Not too long ago I wrote an article about the Ten Biggest Plot Holes in Dragonball Z. I tried to sleep the night afterward but I couldn’t. My mind kept racing to inform me of plot holes I missed. So after a week of restless nights I composed myself and plunked out another ten plot holes worth noting. I already covered the top ten, so here are Ten More Big Plot Holes in DBZ. And while you’re at it, you might as well be caught up with the series, so check out my favorite season, Season 6.
Some Animals Talk, Just Not All of Them:
There are talking animals in the world of Dragonball Z. There just are. I can’t explain that, nor do I feel like defending it. It’s just silly, so it works. You’ve got a shape-shifting pig, a dog that’s president of the world, and all manner of creatures that speak and walk around like it’s totally normal. But then there are other animals that, for some reason, don’t speak or act like humans at all. Some cats talk, other don’t. Some pterodactyls are mindless, others are martial arts champions. What’s the distinction? Meh, whenever the plot feels better one way or another. There’s just no getting around this one without saying, “Yeah, the show is goofy. Deal with it.”
I Don’t Need Air, Do I?:
Somehow the heroes of the show have found themselves fighting a number of enemies that can breath in space. That’s right, they can BREATH in SPACE. You know, that place with no air and absolutely nothing at all? They can breath there. Okay, they’re special creatures, but then we come to Goku and Vegeta and suddenly we blur the line of who can and can’t breath what. Within a few episodes of introducing Vegeta, he is seen blowing up a planet just because he feels like it. How does he blow the planet up? He opens his space pod and stands above the planet as he fires a beam. Don’t give me any explanation that “He was still within the planet’s atmosphere” or something because when that planet exploded, an action that was instant, it was obliterated. No way Vegeta’d survive that one. So can Vegeta just breath in space? No, he needs air, as we learn since Frieza nearly drowns him and strangles him, and later Kid Buu does the same. He needs air to live. Oops. The same goes with Goku on his trip to Namek. He gets his foot glued to the outside of his spaceship during flight, yet somehow gets back inside his ship after leaving the boot glued in place. That’s impossible due to the vacuum of space. He’d be dead, I don’t care what you say. “He held his breath” can only go so far.
Garlic Jr. and His Place In The Series:
In between the Frieza Saga and the Trunks Saga, the anime decided to add a little filler saga called the Garlic Junior Saga in which the character of Garlic Junior returns from somewhere called the Dead Zone, takes over Kami’s Lookout, and vows revenge against Goku for pushing him into the Dead Zone in the first place. Some of you might not know but the first DBZ movie is called The Dead Zone and stars Garlic Junior as the villain who kidnaps Gohan and forces Goku and Piccolo to fight. This movie is one of the few cannon movies of the series. It has to be, otherwise Garlic Junior couldn’t show back up and allow it to make sense. But in The Dead Zone, Goku, Piccolo, and Krillin all see Gohan go ballistic and mess up Garlic Junior with some crazy power he’s just got hidden. Problem with this is that the beginning of the series proper has Goku introducing Gohan to Krillin and the others, to which they’re surprised to learn that Goku is a dad. Krillin already knew who Gohan was in The Dead Zone, and Goku and Piccolo already knew that Gohan was capable of ridiculous power when pushed even before Raditz took him and pushed him too far, so how does this all fit? It’s another one of those, “Yeah, we know we said one thing already, but could you just please forget that we did and believe the new story now? Thanks.” That doesn’t mean I’m happy with it, though.
Goku’s Ship Destroyed But Still Useable:
Here’s an interesting one to deal with, and the problem comes from the original Japanese anime creating filler, not the US dubbing the show improperly. In the timeline, Goku comes to Earth as a baby in a Saiyan space pod, Raditz comes to Earth in a Saiyan space pod, Gohan destroys Raditz’s pod, Piccolo destroys Goku’s pod, Nappa and Vegeta arrive on Earth in their pods, Vegeta escapes in his, and Nappa’s is accidentally self-destructed. That’s the whole reason Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan had to use Kami’s old Namekian space ship to travel to Namek: Because the Saiyan space pods were all gone or destroyed. Yet when Goku goes to Namek he does so in a ship that Dr. Briefs makes from Goku’s Saiyan space pod. You know, the one that Piccolo obliterated with a Special Beam Cannon because it was projecting a hologram of the moon and causing Gohan to transform into a giant ape. There is no way to explain this one away other than “Big ol’ oops” since the plotline of Goku’s space pod creating a hologram was added as filler by the anime to allow the manga time to catch up, something that was common practice. Somehow they just never found a better way to resolve that little snafu, so they just said, “Ah heck with it, we already told them Garlic Junior somehow fits in the story, so why not this?” And then they blew Goku up on Namek and retconned that a few episodes later because they needed to lie to us just a little more. What next? Giant holes in the body aren’t fatal anymore?
Holes In The Body Ain’t Nothing Till They Are:
Oops. One of the most dramatic scenes from early in the series is when Piccolo launches the Special Beam Cannon and drills through Goku and Raditz, leaving both with a gaping hole in their chest and a definite “You’re dead sucka” on their foreheads (this is also the last time the special Beam Cannon is effective, save for blowing up Goku’s Saiyan space pod, thus actually making the attack so powerful it can rip through whole plots in a few seconds). Later on Namek people start getting treated as pincushions just because they can be. Krillin gets a horn through the stomach and lives. Vegeta gets Krillin to blow clean through his torso with an energy blast, but is healed by Dende a little bit later. Yamhca proves he’s useless by getting a hand through the stomach as well, but also doesn’t die because someone gives him a Senzu Bean. Sure the villains start getting holes in them, but they just regenerate, so there’s no problem there. However, along comes Future Trunks to take a blast to the chest from Cell, instantly killing him. Say wha? Trunks, this super powerful guy from the future, can be killed by a blast through the stomach? Was it because they didn’t get him medical help soon enough? Or just because it was more dramatic that way? I’m going with option B, because the show never seems to deal with how fatal having your spinal cord ELIMINATED actually is unless it makes for a good plot point.
Trunks and His Wacky Time Adventures:
Oh hey, speaking of Trunks, where is he from anyway? Well, there’s the Trunks of the present time that’s Bulma and Vegeta’s son, and then there’s the Trunks from the future timeline where the androids have killed everyone and everything with a big killing machine called “Their Fists.” So Trunks comes to our timeline (technically in a separate timeline since whatever he does in the present doesn’t effect his future), and saves Goku from dying from a heart virus. He also decides to stay a while and train with Vegeta to become way more powerful than he ever was so that when he returns to his own timeline he’ll be strong enough to destroy the androids that live there, which he does. As confusing as it is thinking about Cell and his role in the time travel, we have to try. Trunks comes here and helps us, but Cell comes to our timeline as well but from a future where he’s killed Trunks, which means Cell must be from a third timeline somewhere or something. I don’t know; it makes my head hurt a bit too much. But all of this is confounded by the knowledge that seven years after the whole debacle with Cell, Majin Buu shows up to muck with the world. So where was he in Trunk’s timeline? He should have popped up sometime around Trunks’ eighth birthday, but in The History of Trunks we know that Trunks is happily failing to be relevant yet until he’s roughly thirteen or something. Majin Buu would have annihilated Trunks’ world, even worse than the androids, with no hope of anyone stopping him as Trunks wasn’t stronger than Goku or Vegeta and both of them lost to Majin Buu a handful of times. Assuming the timeline really did get shifted due to the time travel (as Trunks speculates), the world would still be doomed as soon as Majin Buu showed up. Bleak world to think about. Just don’t get me started on how Trunks actually got that sword.
Anatomy Is Not Their Strong Point:
When Goku was a boy he had a tail. This was because Saiyans as a race had tails from birth that allowed them to transform into giant apes at the sight of a full moon. In Dragonball, Goku does just that, so his tail keeps getting removed in order to prevent the problem from reoccurring (since when he turned into a giant ape he went nuts and destroyed everything). Dragonball Z comes along and so does Gohan, tail and everything. He’s able to transform after seeing the moon or even a hologram of the moon, so Piccolo removes Gohan’s tail twice with Vegeta removing it a third time during their big fight at the end of the Saiyan Saga. After that, Gohan never grows his tail back. And that never seems strange to anyone, even after he grew it back a total of three times in a single year. Vegeta loses his tail as well but it doesn’t grow back. In fact, they seem to completely forgo the whole “Saiyans Have Tails” thing after the Saiyan Saga since neither Goten nor Trunks have tails at birth. No one questions this since, you know, it’d be pretty startling to discover that the Saiyans as a species are losing one of their more valuable features. Goku’s tail was permanently removed because of a deal he made with Kami, but the others? “Just c’mon, stop asking questions when we’ve got stories to tell, alright?” Fine fine.
Geography Is Not Their Strong Point Either:
Question for DBZ fanboys: How long is Snake Way? Don’t remember? It’s 10,000 miles. That sure does sound like an impressive number, no? Okay then, geography fanboys: What is the circumference of the Earth, in miles? Give up? That number is roughly 24,901 miles and some change. Suddenly Snake Way doesn’t seem as bad, but it’s still ridiculously long, right? RIGHT? Well yeah, but it makes no sense the amount of importance they give to said way of snake. The bigger problem at stake here is that Goku has traversed the world multiple times without much difficulty, even swimming half way around the world in a day when he was 17. Suddenly, this journey doesn’t sound so bad. This is another one of those problems that came up in the anime but was correct in the manga, where Snake Way is 1 million kilometers (621,371 miles), a slightly more intimidating pathway. Still, the US dub never corrects this, even after all the “definitive remastered editions” keep supposedly “fixing” said problems. I call shenanigans on you Funimation! Anyway, this 10,000 mile mark causes the next statement to make no sense: Only Goku and King Yemma have ever made it to the end. Ah…huh. Either there’s a lot more to Snake Way than they show, or everyone else really sucks when they die. Assuming there is nothing better to do when you die, why haven’t more people made the trip? They’ve got nowhere else to go. It’s like Goku’s the only important character in the history of ever. Oh wait, maybe because…
Goku Is The Only Important Character of The Series:
Goku is master of all the best attacks and techniques on the show. He knows the Kamehameha, the Spirit Bomb, Instant Transmission, the Kaio-Ken, the Solar Flare, and Super Saiyan 1-3. The Solar Flare was a technique he picked up from Tien, while the Kamehameha came from Master Roshi. The Super Saiyan thing was simple genetics. But even though Instant Transmission was arguably one of the most useful techniques in the show, he never bothered to teach anyone how to do it, even when he had three years to do it before the androids showed up. And the Kaio-Ken, a technique that he learned from King Kai along with the Spirit Bomb, did anyone get to learn those? It was a move that only King Kai was supposed to be able to teach, so that’d mean a character would need to train with King Kai for a long time such as when…Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu lived with King Kai and learned nothing. Ouch. It makes no sense, either, as they’re clearly strong enough to learn these abilities since they’re stronger than Vegeta was against the Ginyu Force. Say what?
Okay, so Goku dies with a power level of roughly 400 when he travels Snake Way, trains with King Kai, and returns to Earth with the new skills and a power level over 9,000. The three in question die with power levels over 1,000 and reach King Kai, staying for a lot longer than Goku was able to as Goku had two months and these guys had four months and eight months (Tien and Chiaotzu had the latter). Goku fights the Ginyu Force on Namek with a power level at 180,000, though Vegeta couldn’t beat them with whatever power level he had. The Ginyu Force go to King Kai’s planet after they die since King Kai invited them and they all lose to Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu, meaning those guys have a power level well above Goku’s when he learned the Spirit Bomb and the Kaio Ken. So does King Kai teach them? Nope. Would they have wanted to learn? Tien was seriously into surpassing Goku someday, so you bet your sweet hinnie he’d want to know that. So why no love to the also rans? And beyond that, Krillin has the single deadliest move in the series with the Destructo Disk, a disk of energy that can slice through ANYTHING. It’s a one-hit-KO every time as long as it hits the person in the right place. Give this to someone with some real power and suddenly it’s hyper-deadly. But no, Krillin wasn’t important enough to bother with teaching this vital move. It’s not like these guys are martial arts masters or anything. Oh wait…
Epic Fights? Never Seen Those Before:
I don’t know how I missed this blaring plot hole in my last article since it rips the believability of the Dragonball world to shreds. In Dragonball, when Goku is a kid, he fights against Master Roshi, Tien, and Piccolo in three separate Tenkaichi Budokais (Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournaments), each in increasingly epic battles that involve flight, explosions, hyper speed, and all manner of crazy things. But by Dragonball Z the whole world has forgotten that these guys exist and so they don’t bother to remember that it isn’t all that ridiculous to see people capable of these things when they show up again. The worst thing that happens is some guy named Hercule (originally Mr. Satan in the Japanese and uncut versions) convinces the world that everything that happens in the Cell Saga is all just an elaborate set of tricks since people aren’t capable of flight, super speed, or energy blasts. Even though the whole world has seen this happen on multiple occasions. Somehow they just believe, “Oh, yeah, that’s all just some explosives and jet packs and such.” To make matters worse, the military decides that every time a new threat shows up they should send in entire fleets to dispatch said threat. When Nappa and Vegeta show up, Nappa single-handedly wipes out all of Earth’s army, half the time just flying through the fighter jets and aircraft carriers. So when Cell shows up and manages to do the same thing, why does Earth’s military decide, “Hey yeah, I think we should go into certain death. That sounds like a good plan.” Naturally, Cell blows them all to HFIL and goes back to waiting for the important characters of the show (Goku) to come challenge him properly. Even if Hercule can convince everyone that Cell is just really good with tricks, that STILL makes him an unbelievable threat. Which would you be more afraid of? A guy that can fly around and shoot energy beams from his hands, or a guy with enough explosives to level entire cities and wipe out whole military factions? One of those is ridiculous, but the other? That’s Real World terrifying. We have people fighting a war right now because we THOUGHT that some guy had the means to pull off Cell-style tricks with explosives. After the first Tenkaichi Budokai when Goku and Master Roshi are exchanging Kamehamehas, everyone on the face of the planet would have rushed out to learn how to do this, especially the military. I guess it makes sense though. I mean, it’s not like everyone in the world is as important as Goku, right? Right.
So there you have it, another ten reasons why I have too much time on my hands. Am I still leaving some vital plot hole out? Or am I just looking for problems where there really isn’t any? Have you got an explanation for my gripes or a continuation of a gripe here? Comment time! Leave some comments and I’ll return the love. Even if you aren’t Goku.
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