From the archives: A Correlation Between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Dragon Ball Z

January 13, 2009

zelda_bar

vegetastinkerIf you’ve played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you know that the only weakness on Ganon’s body once Ganondorf has transformed is the tail. This might seem strange, but it is very coincidental when you look at Dragon Ball Z. In DBZ, there is a race called Sayians (one of many spellings). The Sayians look human enough but they have the special ability to transform into large beasts that often run amuck. I noticed that in one of the battles, the character of Vegeta is fighting Earth’s protector, Goku, and Vegeta decides to use his special ability. When he does, the only thing that stops him in his large, beastly form is when someone cuts his tail off. The correlation is apparent but whether or not the creators of Zelda were influenced by the legendary Dragon Ball Z cartoons is up for speculation.
- Contributed by Andy W.

freeza_mugshotThere are a few “tail” incidents in Dragon Ball Z – someone’s always getting his tail cut off. However, unlike Zelda, the monsters’ tails in DBZ are their strength – they use their tails to fight (like Frieza). When the tail is cut off (a much more difficult feat than slicing Ganon’s appendage), so is their strength. In Zelda, Ganon’s tail is his weak point – he does not use his tail to fight, but is continually turning away from Link so he can’t hit at his tail. Herein lies the microscopic error in the correlation.
- Contributed by Jess

oot-ganon-550xIn reading the link one person found between the weakness of the tails for both Ganon (Zelda: Ocarina of Time) and the Sayans (Dragon Ball), I have noted a few things. First, I believe that these were sexual references, because of how tails were used early on during the Japanese version of Dragon Ball. In earlier episodes withheld from the American market, one would see Goku (just a boy at the time) using his tail to fiddle around with Bulma.

Sure, he used his tail for more practical purposes for hanging and such but the sexual reference became distinct when he used his tail with Bulma. (This was due to the original intentions for Dragon Ball to be a semi-hentai series, more for comic relief than overpowered fighting monsters.) Now what does this have to do with the tails being the weakpoints for the Sayans? This is simple. What is the single most extreme pain that a guy can feel? That’s right, a kick to the ahem. If indeed the tails represented the male sexual organ, but put in a way to be able to show children, then my theory would be all too true.

As for Zelda‘s Ganon, it may be based more on fact than just coincidence with Dragon Ball. One may not have noticed this, but tails are weak. When a pig has his tail grabbed, it squeals and does not like it. Dogs who wag their tails too much often have it snap off (yes it is indeed a disgusting picture) and therefore some people have their tails snipped before something like this happens. By this simple rule, the creator Shigero Miyamoto may have seen this, and decided, “Well if the bad guy is an animal with a tail, perhaps its best to put the weakness there since it would make sense.” On the other hand, it simply may have been that Ganon’s tail is the only accessible part of his body that would make sense to attack during the fight. After all, Ganon represents the ultimate evil, with incredible power. In most stories (Norse mythology for example) the extremely powerful people have a single weak spot. Baldir had the mistle toe, as did Achilles with his ankle. With all these ideas combined, it made a lot of sense to go with the tail as a weakpoint in the game.
- Contributed by PodularKix

goku11One reader wrote in with these lines:

“In earlier episodes witheld from the American market, one would see Goku (just a boy at the time) using his tail to fiddle around with Bulma. Sure he used his tail for more practical purposes for hanging and such but the sexual reference became distinct when he used his tail with Bulma. (This was due to the original intentions for Dragon Ball to be a semi-hentai series, more for comic relief than overpowered fighting monsters.)”

This is completely untrue. I have read the first twenty odd issues of Dragon Ball (unedited) and I have not once seen anything to back that statement up. Nor have I ever heard such a thing regarding the anime in any of the various magazine articles or books I have read that addressed the series. Dragon Ball started out as a comedic version of the Chinese legend of the Monkey King with martial arts overtones, then it reversed the formula, more martial arts with comic moments. There is only sparse nudity in the comics, and nine times of out of ten this is Goku himself. There were hentai references, mostly because of Muten Roshi who is a perverted old man, however this is a common rendition of martial arts masters. Happosai, Roshi, and the Playstation game Thousand Arms were built around this concept.

Many anime and manga reviewers have pointed out that one of the most appealing points of the series is that, no matter how powerful he became or how many battles he went through, Goku retains his wide-eyed innocence throughout the entire series. This hardly seems like a character that would “use his tail to fiddle around with Bulma”.
- Contributed by Michael S.

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