My Top 5 Favorite Dragon Ball Z Characters

Kid Buu (Majin Buu)

Buu has multiple forms with different personalities and goals. They basically function as individuals and are given distinct names to represent the difference. Between Dragon Ball games and how Buu changes after absorbing someone, Majin Buu has about 14 different forms. Kid Buu is the best in my opinion. The best as in good of course. Kid Buu is Majin Buu in its purest form. The first thing I love about this character is his design. Sure, the Majin Buu’s aren’t that different from one another but there’s something about the simplicity and small stature of Kid Buu that’s appealing.

The second thing is his personality. Buu is reckless and unpredictable. He destroyed his own body while destroying Earth. He’s also the evilest in this form. Kid Buu’s childish demeanor makes him both funny and unsettling. During the battle with Goku he falls asleep and at another point imitates a monkey beating his chest and making monkey sounds. He has this hysterical laughter that can only be described as creepy. The combination of child-like innocence and a remorseless monster is oddly appealing to me. Who doesn’t love a powerful, deranged, and childlike alien?

Source: Dragonball.fandom.com


Brolly

There are two versions of Brolly, the DBZ version, and DBS. Since this a list about Dragon Ball Z, I limited it to the DBZ version but I do prefer the DBS one. However, the Brolly from the has more personality. Brolly seems to suffer from a split personality. In his powered down form he docile and silent. When he powers up (triggered by Goku) he loud and vocal. In this form, he exhibits the typical Saiyan bloodlust. However, Brolly’s mental state seems to be a tragic consequence of King Vegeta’s jealousy. Fearing the threat the infant could pose to his power (Brolly had a power level of 10,000 at birth), King Vegeta had Brolly and his father Paragus killed.

The movie would have us believe that Goku’s crying made Brolly go mad but I find that to be farfetched. Being stabbed in the chest seems like a more reasonable cause. Anyway, while I was rooting for the Z Fighters to win, I enjoyed Brolly’s beatdown of the heroes. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how Brolly’s a sad character. King Vegeta’s attempted murder, his uncontrollable power, and a father that loves him but wishes he was dead. Brolly is out of control because he was never given any security.

Source: Dragonball.fandom.com


Vegeta

Growing up I hated Vegeta. He was the rival to my favorite character (at the time) Goku. Like Brolly, Vegeta is a tragic character. Despite his privileges, Vegeta became a slave to Frieza. Originally just another villain, Vegeta becomes more complex as he comes to accept (mostly) that being the Prince of a race that’s almost extinct doesn’t matter very much. Through his family, and his rivalry with Goku he finds a more substantial purpose. His character arc is the most important aspect of him.

Once a monstrous villain, Vegeta loves his family, especially Bulma. He remains a foil for Goku. He’s a prince where Goku is a soldier, he’s more tactical when fighting, and simply smarter. When fighting against enemies, Vegeta is more brutal and arrogant than Goku. This results in him being funny as he mocks his enemies. He calls Kid Buu a “gifted speaker” when they fight. This arrogance can cause Vegeta to make terrible choices, like when Cell convinces him to allow him to absorb Android 18. With his flaws, Vegeta remains an intriguing anime character.

Source: Dragonball.fandom.com


Goku

As a child, I gravitated towards the main character (they were the coolest and most powerful). Goku certainly is one of the most powerful characters in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Goku is carefree and doesn’t possess any negative feelings or thoughts. Like all pure-blood Saiyans, Goku loves to fight and train to fight. This coupled with his personality can result in him allowing villains to go free or power-up. He permitted Vegeta to leave after he tried to destroy Earth and killed some of Goku’s friends.

Goku doesn’t pursue high-ranking positions. He rejected Whis offer of becoming the next Destruction God of Universe 7. If I’m being honest Goku’s lack of intelligence isn’t as funny as it was when I was a child. However, like all Shonen heroes he inspired, when it comes to battle he’s a genius. Because of his constant training, Goku is always getting stronger. This is why I love Goku. He’s always good for a fight and he’s usually the best at it.

Source: Dragonball.fandom.com


Freiza

Frieza is probably my favorite villain. He has it all power, arrogance, and a love of destruction. Frieza has dark humor and doesn’t hide from his brutal reputation. Unlike Kid Buu, Freiza is a talker. His mannerisms are polished and regal (except when he’s angry) and his ability to switch between them is hilarious. He’s smart. Frieza makes the perfect villain because he’s so sadistic. His flippant dismissal of anything resembling sentimentality, his smug attitude all make Frieza the most entertaining character in Dragon Ball Z. Frieza’s not complicated at all.

He demands perfection from everyone around him. Frieza doesn’t have loyalty towards anyone, can’t take criticism, and doesn’t value anyone’s life but his own. He has an over-the-top reaction to the destruction he creates, like when he destroys Planet Vegeta. His massive ego is only matched by his cruelty. Freiza assumes everyone is beneath him, this includes the all-powerful Zeno, who he refers to as “colorful brats.” There’s absolutely nothing redeemable about Freiza and that’s why I love him.

Source: Dragonball.fandom.com


Top 5 reasons I love Jujutsu Kaisen

5. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Reason’s for Curses Spirits

Once I stopped calling Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Spirits, “demons,” I was curious what made them different. First, demons are generally living beings, whereas, as their name suggests, Cursed Spirits are spiritual beings. They are born from the negative Cursed Energy in humans. Locations that are hotspots for curses tend to be populated by negative emotions like hospitals and schools. What’s more interesting is anything humans fear collectively can manifest a Cursed Spirit, even famous monsters or ghosts. The amount of fear directly corresponds to the curses intellect. Mahito is a cursed spirit that believes that he’s the manifestation of humans’ hatred of each other.” In my review of episode 9, Young Fish and Reverse Punishment,” I wonder if cursed spirits could come from “anything.” I think the answer is yes. So far cursed spirits have manifested from human fears of natural disasters, volcano (Jojo), forests (Hanami), diseases like smallpox, and infestations like “grasshopper plague.”

4. Power Levels (Grades)

Jujutsu Kaisen has a power scaling system that ranks jujutsu sorcerers, cursed spirits, cursed objects, and cursed tools. The ranks range from grades one through four and special grades. It can be confusing at first, as most of us associate larger numbers with higher values. Generally, sorcerers are graded from Grade 4 to Grade 1. The scale for cursed spirits isn’t exact, Grade 2 sorcerers are slightly stronger than Grade 2 curses as their abilities put them closer to Grade 1 curses.

Ranks

If traditional weapons were used against curses and sorcerers measured their effectiveness as a gauge:

  • Grade 4: “A wooden bat is enough.”
  • Grade 3: “If you have a handgun, you can rest easy.”
  • Semi-Grade 2 :
  • Grade 2: “Close calls with a shotgun.”
  • Semi-Grade 1 :
  • Grade 1: “Even a tank might be insufficient.”
  • Special Grade 1 :
  • Special Grade: “Cluster bombs might work”.

Source: Fandom

3. Jujutsu Kaisen’s Cursed Techniques/Innate Techniques

Coming up with a unique power system has to be difficult. At this point what hasn’t been done. It’s not always necessary to invent new techniques, like fire, but you can invent how those abilities manifest. The series power system focuses on limitations. Binding Vows, Heavenly Restriction, and Domain Expansions are some limits placed on techniques. By deliberately placing limitations on one’s self, a jujutsu sorcerer can increase their power. For example, Nanami limits his power during work hours. This puts him at disadvantage for hours, when Nanami has to work “overtime” his cursed energy increases.

2. Satoru Gojo

Satoru Gojo was instantly appealing when he was first introduced in Jujutsu Kaisen. He loves to show off, enjoying fights with cursed spirits. When he fights he shows his enemies no mercy, he’ll happily decapitate them without any apprehension. Gojo is more complex than he initially seemed. He’s playful with his students but disrespectful towards the sorcerer executives to the point of suggesting he was willing to kill them. He’s arrogant, becoming judgmental of those he deems “weak.” He claimed that “throughout the Heavens and earth, he alone is the honored one.” He’s the strongest, everyone knows it, and he’s not afraid to remind people.

1. Deconstruction of shōnen tropes

When deconstructing tropes, a writer will often compare how tropes appear in one work and how they might play out in real life. Or at least apply more realistic consequences for the trope. This series deconstructs many tropes common to shōnen anime and manga. For example, Yuji Itadori is possessed by the evil cursed spirit Sukuna. In many shōnen series, like Yugioh, Bleach, and Naruto the evil entity is befriended, and the host gain power. So far in the series, Sukuna is completely unhelpful and even roots against Yuri.

Shōnen series like My Hero Academia and Naruto have massive casts of characters, Jujutsu Kaisen on the other hand only has small classes. This is due to Jujutsu sorcerers being picky and sorcerers being rare. Deconstruction is not intended as a criticism and according to TV Trope, can be thought of as taking work more seriously on its own terms than even the work itself does, for the purpose of laying barely hidden meanings in the text.” Regardless, Jujutsu Kaisen’s deconstruction of some shōnen tropes is welcomed.

My Top 5 Demon Slaying Anime

Demon slaying is common in pop culture. They come in several varieties. The hunter who kills demons for revenge. The “chosen one,” who is born to kill demons, or the half demon that a target for full fledge demons. Family raises some demon slayers to fight demons. Specifically, demon slayers are common in anime and manga. In the last few years anime that focuses on “demon slaying” have gain prominence. So what are my top 5 demon slaying anime:


Berserk

Berserk is a little extreme for my tastes. A manga series created by Kentaro Miura, Berserk follows Guts as he fights evil spirits and demons from hell. Guts was cursed with the “Brand of Sacrifice.” As a result, ghosts and demons want to eat him. After the betrayal by his former best friend Griffith, Guts seeks venegance. Born from the womb of a hanged woman, he was raised as a child soldier. The series begins in the middle, establishing Guts character and the setting. It then flashes back revealling Guts tragic childhood.

Berserk is frequently disturbing, including child abuse, torture, sexual violence, and gore. It’s not a series for everyone, however, if you can stomach it the series explores themes like revenge, moralitiy, and coping with a cruel world. Berserk is inspired by Kaoru Kurimoto’s Guin Saga, Buronson’s Fist of the North Star, and Go Nagai’s Devilman. I don’t read the manga but I do search on Pinterest for Miura’s phenominal art work. If anything is going to attract you to this series it’s his art. Unfortunately, the anime often has terrible animation, I don’t recommend them.

Inuyasha

If your looking for a lighter series then Inuyasha is a great series. Rumiko Takahashi created the series in the 90s. The manga was serialized from 1996 to 2008 and the anime ran for seven seasons. Kagome Higurashi is a Middle School student that time travels to feudal Japan. While there she encounters youkai, ghosts, orges, and many other creatures. I really loved this series for it’s use of Japanese mythology. Kagome meets Inuyasha a teenage half-youkai.

Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikiyo, the former girlfriend of Inuyasha. She sealed Inuyasha to a sacred tree 50 years ago and it’s Kagome that frees him. Kagome and Inuyasha begin a dramatic relationship that spans time and space, as Kagome goes back and forth between this world and hers. The series follows the monster of the week structure. Kagome and Inuyasha are joined by friends, Shippo, Miroku, and Sango. Together they batlle againist the forces of Naraku, as they search for the shards of the Shikon jewel.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is the latest entry into the demon slayer anime. While technically, Yuji and his friends exorcise “cursed spirits” I consider them basically the same as demons. Written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, Jujutsu Kaisen began its run in 2018. The first season of the anime began in 2020. Yuji is a high school student, when his grandfather is about to die, Yuji promises to: do good so others can die the “right” way. When Yuji meets sorcerer Megumi Fushiguro his life changes.

After releasing a cursed object that attracts cursed spirits, Yuji and Megumi rescue them. During this fight, Yuji swallows the cursed object, a finger of the “King of Curses,” Ryomen Sukuna. In doing so he becomes the new vessel of Sukuna. I’ll begin reading the manga after this seasons over, but I reccomend watching the anime. MAPPA is really starting to master their craft and Jujutsu Kaisen benefits from it.

Demon Slayer

Apparently, American audiences favor Jujutsu Kaisen over last years anime darling Demon Slayer. However, Demon Slayer continued to set records in 2020 outselling the One Piece manga and making history in the box office. I think when the Demon Slayer anime returns it will resume its run at the top. The series tells the tragic story of Tanjiro Kamado. After returning from selling charcoal, Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and his sister Nezuko turned into a demon.

Desperate to turn his sister back and prevent others from being harmed, Tanjiro and Nezuko enbark on a quest to find a cure. Tanjiro joins the Demon Corps. Armed with a katana, the water breathing techniques, and his selfless motivation, Tanjiro battles demons. He joins forces with the dumb prettyboy Inosuke, the powerful coward Zenitsu, and the always sleeping Nezuko. Can they stop Muzan before he can eliminate the Demon Corps?

Yu Yu Hakusho

Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen maybe new demon slayer series, but Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic. A shonen fighting manga by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a cynical, smart mouthed junior high school student. One day Yusuke dies after saving a little boy from being hit by a car. This heroic act is rewarded with an opportunity to return from the dead. Koenma, the son of the King of the Dead, makes him the Spirit Detective. Yusuke hunts demons that threaten Earth. He’s sent to train with Genkai, the crotchety old master spirit user.

Yusuke, his best friend Kazuma Kuwabara, demon fox vessel Kurama, and anti-hero Hiei. Yu Yu Hakusho set the bar for anime animation, and fight choreography. I rewatch the Dark Tournament arc occasionally and still believe that it’s one of the greatest anime arc ever.

Top 5 Drama-Preserving Handicap in Anime

Shonen anime generally fall into the same trap. How do our heroes going to defeat the all-powerful villain? The trope general requires a hero of modest beginnings and his friends to travel the world trying to either stop a villain from gaining more power or getting released. In order to keep the series interesting, the villain is giving some kind of handicap to give the opposition a chance. This also happens to heroes sometimes, otherwise, the series would be boring if the hero won with one punch (LOL). 

In Soul Eater everyone has a handicap

All the characters in Soul Eater have some handicap that prevents them from being as strong as they possibly can. Black Star has a tendency to show off, preventing him from being an effective assassin. Death the Kid has a weird symmetry fetish, Stein goes insane, and Shinigami cannot move from the spot he’s standing on. 

Sesshomaru’s One Hit Kill

In Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru acquires a sword that can kill almost anything with one hit. This proves to be a problem for Naraku forcing him to kidnap Rin to prevent his destruction. The show ends if Sesshomaru gets his way right. Besides, Inuyasha is the star of the show and must defeat Naraku. 

Orihime’s personality

In Bleach, Orihime possesses the power to “reject physical events in a manner characters in-universe have speculated to be akin to time-space manipulation or completely rejecting the reality of the event having ever happened.” Her only limit is her personality. If she believes that something is impossible, it doesn’t occur to her, or she doesn’t believe she can do something, she can’t. If Orihime didn’t have this limit she would be unstoppable. 

Itachi would have won if he wanted to 

After years of anticipation fans finally got the battle between brothers, Sasuke and Itachi. This fight was epic. The two battled in an intense standoff that sees Itachi gain the final upper hand when he uses his Susanoo. Suddenly, he touches Sasuke’s head just like he did in their childhood and dies. Itachi had been suffering from a terminal disease. However, he wanted Sasuke to win anyway. Tobi notes this, saying that if Itachi wanted to win, Sasuke would be dead. 

Gohan’s broken arm

This is probably the most famous example of a drama saving handicap. After Gohan finally reaches SSJ 2, he dominates Cell. Nothing the villain could do harms the young Saiyan. Goku begs his son to end Cell, but the arrogance overcomes Gohan. After playing around with Cell, the embarrassed villain decides to blow up Earth. Goku sacrifices himself, dying to protect his home. Gohan finally realizes his error. However, due to his Saiyan cells, Cell returns stronger than ever. He kills Trunks and attempts to do the same to Vegeta. However, Gohan diving save keeps him alive. His arm is no longer any use. This results in the far more dramatic and entertaining Kamehame Ha clash, that Gohan wins with the help of his friends. Gohan wouldn’t have need aid if he wasn’t injured.

Source: TV Tropes

Top 5 Horror Anime based on MAL Scores

Monster

Madhouse

Score: 8.73

Monster tells the story of Dr. Kenzou Tenma, “an elite neurosurgeon recently engaged to his hospital director’s daughter, is well on his way to ascending the hospital hierarchy.” When Dr. Tenma is preparing to perform surgery, the hospital director tells him to perform life-saving brain surgery on a famous performer, instead of a poor immigrant. The immigrant dies, causing Dr. Tenma guilt. A similar situation occurs later, but Dr. Tenma chooses to save a young boy instead of the mayor. This costs him his standing in society. Eventually, the death of several doctors results in Dr. Tenma becoming hospital director. Almost a decade later, Dr. Tenma saves the life of a criminal eventually he “comes face to face with the monster he operated on. He must now embark on a quest of pursuit to make amends for the havoc spread by the one he saved.”

The Promised Neverland

Cloverworks

Score: 8.65

The Grace Field House is an orphanage surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance. The orphans are raised as a happy family with their “Mama” Isabella. The children take daily tests but are generally allowed to do what they pleased. However, when a child is adopted, they are never heard from again. The three oldest and smartest siblings become suspicious and they discover the horrific truth of the world they live in.

Kenpuu Denki Berserk

OLM

Score: 8.48

Guts is a young mercenary born from his mother’s corpse. He eventually meets the Band of the Hawk, a group of mercenaries. Guts climb the ranks within the group becoming the head of the offensive faction. Kenpuu Denki Berserk “is a dark, gritty tale that follows one man’s struggle to find his path while supporting another’s lust for power and the unimaginable tragedy that begins to turn the wheels of fate.”

Parasyte -the maxim-

Madhouse

Score: 8.42

Parasitic aliens descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. When they acquire full control of their host, they’re able to morph into a variety of forms to dominate their prey. A teenage boy named Shinichi Izumi becomes a victim of one of these parasites, however, it fails to take over his brain, resulting in his right hand being taken over. Without the means to take over his head, the parasite, now named Migi, must rely on Shinichi to survive. The pair must coexistence, as they face dangerous parasites. 

Mononoke

Toei Animation

Score: 8.42

The “Medicine Seller” is a master of the occult who travels searching for malevolent spirits called “Mononoke.” The seller aims to kill these spirits. Before he can kill them, he must “first learn its Form, its Truth, and its Reason.” The Medicine Seller eventually reaches an old-fashioned inn. There a pregnant woman, Shino, rests in the last vacant room. However, the room is “infested by a lethal band of Mononoke, the Zashiki Warashi.” The Medicine Seller investigates, hoping to kill the Zashiki Warashi before they can kill again.