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The Great Canonical Debate

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Dec 21st, 2011 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

It’s that time of year — there is a new DragonBall production (the animated adaptation of Episode of Bardock), and all the fans across the Internet want to know:

“Is it canon?”

Actually, they all ask if it’s “cannon”, and these people should all be promptly shot out of a cannon.

Back in August 2008 on Episode #0145 of our podcast over at Daizenshuu EX, we talked with our buddy Desire Campbell about the idea of “canonicity” with the DragonBall franchise. I’m pretty sure I remember a good deal of what we talked about, but if you’re looking for more (and someone else’s perspective, which is always important), definitely check out the episode.

It might be important to actually define what “canon” means. Let’s ask our good friends over at Merriam-Webster:

1
a : a regulation or dogma decreed by a church council
b
: a provision of canon law
2
[Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin, from Latin, model] : the most solemn and unvarying part of the Mass including the consecration of the bread and wine
3
[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin, standard]
a
: an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture
b
: the authentic works of a writer
c
: a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works <the canon of great literature>
4
a
: an accepted principle or rule
b
: a criterion or standard of judgment
c
: a body of principles, rules, standards, or norms
5
[Late Greek kanōn, from Greek, model] : a contrapuntal musical composition in which each successively entering voice presents the initial theme usually transformed in a strictly consistent way

More often than not, you’ll see “canon” tossed out there with regard to religion. Lo-and-behold, most of the definitions you’ll see will thusly head in that direction. You’ve got things like the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were not “canonized” into the Bible. In other words, some dudes decided that those particular words written by some other dudes weren’t what they wanted to bank on and teach to more other dudes.

And that’s really the big difference between the Bible and DragonBall (among… uhh… a gazillion other things, I guess). Whereas the Bible has THE CHURCH™ to define which particular collection of stories into one book (and even which translation) they abide by, there is nothing like that with DragonBall. Sure, there are the ultimate rights holders and production companies, but none of them have ever come out and said, “Look upon ye’ official canonicalness!” and pointed over to a very specific number and type of books. No-one has ever blatantly said, for example, “movies don’t count” or “GT never happened”.

There are a couple things you might toss out there, though. “Hey dumbass!” you may say, “Toriyama said DBGT was just a side-story!” You would be correct, Mr. Rude Fan! In his introduction to the DBGT Dragon Box, Toriyama wrote, “DragonBall GT is a grand side-story of the original DragonBall, and it’ll make me happy for us to watch and enjoy it together.” What does that mean, though? Is he saying he personally does not consider it part of the story (and whether he does or does not, what does it matter to you?), or is he just making a general, sweeping statement?

You may go on to say, “Hey jerkface! Those diaz books put the movies on the same timeline as the manga, so it thinks they count!” You would be somewhat correct there, as well! At points, the daizenshuu will note how, if it had to fit, a particular DBZ movie would possibly fit in at Story-Point-X… but then go on to say that it would be impossible for it to work out that way. They acknowledge them, though, so are they considering anything they talk about part of the canon?

Which brings me right back to my main point: no-one’s ever sat down and said, “Mmm, yes… we consider the official story to be the original 519 chapters as written by Akira Toriyama, plus these other things, and absolutely nothing else what-so-ever!”

They just haven’t. No-one in any official capacity, that is.

image courtesy of our buddy Tekkaman James

I’m always curious what folks really mean when they ask: “is it canon?” How are they defining what “canon” is for themselves? I would assume what they’re asking boils down to something like, “Did someone say this is supposed to fit in with the original manga, and are we expected to accept it as always having been this way, despite it being shoehorned in so many years later?”

But it just circles back around at that point, since no-one’s ever said anything like that. Whenever a new animated special comes out (Jump Super Anime Tour Special), whenever a new spin-off manga comes out (DragonBall SD)… no-one from the production side ever makes any claim like that. They’re just making stuff for the sake of making stuff (well, they’re making stuff in an attempt to make money off you at some point down the line). They may make an attempt for whatever new story they write to fit in in the loosest sense, and maybe even give it a broader description, like was the case with Episode of Bardock, which was promoted as a “sequel” to the original TV special from 1990.

Well, of course it was a “sequel” — it picked up where Bardock’s story left off. You don’t have to like it, and it can be tons of fun to point out some of the inconsistencies which causes it to not actually work out flawlessly in conjunction with its inspiration… but no-one’s making any claim about “canon” in there. It just… kinda… “is”.

So are they inside or outside the ship…?

Lots of fans like to create their own canon. A pretty common one is: “if Akira Toriyama wrote it in the original manga between 1984 and 1995, I consider it — and nothing else — to be canonical”. That makes sense; it’s from the original author and written during the time frame of the franchise’s original publication and production.

They may go on to create different “levels” of canonicity, too. The manga may be the base level, and then the TV adaptation below it (basically “less seriously”). In cases like this, it’s usually for the purposes of ironing out contradictions (generally created by filler material or expanded conversations) and deciding which “truth” to go with.

Going even deeper, you have things like the movies and TV specials, and how they are placed into a canon, if at all. One traditional viewpoint is that movies 9 (Bojack) and 13 (Hildegarn) can pretty easily fit in with even the original manga, so hey, let’s consider them part of the canon just to flesh it out and have extra material. What about the TV specials? Bardock gets all the spotlight these days, but what about Trunks? The TV special adaptation took huge liberties from Toriyama’s original “TRUNKS THE STORY” (such as Trunks already being Super Saiyan versus transforming due to Gohan’s death), but most fans seem to “go with” the TV version, and usually because they simply like it more. Is liking something reason enough to consider it part of the canon, though?

Which is her natural hair color…?!

Whatever you “decide” to “go with”, it’s all fine and dandy. It’s a great way to get further involved with the franchise that you love so much, and even just to keep track of things in your ever-increasing head of knowledge.

But that’s really the extent that you can take it. You have examples like DragonBall GT, which was an officially-produced sequel (as in one of the rights holders, Toei Animation, had permission and the capacity to produce it). Is it part of the “canon”, though? Well, you can’t really answer that. Some fans will accept it since it continues where the story left off, and the producers were the ones who made it (as opposed to Joe Schmoe on the Internet writing another AF fan-manga). Other fans won’t accept it since Toriyama’s involvement was limited and only at the beginning of production. Other fans will accept it but also try to work in DragonBall Online, despite the two crossing paths.

No-one’s “right” or “wrong” here. There is no, to bring it back to the definition, “authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture”.

Maybe there is, though. I don’t see anyone debating that what Toriyama originally wrote for the pages of Jump shouldn’t be taken as “canon”. That’s pretty “accepted” as the “authentic works of a writer”, correct?

It gets tricky the instant you step outside of that, though. How about things that Toriyama wrote or decided later on after the series’ completion? There are things like Mr. Satan’s real name being “Mark”, the Kaioshin coming from the Shin-jin and apples and Makaioshin and all that jazz… the original author declared all this, so is it “canon”?

While we’re at it, what about the revised ending that Toriyama drew for the kanzenban? It’s from Toriyama. It’s manga. Is it “canon”…? What about the prior version? Should it be disregarded, as if it never happened?

That brings us to a fun little thought exercise. Let’s say that Toriyama decides he doesn’t just want to keep slapping his name onto things with a “supervisor”-esque credit anymore, and writes a true continuation of the series. It could be right after the original manga, or after GT — it really doesn’t matter in this example. What would you consider this new story? Would it be part of the canon for you? It could go one of two ways. One school of thought places anything that the original author writes for the series (in this case, let’s say just in manga form to keep it simple) in the canon. The other school of thought believes that unless it was part of the original series and was always intended to be a part of the series, it doesn’t matter if even the original author comes back to it — it’s still a new addition, separate from the original canon.

And that’s why I think you can’t (and perhaps shouldn’t) even attempt to ask: “is it canon?” No-one who produced the series seems to care enough to make a declaration of canonicity, and it continues to expand with new productions every single year. I’m not pulling the, “it’s a fun series from a poop-joke author” card here like I usually do, either (well, maybe just a little bit). It really does continue to build with so many different bits of lore every single year, and so much so that if you’re asking what the “canon” is, you’re already so far down the rabbit hole that you’ll never decide on a proper answer.

(Next time on “Mike Rants About Insignificant DBZ Stuff”, perhaps something like “Why you’re missing the point about battle powers”… along with some of the other great “God hands down ye’ golden daizenshuu” images folks slapped together for us!)

“Honey & Clover” R1 DVD Review

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Mar 18th, 2010 | filed Filed under: Reviews

I would like to preface this post by putting it out there up front that there will be a lot of frustration contained within. It will also be kinda wordy and ranty. Perhaps that “spoils” the “review” too quickly, but I guarantee it will not be in the way that you might think. Do not misunderstand — there is a huge difference between the content of a show and its presentation. Be sure to keep those separate in your head as you read on.

I have spoken at length how one of my favorite aspects of shônen is the camaraderie. This same concept showcased and executed in other anime “genres” works just as flawlessly on me — it is somewhat fascinating to watch this concept go from my standard shônen fandom over to josei, but how themes can cross over “intended” audiences and strike a chord with someone is what I have always loved about anime so much. For an obvious example, DragonBall is a show for young boys, and yet I still love it.

For those of you who may have followed some of my other online adventures over the years, it should come as no surprise that Honey & Clover was one of my favorite shows in recent history.

I conceived the above video in 2007 and created it together with Meri and Jeff over the span of about six months. It was one of the best projects I have ever worked on, both in terms of the actual collaboration process, and seeing my vision come to reality.

Needless to say, I had been waiting a long time for a domestic release of the show. R2s are nice, and fansubs are nice… but the convenience of a domestic DVD box set is always the sweet spot for us fans. Viz announced their license of the show way the heck back in July 2007, and while episodes would trickle (dubbed) to iTunes, the first DVD set would not hit until September 2009, over two years later.

I do not want to focus on the content of the show too much. I have seen it be “hit or miss” to some folks, with them either latching on to the characters and enjoying the progression of time with them, or being put off by the somewhat-spastic timeline jumping (suddenly we are months later in the story, and yet there is some excuse for a party every episode). “Hagu” can also be a dividing character, occasionally dipping into what feels like the dreaded “moe” territory with her petite size, stress-related frailty, and Morita’s insistence on dressing her up and putting her into wacky photo poses (all of which is strange, since the series is intended for older women… but far be it from me to comment on the desires and fantasies of the josei audience).

Personally, I feel like the show hits on nearly every level. The characters do not deliver trite and groan-worthy dialogue. Everything they say and do feels completely “real”. You feel for them when they have their epiphanies — the look on Ayu’s face, realizing she has been acting the same way with Mayama, after receiving the confessions from her fellow-generation peers…? It is heart-breaking tough-love. I have given a lot of shows a chance in my time, and few have hit me from their very start with such a mature and realistic way of sharing life stories.

Even if I wanted to expand upon the content of the show in greater depth, any review of the DVD releases from Viz will ultimately have to focus on their numerous pitfalls, giving the amazing content there-in a total shaft. And that really sucks.

Given/Family Name Subs
No, I am not fluent in Japanese. No, I did not take a bazillion years of the language in college (although I did take a bit). Yes, I know people who are fluent. Yes, some of them have translated purely on a fandom level. Yes, some of them have translated on a professional level. No, their work does not directly affect or grow my own personal understanding of the language. Yes, in some ways it does help. Yes, I have been watching anime for something like 15 years. No, I do not think that fact alone gives me the knowledge necessary to make 100%-accurate translation decisions all of the time.

With all this in mind (and feel free to take whatever I say with a grain of salt), I have always had a huge problem when a translator decides to place a character’s given name (their “first name”) in the subtitles when the character speaking aloud is clearly using their family name (their “last name”), regardless of any suffix being or not being used (-kun, -san, etc.). I feel that it speaks volumes about the relationship the characters have with each other, which is something that can (and does) regularly change over the course of a series. The audible and visible disconnect that occurs when I hear “Morita” and read “Shinobu” drives me slightly bonkers. If I did not already know what was going on and have a general knowledge of the language and personal interactions between the characters, I might be slightly confused. To make matters worse, some characters will refer to someone by their last name, while others will refer to them by their first name. Some characters exclusively call everyone by their last name. Some characters are always referred to by their first name. You cannot consistently subtitle something like this when you make a conscious effort to change what text appears, rather than going with what is actually being spoken aloud.

I can only imagine these intentional changes combined with utter carelessness leads to examples like what I will share below. “Shu” (Shuji Hanamoto)…? He is not even in this scene, never mind on screen. That’s Morita running away (sorry for the blended fields!). Does anyone even bother to proof-read/watch this before it gets pressed…?

You might be able to convince me to excuse a one-off mistake like this. It could have been an honest fluke. What if it kept happening, though? What if names that do not even belong to any character in the show begin to appear? Sure, perhaps they meant “Takumi” (again, even though it is clearly “Mayama” being spoken aloud)… but at what point does this become inexcusable? At only seven episodes in to the box set, a wrong name has appeared twice.

In another scene, Mayama (first name “Takumi”, but almost exclusively referred to by his last name) describes the location of Ayumi’s home to Shu. It is the “Yamada Liquor Store”… except the subtitles read as “Ayumi Yamada Liquor Store”. Really? Ayumi runs the place by herself? She owns it? Did someone just do a global search-and-replace, or something?

As the series moves on, the subtitles’ translation/adaptation of Hagu’s “Shu-chan” changes from “Shu” to his full first name of “Shuji”… despite the tone, delivery, and intent remaining the same as “Shu-chan” throughout. Why the inconsistency?

Far too often I find myself nerd-raging at the screen for a name being incorrectly-adapted for the bazillionth time each episode. It just bugs the Hell out of me… but maybe it’s just me.

“Hard-Subbed” Sign Translations
No, I will not go to the extent in proclaiming that “hard-subs” (subtitles or translations that are “burned in” to the actual video track, rather than being optional a la traditional dialogue subtitles on DVDs) somehow “defile” the “purity” of the “art”. They are, however, ridiculous in modern times. They look ridiculous in fansubs, and they look even more ridiculous in professional releases. You do not need to erase some Japanese text and replace it with English text. You do not need to stretch and curve English text around some available white space next to the Japanese text. You do not need to plaster giant text on-screen when what you are translating is one-third the size. Simply putting a translation (if one is even necessary) at the top of the screen is more than sufficient. It doesn’t take me “out of the moment”. Trust me. It’s OK. I give you permission.

One of these silly examples is a scene in which Takemoto returns home and winds up in a batting cage with his mother’s new husband. The “Home Run” sensor is hit, and the characters talk for a little bit about how funny and great it is. The phrase “Home Run” is used several times. It is clear what’s going on. When the frame heads back to that sensor one last time, Viz felt it was necessary to complement the ホームランwith “Home Run” plastered (and hard-subbed) in large font below it. Hey guys? I’m watching the show, too. I got it.

Of course, the old Solar fansub did the exact same thing (immediately followed by a verbal “Home Run!” subtitled at the bottom of the screen), but that is to be expected from fansubbers… though expectation does not excuse behavior.

Yes, yes, yes. It is a simple little translation that explains what is on the screen. We do need them from time to time. I am not so crazy that I do not think sign translation tracks should not exist — they serve their purpose and should always be welcome. It is just the almost-unnecessary ones like this that make my scratch my head a little bit, and only truly dislike them when they cross the line into intrusive hard-subs. Is the “Home Run” example “intrusive”? Not particularly.

What about this example, though? Check out Viz’s version, where “Lottery Ticket” has been hard-subbed onto the ticket, itself… as if you would be completely unable to tell from the context of the conversation.

Amazingly enough, the Solar fansubbers, in an age where digitally plastering text on as many things as possible was (and still is) the trend, chose not to do it.

I do not expect (or want!) perfect consistency between fansubbers and the domestic licensee. If anything, it is simply interesting to compare the two and try to decide how and why one of them felt it was necessary to translate or adapt on-screen text so differently from the other.

Post-Episode Previews
Be careful what you wish for, anime fans. Domestic licensing companies may not receive every single last bit of audio and video for things like next-episode previews (something North American DBZ fans have dealt with for years), and a compromise must always be made. In the case of Honey & Clover, something is missing, leaving a horribly confusing and seemingly-haphazard next-episode preview. It is an empty background screen with a sample of the opening theme playing. It feels half-complete, because it is half-complete. Would we have been better off without them? Perhaps changed around somehow?

The most interesting part of this specific inclusion is that they are not included on the original Japanese R2 DVDs! I can’t even tell what the darn thing is! Is it a sponsor card…?

What Do We Get?
I fully believe that more fans need to put their money where their mouth is and support their favorite franchises, whether that is through a purchase of a DVD set, merchandise, or some other way. You could argue that it is less about the consumer and more about the raw business model… but if you like something so much, you should at least try to support it somehow. So what exactly are we paying for with a release like this? Is it the sub-par video transfer? Is it the inconsistent name translations/adaptations? Is it the amateur hard-subs?

I desperately want to be able to support the official, domestic licensed products and the companies spending the money to bring them over to me in a convenient package. The question that has been asked so often in recent memory, though, is: when the free and infinitely reproducible product (digital fansubs) are leagues ahead of, or at least in the same ballpark as, the paid and scarce physical product (domestic DVDs)… where is the incentive?

What am I paying for? Did I just pay for the salary of someone to inconsistently name characters? Did I just pay for a dub I am never going to watch? Or did I just fund a future endeavor with another great show that I love…? Will it help bring that show over to me? What if the treatment is the same as what I just saw with Honey & Clover, though?

So many of the issues with this release seem so avoidable, which is what disappoints me so much. I would probably look past the hard-subs if the name translations were at least halfway consistent. I might even excuse some of the extra video compression since we are getting the set for a decent price. Toss all of these factors together, though, and you have a situation where you hold the set in your hand, make that weird deep-breath through your teeth as if you are unsure about it, and put it back on the shelf.

When we have so much of a choice with our entertainment, I have a really hard time justifying the purchase and support of a product like this. I love Honey & Clover to death, but other series that I love are being treated extremely well right now, and those are the products that need and deserve to get first-dibs on my cash.

There is the conundrum, though — how do you speak with your wallet when the action of “speaking” itself is to not pay for something…? The message being sent is that I am not interested… which is not the correct message at all. I am very interested, but not with the way it is currently being handled. Does a measly blog post by some dude that likes DBZ send the right message? Somehow I doubt it.

And that really sucks.

Cropping Complaints (Sorta) Justified Three Years Later

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Feb 10th, 2010 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I almost feel like it is not even worth bringing this up. I mean, honestly… the FUNimation cropping fiasco of 2007 is three years old. Not only is it old, but it is irrelevant with the release of domestic Dragon Box sets.

This just makes me smirk a little too much, though. When Mike smirks, it usually manifests itself as a blog post. And you all have to suffer.

In case you have been living under a DBZ fandom rock for the last half-decade, there was a lovely bit of controversy in 2007 when FUNimation released a so-called “remastered” version of the DragonBall Z TV series on DVD in North America. Among things like lies about the remastering process, the whole thing was brought into a new 16:9 aspect ratio presentation by cropping 20% of the footage (the top and bottom of the screen) to fit it into that viewing window.

Hilarity ensued online.

Daizenshuu EX is (obviously) at the forefront of the English-speaking fandom in a variety of ways. We have been following the series as a website since 1998, which includes all of the North American releases. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience with the franchise as both an original Japanese entity and a domestic “reversioning”. We took a stand against the cropping. Many of the casual fans could not understand why it was an issue for us… and understandably so. If you simply wanted to watch the show, the cheap orange bricks were a wonderful way to legally to do so (something we agreed with from the get-go). These types of fans (of which there are plenty) met the opposition with well-written, researched, and thorough arguments on how we were all just a bunch of fags, should shut up, and just be thankful we ever got the show in the first place. Why do we care so much? These fans do not even notice the cropping, and would prefer that the picture fill up their awesome, widescreen HDTV.

(Wondering why Daizenshuu EX would care about the aspect ratio of DBZ would be like wondering why the health care industry has an interest in American health care reform. We bitch because we love.)

Two years later, DragonBall Kai began airing on Japanese TV, also cropped into a 16:9 aspect ratio (though it was actually being produced in a full 4:3 which was later presented as-is on the Blu-ray release). Some of the scenes were adjusted for more carefully-presented cropping (sliding them up or down a little bit to adjust for a center of focus), but overall, it was a similar process to the FUNimation release from two years prior.

Episode 43 of DragonBall Kai aired on 06 February 2010 in Japan. Almost immediately, there was a bout of fan outcry… on several different forums… on how ridiculous it was that Toei could be so sloppy as to not finish drawing Goku’s arm:

There were actually two camps, to be fair. While there were definitely (1) those that placed the blame on Toei’s art department (assuming it was a completely re-drawn scene that was never completed), there were also (2) others who were quick to place the blame on Toei’s cropping department — these folks knew the whole story (keep reading), and knew that it was an awkward and inadvertent cropping.

Sure enough, if you look at a different encode and frame of the episode as captured from Japanese television, you get a little more insight:

The slightest bit of Goku’s arm is visible at the bottom of the frame. Checking back on the original animation from the actual DragonBall Z TV series, we get the whole story:

What this says to me is that even without some prominent website that has a ridiculous interest in the presentation of the series pointing it out to them… certain fans still noticed a problem with the cropping. Not only that, but they brought their complaints and ridicule online to share with their peers.

The hypocrisy is a bit silly. Why was it unjustified to bring FUNimation to Elitist Weeaboo Fanboy Court over their cropping of the series, but it was totally fine to go after Toei for the exact same thing? Was it just an extension of the complacent American fan culture that has no problem with their domestic releases, but Japanese stuff is OK and funny to laugh at? Lolz Goku sounds like a girlie and his arm is missing?

Sure, it was totally just this one minor scene during one episode of Kai that gave us some laughs online. It was nothing compared to the FUNimation fiasco in terms of prevalence and significance. On some tiny level, though, it made me feel something resembling justification for my complaints against the domestic cropping.

People do notice this kind of stuff, even when it is not specifically pointed out to them. That’s all there is to it.

Oh, and just for the Hell of it, here’s how it looked on FUNimation’s faux-”remastered” orange brick numero tres. It looks nearly identical to the recent shot from Kai. Did anyone complain about it back in 2007…?

Thanks to Hujio and Kaboom for a bit of screen shot assistance!

People Hear What They Want To Hear

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Mar 16th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I came across the following video on YouTube the other day while going through the referrals for website traffic on Daizenshuu EX. The description is basically nothing more than a link to my site, and the title certainly caught my attention (“TRUE DRAGONBALL FANS WOULD GO SEE DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION”), so I figured I was in for a doozy.

While I don’t think MadThad0890 quite explained what he was trying to say all that well, I think he’s fighting the good fight in one respect, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the live-action movie.

Enough with this “not a true fan” nonsense.

While I have zero interest in FUNimation’s English dub of the series, I do not see this upcoming live-action movie as becoming a huge part of my extended fandom, and (insert a whole bunch of other things here), like MadThad says, that doesn’t make me or anyone else “less” of a fan. We’re all on equal ground. We’re all a bunch of people on the internet getting together and talking about a series that, quite frankly, next to zero of us have had or ever will have any stake in its production or even its further success. We gain nothing from it even existing, beyond perhaps our own continued friendships and camaraderie.

I may have been running my site for well over a decade (including the podcast portion for over three years), but that does not make me any “better” or “more” of a fan than FUNimation’s self-described nine-year-old born every day that pops in an edited, dubbed-only DVD to watch Broli smash up some folks. It certainly makes me a different kind of fan, and I don’t see myself being able to hold a sustained conversation with said nine-year-old, but I’d argue that his (or her!) excitement in watching a crappy action scene in one of my least-favorite animated DBZ movies genuinely rivals my own excitement when, say, a new $200 music boxset is announced.

You’re probably wondering what the title of this post has to do with anything, though. That’s a great question, so let me explain.

I think MadThad is trying to justify his own position by using us as “evidence” without actually understanding our “position” (if we even have one), and is basically reading and hearing what he wants to read and hear.

They don’t support the movie at all. At all.

Now that’s just not true. Especially when you listen to my review of the “Junior Novel” and Julian’s review of the movie on Episode #0168 of the podcast, you will hear that while we think of it as an entirely separate entity… and quite an absurdly ludicrous one, at that… I wouldn’t really call that not “supporting” the movie “at all”. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I would love for there to be a live-action DB movie that is done fantastically, respects the source material, takes its own necessary liberties, introduces the franchise to a whole new audience, etc. Unfortunately, it sounds like Evolution is not going to be that movie, so while I support it in theory, now that I think about it, maybe MadThad actually is correct in saying we don’t support this movie.

But if I recommend going to see it just for the sake of seeing how much of a spectacular disaster it is, is that considered “supporting” it? It sounds like it’s nowhere near the level of The Legend of Chun-Li in its terrible-just-terrible state, with Evolution being more along the lines of having fun with how terrible it is.

You know what? Just like in the first podcast episode of WTF EX when Jeff and I couldn’t come to a conclusion after an hour-long discussion, I think the process of writing out this blog entry has thoroughly confused me… and I’m the subject of debate, here!

Long story short, as I’ve noted over on our message board, I think what the DB web community has always needed, continues to need, and will always need… is exactly what shônen is all about: we need friendship and understanding in an open forum. I’ve been around long enough to see every single name in the book thrown around, every half-thought-out argument tossed in as evidence or proof, and thousands of fans come and go. If we’re going to make it another 25 years, we’ve gotta stop telling each other who’s the bigger fan…

… because if you’re the one saying that, there’s a good chance you won’t be sticking around with us. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.