During the year 1995, Akira Toriyama’s hit manga series known as “Dragon Ball” came to an end. Son Goku had found a really strong boy named Oob, who was the reincarnation of Majin Boo, and decided to go off with him to train him to be the Earth’s next protector. In 1996, the anime series “Dragon Ball Z” was on its way to finishing up its adaption of the manga. With nothing left to adapt, the anime would be done with Z. However, Toei Animation opted to push the animated series further by creating brand new material that would not have any source material to adapt. Thus “Dragon Ball GT” was created. After Dragon Ball Z concluded with 291 episodes, Dragon Ball GT began the following week.
Dragon Ball GT…isn’t really too well received with fans. It showed as the series only lasted for 64 episodes. The series just didn’t feel the same to some and there were some downright oddities that occurred through out the series. Some of those oddities being continuity errors or just plain flubs. I will admit – Dragon Ball GT is a guilty pleasure to me. I know it’s not as good as Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z, but I still find some enjoyment from it. Even if I find myself questioning some of the things that happen. So that’s what I’m gonna do. A lot of people will just say “It’s not canon. End of story.” as the excuse to why things happen in GT. While it’s not canon with the manga, it does seem to act like it’s canon with the anime. So with that, I’ll be going over all oddities and errors of GT. All 64 episodes of them. Oh boy!
Not even a minute into the start of the series and we have something that’s remarkably off! The opening song “DAN DAN Kokoro Hikarete ‘ku” starts off every single episode of Dragon Ball GT. While it’s a good song, what’s really off about it is that it has absolutely nothing to do with Dragon Ball. See, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z both had three openings (one for DB, two for DBZ) that were made specifically for their respective series’. Not only does this not have anything to do with Dragon Ball, but it’s also a love song.
Romance was a subject that pretty much stayed far away from Dragon Ball. So it’s incredibly odd to be seeing footage of Dragon Ball while a song about what seems to be unrequited love plays beside it. The song was also performed by Field of View, while being written by the late Izumi Sakai of the band ZARD. Both were known for being in the J-POP industry, something that’s also hard to imagine beside Dragon Ball. GT continued this even through the ending themes. We’ll touch more on that later.
Let’s start with the first episode of the series…
“Mysterious Dragon Balls Appear!! Goku Turns Into a Child!?”
Pilaf, Shuu and Mai have made their way up the Heavenly Realm after Pilaf had heard of “Ultimate Dragon Balls.” One thing many people are under the impression of is that flying up there is an impossible task, particularly by plane. We clearly see from Pilaf’s point of view at the start that the group is flying there, rather than climbing up from Karin’s Tower. So what gives? Well, Karin did explain to Yajirobe way before Goku meets Kami-sama that even if a rocket were used to reach the Heavenly Realm, it’d be rejected. My guess is that it was Kami-sama’s doing of keeping just anyone out if they didn’t fit the requirements. Since the Kami-sama we know that merged with Piccolo long ago is no longer around, it’s safe to assume Dende doesn’t continue that tradition despite being the new God of Earth.
What doesn’t make sense, however, are four things revolving around these “Ultimate Dragon Balls.” For starters, Pilaf mentions that it took him a long time to find out about these Dragon Balls. In the beginning, Bulma was unable to find out much about the regular Dragon Balls, other than their ability to grant a single wish and that they turn to stone for a whole year after being used. With that little information, she didn’t even know Kami-sama created them. So this brings up the question of how did Pilaf know about the Black Star Dragon Balls, which were meant to supposedly be kept away? The next question stemming from this is how did he know Kami-sama and Piccolo Daimao were once one being that split apart? Goku’s friends only discovered this one after Goku learned this from Mr. Popo prior to his training, and Pilaf was nowhere around to learn about this bit of info. Finally, how exactly is it the Black Star Dragon Balls were being detected as they made their way to the Heavenly Realm? Bulma’s Dragon Radar was good enough to detect the energy the Dragon Balls give off not just on Earth, but on Namek as well. Why couldn’t it detect these Dragon Balls at any point before? Finally, why didn’t these Dragon Balls disappear a long time ago? When Kami-sama merges with Piccolo, Shen Long disappears and the Dragon Balls turn to stone. Surely the same logic would’ve applied with the Black Star Dragon Balls, as Kami-sama was no longer around.
While nothing major (as this scene was played for comedic effect), it does beg the question of “Where the hell did these skeletons come from?”
Jumping ahead, we now see Pan, Goku’s granddaughter. She’s 9 years old now. She’s on a date. What?! Apparently Toei’s animators and writing staff forgot that GT takes place 5 years after the end of Dragon Ball Z, not 10. I say the animators and writers because through out the episode, Pan tends to bounce back and forth between looking like a shrimpy teenager (Goku was one and they’re both related) and then like her actual age. Through out the whole episode, she acts more like a teenage girl. This becomes a bit problematic the next episode.
It’s especially weird (and kinda creepy) because the boy she’s on a date with looks older than her and is much taller than her. It makes it seem like there’s a huge age difference there. Having a 9 year old go on a date doesn’t help. She later mentions that she was dumped again, implying this is a recurring thing. However, she never seems to pursue any boys again when there is downtime later. The guy’s shirt is stupidly funny, though.
It’s funny how Pan is unable to recognize Goku as a child. Sure, people look different as adults than they do as kids, but even Bulma and the others recognized Goku after his training with Kami-sama because of his hair. I don’t think many people can pull off Goku’s do in the Dragon World. 😉
At the end of the episode, North Kaio-sama explains to Goku and the others that he looked further into the matter of the Black Star Dragon Balls. He reveals that unless they’re all returned to the planet a wish was made on, that planet is doomed to be destroyed within a year. While Kaio is always one to brag about how there’s nothing he doesn’t know, he sure seemed to easily dig up information on Dragon Balls that were kept a secret from virtually everyone to the point where he didn’t think they still existed. In fact, how does one find out this sort of information? Did he ask the souls of those skeletons that were kept hidden with the Black Star Dragon Balls? Or were they killed by Piccolo Daimao and had to suffer in limbo due to being killed by a Mazoku? Oh well. PLOT PLOT PLOT PLOT!
Finally, we’ve reached the end of the episode. Like with the opening, we have an ending that has nothing to do with Dragon Ball. The song “Hitori Janai” was made by Deen, another J-Pop band. This ending theme is used between episodes 1 and 26 of Dragon Ball GT. Like the opening, it’s a great song, but seems oddly misplaced for the series it’s attached to.
What’s also great is how several scenes from the ending are actually all based on artwork Akira Toriyama supplied for the making of the series. Yes, contrary to what many claim, Toriyama did in-fact have some sort of hand with making the series. His role was very limited to just providing a few pieces of character designs and artwork. By the way, one of his character designs is in the next episode and it’s one not many people approved of.