What Does Dragon Ball Mean to You?

Goku asks, "To train, or not to train?"

I would like to pose an open question to the Dragon Ball community.

The question is… what does Dragon Ball mean to you?

Is Dragon Ball meaningful in your life? Has it changed your life in some way? Maybe Akira Toriyama’s art, world or message of the series inspired or still inspires you. Perhaps it is important to someone you know.  Did you connect with Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Piccolo or another character throughout the series?

Or is Dragon Ball not meaningful at all?

This is an open ended question with no specific criteria. Your reply can be as short or as long as you like.

Please reply in the comments below. If your comments are longer than a few hundred words, then please email them through the contact page.

If I decide to add your comment to the book, then I will contact you to let you know and will provide a special thanks in the final version.

For me, it changed my life by leading me into the martial arts and the path of the spiritual warrior, which then lead to other things, such as a bachelors degree in East Asian Studies, a study abroad tour in Beijing where I trained with the Shaolin monks, and much more.

Please speak freely and describe what Dragon Ball means to you.

56 responses to “What Does Dragon Ball Mean to You?”

  1. Edgar says:

    Oh Derek! You gave me such a hard task.

    There is a lot I would like to say on how DB has been an influence on my life. But with my family around… I can’t concentrate. I wish to write all that I want, but…

  2. Gabe says:

    Honostly speaking it has helped me in my martial arts training and viewing what is important. The message of continually trying to do good for others, protect others, and achieve what you are capable of is very inspiring. I thought about that stuff on a regular basis when I was training to test for another blackbelt several years ago and it helped me through the whole thing. In fact I got a tattoo of the word for Saiyajin in small kanji as a constant reminder. Some may think it is silly, but most think it is a cool idea. Especially given the fact that it is surrounded with the UV ink and a invisble UV kanji that under a blacklight the invisible kanji and the surrounding of the saiyajin kanji glows and says super saiyan. Yeah its funny but I don’t really care, the message is more important and the idea of "never give up" is more important than other people’s opinions.

    • Derek Padula says:

      It sounds like Dragon Ball made a rather large impression on your life. Both mentally and physically.

      I agree that the internal reflection of our character is the most important thing.

    • Edgar says:

      Well, I am no expert on tattoos, so I am not sure on what to say on that :). But I love how positive it means to you, and how you want it to reach others.

  3. Catherine says:

    When I was 12 my life was at a cross road. I was a geeky band nerd with no confidence and no desire to become your typical small town girl. I stumbled across DBZ early on morning, I liked the show so if it was on I would watch it, that turned into waking up hours early just to watch the show. Next thing DBZ wall scrolls and T-shirts littered my room. My parents saw the positive turn in my attitude and for my 13th birthday enrolled me in Karate classes. The school I attended was what I call McDojo the only think of importance to the instructor was the paycheck and I knew it. I wanted a teacher like Picclo, serious about training. I took it upon myself to research Karate schools around my small Louisiana town and I found an Isshin-Ryu school owned and operated by a former Marine. After one class I was hooked, I knew I found my place, I worked hard like the DBZ characters I would push my self past the point of fatigue and then push some more. After a few years I started to work for the karate school. My Picclo like teacher became my friend and I was a happy goofy band nerd karate geek as I put it. During day camps and movie nights with my students we would watch DBZ in our down time. I would engage the students in positive activities and they would make teams according to the characters they liked. It was amazing how these kids teams would channel the characters attitude. Team Goku, team, Vajita, for most of the girls team Bulma, and I was always proud to be a part of team Picclo. DBZ helped me to get to where I am today and I used it to inspire my students as it inspired me…

    • Derek Padula says:

      That is exactly the type of meaningful story I am on the lookout for. And that’s funny how the students would act like the characters on the show because they were a member of that team. Thank you!

    • George M. says:

      Wow, that Marine sensei of yours sounds scary. Wish I could never meet him, I already have enough with what is going on. Sorry, but I’d rather prefer to train at my own rythm even if it takes me a while to reach the height. :)

      • DerekPadula says:

        That reminds me of something said in Buddhism. For one practitioner to reach the level of Arhat it can take a lifetime, for another only a few years. They have different paths to walk, different levels of endurance and enlightenment quality, but in the end they both reach the same level.

  4. Kelley says:

    Honestly, Kuririn was always an inspiration to me. Powerless and knowledgable of that power; he’s stronger than billions of people on the earth and it means nothing when compared to his best friend and a handful of others, some of them children. But rather than get jealous or angry, he takes it with a smile and stays loyal. He always goes to battle, even though he knows he has a great chance to die. He also takes great mercy on opponents, first Vegeta and then, more notably, number 18. In doing so, he fulfills what was his greatest dream; not strength, as with Goku, but in finding a wife. Hell, even when he first arrived at Muten Roshi’s he said he was only getting into martial arts to impress girls. The most quickly reformed and dynamic of Goku’s former enemies, Kuririn brings about the most humorous and heartwarming moments of DBZ. (To quote Goku "Kuririn was a good guy! A really good guy!)

    • Edgar says:

      I’ve heard that Krillin was also an inspiration to the creator of Naruto.

      "Hell, even when he first arrived at Muten Roshi’s he said he was only getting into martial arts to impress girls."

      In the dub of Mexico, he says that he wants to be trained in order to protect his brothers. Never saw any brother of him, unless he refers to those monks who picked on him. Usually, the mexican dub is way more faithful to the original japanese one than the US one. Wish I could hear the original one.

      • Derek Padula says:

        Krillin had two primary reasons he sought to learn the martial arts under Master Roshi. The first was to seek revenge against his temple brothers because they always picked on him for being weak. The second was to impress girls.

        Edgar, who was that quote from, and do you know where it was said? I’d like to find the source. Thanks.

        • Edgar says:

          Well, I quoted a line from what Kelley said to separate to what I was going to say. Sadly, I can’t find any video with the mexican spanish dub, of the episode where Krillin first appears. But while looking for it, indeed came many info stating that he wanted to train to stand up to the shaolin monks and not defend them.

          While I said that the mexican dub is usually more faithful; sometimes errors are made. In DBZ when Goku asks everyone to help with the genkidama to defeat Buu, Android 17 says that it had been a long time since he heard Yajirobe’s voice… that is an error.

          And in someother series, the same thing happens. In the dub for The Simpsons, in the episode where Homer becomes a "monk" and refuses to go to church; after his house burns down, Barney comes over and talks to Chief Wiggum calling him dad… because of this; many in Latin America believed both were related.

  5. TMS Samurra says:

    Actually DBZ has been very influencial to me as a point of reference for metaphysical principles. To start off the 7 dragon balls are your 7 chakras, the dragon represents your spinal column and your physical kundalini energy. Once you begin to analyse the show it bcomes clear that the Z fighters are all different aspects of the same entity. Goku is the monkey king from Journey to the West. He represents the physical body and the alchemetic process one goes through in thr transmutation of oneself from the base to their high aspects. The Namekian people are very important. The concept of Kami is important not just to the show but from Shinto culture. Piccolo actually represents mastering the heart chakra.

    • Derek Padula says:

      That is an interesting point you made about the relationship between Goku and Sun WuKong as the most physical of the pilgrims. The fact that Sun WuKong goes through the alchemical process literally, while Goku does so superficially (as in, it’s never explicitly explained), is a topic with a lot of depth. I had never looked at Piccolo in terms of mastering the heart chakra, but it definitely makes sense!

    • Chetan Bhagat says:

      so true

  6. Sona says:

    I think this was awesome and that whoever created this show should make way more episodes

  7. Cob says:

    The characters in dragonball are such archetypal characters. They are the extremest of the various personalities they represent. It’s a frame of reference for what I deem to be The Highest and Lowest of moral standing and character for any person, including myself.

    It’s also what took me from being a hobby martial artist to a serious practitioner. Not because I wanted to shoot energy beams out of my hand (though we all do!) but because it showed me the importance of being physically and mentally prepared for all tasks.

    • Derek Padula says:

      Right. Some people think that the characters in Dragon Ball are shallow, and maybe some of them appear that way, but I think it’s because Akira Toriyama presents them in simple ways. Their existence, in relationship to one another, paints a broad spectrum of the human mind and its capabilities.

      I also find Goku to be a far more complicated individual then he appears at first glance. He essentially has two personalities. One, his Saiyan primal self, that is the source of his great power. And two, his human raised self, obtained when he hit his head on a rock. He actually killed his adoptive father unknowingly, while transformed into a primal great ape. He savagely crushed his own dad, then went on living the next decade or so of his life completely unaware. Fascinating, and it opens up some interesting philosophical questions.

      Glad to hear that Dragon Ball inspired you to become more serious with the martial arts. The more I work on this project, the more I find people like you (and I), and from across the world who received the same inspiration.

      • cob1 says:

        The interesting thing about Goku’s Paradigm is that the only internal struggle he faces is fighting his instinct to maintain a high level of moral character. It’s quite reflective of Buddhism in that sense, fighting what comes naturally to a human in order to develop the strength to overcome anything. Conquering the truly self is the hardest challenge one can undertake, as I’m sure you’re well aware.

        But back to DBZ, Goku faces such a unique struggle, where most of the characters fight an aspect of their personality, a conscious phenomenon, Goku must fight a subconscious conflict, as you said, his saiyan primal self. It would be like fighting the reptilian brain to a human which includes such important features as the brain stem and the most basic physiological understandings. It’s the part of us that allows us to know how to feed as newborns and the part that tells us we need to sleep.

        I agree, it’s wonderful that Dragonball could inspire so many people to take the martial arts seriously. I live in Vegas currently and let me tell you, the MMA scene isn’t what I would consider serious martial arts training. But Dragonball brings it out of people! I think it’s the dream that one day, we will attain that level

        Speaking of philosophy, I would like to pose the following question:

        Many cultures throughout history were cultures strictly of martial combat: The Shaolin, Ninja, Spartans, Illyrians, and Countless Others. Had those societies become the dominant empires of their time (though true warrior cultures generally had no will to conquer), where would evolution have taken us? Had we evolved to fight rather than debate, would we be at the level of the warriors we see in Dragonball? And to what extent? Where would our power levels be and how close to the energy waves in the series would we be?

  8. Spike says:

    Dragon Ball has really changed me. I joined 3 karate classes 2 Takwondo classes and 1 kung fu class. I am a lot like Goku now. My biggest dream now is to be like a Z fighter. Dragon Ball is very meaningful to my life.

    • Derek Padula says:

      That’s awesome, Spike. How old were you when Dragon Ball inspired you to begin the martial arts? And how old are you now?

      That’s a lot of traditional East Asian martial arts. Did you find any similarities between DBZ and your martial arts training? I’d love to hear more about that. Did it ever serve as inspiration to push yourself harder?

      These are the types of stories I’m most interested in, personally, because I followed a similar path. Thanks!

  9. Dustin says:

    Dragon Ball has been one of the most important stories in my life. It has affected my personality, my interests, and my awareness of other cultures.

    Goku’s attitude of constant positivity, working hard to get what you want, and never letting anything get him down no matter how large the obstacle, was something I had never really seen before. Here was Freeza, this character that had been built up as the ultimate badass. Whom nobody had defeated; whom nobody had even seen the full potential of. And Goku wasn’t afraid despite that. He didn’t know if he would win but that didn’t scare him. It excited him. It was a test he was giving himself for the only sake of self-improvement. Which was so important to him, that he was willing to put his life on the line. That was such a unique perspective that I had never been exposed to and it really changed the way I see the world, my problems, and myself. Goku taught me not to be a sissy.

    That of course, was part of a larger perspective that I have grown to really adore and adopt in some ways. Goku’s ambition is, as I have come to learn, very entrenched in the Japanese culture. The reason I had never seen it is because it doesn’t seem to be as much of a valued character trait in the modern Western world. Which I find to be a shame. As I watched the show, I became completely wrapped up the wacky and fun Dragon Ball World. But there was so much I didn’t understand. Why does Tien have three eyes? Why are there dots on Krillin’s head? Just what the heck is wrong with Vegeta anyway? So I turned to the Internet. I found some great communities online with answers to my questions and more questions I had never thought of. I found out about the third eye meditation imagery and about implications of a character having three eyes that were lost on me. I learned about the Shaolin practice with the incense burns on the forehead, like Krillin. And I learned about the Japanese value of pride, hard work, and dedication. Because so much of Dragon Ball is intrinsically Japanese and Asian, by learning more about this silly story, I learned about another culture. I have also learned a little bit of the Japanese language, Japanese folklore, and a world view that I would have never known without Dragon Ball.

    Since finishing the entire animated series, and revisiting it a few times in various forms, I have developed a wide array of interests that have shaped the person I am today. I am very interested in animation now, and I know the entire process from beginning to end. I am interested in international trade as I learned more about the process of bringing the show over to the United States and dubbing it in English. I am interested in martial arts and meditation now. I discovered podcasting by listening to the Daizenshuu EX podcast which lead me to listen to other podcasts. A collection that now include World News and Economics, of which I had an interest in as I learned about the production of Dragon Ball. I grew closer to my best friend as we shared Dragon Ball together for the first time and we still keep in touch today.

    Dragon Ball has really, really changed my life. If I could go back, I would do it all over. I am interested in things I would have never discovered if it weren’t for this goofy childrens cartoon. I am proud to be a Dragon Ball fan. And I look forward to sharing it with my own children one day.

    • Derek Padula says:

      This was AWESOME. I’m sorry for not replying earlier, I just didn’t know what to say. Still don’t actually, because you explained everything so well.

      Thank you, Dustin.

  10. Aidan says:

    I’m 16 now but back in elementry school everyone talked about toonami and dbz. After it ended on cartoon network I forgot about it until 9th grade, when I found DB:RagingBlast 2 in game stop. This made me remember how awesome the series was so I watche DB, z, and gt. dragonball z has done many important things for me. It introduced many new friends. I got very interested in animation and other animes. I started taking kick boxing. I most importantly learned to never give up and that my will is stronger than my body!

    • Derek Padula says:

      Very cool, Aidan. I’m glad it was a motivator to start the martial arts. And yeah, that last lesson is very important! Thanks for sharing it with everyone!

  11. Christopher says:

    I think I was right around eight or nine the first time I saw an episode of Dragon Ball. I remember it was the episode where Goku”s in the Arctic and is saving this eskimo-esqe village from the Red Ribbon Army. From that moment I was hooked. Twelve years later, I’m still watching it on DVD. I have the Definitive Collection, Which is all of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, the respective movies, and special television episodes. All uncut, remastered, and color updates. I’ve seen every episode dozens of times, but I keep watching it because I see and learn more and more every time I watch it through.

    The first time I really was aware there as a deeper meaning, I was probably around twelve or thirteen. I had that basic understanding everyone gets: do good, fight for what you believe in, stand together. Years later, noticeably after watching GT (while I know it’s non-canon, it still resonated with me), I realized one meaning behind it might just be that we all have the power within us to do great things. As humans, we have a tendency to need from something or someone else. Be it a deity figure, or friends and family, we need these things in our life. Especially when we’re in trouble. I think the message GT sent to me was that sometimes instead of looking up, look in. We have the strength in us to do great and wonderful things, you just have to be brace enough to try.

    On my tenth birthday I started taking martial arts. I’ve trained in Kick boxing (muay-thai and “standard”), boxing, jui-jitsu, Kenpo karate, krav maga, kick boxing and wrestling. I’ve entered in the IKF (International Kickboxing Federation) and I do I’ve recently started doing amateur MMA around where I live. I’ve always felt a kinship with Vegeta, and my friends agree. I’m an arrogant guy, but like Vegeta, its only because I expect the best out of myself and know I give everything I have to get what I want. Just like the Prince, I stand on my own whenever I can, which is why I’ve taken every class I could and am holding a 5-0 record right now.

    Also, around the time I turned sixteen I went up to a local tattoo shop and started designing a sleeve with the owner. On my eighteenth birthday we started it. It’s on my left arm, has Shenron (both Kami’s and the Black Star Dragon) shows Goten and Trunks doing the fusion dance, has Vegeta and his Final Flash, Veku (the failed Fusion Dance of Vegeta and Goku) on my forearm fighting with Fat Gotenks. Krillin and No. 18, and of course: Goku and his spirit bomb.

    Akira’s world just… touched me, I guess. It was a place to disappear into. It taught me a lot about life and love, and how to lead your own. God bless DB Fans.

    • Derek Padula says:

      "…sometimes instead of looking up, look in. We have the strength in us to do great and wonderful things, you just have to be brace enough to try."

      I completely agree. The secret to self-cultivation is looking inward and endurance. Those are the tools to unlock your inner potential.

  12. Ben :) says:

    Dragonball Z changed my life it let me take major defeats, push my limits, it taught me about charecters in life and Espically goku taught me to be kind but stand up for myself that was the only thing that really kept me going when people told me i won’t ever accomplish my goals. I thought that if goku can do it I will do it. It taught me that there is always something more to push ourselves that we all make mistakes it taught me to not judge people as much its kind of hard when you have charecters like piccolo and uub buu and it taught me I can always love and be a better person. As far as the training aspect it was a major motivation and when I listen to dragonballz i don’t listen to anyone who tells me i can’t reach a goal. Thank you dragonballz!

  13. yoloman says:

    lol after i watched dbz i stat going to doing many activtes such as kick boxing matrial arts and many more

  14. sante says:

    there are 7 principal chakras = 7 dragon balls

    the 4 ball its the hearth chakra the way of the middle, the first dragon ball of goku’s grandpha.

    when you active the 7 chakras you will acces to kundalini energy = shen long..

    and if you re-ekilibrate the seven chakras and use it for good you will activate your energy body system and step to step you will increase your energy…

    its a representation of chakras and kundalini, the karin tower reprensent the spinal column and you need to elevate without cheat or energy will inevitably go down again…

    elevation and inmortality re activating chakras by the hearth chakra wich is love like a way of be.

    they are no doubts about this, i hope all of you start to think in ur owns dragon balls, ur owns chakras and rekalibrate urselfs using hearth chakra like a master, ascending ur kundalini and transmuting negative forces caused by the bad use of energy from some king of ignorant and malicius beings..

    ok my english is so bad but i think i put it all.. at least a fast image of what dragon ball meaning..

    we all have the power of goku, we all have the 7 chakras in our bodys, like goku we need to use the positive energy to equilibrate the world and being one with our energy (kundalini) in the positive way…

    we, the humans, need to stop using energy on wrong direction and start ascending from de spinal colum (karin tower without cheat), get the seven balls together(chakras), transmuting negative energy into positive, and be pure.

  15. Goten Son says:

    Personally i would say that Dragon Ball Z has impacted my
    life in a positive way and I would highly recommend it to anyone except for
    young children of course. I first saw the show in my early teens and was very disappointed
    when they replaced it with that horrible Pokémon cartoon. Anyone who has watched
    DBZ will immediately notice it has a very complex storyline and the character
    personalities are easy to relate to. Example the hero Goku symbolizes mercy, perseverance,
    humility, self-control and to top it off Goku is also a caring family man. I
    would most defiantly say that Goku is a very good role model to look up to and I
    haft to admit that Goku has had a major impact on my life. Also I believe there
    is more to Future Trunks than first meets the eye and evidence seems to be
    mounting that Trunks is indeed a real time traveler from a future timeline. I
    also believe the Dragonballs themselves are referenced to in the bible on more
    than one occasion example the hot coal that was picked up by a Seraphim angel who
    used to purify Isaiah. Even the name Seraphim has a most unusual meaning in Hebrew
    and most Christians would be shocked to learn that it actually means fiery flying serpentine dragon. I
    bet no one was expecting to hear that Shenron is actually a depiction of a
    Seraphim angel and that depiction even fits the show because even Shenron had
    his limits when it came to granting wishes. Believe it or not it
    appears that I am only beginning to uncover the tip of the iceberg when it
    comes to exploring the deeper meanings behind Dragonball Z and I would highly recommend
    that people research the matter for themselves.

  16. Kera Rash says:

    This series has changed my life in so many ways. It may sound silly but in times where I didn’t want to keep going on this show pulled me out. Vegeta has helped me in countless ways. Vegeta’s determination helped me to find determination within myself. His pride made me find confidence in myself in a way I’ve never had before. Vegeta’s story reminds me of my own. Before Jesus came into my life I was basically exactly like Vegeta, and now that Jesus is in my heart I’ve learned to care for people and learned to have real friendships.

    Also watching Vegeta and Goku train has pushed me to exercise more and be more health conscious. I lost 30 pounds last year.

  17. The super saiyan god from IND. says:

    it changes my life in lot of ways. the most memorable thing is when i first saw dbz in tv ,the first scene was the super saiyan transformation of goku.i was shocked. i didn’t know much about dbz at that time.but soon i made a fond of it and it changed my life.what i learned from dbz is that to stand for the good.and if you are honest with that no matter how much the situatiuon is bad you will get the power inside of you to overcome it.love everyone and fight against evil.i hope that toriyama will make more dbz movies like battle of gods because we can’t live without dragon ball.long live dbz.

    • DerekPadula says:

      Glad to hear Dragon Ball made such a positive difference in your life. I’ve never heard of the Super Saiyan transformation being someone’s first episode. That must have been interesting. And those are very good lessons to have learned. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Spike_Spiegel says:

    Dragonball became more than a cartoon to me. It became a guide on how to live my life. At times when I had issues or obstacles in my life I would imagine those problems in physical form. So I would turn them into Frieza, Majin Buu, or Cell. I would tell myself, “Ok. Are you gonna lay down and let Cell (my problems) win? Or are you gonna power up and fight?” And of course i would fight and win and feel so good afterwards. I still do that to this day. Lol
    I feel the character i connect woth most is Gohan. Even though Vegeta is my favorite character. The reason I connected with Gohan is earlier in my life when faced with a challenge i would get scared and run and ask other people to help me. I couldn’t do anything for anyone but other people always had to help me. I started working my courage up but when i saw Gohan kill Cell who was pretty much unbeatable that showed me anything is possible even when people say its impossible and my courage skyrocketed.
    Thank you Dragonball.

    • DerekPadula says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Spike. I’ve never heard of someone thinking of Dragon Ball in real world terms like that. Seems like it has a very powerful effect and I’m glad that you were able to burst through your own personal limits.

  19. Tristan says:

    That’s how I feel about my current taekwondo practice. I went to learn to be a better person and how to defend myself. I was first taught how to be respectful and how to be compassionate towards others. That was what I learned from my first master. He was like Grandpa Gohan or Master Roshi (without the pervy side). Then he left to become CEO of the Taekwondo association and I met my new teacher. He’s more tough on me, but I know it’s because he wants me to be successful. He’s a lot like Piccolo. He’s more strict and ready to tell a student to get out of his class if they are not willing to train hard and do their best.

    • Tristan says:

      I would also like to add that I took Taekwondo back in 2002-2003. But my master passed away due to cancer. But I restarted my practice in early 2010 at my current school.

  20. Akif Eisa says:

    Even though I’m Muslim, I do think Dragon Ball Z has its insightful and riveting aspects

    When I think about the scene where Future Gohan says “Not one death will go unaccounted for, not one!”, I feel uplifted with the hope of Divine justice being delivered in response to the crimes of genocide/mass murder.

    The relationship between Gohan and Videl has inspired me to develop a potential relationship between me and this Palestinian-American girl I met in high school.

    The worship of hubris leads to the path of spiritual decay and ultimately to Hell (Cell and Majin Vegeta are straightforward examples of this)

    The sibling relationship between Goten and Gohan somewhat reminds me of the sibling relationship I’ve had with my 2 elder brothers

    I look up to Future Trunks for the following reasons

    1. I’ve had a fascination with his Z-Sword and Burning Slash Attack

    2. His overall physical appearance

    3. He symbolizes the interconnectedness between Present and Future

    4. When I look back at my teenage years, I regard him as a symbol for teenagers undergoing spiritual struggle for self-enlightenment

    5. I feel inspired by Future Trunks’ attainment of higher consciousness through his simultaneous expression of anger and shedding of tears

  21. DBZ Philospohy says:

    Dragon Ball Z I see as an allegory of the fight between good and evil with various characters representing various degrees of each separately or in combination. I see it as a message to defy tyrants. I see it as a message to do the right thing. I see it as a message to call out evil.

    It contains various messages. Each character represents various things.

    Goku is the guy doing what needs to be done.

    Vegeta is the guy who goes for material pleasure to avoid responsibility, but eventually turns to the good side.

    Freiza represents the classic tyrant.

    The fight between Goku and Freiza was iconic in that it represents two conflicting mindsets between those who stand for true freedom and those who stand for slavery and chains.

    As Freiza gets hurt while performing the objectively evil acts he gets overly angry, showing disgust that someone finally fight back against such tyranny. Ultimately the cockiness of Freiza was his downfall.

    When I say Freiza represents a classic tyrant I really mean it. The actions of Freiza are akin to the collective actions of essentially every government on Earth.

    Both rule with fear, both use violence to achieve their agenda. Both do not stand for what they consider “insolence”, as in they despise freedom.

    Goku represents true anarchy and freedom, the fighting spirit that does not bow down to the tyrant. He represents the spark of freedom that exists within us.

    These characters not only represent different groups of people and how they act, but also represent an internal duality of the mind. The conflict between good and evil.

    There are objectively evil actions that people can do, the same with good. There is also a subjective perspective which will have it’s own concept of evil. When peoples morality is not in line with objective morality (the golden rule: do no harm. Do not INITIATE force), they will perform wrong actions while thinking it is the right thing.

    This inconsistency of the application of moral beliefs occurs out of fear of what the tyrant will do. Whether this tyrant is Freiza in DBZ with his minions, or if it is government with it’s agents and even every day people who do not officially work for the government submitting to fear and calling the police on someone for a non-violent action that is denoted by the state as “wrong” because is not the “law aka the word of lying politicians”.

    Freizas power is representative of people using their energy to empower the state out of fear.

    Gokus power represents people using their energy to encourage freedom and to oppose tyranny in all of it’s forms.

    It represents the true divide in humanity: Those who support true, objective freedom, or those who support slavery.

    • KC says:

      When I was young my older brother introduced me to DBZ and we fell in love with it. The concept of constant physical improvement resonated with a family of wrestlers and football players who were constantly training for strength and speed. It was nothing like the cheesy American cartoons about mutants and such. In middle school I discovered dragonball, there was something deeply blissful about the themes, artwork and original japanese score. This drew me into eastern culture. When I was 20 I began a tough battle with anxiety. I somehow instinctively knew that the meditation techniques I borrowed from dragonball could help me on my journey to healing. It opened the door to a whole new way of thinking and eased the anxiety overtime. DB is an inspiration to me, to be altruistic, courageous, and still no matter what challenges I may face.

  22. Jay Grison says:

    This show has blessed me into molding me into what I am destined to be. You see God presented this to me because this is how he could get to me. God always uses things in our lives we are attached to too either tear us down or lift us up. I have always been a strong and pure person. I have sinned yes, but he who follows God becomes pure of heart. Within this show these characters are legends. The whole series is about a group of people who have discovered who they are and what they were created for. Throughout the show they go down paths and do things regular people have not even begun to think or be enlightened to. For example Frieza was the universe’s tyrant with no one ever being able to beat him. Goku rises up and defeats him, now goku is the legendary super sayian. He did what no one ever did before.
    This relates to me because I, A martial artist have been shown there is nothing out of your grasp. So with that being said, I talked to the lord and prayed that he would give me a challenging and warrior lifestyle the z warriors had to face. And he has picked me to battle along side him in the Last battle at Judgement day. Yes it sounds crazy, I know believe me. But my heart and spirit tell me in silence it is true. Not because I want it, No. But because In have prayed for something with pure intentions. Helping God in battle. I have not prayed for money or sex, nor fame. But to have a chance at being the strongest in the cosmos. I have choose this pilgrimage of becoming one of the strongest fighters in the Universe. With my goal being to prepare for the great battle of God and Satan. And this teaches as well, its of magic but suffering through training and discipline with a clear, pure goal, which ultimately will happen. Just think what was goku’s only goal in life. To be the strongest, even in death.

  23. robert says:

    Short answer (long later I need sleep) when I feel like im not giving my all or on the verge of quitting I think what would goku or vegeta do. Especially in the gym, I have a mental vegeta as a trainer with me

  24. SponkyHonky says:

    I learned a lot from Dbz and one of which is to always face your problems and even when you lose weather it would be a fight or somewhere that seems to be your braking point dont give up faith or ever back down! I love Goku’s personality even when bad stuff happens, he still carries a smile. He has a huge heart and always cares for his friends because you dont always have to be the best all the time but just make others feel good and be strong will! -Christy

  25. Chetan Bhagat says:


  26. HiOak says:

    Dragon Ball gave me something to do besides masturbate before I go to bed. I love it. It probably saved my current relationship and my life.

  27. Daniel Christian says:

    Goku has always been a fascinating and inspiring character from story-telling to me. I’ve also recently learned that the name “Goku” basically means someone who knows nothing worrisome, and also that the name symbolizes someone with a healthy beginner’s mindset and never gets the anxiety that comes with experience. Goku has always intrigued me because of his kindness, humility, mercy, and many other virtuous characteristics. In fact, I try to live a good life by having him as an example. Back in middle school and high school, I was severely depressed and to be honest, it almost felt to me like “nice guys finish last” in life due to seeing sad things going on in my middle school and high school years. But now that I’m in college, I’ve learned that hard working and kind people are not the ones that are losers. Many times those people are in a happy place. Goku was one of the many inspirations that helped me get through those hards times in my past, and his character still helps me to this day. Right now I use the character of Goku to help me be more patient, nice, and encouraging to everyone I encounter. I also use Goku and the Eastern philosophy associated with him to help me live my life better in every aspect–whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual. I would say that now I’m a lot like Goku in terms of learning to not worry too much and to just be at peace on many levels. I also have a goal to lose weight and I’m using Goku as a part of motivation to help me in my work-outs and dieting to pursue losing 60 pounds. In my goal to lose weight, I try to train hard in the weight room like Goku does when he trains, and to also not work out for empty reasons like looking really fit in front of others, but just to be healthy for the people I love like my present family and for my future wife and future kids. Goku’s character helps me to rest too, and to not overwork myself or work so hard that I neglect others. Goku is a great character in art and he will always be an inspiration to me.

    • DerekPadula says:

      Well said, Daniel! I agree with every point made. Congrats on having such a right mindset, and good luck with your training!

      • Daniel Christian says:

        Thanks, Mr. Padula! Oh and by the way, I’m reading your “It’s Over 9,000!” book. Great read! I love how you incorporate the Eastern philosophy that was involved in the making of Dragon Ball Z with the general plot summary itself. I also love how you talk about the symbolism from the scouters and how every being is more than just a number. Fantastic book and fantastic analysis of Dragon Ball Z!

        • DerekPadula says:

          Thanks, Daniel! Above all I wanted to inspire the reader and to help think differently about themselves, so I’m glad that part of the book came through to you. Please be sure to share the book with your friends and rate it online wherever you bought it!

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