I watch a bit of anime. Not much–mostly stuff that runs on Adult Swim and a few things on Youtube and Netflix. While I’ve enjoyed a number of shows there have also been several that have frustrated me because of a thing I call DBZ Syndome. If you haven’t guessed, DBZ stands for Dragon Ball Z, the name of a famous anime from the 90s. Simply put, DBZ Syndrome is when you have an episode of a show where a whole lot of nothing happens. Usually this involves a lot of stare-downs between characters, shouting, power-ups, narration, inner monologues and more time wasters that are intended to build drama or suspense, but utterly fail to accomplish anything but fill up time. I coined the term DBZ Syndrome after watching a number of episodes of Dragon Ball Z. At one point there was a fight between two characters that lasted five episodes, but everything that happened in those five episodes could have been done (far more effectively) in two. Reflecting on this needlessly drawn-out fight scene, I came to realize that the problems found therein were also present in several other animes that I had seen, and thus the concept of DBZ Syndrome was born in my head.

I’m guessing people more familiar with anime might say that what I call DBZ Syndrome is just a Japanese way of conveying emotion and building drama. I’m not saying they’re wrong in that regard–I’m just saying DBZ Syndrome sucks.

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