September 28, 2010

Monkeys and dragons collide in “Dragon Ball”

Filed under: Dragon Ball — @ 8:57 pm

When discussing the most influential anime series of all time, few are as agreed upon as Dragon Ball. The original comic series was published for 11 years in Shonen Jump, while the anime series was broadcast for the same length of time. The series is popular around the world, and was even made into an American live-action film.With all of the writing that’s been done on the series since its inception, most people are probably aware about some of the elements of Asian mythology that have influenced it. The most obvious source is the Chinese work Journey to the West, a classical novel published near the end of the 16th century. This story follows a group of pilgrims on their way to India seeking enlightenment. One of the most prominent characters is Sun Wukong, the monkey king, a mystical being and powerful fighter. Sun Wukong is the main inspiration for Goku from Dragon Ballthey have the same monkey tail, fight with the same staff, and both ride a flying cloud. (more…)