’s more legitimate title), the perversion factor gets amped up to super-max, with panties/punch jokes and even more pafu-pafu action. Muten Roshi is actually one of the strongest men in the world, and he can perform image shifting attacks and power ups and um … tide destroying energy blasts.
Switching Bulma out for the entirely too innocent Lunch means that all lechery grabs are thwarted by outside agents (or sneezes) rather than simple elbows to the head. Basically we get to see an old man totally convince us of his more than competence in the martial arts arena, while at almost the same time being forever punished for his hubris.

You can’t go into a huge amount of analysis of Dragon Ball, but it has absolutely hilarious reaction shots, mostly thanks to Kuririn. He almost always understands what is going on, and is therefore one of the only characters who has both enough smarts and innocents to be able to get away with practically anything. Whether he’s looking insufferably smug or totally shocked, he’s always fun to look at. One has to remember that is one of the basic requirements of anime: fun to look at. Toriyama has certainly achieved that. He even went so far as to create perfect moments of silent shock:

Who could really ask for more than that? By adding some vital, fun new characters to the cast while building on a few of the old ones in the background, Dragon Ball‘s entertainment value only continues to grow in its second saga.


  1. IMHO, Dragon Ball stopped being good/enjoyable exactly after the first tournament… Repeat Mode ON.

    Comment by kacpy — February 9, 2007 #

  2. the good old days~. I remember reading this part of the manga

    Comment by b — February 9, 2007 #

  3. I haven’t really watched DB, so I’m not sure about what your comment about the moon refers to. However, I do know that Piccolo destroys the moon in about the 10th episode of DBZ. (It was the only way to cope with Gohan having become an Oozaru.)

    Comment by Steven Den Beste — February 13, 2007 #

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