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Real life Gohan a half Asian. Serious discussion.
Topic Started: Nov 29 2017, 03:22 AM (960 Views)
slayerofbatman
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What do you think of my observations? I haven't seen it broken down like this although I know there have been many discussions. I realise it's a fantasy world but there is surely some method to Toriyama's depictions.

East Asian with single eyelids: Krillin, Yajirobe
No eye whites

East Asian with double eyelids: Cabba, Tien, Mercenary Tao
Slender eyes but with eye whites

White: General Blue

White with high neoteny: Goku, Bardock
Small chin and nose, large forehead

Half Asian: Vegeta, Gohan
They do look like hybrids of their parents, who follow the above formula.

It would be harder to find a real life Goku than a real life Vegeta or Gohan because East Asians are the most neotenous race. So the latter could be played by an Asian/Eurasian.
Edited by slayerofbatman, Nov 29 2017, 05:03 AM.
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+ Ssj3vegito96
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I always felt like West City(where capsule Corp and bulma's family are) is where are all the white people are. Other places like wherever krillin and yajirobe are from where the Asians are. Chi chi dresses like an Asian but ox King says otherwise and idk about where they live. If I were to guess I would say gohan is part Asian, part white, part something else
Edited by Ssj3vegito96, Nov 29 2017, 04:32 AM.
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Dagon
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Technically the only "white" people that exist in DB are those that are deliberately drawn or portrayed in a way to scream into your face "THIS IS A WHITE PERSON." General White, General Blue, perhaps that one blonde haired blue eyed bully from the Great Saiyaman arc. The way Japanese anime and manga works is that unless someone is blatantly stated to be of a specific race, the default race is asian. Everyone in Dragon Ball is asian unless otherwise stated or explicitly shown.
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slayerofbatman
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Dagon
Nov 29 2017, 05:42 AM
Technically the only "white" people that exist in DB are those that are deliberately drawn or portrayed in a way to scream into your face "THIS IS A WHITE PERSON." General White, General Blue, perhaps that one blonde haired blue eyed bully from the Great Saiyaman arc. The way Japanese anime and manga works is that unless someone is blatantly stated to be of a specific race, the default race is asian. Everyone in Dragon Ball is asian unless otherwise stated or explicitly shown.
It's quite clear Krillin and Yajirobe are Asian because of the lack of eye whites just as General White and Blue are clearly white but as you say assume everyone else is Asian anyway.

I just can't help but see the distinction in these details though. Is it coincidence that Gohan and Vegeta look more Asian than Goku and also happen to have Asian looking mothers?

Why does Goku have wavy hair, a low brow ridge, and these square shaped eyes that are unique to a few characters? I just can't see SS3 Goku as an Asian.
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Dan The Commentator
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slayerofbatman
Nov 29 2017, 06:06 AM
It's quite clear Krillin and Yajirobe are Asian because of the lack of eye whites just as General White and Blue are clearly white but as you say assume everyone else is Asian anyway.

I just can't help but see the distinction in these details though. Is it coincidence that Gohan and Vegeta look more Asian than Goku and also happen to have Asian looking mothers?

Why does Goku have wavy hair, a low brow ridge, and these square shaped eyes that are unique to a few characters? I just can't see SS3 Goku as an Asian.
Kuririn not having eye-whites is really only a Toei Animation thing. Whenever Toriyama drew full-color chapters, Kuririn is pretty consistently drawn with eye-whites like everyone else. He's also drawn with eye-whites in the digitally colored manga.

Moreover, you can't really trust the shape of a character's eyes or face to denote ethnicity in anime, especially something as cartoony as Dragon Ball. Most of the time, a character's design is meant to inform the audience of their character in some way. Goku has wide eyes because of his childlike innocence, not because he's caucasian. And I don't really get how Gohan looks "more asian" than Goku does. Is it because of their skin tones in the anime? Because, again, that's a Toei Animation thing. Almost all of the characters have the same generic light skin color in Toriyama's colored pages, and in the digitally colored release of the manga.

If anything, you'd probably be better off looking at a character's name to determine their ethnicity. Son Goku, Tenshinhan, Taopaipai, are all Chinese-based names, so if they had any intended nationality besides Japanese or generically Asian, they'd probably be Chinese. Especially since Goku was originally written to be a parody of Sun Wukong, a Chinese literary figure.

Vegeta might actually be intended to be caucasian, given that almost all of his attacks have English names. Then again, it's just kinda a cool and stylish thing to have your character yell English word or phrases in anime, especially if they're for a special attack. There is a reason why almost everyone in Dragon Ball is named after English words.

In my opinion, the only sure fire white guy in Dragon Ball is General Blue, what with his blonde hair, blue eyes, and Nazi inspired uniform.
Edited by Dan The Commentator, Nov 29 2017, 06:48 AM.
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slayerofbatman
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Dan The Commentator
Nov 29 2017, 06:47 AM
slayerofbatman
Nov 29 2017, 06:06 AM
It's quite clear Krillin and Yajirobe are Asian because of the lack of eye whites just as General White and Blue are clearly white but as you say assume everyone else is Asian anyway.

I just can't help but see the distinction in these details though. Is it coincidence that Gohan and Vegeta look more Asian than Goku and also happen to have Asian looking mothers?

Why does Goku have wavy hair, a low brow ridge, and these square shaped eyes that are unique to a few characters? I just can't see SS3 Goku as an Asian.
Kuririn not having eye-whites is really only a Toei Animation thing. Whenever Toriyama drew full-color chapters, Kuririn is pretty consistently drawn with eye-whites like everyone else. He's also drawn with eye-whites in the digitally colored manga.

Moreover, you can't really trust the shape of a character's eyes or face to denote ethnicity in anime, especially something as cartoony as Dragon Ball. Most of the time, a character's design is meant to inform the audience of their character in some way. Goku has wide eyes because of his childlike innocence, not because he's caucasian. And I don't really get how Gohan looks "more asian" than Goku does. Is it because of their skin tones in the anime? Because, again, that's a Toei Animation thing. Almost all of the characters have the same generic light skin color in Toriyama's colored pages, and in the digitally colored release of the manga.

If anything, you'd probably be better off looking at a character's name to determine their ethnicity. Son Goku, Tenshinhan, Taopaipai, are all Chinese-based names, so if they had any intended nationality besides Japanese or generically Asian, they'd probably be Chinese. Especially since Goku was originally written to be a parody of Sun Wukong, a Chinese literary figure.

Vegeta might actually be intended to be caucasian, given that almost all of his attacks have English names. Then again, it's just kinda a cool and stylish thing to have your character yell English word or phrases in anime, especially if they're for a special attack. There is a reason why almost everyone in Dragon Ball is named after English words.

In my opinion, the only sure fire white guy in Dragon Ball is General Blue, what with his blonde hair, blue eyes, and Nazi inspired uniform.


Gohan and Vegeta have more slender eyes than Goku even with their game faces. I can accept that this is just because of their more serious dispositions even though it would seem they both have Asian mothers. It's not just eye size though but also eye shape. Obviously Asians have different eye shapes but Goku's are coincidentally more rectangular and closer to his eyebrows just like Caucasians in contrast to Tien, not to mention the wavy hair. And if we look at Goku in SS3 surely you would think he resembles a white person, albeit freaky, not that it was intentional but if you had to make a comparison.

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I haven't seen it broken down like this although I know there have been many discussions.


I actually opened a similar topic in the GT/movies section with DB in real life. But to answer the question, Gohan really looks Asian-Mongolian-ish to me. Pale skin, raven hair, round black eyes, funny haircut. He even acts like one - has A+ grades, parent expects no less than A+ grades from him.
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Mike XL
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I'm not sure anyone is intended to be either white or Asian.
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Dan The Commentator
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slayerofbatman
Nov 29 2017, 08:04 AM
Gohan and Vegeta have more slender eyes than Goku even with their game faces. I can accept that this is just because of their more serious dispositions even though it would seem they both have Asian mothers. It's not just eye size though but also eye shape. Obviously Asians have different eye shapes but Goku's are coincidentally more rectangular and closer to his eyebrows just like Caucasians in contrast to Tien, not to mention the wavy hair. And if we look at Goku in SS3 surely you would think he resembles a white person, albeit freaky, not that it was intentional but if you had to make a comparison.

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Up until Gohan had his potential unleashed by the Elder Kaioshin, his eyes were drawn exactly like Goku's, whether he was serious or not, so I don't know what you're talking about him having more slender eyes than Goku. And Goku's Super Saiyan eyes don't look that different from Vegeta's.

Why do you keep bringing up Vegeta's mother? She's never appeared in the series before, so we don't even know her name or what she looks like. How do you know she's asian?

And yeah, Super Saiyan 3 Goku does look vaguely caucasian, but that's because of the blonde hair and turquoise eyes that all Super Saiyans possess. Nothing about his facial features screams caucasian at me. If anything, I'd say that he looks more like a caveman than a white man, which was probably the intent. And I wouldn't use Goku's Super Saiyan 3 face as evidence of him being caucasian, seeing how every Super Saiyan 3 has the same face, based on Dragon Ball Heroes.
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slayerofbatman
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Dan The Commentator
Nov 29 2017, 11:29 PM
slayerofbatman
Nov 29 2017, 08:04 AM
Gohan and Vegeta have more slender eyes than Goku even with their game faces. I can accept that this is just because of their more serious dispositions even though it would seem they both have Asian mothers. It's not just eye size though but also eye shape. Obviously Asians have different eye shapes but Goku's are coincidentally more rectangular and closer to his eyebrows just like Caucasians in contrast to Tien, not to mention the wavy hair. And if we look at Goku in SS3 surely you would think he resembles a white person, albeit freaky, not that it was intentional but if you had to make a comparison.

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Up until Gohan had his potential unleashed by the Elder Kaioshin, his eyes were drawn exactly like Goku's, whether he was serious or not, so I don't know what you're talking about him having more slender eyes than Goku. And Goku's Super Saiyan eyes don't look that different from Vegeta's.

Why do you keep bringing up Vegeta's mother? She's never appeared in the series before, so we don't even know her name or what she looks like. How do you know she's asian?

And yeah, Super Saiyan 3 Goku does look vaguely caucasian, but that's because of the blonde hair and turquoise eyes that all Super Saiyans possess. Nothing about his facial features screams caucasian at me. If anything, I'd say that he looks more like a caveman than a white man, which was probably the intent. And I wouldn't use Goku's Super Saiyan 3 face as evidence of him being caucasian, seeing how every Super Saiyan 3 has the same face, based on Dragon Ball Heroes.

The defining feature of the Caucasian is the brow ridge and deep set eyes, and as you say SS3 resembles a caveman, a Caucasian would be a less extreme version of a caveman in terms of the eye area. I did not know Gohan's eyes were drawn exactly the same as Goku's. In all the images I saw they were different.

My bad about Vegeta-you know more about the series than I do, as it must have been a fan drawing.

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Edited by slayerofbatman, Nov 30 2017, 12:15 PM.
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superperfectnerd
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If I were to cast a live action Dragon Ball the choices regarding race and nationality would come down to what they represent, not how they were drawn. So the majority of the cast would be Asian, Goku especially as Dragon Ball is a defining franchise of a genre originating in Japan. Bulma seems to represent western influence and the new world meeting the old (she's all technological and Goku is traditional) so she'd be American and Vegeta is all about imperial power, empire, bloodlines and royalty so he'd be English.
Edited by superperfectnerd, Dec 1 2017, 01:36 AM.
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Dan The Commentator
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slayerofbatman
Nov 30 2017, 12:05 PM
The defining feature of the Caucasian is the brow ridge and deep set eyes, and as you say SS3 resembles a caveman, a Caucasian would be a less extreme version of a caveman in terms of the eye area. I did not know Gohan's eyes were drawn exactly the same as Goku's. In all the images I saw they were different.

My bad about Vegeta-you know more about the series than I do, as it must have been a fan drawing.

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Here's how Gohan looked before he went Ultimate.
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slayerofbatman
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Dan The Commentator
Dec 1 2017, 02:11 AM
slayerofbatman
Nov 30 2017, 12:05 PM
The defining feature of the Caucasian is the brow ridge and deep set eyes, and as you say SS3 resembles a caveman, a Caucasian would be a less extreme version of a caveman in terms of the eye area. I did not know Gohan's eyes were drawn exactly the same as Goku's. In all the images I saw they were different.

My bad about Vegeta-you know more about the series than I do, as it must have been a fan drawing.

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Here's how Gohan looked before he went Ultimate.
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The pictures I was referring to are when they're stone-faced otherwise there's no differentiation.
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slayerofbatman
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superperfectnerd
Dec 1 2017, 01:35 AM
If I were to cast a live action Dragon Ball the choices regarding race and nationality would come down to what they represent, not how they were drawn. So the majority of the cast would be Asian, Goku especially as Dragon Ball is a defining franchise of a genre originating in Japan. Bulma seems to represent western influence and the new world meeting the old (she's all technological and Goku is traditional) so she'd be American and Vegeta is all about imperial power, empire, bloodlines and royalty so he'd be English.


That definitely seems like an appropriate and cool way to do a live action.
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Dagon
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slayerofbatman
Nov 29 2017, 06:06 AM
It's quite clear Krillin and Yajirobe are Asian because of the lack of eye whites just as General White and Blue are clearly white but as you say assume everyone else is Asian anyway.

I just can't help but see the distinction in these details though. Is it coincidence that Gohan and Vegeta look more Asian than Goku and also happen to have Asian looking mothers?

Why does Goku have wavy hair, a low brow ridge, and these square shaped eyes that are unique to a few characters? I just can't see SS3 Goku as an Asian.
Yeah but when white people try to cosplay as DBZ characters it just looks really weird and unsettling.

superperfectnerd
 
If I were to cast a live action Dragon Ball the choices regarding race and nationality would come down to what they represent, not how they were drawn. So the majority of the cast would be Asian, Goku especially as Dragon Ball is a defining franchise of a genre originating in Japan. Bulma seems to represent western influence and the new world meeting the old (she's all technological and Goku is traditional) so she'd be American and Vegeta is all about imperial power, empire, bloodlines and royalty so he'd be English.


I agree with Bulma being white. Just makes sense. She's from the west, white people are west of asia, it just fits. Also, lol at British Vegeta.

"'Ello guvnah, oim Prince Vuhjeetah. Oim tha Prince uv awl Saiyans. Oy loik tea and crumpets and haggis made from the finest sheep's bladders. Dat's some foyn haggis, dat is."

I remember when a small indy company called K&K Productions made a 5 minute live action DBZ short of the saiyan saga. They said they wouldn't have british accents, but when it came out, everyone but Krillin had exceptionally thick accents. Piccolo and Nappa were british as all hell and Raditz and Vegeta sounded like Jackie Chan after a 3 hour visit to the dentist. Goku's actor was so asian he didn't even speak in the short. Later on they did a "Goku with a GoPro" video and they just dubbed him over with MasakoX because his asian accent was so damn thick.
Edited by Dagon, Dec 1 2017, 05:20 AM.
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