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The One Foe a Super Saiyan Can’t Beat: Capitalism

Dragon Ball is a franchise defined by extremes, and its setting is no exception to that. The Earth is home to futuristic technology, magic, and futuristic technology that might as well be magic. At the same time, dinosaurs are still around, the King of Earth is a dog, and the God of Earth is a green alien. Given the original manga author Akira Toriyama’s off-the-cuff writing style, it’s safe to assume the world wasn’t meticulously detailed in advance, and instead formed from his whims on any given week. But one dynamic Dragon Ball does explore from the very beginning is the sharp divide between the rich and the poor.

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The Anime Series That Deconstructs Itself

The key to a successful comedy series lies in establishing circumstances for characters’ antics and misadventures. When a series sets up a reliable framework, new episodes can build upon that identity while still staying fresh with new jokes. This can be seen in all sorts of episodic comedies including gag anime, which typically build their identity around a world ruled by bizarre logic or fantasy elements. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. does just this by shaping an otherwise normal world around its hapless, psychic protagonist.