So I’ve been watching a lot Dragonball Z lately. Believe it or not, before this summer I had seen about three episodes total, yet somehow I still knew it was an amazing show. I started collecting the series DVDs over the summer – they come in these awesome orange boxes that make a long DBZ logo if you put all ten next to each other. I’m halfway through season three right now – right at the part where Frieza and Goku are starting to fight – and it’s starting to hit me how much the man Goku is.
Let’s just take a look at Goku: this guy’s kind of the man. He’s married with a son, but innocent and playful like a kid. He knows what he wants, and doesn’t bother with much else. In fact, he spends most of the first three seasons training either his mind or his body. When Goku dies on Earth and has to run down Snake Way to reach King Kai and receive his training, it’s both a meditative and physically demanding experience – one that almost certainly relates to some story in Japanese mythology. King Kai’s training is itself a form of mental and physical exertion, as Goku is forced to perform incredibly demanding tasks in a dreamlike environment: a tiny planet with many times the gravity of Earth.
Similarly, Goku’s training on Dr. Brief’s ship under one hundred times gravity during his trip to Namek requires him to develop a sharp focus on the task at hand. In fact, it’s hard for him to focus on much else on that ship. He could, though, have spent the whole trip pigging out and sleeping – but he didn’t. He trained his body and his mind. He did something like 10,000 crunches in 100 times gravity, hanging upside down by his ankles. He shoots two energy balls in opposite directions so that they circle around the ship and come back to him on either side – then stops them with his hands. By the end of that trip, he could turn down the gravity to normal weight, wing a rock at the opposite wall, and run in front of it and catch it before it impacted. He trained like crazy.
For the first half of season 3, Goku is inside a medical chamber on Namek in which he must sit and wait while his strength is replenished. This is the most focused meditation Goku is able to achieve so far in the series. He’s finished the training that will eventually take him to the level of Super Saiyan, and waits for days in silent thought suspended in a chamber filled with water, perhaps considering the implications of his newfound unbelievable strength. Without taking this step to know himself and his power, Goku would run the risk of acting irresponsibly – that is, acting in accordance with his older, lower level of power, in which his actions were lighter and carried less significance. He realizes that with his new strength, he holds the fates of powerful forces in his hands, and to treat them with care, he must know himself completely.
The point is the focus on the manner in which Goku achieves his inhuman strength. It’s nothing other than focused training and a realization of the nature of his enemies. Through meditation, he realizes that his adversaries are nothing but bullies who use people’s suffering to increase their own feelings of self worth. What Goku has that they lack is knowledge of self – Goku understands that his power comes from his own hard work, and that his motivations are sound by his own standard. Frieza and Captain Ginyu, by contrast, have not achieved their power through dedicated training, but by stepping on the shoulders of those who they were able to suppress. They haven’t meditated, and haven’t taken the time to know themselves – the root of their power is essentially rotten. Maybe this is why Goku can sense power levels and his enemies can’t.
Goku totally knows Tao. He focuses on his training without worrying about the outcome, simply working to work. He eats when he’s hungry, sleeps when he’s tired, and rarely exhibits desires for much else. He lives to train, not to defeat his enemies. Victory for Goku is a side issue – the real point of his training is to know himself and grow spiritually. He does what he must, then steps back. For him, there’s a time for everything, including Kamehamehas.
I recently learned how to insert audio tracks into Java programs. It was pretty easy, but the one problem was that trying to load the audio at any decent sample rate uses way more memory than Java is given. I have to use 8 bits and 24000 samples per second for the tracks, so they sound a bit worse than they could. But these are supposed to sound 8-bit lo-fi. So, cool!
Japanese companies are developing scouters. I’m seriously.