Take Your Dragon Balls And Go: Chi Chi’s Life was Hard and No One Respected Her

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball Z anime, OLM & Toriyama

The news of Dragon Ball Super has us jumping. In my initial write up, I mentioned how much of a bone I have to pick with Goku. Desiree came asking—is if because of Chi Chi? Hell yes, it’s because of Chi Chi! So we got to talking. A wife’s life in shonen anime—a wife’s life in a Saturday morning, American-dubbed cartoon. The sad song of Chi Chi.

Desiree: Where to even begin?

Claire: Well, let’s start with the current state of things, which is the last episode of Dragon Ball GT: her childhood-regressed husband flies off on a dragon and vanishes, leaving her some sort of freakish ultra-widow, only with no sense or hope of closure or an available next step.

Dragon Ball gif, Goku & Chi Chi, OLM & Toriyama
It’s a GIF! Click it!

Desiree: I think a lot of what I had a problem with is that as a child, I didn’t even notice how terribly Chi Chi was treated. Mainly because the narrative of the show—as weak as it was—enforced that she was a shrew. That’s how she was viewed through the lens of the show, a shrew wife and mother who yelled and screamed at her husband to stay home and not take her child out to fight monsters and aliens when he could be home studying.

Yet re-watching the series as an adult, you see that without Chi Chi, Gohan would have had an even more unstable childhood. Chi Chi was the only solid, stable figure in his life. She’s a damn good mother! But she never gets any credit for that, because all Goku’s friends side with him on how to parent. The only other solid parental figure in Gohan’s life was Piccolo.

Claire: I hope there’s a lot of fanfiction where Chi Chi gets that green dick over the many, many days, months and years that Goku is away throughout their marriage and parenthood.

Chi Chi & Piccolo, Jake Wyatt after Toriyama Akira, 2015, fanart
You’re a king among men, Jake Wyatt

You’re right though—Chi Chi is the force behind Gohan’s intellectualism, and that’s the force he bases his life around as an adult. He can fight to save the world, because Goku taught him to or rather let him learn to in the field after Piccolo gave him his initial mentorship. But he can live a life amongst a wider, more anonymous community because she made sure he had the ability to thrive in an intellectual environment. If Gohan was injured and couldn’t fight, he’d still have a purpose, and if—heaven forbid—no more mad space bastards came a-battling, trying to destroy earth or enslave humanity, if Gohan had to live a regular life where he wasn’t the last bastion of physical hope for both of his species, he could. Goku, quite clearly, could not. Gohan learns as Vegeta learns, really. They have that in common.

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball GT anime, OLM & Toriyama
“My husband left me again.”

Desiree: What a terrible husband, just flat out. I understand that Goku, in Dragon Ball, had a very rudimentary idea of what marriage was. However, by the time DBZ starts they’ve been together for a long while, and have a child. By this point in time he should understand the basics of what it means to be in a marriage, be a husband, and begin learning how to be a father over abandoning his family over and over again.

Surprisingly, Vegeta turns out to be a better father and husband to Bulma and his kids than Goku was to Chi Chi or Gohan. I say surprisingly, because this is the guy who committed mass murder without blinking an eye. Looking back on the series, Vegeta’s transformation into a good guy wasn’t done all that well, but he does end up being there for his children and wife far more than Goku ever was.

Claire: Vegeta’s last words to Goku at the end of Z are pretty impressive to me, because it made me wonder if they weren’t supposed to tell the viewer that Goku’s really not 100% right. He says something like … I don’t remember exactly, but the gist is, “LOL, Goku, you liar, you just want to have fun fighting and you hope there’s always going to be a reason to, don’t you?” As a Saiyan, raised in the culture, Vegeta gets it, the urge to rejoice in combative adrenaline. But Vegeta doesn’t leave his family to pursue it; we see him grow to understand that he loves and appreciates them, and that that matters most of all (I totally disagree that Vegeta’s growth is poorly done; I think it’s expert work and I can draw you a diagram to that end). But Goku just falls into having his, and we never see him particularly enjoying or valuing them, and in the end he abandons them in the pursuit of fun. He likes fighting, and he’s never bothered to prioritise anything else, and there’s no chance of him changing. He’s kind of a sad old man, entirely the person his Saiyan predecessors imagined he would become, though he’s taken a path of resistance rather than active destruction in his mercenary life. Even Krillin scolds him briefly at one point, while I’m yelling at the TV, “GOKU! JUST LEAVE THE STUPID EGGS! OR JUST GRAB THEM! WHATEVER! RESPECT YOUR FRIENDS ENOUGH TO ATTEND YOUR OWN PARTY!” Cathartic, man! I hate your fecklessness, Goku. You’re a hero who pleases himself before anybody else, and that’s so The Man. Without Chi Chi, Goku would probably have died from a disease that he got from being too dirty.

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball Z anime, OLM & Toriyama
Girl, we hear you!

Desiree: That’s Goku’s biggest problem; he stalled as a person. Where everyone else grows in various ways, Goku stays completely stagnant. He’s a fun, free loving, naive child who loves to fight at the beginning of Dragon Ball, and that’s exactly who he is at the end of the series. Despite the fact that he has a family now, a wife, a wide circle of friends, he’s never grown from it.

What I love about Dragon Ball and DBZ is it’s a generational show. We’ve seen these characters grow and change both physically and emotionally over the the course of years. It added a certain realness and emotion to the series that is basically about fighting and more fighting. But instead of feeling like we grew up with Goku, I felt like we grew up with everyone else.

I recall Piccolo also scolding Goku for throwing—essentially—Gohan into the ring with Cell. I understand it’s the end of the world, lives are at stake, and Goku knows Gohan can defeat Cell. It’s all understandable. Even so, have a little bit of conflict over it!

Claire: Right? He’s so SOULLESS. Gohan and Goten are good boys though, despite everything. GT ends with Chi Chi being encouraged about not having to cook dinner by her kids. On the one hand, that’s great; she has her family, and they love and understand her enough to make suggestions that will prevent her from worrying about her responsibilities. On the other, good grief, that’s all she has. A child who wanted this one boy, grew up and got him, couldn’t keep him, remained tethered, lost her children and her dignity to her husband’s lifestyle regularly, only knows her husband’s friends (Does she ever seem to like them much? They only meet at milestone events and milestone parties) and her own father, and keeps up no interests outside of the home. Her cooking is inferred to be provincial and old-fashioned, basic. She wears clothing in this mode too. She raises two children alone in the countryside for seven years, plus pregnancy; she lives in a house in the middle of nowhere and owns no transport (her children can fly). As a child, she was a wide-roaming princess in a battle bikini and fought anyone! What happened to her life?

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball anime, OLM & Toriyama
A bonafide CUTIE PIE!

It’s not just that Goku barely accommodates her; it’s that the narrative colludes with him. Goku’s “right” to do whatever he does, because otherwise maybe he wouldn’t win against all of the monsters. It’s “right” that Gohan is taken from his mother for a year aged four or five, because otherwise he wouldn’t be strong enough to help fight against the monsters. It’s right to beat your kids til they can’t stand, because otherwise they wouldn’t build the stamina to get up anyway. Of course, Goku couldn’t make the effort to spend any time with Chi Chi on the single day he’s given to visit Earth while he’s dead! Obviously going to fight Bobbidi is necessary; it would be cosmically selfish (do it anyway!!! fuckerrr) for Goku to make a fuss or force out fifteen minutes in which to say, “Hey babe, gotta go, I know, it’s awful, kiss my face, let’s make another baby or something,” to her, only her, specifically her, the woman he married. Nobody suggests that Chi Chi would be justified in being angry or anguished at Goku or at fate; nobody ever suggests that she should date somebody else. It’s just taken for granted that She Is The Wife. The wife does her duty and waits. It’s a deep kind of sacrifice, but the show tells us it’s unremarkable.

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball Z anime, OLM & Toriyama
Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has … everything.

Desiree: That right there is what gets me. You don’t notice it as a child, you just take it as is. Chi Chi is the wife, and she’s the shrew wife at that. She yells, she screams, she makes Gohan do his homework (oh the horror!), and she gets upset when Gohan and Goku leave to save the world. But what else does she have? Chi Chi lives completely alone, all her friends are Goku’s and none of them seem particularly close to her. The character she interacts most with is Bulma, but Bulma has something Chi Chi doesn’t. Respect. She gets to go on missions across the Galaxy, and while not a fighter (like Chi Chi), Bulma has (and creates) her technology. Furthermore she’s genuine friends with everybody. Her husband also respects her and willingly stays with her.

Chi Chi, Dragon Bal anime, OLM & Toriyama

Why is Goku with Chi Chi? Does he genuinely love her? I know neither Dragon Ball nor DBZ are romances, and the romantic relationships we’ve seen have always been understated. But I can only recall a handful of moments where Goku even appears like he cares about Chi Chi, let alone loves her.

With Vegeta, given his past and overall characterization, the fact that he stays with Bulma is a showing of his love. His hug with Trunks during the horrid Buu Saga is still one of my favorite moments of the entire series. We hardly see that sort of affection between Goku and his own family.

Bad Dad Goku, http://dbzparentingtips.tumblr.comI don’t doubt Goku feels love for them, but his showing of love is very selfish. It’s very, very childish, and that’s all because of how the narrative never allows him to grow up. He’s always a child. We, as the audience, are suppose to be on his side, because when the world is in danger Goku steps up. He’s this brilliant bright spot that brings all these people together. He’s the Sun of their universe, but he never gets close to any of them. Those who try get indirectly burned—namely his family.

Chi Chi was a princess! She was once one of the top fighters of the world, and she wanted to be a wife and a mother. That was what would make her happy. I could respect that, but I just pity her because this was so obviously not what she wanted.

Chi Chi’s expectations might have been too high, they might have been in a fairytale land of sorts, but she deserved a husband that didn’t leave her constantly. She deserved the rest of their group to see that without her, Gohan wouldn’t have been able to take care of himself. He owes everything to Chi Chi. Without her pushing education, what would he have? Would he have been able to get a job? Provide for himself? Help support his own family?

These things aren’t emphasized in the show, which is why the viewers are supposed to ignore how terrible a father and husband Goku truly is. I mean, is it any wonder why in one of the new OVAs Chi Chi “jokes” with Bulma about switching husbands? Goku kept leaving—willingly!

Goku & Chi Chi, Dragon Ball anime, OLM & ToriyamaClaire: Can you imagine having sex with Goku? I bet he’s bad at it. Because he’ll think of it like sparring. Tedious. Damn tedious. Vegeta’s probably better, because he’s competitive enough to battle for your orgasm. (Either that or a total sub, which, fine, here’s what you do…)

Desiree: Does Goku even know what sex is? I try to imagine how that would go, and I just picture an extremely awkward wedding night. I would hope someone (Master Roshi at the very least) would explain the concept to Goku. But I can’t imagine the first time going well at all. Vegeta at least seems attentive.


Actually here’s a thing. The dub of the anime I saw has Goku suggest that Bulma (Kiss … someone? Some space guy? OH—the old Kai), because “Bulma’s prettier than Chi Chi.” This caused my eyebrows to leave my face, when I heard it—because for fucksake, Goku! But apparently this wasn’t the original line, or the line from the manga. Did you watch an American dub?

Desiree: Yeah, I’ve only seen the American Dub, and I read the Dragon Ball manga, but I never read the DBZ manga or the sub.

Claire: Well, I don’t know what it says about a dubbing/import team who’ll have Goku offhandedly call his wife plainer than his childhood friend in front of everybody they know, but who won’t let a decent enough man be named Mister Satan. Why would you draw that line? What is the intended message here?

Desiree: American Dub in the 90s was terrible. Just terrible. What was the original line?

Chi Chi, Dragon Ball Z anime, OLM & ToriyamaClaire: IIRC, something like, “Chi Chi’d be mad at me?” As in, if I recommended that she kiss a gross old space god, which is totally fair, she would and should be.

Desiree: That would make so much more sense. At least it’d show that Goku had some level of respect for her as a person. I do believe Goku cares about her, likes her even, but if he’s in love with Chi Chi he’s terrible at it.

I just wish the show would pay Chi Chi the proper respect. The show isn’t great with women, but Chi Chi is a damn good mother and wife even though Goku was a barely-there husband. I understand the focus of the show isn’t romance, but the themes of family and friendship are interwoven throughout the show. So, why doesn’t Goku, the lead character, showcase any actual care to his own family? He’s suppose to be the embodiment of the show’s themes, and he can’t even be bothered to see his wife on the one day he’s back to life. And no one says anything.

Claire: I recall one moment when he says, “I love you,” maybe even, “I love you so much.” But I remember rather better the sheer relief and relaxation that it brought me. After all, she’s not suffering this bleak life for nothing! There’s a worm of warmth in there for her! Maybe he thinks of her reluctantly every four years or so when he’s apart from her and there’s other stuff to look at, like a very interesting unending, unchanging road, but if things were different—if they were able to hang out—maybe they’d have a life together. The cosmic scale says he feels like he loves her, and that that’s worth something. How sad and awful is that, though? That’s pennies.

I feel like there’s a code of wifing that neither of us have access to, like there are women out there who see their life, highs and lows, strength and weakness, in terms of homemaking and don’t look outside of it for meaning. Like you know Fiddler on the Roof? When he’s coming around to his daughters marrying for love and finally asks his wife if she loves him, and she’s like, “How is this applicable to our lives? This is how we live, as a couple, in a community, and it works.” Then it turns out that by their metrics they do love each other and that thought enriches the living of the life they were both already engaged with as their whole possibility.

I try to see Chi Chi as somebody who wouldn’t want to be thought of as a person with other options, to see if that makes me feel differently, but … I don’t think that Toriyama, or the filler arc writers, wrote enough person-hood into her to validate a reading that binds nobility or transcendence into her fulfillment of the marriage vows and traditional expectations. I don’t think they were trying to tell us about a person who sees life through a wifed lens. I think they were just showing us “what mothers are like” without even really looking at what they meant by that. Bulma’s motherhood is tempered by her establishment as an individual (and a highly individualistic one at that), as an early and frequently present member of the core supporting cast, with her own mission and desires. Chi Chi is there to want Goku, so that Goku can be amusingly clueless about what romantic or domestic interaction means. She is only there to chase the things that girls are supposed to want—kisses, marriage, time with husband, babies, order, homework, for you to eat your dinner. There’s little interest in why she wants those things or what she intends to do with them or how she’s dissatisfied or satisfied once she gets them.

It’s sad. I feel sad about Chi Chi.

Chi Chi meme, Dragon Ball fandomDesiree: Ultimately, that’s how I feel. It’s a shame when you look at how she was introduced in Dragon Ball (which I always felt was better than DBZ storytelling wise) as a fierce princess on a mission. Along the way she just … loses anything that makes her special. She becomes “mom,” “wife,” and unfortunately “shrew.” This is how fans remember her. I remember going through forums, just reading through opinions on Fanfiction.net, and the consensus was pretty much the same as far as Chi Chi went.

She’s a nag, she’s selfish, but what is so selfish about wanting your husband home and alive? Chi Chi never expressed the want or desire for being noble. She was a princess! She was obviously spoiled, but she was never unkind. Why was it that, as a woman, she was portrayed as selfish for wanting simple things? Things that were promised and owed to her?

As a husband, Goku made a commitment, and while I can understand the world comes first, some care for Chi Chi would have been nice. The story never emphasizes that she’s important to him (I can’t even recall him saying I love you). The story only emphasizes Chi Chi’s seemingly negative traits like a child remembering his mother unlovingly because she wouldn’t let him go outside when he wanted. Lets not pretend DBZ isn’t one big male power fantasy; it is. Even so, out of all the romantic relationships we see on the show (and there have been plenty), Goku and Chi Chi’s—the leading pair—are the worst.

Claire Napier

Claire Napier

Critic, ex-Editor in Chief at WWAC, independent comics editor; the rock that drops on your head. Find me at clairenapierclairenapier@gmail.com and give me lots of money

35 thoughts on “Take Your Dragon Balls And Go: Chi Chi’s Life was Hard and No One Respected Her

  1. Bulma gets respect? I don’t think so. Although she was supposedly a brilliant scientist, most of her work was conducted off screen. On screen she was treated as a joke, was given less credibility than five-year-old Gohan, and was often depicted doing inexplicably dumb things, especially during filler segments. It’s as if the writers were paranoid that their mostly male audience would not like seeing a woman portrayed as intelligent, and were determined to pander to this as much as possible by making Bulma an idiot any time the plot didn’t require otherwise. Additionally, I always had the distinct impression that during the early episodes of Dragon Ball, she was deliberately played up as outlandishly stupid and self-centered, so that viewers would not see her as being worthy of respect or even pity, and would thus be willing to excuse the massive amount of sexual harassment perpetrated against her. And Bulma’s ending in GT was even worse than Chi-Chi’s. The Old Kai blamed her for the Shadow Dragon saga, claiming the overuse of the dragon balls was basically her fault since she invented the dragon radar. He also says rather disdainfully, “I can’t believe I ever let the fate of the world rest on a kiss from that woman!” (as if that was her fault) and says she deserves a spanking (which definitely constitutes further sexual harassment). When Bulma feebly attempts to defend herself, the others just laugh at her, never mind that none of them would even be alive without the dragon radar. Actually, if the Old Kai had wanted to pin the blame entirely on one person, he could have just as easily chosen Goku, who had insisted on using the dragon balls one last time, while Bulma had very nearly averted disaster with the suggestion that they not use the cracked balls. But because Goku is Goku, we’re expected to forget his mistakes as soon as they happen. Conversely, we’re expected to laugh sadistically at Bulma’s distress and humiliation, while conveniently forgetting anything she did right. The scene made me sick to my stomach, and the only thing that makes me feel worse is thinking how passive viewers will believe she deserves to be treated this way because that’s what the show tells them to believe.

  2. Goku to me seemed like someone with Asperger’s. He is fixated on one thing, brilliant in what he loves to do, childish in nature, not comfortable socializing (probably more so with the opposite sex), mind-blind to the feelings of others even if he means well, and does not show empathetic emotions well.

    Combined with his feral upbringing and brain damage from episode 1, I didn’t see him as selfish or terrible as others like to call him, but rather a guy trying to defend his home and family, fulfill his passions, and live a happy life with the limited mental capacity fate has given him.

  3. It was SO FRUSTRATING because anytime ChiChi is on screen, she’s genuinely entertaining. She’s tired of Goku’s shit, she’s tired of all of his dudebro fighter buddies, she just wants some responsibility and stability on the part of the men in her life.


  4. Just because cheat Akira wanted to focus only on that idiot Vegeta and Bulma’s relationship doesn’t mean Goku never loved his family. So whoever made this posts and explainations are idiots

  5. As much as it’s going to hurt… I don’t think Goku works well with Chi-Chi, he should’ve been with Bulma… yes, Bulma was with Yamcha for the majority of the “Dragon Ball” series, before “Dragon Ball Z”, but unfortunately, Bulma’s realization of how Goku looked handsome was too late. If she realized sooner that Yamcha was not that good of a person, and actually went for Goku, it would’ve been nice. Not only that, but Chi-Chi would end up with Vegeta, who for some reason ended up being a supportive father when he married Bulma when Toriyama wrote the story. That didn’t make sense to me. People with simpler times get shitty lives, while those who got more fortune has better lives? That is stupid!

  6. I dont remember much of the show but as a woman, here’s what I think.

    1. From what I recall about the story, Goku never actually gave real consent about the marriage. He was forced into it. In other words, Chichi or Goku could just push for something like an annulment, especially since you claim he never did his marital obligation. If she doesn’t like her marriage, she should just end it.

    2. You don’t make people love you or respect you by screaming at them, nor do you show your love that way. That’s just emotional abuse. I wouldn’t even wonder if Goku’s heart is far from Chichi. She partly brought it upon herself. But I’m sure Goku cares for his children in the way he knows how: he teaches them how to fight.

    3. Chichi knew what she would be facing when she married Goku. The wives of soldiers know what they would be facing when they married their husbands too. You won’t always have your husband with you because they serve a greater purpose than you. If the world is not safe, would Chichi and her children even have a home? If that is not what Chichi wants, she should have just married someone else.

    4. It’a kids show. Seldom do kids’ shows tackle these things. Many times, characters are created like they have no family. Look at Sora from Kingdom Hearts. In real life, have you ever heard of a couple getting married because they promised themselves to each other when they were what? 5?

    It’s a kids show. The children probably came out of a mysterious egg. Lol.

  7. Oh my god you’re so damn right.
    when i was a kid i’ve never liked chichi for the reason that you handle before, but it was BECAUSE i was a kid!
    Now i’m 23 i’m a aunt a college person and stuff, and BRUH she’s justified!
    how the hell they don’t want her to be stressful or mad when her huband -the man who suppose to be providing her- doesn’t do anything? or nerver -completely- grow up.
    Indeed one of his friends have a work (or at least they never talk about it, just Yamcha that was a baseball player and in the new movie krillin as a cop)

    we have to accept that Goku – as a person- is more mature and INTELLIGENT than before, the only i can guess is that chichi teach him, she already teach him a lot of shit ’til the fact that he should take a shower every day ’till how to take care of Gohan studies (in an Ova he told Gohan to pay attention at the new planet they’ll arrive in case for his exams just for make chichi happy) Yeah the lady boss educate both of them.
    But yeah in fact he is, TRULY IS a terrible husband, he likes her a lot that’s for sure he always think her in his battles (in the first ova he got REALLY mad cuz they touch his lady) the one that i remember the most it’s when he’s fighting in Namek and captain Giniu change their bodies and when his body fly away (controlled by ginyu) he was weak and with a hound in the chest and whe he was flying he was thinkin on her: ‘oh no what i willl do? chichi would be mad at me, she will never get used to this body i need mine again’ (i’m mexican so i’m talkin about the latino dub).
    But at the end you’re RIGHT chichi was a fighter a really good one (heck she awoke goten’s super saiyan powers) a strong ans fearless woman, i hate what she become when she got married, i can understand why she is not fighting in those battles but C’MON Goku never EVER gives to her THE PLACE that she deserve.

    i always justife him thinking that maybe because he growed up alone and only fighting he doesnt knoww how to show affection BUT C’MON!

  8. This made me so sad; I always felt like Chi Chi was the only person who realized just how ridiculous the escalation around her was. I always wanted her fighting prowess to show up, if only because the show can only play lip service to non-fighters that aren’t Bulma as being valuable. ):

    1. When it’s revealed to Gohan that she’s actually been training baby Goten… that scene had such potential! A complex mother with nuanced opinions on childrearing!

      But then it came to nothing, really.

      1. I always felt Chi Chi got the short end of the stick. I hated/ and still do hate Goku because of his naivety – I mean it was cute in some places/episodes and totally justified but for the whole DBZ series??? Really??? no character development there? still an idiot? Really Akira??? That is why I love Vegeta…started off as an asshole but turned out to be nice guy…

        All the women seem to get side stepped after getting married though…Look at 18…friggen powerhouse in Andriod saga…now a housewife? Akira has me all kinds of disappointed…I really hoped Chi Chi and all other women would get some kind of recognition in Super but NO! Again still Bulma??? Why? I dont see any use for her???

        1. yas, i wanted to see a little girl powers too, i mean i know this series is a shonen in all the expression of the word but girls can’t fight too!
          i mean look what they did to Videl she’s so OOC now

  9. On the one hand it doesn’t really help that Akira Toriyama admitted himself that he’s not good at writing romance, probably a given for what happened between Bulma and Yamcha. So that can also show that flaw between Goku and Chi-Chi. On the other hand too, even if Toriyama did do that to show how Goku and Chi-Chi do love each other, who would want to bet that either the executives or the whiny fanboys would be mad at the idea the story is focusing more on the love than it should on action? It was the kind of mindset that got Spider-Man and Mary Jane to end their marriage through a deal with the literal devil, because executives HATED to to see stories on married couples. Either way, idiots. Plus the original story was written in the late 80’s and early 90’s Japan when those cliches were nearly everywhere.

    Now I’m not trying to bash against the idea of defending Chi-Chi, nor am I trying to defend Goku’s actions. I personally think they both suffered from the cliches of the shonen tropes for their time, but I’m sure if Toryiama was able to write some stories to develop Goku and Chi-Chi’s relationship and get some help from a writer who knows how to write those stories, we could finally see a story that does Chi Chi justice. But unfortunately as long as Shonen Jump wants to keep the stories focused on action, we’ll never get that. Plus some can make the argument that the logic works differently since its a world where dinosaurs still roam and the destruction of the moon doesn’t affect the tide, but I do get your point. But I say Goku is the better role model compared to Peter Griffin, but that’s another can of worms. Everyone will see shows like this differently. Plus it didn’t help that America WAS introduced to DBZ before the later episodes of Dragon Ball where we did see more of Chi Chi’s shining character. I kid you not, they did that because they feared audiences would find Dragon Ball slow and boring and aired DBZ first because of its action. Why do you think we remember Chi Chi that way first? Because we were introduced to THAT chi chi first because the networks wanted to keep our attention with the fighting, not the adventure and characters. The same logic that people think that all form of animation is suitable for kids just because “its a cartoon”. But I’m just ranting.

    Hell, I’m a guy, I grew up and love this show still, but I never took it as a male power fantasy nor do I think Goku is a perfect hero. If anything I love nearly all the characters and that includes Chi Chi. And yeah, you can make the argument that the story had some morality flaws, but its the good character moralities that made a big impact for me personally. And compared to other women characters in other animes who did get development but had them robbed later on, I still think there might be a chance for Chi Chi with the show being revived. If anything, I want to see MORE female fighters since now Dragon Ball will be continuing its story in the 21st century. As well to hopefully see more character development, including Chi Chi and Goku’s.

    And with that, sorry for the long post, just wanted to get my say in as a Dragon Ball fan but an open minded optimistic fan.

    1. Actually I think that Bulma & Yamaha’s evolving relationship was kind of perfect and well-observed? Maybe it was an accident…

      With on “more female fighters”, of course! Thanks for the comment, nice and passionate.

      1. It was in Dragon Ball, but I felt that way with what I said regarding their split in the Androids Saga to bring in how Trunks was the son of Bulma and Vegeta, then again, that whole saga to me reeked of Terminator. I just wish Toriyama was able to write more of Launch in, but sadly that may never happen.

        And thanks, glad you approve. I know that as adults we see shows we watched as kids from a different perspective as we tend to notice either clever bits we missed or flaws that are glaring. But I do know that people will always have their own interpretation based on their own views and biases, whether be good or bad, but its often the irrational viewpoints that causes the most damage who enjoy the show and those who want to see improvements. Wanting to see Chi Chi’s character improve and break out the shonen trope? That’s legit and completely understandable. But then there are those who want to crucify Goku just for being a bad parental figure despite that he really does love them even though the narrative doesn’t show it. That to me is just irrational. Again, Goku’s decisions as a parent are definitely not the best and he was even called out by Piccolo (the anime actually gave him an actual “what have I done?” moment where the manga did not) But even as a kid, I knew his heart was in the right place even with his mistakes, and I like to think that kids are certainly smart enough not to follow HIS style of parenting. Also, fyi about those who want Chi Chi to be with Piccolo…um…considering his species, you do know there’s the chance he doesn’t have his “ding a ling” right? Namekians being neutral and spitting out eggs to give new life…just…saiyan.

        1. What I’m actually hoping will happen in the upcoming reboot of DBZ is that we see the show break out of those typical 80/90s shounen tropes. Shounen as a genre still has lots of issues – as does shojo – but it’s evolved a lot since DB and DBZ first aired in the 80s and 90s. I’d like to see more emphasis on actual story than just plot. I thought Dragonball did a better job of showing Goku navigate through the world, build friendships, and have adventures than DBZ ever did. Shounen has had a better track record with female characters and romance in the last couple years so I hope the new DBZ won’t be held back by those old tropes.

          1. That is true about Dragon Ball as it focused more on character growth and adventure, it was also the series that inspired many popular and iconic stories such as Naruto, Bleach, Zatch Bell, and in my opinion that came the closest, One Piece. Where as DBZ was more about saving the world and eventually good vs. evil. Which again, was supposed to end with Frieza originally as Toriyama intended, but the series became SO popular that he was ordered to keep going. Which unfortunately due to the higher stakes from the villains, it unfortunately and unintentionally I suppose, robbed character development from those who’s been there since the beginning, it was even lampshaded in DBZ Abridged. Its just unfortunately since many in North America were introduced to DBZ first because of the action compared to its original series, that’s where a lot of people remember it more, kinda like watching The Empire Strikes Back before watching the original Star Wars. Doesn’t matter if the original had a better story, people will always remember the sequel for its action and menacing villains.

            As with Dragon Ball GT….nobody talks about that, it wasn’t even toriyama’s idea to begin with. After he stopped with Z, Toei animation wanted to milk dragonball even more so they made that series and BOY did it bomb. It tried to capture the original series but fans hated it and wanted DBZ like action, and when they did, the story was such a mess and characters were handled poorly that it became despised (though not as much as the live action movie) Give credit to the newer movies at least, aside building up to the new series for Dragonball to hopefully avert those flaws, it also dismissed any possible connection to GT. So that’s a victory for us fans.

            I know myself I’m hopeful for not only more character involvement than just saiyans, but also to see more female fighters. Hell, one of them is actually a Z fighter but she doesn’t get involved much. Though one can say that it was her own choice as she still keeps the same calm, collective, snarky, and bad ass personality as she always has, just shows more heart. But that is what will make Dragon Ball Super interesting, how Toriyama will continue the epic saga into the 21st century. As we will support him but also lend our voices that hopefully it’ll break through.

        2. Oh, I meant all that stuff too. The whole thing, right up to her buying him a car when they’re all forty-plus, just because. It’s great!

          1. True there, plus I remember too that the reason Vegeta went to Bulma was he figured he tried to repeat the same methods that Goku had that makes him as strong as he was then. (even when living with them, you can tell he still cared for himself at times, especially letting himself Majin Vegeta) But it was also that same saga that had the most change for him. Sacrificing himself to save his loved ones, including Bulma and Goku, and finally letting go of his pride when he learned that despite Goku’s idiocy and low class, Goku’s determination to protect those he loves is what makes him strong. Which to me makes both of them awesome and perfect rivals.

            And of course Bulma and Yamcha still care for each other, even though they’re not a couple, at least they’re still great friends because of the adventures they had together throughout all of Dragon Ball. Which again sucks how such great characters were pushed to the side so it can focus on saiyans. Even Piccolo, Toriyama’s fave character was pushed to the side and seemed to serve more as the mental power house of the Z fighters while the Saiyans did all the fighting.

    2. Did you watch the few episodes of Super? Doesn’t seem like Toriyama or TOEI have any intention of changing that “shrew wife and mother” image that’s unfortunately been labeled with her. In fact, it seems to depend on it (y’know for nostalgia).

      Sorry for being late but I felt like throwing it out there.

      1. I actually have to catch up on Super but that’s pretty disappointing. I was hoping they’d update the series because while that 80s/90s nostalgia works for rewatching the older episodes, or even the new OVAs I, personally, know I wouldn’t be interested in a rehash of that same formula for the new series. Can we at least get some lady Z fighters? Always thought they wasted Android 18 after the Android saga, she was a powerhouse and they never showed it.

        1. Right now they’re just taking it slow, if anything, its more of a retelling of the Battle of the Gods film so far. Though you get a lot more character from them without any fighting, but its still all building up to far for Beerus wanting to fight a Super Saiyan God. But here are some examples, in episode 1, Goku is actually working to earn money for the family even though he wants to train instead, he’s actually taking responsibility in that episode. Though there’s a bit of a cop out in a way, but without giving too much away, thanks to a certain friend who knows Goku really defeated Buu, Goku took responsibility and accepted the money so his whole family can be financially stable for year. Even Chi Chi was so happy and proud of Goku for that. But see for yourself though. And in episode 2, Vegeta actually spends time with his family as they go to the park (as Vegeta promised Trunks back during the Buu saga if Trunks was able to hit him once) even Bulma was surprised by Vegeta’s actions.

          Personally I am liking the show, but we’re only just 3 episodes in, I rather wait for it to be done before I judge it as a whole. As much as we want changes, we have to remember to not set our expectations too high up or else we’ll only be making ourselves disappointed on purpose.

      2. I never got that impression of Chi Chi being shrew, but I do get your concern. But honestly we’re just 3 episodes in at the beginning. It is easy for us to be critical when we expect so much of a series that’s being brought back. But I prefer to wait for this series to be done before I judge it based off of my own expectations.

  10. “I hope there’s a lot of fanfiction where Chi Chi gets that green dick over the many, many days, months and years that Goku is away throughout their marriage and parenthood.”

    Oh my lawd.

    “That right there is what gets me. You don’t notice it as a child, you just take it as is. Chi Chi is the wife, and she’s the shrew wife at that. She yells, she screams, she makes Gohan do his homework (oh the horror!), and she gets upset when Gohan and Goku leave to save the world.”

    Yea, I was just a casual watcher of this as a child. And that’s basically all I remember about Chi Chi.
    Now I wish I had paid more attention.

    1. I had to rewatch the show as an adult to really SEE what was happening. I didn’t see it before until I grew up. Which sorta makes sense since it’s a kids show or a show aimed at a younger audience, but damn. What does it say that you want kids to grow up ignoring their wives and children to go out and fight instead?

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