Why The Relationships In Dragon Ball Make A lot of Sense!

Happy Valentines day! Today we’re going to talk about one of my favourite mature love stories … Dragon Ball! No I’m not kidding! As an adult, I now see that all the relationships in Dragon Ball make a ton of sense!

Goku and ChiChi

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Goku is a really good guy. Very strong, talented, but also not super bright or educated. He knocks up his first girlfriend and they have a kid when they’re both teenagers. Fortunately she also has a good heart and they stick together. I used to wonder why Goku would put up with all of Chi Chi’s nagging, but now I see it’s necessary. Goku is the strongest man in the world, but he’s also incredibly irresponsible and doesn’t know how to make a living (we all know really super talented people like this). To be quite frank, he’s something of a terrible father. Chi Chi realises that their son Gohan needs an education in order to have a life that doesn’t involve killing dinosaurs for sustenance. However, Chi Chi and Goku do have a special understanding of one another as they are childhood sweethearts who grew up stomping around in the wilderness. They understand one another.

Bulma and Vegeta

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Bulma is the smartest woman on earth. Her first boyfriend is Yamcha, a handsome rogue. They end up together after an amazing, life changing journey across the globe. But the adventure ended the magic wore off (how many of you have been through this, raise your hand). So moving on with her life, who is worthy to be the husband of the most intelligent, capable, wealthiest woman in the world? Prince Vegeta of the Planet Vegeta (the Saiyan home world is named after his family!). He no longer has his wealth, but why does Bulma need that? Vegeta’s got a temper, but he’s reliable and smart and ultimately very reasonable. Also he comes from high class and he’s the second strongest man in the universe. It doesn’t matter that he’s not the first, because Goku’s basically her kid brother. For Vegeta, he’s basically marrying the princess of Earth and also the only person in the universe who can build him a gravity chamber. What holds these two together isn’t passionate romance, but the way their lives compliment one another in the long term.

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Ever notice that Yamcha never talks to Vegeta after he marries Bulma?

Android 18 and Krillin

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Android 18 and Krillin. That was a surprise, but was it really? Android 18 is a calm, self assured, borderline sociopath. She’s the strongest woman in the universe (she kicked the sh*t out of EVERYONE for a while). She doesn’t need a strong man, she wants someone likeable and reliable who will never challenge her, only support her. Krillin catches her attention because he’s actually SCARED when he’s out there fighting the Androids. While everyone else is excited to fight strong opponents, he’s terrified, but he still shows up. In some ways he’s the bravest character in the series. He gets his one chance to deactivate her, but he doesn’t. That’s probably the first time in her life that someone gave her the benefit of the doubt. She loves him because he’s a good guy (that she can totally own). And he is ok with that because she’s smokin’ hot and can beat up the guy who almost killed him (Vegeta).

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She is his dream girl and he is a rock that she can utterly rely on (in fact he’s probably by all accounts the best father in the whole series).

Gohan and Videl

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Their relationship starts off because Gohan is a dork (a strong and handsome dork), and Videl forced herself on him (since no one else on earth in her age range is more worthy). Gohan is used to obeying strong women in his life. Although Videl’s father, Mr Satan stole credit for saving the earth from Goku, Chi Chi is willing to overlook this because Videl’s family has wealth and status. For Videl, Gohan’s family provides authenticity that is lacking in her life. Videl and Gohan are both martial artists with a strong sense of pride in where they come from. Gohan’s humble nature compliments Videl’s overflowing confidence. They balance each other out.

As a kid I didn’t think these relationships made sense, because they didn’t fit the typical romantic mould you see in most stories. Now I see they’re actually very true to life. The best relationships are partnerships where both people come out stronger. The best things in life get even better as you look deeper into them. They age with you. Dragon Ball is one of my favorite things. I look forward to revisiting Dragon Ball in the future as I go through more milestones in life!

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The Real Life Inspirations behind Indivisible

Welcome to Art-Eater! I’m Richmond Chaisiri. You may remember me from such articles as “Darkstalkers and the 12 Principles of Animation” or “A Buddhist’s Guide to Asura’s Wrath.” Today I’m here to tell you about the real world influences behind the colorful cast of Indivisible, an upcoming RPG from Lab Zero, creators of Skullgirls.

(This is a Simpson's bit. Do kids still know bout Troy Mcclure?)
(This is a Simpson’s bit. Do kids still know bout Troy Mcclure?)

You can download a very impressive demo of the game here: http://indivisiblegame.com/

And if you like what you see, you can fund the game here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/indivisible-rpg-from-the-creators-of-skullgirls#/

Now let’s get to analyzing!

Ajna


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The main character of indivisible is Ajna, a young martial artist who draws on South East Asian cultures for inspiration. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, “Ajna” is the name of the 6th primary chakra. Chakra are 7 points running down the center of the body that regulate spiritual energy.

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The Ajna chakra is located between the eyebrows and represents wisdom and intuition. It is believed that spiritual energy enters the body through the Ajna. It is often referred to as the “third eye” and often depicted as such in art.

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The Ajna chakra appears frequently in Buddhist and Hindu imagery

Many Buddhists and Hindus wear a bindi, a bright red spot of color applied at the center of the forehead to represent the Ajna chakra. Continue reading “The Real Life Inspirations behind Indivisible”

Words That Kill: Metal Gear and the Genocide of Native Americans

The following is an analysis of the latest and final Metal Gear Solid V trailer, cut by Hideo Kojima himself. As with the previous E3 trailers, this one beautifully sets up the themes of the game set to awesome music. This analysis will focus primarily on the theme of language as a tool of subjugation and how that relates to the Native American experience.

The characters in the trailer make many bold statements about how language is core to human identity and also the most powerful tool there is for control over society. I’d first like to focus on the passage spoken by Code Talker.

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“Since ancient times, every civilization’s ruler has had the same idea: When people unite under one will, they become stronger than the sum of their parts. And what do rulers use to bring people together? Language.”

Code_Talker

Code Talker is described as “a wise man denied his homeland.” It’s very important to note that he is Native American. His name is a reference to real life “code talkers,” who used Native American languages to transmit secret coded messages during World War 2.

Real American heroes. Navajo code talkers during WW2.
Navajo code talkers during WW2.

Code talker is played by Jay Tavare, an actor who has previously won “Best Actor” at the American Indian Film Festival. He is also a notable blogger and supporter of Native American non-profit groups.

Also he totally played Vega in the classic 1994 film Street Fighter: The Movie
Also he totally played Vega in the classic 1994 film Street Fighter: The Movie

So why is it so important that Code Talker is the one delivering this message to Big Boss? Because every statement about language in this trailer has directly played out in the real life history of the various Native American peoples. Continue reading “Words That Kill: Metal Gear and the Genocide of Native Americans”

[spoilers] We Are Not Things: The Themes and Imagery of Mad Max: Fury Road [spoilers]

Warning: This post contains many plot spoilers for the film Mad Max: Fury Road. Please don’t read any further if you don’t wish to learn of major plot points and themes in this wonderful film.

We (Richmond & Andy) were lucky enough to catch Mad Max: Fury Road in Thailand a few days before most of the English speaking world. Here’s a quick brain dump on the themes and imagery in this fantastic film.

Also, here's some awesome art from Weigy
Also, here’s some awesome art from Weigy. Check out more of his work at:
http://weigy.tumblr.com/

Mad Max: Fury Road is a story about human beings fighting against objectification in the most literal interpretation of the word. The desolate earth of the post apocalypse is a cruel place where simply surviving is a constant struggle. In this harsh environment people have  been reduced to objects valued only for their utility.

The film opens with Max being caught by Joe’s henchmen as he is very literally driven to madness by hallucinations of past failure. Max is stripped down, shaved, and his back is tatooed with his nutritional information. We hear from the excited chatter of one of the captors that Max is a universal blood doner, which is important to the plot and also has great symbolic value (more on this later). He is very literally reduced to a commodity to be consumed.

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We are introduced to Immortan Joe looking down on high from his mountain citadel upon hordes of disheveled worshippers. The peaks of the citadel are covered in lush greenery seen nowhere else in the wasteland, the only way to reach there is by a gigantic lift powered by children turning cogs. Within the citadel are stables full of women milked like cows to provide nutrition for a chosen few. Immortan Joe himself is part machine, kept alive by a breathing aparatus. In this world, the common person has been reduced to a literal cog in a machine while Joe sits on top and is very literally kept alive by this machine.

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Just like Lord Humongous, Immortan Joe is also associated with military imagery

Continue reading “[spoilers] We Are Not Things: The Themes and Imagery of Mad Max: Fury Road [spoilers]”

Naruto and The Red Thread of Fate

 

 

I recently saw The Last: Naruto the Movie in theaters. Thought I’d share some quick thoughts.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead!

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Still with me? Good!

One of my favorite things about Japanese animation and comics is that on top of plot and characters, the stories tend to be very theme driven. And those themes are often reinforced with consistent symbolic imagery. One of the central images in The Last: Naruto The Movie is the “red thread of fate.” Longtime readers of Art-Eater (is there such a thing? :O) will already be familiar with this classical allusion when we first wrote about it as a central motif in Kill La Kill.

Read about it here!
Read about it here!

Continue reading “Naruto and The Red Thread of Fate”