While many may think of Dragon Ball Z as just an anime, a source of entertainment to the world, it is actually much more than that when you consider the fact that it is an anime which has taken inspiration from Buddhism and lead us to a story about warriors who become strong by facing hardships and challenging situations in life. These are the events that shape them up and bring out the invincible warriors in them. Dragon Ball Z when given more thought and mind, we can understand that it shows us the challenging situations in life that everyone goes through and tells us about the many hardships in life that helps us to grow as a person and shape it in a manner that is suitable and worthy.
As we know by now Dragon Ball Z has a basic plot of a monkey kid who due to his Saiyan abilities was sent to planet Earth to destroy it but he after having his tail removed became one of the individuals who would go one to live his life on Earth and become a warrior whose base strength and gut was shaped in Earth. He is someone who would go on to become the Earth’s protector and have a Kakarott title attached to him, a title that is so worthy and high in praise that it immediately gives him a whole new elevation in respect and attitude. This is the story of the boy who would become different than rest of his breed and have an excellence in attitude where he would protect people rather than destroy/kill them and cause mayhem.
As many know this is the story of Son Goku and his life as it is portrayed in the anime but what if it actually is something different and more detailed than that? What if the story is not just as it seems and is something that is completely different and divergent than the rest? As we know from a famous Chinese tragic action fantasy novel and movie of ‘The Monkey King’ he is someone who is the second resemblance of Goku and is also referred as him if we see that movie from a standard and a more symbolic point of view.
Through the many resemblance that we see in the anime and in the movie/novel there is one thing for certain, it is that these two are the people of the same nature and have an extraordinary power inside of them which is only differentiated through the use of moments i.e., Goku is always shown as the all powerful mighty being (Saiyan) whereas, the Monkey king is shown as the kindred spirit whose power only awakens when he realizes the essence of life and the true meaning to save those that he loves and put priority to saving others than himself.
One of the most common resemblance in the anime and the novel/movie is the use of ‘Flying Nimbus’ as a source of mobility and easier transportation between both the Monkey King and Son Goku. It is this source of higher mobility that binds them together, giving them an identical look bringing the anime closer to that of the real world. It may seem trivial to some but this is the part of the anime which actually helps to keep the real world and that universe of anime intact, it gives it a sense of realism and connects the story to the real world to some extent, making it even more enriching and detailed.
The other good resemblance in the anime which we can find in a blink of an eye is the fact that both of our protagonist has a tail, the only difference and main contrast between the two is that one is a monkey while the other is an ape who later on due to excessive power surge goes on to lose his tail and live as a normal Saiyan warrior. This is the other fact which connects our main protagonist Son Goku to Wukong, the Monkey King.
The other such connection we can make to Wukong and Goku is with the movie and novel by the name of “Journey to the West”. It is a classic Chinese folktale legend that speaks about a monk and his three protectors who travelled to India in search of Buddhist scriptures and to bring them to China while overcoming endless hardships and troubles along the road. It is a tale where the tell us about the common hardships you face in a mystical journey and depict to us just how important it is to seek great heights and have the will to persevere.
Just like the anime it talks a great deal about being more humane and sensitive to nature and those around it, it tells us how we can overcome our previous selves and awaken the hidden power in us when we have the will to be better than our yesterday and keep in mind that it is great heights that we are willing to reach, a place so beyond our understanding and reason that it gives us the power to protect those that are important to us.
As many may know by now, Dragon Ball Z is a classic anime which talks about our main protagonist Son Goku but what many do not know is the fact that this anime actually helps us in a lot of situations and problems in life. By showing us the over powered Saiyan warriors and those alike all around them, the anime actually tells us how to be strong and more protective of those that we hold dear. By showing us over-the-top fight scenes and sequences, we get to see how the Saiyans never back out from a fight and their will to hold their ground even when they face opponents who can beat the life out of them. These are the moments which inspire us and show us to be strong when we face life challenging situations. They are the proof that everything that life throws at us is just a part of life and those are the moments which too shall pass away and be covered with much nicer memories and moments in time.
These are the times when life plays a game with us and in return tests us about just how far we have come, it is all done so that we ourselves become stronger and better than who we are and have a knowledge about the mistakes we make, ultimately correcting them and gaining a basic sense of what to do and what not to.
Throughout the anime, there is just one thing that we see in common i.e., the good becomes better while the bad becomes worse. It shows us the balance of life and tells us about how nature will always be the one who keeps things in balance and in check. When we first see our main protagonists and the antagonists, they are but merely heroes and villains who fight for the sake of destruction and protection, but overtime as the anime progresses and keeps taking turns ever once in a while, we understand that with time both of them have matured enough and have changed themselves for the better of the worse. This process of showing maturity and changing themselves in their own way is the cycle of life and can be represent by the use of Yin-Yang.
Even when many will fail to believe, Yin-Yang is actually the main background and plot of Dragon Ball Z. Just like the use of Yin-Yang in everyday life and challenging situations, it also remains the same for Dragon Ball Z where we see that everything in the anime is equally distributed between the good and the bad and just like the saying goes that ‘nature will take care of it’ we find that it is also nature in DBZ who takes care of both the good and the bad side. When our antagonists get strong there is always a protagonist who takes care of him and when our heroes get on the stronger side then there is an introduction of a new character in the anime who turns out to be the new toughest opponent that they have faced, balancing out the anime in whole.
While it may not seem like it, the anime is actually the proper connection of Chinese folktales, literatures and teaching of Buddhism which guide the anime and let it light shine on it. The anime talks a great deal about the things that are present in everyday life and shines its light on the fact that it is not just an imagined story but a product of great research and development which may have just started out like a fresh idea in Toriyama’s mind .