Dragon Ball Z is an anime series that has a special place in the hearts of anime lovers worldwide. Since its inception, the protagonist Goku has shown us what it means to save the world from oppression and tyranny. His ideals and his breathtaking speech against Freiza are truly things that we won’t like to forget. After its return to the TV set as Dragon Ball Super, it can personify the same of level of interest or even more since its first came out more than a decade ago.
Dragon Ball Z is a franchise that has amassed a solid fan base. But despite the increasing viewership all around the world, major entertainment companies have shied away from the idea of a real action film. Studios like Fox have tried to adapt the anime in the past, but the efforts were mostly in vain. Today we discuss the reason for Dragon Ball’s failure and how studios can rectify and learn from those mistakes when producing any such movie in the future.
The thing that I find wrong with anime adaptions is the consistent habit of movie studios deviating from the story lines of famous characters. Street Fighter is one such adaption that has this problem. Most of Street Fighter movies instead of focusing on Ryu and Ken digress from the subject and anchor their efforts on less popular protagonists such as Chun Li and Guile.
Dragon Ball Evolution similarly limited their focus on Piccolo. For those of you who have seen the anime, know that Piccolo is a villain turned hero. Fans aren’t accustomed seeing him on the dark side and thus didn’t resonate with him in the movie. Moreover, Piccolo is someone who lacks the elements that most of the fans are used to seeing in the anime. In short, the Dragon Ball community is way past seeing Piccolo as a villain. So, what would have attracted the current Dragon Ball Community to pay those greens and come watch the movie?
An origin story of the Saiyans and Planet Vegeta could have been an ideal starting point. Fans throughout Dragon Ball history have expressed curiosity on the Saiyan subject. The Saiyans rise against the Tuffle race, way of living and then defeat at the hands of Freiza could have clearly elevated the mood of the community. Moreover, Bardock (Goku’s Father) could have been the main protagonist. His final battle against Freiza and Goku’s departure to Earth could have surely raised up the bar.
The problem with Dragon Ball Evolution was that it was too sudden. While the oldies knew what was happening, the movie did little do make the characters familiar with fans. Even the older fans felt that they had already seen these things before and there was little differentiation. An origin story would give the fans a clear introduction to the Saiyans, their nature and how one Saiyan changed after being sent to Earth.
While the story had its flaws the direction and effects weren’t too impressive. The world of technology has clearly evolved, and the studio could have done more to lift up the mood. The acting wasn’t also that impressive. The movie seemed like a low budget movie with little interest shown by the Fox studio.Also it did not help that they cast a Caucasian actor (Justin Chatwin) as the main protagonist. I understand why a white male may have been cast to appeal to a US audience , but what I don’t understand is why cast someone who looks nothing like Goku in terms of physical stature. The movie atleast could have been a little believable had the lead atleast embodied some characteristics of Goku.
Now that Disney has taken over Fox, we might see a new Dragon Ball movie in the near future. Disney has truly seen the potential of super heroes through its Marvel universe. It can do the same with the anime universe with Dragon Ball Z. Disney is a great company when it comes to storytelling and bringing the plot togetehr. Maybe if the studio is patient with the Dragon Ball Z Franchise it can have another fruitful venture and can enter a largely untapped segment of the global market.
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