5 Communist and Socialist Elements in Dragon Ball

Hitler Heil's Hello in DBZ Movie 12

Hitler Heil’s Hello in DBZ Movie 12

There are many unique aspects to the Dragon Ball series and several may contain socialist and communist elements. In this article I will introduce 5 of them.

They are the following:

  • Red Army
  • Stars
  • Hitler
  • Hooked Cross Z
  • One World Government

The elements on this list are the results of watching the Dragon Ball series and seeing what is already there.  I am not making any of these up.

This article is not only here to reveal what was in front of us all along, but to also help explain how and why.

Red Star Hammer and Sickle

Red Star Hammer and Sickle

Please keep in mind that Dragon Ball is above all else a fun and lighthearted show with a heavy dose of silliness and martial arts antics.  These socialist and communist elements do not detract from the Dragon Ball experience in any way.

It’s possible you may disagree with some of the inherent meaning behind these elements within the series, and a lot has been said about one of them in particular, but that does not take away from the fact that they are there to begin with and left for us to explore and understand.

If you have any thoughts on their meaning and why the creator’s put them in, then please state your thoughts in the comments below.

Now let’s begin our adventure.

Red Army

The Red Army is a term used to describe an army that gathers under the Red Flag, a militaristic symbol of a Communist force.

The term Red Army was first coined by its commander Leon Trotsky to refer to the newly created army of Soviet Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.  The term continued to be used in Europe for the next several decades and became synonymous with violence, bloodshed and power.  Afterward, the term spread east when Mao Zedong created his own Red Army in China, which would later be known as the People’s Liberation Army.  Both of these army’s militarily dominated Asia for several decades, including several wars with the Japanese, the birthplace of Dragon Ball.

Commander Red

Commander Red

We find the Red Army in Dragon Ball in the form of the Red Ribbon Army, a spoof like representation of a unified military threat.  Most of the Red Ribbon Army and all of its leaders are “Foreigners,” i.e. Westerners (or talking bipedal animals).  They represent the stereotypical socialist or communist army trouncing across the country and taking whatever they want with their military might.

The Red Ribbon Army has a collection of foot soldiers, military experts, assassins, evil scientists, technicians, a mobile division (speeders, trucks and tanks), a flight division (planes, helicopters), a sea division (subs, boats), killer robots, androids and special operatives (scuba divers, flamethrower shock troops) and more.  Red Ribbon Army headquarters is a huge base surrounded by and filled with defensive weapons technology.

They appear to be depicted like the army of an evil villain in a James Bond film.  Though more accurately they are reminiscent of the Red Army of Soviet Russia, upon which many of the James Bond villains were based.

The main theme that accompanies the Red Ribbon Army contains the following lyrics (translated):

Dye a red ribbon in a sea of blood

Hands of demons creep through the wilderness

A screen which reflects the dark desires

The leader, Red, watches and laughs

Blue, Black, Silver, the sky is scorched

Yellow, White, Brown, a mechanical army

Only if we conquer everything in this world

will our supreme pride be fulfilled

Soldier Red Ribbon

We’ll drop the world into a deep terror

Soldier Red Ribbon

The demons that came from hell

Red Ribbon Army

All of the soldiers are dressed resembling World War II era troops with a minimum of personal equipment, consisting primarily of a jacket, baggy trousers, a rifle and high-top boots.  The Red Ribbon Army’s “RR” logo is placed on their chest and hat.  The elite soldiers wear colored “RR” logo armbands to denote their superior rank.

Red Ribbon Army's Red Flag

Red Ribbon Army’s Red Flag

The “RR” logo stands for “Red Ribbon” and is usually seen as a symmetrical red ribbon with white text placed anywhere the logo could be applied, such as on a military uniform or tank.  But it is also seen on a Red Flag that is very similar to Stalinist and Nazi versions of the Red Flag.

General Blue

General Blue

In addition, one of their leaders, General Blue, is based on the ideal disciplined soldier of Hitler’s eugenics program.  Blue is lean and strong with blond hair and blue eyes and it is implied that he is of German descent as he speaks German in one line of the English comic book, saying the phrase “Auf Wiedersehen” (Goodbye).  He is the strongest fighter of all the Red Ribbon Army soldiers and matches up against Goku for several episodes, employing super human strength and psychic abilities.  The funny thing is that in the anime Toriyama made him into a very effeminate (with implied homosexuality) character.  He loves his own appearance, stops to smell the roses and is disgusted by mice.  However in the comic book he is much more serious and clever.

The Red Ribbon Army is already well established by the time Goku comes along, and they have generated a healthy dose of fear and respect in the world community.

The Red Ribbon Army met its match time and time again at the hands of Goku, and he defeated them almost entirely by himself.  He had some slight assistance from a few companions he met along the way, but there were no other Z warriors or main characters of the series involved.  Just him against an entire communist inspired army.  And he won.

Stars

Red Star of Communism

Red Star of Communism

Stars are another communist symbol, and they are frequently seen in the Dragon Ball series because each of the dragonballs contains stars.  Red five-pointed stars in particular carry the most symbolism.

The five-pointed Red Star is a symbol of communism and socialism movements in general.  There are different interpretations as to why this is, and the argument is often made that the five points represent the five fingers of the common worker’s hand, or the five major continents of the world that will one day be ruled under a communist government.  It could also be indicative of the five forces that would bring communism to power, namely the youth, the military, industrial laborers, peasants and intelligentsia.

The Red Star is a symbol used throughout all Communist nations, along with the Sickle and Hammer, and can be seen on national monuments and government buildings as well as flags and military uniforms.

Often times the Red Star will stand alone or be outlined in yellow on a red background.  Sometimes the stars will be completely yellow on a red background or feature multiple yellow stars arranged around one another, such as in the Chinese Communist Party flag.

Dragonball Collection

Dragonball Collection

The seven dragonballs are a golden orange amber type color and the five-pointed stars inside them are all red.  The seven balls are named by the amount of stars that each ball contains, such as the 1-star ball, the 4-star ball and so on.  The dragonballs naturally play a major role in the series and so we see this imagery again and again.

But we also see stars elsewhere.

We spot a red five-pointed star time and again on Emperor Pilaf, another diminutive character with an out of control ego questing for more power, power that can only be granted by the dragonball’s.  Pilaf is a blue skinned impish character that repeatedly has his plans foiled by Goku’s presence.  Goku doesn’t even go out of his way to interfere with Pilaf’s schemes; they keep bumping into one another as if it were fated to be.

Pilaf wears a red and blue cap with a black band around the rim.  A red five-pointed star is placed on a yellow background front and center.

Emperor Pilaf

Emperor Pilaf

It’s possible that the star is there to represent his “Imperial Status” as stars have also been used throughout medieval history to denote royalty.  But once again Toriyama has left us with no explanation.

The shape-shifting pig Oolong also wears a Red Star on his hat in the beginning of the series.  He is a short and fat pig seen dressed in a green Chinese Communist style uniform similar to the one Mao Zedong would have worn.

It’s not known exactly why Toriyama decided to create him to look like a Chinese Communist soldier, but it’s possible that he was trying to take a jab at the CCP by dressing up a pig in their clothes and making him short, fat, obnoxious, loud and selfish.  What do you guys think?

Oolong in CCP Clothing

Oolong in CCP Clothing

Goku and his traveling companion Bulma soon trick Oolong into traveling along with them on their quest for the dragonballs, and while Oolong never really improves his demeanor he does learn to tolerate his new friends, at least more so than he did initially.  He stays with them for the rest of the series.

In addition, we see the star in every episode of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, as they are featured in the logos.  Dragon Ball Z’s logo has a small orange 1-star ball standing in for the “O” in Dragon.  Dragon Ball GT’s star is placed inside the “O” of Dragon and is a red five-pointed star on a yellow background, like the one Pilaf wore before.  It can also be seen in logos of derivative works, such as the video game Dragon Ball Online where the red star inside a circle is used as the entire “O” of Dragon once again.

So why are there so many stars in Dragon Ball?

We are left to ponder.

Hitler

The biggest and most frequently talked about reference to socialism in Dragon Ball is Hitler himself.  Hitler is in Dragon Ball Z Movie 12, Fusion Reborn (Japanese title:  The Rebirth of Fusion!  Goku and Vegeta!) as a guest villain who comes back from the dead after a demon takes control of the underworld and the laws of life and death.

Hitler comes back to life with his whole zombie army and rolls his tanks through the city, crushing cars and barking out orders like the dictator he is.

He is depicted as a diminutive man (once again) dressed in a purple Nazi uniform with a red “X” armband wrapped around his left arm.  The red “X” is also on the front of his hat.  This is because the Nazi double hooked cross (German: Hakenkreuz), which we often refer to as a Swastika, was replaced by the red “X” for censoring issues.  Aside from those changes he looks just like his namesake, mustache and all.

Hitler starts to destroy the city and is challenged by Goku’s son Goten alongside Vegeta’s son Trunks.  Hitler orders his men to fire at the pre-teen boys and they dodge the hundreds of tank shells and bullets with ease.  The two pint-sized heroes make a mockery of his entire army while they punch and kick his tanks into tin cans.

Hitler screams to “Destroy the infidels!” and the pair turn into golden Super Saiya-jin fighters in response.  Their hair and eyes change color and they are surrounded by golden flames.  Hitler looks at them in confusion and replies, “Blonde hair, blue eyes, super strength, I should be recruiting them.”  Then he yells, “… Shoot them down, they are no match for us, they are inferior!”

In the Japanese version after a bit more fighting with Goten and Trunks he says, “What are they, bright youths outshining the gods?”

These comments are in reference to Hitler’s philosophy and world perspective, as he stands looking at that which he pursued in life, a master race of perfect warriors that are superior to anything created on earth and powerful enough to conquer heaven.  Slight downside is he’s not in control of them.

The line about “bright youths” is also a comment from Japanese parents on counter culture youth dying their hair blonde and other colors.  The joke is that Hitler thinks they are rebellious kids.

Goten and Trunks kill Hitler and destroy his zombie army, sending them back to where they came from.

Hitler’s presence in the movie and the “golden haired supermen” that defeat him have led many fans online toward a presumption that DBZ is racist or has racist connotations.  There are other pieces of supporting evidence to their arguments within the show, but this Hitler reference will almost invariably be used at some point in an argument on the topic.

This isn’t an issue that will be settled any time soon unless Toriyama decides to join the conversation.

Yet so far we have seen how Goku, who is believed to be natively Japanese by the Japanese people, has crushed a Western Red Army, repeatedly stopped an Emperor from ever gaining power, changed the wicked ways of a fat Chinese Communist pig, and now defeated Hitler himself through his superior genetic offspring of “supermen.”

What’s noteworthy is that this scene was cut from the German and French versions of the film due to strict prohibition of Nazi emblems and references.  Likewise it was removed from the Hebrew version of the film to avoid the sensitive nature of the scene in relation to Holocaust survivors.  It was also removed from the American televised version shown on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block.

Recognition of these separate yet relatable events that are already within Dragon Ball has caused some fans to question Toriyama’s motives.

Did Akira Toriyama have ulterior motives?  Unfortunately the definitive answer to the question is unknown.

Keep in mind it’s a parody scene and is humorous, but it’s still there nonetheless.  Quite an odd thing to include in a major theatrically released animated film, and it’s not something you would ever see in a Disney movie.

Hooked Cross Z

Dragon Ball Z Logo

Dragon Ball Z Logo

The Z in the Dragon Ball Z logo is very unique and unlike a regular roman alphabet Z.

The logo is something which has yet to be talked about on the net, and this may in fact be the first time anyone has discussed the logo in greater detail, at least from what my research has discovered.  I guess it’s just taken at face value, like many other logos.

This is my attempt to explain why the Z is drawn the way it is, as it is displayed promptly in every single episode, movie, video game and piece of related merchandise.   It is an iconic and easily recognizable logo and I am surprised no one has ever looked beyond its superficial value.

Perhaps you never gave it a second thought but it has some noteworthy aspects.

This Z has two unique elements. These are notably the hooked cross ends and the slanted cross in the middle.

The hooked cross ends of the Z in the logo are the ends that point both diagonally up and down, like the German hooked cross (German: Hakenkreuz).  A normal Z does not have these, and these two ends appear similar to a single hooked cross.

Please remember that the Swastika was two hooked crosses placed on top of one another and inverted.  I am not implying that the Z logo is a Swastika, rather I am saying that it resembles a single hooked cross.  If you placed another Z on top of the original than it would resemble a stylized swastika, but this is never seen in the series and a presupposition like that should not be made.  The Z just is what it is.

The second element is the slanted cross in the middle of the Z.  The cross is slanted from the top left to the bottom right in a form similar to a Russian cross.

Russian Cross

Russian Cross

A Russian cross is a variant of the familiar Latin cross, and is a three tiered cross (a Latin cross is one tiered).  The Russian cross’s first tier is a horizontal line near the top that stretches across half the horizontal distance.  The second tier is placed just beneath it and stretches all of the horizontal distance.  The third tier is short and placed near the bottom, where Jesus’ feet would have hung while on the Cross.  It is slanted from the top left to the bottom right.

There are different interpretations as to what the slanted cross means in the Biblical sense, but I’ll leave those to the Biblical scholars.

What does it mean in Dragon Ball Z?  Nothing as far as I can tell.  There does not appear to be any correlation between the slanted cross and the contents of the Dragon Ball series.

But in researching Z’s and their overall meaning I found that the Z is often associated with the lightning bolt, and a Z with a horizontal cross in the middle of it was once used by Hitler to denote his Socialist party, as seen in the yellow on black flag (pictured).

Crossed Z Hanging from Wall of German Town

Crossed Z Hanging from the Wall of a German Town

In addition, the Z and S in the German language are used interchangeably, as seen in the symbol for “SS,” two sharp S/Z lightning bolt shapes next to one another.

Furthermore, a single S or Z with a horizontal cross in the middle of it was the precursor to the use of a full double cross Swastika.  This is the single hooked cross.  At some point the single and the double hooked cross began to be used alongside one another.

Moreover, a study of Hitler’s signature shows that in the late 1930’s and early to mid 40’s he signed documents with an S/Z shaped lightning bolt shape, this time with a slanted cross like in the DBZ logo and third tier of the Russian cross.

Now all of that may sound very interesting, but there are no hard and fast correlations between Dragon Ball and the socialist party of Germany or the Nazi party and I don’t wish to make accusations or lead anyone to assumptions based on a small amount of conjectural evidence.  This is simply the best explanation I’ve come up with so far for the Z’s unique shape.

SS Logo

SS Logo

It’s entirely possible that Akira Toriyama merely thinks this particular Z looks nice and that it has no deeper meaning.  This would be in line with his usual explanations of doing what is easiest.  If he comes out and says something to that effect, then the mystery is solved.  But until he does we are left to our own devices to try and figure out why the Z is drawn like it is.

We are each free to our own interpretations. I like to ask “Why?” and Toriyama likes to stay quiet.  So far this is the best explanation I can produce and I’m totally open to it being refuted with logical arguments to the contrary.  If you have a rational alternative explanation, then please let me know.

What do you think?  Does this theory make sense?

Whatever the case may be, we march onward…

One World Government

Dragon World

Dragon World

The goal of communism is to unite the world in a communist controlled utopia, ruled by the people.  The goal of socialism is state ownership and control of the fundamental means of production and distribution of wealth, to be achieved through restructuring existing capitalist or political systems.

The government in Dragon Ball doesn’t exactly fit the communist description, as it is ruled by a King, but the concept of a single united world government is still strong.

In Dragon Ball the entire planet is ruled by the King of the Earth, a talking bipedal dog named King Furry (Japanese name: King Koku) who resides in the World Capital.  There are several capitals, such as the Northern Capital, Central Capital, etc, similar to a Dynastic Chinese feudal organization system (Beijing, Nanjing, Xi’an, etc.).

King Furry seems to run things fairly peacefully and everyone appears to get along rather well.  Of course the world is not without its problems by any means and there is an army established to suppress any serious evils (such as aliens and super villains that attack the kingdom or planet) as well as city employed police forces and systems of law to handle domestic issues.  There are individual mayors within the 43 districts of the complete landmass, but they all pay homage to the king.

There are no other countries on this planet, and because there is only one large landmass in Dragon Ball it means that there is only one world government.  One government is in charge of everything, including (presumably) banks, schools, large farms and production facilities.  Private and smaller enterprises like local village farms and residential areas appear to be managed without supervision, such as Goku’s house in the mountains, but city life appears somewhat regulated, as almost every city across the world looks the same.

I noticed this same thing while traveling through China in 2003.  Were it not for the traditional ancient buildings, palaces and natural landscapes, all of the cities would look the same.  Everything created by the government had the same style.

King Furry

King Furry

So how was this socialist utopia formed?  The country must have been broken up at some point and then unified and placed under the leadership of a king at another.  It’s not known when this happened, but no world of such diversity, race and culture could have been unified at the outset.  There must have been some type of social change which led to this grand unification.  But we’re given no evidence or hint as to what this could have been.  A large threat or looming crisis?  Military conquest?  A slow and gradual shift of power toward the few?  It’s unknown.

Now granted that it’s an immense landmass with great differences in environment and ethnic people, but it’s all ruled by the same talking dog.  Whatever that talking dog says, goes!

Conclusion

These were 5 communist and socialist elements in Dragon Ball.

Hopefully this article helped shed some light on a few of the more unique aspects of Dragon Ball and helped you think a little more about the series and its creator.

Perhaps Toriyama had more in mind when he created this show then is visible at first glance.  There are definitely some unique aspects.  Maybe he’s trying to tell us something and provide a message.  If so, what is it?  The unanswered questions are food for thought.

The neat thing is that you can still find all of these elements there today, so please feel free to watch the show and come up with your own interpretations.  I’d love to hear them.



41 responses to “5 Communist and Socialist Elements in Dragon Ball”

  1. Jeff Maz says:

    hitler, germany during WWII and nazism have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH COMMUSISM AND SOCIALISM, in fact THEY ARE OPPOSITE…. get better information b4 posting shit like that and dont talk about things you dont know

  2. Derek Padula says:

    Jeff, are you serious? If so, then please be kind enough to provide some links or facts of your own.

    A simple search will lead to the Wikipedia page that claims the opposite of your statement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party

    And I’d like to mention that this post’s main purpose is to show you the possible communist and socialist elements in Dragon Ball, a fictitious children’s cartoon show.

    That said, I do thorough research before I make a post and it is based on numerous reliable sources and historical facts. If you’d like, I can post some of the resources I used at the bottom of the article. I thought most of this stuff was well understood and did not require validation.

    Please let me know.

  3. Gabe says:

    I agree with Derek, saying that Hitler Germany has nothing to do with socialism is like saying the holocaust never happened and the sky isn’t blue, its absolutely rediculous. Every history teacher in every high school, college, and university will completely disagree with your statement. I am sorry but history is on Derek’s side. Communism, Naziism, Socialism, and Marxism are the most destructive forms of politics ever devised.

    As for other things, I think the Z in the DBZ is just a stylistic symbol meant to stand out as the difference from Dragonball and Dragonball Z. As for the colors and stars of theRed Ribbon Army it goes without saying that its suppose to portray Nazi’s and/or Communism. That is obvious to anyone who knows history. If you put a picture of them to someone and said what do these soldiers remind you of and I guarantee that the majority answer would be communist Russia, communist China, communist North Korea, or Nazi Germany. As for some of the other colors and stylistic elements Orange and Red and Yellow are used to stand out as they are bold, warm, and show strength and power. They also get the subconscious excited. That is why McDonald’s uses red and yellow in their adds and restaurants, it comes from color theory, those colors say “get in, get food, gives your money, and leave” to put it blundtly. I can say this as my major was in art, in particular design and color theory. I do agree that the star on emperor Pilaf was to show him in a “I am more superior than thou” attitude. The colors used for that are an attempt to make him seem important, but subtly say he can’t really do anything. The red demonstrates strength but is offset with blue to demonstrate a kind of silly circus like attitude as if to say this guy is a clown. I think the the reason the dragon balls are yellow-orange and the stars are red is to symbolize both fire and power, as both colors are warm and strong. The stars I think are to show them as magical, celestial items. Though you may have something there with your interpretation, I never really thought about it that way.

  4. Derek Padula says:

    Another reason why Emperor Pilaf’s hat is red and blue is because the design is inspired by The Pinball Wizard character played by Elton John in the 1975 film Tommy, developed by The Who.

  5. james hitchenson says:

    No u guys are wrong he is right listen I never blog and I honestly wouldn’t even be here right now if it wasn’t for a friend asking me to do some research on my favorite cartoon. Look the facts are there and its out in the open Toriyama has something he is trying to tell us by through this cartoon. I just looked at Hercule and his name is Mr. Satan and he drives a car that has 3 sixes on it that is enough evidence for me look great cartoon but the creator has some problems and that’s that

    • Matthew Stotler says:

      Did it ever occur to you that they just made up that name? Mostly because he was the most feared as in he was the strongest there is. And then they thought that it would be interesting to put the 666 on the side because his name was mr. Satan? This reminds me of a south park episode where they made a book just for fun and everybody was just trying to find a Deeper meaning when there was none. And so if you made a character in a comic named mr. Satan, you wouldn’t make any of hisstuff or merchandise have 666 on it? Seriously. And most of the army crap was meant to be for the so called real red army cuz they wanted the army to seem terrifying. And they put hitler in an episode because they realized that the super saiyan looked just like the superior beings that hitler talked about.they just wanted to get a laugh out of it. Heck I make stories from disasters that happened in the world but there’s no deeper meaning than that. I’m sorry.

  6. Mikö Wildstrom says:

    The one who sees swastikas in a simple Z got some problems, and way to much time. To make a small crossing in a Z is a regular typographical posibility. you can learn that in elemetary school. also in a lot of old typefaces you can find it, Fraktur for example was used in the nazi, and later declared as “jewish”. Crossing a Z is older the nazis an just a graphical element.

    and for the nazi/communist thing, it make no sense. first of all, hitler and the nsdap were always against communism. Even if the name of the party implements a social part, but to organize a country by war and hate against minorities has nothing to do with socialism.

    and why should someone who thinks hitler and his ideas are just a itsy bit cool, resurrect him and blow him back to hell just after it, doesnẗ look like nazi-worshipping to me. and in a world were a dog is king of a planet there is not much space for rassism.

    (P.S. if you find some misspelled words its just a typographical element)

  7. dean says:

    what lies and propaganda. absolute tripe. hitler and nazism had nothing to do with socialism. it just had socialism in the name. read up on what socialism/communism means and see the absolute opposite of what nazism is.

    i really feel for you brainwashed western educated fools.

    • dan b says:

      The reason why the Nazi party had the word "socialist" in it was because it started as a LBGT socialist party in the 20s believe it or not. When Hitler took over, he purged the last socialist element in it "night of the long knives", 1934. Millions of communists died fighting Germany. The communists were the first to be sent to the camps. Both 30s Soviet communism and Nazism were totalitarian. That is style over substance. The substance of the two were polar opposites. What is disturbing, if this article has merit, is that the corporate/academic myth of USSR equaling Fascism has caught on in Japan. (Even in the U.S. the vast majority of university professors do not back this claim.) I know Japan is impressionable, I have seen their text books and they are carbon copies of Kennedy-era U.S. textbooks in regards to history. I see this distortion as a reflection of how warped our "history" programs are and Japanese buying it wholesale. For your information, Japan has the largest 1st world communist party, after Italy disbanded its one.

  8. austin says:

    no, jeff is right. in fact hitler hated communism, some would say more than the U.S. did during the cold war!

  9. The Information Wars says:

    The Nazi Party is short for National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in German and abbreviated as NSDAP) and obviously includes the term "socialist." Like what most Westerner's believe, in it's historical practice, Nazism is associated with the right wing due to anti-immigration policies, opposition towards communism, and the like. (An interesting thing to note on where the term "Nazi" derives is from the two syllables of the German name and parallels Sozi or the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The word Nazi was used rarely among the members, but as Nationalsozialisten [National Socialists]. The word was also less used after Hitler obtained office, but Austrians against them called them Nazis for insult.)

    Interestingly though, the National Socialists did employed leftist policies, opposed capitalism (which was seen as sick and selfish, just like in communism) and even condemned conservatism (especially the German National People's Party or DNVP, a conservative nationalist organization, but made alliances eventually claiming to be for tactical reasons). Many party members were environmentalist and a law called the "Reich Nature Protection Act" was passed to promote forest management and to curb air pollution (Ironically, during the war, the war effort was prioritize over protection). As for health, Nazi Germany is the first nation to scientifically link cancer with smoking and as a result, started anti-smoking campaigns as well as banning the practice of smoking. (Though some people, especially among Hitler's personal staff and girlfriend continued to smoke, Hitler would have told them to stop it and they were to freely after his suicide). The Nazis also passed animal rights acts, an example is the complete ban of performing vivisection (Nazi Germany to do so first). Göring quoted to end the "unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments" and to others "still think they can continue to treat animals as inanimate property" be sent to concentration camps. (Here's a link to the political cartoon released after the passing of the law featuring animals saluting Göring:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Ani… Both Hitler and especially Göring were animal lovers, but the funny thing is that the Jews in the concentration camps were treated as "inanimate property" when the Nazis used them for forced (and free) labor (and worked to death). Also, since scientist could no longer experiment on animals for humanity's benefit, they were done on the Jews instead as well as others (for example, cold weather simulations in which the subject is immersed in a tub filled with cold water in order to benefit the Luftwaffe airmen who may end up stranded in northern countries such as Norway and especially Great Britain).

    As for the uniform style during the time of Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR, it does not surprise me that the uniform code utilized by both countries look similar since clothing/uniforms reflect the fashion from that time period. Only differences are the insignia worn by the soldiers to denote Nazi or Communist ideology.

    I am also not surprise someone pointed out the suspicion of the word "socialism" used in the the name of the Nazi Party to be a decoy because communist nations such as the People's Democratic Republic of North Korea use the word "democratic" when it is clear that North Korea is not, but a authoritative government.

    So in conclusion, the National Socialist did incorporated leftism in its practice, but usually came from the right. It is also notable that since the Nazis originally disfavored capitalism, they were against trade unions, and Hitler believe that there should be social stratification (classism in other words). They were even left leaning Nazis that criticized the party's policies on the amount of capital being invested in. Hitler also believed in the Third Way philosophy stemming from fascist ideology in order to argue to create a state in between capitalism and communism (in other words negates both).

  10. DJtv says:

    As others have posted, the Nazis were against socialism and Communism as they are popularly conceived today. In fact the wiki page linked earlier by someone suggesting that the Nazis were socialists even says in the third paragraph, "Nazi ideology stressed the failures of communism."

  11. Johnny says:

    I think you’ve been watching too much Glenn Beck seeing signs and symbols where there are none.

    Honestly the phrase It’s a fucking cartoon comes to mind.

    • Derek Padula says:

      I admit that the Z section may seem a bit out there, but the rest of them are definitely present in the series.

      If it makes any difference, I haven’t had a TV in 4 years and don’t watch Glenn Beck. Though I understand your point. People can be lead astray if a person says there are patterns when there are none. That was not the intention. The primary goal was to point out what is visibly evident, and I think the other 4 sections did that well. The Z section had been on my mind for a long time and I decided to write it so I could hear feedback from others. I’m okay with being wrong.

      Saying that it’s only a cartoon is disrespectful. The Dragon Ball series is meaningful for many people. It formed a part of their childhood, inspired them in some way to improve their character, develop a skill set (like drawing, writing, music), or take up the martial arts. Each person finds meaning in their own way. Perhaps some find none. But just because it may not mean anything to you doesn’t mean that it should be written off. For example, I personally find modern art to be meaningless, but there are those that enjoy it, so I show tolerance and patience while I try to learn more about it or when I go to museums. In response to your comment, I think that Dragon Ball is a cartoon just like the Matrix is a movie or The Divine Comedy is a book. They are reflections of an artists mind, or in some cases many simultaneously. The meaning within these works depends on the individual’s state of mind, and as viewers we can find meaning anywhere, so it is subjective.

      With that said, I believe that looking at the series in a new light can show people a part of their own character and mindset. It lets them see their own history in a different way. What that’s worth is reflected in the individual and is felt on a subtle level. If it allows them to look within, then perhaps it was meaningful.

      Dragon Ball has generated hundreds of millions of dollars across the world and has been viewed by countless people. I think it’s important to point out some of its more unique aspects.

  12. lenin says:

    are you stupid.

    the nazis were not actually socialist, they just had the name national socialist.

    they were infact right wing and facist, and hitler HATED communists.

    this is like basic history, geez.

  13. The Name says:

    my theory is that the world became united thanks to a wish to shenlong using the dragon balls

    If I’m not mistaken something like this is mentioned in the very first pages of the comic book

    • Derek Padula says:

      In the first issue of the manga, Bulma says, "The last person who collected them became a king! But SOMEHOW, in the centuries since, the balls got scattered again! Leaving it to li’l ME to bring ’em back together!"

      This tells me that the current King of the world was not the one to unite the planet. And the "king" who made the wish could have been a king of some part of the world prior to its unification. Or maybe he was the first. Not sure. There’s no way to know.

      Good theory though.

  14. derekpadula says:

    Hi everybody. The publication date on this article is over 2 years old, but it is still the most popular page on my site. So if you’d like to leave a comment, then please do!

    Also please keep in mind that the original purpose of this article was simply to point out what is already there, since nobody on the internet seemed to have done so.

    And like I said in the intro, "Dragon Ball is above all else a fun and lighthearted show with a heavy dose of silliness and martial arts antics. These socialist and communist elements do not detract from the Dragon Ball experience in any way."

    Thank you.

  15. asdf says:

    Hitler is not a reference to socialism. You’re an idiot.

  16. paranood says:

    It’s obvious that the Hitler reference is made because of japan’s position during WWII (with the Axis) It’s a way for japanese audience to poke some fun at their own past

  17. sup says:

    The article is spot on. I’ve always been intrigued by this kind of stuff growing up watching the series (specially the RR soviet-esque elements and Oolong Mao Zedong outfit), and was surprised that no one hadn’t bring it up in an article like this yet. Also, don’t listen to these butthurt left-wingers. They always get pissed everytime their beloved “socialism” gets associated with national-socialism (one of the posters here even used “lenin” as his nickname, so it’s quite obvious what’s really driving them to complain). The fact of the matter is that the nazis were indeed socialists, just not marxist-type socialists. Culturally speaking the nazis may have been hardcore anti-marxists (hence the “extreme-right” label everyone gives them), but when it comes down to economic policies they were FAR from being your typical “small government, pro-deregulations” right-winger.

    These dumb leftists need to understand that it’s not like Karl Marx coined the term, and that there are very different brands of socialism out there. The marxist kind just happens to be the most known probably due to Cold War anti-communist propaganda.

  18. Goten Son says:

    Of course the Red Ribbon army symbolizes socialism and we all know that Hitler was socialist. But
    it’s really pushing it to claim that the dragon balls symbolize socialism just because
    they have ruby red stars on them and there is a much simpler explanation for
    the red stars. You see the dragon balls are designed to have a molten flame like appearance to them as they are depicting the stones of fire referenced in
    the Bible.

  19. Eduardo Santos says:

    Remember than in Japan and in Asia in general, the swastika is not necessarily linked to nazis or fascism, but to Buddhism and other religious traditions.

  20. Alex says:

    Hey

    Regarding the Communist and One World Government aspects of DBZ, check out episode 113 of Dragonball, 1 min 33 seconds Picollo says “(laughs) then let’s go. It’s time to take our first step in creating a new world order.”
    I’ve got a tonne more, but I plan to write my own article 😛

    • DerekPadula says:

      Thanks, Alex. Is that the English or the Japanese original?

      I wrote this article 4 years ago and I’m still finding new references to the Illuminati and occult mysteries in Dragon Ball. Certainly makes you wonder why they’re there.

      I plan on creating a blog post that lists them in succession, one after another. When compiled in a sequential order it will become overwhelmingly obvious that “something” is up. I’ll leave it to the reader to determine what that something is.

      And please send me a link to your article when it’s done. I’d love to read it.

  21. Sūn Wùkōng says:

    Dàoist practice is involved with Yīn/Yáng. It is also the balance of negative and positive emotions — Dàoists do not look at negative as sin, rather, Dàoists learn to smile at the negative and make friends with it, finding a way to live in harmony together. 

    A prime example is when young Son Gokū Enlightens “Oolong, the Terrible” — a pig capable of shapeshifting, who assumed the form of a red oni/ogre. Oolong’s non-transformed attire is a Chinese military styled communist uniform including the red communist styled star donned on Oolong’s hat — interesting that afterwards in the Dragon Ball series, he no longer wears such attire. 

    As you know, all is Dào. Tàijí comes from the One(Wújí). The reason there are monsters/oni/ogres/demons/makaiōs/makiōshins, haikaishins{Gods of Destruction}, supernatural(talking)Animals, Humans, Extraterrestrial races, Kami who is “God” or Guardian/Divine Protector of Earth + Kaiōs/Kaiōshins(Gods of Creation :+) is because we are but one manifestation of the 10,000 supposed manifestations of the One(Dào/Wújí) (“What?! Over 9,000?!” ~), Earth is of particular importance because according to the Dáo, we are in the middle realm, the Qì center of the Genki, sort to speak. 

    Son Gokū and the Zetto+Senshis(mainly Sūpā Saiya+jins) are literally the “chosen ones” who help the Kaiōshins maintain balance in the Dào. 

    With that being said, Akira Toriyama is really phenomenal at symbolizing the Dào within his masterpiece, that to this day simply leaves me in awe. 

    communist/socialist elements can be interpreted as an expression of Yīn Qì, where for example, the motives of the Red Ribbon Army[all Androids including Dr. Gero and Cell, similarly Dr. Raichi and Dr. Myuu]were very dark/negative. Classic Toriyama styled parody being Hitler’s appearance in Fusion Reborn — he’s astounded by Sūpā Gotenks and even makes a joke reference to his ideal of creating a superior ‘master-race’, only to be defeated by the True(genetically superior)Master+Race, the Sūpā Saiya+jin(s)! 

    It is typical of the nazi party to take divine symbols and twist them to mean something negative… 

    As you know, the Star is a divine symbol in Dàoism — the Star represents a Completed Human Being. This is any human being who has internalized the five sacred Directions/Elements/tones within themselves. When this happens, there is no boundary between their body and the body of Nature(the Dào). 
    This is a human being in perfect balance and harmony with its’ environment, they have expanded their awareness to become one with Universal Natural Flow(Dào). It is a state of Consciousness that is simultaneously transcendent(multidimensional) and immanent(physically present). 
    The star expresses the principle of Five Elements/Five Phases, which along with Yīn-☯+Yáng theory, is central to all Chinese culture. These principles are the foundation of Chinese medicine, Feng Shui, Qigong, inner and outer Alchemy, astrology, face and palm reading, Martial Arts and war-strategy, city planning, the Chinese culture, etc. 
    Five Elements is also a Universal pattern, found in all ancient cultures as the sacred four directions and the center(in Japanese Buddhist Godai “Five Great”, 空, Kū is the center :+) 

    The lightning symbol that the nazi’s use in the Dào are the Lightning Trigrams, and the swastika originally is a Buddhist symbol. 

    Akira Toriyama uses these symbols to express the Dào, respectively, and displays Son Gokū and the Zetto+Senshis in an divine manner using the holy relics known as Dragon Balls with great Respect and Courage, Virtuously, depicting what the symbols actually represent: Enlightenment. 

    it should be noted that illuminati is latin for enlightened, except the main protagonist Son Gokū isn’t exactly latin, now is he?.. Son Gokū is the True Illuminati, in a sense, he’s the Enlightened/Awakened One(Buddha). 

    The styled Z that Toriyama uses is most likely used to flaunt that Son Gokū is descendant of Zhou Dynasty + Fusion of all Xiān Zǐ(“Master”)lineages. Toriyama also chose Z because Dragon Ball is somewhat of a long epic story that he wanted to finish, again, respectively. 

    Concerning mr. satan — he is one of the biggest parodies in the Dragon World. 666 is actually a divine number which relates to the 108Tri/Hexagram/Merkaba on a Sacred Geometric level. 
    Humans are also Carbon-based+lifeforms, Carbon is the chemical element of atomic number 6. 
    Also, the Dharma(Buddhism)/Dào, the Spiritual Philosophy that is heavily incorporated into Dragon Ball, predates christianity/most religions, so Toriyama is basically making classic parody. 

    Hope that this shares some Positive Light/insight on this particular controversial topic. :+) ~  

  22. yo yo yo says:

    No… you just don’t want to bad the name if socialism.

    It was totalitarian, therefore; Socialist.

    Government had control, even though business influenced this control, they regulated what people got.

    Like look at the hitler youth, I don’t think theres been a more socialist idea.

    • Doug Jaffray says:

      Capitalism is based off the property owning class, the bourgeoisie (the rich) exploiting the working class proletarian. What is that if not authoritarian?

      The nazis were fascists not socialists. The politics in Germany at the time wouldnt allow for someone to be voted in the office unless they were associated with socialism. The working class wouldnt have voted for them if they didnt at least call themselves socialists. In otherwords germans were duped.

  23. John Leckert says:

    Just a thought about the Chinese elements: The original Dragon Ball was based on an old Chinese folktale called Journey to the West. Toriyama probably kept Chinese elements like Oolong dressed as a Chinese official as a nod to the origins of the story (which had been popular with the Japanese long before Dragon Ball. )

    • DerekPadula says:

      Yep, you’re on the right track. I talk about the Chinese elements in detail in Dragon Ball Culture Volume 2. This article is super out of date (2009), but I keep it up for posterity.

  24. Tyler Gee says:

    Is there anything linking Super Saiyan as a play on words of the Super Soldier; seems like some sublime message that’s mostly coincidence? The blonde hair and blue eyes gets my attention every time.

    • DerekPadula says:

      It’s mostly coincidence, but a lot of people notice the similarities. Toriyama’s actual reason for making their hair blonde / white in the manga is because his assistant was tired of filling their hair in with black ink all the time. It is actually that simple and ridiculous. But from that came an endless amount of fan theories.

  25. carl Johnson says:

    Didn’t the world unite after the first Picolo attack which happened years before Goku’s arrival?

  26. carl Johnson says:

    After Super Saiyans were introduced, I aaw the Saiyans as Vikings. A culture of warriors that invaded and pillaged other lands. Many were blonde hair and blue eyed.

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