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I recently finished watching Dragon Ball GT for the first time and I thought it would be fun to write down some of my thoughts. I've always thought about making my own blog, and maybe I still will, but for now...hey I can blog on Newgrounds. Keep in mind I did not go over and check what I wrote and I write VERY stream of conscious so I'm sorry if it's messy. I'm an Animator, not a Writer, as much as I want to be both (and will be)


Cool part of OP 1

DB GT is such a weird beast because I simultaneously don't get why it's hated so much but also completely get it. I'd been hearing that it sucks for as long as I've been listening to what online critics have to say but over the years I've realized online critics can be full of it so I was excited to jump in myself and give it a fair shake.

My thoughts summed up are this: The first half is a fun, if a little rocky, and interesting way to follow up the original Dragon Ball. The second half is mostly bad lol.

I thought the whole space adventure to get new dragon balls was pretty fun and changing Goku back to a kid again worked as a callback but also to nerf the character cuz, let's be real, end-of-Z-Goku would be so over-leveled for this quest. It's not like all the adventures and side characters hit but stories are typically one episode long so it doesn't really matter. The allegiance of Gil and in general the robot planet which connects him to Baby was prolly my favorite part. The visuals are nice. Nothing jaw dropping but a nice continuation of where Z left off. Nakatsuru was a good pick for adapting this era of Toriyama art.


Some Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru art from the era. As you can say he's freakishly good at matching Toriyama's then-current art style.

Lots of sites divide the ball hunting and fighting Baby into two arcs which makes sense but one kinda leads into the other which I think was cool. Baby himself was...interesting. I actually like him a decent amount. It's obvious he was never gonna be up there with the big bads of the OG story but his parasitic nature and earth ruling via taking over bodies is cool and unique to Dragon Ball. I'm also happy to say Super Saiyan 4 has finally grown on me and I like it, partially cuz it turns Goku back into a cool dad.

That's all fairly positive, and for the first 40 episodes, GT is a fun little watch. Doesn't compare to the main show but not bad at all. I thought after SSJ4 that the Goku-being-a-kid arc was over...but no. Goku stays a kid which is just kinda weird. Like he goes back to being an adult when he transforms but always goes back to baby Goku after the fact. Is ChiChi really okay with that? I feel like this one thing sums up the 2nd part of GT well. It's like well shit we did our throwback space adventure into big bad battle...Now we have no idea what to do and the rest of the story really would've fit adult Goku more.

Super 17 sucks. I mean it's over quick, only 6 episodes, but it's bad by mid ass dbz movie standards. The setup is dumb and makes no sense and it’s a complete waste of 17’s character who I would’ve been happy to see more of. The only redeeming aspect is the final battle is a team up of Goku and Android 18 which is a cool combo, always nice to see 18 do some fighting.

SIDE NOTE: I had totally forgot about episode 41 which is usually considered part of this arc but is, if I’m not forgetting anything, the only completely self contained, not a part of a larger arc, totally episodic episode in the original Toei run which is…weird. Fun episode though.

The Evil Dragon Arc is better but mostly conceptually. Like the idea of the dragon balls retaliating because of overuse is great and totally the perfect way to end the entire series imo. If only they had toriyama’s writing chops because the result is very bland. Just some okay fights with some okay bad guys. The sillier designs are fine but the designs of the last couple dragons Goku fights are really ugly and uninspired, matching the personalities I guess. Although I do think that one of the dragons being converted to Goku’s side mid fight is a neat idea. The saving grace is the final battle is pretty alright, mostly because it’s a Goku-Vegeta team up match and their banter back and forth is fun. Plus I mean SSJ4 Vegeta and Gogeta. Cool, man. I don’t know why this transformation gives Vegeta biker jeans but I fuck with it.


Old man yaoi

And the ending, it’s not bad. I’ve heard it described as “the best ending Dragon Ball has ever had” and, yeah I can see how people would think that, not sure I agree just yet but I see it. Goku flying around to all his friends while saying goodbye was very sweet, especially the scene with Krillin. It’s touching, watching them reminisce about when they were both kids. They really have come far…except Goku is still a kid. Honestly that kinda sours the potentially emotional scene for me like I want Goku and Krillin to be old buddies catching up. One of my favorite shots from DBZ is the first episode where a grown up Bulma says “Man we’ve known each other for so long. Crazy to think this is where we ended up.” It then cuts to a shot of Son Goku, fully grown into an adult, with his first son. Just hammering in the growth that he’s gone through. Perfect Shot.

I haven’t been speaking too much about visuals because being honest they didn’t really stand out to me. They weren’t bad and I like some key episodes but overall it’s just kind of…late 90s Dragon Ball standard. Maybe my least favorite era of Toriyama art style being honest (The skinnier, cuter style he got into in the 2000s to the present day I actually enjoy a lot.)

One last thing I wanna touch on. While watching, I was comparing this show a lot to Dragon Ball Super. Both are Toei’s follow up to the original story and it’s interesting how the two shows are honestly complete opposites in a lot of ways (at least to me). 

Broadly speaking, I think GT starts good and gets bad while Super starts bad and gets better. I’m struggling to think about how to word this naturally and not like a bullet point list so instead I’ll just make it a bullet point list. Keep in mind when I talk about Super I’m mostly talking about everything after the two movie recap arcs (They’re both bad. Just watch Battle of Gods, it's really good.) Also I’m not counting the two Super branded movies that came out after the show ended. Just know they are both really really good and you should watch them.

  • Structurally, GT feels much more like it’s trying to evolve the series (Except for Super 17). To take it in a new direction, especially in the first arc. Even when it switches to fighting seven strong guys, the context is at least new and transformative. Super feels very stuck in its ways. Like it’s clinging onto old arc templates like tournaments or future Trunks stuff. That being said I think they figure out how to do those templates better as they go but it still feels rather indulgent.
  • Writing old characters, I have to give to GT. It’s not much but even in a kid’s body, Goku feels experienced and mature. Meanwhile, I really don’t like how Super writes Goku as this man baby. It’s as if they bought into TeamFourStar memes and forgot that Goku in Z, while selfish and dumb at times, was a much more mature Goku than kid him. I mean the fact that Super doesn’t think Goku knows what kissing is at this point is like, come on guys he has two kids.
  • Writing new characters, I will give the edge to Super. GT has some good newbies, like Gil, and some funny one off villains, but really not a ton of them are memorable at all and some are just boring and unlikable. I can’t imagine any of the Evil Dragons being anybody’s favorite character (even though there must be SOMEone…right?). Baby is a faint glimmer of something cool and I kinda like the robot guy they fight beforehand. Meanwhile on Super’s end, there’s a decent amount of newbies I quite enjoy. Of course there are plenty of nobody’s especially from the Universal Tournament but that’s more of Toei writing themselves into a trap by having so many entrants. Beerus and Whis are the obvious standouts. They deserve to be ranked high with the old gods and masters, especially when you start to piece together how they operate. The new Saiyans are really cool. Nice to see Saiyans who are more youthful and have room to grow. Hit is neat. Zamasu/Goku Black was a very unique idea for a villain and there are a couple tournament goers who I enjoy like the robot guy and Top. Can’t say the same for Jiren but oh well.
  • Visually, it’s a bit complicated but I do enjoy GT’s look more. Super came out in, what I like to call, the plastic era of Dragon Ball art. An era led by Tadayoshi Yamamuro who is a very stuck in his ways character designer who did good stuff on Z but really fell from grace. Stuff designs and ugly digital colours run amok. The new characters look better than the old characters but still. GT has really nice colours and average art quality is better but the reason I say it’s complicated is that GT doesn’t really stand out that much except for a couple episodes. Super’s production does improve as it goes on, as more animation directors are free to express themselves especially in the Universal Tourney. They just needed new character design sheets though. It never fully escapes the plastic. Funnily enough, even Toei realized this because after Super they got Naohiro Shintani to rework Dragon Ball's look and the next two movies look amazing, Banishing Yamamuro to work on Dragon Ball Heroes promotional movies. A fate worse than death.


Episode 15 of GT was a bit of a standout to me, visually. I love the colours of this desert planet and the storyboarding was really good. I think there may have even been some mixed media, with real pictures of sand used but it's hard to tell. It might just be very realistic painting.


Dragon Ball Super's plastic aesthetic. I've never been a fan of putting shading and highlights in Goku's hair. I feel like it just looks better as one solid colour.

  • MUSIC! I just realized I never talked about GT’s music in the main section of this review. Oh well. I mean this Super comparison is way too long so I guess this review has just become that now so let’s talk music. Both series are just kind of good. GT’s music is done by Akihito Tokunaga. He brings a much more dated, of-it’s-time sound to the music overall. It’s nice but it also kind of feels like music an american dub would replace a japanese score with, if that makes sense. (The actual American dub score is pretty hilariously bad). I do enjoy it from time to time, especially when it riffs on the show’s OP. Super’s music is done by Norihito Sumitomo. He’s somewhat infamous for his DBZ Kai score which is…just a mess that I weirdly enjoy. I think he does a decent job though. Pretty standard. Both shows have banger OPs and EDs though.

Well I think that’s about all I have to say on Dragon Ball GT. I’m sorry this was so weirdly messy and structured. I don’t care about going over and proofreading stuff like this, I just kind of let my mind write, stream of conscious style. Finally finishing GT was a nice feeling and overall I’m softer on it than most. If anything I just appreciate that it was an ending. Like it was the end of Dragon Ball. I feel like newer Dragon Ball would never do that sort of thing. Always gotta leave it open because what if we want to sell more trading cards! But I guess that’s also why GT happened in the first place. I don’t blame them, Toei animators gotta eat. It’s just rare to see things end nowadays. Like we can’t have a series be over, it’s always gotta be when’s the next one. And that’s not always bad, I mean I’m excited for more Dragon Ball. I like Dragon Ball. I guess I think about DB differently because in my head, the main story is over. We have the Dragon Ball original story as one complete thing in anime or manga form. But it means a lot to a lot of people and who am I to say new artists can’t put their own spin on it. I’m not really sure why I’m still typing. Dragon Ball GT.



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