The time has come for me to review Dragonball Z Resurrection of F. It’s no secret that I am a huge Dragonball Z fan, it is one of the first series I watched and one of the biggest influences into me deciding I wanted to be an animator.
I am going to review Resurrection of F as a Dragonball Z fan so SPOILER ALERT, there will be SPOILERS below. Check out the trailer below.
Quick rundown of the story, a henchman from Frieza’s army organizes a small army to find the dragon balls on Earth and bring Frieza back to life. Piccolo and Gohan realize someone has summoned Shenron but are unsure of what is going on. Frieza and the troops who resurrected him head into space to train to get revenge. At this point we find out a startling revelation, Frieza has never trained a day in his life. They also spend time gathering troops to come back and try to destroy the Earth and get their revenge on Goku and company.
Frieza was never really my favorite villain, I was more a Cell guy. Although the battle between Frieza and Goku was too good to pass up for seeing in theaters. The animation for the film was great. Some of the impact frames that you only see for a split second are amazing. Large bloodshot eyes, fantastic effects, just such great accents and details were spent on those impact frames that made the fights more intense.
Overall I really enjoyed Resurrection of F… Except for 2 points, here we go.
I am going to sound like a Vegeta fanboy, but hear me out. Towards the end of the film Goku let’s his guard down and gets taken down, opening the door for Vegeta to kill Frieza. Vegeta steps in and takes Frieza down with a series of attacks. Before Vegeta can finish Frieza, Frieza destroys the Earth. Whis, then reverses time backwards to right before the moment when Frieza destroys the Earth. This allows Goku to destroy Frieza before he can blow up the Earth.
My problem with this, is it felt like a bad cop out. If Frieza was just going to destroy the Earth, why not do it at the start of the film or after he brought his army to the planet or when he couldn’t beat Goku? I wasn’t super harsh on this part of the movie. The reason was because they mentioned Whis’ time reversal power earlier in the film, so as an audience we were set up for this result.
Quick side note, I really expected more from Jaco. His character brought nothing to the movie other than a couple chuckles that Saiyaman could have achieved.
The main thing that had me disappointed was the timeframe in which Frieza returned to Earth. So after Frieza was revived, they left Earth so Frieza could train to beat Goku. We find out in the film that Frieza was only away for 6 months to train before returning. 6 months.
Now you can say that Frieza didn’t know any better or that his ego was in the way. The reason I don’t buy tho argument is that Frieza witnessed Goku’s battle with Buu from hell. We also find out that Frieza held Buu and Beerus in the same tier as fighters. So clearly 6 months was not going to be enough to destroy Goku, which brings me back to my main point, why not just destroy Earth right away.
Overall I really did enjoy the movie, I felt the animation was great, and the fight scenes were exactly what I wanted to see. The fight at the end of the Battle of Gods left me wanting more. My critique of the film was I feel that they used Frieza’s ego as too much of a crutch from a storytelling perspective. Will for sure be buying the film when it is released.
Apologies for the late update this week, was really focused on the last scene I was working on. With that said, the shot is wrapped up and has been sent off for audio. There are some fine tunes I need to go in and do, but that type of stuff is better done after a day or two away from the project. Here is a shot from the scene that just wrapped up!
Looking at starting a new scene this week. This one is composed of 9 shots and I am hoping to get this scene done by the end of the month. I feel like the last couple scenes I have found a good workflow.
On the freelance front, wrapped up one project. I have some web work to do for the local anime club and continued work on another freelance project. Can’t wait to share a couple of these when they are done.
Coming up next, my review of Dragonball Z Resurrection of F.
I asked and you voted. The winner of the poll was more behind-the-scenes content on Cosmic Rage. So let’s jump down the rabbit hole and go back in time a bit.
I wanted to share how I even became an animator in the first place. It’s not very often a kid that grows up on a farm in the midwest turns animator. As a kid, I was always fascinated by moving pictures. My core consisted of Disney movies (especially Robin Hood), Bruce Timm’s Batman (which still holds up today as a series) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which doesn’t hold up).
In school I read a lot but when it came to book orders, I always ordered drawing books and would try my best at replicating Garfield, Monsters and anything else I could. I worked to blend things I learned from the stories I read with the drawings. My first attempt at writing a book came when I was in the 4th grade. I don’t mean a short story, I mean a full length novel.
After moving to small city, my interests started changing. As I prepared to set off for college I planned on becoming a teacher. During my final semester in high school, I had all the credits I needed to graduate. I contemplated graduating early and either working for a semester before college or just starting early. In the end, I decided to stay in high school but I was going to take a lot of art classes. The reason, a show called Dragonball Z.
I was so fascinated with a show that killed characters off, and included so many side characters that played vital roles. The good guy didn’t always win. I was amazed. These were the types of stories I wanted to watch. Ones that weren’t predictable. Ones that had a robust world and cast. To this day, the fact that Goku learned the Spirit Bomb so early in the show but didn’t actually use it to defeat a villain until the end of the series is brilliant.
In that short semester I changed directions and decided to pursue art. My first couple years in college I didn’t really know what area of art to get into. I bounced around a few colleges. In my first year at South Dakota State University (SDSU) (and third year of college) I actually had a teacher ask me where I was planning on going to school the next year. After that I knew I found home.
I studied Graphic Design for a couple years. As I got closer to graduating, I decided to take a semester off from the design courses and take some art education courses and also took the first animation class at SDSU that was offered to me. I couldn’t take it the year before because I didn’t have the proper classes taken. The success of these somewhat experimental animation classes opened the doors for SDSU to start an animation certification program. I committed to animation just a mere 2 classes away from graduating with my graphic design degree (hence why I am going back this fall to finish it).
I graduated from SDSU with my degree in General Art, but an emphasis in drawing and animation. My animation class was a mere 4 students but we were a talented bunch. At this time I started experimenting around with different platforms to tell the Cosmic Rage story. I started off working in a graphic novel format. My first attempt at a graphic novel was actually an entry in TokyoPops Rising Stars of Manga competition. I took a few independent studies in college and put together a small graphic novel (around 40 pages).
I loved drawing the characters but longed for things to move. It was when I was living in Minneapolis that I would stumble across another show that would change the course of Cosmic Rage.
Little late on this weeks production update, but some R & R was needed over the Easter break. I took my first trip to California that didn’t simply involve a layover before traveling to Japan. I did a little bit of everything on the trip, checking out some stores in Torrance and Gardena, some unique places to eat and of course, hitting the beach. It’s a nice way to relax right after Anime Detour and all of the work that took place before that.
Since the last production update, I was able to wrap up 2 shots in between all of the traveling and con festivities. Which means I have one more until this scene is done and can get sent off for sound production.
I am excited to be where I am in the story for the first episode, I have reached the climax of it and am very much enjoying bringing these scenes to life. I’ll have this scene wrapped up by the next production update and have the next one started, I’ll even get some production art up as well.
Behind the scenes there are some other things going on. I am containing to work on this website and finding more ways to get it to do what I want. When I first started using wordpress, I was using it simply as a blogging platform, but as I get more into Cosmic Rage and talk to more people at conventions, I simply need it to do a bit more. So there may be some changes coming to the site which is good, it shows the growth and evolution of the project.
Here are some cool findings I found the other day at Book Off in Gardena. I have been a big Dragonball Z fan and these books show promotional material, concept art, character artwork and more from the series and also the films.
Do I need to mention again that I am a huge Dragonball Z fan? I mean, so much so that I can credit the show to starting my career in animation. Well, I felt the need to remind you for today’s post.
In case you missed it, there was a new Dragonball Z trailer released this week for the upcoming Return of Frieza film. Check out the trailer below.
Did you notice anyone new in the trailer that I talked about on the blog not too long ago? It’s Jaco!
I was pretty surprised when I checked out the trailer and saw clips of him, but it makes sense. I finished the Jaco manga a little while back, I was a little harsh in my review, solely for the fact I didn’t know Jaco was going to play a role in the movie. It was revealed that Jaco existed in the Dragonball Universe, but without knowing that it felt as an imitation to a certain extent.
I am pretty excited to see his role in the DBZ universe with the Z fighters. There will be more Dragonball Z posts up in the future as the countdown to Return of Frieza is on!
I got utterly slammed at work this week with projects. Feels as if Majin Buu body slammed my work schedule.
I stayed at the office late this week and also worked over the weekend. I did relax on Valentine’s day, it was much needed. I did sneak some Cosmic Rage work this week. I was able to finish up one shot and got a 3D render completed as well. My goal is to sneak in some more production time this week. I will know more in the next day or two. I should get more 3D renders done in the meantime so I will be able to composite soon. I owe you all some production art when I get back on track.
Closing in on wrapping up my homework for my online class, but wanted to take a bit to write about some manga I recently read, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman from Viz Media. As you may know, I am a big Dragonball Z fan. I credit the show for inspiring me to get into animation and it has influenced my career path and when I found out that Viz was releasing Jaco, created by Akira Toriyama, earlier this month, I had to check it out. Here are my thoughts.
The cover is a little bit of a precursor into the story and some of the themes and comedy you will see in the story. That fellow on the cover, is our main character Jaco, he’s a galactic patrolman. He looks an awful lot like a former Dragonball Z villain too, down to the exact color scheme. Check out the trailer for the new Dragonball Z film, the Return of F, coincidentally that comes out in Japan later this year.
In the story we see some of the same elements we see in Dragonball Z, the story starts on a tiny island that is inhabited by an old man, Omori, sound familiar? Omori is a super smart scientist that is working on figuring out time travel. Jaco’s spaceship crash lands on Earth and decides he is going to live with Omori until it can be repaired. However, the ship requires an expensive material to fix so Jaco is stuck on Earth for a while.
Over the course of several chapters, we see some comedy that is straight out of Dragonball Z. Jaco saving the day when a stranger is in a bad situation against a group of bad guys. The story continues to follow some of the same Dragonball Z humor.
The book ended with a slight twist, but in hindsight I should have seen it a little sooner given the closeness to Dragonball Z. The book even ends with a small, unseen chapter of Dragonball Z, which makes sense considering the book was to get Toriyama’s work out there more before the new Dragonball Z movie in 2015.
The artwork of Jaco is Toriyama’s distinct style and it was nice to see it in a new story. However, I felt the overall story was a little lacking and in my opinion, was solely used as a piece of promotional material for 2015’s Dragonball Z film (not that there is anything wrong with that). With that said, I felt it was a little too promotional and felt a little too much as a spin-off. It is only a one volume story, so if you are looking for a light read it might be worth checking out.
For a night I felt like a kid again 🙂 It has been the first time in close to a decade where I was going to see new Dragonball Z, from FUNimation. I was super excited, the film was going to be a full length feature, meaning it would be almost twice as long as the previous 14 movies. So is the film worth your time?
I am going to do my best to avoid any major SPOILERS since it was only in select theaters. I also persuaded my girlfriend to go to the movie as well and she hasn’t seen more than the first 4 or 5 episodes of Dragonball Z. The film handled non-Dragonball Z fans pretty well, by laying out enough history so you had a basic groundwork of some of the characters and storyline.
There was several things that stuck out to me in the film. One of the things that really stuck out to me was the amount of comedy and throwback jokes that long-standing fans. Several times I was finding myself sitting in my seat with a smirk from the jokes and a few one-liners. If your a fan of Vegeta, he is in the film more so than I would have thought. From the trailers and previous Dragonball Z films, my assumption was that the film would primarily feature Goku as the main character/hero and the other characters would only have small portions. The dub version had a few curse words, which was a little surprising. The film probably had more curse words in it, than the rest of the series and films combined. Finally, the amount of CGI in the film was also surprising. It’s the way of the industry in Japan, going more into CGI or the 3D realm if you want to be specific. Several shots had some pretty heavy 3D camera work and environment work. I enjoyed it and think it could evolve pretty well with the DBZ universe. A few of the scenes were a little rough, but you can see that they skills or technical prowess is starting to develop.
On a final note, it has been announced that there will be another new film next year. I have a hunch there was a set up in this film for the future film, it is a personal belief, no spoiler or insider info. I am curious with the reboot of Sailor Moon, if this film and next years film are testing the waters of doing more on the series or if they will stick to films. I guess only the future will tell 😉
This week I thought I would write about some more tips in storytelling, today’s topic is Timing. Timing might be a hard concept to grasp when you are first starting out with your writing. First off, timing is not only relatable in terms of writing but also animation. While I was in college learning about the 12 principles of animation, it was striking to me that each animation principle could be brought to the world of writing as well. I will refer to writing in a couple different ways in this post, and probably will need a follow up at some point because it is such an interesting and wide topic. However, the first being the literal meaning of actual time.
For instance, let’s revert back to our story of the child going to the store along with preparing for a test and dealing with a bully. If we time frame this story within one school year, we now know of an exact time frame the sequence of events operates in and when it starts and ends. Within this time frame, we can add many more layers to our story. For instance, if the bully and the kid become friends towards the end of the school year they could be disappointed that they won’t see each other until the start of the next school year. On the flipside, if the conflict between kid and bully is resolved early in the time frame, they have the entire school year to be friends. We could even change this time frame to cover an elementary school career or the high school years of the characters.
You can operate in a universe where time is a little looser. For instance look at a show like Dragonball Z, they never tell you how long the battles last, there is very little reference to the passing of days in certain periods. Other shows use time even looser than this, and that is perfectly fine. Let me explain why.
I occasionally will watch some reality TV, mostly Top Chef. Last year they had their season finale as a cook off between chefs and the winner was the first one to have the best 3 dishes out of 5. The show operated in a one hour TV time frame. So what happened, was Chef A won round one, Chef B won round 2, Chef A won round 3, still on the edge of your chair? I wasn’t, I knew who won round 3 was going to win in 4 rounds. The reason I could tell was the winner of the 3rd round was announced about 45 minutes into an hour long show. Unless they were going to cram 2 cooking rounds in the final 15 minutes plus commercials, time can work against you. By locking in a timeframe, your audience now has an idea of how long they can expect a resolution and the closer you get to that time the more the audience expects a resolution.
Timing can also be used to emphasize key points in the story, in the regards of how much time is spent on a certain event. If you get the chance to watch Flowers of Evil, as I reviewed last week, you can see the timing in that show is very methodical and calculating. By acting in a slower and more calculating manner, they can build up more emotion in areas. For instance, after the climatic scene in episode 7, episode 8 has very little dialogue and it revolves on 2 characters going home. Now some people thing that it was boring or arrogant for them to spend an entire episode on that, however, I look at it in a different regard. The 2 characters had a major turning point in their relationship and I felt that episode 8 was exactly how I would feel as a person in that moment as well, the characters seemed to live in that moment and it emphasized one of those nights that we never want to end. There are earlier episodes that had 2 or 3 school days in them, by using an episode for just one night, tells the audience the importance of that night for the characters.
Note, there will also be critics of your work no matter what you do. You just need to be able to separate the ones being haters and the ones actually trying to provide you with feedback and useful thoughts. “This sucks” is not valid feedback. If that person doesn’t explain why it sucks or why they would have done it a different way, I would generally rule that comment as garbage. Writing like everything else takes practice and you shouldn’t be writing to please an audience, you should be writing because you have an interesting story to tell and share with others.
Just like an epic battle in Dragonball Z wouldn’t be completed in 1 episode, by spending more time in certain areas, you can use it to build up the importance of the event. The reason for this is because viewers want that climatic moment to be worth it, they want the pay off of their time being invested in your story. Whether its a 26 episode series or a 100 page book, the payoff is what sticks with the audience. We have all seen a bad movie we didn’t like how it ended, we didn’t like the payoff of our investment in time of watching the film.
Have you ever seen a film or read a book where all hope was lost and the odds were stacked against the characters so much and then an event or something happens and the characters turn out ok? That is also based on timing, just like when you hear someone say that so and so has great comedic timing. This is timing in more of a sense or emotional way. This comes in a variety of ways and formats it is impossible to name them all here. In films it could be a character who you thought was dead showing up to save the day. In comic books and manga they actually set frames up so cliff hangers are at the end of the page, so that short amount of time it takes you to turn a page you are filled with suspense to see what happens next. This of course happens in books as well, hence why we have “page turners”. Even tv shows have this in the form of the timing of commercial breaks and how episodes end in a series, its to keep your audience coming back for more. The building of events creates this moments where we can turn the story one way or another or use it as a breaking point before another chapter, episode or film.
Through these turning points that timing creates, we can create a fast paced action story or a slow methodical story with one or two distinctive pay off points. The slow methodical approach is similar to when you go to a horror movie and are teased about being scared, but they drag it out to the point it gets to be unbearable, but in a good way. For instance a person enters a room and sees something run into another room and the character tries to track down what they saw, only to jump cut to something creepy and scare you. There are benefits to both ways and it usually is determined by the story you want to tell.
I think that’s quite a bit to digest for now. Next week we will tackle the topic of anticipation and how that can effect timing.