Greetings everyone in order to celebrate the new Broly Movie not long ago revealing a horrific fact I have decided to make a special review. A short story that has managed to get the ire of nearly everyone in the Dragonball Community yet is soon to be canon because apparently Father of Goku is too good for the canonical franchise. Some people in the community who have not read this story have been wondering why Dragonball Minus gets so much hate well I’m here to tell you all the straight facts on why this product is proof that Toriyama has lost his mind in terms of storytelling. Be warned I’ll be making many comparisons to Father of Goku since both serve as an origin story for both Bardock and Goku just with varying amounts of quality.
Read more: Dragon ball minus episode 1 10
The story starts on some unnamed planet where Bardock and his partner are fighting these huge weak aliens when suddenly they get a message to head back to Planet Vegeta much to their confusion. Heading back, we get a hint that Bardock prefers to keep his own thoughts to himself unwilling to let anyone realize his true feelings when he tells his teammate to take their scouter off as they can be monitored. Once back home we then see Frieza remark on Super Saiyan and the first major plot hole Super Saiyan God.
Frieza having any idea of that form especially hearing about it from legends which we know for a fact is impossible since Vegeta had never heard about it means that this is simply Toriyama trying to give hints to the future form without bothering to think it out. In just a few panels this short story has already created problems that will never be answered. By now Frieza has decided to execute the Saiyans because of these rumors and how the race will never be loyal to him, so it is best to destroy them now before they have the chance to rebel. Meanwhile on another planet we see Raditz and Vegeta choosing to ignore the message and enjoy themselves on what looks to be an already conquered area, and I have one minor nitpick with this scene. One thing I liked about the Anime’s interpretation of Kid Vegeta was that he wore a more royal armor with a cape made him standout from the other Saiyans, but here he just wears some generic Saiyan and that’s it.
Back on Planet Vegeta we finally get the debut of Goku’s mom Gine and that apparently in this continuity Saiyans live in an incubator for years until they are old enough to fight. Looking him over Bardock then tells his wife that they will send Kakarot to another planet much to her confusion until he explains that it is for his own safety. From comments made about Bardock we learn that Gine is a very soft hearted Saiyan who has rubbed off on our main protagonist. Stealing a ship to transport Kakarot off Gine then asks why they don’t just all escape together which he brings up a valid reason, but then that asks the question why not just leave one at a time separately then meet back up later.
Like the fact they have a month to get off the planet and just wait there to die is bullshit like I could buy a few days but not 30 giving them ample time to get the hell out of there before they are killed. The only reason this happens is because it’s a prequel story instead of bothering to make any logical sense making our second major plot hole in this incredibly short tale. Sending Goku off Dragonball Minus ends its story showing a quick recap of how Goku would end up facing Frieza.
Even after it ends the Manga creates more plot holes with the franchise such as Goku being the age of a toddler as when we see him in Jaco the Galactic Patrolman which this story was attached to the collected volume of the series he can pretty much do anything a regular four-year-old can do. This asks two major questions that I know for a fact Toriyama didn’t bother to think of. One where did Goku’s armor go you think Grandpa Gohan would have kept that around somewhere, but instead apparently he just threw away perfectly good armor that could have been used on his Grandson to protect him. Then there is the final major plot hole of this story how did Goku even get amnesia when at 3 years old he should be more then strong enough to withstand any normal head trauma considering his Saiyan genes not many years later allowed him to get hit by a car and be perfectly fine. Which means simply falling on his head shouldn’t have hurt him enough to forget everything about his culture. It made much more sense when he was a vulnerable baby just born but being old enough to fight means buying this is way beyond my sense of disbelief when Raditz was only a few years older taking over planets with ease.
Speaking of the older Saiyan Gine remarks that she’ll contact Raditz and warn him of Frieza yet when he debuts in Z is totally convinced of the planet being blown up by a meteor tale. Which if we are to assume this story is canon god forbid means this is one humongous plot hole the size of China. One final problem comes from the Frieza Saga itself where after seeing Goku we see Frieza in the Anime have a flashback to Father of Goku while in the Manga we see a picture of Bardock implying that the Special is canon, so this is some major retconning just for an utterly ass story. Let’s not forget this just reinforces the comparisons between Superman and Goku which is ironic since Toriyama sees Funi Goku the guy who created the similarities as a detraction from his vision of the character. Yet this story fits much more with that version being a boy who after his father suspected treachery from a being his people trusted sent his boy off planet before it could explode. This boy would eventually grow up to save the world and fight the monster who was responsible for his people’s death. Dragonball Minus essentially copies the backstory of Superman to a fault because apparently the spirit of the character is easily forgettable to the man known as Akira Toriyama.
Compare this story to Father of Goku one that fit almost if not perfectly into the timeline explaining everything we needed to know about the Saiyans and how they met their end to the tyrant Frieza. The story was tragic as one man against all odds fought against fate but also offered a sense of hope at the end and told a story that enhanced the lore of the Dragonball Universe. So, to see this pile of garbage that on its own is enough to be a 2/10 replace such a great story is beyond horrific it is easily one of the biggest mistakes in the franchise. If there was ever a sign the legend himself had begun to lose his talent for storytelling. Minus was created by the Gods to warn us of the terrors to come with Super, Broly being canon, Kale and Caulifla, and RoF but we didn’t listen and have failed. This story is utter crap and earns a measly 1/10 reading this will literally risk you gaining brain cancer… Ok probably not but hey see that as an incentive not to read this trash. You’d probably have a more enlightening experience reading some Dragonball Hentai Manga at least there you get the same story quality as this just with some nice hanky panky to look at as a nice distraction.
With the stories short length, the only two meaningful characters to judge are Bardock and the new character Gine who since then hasn’t appeared in the slightest so this is her only showing. Starting off with the main man himself Bardock’s personality has been completely revamped from his persona in Father of Goku instead feeling like a more watered-down version of the already lacking Episode of Bardock version being instead of a ruthless killing machine more of a grumpy old man who can beat up people. It becomes even worse when you realize he’s a blatant copy and paste of Jor-El Superman’s dad who just like our main protagonist after being told some strange information suspected it was a trap and prepared a countermeasure sending his boy off world.
The only difference is Jor-El and Brainiac had some interaction and we got to see flaws with the character unwilling to kill the computer because then the proud history and culture of their people would be lost forever. Meanwhile Bardock is shown to not possess any of these problems to make him a more three-dimensional character and comes off as bland and generic compared to his Father of Goku counterpart who is shown to be a very flawed character. He underestimates his opponents leading to his knock out by the Kanassan, charges head first at Frieza alone and ends up paying for his life, and most importantly shows a lack of proper care for his children as evidenced by his treatment of Goku.
These go a long way towards establishing a character of the Saiyan Race becoming a great example of just how bad they were as a culture all without throwing it in your face. He wasn’t some bland good guy who wanted to protect his family from a horrible monster and was in fact that very same monster only being considered good in comparison to Frieza because he showed comradery with his team and race but make no mistake at best the was the lesser of two evils and in any other story would be the villain. That becomes the beauty of his character he was unique compared to other Anime protagonists one that could easily be both a hero or villain because of his layered personality. Here all that is gone and there is no reason to like him besides he’s simply a carbon copy of the man we once knew.
Finally, there is Gine the woman who was hyped up to be the new breakout character to make Dragonball Minus worth it. Surprise surprise she’s just a one note bore who becomes the stereotypical wife and proves that the fan theory of Fasha/Celipa being Goku’s mother was more interesting. Hell, her character is one massive question mark on the Saiyan Race because as we have literally seen in the franchise Saiyans who have shown just an ounce of weakness such as Paragus or just pissed off high ranking members like that guy who warned King Vegeta that there would be a delay in securing a planet. So, am I expected to believe a sissy like Gine survived all these years in a race that casually kills and conquers whatever is in front of them? It only gets worse if you decide to include the Saiyan-Tuffle War into their history because there is absolutely no fucking way she made it through a war that ravaged both races. So even just by her existence it forces us to exceptionally suspend our disbelief already starting off on a bad first impression. Her actual personality leaves much to be desired serving as the Lara Lor-Van of the story being the loving mother who wants to protect her son.
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In comparison she serves that role well but from some of the interpretations I have seen just like Bardock she falls short as Lara at least from the interpretation I have watched that being mostly Superman The Animated Series, but I will stress she is given a lot more importance as the years go by but most of my knowledge of her comes from this and fits since both are short stories to serve as backstory. Lara as a person was very supportive of her husband even when his suspicions seemed insane she still faith in him, and in the end had the choice to go with her child and live or stay with the love of her life in their final moments. As most of you already know she chose the latter which in many ways can be seen as both a positive and negative of the character depending on your viewpoint making it an easy way to introduce relatable flaws for the person.
Gine on the other hand is very skeptical of Bardock and shows a lack of support for our main character which makes sense but implies a lack of connection and trust between the two. For a short story like this it’s better from a writing standpoint to appeal to Pathos meaning the heart rather than Logos meaning logic as impactful moments are much easier to create just harder to execute correctly. Her character fails to that impact and this fails becoming a boring Mary Sue. My verdict for the characters is another 1/10 they fail in being their own individuals and bootlegs of minor characters.
The art of Dragonball Minus is great looking good the entire time as expected form an artist of Toriyama’s caliber. The only major problem is there aren’t any action scenes to capitalize on this one-time opportunity so while the art may be great that doesn’t really do much for this story besides being appealing to look at since all of it is just them talking. Manga truly shine either in comedy or action which neither of this story has so if the fundamentals to use this stuff is not there even if the drawings are great they don’t much in the grand scheme of things. I’ll give the art an 7/10 because it looks great but fails to use what it has in a meaningful way.
This product is utterly atrocious and becomes obvious why this was merely stacked onto a volume as an extra because no one in their right mind would have bought this piece of expensive toilet paper that probably isn’t even good enough to wipe my ass cheeks with. This is easily one of if not the biggest stain upon Toriyama’s proud legacy as a writer and has been royally panned by everyone in the fandom except for the people who don’t know about it which from my experience is a decent number like my friend DW. Hell, one of the reasons I made this was to inform you all of the awfulness this story contains before it becomes canon. The only aspect that keeps it from being a 1/10 is the art that holds up nicely but that just means I’ll hand it a 2/10 absolutely horrible.