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Old 2021-09-19, 12:10   Link #1
mei misaki fan
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Battle shounens that have too many fights?

Do you ever feel certain battle shounens have stopped prioritizing plot and character development for the sake of just too many fights? Don't get me wrong i love some great action as much as the next person but not at the expense of everything else.

I ask because i have been getting into Bleach for the first time and i loved the opening arc and soul society arc, the arrancar arc however has been very mixed for me. I have enjoyed Grimmjow and Ulqiuorra plus any Aizen and ichimaru scenes but there are just a billion fights with slow plot progression. Hueco mundo and the start of defending karakura town have especially suffered from this. I will say the past arc(Urahara and Aizen stuff) served as a great break from the endless fights but it was too short at 7 episodes.

i should add i have enjoyed and watched others like Demon slayer,Jujutsu kaisen,Fairy tail,Gintama,Boku no hero academia and Shingeki no kyojin.So are there any battle shounens that went a bit overboard with too many fights for you?
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Old 2021-09-20, 01:33   Link #2
Magin
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To be entirely fair...

You're hitting on one of Bleach's biggest weaknesses: it's generally agreed that while not absolutely terrible (until about the end) after the Soul Society arc, Bleach DOES go downhill after it.

In fact, I would say the Big 3 from the 2000's suffered from Too Many Battles: Naruto, and One Piece. However, I still enjoy the latter and it has a continuing plot too... despite too many fights to keep track of at times
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Old 2021-09-20, 01:57   Link #3
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Not just big 3, but practically the majority of shounen, especially older one, Look at dragon ball as the prime example here.

Frankly out of the big 3, only OP is the one who managed to deviated from the line with multiple character backstories and considerably better world building compare to others. OP also have some padding before big arc so it's not as bad though. Bleach on the other side, is the worse example of it, It go into fight so fast that the story isn't properly told, which is why people calling it downhill after soul society arc. Only Soul society arc is the one with proper lead in and setting to flesh out characters, after that ...... ehhhh

Most shounen nowadays following Gintama formula more, which is to say a big arc after small, comfy arc. Fairy tails is kinda mixed, but Edens Zero definitely closer to this formula. Notably BnH as well. Shingeki no kyojin and Demon slayer is more capitalized on their despair nature and dark theme.
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Old 2021-09-20, 05:40   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
In fact, I would say the Big 3 from the 2000's suffered from Too Many Battles: Naruto, and One Piece. However, I still enjoy the latter and it has a continuing plot too... despite too many fights to keep track of at times
Naruto actually has more solid continuing story than One Piece (not counting filler episodes for both shows). In the fist part of Naruto, the threat of Orochimaru after the Zabuza arc is always constant & ever-present. In Shippuuden, the threat & relevance of Akatsuki is also constant & important before Madara's party took over. Meanwhile, we have Sasuke's wild-card subplot until he discovered the ultimate truth. In One Piece, each arc is mostly different & contained (usually divided into places the protag visited) with only the loosest connection to their main main main journey: finding the One Piece & became king of pirates. Meanwhile, we already saw Naruto achieved his goal of becoming hokage & have his own family & friends in Konoha. Naruto had done his part. Now, the recent show is about his son, Boruto, whether people like it or not.

Did Naruto has too much fights that had no proper build up? I'd say no until the story reached the "Ninja World War"-arc. During said arc, it's technically normal to have so many fights coz it's a goddamn world war. Almost all elite ninjas that we've never seen before came outta the woodwork to fight. Heck, even samurais & zombie ninjas came down to fight.

That said, I will agree that the quality of the story went downhill after the Tobi-reveal (no spoiler). And Kishimoto loves Sharingan too much that it becomes somewhat of a Deus Ex Machina. And I think the story went too big the moment it involved people from literal space.
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Old 2021-09-20, 17:09   Link #5
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Originally Posted by Magin View Post
In fact, I would say the Big 3 from the 2000's suffered from Too Many Battles: Naruto, and One Piece. However, I still enjoy the latter and it has a continuing plot too... despite too many fights to keep track of at times
Their "ancestors" were even worse in that aspect: Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Hokuto no Ken, Yuyu Hakusho, etc... were pretty much all about battles.
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Old 2021-09-21, 03:37   Link #6
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Their "ancestors" were even worse in that aspect: Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Hokuto no Ken, Yuyu Hakusho, etc... were pretty much all about battles.
To be fair, classic Saint Seiya fights predated the genre. Seiya & his friends were already involved in heartwrenching fights when kid-Goku was still going on adventure to find Dragon Balls in the manga chapters.

Spoiler for the many fights of Seiya & friends:

It also helps that Saint Seiya fights were more dramatic . Like this one where Seiya finally able to land a scratch on Apollo's face after the god destroyed the universe. (funnily enough, the scratch itself happened in a hype post-credit scene before Seiya is sent to oblivion. Seiya did it before Marvel makes it cool ). The below clip includes the post-credit scene:

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Before Saint Seiya, Masami Kurumada had even older fighting manga called Fuma no Kojiro (1982) that predated even Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star (1983). Here's an example of the OP song of the (sadly) low-budget OVA version (the song itself is rock-epic ):

Short version:
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Long version:
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Speaking of Dragon Ball...
Spoiler for saving space:
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Old 2021-09-21, 04:00   Link #7
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^ For Dragon Ball Z itself, I've always heard that Toriyama wanted to end it after Frieza- all the signs are there, when i caught a few clips of it: saving an alien world through the Dragon's wish, revelation of Goku being able to use the Super saiyan power (side note, I'm going off the English dub here; I realize it's more like saiya-jin or something), then not only Frieza with multiple forms, but the fact that Frieza just wouldn't die- I think they had to blow up the planet itself to finally kill him off.

Buuuuuut.... my understanding is this is where Publisher Pressure kicked in- DBZ manga was so popular that they basically said, "No, you can't end it here; the story must continue (because you're making us tons of money)". From here, I guess the Cell Games actually were kinda decent and had a lot of development.

Then we hit the Buu and Majin Buu saga, and it all went to bleh... (hey, anyone else notice that far too many shounen manga can't write an ending worth a damn? probably has to do with the fact that they rely on serialization to pay the bills and put food on the table, and there's no guarantee another series will be popular. See: Rurouni kenshin's author for an example of this, well before the CP bust)
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Old 2021-09-21, 07:08   Link #8
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Toriyama wanting to end the story after Frieza is just a myth. There were two big plot threads that would have been left hanging: Gohan's potential, and Piccolo fusing with Kami (Guru said he'd be stronger than Frieza if he did that, huge foreshadowing)

There's a big article on the subject on Kanzenshuu if you're interested.
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Old 2021-09-21, 08:03   Link #9
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Ah, okay... I did check some sources, and it's best to say that he's highly inconsistent with his answers, and there's even one interview where his editor does say it should've ended at Frieza... but not according to Toriyama himself.
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Old 2021-09-21, 11:51   Link #10
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Too many fights in shonen manga ...

Past shounen, I definitely vote for Yu Yu Hakusho.
You can understand all arcs, especially Shishui and Makai Tournament story arcs (both around 30 episodes, two last arcs) by watching first three episodes and last five episodes (unless I miscount the episodes). At least Dragon Ball still made you question about stuffs like who's Piccolo or how Goku hair became spiky blonde after he return from Namek. LOL.

Outlier during said era is probably Rekka no Honoo (Flame of Recca) being the only shounen with important healer character on top of ninja setting AFAIK. So amount of battle is close enough to be considered balanced with character development and plot.

Among Top 3, IMO its One Piece with Bleach on second place. At early arcs they're pretty consistent about importance but latter arcs mostly fight for sake of having fights.
This is why I favor Naruto among Top 3, battle importance is fairly consistent to number of fights and their late game being both sides aiming one-hit kill, despite all the critics about how it lead to more talks, actually realistic because that's how you differentiate skills and experience between fighters unless one love to show off how smart and strong they're like Orochimaru and Madara.

For currently known shounen, IMO Boku no Hero Academia is walking on tightrope about this.
The setting just begging for big showdown that if unable to be managed properly it will easily reach point of "too many fights".
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Old 2021-09-21, 18:16   Link #11
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I should probably clarify that I love all the shounen I've mentioned. Except Yuyu Hakusho, that one was just... not good.

Obelisk made very good points about Dragon Ball. Most of us remember it for the fights, but it also had a lot of adventure and explored different themes.
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Old 2021-10-09, 00:57   Link #12
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wasnt a fan of dragon ball or one piece but did see Bleach and Naruto series. bleach fights for the most part felt they had a purpose when you ignore the filler arc. naruto and shippuden was a different story. you can discount the filler eps/seasons from the start. things got out of hand during the great ninja war arc. you already had many characters fight their many battles but the great ninja war broke the camel's back you can say. the Naruto fights had meaning, especially the first few seasons.

i got battle fatigue around the time just before the great war arc. took me 3-4 months to see the end of shippuden as watching those endless battles with the 70 extra characters was more of a chore and rather boring to say the least.here's one battle with slight changes from the previous one, lets move onto another 5 more with slightly different abilities.

i understand that all the nations were involved in this colossal war even before the hokage puppets, 10 tails and the uber spell of what his name... the character bloat was very real in this series in the later arcs and it really showed in the battles. Bleach had character bloat but i can ignore that for the most part due to filler eps and the arcs that were less interesting. had some bleach fatigue near the end but it wasnt as crippling as shippuden. given that battle fatigue, im not giving Boruto a single second of my time.

the side tailed beast arcs were interesting though more from a curiosity/back story POV.

all the Bleach fights up until he kills Aizen were amazing. there was a great place to end the series but it would've been a shame knowing the former 3rd rank Espada member wouldnt get any attention on paper or screen. Nelliel Tu was one of the reasons i still have a thing for bleach its not so much because of some character designs, though i will have 3 figures of her when the 3rd arrives and i try to get similar merch when possible... her overall design, color patterns and behavior are rather interesting. but thats a different topic. Naruto series for the most part just melts to the background despite the great figths in the first few seasons.

i dont know if Gintama would be considered a battle shonen series but those all excellent if not extremely ridiculous at times. there were alot of battles but they never felt out of place given the plot.

Last edited by X207; 2021-10-09 at 01:10.
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