The problem with comparing Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z.
|I don't like when people say that they prefer Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z. The statement is literally nonsense. They both come from the same comic, which in its original run was simply called Dragon Ball. The comic was originally adapted for television as Dragon Ball, but was left unfinished. Later, the remainder was adapted as Dragon Ball Z since it was the comic's final arc at the time (because Z is the final letter of the alphabet). But it wasn't long before Toriyama was persuaded to extend the series far past this limit, to capitalize on Dragon Ball Z's insane popularity. Therefore, the Z literally means nothing. A common misconception is that Dragon Ball is about young Goku's silly martial arts adventures, and Dragon Ball Z is about grown-up Goku's intense superpowered adventures. But in reality, Goku had grown into a superpowered adult before the Dragon Ball series ended, somewhat near the end but with plenty of episodes left to go. Furthermore, Goku had become a teenager long before that, although it was a much less noticeable change. And as for the show becoming intense when Goku got superpowers, that never happened at any point; it was spread over many points in the comic's original run. Some of them occurred around the switch from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z (Piccolo is defeated and befriended, Goku marries Chichi and fathers Gohan, Raditz arrives on Earth and reveals Goku's Saiyan ancestry) but nothing that would make a viewer take notice; such things as marriage, childbirth, or transformation of major characters, as well as major world-transforming instances of destruction, creation, or discovery, were not exactly rare occurrences. And of course, Dragon Ball was occasionally very intense, and Dragon Ball Z was occasionally very silly. If you're looking for a meaningful place to split the show, look no further than the death of Frieza. It was the intended finale, and everything that came before leads to it so effectively that everything that follows it just seems pointless.|