“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”
George Orwell, 1984
Some people aren’t going to like what they see/read in this entry. Contains reference to violence against women, torture, brutality.
The First Time I Was Genuinely Frightened By A Cartoon
I love Dragon Ball, if you’ve spent any time on this sight you know that already. It’s a campy, fun show about muscly men hitting each other. Maybe that’s where this entry isn’t going to make much sense. Because this entry is about a fight, which is pretty standard for an Anime.
Where this is different though is that this isn’t a fight where people fly around shooting beams out of their hands at each other. This fight is fucking BRUTAL.
This fight is completely one sided, isn’t fun or doesn’t have any classic anime things like beams and lasers. This fight is a merciless beat down with screaming, blood, head squashing and other horrible stuff that maybe children shouldn’t see… But see it we did.
The scream she gives when he lifts her up by her hair still makes me really uncomfortable.
I doubt you could get away with showing this on a Saturday morning these days and probably for good reasons. Considering the recent run of Dragon Ball Super didn’t have any blood in it (people spat up a lot of spit instead) I think it’s fair to say this would’ve been axed to.
This was the first time (that I remember) seeing violence against women in a mainstream programme. Violence against women had been used in Soap Operas before, but they usually came with a message about how bad it was and typically had a helpline at the end. They were trying to send a message and help people. This on the other hand.
I remember watching this as a kid and just thinking “this isn’t fun”. But I suppose that’s what they were going for? Videl is a regular, old fashioned human taking her first steps into the world that Super Saiyans occupy.
Throughout this arc it is rammed down our throats just how much more powerful the main cast are than everyone else. People get slaughtered in this arc left, right and centre (I took about about it in this entry about Vegeta) throughout. I suspect that Videl’s beatdown is there to remind Gohan that people need protecting and sexist connotations aside, it is a lesson he sorely needed to learn.
In the previous arc, Gohan got stronger than everyone else and defeated Cell (the last world ender). With the death of his father, Gohan was left to be the defender of the Earth. A mantel he seemed ready to take on…
However, at the start of the next arc we are shown a Gohan who hasn’t trained for years and has gotten to used to peacetime. This fight serves to show him that even during peace, you must prepare for battle.
So why does this clip/event take a spot in my Awesomeverse? Well I’m going with the proper definition of ‘Awe’ here, but not in the great beauty of nature kind of why.
Trust me, this clip definitely left me in awe and it certainly left its mark on my young psyche. It’s not gonna leave my memory anytime soon. It showed me (and I imagine many others) how violent ‘cartoons’ could truly be.
Whether they were going to far or not is up for debate but that’s not why I’m here today. Sometimes you can be left in awe at great things and bad things, and I guess that’s why I thought it was worth bringing up.
Thanks for reading guys. Until next time, remember to take care of yourselves. Peace.
Here is a cute kitty to cheer us up