The anime series Dragon Ball Z created by the genius mind of Akira Toriyama took the nations of Japan and the United States by storm when it entered our homes. Most were not impressed with the series finale where Goku abandons his family for a random stranger named Uub just because he wanted to train him. It is not like he had a new grand-daughter named Pan to look after or anything.
Thus, we got excited when we heard the news: a brand new series titled Dragon Ball GT was coming. Though the first four episodes were promising and the artwork was superior to its predecessor, GT proved to be a complete letdown in terms of the series. We should have known when we heard Toriyama was not coming back.
On the surface, everything looked good. Trunks was the age of his futuristic counterpart. We had our first two female Saiyans (at least half-Saiyans) and most of our beloved characters returned. It also ntroduced new characters that had a lot of potential. Yet, the series produced more eye-rolling than a Hillary Clinton speech.
The truth is, GT was sorely lacking any real creativity behind it, especially the villains. Instead of developing incredibly profound and interesting adversaries for the Z Fighters to battle, the show used throwaway villains that were cheap and gimmicky. They lacked originality or imagination, focusing on the “prettiness” of the antagonist.
The story-lines lacked any cohesion, jumping from one useless plot to the other almost to the point of nausea. While DBZ produced sometimes overdeveloped plots, you still stuck to them because of their interesting facets that shaped the characters. The GT plots did nothing to grow the characters.
One final note, the characters were grossly undervalued. DBZ took time with each and every character, allowing you to love them for who they were while watching them grow. GT quickened the pace with Kid Goku, Trunks, and Pan especially. Pan should have been a fan favorite, but going the angsty pre-teen route was a bit overbearing. Also, characters like Goten should have been made to be more interesting. Instead, they used his age as an excuse for his absence and then tried to make up for it in a rushed fashion.
This is not good story development for a beloved franchise. Instead of expanding on what made Dragon Ball and DBZ so great, GT tried to mimic it while at the same time disregarding important tropes of the series. It is sadly an all too common mistake with these stories.
UPDATE: The upcoming series Dragon Ball Super will erase GT from continuity.
What do you think? Did you let GT ruin your childhood or are you a fan of it? Let me know in the comments below. While you are at it, check out my post on listing the Top 10 Dragon Ball Z sagas. Of course, Frieza is on it. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
This article is updated from a previous version.