People Hear What They Want To Hear

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.





27 responses to “People Hear What They Want To Hear”

  1. Willie/VenomSymbiote Avatar

    Mike, that may be your most confuisn post ever… XD.

    Anyway, I more or less agree with you. I do in fact support the movie probabably more than you do, but I’m certainly not a better fan because I do that. I think you summed it up great with the last paragraph.

  2. NeoAtari Avatar

    I agree with you 100% Mike, and seeing this come from somebody who I consider an authority on Dragonball makes me respect you even more than I already do.

  3. Jason Nimer Avatar
    Jason Nimer

    I couldn’t agree more with Mike. People who say “I won’t ever watch/buy/endorse ____” come off a little high and mighty for my tastes, but to each his (or her) own. I’ll go see the movie, if for no other reason than to say I’ve seen it. I like Funimation’s season sets and Viz’s manga as much as I like my Dragon Boxes and Kanzenban manga releases. Its all just more stuff added to my last vestige of nerdiness that carried with me into my adult, rent-paying, career-working (soon-to-be) married life. Am I wrong? No. Are people who hate Viz and Funimation wrong? No. Different strokes.

    …and the “bigger” fan argument is one that wil never, ever go away. Who is the bigger fan? Mike, who runs the best DB site on the Internet? Or me, who has a good portion (now more than ever) of his upper body covered in DB tattoos? The question can’t be answered; we are different types of fan (though probably close together on the insane scale), not larger or smaller.

    When my new DB story guide arrived here yesterday afternoon, I was thrilled to finally get a chance to look through it. The “bigger fan” argument suggests that the first think any of us do when we get new stuff is add points to our personal fan-o-meters, not simply enjoy our new stuff. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And on a side note, this guy says true fans will go see the movie. Whatever. I say true fans should either have or have on preorder Banpresto’s Dragon Ball Creatures figure series. Best. DB. Figures. Ever.

  4. Duo Avatar

    It seems like this whole “true fan” debacle is a really obvious instance of the ever infamous “Us vs. Them” mentality we let ourselves get brainwashed into in all kinds of area’s of our lives, especially politics. As if everything is just a black and white choice…?

    Anyway, I agree wholeheartedly. The type of behavior described is a big part of the reason I just don’t care to talk about Dragonball much at all anymore online.

    So, yeah, love and peace!

  5. Josh Avatar

    Yerrr, ya’ kind of just ranted a bit there, Mike.

    Anyway, I think you’re caring too much about these people who claim others are not “true fans”, and… that’s it. I mean, the only problem here is that you’re paying attention to them. It’s not like you have to care about what some crazy Internet fanboys say just because they happen to like the same thing as you.

    So, that out of the way:

    “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.”

    Well, buying the stuff helps its continued production, and introducing people to it and just generally being enthuastic about it can get other people interested in it, which helps its further success.

    “We gain nothing from it even existing, beyond perhaps our own continued friendships and camaraderie.”

    And entertainment and the enjoyment of a story… The whole point of it in the first place. 🙂

  6. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    Everyone is a “true fan” in their own way. I basically look at the Dragonball series as my religion. It is my way of life, and I love it, I live for Dragonball, it is my passion. The only thing that I disagree with you on, is how the F%#@ can you say that “We gain nothing from it even existing.” That is blasphemy. Dragonball since I was small has opened my world up amazingly and has shaped me into the incredible person I am today. I can’t even comprehend what life would be like without Dragonball, from me learning martial arts to becoming a compassionate person just like Goku, The Dragonball Series has changed my life in so many ways. Yes Goku is my idol and has been since I was a kid, Probably one of the most important things I gained by watching Dragonball is that I gained and incredible person to look up to: Goku, the ultimate hero. He has changed my life and to me resembles God. If you think you have gained nothing from Dragonball ever existing then let me tell you this: you are definitely not a true fan, even if you do have your own website, if it does not live on inside your heart then you cannot call yourself a true fan. To anyone out there, if Dragonball has inspired you, changed your life, and lives on inside your heart then you can call yourself a true fan. But if you think that you have gained nothing from it ever existing then it definitely does not live inside your heart, and maybe you can call yourself a fan, and that’s pushing it. I believe in jesus, and because I believe in him, he lives inside of me, if I didn’t believe in him he wouldn’t live inside of me. If you believe the Dragonball series has made an impact in your life then it will live on inside our heart, if you don’t then it won’t. And if it has made an impact on your life then you have gained something from it. It has been a huge inspiration and has made a huge impact in my life and that is why I believe I am an ultimate fan, it will live on in my heart forever. And to add to everything, yes I did gain something by Dragonball existing, besides a stronger heart, and an incredible life, I gained the best memory of all of my chilhood memories, and one of the most incredible memories of my entire life.

  7. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    In the end it does not matter if you go see the movie, buy the dvd’s, or have your own website, all that matters is if the Dragonball Series lives on inside your heart, and that’s what makes you a “true fan”.

  8. Mr. P Avatar
    Mr. P

    Well, I wouldn’t endorse something that’s just bad like the movie. If you throw money at DB: Evolution you’re making a statement that you want more of this. Evolution might end up as a footnote in the history of this franchise but as fans we should be somewhat concerned with it’s integrity. Why can’t the 9-year-old get excited over a good DBZ movie? It doesn’t have to be bad and/or really dumbed down to appeal to younger fans. Dragonball is a source of entertainment that I don’t want to see tarnished. So, people who will give money to Fox for this movie are acting in a way to hurt the quality of the franchise even if it is only in a small way. I think some of us are not critical enough of the entertainment industry as a whole, so we get movies like SF: Chun Li and DB: Evolution and all of those DateEpicScary Movie Movies. I don’t mind the idea of a live action movie but as you said only if it’s done very well.

  9. Steve Roderick Avatar

    jason is totally right.

    anyone can go throwing around that name of best/biggest db fan. mike for his site. jason for his knowledge.

    ill see the movie anyway. i did skip julians review on the podcast thou.

  10. Laserkid Avatar

    Man, see its logic like this thats kept me around Daizenshuu EX for so damn long.

    This fan segmentation thing isn’t new. At all. And it’s always been retarded.

    I once got told I wasn’t a true fan if I called Dragon Ball a cartoon, and not anime (I contend to this day all anime is a subgenre of cartoons, that being cartoons made in a certain Japanese style) regardless of the fact that I love this show.

    I went around starting the “lets buy the whole show” thing to prove my fandom to these people, and that was retarded of me. Not that owning the whole show is bad, I’m actually glad I do now, but it didn’t help win any “arguments”.of fandom. It just turned into a stupid debate over HOW one owns the show, and thats just ridiculous.

    I run into the same problem with the Star Wars community, I should note. I happen to be a rare breed of animal that LIKED the prequel movies (except Episode I), and the special edition cuts of the original films. I also found the expanded universe stuff to get ridiculous in the Yuhzong Vong and onwards era. I never settled into a star wars community because I would get tackled every time I tried.

    What does that have to do with Dragon Ball? It’s simple. Fandom is fandom, and people shouldn’t have to validate their own fandom to anyone else. It’s ridiculous, and its counterproductive.

    In our case, we all love the Dragon World Akira Toriyama gave us. We should be celebrating that fact.

    Anyway, I’m starting to lose my own focus here. But yeah, there is no “super elite” fandom. We’re all just fans.

  11. ANTMAN Avatar

    Everything you wrote is exactly how I feel about the film also to a T (not sure how that’s spelled). If the film were to take great care with the source material while taking some liberties with it (like the DBZ film I wrote and can only dream of making), then maybe the film would have been worth viewing. But this “Evolution” film is just an American travesty that goes alongside the Chinese travesty released years ago (can’t believe I still have my VHS copy; maybe it’s giving me bad luck). It is outright ridiculous and just plain old retarded to believe in this story the movie is about, the role of the characters in it and the actors portraying them (even though Chow Yun Fat is the man, he can’t play a 100+ yr old pervert). I would consider you a true ANIME fan altogether for writing something this intelligent and thoughtout even if you gave up in the end (LOL) and you like calling everything “filler” >:0 (that’s a mean face). If I ever make my DBZ film in the future I want you in it and your site will be in the credits big time.

  12. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    I can agree with you laserkid, the only thing I can’t agree with you on is when you said that we’re all “just” fans, that is not necesarilly true, some people may be bigger fans than other people, take me for instance I have been a huge devoted fan of the Dragonball Series my entire life, I live for Dragonball(just read my first post and you’ll understand), now my friend just sees it as a show, I see it as more than a show, it’s basically a religion to me, you see the difference. You have to remember that no two people are exactly the same, and in the end it’s whatever makes you happy. If you think the movie will make you happy then by all means go watch it, I assure you if you have a positive attitude, have faith and love Dragonball it won’t let you down, if you think it won’t make you happy by going to watch it, and judge it before it even comes out, then don’t go watch it, it’s your loss. I have total faith that this movie will turn out well. I’ve been waiting for a Dragonball live action movie since I was a kid, so this to me is a dream come true, i’ve been counting down the days and I can’t wait, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

  13. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    These quotes are for all you hating, ignorant and misunderstanding people out there, wherever you are, always remember that:

    – “Life is more pleasent when you can appreciate the positive rather than focus on the negative, for those that do are truly miserable beings and make for truly undesireable company.”

    – “When judgement is passed based on a single aspect, without weighing all aspects equally, it proves that the one who did so is unfit to pass judgement in the first place.”

    – “When someone truly loves someone/something else, they love the whole… perfections and imperfections alike.”

    Apply those quotes to everything i’ve wrote and u’ll see exactly were i’m coming from,

    God bless

  14. Forgotten Hero Avatar

    Hey, I just wanted to say as a long time listener, you guys have stated over and over again how much you don’t want to break the podcast over this issue and that you guys will try to stay in different. But I have to agree with Mad That, you and the rest of the crew come off so negative on this movie. I understand that it’s “not” Dragonball for and you’re right, but you have not given it much of a chance to just be a decent movie. I have come to terms with the fact that this is not the Dragonball I love and goes against the what Toriyama intended. I’m ok with a different way to tell this story, and to be honest a “emo” Goku sounds so interesting to me. As you mentioned, Goku being a whiny kid in high school sounds like it’s aimed at an high school audience, and sure that may be true in some cases, but for me I want to see a different Goku. I’ll be honest now, one of the things that bother me about Goku is that he can be so dense and one-dimensional. So to see a different Goku is quite interesting to me, and I wonder who else agrees. In conclusion to this point, I’d say you guys are jumping the bullet so soon, give it a chance.

    Now if the movie blows, it blows, but I don’t think that it will be a bad movie because it’s not like Toriyama’s works but simply because it’s just a bad movie.
    Anyway, this was a fantastic read and video, and I’m excited for April.
    ~Forgotten Hero

  15. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    I agree with you forgotten hero, they are basically saying negative things about the movie on the assumption that it will be bad, they haven’t even given it a chance and probably never will, in the end it’s their loss. Also they are being very close minded, and that not only is being pessimistic but also very ignorant. I am the total opposite, I am very open minded and optimistic and I also live by this quote “Life is more pleasant when you can appreciate the positive rather than focus on the negative, for those that do are truly miserable beings and make for truly undesirable company.” I hate when people are so quick to judge something before it has even come out, they are badmouthing it without even giving it a chance, that in my eyes is very very ignorant. Them and a lot of people have been saying only negative things about the movie without even seeing it, and it bothers me (for like a second and then it goes away lol) because they should be a little optimistic and at least give it a chance. I think it’s incredible that they’re making a live action movie on the most amazing Series in history. it’s an honor and a dream come true for me. It will be interesting to see the story be told from a different perspective. I just don’t agree with you on Goku being one-dimensional, I really don’t see him like that, I see him as a diverse, ultimate hero, but then again Goku is my hero/idol and has been since I was small, so to me Goku is perfect the way he is. The movie will be what you make of it, just like life, life is what you make of it. So to me the movie will be incredibly amazing!!!! Now if you have a negative attitude towards the movie, then you probably won’t enjoy it as much but if you have a positive attitude towards the movie then I promise you it won’t let you down. I have learned to not let other people’s negative or own opinions influence my own opinion, and no one’s opinon ever will. So just ignore all the hating/ignorant/pessimistic people out there, and live your life to the fullest, don’t let their opinion influence yours. So if you have a positive attitude towards the movie go out and have an incredible time, I know I will, I will enjoy every moment of it, just like I enjoy every moment when watching or even thinking about the Dragonball series. I live for Dragonball, for me it is a way of life and I am the happiest I have ever been, I would not want to be living my life in any other way, I have no regrets. I am a positive, optomistic, and a very open minded person. You only live once so make it worth while. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and I have been living life to fullest, and always remember with the Dragonball spirit, anything is possible.

    Now to correct my quote:

    – “When someone truly loves someone/something else, they love the whole… perfections and imperfections alike, and when that type of love is achieved those imperfections -if any- will cease to exist, forever”.

    To me the Dragonball Series is and will always be perfect, and nothing will ever convince me otherwise.

  16. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez


  17. Preston Davis Avatar
    Preston Davis

    This… is even an issue? Why are there people even discussing the value of this movie? It’s obviously shit to anyone with my beliefs, but of course there’s gonna be some idiot who thinks it’s great. I mean, they wouldn’t have made a second Fantastic Four movie if no one liked the first.

    Who is really going to start an argument with the inevitable outcome of “well, we’re just gonna have to agree to disagree!”?

  18. Laserkid Avatar

    Albert – Oh I understand you’re a different kind of fan from people like say, my roomate who likes the show when I show it to him but it isn’t huge with him. But he isn’t any less a fan then you or I for not going in deep.

    I may not be crazy about the DB movie (though I’m going to see it out of morbid curiosity and hopes that its better then I think) – but I think you missed the whole point Mike was trying to make. No one fan is the same as the other – that doesn’t make anyone a bigger fan then someone else. Thinking so just divides the fandom, instead of uniting it.

    For you DB is a religious experience. For me, DB is a huge part of my late childhood, and a wonderous story that I went to ridiculous levels to buy all of the single volumes of the show ever put out, all the movies, specials, and the two season sets for the episodes not covered in the single volumes. I even own the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball on VHS from kidmark (lacking a PAL TV this is my only option as of now for them), Yet I can’t call this a religious experience for me. But I’m not any less of a fan then you are. Nor any greater. We both love DB/Z, why does there need to be more division besides that?

  19. Jason Nimer Avatar
    Jason Nimer

    Since Albert put up some quotes that are more or less appropriate to the discussion, I’ll put up the quote that jumps to mind every single time tthis topic comes up.

    To those who flatly refuse to give the movie even a slight chance –

    “You can’t judge a place you’ve never been, Dad. Yeah… that’s what they do in Russia!”

  20. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    Laserkid – We may all be fans, I agree, but we are each at different levels. We’re still all fans and united but we’re each at different levels of devotion toward the Dragonball Series. Let me try to explain, in karate you have different ranks such as white, then yellow, then green, then blue, then purple, then brown and then black. A white belt and a black belt are still called karatekas (which is a practitioner of karate), the only difference is that a black belt is more skilled and more devoted than a white belt. In order for a white belt to become a black belt, it takes years of devotion and skill. In the eyes of the sensei they are all karatekas and equal, but are distinguished by their different ranks. The black belt isn’t necesarrily better than the white belt they’re all karatekas but a black belt has shown a devotion and passion for karate. He became a black belt because he was devoted to martial arts and if you show that type of devotion toward something it means that you really have a passion for it. We may all be Dragonball fans, but some of us have a bigger passion/devotion for it than others. I’m a truly devoted, passionate Dragonball fan, and have been since I was small, hence the years of experience. For me it’s everything from the greatest childhood memory, to a way of life, to being a religion. I have a certain connection with the Dragonball Series, for me it’s the best thing in the world, and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. For me it’s an inspirational way of life. Now can every fan say that about the Dragonball Series, of course not. Everyone sees it in their own way, and that’s what distinguishes true fans from people that are just fans. We’re all fans but some of us are those black belts that have shown devotion and passion over the years towards the Dragonball Series. If you watched it since you were a kid and are still watching it now, no matter if you took a break from it or not, then you can call yourself a true devoted fan. You have to remember no two people are exactly the same and in the end it’s whatever makes you happy. Yes we’re all just fans and united, but some of us are at a different levels than others.

    Now for all you negative thinking people out there that are judging the movie before it has even come out here yet, “Will you listen to a blind man if he tells you your painting is horrible?” You are all judging the movie before it has even come out here. You’re like that blind man telling everyone that the painting is horrible when you haven’t even seen it yet, and probably never will cuz you’re all close minded individuals. Show some appreciation, show some optimistic positive attitude!!! I’m done here.

  21. VegettoEX Avatar

    There’s no question that some people are “different” fans from what others are… I said as much in what I wrote above (if you’re claiming to be a “better” fan, then you should probably get on outta here because you will NOT fit in).

    Unfortunately, this post and its responses are proving the title true… people read and hear what they want to hear. Laserkid noted that the point of this discussion has almost NOTHING TO DO with the live-action movie, and yet… after that… that’s the only thing being discussed, and the entire point has been missed.

    That’s not to say there’s plenty to discuss with regards to the movie, but the movie was nothing more than a stepping stone with which to discuss a bigger idea, and that idea seems to have been tossed aside in all subsequent comments.

    I know, I know… welcome to the Internet, Mike…

  22. Jason Nimer Avatar
    Jason Nimer

    Off-topic, on-topic, movie, dub, Funimation, Toei, Jump… none of it truly matters, does it? No… everyone is going to enjoy the property in their own special way. No two fans are the same, and no two people on the Internet have ever agreed on anything 100%.

    None of this should matter to you if you don’t have the first four Dragonball Creatures toys somewhere in your home. Order them, be amazed and rejoin the rest of the class once you’ve caught up.

  23. Albert Fernandez Avatar
    Albert Fernandez

    To sum up my last post, all I was trying to say is that we’re all equal fans but on different levels, none of us are better fans than anybody else. I have realized not to compare myself to other people, and everyone else should do the same. You will find out that life becomes more pleasant that way. You will find a lot of ignorant, hating, and misunderstanding people on the internet, theres really nothing you can do but just ignore them, and not let them get to you. That’s what I do and it works great. Who cares what other people think. Live your life so that you are happy.

    God Bless,


  24. Forgotten Hero Avatar

    @Vegetto EX

    I understand what the entry was about (people will believe/hear what they want). I just wanted to respond to Dragonball Evolution here since I’m a little late to respond how I felt about episode 168.

    To respond to the purpose, “welcome to the Internet, Mike.” Realistically, welcome to life. People will do anything to get what they want in order to find self satisfaction, or whatever desire they’re pursuing. I’m sure you’re use to that by now.

  25. Josh Avatar


    That’s… depressing.

  26. JoseMP Avatar

    Take a look, a good review of this movie:

  27. Albert Alonso Avatar
    Albert Alonso

    I really wish that all of this senseless bickering about “oh, you have to watch the movie even if it sucks otherwise you’re not a DB fan” or “oh, I don’t support this movie because it’s not a decent adaptation of the show”. Blah, blah, blah. Listen, we all know the movie is going in a different direction from the source material. Some of you may accept it, some of you may not.
    What is important here is to NOT use this movie as a scale to measure if a person is a “true” Dragon Ball fan. Like Mike said,
    it does not make him, or anyone for that fact, any less of a fan if you do not like certain incarnations of the series. In Mike’s case, it’s the english dub. In my case, it’s the Chinese live-action movie. So, do yourselves, and everyone else on the internet, a favor: SHUT……UP!!!!

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