The first three volumes of the series shed some light on how the heck Goku ended up with Chi Chi and how Bulma ended up with Vegeta. Sure, romance barely happened in the original series, but at least the events of the series explained why the heck Goku is a dumbass who barely cares about his kids because his mind is only focused on fighting, and why Bulma ended up with Vegeta and not Goku. What's more is that even if the show is pretty much inspired by A Journey to the West, a chapter of the series hinted that Goku might be an alien thanks to Oolong.
In Z's case, it feels like I forgot about the plot because of all the fight scenes. The plot is there but it was drowned by the fights. Yes, the fights are good but Dragon Ball is creative when it comes to it, kinda like how a Jackie Chan movie does most of its fight scenes. I mean, the fights in Z are great, no doubt about it but as time went on, it felt like the fights follow a formula. Bad guy appears, hero fights, hero loses, training montage, another fight, hero unveils new power up, hero wins; wash, rinse, and repeat.
Dragon Ball GT tried to return the adventure aspect of the franchise thanks to the first saga, but failed to deliver the elements that made the original memorable. The comedy was not good, the adventure aspect was not as exciting as the original and the fights are lackluster compared to the standards set by Z. That being said, it still bothers me why this show had multiple reruns here in the Philippines and the original series only aired two or three times in three different TV stations! I mean no chance of a proper Dragon Ball rerun from beginning to end? The show ended years ago, you can easily produce a new dub with no interruptions.
If I ask a younger fan about Goku's appearance, he or she would point me to adult Goku who never changed after years of training with various mentors, had kids, a grandkid, and later, a great grandkid. Everyone will still recognize kid Goku thanks to flashbacks but most of his companions are nearly forgotten. Why is it when they needed a decoy to distract Raditz or any villain, Oolong or Puar, two shape shifters are not there? I mean, these two can distract Nappa or Raditz for a couple of minutes before the real guys will show up!
What I am trying to say is, Dragon Ball Z is a really great show, but Dragon Ball deserves a lot of your love. Stuff that you are wondering about Dragon Ball Z such as why Piccolo wants to kill Goku at the start of the series or who are those guys that keeps on popping up in the new Dragon Ball Z movies and Dragon Ball Super are revealed in the original series. Sure, DBZ has a lot of great moments, but those moments will not begin without Bulma accidentally discovering a young Son Goku in a forest back in the first episode of the series.
Originally posted on Orends: Range on October 10, 2010. Updated to better reflect the author's current view of the topic and current writing style.