Dragon Ball was a manga series released in Japan on November 10th, 1985, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It followed the adventures of Son Goku and his super powered, martial arts fighting friends, travelling the world searching for the Dragon Balls; seven magical balls that if gathered, grant the user any wish. The manga series became extremely popular, not only in Japan, but around the world. Looking to capitalize off the popularity of Dragon Ball, 20th Century Fox announced that in 2009 they would release a live action Dragon Ball movie called “Dragon Ball: Evolution”. The movie, released on March 13th, 2009, was met with a largely negative reaction and bombed at the box office. Many fans felt that Dragon Ball Evolution deviated from its source material so much that it barely resembled the manga. Perhaps one of the largest differences in Dragon Ball Evolution was the portrayal of the main character, Son Goku. Among the main differences were his age, his upbringing, and the attitude of the character.
In the original Dragon Ball manga, Goku is defined by his age and his upbringing. At the start of the series Goku is ten years old. He is raised in the woods by his Granpa Gohan and is taught martial arts and how to survive, but is completely unaware of the world around him. This simple view of the world defines Goku as, even though he holds the power of a god, he often times becomes a “fish out of water” where ever he goes. Being young and naive gives the audience a person to relate to in the fictional Dragon Ball universe and makes the character flawed. In Dragon Ball Evolution, Goku is a teenager who lives on the outskirts of the city, and goes to high school. This completely eliminates the childlike aspect of Goku that defines him in the manga. Goku goes to high school in the city, has to deal with bullies, while also concealing his great powers, becoming a “teenaged geek with powers” type character that is portrayed in many superhero films....
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