Making a case for: Dragon Ball GT

(tl;dr: GT has a bad rep but actually provided the well-rounded ending that the series had lacked)

After eleven years of drawing the Dragon Ball manga, Akira Toriyama decided he’d had enough of constantly-resurrected flying supermen saving the world from strangely colored bad guys. He finished the Boo saga, attached a short epilogue, and the series ended with Goku flying off to train Uub and a helpful little note to tell the readers that the story was over now.

Thus ended Dragon Ball, or DBZ in the anime.

But due to its relentlessly devoted fanbase and the resulting fact that more money could be squeezed out of the franchise, it later received a sequel called Dragon Ball GT. This follow-up, like the DB movies, has been lapped up by fans thirsty for more spiky-haired muscle machines, but doesn’t enjoy their full appreciation – maybe because, like the DB movies, it was created with the blessing but without the involvement of Akira Toriyama himself. It’s been called stupid, exaggerated or juvenile (which is saying something considering the other parts of the series). Fans have criticized the character design (no arguments there), the disregard for side characters (nor there, either) and the deep dark plot holes (nope, no arguments). Interestingly, some fans think everyone is ridiculously overpowered, others think the characters have become ridiculously weak – and the sad thing is, due to the messed-up GT power relations, both of them have a point…

And now I am here to tell you that GT is not only a valuable addition to Dragon Ball, but even a necessary one from a story-telling point of view. (“What?! First the worst episodes of Star Wars, now the worst part of Dragon Ball? God, this blog is going to shit…”).

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Understanding Harry Potter: Language and the educational choices of Victor Krum

(tl;dr: Respect for foreign(ers and their) languages has no place at all in wizarding Britain. Featuring Krum, tweezers and giants.)

After my post on racist and deplorable simplifying attitudes in the Harry Potter series here, I would like to go more in depth on one topic in particular (or, in other words, this half of the rant didn’t fit into the first post anymore). This topic is education and language. Shut up, that is one topic.

Let’s start with a question that may seem irrelevant but is symbolic for the stupidity of the attitude towards Europe presented in the series: why oh why does Krum go to Durmstrang? Read More

Peeves’ Pets: Voldemort’s Wand

(tl;dr: Pretty sure this is a gaping plothole that annoys more people than just me)

As well thought out as the Harry Potter books are, with most loose ends tied up very neatly, there are still some plotholes to spot if you take a careful look. And since I spend my days doing nothing but taking careful looks at books I’ve read a hundred times, these holes tend to bug me more and more as time goes by.

Some of these are well-known and have become a standing joke among fans – Peter Pettigrew and the Weasley twins, for example. If Fred and George have had the Marauder’s Map for years (btw: how exactly did they figure out the specific words you had to say to activate it? Or do they randomly “solemnly swear they are up to no good” on a daily basis?), how did they miss the fact that Ron’s rat kept showing up under the name of Peter Pettigrew? Or did they just not care that this stranger shared a common room with them and a bed with their brother?

Those are small details that don’t really bother me since the overall story continues to make sense (side note: the setting makes no sense at all, but that is a story for another day). Even the logical flaws in the Goblet of Fire I can tolerate. However, there is one thing that I keep thinking about, trying to find the solution that I’m apparently missing, and I’ve never seen it mentioned anywhere else.

And that is the fate of Voldemort’s wand. Read More

Peeves’ Pets: Yardrat

(tl;dr: A post about the plot of Dragon Ball that consists mainly of unanswered questions.)

On this episode of Peeves’ Pets, a.k.a. small things I like to complain about, I want to address the plot holes in Dragon Ball.

Unlike plot holes in other fandoms, which are mainly unexplained details you can find if you squint, Dragon Ball simply leaves whole parts of its plot completely blank. There is a time skip and the story goes on – which would be fine, but everything that happened in the mean time is briefly skirted over and then simply never addressed again.

Case in point: After Goku miraculously escapes from planet Namek before it explodes, he finds refuge on a planet called Yardrat. Where people wear wide cuffs and have taught him the Instant Transmission technique.

And this is all we know. Literally.

About an alien planet where our main character spent an entire year.

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Understanding the Lord of the Rings: Eagles – if all else fails

(tl;dr: plothole shmothole; eagles are a symbol for divine intervention)

Probably the most heated discussion among (pseudo- and real) Tolkien fans is the apparent plot hole of the eagles in the Lord of the Rings novel. If the eagles are so helpful, people say, why not just fly over to Mordor, possibly coming in from the less protected East side of the country, and drop the stupid ring right into the volcano? Defenders then go on to say that eagles are really powerful and dignified beings, and you can’t just use them like that – which is true but seems like a pretty thin argument, considering the eagles did help both Thorin’s group of dwarves and later Gandalf by carrying them on their back. And then, there is the abominable theory that Gandalf wanted to use the eagles all along, and that his plea “fly, you fools” was a hidden message… yeah… sure. Because Tolkien literature is that crude. Read More

Underrated: A Series of Unfortunate Events

(tl;dr: awesome piece(s) of postmodern literature, not only for kids)

In honor of the upcoming Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (pleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckpleasedon’tsuckbtwareyousupposedtoaddapostrophesinthesethings?), I’m going to introduce this wonderful series of books to those of you who may not know it yet, and just do a little advertising for one of my favorite series of all time. Read More

OMG, Big Boo in Friends, 20 years ago!! In „The one with the lesbian wedding“, obviously. Where else. She’s got, like, two lines, but still… be still, my beating nerd heart.
(I’m talking about Big Boo from Orange is the New Black, by the way. Not from Super Mario. That would make no sense. Why would a cartoon ghost attend a lesbian wedding? Yeah.)

Understanding Harry Potter: The White Wizard’s Burden

(tl;dr: The way foreign cultures are presented in the Harry Potter series is an insult both to foreign cultures and to the Harry Potter series.)

Disclaimer: Before I start this article, let me be clear on one thing: I love the Harry Potter series, as evidenced by the insane amount of details I could put into this text without having to look anything up. I consider the series to be a serious piece of literature and I have the greatest respect for JK Rowling’s writing skills (in her later novels, she managed to change her style to the point of being unrecognizable, and that’s one hell of an achievement). I don’t mean to smear these wonderful books.

But. Read More

1984: Big Brother is not watching you

(tl;dr: 1984 is a great dystopian novel, but it no longer depicts the future we should fear.)

Every few weeks on a certain popular memes website, I see posts advising people to read 1984 by George Orwell with the caption „Read this! It’s happening!“ – posts that make me gag, and maybe that’s what the name of the site is based on.

Because it’s bullshit.

We are not living 1984, and I’l tell you why (“Why?” “Exactly.”). Please note: “we” here means Western countries in the 21st century. It doesn’t hold true for all people in the world (far from it!), but it does for most of the people who read and write on the English-speaking internet. Read More

One of my bigger problems is mixing terminology from different fandoms to describe something.

Hey, remember the time Sasuke digivolved to SSJ3 at the Argonath, just after he’d joined the dark side? You know, on his way to Voldemort, the guy with the high voice and snakes? That’s right, when Vulpix, I mean Naruto, evolved to Ninetales, yes. Exactly.