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A lot of people hate GT, but I've always thought that was somewhat unjust. However, it is certainly deeply flawed.
So... How does GT hold up? Well... It starts off slow. Episodes 2, 6-8, and parts of 10-12, are outright BAD, and episodes 1, and 9-14 are weird... All clearly show signs of a show that really doesn't know what it is yet. They're trying to feel like Toriyama's early run on Dragon Ball, and it just... Doesn't work. There are moments when it does, notably episode 15, but where it really shines in the early run is episodes like 3-5, and 16-22, where it fully dives into the weird '90s feverdream this show tends to be at its best. Sadly, the fight choreography is often rather dull, but the beautiful animation and excellent score helps it along.
The show really comes into its own at episode 15 or 16, I'd say. Episode 15 is a character-orientated episode, primarily about Pan, and about the group properly forming into... A Group. Episode 16 kicks off the Baby arc, and that's where things really heat up. Toei gave up trying to be like Toriyama's early style, and went with what they know from the majority of the DB/Z run, and from their work on the movies; they went with a more villain-centric approach, with big stakes, and an anything-goes attitude. The show is still not a patch on Toriyama's Dragon Ball, but understanding that this is an anime-only epilogue of only 64 episodes in length (the shortest Dragon Ball series by a long shot), it does the job of carrying us to a satisfying conclusion, which you especially feel right at the end... I genuinely believe Dragon Ball will never have a more satisfying conclusion than GT's final episode.
GT is by no means perfect. In fact, at times, it's outright bad. But it doesn't deserve the reputation it has in the English fandom. Especially nowadays when we have Super so obviously trying to recapture the golden age, but Toriyama so clearly doesn't have it in him anymore... GT is a far more adventurous alternative. While Super is pure fanservice with zero substance, GT is a unique, weird, experimental attempt at following up on, and concluding, Toriyama's original story, and I'd say every fan should check it out.
But check it out in Japanese, preferably with the stereo broadcast audio. The Funimation English dub outright sucks (they clearly hated what they were doing, and made no effort to actually make an English version of GT. Unfortunately, what they turned it into was significantly worse. They replaced the opening with a fucking RAP), and Blue Water's is only okay (solid dub, solid translation, but the cast is inexperienced). The Japanese original, with the glorious stereo audio is THE way to watch this show. Though if you MUST watch dubbed, just seek out the Blue Water dub, and thank me later.
DBGT is of that special breed that frustrates me, that breed being a series that had good, even great ideas, but didn't implement that well.
Many of the ideas of DBGT are actually very good and in the hands of skilled writers, it is my opinion that DBGT's ideas could make for a show as beloved as DBZ, a legitimate continuation.
SSJ 4 was an idea that after DBZ I dreaded. Super Saiyajins was a concept by itself not altogether too well explained and then adding more and more levels seemed well frankly like plot devices. But SSJ 4's concept is actually logical given the rules of the series. Super Saiyajin and Oozaru are both transformations a Saiyajin can attain under certain conditions and it makes sense one do both at once. Bebi was an interesting villain concept as a member of the Tuffles, which could have made for a very compelling villain with good reason to do what he does and analysis the series star alien species and their warlike tendencies more, and his powers worked very differently then the powers of previous villains. And the Shadow Dragons were just brilliant in concept, seven dark reflections of wishes made throughout the series harkening back throughout the series, paying homage to the nomenclature of the series which got increasingly less relevance, it worked so well....in theory.
However the writing was sub-par. The early villains were jokes, Goku being turned into a child did not make for an enjoyable series, many of the great ideas just weren't utilized well, the very fighting just didn't feel as epic, and their was an extremely poor usage of cast (the only two Dragon Ball characters to get any real usage most of the series were Goku, who was a child alot of the time, and Pan who....I don't hate like alot of people do...but she's too similar to Goku (especially Child Goku) to provide an interesting charater dynamic).
It wasn't all bad though. Some of the villains were cool enough (about on the level of Good DBZ Movie Villains) like Super 17, San Xing Long (Eis Shenron) and Si Xing Long (Nova) Shenron, and Yi Xing Long (Omega Shenron). The fights against all the people and Bebi were good...not great by DBZ standards but good. Held your attention. I also actually liked the SSJ 4 design....it was at least different from the previous SS Js and wasn't reskinned Kaioken (*ahem*). But for most of the part it was just passable.
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