Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama finds himself in a bind once again and this time for his portrayal of female characters in the Dragon Ball series. Fans are displeased by the fact that all the female character in the series are confined to traditional domestic roles, i.e., housewives, as opposed to their male counterparts.
While Bulma, Videl, Chi Chi, and Android 18 were pointed out as the prime example of this trope, this sudden trigger amongst the fans regarding the relegation of female role in the series stemmed from the most recent chapter.
In the chapter Mai, a member of Pilaf gang, assures Trunks that they could go on dates as much as they wanted in the course of their “relationship,” which led to fans being concerned about Mai’s future. They believed that if she married Trunks she would be confined to being a housewife, after much character growth.
Chi Chi, Videl, and Android 18 were all fighters before they decided to get married and settle down, and from that point on, their roles in the series were largely limited, and not given any character development. Fans feared something similar would happen to Mai too.
Even Bulma was criticized to a certain extend for losing her character traits.
A fan also expressed concern for Pan, who could fall into the trope on becoming an adult, and even Kale and Caulifla.
However, a certain section of fans waived off claims that the female characters of Dragon Ball series are just an eye candy, instead they contributed to major chunk of the plot in positive ways. They also put forth instances which led the characters to take the path they took.
Fans also pointed out that it was the author’s choice as to what to do with his characters, and that these characters probably reflected the mindset of the 80s.
This isn’t the first time the Dragon Ball series was under fire by fans, Toriyama had recently found himself in a fake racism controversy, where the image of an alleged interview was taking social media platforms by storm.
Dragon Ball is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha.
Toriyama’s manga was adapted and divided into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed 21 animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super.
Twenty animated theatrical films based on the Dragon Ball series have been released in Japan. The most recent films, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013), Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (2015), Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018), and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (2022), were produced as full-length feature films and were given stand-alone theatrical releases. They’ve also been the first movies to have original creator Akira Toriyama deeply involved in their production.