Dragon Ball GT: A Damn Fun Ride

GMS here.  Damn, I know you barely see a lot of me, but I’ve been busy.  First post in a long while, so here goes!  I’m currently writing a review for Frozen and a few other assorted things, but right now I want to address something.  I was talking with a few of my friends who love anime and manga, and we came to the topic of Dragon Ball.  Arguing over how well Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball rate when compared to the fighting manga/anime of today led us to the topic of the GT anime, to which a bunch of my friends went on about how horrible and crappy it is.  Interesting….

Now, let’s all get one thing straight.  GT is bad.

But, is it really that bad? 

I personally really love GT.  Why?  I want to draw your attention to a quote on the back of the GT anime box set, from animenewsnetwork.com: “Dragon Ball GT is a fun ride.”  This is all GT was ever meant to be.  It wasn’t meant to be greater than Z or Ball at all.  Yes, many of the enemies are even more overpowered than even Kid Buu.  And Gogeta SSJ4?  Ridiculous.  The point to all of the overpowered enemies, I think, is to kind of poke fun at the Dragon Ball universe.  A sort of satire, if you will.  I mean, Omega Shenlong is pretty much god incarnate, and he could eat Buu in any of his forms for breakfast and ask for seconds.  You see, what I think Toriyama was going for was to combine Ball and Z into one anime, so as to appeal to those who like both.  And, well, it didn’t turn out that amazing.  Now, I would never consider this as one of the best anime of all time.  But, I think that it is an anime that everyone should see if you are a fan of DBZ, DB, or just anime in general.  There are some great moments here!  The Super 17 arc remains one of my favorite anime arcs ever!  Episode 55, The Heart of the Prince, is actually a really great retrospective on the relationship between Goku and Vegeta.  Piccolo’s sacrifice for the Earth is really moving, just as moving as Vegeta’s suicide in Z.  The Shadow Dragon and Baby sagas are great too!  GT has probably my favorite opening theme in any anime ever (no, not the shitty English one, I’m talking about the Japanese opening.  Give it a listen, you won’t regret it!).  The ending of GT is one of my favorite anime endings ever, as it goes through an entire retrospective of the series, ending with Goku saying goodbye to everyone.  It’s a tear-jerker, and it gets me every time.  Finally, the GT Movie is one of the best DB movies, in my opinion.

That’s not to say GT is without its flaws.  The Black Star saga sucks ass.  It’s terrible.  It’s basically a much lower-grade version of Dragon Ball.  I mean, it’s good for a little enjoyment, but I only really watched the whole thing once.  The Baby Saga is pretty good, but I’d still watch just about any saga in Z over this one.  The Shadow Dragon saga is pretty much crap too, up until the fire and ice dragons and the creation of Syn Shenlong, when it starts to get really good.  Whereas DBZ’s character development is skewered over multiple sagas and characters, far from a perfect way of doing it, GT’s character development is worse: it’s nonexistent.  Neither Goku, Pan, nor Trunks get any character development.  You’d think that when Goku shrunk that this would be an opportunity for some, but he is still pretty much as strong as before, so no.  Pan, first of all, doesn’t get any, and second of all, no one cares about her.  Third, Trunks doesn’t get any either.  Vegeta kind of goes through character development a bit, but it’s the same as before so I wouldn’t even consider it character development.  In the end, all of the characters are pretty static in their development throughout the story, leaving no area for profound development.  In reality, nothing about GT is profound or deep.  You could watch Naruto and find more deep stuff than in this show.

But that’s not the point. 

GT does its job very well: it’s an entertaining anime, with a very shitty, “so bad it’s good” first saga, and then a bunch of really overblown epic sagas following.  I equate GT to Flash Gordon the movie.  It has that same “so bad it’s good” quality to it that I can’t stop watching it.  In the end, I love GT for all of its flaws and triumphs.  GT demonstrates that not every anime can be perfect, some are even terrible, but if you enjoy watching it, than it has done its job.

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