The Father of Shonen
One thing I’ve never understood is why it’s even a debate in the first place, and why the answer hurts so many feelings.
It’s not like the answer changes the quality of older Shonen, or Shonen that came after the fact either.
It just means ONE Shonen in particular was responsible for what we see today.
Aka – the “father” of Shonen
Dragon Ball Z Is the father of Shonen anime
When I say
Akira Toriyama took inspiration from Journey To The West, a Chinese novel from the 16th century.
It wasn’t until Dragon Ball continued with DBZ in 1989 that the father of Shonen
That is a FACT. Even to this day Shonen
Powering up, getting angry and blowing up the surrounding area, energy blasts, etc. And of course Shonen cliches like the main character having an impossible appetite.
The grandfather of Shonen would be Astro Boy
Astro Boy is about as old school as it gets. Even more so than You’re Under Arrest, Bubblegum Crisis, and other series in general.
This series, created by Osamu Tezuka, was released in 1963-1966. Very few
Because of the time period it was in, and the fact that it’s Shonen, it’s considered and should be classed as the grandfather of Shonen
It might not have been the biggest, best selling, or anything grand like that, but it’s responsible for what comes years later to an extent.
Dragon Ball Z Is the TRUE Father Of Shonen Anime:
1. It’s the main inspiration behind the biggest and classic
You’re obviously aware of
Eichiro Oda has come out and admitted it publicly, and has said he drew many influences from the Dragon Ball franchise.
This is true mainly for the beginning of
There’s nothing wrong with this which is why it’s weird how fans take it personal.
The same is true for
Just look at
The author himself admitted to being inspired by DBZ in a Shonen Jump interview….
“Kishimoto cites Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series as one of his influences, noting that Goku, the protagonist, was a key factor when creating
NarutoUzumaki due to his energetic and mischievous personality.”
He also went on to say this about how he started:
“I got into Akira Toriyama Sensei’s Dr. Slump
animeand Dragon Ball manga. I loved his characters. I was especially attached to Dr. Slump’s Arale and Dragon Ball’s Goku. Also, his art really appealed to me. There was something about his cartoony drawing style that felt right, more so than realistic drawings. I thought to myself, I want to become like Toriyama Sensei.”
There’s more similarities between
This is ironically similar to Babidi doing the same thing to Vegeta with the MAJIN mark. And Goku having to fight him (like
Kamehameha and Rasengan share subtle similarities, too.
And then we have
It was fairly big, and Spain was one of the countries where this was true.
I call it the female version of
You have a powerful sorcerer called Lina Inverse, a female protagonist. And right from the beginning she can easily destroy an entire town with one simple energy blast.
As the series and the adventure progress, she becomes more powerful, and stronger opponents and villains are introduced.
Not to mention techniques that can destroy the universe at large.
There’s no direct quotes from the author of this series in regards to DBZ, but it’s clear as day.
And we have One Punch Man. Yes in this case it’s a parody series which takes the piss out of Shonen tropes and cliches.
That doesn’t change the facts though. Even the author has admitted the series takes influence from Dragon Ball.
One Punch Man likely wouldn’t exist if not for
That fact has also lead to fandoms being toxic because everyone fights over who’s stronger between Saitama and Goku.
It’s not hard to see the similarities on the surface, even though there are unique differences below it.
There’s also modern and other old school
anime DBZ inspired like: My Hero Academia. Fairy Tail.
- Gintama (more the parodies).
- My Bride Is A Mermaid.
- Good Luck Girl.
- Sailor Moon (only loosely).
- Yu Yu Hakusho.
- Twin Star Exorcist.
Hunter x Hunter.
And so many more
Many of these series have become influential, classics, best sellers, or have built strong fanbases in general.
That’s the effect of DBZ being the father of Shonen
2. Unbeatable influence
There’s a thing called Goku day for a reason. This isn’t by accident or by some stroke of luck that fell out the sky.
Not to mention Japan itself since they’re the ones who created “Goku Day”, and Goku has been chosen to represent the Olympics as well.
There’s also the influence its had on gym culture and fitness overall.
Many fans have gone on to create their own fitness businesses, online and offline. And have named some of their workouts based on DBZ.
They see characters like Goku, Vegeta, and so on as an inspiration to the point where they wanna keep and stay fit.
Not even an
Let’s not forget how DB is still dominating decades later, and is doing a better job than
Back when the fight aired between Jiren and Goku, it literally broke the internet.
That alone speaks to the
There’s no comparison in Shonen when it comes to these accomplishments (except
In spite of that though, it’s just another reason why Dragon Ball as a franchise is the father of Shonen…. Based on statistics, success, sales, and observable facts.
What about Fist Of The North Star?
This series along with Dragon Ball aired pretty much around the same time, and are original for their influence.
The martial arts fighting style and things of that nature come back to these
I don’t think many fans, especially old school or those who are aware of these
That said, Fist Of The North Star just didn’t cut it the way DBZ did. And that’s been proven out by time.
The difference in popularity, success, and influence is undeniable and obvious.
The Fist Of The North Star is one of few Shonen that played a role in Shonen, but that doesn’t takeaway from DBZ’s father status.
That also doesn’t downplay Fist Of The North Star’s relevance.
Being the father of Shonen doesn’t mean it’s the best
It doesn’t mean it’s the best, which is the mistake people make when they talk about this topic.
Were there “Shonen”
But that’s irrelevant.
The fact is Shonen as we know it would NOT exist without Dragon Ball’s involvement.
I can’t understand why people get so salty about this fact as if that makes other Shonen inferior (it doesn’t).
Dragon Ball’s role in making
If we’re talking about Shonen in particular, it paved the way for all the
- Well known
Because the most notable ones got some of their ideas (and inspiration) from dragon ball.
It’s just like GUNDAM is a big deal for Mecha, but isn’t necessarily the most famous one.
There were other
But that’s how it always plays out.
- Video Games
It all works the same way.
Apple Music (iTunes) changed the music industry online more than people today are aware. They were NOT the first to do it.
Their impact is why they get so much credit.
The “lesser” known music services before iTunes are why it was possible.
We can still shout out the underground classics and other
Featured image: Deviant Art.