The fascination of Dragon ball Z

Goku, Violence, Fascination

The fascination of Dragon Ball Z is in between a strong inner pictures and a heightened readiness to resort to aggression.

Since decades one of the most popular trends in children’s culture is Dragon Ball Z. Boys are fascinated by the characters, by their strength and invulnerability. They integrate the series into their fantasies in order to feel more secure or to be able to control themselves better, but also for reasons of self-defence.

The series made its triumph especially through German children’s culture: In long-drawn-out scenes brutal attacks between ludicrous heroes are presented, with a minimum of any other action. There is no lack of hacked-off body parts, pain, and death resulting from the fights. As in other countries, the programmes were an absolute hit in terms of ratings in Germany as well – especially with boys.

But what is it that fascinates children and pre-teens about this series?

In all the responses of the Dragon Ball Z fans seems that the fighting and the fighters are clearly dominant. That is what they like about the series, what they talk about, what they copy in their games and what they dream about.

Dragon Ball Z, Violence, Fascination

For those who watch the series regularly Dragon Ball Z becomes part of their fantasies. It is extremely difficult to examine the extent to which this is expressed in real-life behaviour. Not only are changes in behaviour in everyday life difficult to observe and interpret; an unidirectional link to television cannot be reliably established, as the connections are far too complex. Nor can we give a reply to this matter in this study.

Dragon Ball Z may contribute to an inner willingness to act aggressively. There is no simple connection of effects between a violent series and aggressive behaviour. The connection is more complex – but it does exist. In our sample there is only the idea of being able to fight in some of the children.

It is known from research into boys that boys (in Germany) feel threatened (by other boys). With the inner pictures which they gain from Dragon Ball Z they feel better prepared for these threats. In this case their strength is based on the willingness to resort to violence, and the means of solving the conflict is physical fighting. What they fail to realise is that, on the other hand, their heightened willingness to resort to violence turns them into a potential threat to others. A cycle of aggression is the result, which is certainly problematic from an educational point of view.

However these inner pictures of strength encourage self-control, without directly endangering others or setting off a cycle of aggression. From an educational viewpoint these are certainly positive inner pictures, which help individuals to deal firmly with themselves and with their feelings.

It again emerges that the connection between television and what children make of it is very complex. Even from a series like Dragon Ball Z the children and pre-teens make something positive for themselves.

Dragon Ball Z, Fascination, Violence


Aesthetic Violence


The aesthetic violence is “cathartic,” “good for the soul.”

Aristotle suggested that certain fictions are indeed capable of arousing audience emotions to such high intensities that the emotions exhaust themselves. Consequently, the audience feels becalmed, relieved, refreshed: purged. Watching Oedipus Rex, we fear the hero’s transgressions (killing his father, marrying his mother) but pity his suffering (he gouges out his eyes). By story’s end, we have spent our fear and pity, and leave the theater lightened.


Quentin Tarantino was one of the first to portrait the aesthetic of violence in his movies: Tarantino has been careful to distinguish between the artificial violence of his films and actual carnage. In an interview on NPR, he claimed that viewers are tired of movies on slavery or the Holocaust that depict only pain. They welcome fiction in which the victims rise up to be “the victors and the avengers,” “paying back blood for blood.”

 Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained depicts a freed American slave taking bloody revenge on cruel slaveholders.

Tarantino with this movie doesn’t want to fashion himself as a tragedian when, in a recent CNN interview, he aligned his cinematic violence with Shakespeare’s bloodier strains. Regardless, an abyss divides Django Unchained from Hamlet, a typical tragedy in which the hero and other innocents meaninglessly suffer and die, and the ending is grim.

Tarantino’s bloodshed in Django Unchained is instead perfectly comical, and far beyond his famous black humor. The comedy is structural: the hero slays the evildoers, avenges the innocent who suffered, and enjoys an upbeat conclusion. Perhaps this solacing aesthetic is the reason Django Unchained is Tarantino’s highest grossing film to date.

Most Hollywood violence is too meaningful to be disturbing. Actual brutality often escapes meaning, and this is one reason it unsettles.

Is there an artistic middle ground between commercial and actual violence? Can a film director meaningfully represent violence without making it cartoonish? Can he capture atrocity without traumatizing audiences?

The late David Foster Wallace believed that Tarantino, even in his chilling ear-severing scene, is not this director. David Lynch is. For Wallace, Tarantino is addicted to style for style’s sake: he just wants “to see somebody’s ear getting cut off.” In contrast, David Lynch “is interested in the ear.” Lynch “knows that an act of violence in an American film has, through repetition and desensitization, lost the ability to refer to anything but itself. This is why violence in Lynch’s films, grotesque and coldly stylized and symbolically heavy as it may be, is qualitatively different from Hollywood’s or even anti-Hollywood’s hip cartoon-violence. Lynch’s violence always tries to mean something.”

Take Lynch’s own famous severed ear, in Blue Velvet, from 1986. The film’s protagonist, Jeffrey, discovers a detached human ear in a field behind his house. From the moment he picks it up, he falls into a sinister mystery that ultimately forces him to face the evil hidden in his own interior.

Such revelations, common in Lynch’s cinema, make us “acutely uncomfortable,” because they drive down into our own dark regions—spaces Hollywood usually helps us escape. But intimacy with this inner ghastliness can generate meanings far more complex and productive than those cozy significations of the multiplex. To examine our inmost evils is to learn about complicated morality outside the clichés: the challenges of personal responsibility, empathy, rectitude, generosity.

ear, violence, aesthetic



Color is how visually we perceive our reality and it is an essential component in storytelling: red for instance seems to be the color in which we have the strongest reaction to, which can be both used as a depiction of hate and cruelty, or showing passion and love.

There are principles of aesthetic and symbolism behind colors that create psychological reaction into the viewer.

There are not written rules that explain how we have to use colors, however, using certain colors in a certain way, can create evocative atmosphere and associations. Indeed the repetition of specific colors throughout the film can let the viewer associate that color to certain subjects or ideas.


An example of movie

We need to talk about Kevin’ is a 2011 British-American psychological thriller drama film directed by Lynne Ramsay, and adapted from Lionel Shriver’s novel of the same name. Tilda Swinton stars as the mother of Kevin (represented by Ezra Miller), struggling to come to the term with her son and the horrors he has committed.

The entire movie is about very violent themes that features almost zero violence. However the constant presence of the color red reminds to the audience that since the beginning of the movie, violence is a key element.

The use of the colour red makes sure that the idea of blood constantly remains in the audience’s mind. One of the most dramatic images comes at the start of the film where Eva (Tilda Swinton) is submerged in a sea of red while taking part in the Spanish tomato festival, La Tomatina.


The red suggests both the birth of her son Kevin and Kevin’s violence as a teenager. Covered in tomatoes, Eva is stained by Kevin’s actions, just as her house has been aggressively sprayed with red paint. The opening tomato festival scene also establishes Eva’s love for travel, freedom and adventure, all of which were taken away from her when Kevin was born – ndr.this plants the suggestion that Eva is wrestling with the possibility that Kevin became who he is because of her resentment towards him -.