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Remembering Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks




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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 820
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 9:33 am Reply with quote
The tv specials kinda show that Toei sometimes better at writing drama than Toriyama. Nobody in Barock's and Trunks' stories is safe from violence. No Dragon Balls or Namek Dragon Balls. Dead is permanent. Trunks is quite of a tragic hero who really stands out in the Android saga not only for his entry but also backstory. What is really annoying that the constant abuse he suffers from the typical whiny Vegeta who doesn't care a thing about his son at all. And to make the writing even worse in the manga, Vegeta exposes grief for his son..... after he is randomly killed. Way to write a hero. Trunks is revived thanks to the deus ex machina and thankfully has his story concluded. Seriously thing important happens. Nothing that might hurt more character and make recycled heroes take over the spotlight again.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1899
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 11:12 am Reply with quote
The History of Trunks is my single favorite part of the Dragon Ball franchise. It’s dark and emotional, and it has a real sense of stakes that other parts of the franchise lack, due in part to the dragon balls being gone. Also, Trunks is a million times more interesting than Goku. He’s a young man that’s suffered his entire life, and seeing him cry and scream at the loss of his best friend set a positive example for me as a kid that it’s okay for men to let their emotions come out. It’s a powerful scene, and it still gives me chills to this day. I also like his quiet and more introverted personality, but that he’s still cocky and reactive at other times. It’s interesting to compare the present-timeline Trunks’ more carefree personality at the end of DBZ. He hasn’t suffered his entire life, so it makes sense for his personality to be different. I also appreciate his meaningful relationships with Gohan and Bulma in this film, and both characters give the film a lot of dramatic weight. Also, the androids are badass villains, and far more unique than Cell or Majin Buu ever were, and their cold, cynical personalities are more terrifying, and their sarcastic behavior makes them super entertaining. They’re also not the typical macho villains. They’re a teenage girl and boy with a stylish, almost blatantly feminine appearance. Actually, the entire film comes across as almost nihilistic, but I honestly appreciate that as well. I’ve always been more attracted to darker and melodramatic material, and nowhere in the franchise is that on display better than here and the Bardock special. They have so much more substance and character development than the other films, which are pretty much a waste of time to watch IMO. I loved everything DBZ as a kid because of the darker, more theatrical story than anything else I had access to on TV, but there’s a reason I watched this film over and over, and can still quote the whole thing.

Oh, and I also enjoy the US music, if only because it fits my tastes more (Dream Theater’s Through Her Eyes was a very emotional way to end the film, and it’s sorely missed from the more recent releases). Actually, the dub as a whole still holds up very well, unlike FUNi’s other early work with the series.
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Beansprout Midget



Joined: 17 Apr 2016
Posts: 144
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 2:00 pm Reply with quote
I have a very distinct memory of watching this for the first time. I had already seen the other movies when they aired on Nicktoons, and I figured this movie would be just like it. But as I started the recording, within a few minutes, child-self realized this is...different

I already had valuable memories from growing up with Dragon Ball. But I distinctly remember the scene of spoiler[Trunks finding Future Gohan's body], and probably will forever. I was home alone, and it was raining, just like it was in the scene. Feeling the dread seep in, feeling that true sadness turning into spoiler[Trunks going SSJ for the first time]...it's a scene that made child-self just heart-broken. It was the first time I think I cried over a TV show.

Goku going Super Saiyan the first time was awe and hype. It was foreshadowed and brought up so much, so child-self was excited to see what would happen, especially when I hadn't ever seen it before. But Future Trunks really put things into perspective.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 1183
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I watched History of Trunks when it aired on Toonami, but did so without having watched the original Dragon Ball Z, so without the context of the Androids Saga to explain who Trunks even was and why his backstory mattered, all I was left with was an anime that practically traumatized me through its constant barrage of senseless character deaths. Hell, I was so shaken up by spoiler[Gohan's death], not only did I completely ignore spoiler[Trunks going Super Saiyan] right after, but I blocked the fact that spoiler[he did die] out of my memory.

I ultimately revisited it in 2016, after watching enough of Dragon Ball Z Kai to get the full gist that I was missing the first time, and knowing that everything that was happening was happening in an alternate timeline, I felt a little better about it. Still wasn't a great experience, though; the writing was solid, no question, but the Y7-level dub made it hard to take seriously, especially when the characters said "gosh" and "darn" instead of "god" and "damn", and it still bothers me to this day that they conveniently forgot that the Namekian Dragon Balls and Otherworld existed, purely to put up the illusion of death being absolutely final in this timeline. At least when Team Four Star handled Trunks, they rectified that issue (partially) by having Dr. Briefs f*ck off to space in search of New Namek.


Last edited by Takkun4343 on Wed May 05, 2021 4:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 2520
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 2:29 pm Reply with quote
This is my favorite piece of DBZ content and the only DB DVD I own (I'd pick up a BD set at this point for nostalgia, but there are so many different versions and releases, I'm just left waiting to see what the next one will be).
I haven't watched it in a while, so I don't know if it holds up well for me, but I remember it being a great OVA =)
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 1008
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 4:13 pm Reply with quote
I think the Trunks Special and the Bardock Special work becomes they are vastly different from the rest of the franchise. Dragon Ball can and has gotten dark since the arrival of Piccolo but as Toriyama is at heart, a wacky gag mangaka, there was always an edge of goofiness to even to the most serious of his arcs.

But in those two specials, there is no humor or levity, It's the stories of doomed and seemingly futile struggles against monstrously godlike foes played utterly straight. Bardock even more so as it's the tale of a bad man albeit a brave one who did care about his team of fellow planet-exterminating mercenaries making a defiant last stand against his even worse employer/overlord.

Two I will quibble with you about.

1.
Quote:
This does actually serve as great foreshadowing for his fate in the Cell Saga, where he surpasses Goku in every way (at least, until fan and publisher pressure to shove Goku back into the narrative wrecked Gohan's chances as DBZ's new protagonist).

That never happened. Toriyama just felt that Gohan didn't really work as well as the main protagonist of the series as his father did. Proof:https://www.kanzenshuu.com/intended-end/boo/

2.
Quote:
The animation is more miss than hit, even in the more visually impressive moments of the story.

And just what in 1990s animation are you comparing it to? For the Dragon Ball franchise and TV anime at the time, it's among the upper-echelon and holds up well enough.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 4602
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 8:48 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
The tv specials kinda show that Toei sometimes better at writing drama than Toriyama. Nobody in Barock's and Trunks' stories is safe from violence. No Dragon Balls or Namek Dragon Balls. Dead is permanent.


Well in the interest of fairness Planet Vegeta didn't have dragonballs whereas in Trunk's future the Earth's DragonBalls are gone (never explained what happened to Namek's DragonBall's in that timeline). So of course there's no safety net.

PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
The History of Trunks is my single favorite part of the Dragon Ball franchise. It’s dark and emotional, and it has a real sense of stakes that other parts of the franchise lack, due in part to the dragon balls being gone. Also, Trunks is a million times more interesting than Goku. He’s a young man that’s suffered his entire life, and seeing him cry and scream at the loss of his best friend set a positive example for me as a kid that it’s okay for men to let their emotions come out.


Hadn't Krillin, and Vegeta already shed tears in separate arcs by the time the special came out?
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1899
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 11:04 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Hadn't Krillin, and Vegeta already shed tears in separate arcs by the time the special came out?


Yes, but I never said that this came first, or even what I saw first. It was just the example that left the strongest impact on me.
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