First, let's overcome the stigma that might crop up with this subject.
Stigma: "Dragon Ball Z is a dumb kid's cartoon. I can't believe you watched that and are blogging about it."
Let's not forget that many of the most popular current films all started out as comic books and cartoons: Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Avengers. The Avengers is one of the top grossing movies of all time. The fact that a story is animated, doesn't effect the quality of the story itself.
But if you like the comics and animated shows you're a "geek" or "nerd." But everyone is expected to have seen and liked the movie. (People always freaked out when I said I hadn't seen the movie. Probably a lot of the same people who would make fun of those who read the comics ironically.)
Our society doesn't take animated shows seriously.
With the right movie production company and talent, Dragon Ball Z could have been made into a successful film franchise like any of the super hero movies.
|That one time Captain America punched Hitler.|
|That one time Goten and Trunks fought Hitler|
Sure, like many Japanese shows, it's animated, but Japan doesn't have those "Hollywood" movie chops or studios to make films like the latest Avengers. Also, it's way more expensive to make a live action fantasy/sci-fi/super hero movie than it is to make an animated one like this. Have you noticed how few live-action fantasy and sci-fi t.v. shows there are? Even though those genres continually dominate the box office? It takes money to make that stuff look real! They can't afford to do that in t.v. shows.
Dragon Ball Z has been hugely popular in not only Japan, but America and Mexico, and possibly other countries as well. People call it a "classic." And the writer, Akria Toriyama, has been credited as inspiring many other writers and artists. So, let's not discredit this show just because it's animated.
Okay, now that we've gotten that all out of the way, next week I'll delve into what techniques I learned. Join me as I dissect how Akira Toriyama created tension through complex character team-ups (enemies teaming up with enemies, heroes teaming up with villains) and through forcing his audience to put their faith in someone untrustworthy or unstable (how much more tension do you have when you have to rely on another villain to take care of the main antagonist?).