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
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
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.
Android 18 and Krillin
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).
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
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!