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Mark's Twitter profile picture during his time reviewing Dragon Ball.

Totally Not Mark is an Irish anime reviewer, who specializes in Dragon Ball.

Mark Flitzpatrick always felt bored for English Class, and in order to not fail at it, shifting his focus from King Lear to the Dragon Ball Z anime. Despite his teacher's disappointment, Mark ended up succeeding in the class, learning about story structure.

Mark then decided to open up a channel on YouTube, reviewing Dragon Ball Super. From that point, he would end up reviewing the entire series, and almost everything that was done in the franchise, alongside other series like One Piece, My Hero Academia, One-Punch Man or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Mark has a section titled Anatomy of Anime, where he discusses elements of a series and why it worked or failed.

You can find his videos here. The editor of his JoJo's Bizarre Adventure videos is AnimeAJay, whose channel you can find here.

In December 2021, much of the video content discussed on this page (Dragon Ball and One Piece in particular) was made temporarily inaccessible to watch, as Mark's YouTube channel was hit with numerous automated copyright strikes by Toei Animation. Most if not all of the videos are now reinstated, except in Japan.

Totally Not Mark provides these Totally Not Tropes:

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     General Tropes 
  • ÖAnd That Little Girl Was Me: The You Tube Comment That Changed My Life begins with Mark discussing the titular comment, one from the animated music video for Sparkling from Your Name. Mark reveals that he was the one who made this comment, using it as a Framing Device on how the movie led him to leave a life in Japan to be with his lover, formerly a childhood friend, implied to now be his wife.
  • Character Development: Discussed Trope in The Anatomy of Anime, while quoting K.M. Weiland's Creating Character Arcs. Mark discusses the character development of characters in fiction with three types of arc, the "Flat Character Arc", the "Positive Character Arc", and the "Negative Character Arc". A Flat Character Arc character is devoid of change, instead helping others change, this character can be both positive or negative. Then there's the Positive Character Arc, when a character changes for the better through letting go of the lie they believe. And finally, the Negative Character arc, when a character changes for the worse because they refuse to let go of the lie they believe.
  • Crossover:
    • Fixing Dragon Ball Super's Terrible Artwork episodes 1 and 2 has him alongside AnimeAjay and artist IamTheTrev redrawing off-model keyframes from Dragon Ball Super.
    • The Buu Saga episodes of Dragon Ball Z: The Ultimate Review were a collaboration with Team Four Star, with short Dragon Ball Z Abridged-style clips dispersed throughout the video.
  • Excuse Plot: Discissed in The Day Dragon Ball Died. Mark notices ever since Akira Toriyama stopped being fully in charge of the series, the fights have become less relevant to the plot in newer Dragon Ball media.
  • Misblamed: Invoked. While Mark recognizes Akira Toriyama's flaws, most of his complaints regarding Dragon Ball Super are with both Toei Animation and Toyotarō.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope: Mark is not a fan of Fanservice, as he thinks very few shows used it well.
  • Running Gag:
    • Any mention of AnimeAjay will have Mark remark that Ajay is insane, due to using a mouse for drawing instead of the tablet he already owns.
    • Memes from Dragon Ball Super, like Goku Black's "subarashi", Frieza's "hohoho" laugh, Zamasu's disdain of "ningen" or Jiren's supposed brother EL HERMANO will find their way in when Mark speaks about them due to the editor.
    • Any mention of Dragon Ball GT is labeled with a bleep sound effect at the GT part of the title due to Mark's own dislike of the series. The gag stopped once he reviewed the series.
    • Any mention of the Buu saga will include an extreme close up of Majin Buu's face.
  • Series Continuity Error: One pointed out by the editor, in Fixing Dragon Ball Super Terrible Artwork's second episode. Mark remarks that his redrawing of Beerus would be the first time he draws the character, except he already drew a thumbnail of him for Beerus: The Problem Character.
  • Shown Their Work: While discussing what makes a story and character work and what doesn't, Mark will cite multiple authors experienced in storytelling formulas. Mark cites K.M. Weiland's Creating Character Arcs, Robert McKee's Story and John Truby's Anatomy of Story.
  • Take That!:
    • Broly: The Missing Ingredient has Mark quickly state that the original Broly is "everything he hated about Dragon Ball".
    • In BOOTLEG Dragon Ball Movies, he dedicates a sizable chunk of the video to mocking MaStar Media's videos and their various problems.
  • Title Drop: Some of Markís Anatomy of Anime videos will cite the title of the topic at the end of the video. Subverted with Jiren: The Terrible Antagonist, where instead Marks calls him "the passive antagonist".

     Anatomy of Anime tropes 

  • Anti-Hero: Vegeta: Perfecting Anti-Heroes has Mark discuss how Vegeta went from irredeemable villain to a somewhat sympathetic anti-hero thanks to both the character of Frieza being eviler than him, and the empire soldiers above Vegeta making constant fun of him, turning him from a two-dimensional bad guy to a relatable, but still antagonistic, character.
  • Arc Fatigue: Invoked. Mark argues in Jiren: The Terrible Antagonist that the reason why the Tournament of Power felt so void of suspense despite having a time limit is due to both how Universe 7 never really had a Darkest Hour with the least fighters, and Jiren not having an active role or character until the very last episodes.
  • The Artifact: Mark describes Piccolo and Gohan as becoming glorified background characters in modern Dragon Ball. Mark compares Piccolo to Yamcha because of this, not due to Yamcha's reputation as a Butt-Monkey or Memetic Loser, but because of how irrelevant he is in the story. But unlike Yamcha, both him and Gohan are still pushed in the narrative because of their popularity.
  • Audience Surrogate: Bulma: The Female Character is about how Bulma as a character is very relatable to the female audience of Dragon Ball, with Mark having asked multiple women to give their thoughts on Bulma. Mark especially praises the Cell saga for showing Bulma as a single mother, something that is rarely seen in Japanese media; Mark also praises Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super: Broly making her worried about growing older, something very relatable hardly touched upon in Japanese media even if it was Played for Laughs.
    Mark: "And honestly there are very few characters as real and fully realized as Bulma. In asking around opinions about her character, one aspect that many ladies mentioned was how real she felt. In a show full of people who literally couldn't be real, here she is, a real human being as flawed and emotional as any of us. Almost everyone else in the main story has something about them that canít actually ever occur: three eyes, their strength, tails, sneezing-related mental disorders, there's flying. I suppose one could say that inventing capsule technology is not real, and yeah, I guess I see that, but the idea behind that advantage is knowledge and technology, those are real things. If I wanted to, I could try to become as efficient in technology as she is supposed to be, but no matter how hard anyone tries they wonít ever manage to archive what Goku has. Heck, even Vegeta canít, and he is as believable as he is."
  • Central Theme: Discussed. Mark argues that the reason Gohan didn't work as a protagonist is because he didn't follow the theme of Progression Through Struggle, instead receiving his power on a silver platter in every story after the Cell saga.
  • Character Development: Mark argues that the reason Dragon Ball Super is less impactful than Z is due to none of the main characters receiving any development, instead staying in the same place they were at the end of the previous series. He does remark characters like Hit, Zamasu and Jiren do change, but they are the equivalent of one-shot characters. He does state that Cabba changes through the arcs he appears in, but he is a very minor reactive character in the grand scheme of things.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played With. As the theme of Dragon Ball is Progression Through Struggle, Mark heavily criticizes Gohan for receiving the powers he obtains instead of working to get them the way his father did. The fact that Gohan obtains the Ultimate form through Old Kai giving them to him, despite being the supposed protagonist of the Majin Buu saga, is why Mark speculates Akira Toriyama "gave up" on the character.
  • Establishing Character Moment: How to Introduce Your Villain analyzes how Dragon Ball introduces its antagonists, from good examples (Raditz, Frieza, Cell, Goku Black) to bad examples (King Piccolo, Jiren), and how both handle its exposition.
    Mark, quoting Robert McKee: "Never force words into a character's mouth to tell the audience about world, history or person. Rather, show us natural scenes in which human beings talk and behave in honest, natural ways yet at the same time indirectly pass along the necessary facts."
    • Mark criticizes that Raditz, despite having a good introduction showing how he and Goku are related, later becomes an exposition machine, telling both his backstory and the Saiyans' and Goku's origin. Mark states that this is a recurring problem in the medium of anime.
    • Mark calls Cell's introduction one of the best in the franchise, due to the excellent use of camera angles and the desolated look of Ginger Town and the corpses saying enough about Cell before he even says a word.
    • In the case of King Piccolo, having a bad introduction is due to him info-dumping information he already knows for the benefit of the viewers.
    • Mark regards Frieza's and Goku Black's introduction as perfect, introducing and showing everything you need to know about them and the plot they take part in.
    • In the case of Jiren, his failure is due to him just meditating and not interacting with anyone in particular for most of the tournament, and characters constantly info-dumping information or talking wonders of the character. He quickly mentions that Hitís introduction is him just sitting there and nothing else.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Invoked Mark argues in Piccolo: The Humillated Character that Piccoloís downfall as an interesting character took root in the first chapter of the Saiyan saga, where many years had passed since his defeat, and yet he hadn't done or planned anything during that time.
  • Hero Antagonist: An argument Mark analyzes about Goku in Jiren: The Terrible Antagonist. Since an antagonist in its original meaning is "the one who initiates changes," the argument can be made that Goku is Jiren's antagonist as he is the one who starts any interaction with Jiren, forcing him to change into tough situations. Mark disagrees, as the Universal Survival Arc was not set up for Jiren to be the protagonist or focus.
  • Info Dump: Mark criticizes Akira Toriyama for info-dumping everything in the first act they can for the benefit of the viewers. He does comment Toriyama got better at it in the Namek saga.
    Mark, quoting Robert McKee:"Dealing with the knotty problems of exposition so intimidates some writers that they try to get it all out of the way as soon as possible."
  • Informed Attribute: Mark finds Goku being overconfident in himself by Whis to be an informed attribute in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'. He instead finds that Goku, while naive, just lowered his guard when there was no need for him to be on guard.
    Mark: In Resurrection 'F', Whis tries to demonstrate to Goku that he lowers his guard too often by punching him in his ribs, as he's walking through the garden in Beerus' planet after the sparring session had come to a close. This doesnít demonstrate anything. In order for Goku to have his guard up in this non-combat scenario, he would need to consciously be on-guard 24/7, which is impractical and exactly the flaw Vegeta has, or he would need to have Ultra Instinct, which is the goal Whis is training them towards. So I donít see how this is any indication that he is anything other than a weaker fighter than Whis; it doesn't demonstrate anything to further Whis's point that he is overconfident.
  • Fix Fic: In Zamasu: Turning Characters Evil, Mark rewrites Zamasu as a powerful mortal who doesn't believe in his or any other mortal abilities to prosper, leading him to a path of destruction like in the source material, to make a better contrast with Trunks than in the source material.
  • The Lancer: Discussed in Piccolo: The Humiliated Character. In order to be a very effective sideman to Goku, the character needs to have a rivalry in which both characters can keep up with one another and be an active character. Since Krillin couldnít keep up with Goku, he was replaced with Piccolo; since Piccolo could no longer keep up with Goku, he was replaced with Vegeta. Vegeta was lucky the manga ended soon after he accepted he couldn't keep up with Goku. But when Super premiered, this got retconned and he kept up, with him still being Goku's rival. Mark says that idealistically, Majin Buu or Hit would have replaced him as the sideman role.
  • Padding: Discussed in both Gohan: The Forgotten Character and Rewriting the Buu Saga.
    • Mark considers the Majin Buu saga to have irrelevant elements in the grand overall story, which includes Gohan's school life, as while it may have introduced Videl, she doesn't really have a purpose after being taken out by Spopovich and nothing of these chapters play a factor in the climax.
    • In turn, Mark asks the viewers which elements they can remove from Videl, Gohan, Vegito, Super Saiyan 3 and Gotenks, while not affecting its ending. In his words, all of them, since none of them result in any permanent progress against any form of Buu, or change the direction of the plot at all.
  • Plot Device: Mark argues that despite how it sounds like, Bulma being a plot device character is a good thing, as thanks to her being a tech-savvy character, she has managed to remain an active character through the series. By comparison, Chi-chi and Videl, who started out as fighters, lost relevancy and edge as they Can't Catch Up and became simple housewives.
  • Recycled Script: Invoked. Mark notices in Piccolo: The Humillated Character that despite the Saiyan Saga's iconic status, two of its scenes (the beam struggle and the villain growing giant) were already done in the fight between Goku and Piccolo.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Mark speculates that the reason Son Gohan didn't work as a protagonist for author Akira Toriyama during the last arc of Dragon Ball is that compared with Goku, an active protagonist, Gohan is too much of a reactive character to handle an action-packed story. Due to this reason, Mark considers Gohan at his best in the Namek saga, when he actively went to Namek to bring Piccolo back to life.
    Mark, quoting Robert Mckee: "The truly passive protagonist is a regrettably common mistake. A story cannot be told about a protagonist who doesn't want anything, who cannot make decisions, whose actions affect no change at any level."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Invoked
    • In Jiren: The Terrible Antagonist, Mark describes Jiren as a passive antagonist, with the side characters speaking of how powerful and great he is instead of showing it, while he himself barely has any goal within the story. And he fails at being a great antagonist, as he doesn't attack Goku's weakness nor works with the other antagonists, the Omni-Kings. Jiren only becomes somewhat effective at the very end of the arc, when he finally gets consistent focus, but it's too little too late for him to develop his personality, with Mark saying that personality should have been the focus of the arc from the beginning. Mark expanded on this in a tweet, stating that Toyotarō handled Jiren's introduction better in the manga, but that's his only comment on Jiren in the manga.
      Mark: "Wanting power and strength isn't an interesting trait alone, but isn't necessarily a bad thing. But when it's made clear Jiren values strength and power over justice and life, he becomes a villain. At the very end of the arc. For five minutes.[note] In-universe, he's active for less than one minute.[/note] Before Goku ultimately defeats him. And he oddly gets a redemption of sorts after hearing a pep talk from Toppo in the following episode. You see, that there is a story that's worth telling, but it should be told over the course of the entire arc, and not a single's episode runtime."
    • In Zamasu: Turning Characters Evil and Goku Black: The Narrative Mess, Mark argues that Future Trunks is a defective hero protagonist, as while Zamasu has a great introduction rich with themes and characterization, Trunks, who is the main foil to Zamasu, doesn't have any struggle, Character Development, or contrast with the mad god despite having many things in common inside the story. Mark, for a hypothetical example, rewrites Zamasu as a powerful mortal who didn't believe in his or any other mortal's ability to prosper, leading him to a path of destruction like in the source material, to make a contrast with Trunks.
      Mark: I want to point out that there are a lot of things that work with Zamasu and Trunks dynamic: they both care for the development and prosperity of their respective spheres of influence. However, Zamasu does not trust mortal ability to handle conflict; Trunks, at the same time, doesn't believe in his own abilities to achieve what he knows is good. But what this dynamic lacked was that Trunks can't fall down the same path Zamasu did. So, what's the lesson? Donít be crazy like Zamasu? I understand that Trunks coming to believe in himself and humanity is the conclusion of his arc, but it is in no way linked to Zamasu's experience, and I can't help but feel that was a missed opportunity."
    • In Bulma: The Female Character, Mark argues that Future Bulma is the most interesting character of the Future Trunks saga, and even in the Artificial Humans saga, on an emotional level. With her having her own goal to save the future as she is the only scientist in the world that can make the Time Machine work, her desire to see the person she loves one more time, and being a compelling character the audience is familiar with, yet the story never gives her any protagonism.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Invoked. In Goku Isn't Overconfident, he argues that, although he doesn't agree with Goku being overconfident as stated in Resurrection F (he argues his naivety is more of his Fatal Flaw), he does state that Dragon Ball Super wasted the opportunity to take this supposed flaw in order to make it Goku's character arc during the series. Goku's overconfidence only appears in F, and is never brought up again, which Mark argues would have made Goku a more compelling character as he obtains Ultra Instinct in the Universal Survival Arc of Super.
  • The Worf Effect: Discussed in Piccolo: The Humillated Character. The sideman's role is to be defeated by the next big opponent, so Goku can take the lead. This happened to Krillin, Piccolo, and Vegeta.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Mark has a problem with Whis' statement that Goku is "overconfident" in Goku Isn't Overconfident. He argues that overconfidence is a confidence that is unwarranted, something that better fits Vegeta, who has underestimated his opponents multiple times. Goku by comparison, due to the lesson learned with Master Roshi that there is always someone stronger in the next corner, wants to keep challenging himself, which is quite the opposite of being overconfident. His Fatal Flaw would instead be his naivety and honorable way of fighting, thinking that everyone would have the same way of thinking as he does.
    • Before the creation of the video, Mark asked his followers on Twitter instances in which Goku has been overconfident. During the video, he argues that none of the instances fans remember are examples of overconfidence.
      • Goku's decision to fight the androids is not him being overconfident. Goku was the most capable of fighting them, and they were after him, he was under the impression Vegeta would show up sooner than later and was right about it, and he was unaware of the heart disease happening to his body, which isn't overconfidence but ignorance from his part.
      • Goku's decision to put Gohan up to fight Perfect Cell and give a Senzu Bean to the villain to even the odds isn't overconfidence. Goku was correct in trusting Gohan's power, his flaw was not understanding how Gohan would react out of his naivety and way of thinking, something Piccolo calls him out on.
      • Goku telling Vegeta he is stronger than him is cocky, but correct due to the way Goku and Gohan trained in the Room of Spirit and Time, surpassing Vegeta and Trunks' own training.

     Blind One Piece Review tropes 
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Mark praising Kin'emon's "galaxy-brain play" in Wano Act 3, which was actually a case of Achievements in Ignorance. Highlighted in the video itself by Kin'emon sweating bullets while looking side to side.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Kanjuro is outed as a traitor, the entire sequence after that has his manga art colored blood-red.
  • Running Gag: He has a whole bunch, really.
    • "I think <Insert arc here> is the best arc in One Piece so far." Yes, he keeps saying it ever since Arlong Park, since a lot of arcs end up usurping his last favorite.
    • The eye-catch sequences between the promotional stuff, usually highlighting dumb stuff from the 4Kids dub.
    • A specific sound effect is used whenever a silly or embarrassing scene is highlighted.
    • Mark making theories that often turn out to be hilariously wrong.
    • The Reverie Arc has THE BIG CHAIR. (Cue Inception horn)
  • Three-Act Structure: Discussed in the Wano Arc videos, where he compares it to the structure of Jo-ha-kyū, and also brings up his own personal issues with the classical Three-Act Structure, mainly how Act 2 is significantly vaguer and harder to properly define than the other two acts and thus can become bogged down and more muddied in the hands of a less skilled writer, whereas Jo-ha-kyū provides a proper acceleration in its structure.

    Semi-Blind JoJo's Bizzare Adventure Reviews 
  • Entertainingly Wrong: He calls Narancia the youngest member of the Golden Wind heroes. Except Giorno is younger.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ajay contributes his own jokes, and on occasion makes fun of Mark when he gets something wrong.
    • For some reason, Mark often calls Joseph "Joe", much to his editor's bewilderment.
    • Mark pronouncing names wrong, now with Italian mistakes. This comes to a head in the Golden Wind review where he gets Narancia's name wrong, and Ajay proceeds to interrupt Mark with his own voice twice to make fun of him, first by mocking Mark for getting Narancia's pronouciation wrong, and second when Ajay realizes later that Mark's been calling Leone Abbacchio by his first name (and still pronouncing it wrong) because he was too scared to even try to pronounce his surname.