7 Reasons Naruto Might Be Better Than DBZ
Soooo.... Naruto or DBZ?
Blasphemy! I know. Growing up in the 90s makes me a soldier in the League of Z Fighters, however going through puberty and becoming an adult has not only shaken my allegiance but broadened my horizons. There are amazing stories to be told and epic battles to behold all over the world of Anime. Having only watched the first 50 episodes of Naruto let’s just take that and match that up against our lovable monkey-tailed friend and company. Let me take you to a world where Chakra replaces Ki and the blonde hair is genetic instead of earned. In honor of the Almighty Shenron and the dragon balls, let’s make this a list of 7. See? I’m fair.
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7. The Main Character
Sorry peeps. Naruto > Goku. He just is. A fox demon that was destroying a village is defeated and tucked into the belly of an infant? Laws are passed so that this can never be spoken about and the kid grows up with no one, looking different than everyone and being discriminated against for things out of his control. Goku was the spawn of an alien warrior race and was sent to Earth to destroy it. Obviously, he has failed his mission and now big bro comes to see what the hell is going on. As interesting as that sounds, there are so many questions about Naruto that you feel you just need to know the answer to.
Speaking of which…
6. Character Development
Character development is an awesome way to keep viewers interested without all the bells and whistles. Be honest. DBZ is sort of lacking in that department. Outside of Gohan and Piccolo, (If you watched Dragon Ball. If not, GO. WATCH. DRAGON BALL.) who grew? Who changed? Who came to a realization and got a hair cut? Now we’re just talking about the first 50 episodes. You can argue about how awesome Vegeta is later and I’ll agree. Goku disappears and the rest of the nWo goes to the gym. Now in the case of Naruto, he himself goes through a lot of change. We could leave it at that but let’s not. Sakura’s epiphany which led to her cutting her hair and Sasuke before and after the bite. Two moments that changed everything. One can even point out the first test and meeting with Kakashi Sensei. I don’t want to spoil much, just check it out. In DBZ, Goku remains the same which would be fine if the people around him would show some signs of life. Even when the kids are born. Just go. Mom will take you. I must engage in battle!
Did I mention the people around him?
5. The Supporting Cast
About 50 episodes into DBZ they’ve arrived on Planet Namek and Goku is still training. Flying and training. This was a great opportunity for the rest of the cast to shine. And shine they did! Like the inside of a bag of Lay’s BBQ potato chips in a dark alley just past midnight under a dumpster. Instead of showcasing all the reasons we should trust these fighters with our lives, they decided to just montage over a span of an entire year and then run around on a new frickin’ planet literally waiting for their savior to save. How did Yamcha go from bandit to background? Since when did Tien become a weak link after thought? At this point, people who’ve never seen DBZ know that Krillin is great at dying and Kid Gohan is great at crying. You want a great supporting cast? I’ll give you three simple names. Rock Lee. Konohamaru. Hinata. Boom.
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4. Ninja or Nah?
Although Goku and the Z fighters love to fight, it’s an unrealistic playing field. Aliens. Always. Win. Remember the DB days? Yes, Yamaha went toe to toe with Goku, Krillin consistently outsmarted him, and both Master Roshi or Jackie Chun and Tien both beat Goku to win at the World Martial Arts Tournament. The theme in DBZ became all about aliens. As if to say, “We’ve kind of gone through all the humans and robots. Let’s get intergalactic in this piece.” And then the main alien (Goku) fights and kills all threatening aliens as the humans watch and cheer from the sideline. Meanwhile in the world of Naruto, everyone is training, learning, and progressing so anyone can beat anyone on any given day. It’s all about the art of being a ninja and being the best ninja you can be. Who doesn’t love a fair fight?
3. The Plot
We’ve kind of been there, done that, and by now you should know or at least have an idea about what’s going on here. Alien vs. Alien or humans finding themselves through sacred arts, training, and sometimes puberty. You be the judge.
2. More Punchy Less Talky
You love DBZ because of the action you say? I must admit, it was totally rad to see Piccolo blast a hole through the Brothers Son and Galick Gun vs. Kamehameha was epic. But how much fluff does a pancake need? They’re already tasty as is! Go back and count how many episodes it took to beat the Saibamen. Go! While you’re at it, just re-watch that entire first Saga. How long do we have to watch Young Gohan be chased by a dinosaur before being backhanded by Piccolo? Now go watch Naruto. Go through the first 50 episodes and count how many episodes don’t have a fight sequence. You’d be hard pressed.
And the #1 reason I’d like you to invest some time in Naruto is:
1. Styles Make Fights
In the land of Naruto, you come from and always represent a village. It is your duty to honor your village and learn and/or use all of the arts that come along with it. Some cool Ninja traits are handed down genetically and others are ritualistically passed down through schooling. Styles make fights and that’s something that DBZ can’t truly offer you. DBZ is yet again feeding us vanilla where Naruto has gone graveyard at the DIY soda dispenser. Sure it may come down to speed and strength but it’s about how you use it or if you are even given a chance to bust out some cool finger formations and layeth the smacketh down! There’s a guy who controls you by manipulating your frickin shadow! YOUR SHADOW!!! You’d have to wait til the end of DBZ before you get THAT fancy. Buu turning people into chocolate or Dabura’s cement creating saliva. You can keep your Special Beam Cannon (I might need to borrow that Hell Zone Grenade) and I’ll take Shadow Clone or Sexy Jutsu any day. The fact that you can watch Naruto and create dream fight scenarios that people would pay to see is amazing. I’d rather not see Krillin vs. 17. Or Frieza. Or Cell. Or….. you get the point.