Dragon Ball Z “It’s Over 9,000!” When Worldviews Collide – Review
Dragon Ball Z “It’s Over 9,000!” When Worldviews Collide forever changes how Dragon Ball fans view their favorite series. “It’s Over 9,000!” reveals the inner psychology and colliding worldviews of series protagonist Goku and his rival Vegeta, showing the reader how their conflict and competition for the ultimate power is necessary for profound personal growth and character development. Framed through the popular Internet meme that brought us the phrase, “It’s Over 9,000!”, author Derek Padula explains how social media allowed Dragon Ball Z a second opportunity to influence pop culture around the world.
Dragon Ball Z stands amongst one of the most popular animation franchises ever created – and for good reason. With a cast of creatively distinct characters, legendary battles, and a long-lasting, colorful narrative, Dragon Ball Z has become synonymous with Japanese animation itself, offering a reflective viewpoint of the popularity of anime culture known throughout Japan and the rest of the world at large. It would be appropriate to suggest Dragon Ball Z as a series that even non-anime viewers would have some familiarity with even if they’ve never read the manga, watched the television series or films, or encountered any of the products associated with the franchise. But when viewed as a collective expression of Japanese entertainment, Dragon Ball Z transcends numerous cultural barriers, and as any form of popular art, it can be elaborated upon to a considerable length regarding its suggestive themes, focuses, and cultural applications. With the book Dragon Ball Z “It’s Over 9,000!” When Worldviews Collide, we see author Derek Padula reflecting upon this very notion, coinciding one of the most popular Internet memes of all time with that of one of the most famous rivalries of all time shared between the characters of Goku and Vegeta.
Working with a framework surrounding the expansive growth of the “It’s Over 9,000!” quote by Vegeta, with its humble begins as a mistranslation to oddly transforming into that of a widespread Internet meme—a meme being a popular concept that spreads across culture—we see Padula extending further to elaborate on the various sociological issues that are suggested throughout the franchise in various ways. Viewing this primarily through the contrasting worldviews as seen in the personalities of Goku and Vegeta, Padula vividly explores the social implications that classism, spirituality, and racism plays within the Dragon Ball Z universe. Whether this is viewed in Goku’s willingness to see others as individuals with potential to improve their physical and mental standings within a society, to Vegeta vehemently seeing individuals through a rigid hierarchical class system, Padula provides a unique look into the Dragon Ball Z universe, nicely providing a mature viewpoint in which discussing the thematic values of the franchise can certainly arise.
In many ways, “It’s Over 9,000!” is a book that would be deemed beneficial to the most jaded of Dragon Ball Z fans and non-fans alike. It effectively reinvigorates the franchise through its articulate analysis of the two dynamical characters of Goku and Vegeta, which provides the series with an overall deeper correlation between their world and our very own. Dragon Ball Z isn’t solely about “cool fights” or “badass characters,” which one would be foolish to deny remains a popular aspect of the franchise, but Padula looks beyond these elements to present a profound treatise on the relevance of the series to the very nature of humanity itself, exploring the various levels in which the human condition factors into the art form we know as Dragon Ball Z. He couples this with elements of Eastern spiritual ideologies as well, which further elaborates on the mythology surrounding the series as a whole. Padula looks at the spiritual foundations between the elements of nature and nurture shared between the two rivals, questioning their initial roles as the “good guy”—Goku—and “bad guy”—Vegeta and breaking down the mere superficial classifications that are often ascribed to these two characters. Padula explores both Goku and Vegeta’s rather complex worldviews, looking at intensively at the influences that contributed to their perceived roles within their respective societies and abroad. The proposals Padula brings forth aren’t simply superficial either—he presents logical evidence that can be found throughout the entirety of the series to support his claims, an approach that removes much of the unnecessary speculation that often plagues similar books of these type.
And while similar books have often relied on red herrings to escape from the inherent logical fallacies in their arguments, Padula remains steadfast in delivering a refreshing view of an iconic franchise. Offering a detailed look into the relationship and rivalry of two of the most famous characters within Japanese animation history, “It’s Over 9,000!” is unafraid to delve into what many simply put off as just another “fighting” anime series—which is far from the truth, as Padula so effectively displays here. The character development of both Goku and Vegeta is interesting to begin with—one being attributed as a lower-class individual, the other being of high-class royalty—but Padula delves into the philosophical viewpoints that each character expresses as they develop throughout the series. Considering these aspects of the book, “It’s Over 9,000!” is a surprisingly insightful, intelligent, and mature read, therein providing a newfound appreciation towards the pop cultural phenomenon known as Dragon Ball Z that will sure to please.
Table of contents
1. “It’s Over 9,000!”
2. When World Views Collide: Goku versus Vegeta
3. A Thin Slice of Dragon Ball
Author: Miguel Douglas
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