Return to Dragon Ball Z

#332: Marc has been rewatching Dragon Ball Z and the crew discusses what it’s like to return to old favorites. What’s the difference between influence and resonance, and how do these media continue to shape who we are?


Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network here at Geek Therapy. Really the best way to understand each other and ourselves is through the media we care about. My name is Josué Cardona. And laughing to my right is Lara Taylor.

Lara Taylor 0:23

Josué Cardona 0:27
Then the other one is Marc Cuiriz.

Marc Cuiriz 0:30

Josué Cardona 0:32
And Link Keller. you there?

Link Keller 0:35
yaarrr matey

Josué Cardona 0:38
Marc, it’s your turn for topic this week.

Marc Cuiriz 0:41
All right. We’re not talking about pirates this time around. I actually so for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been binge watching Dragon Ball Z like your original with all the filler and everything

Josué Cardona 0:56
Not Kai?

Marc Cuiriz 0:57
No, not Kai i I’m watching it in its pure uncut form.

Josué Cardona 1:03
Subbed or Dubbed?

Marc Cuiriz 1:05

Josué Cardona 1:06

Marc Cuiriz 1:06
I I tried subbed, and it was a little rough around the edges, I might switch after the Frieza saga.

Josué Cardona 1:14
Have you ever watched the Pioneer Dubs? Which were the original dubs that were brought to the US? I before Funimation dubbed it?

Marc Cuiriz 1:23
Yes. And I cringe every time those those ones were were they were something. So I’ve been so as I’ve been like, rewatching it, it’s sort of become like a comfort show for me that along with Brooklyn nine, nine. But it got me thinking a little bit about shows or like movies or like books and things like that as sort of like a basis for the path that I chose to kind of take in life. Like, I be like with watching Dragonball Z reminded like watching it now is like reminding me of like, how amazed and how like, fascinated I was with cartoons and with anime when I was a little kid. And why like, I wanted to stay on that track rather than for other people that like grow up, like, quote, unquote, grow out of it. Like, you know, we have people like we had friends, when we were little that were really into Pokemon with us. And then as he got older, like you might have stayed with Pokemon, and they like, moved on to sports, or they moved on to other hobbies and interests. You know, they kind of phased out of things, but for me, like, want rewatching it is making me sort of like kind of go back to like, why I chose to stick with cartoons, basically. And like anime, and like, why I enjoyed it. Like, why I enjoyed it in the first place. And why continuing to enjoy it now even though like, you know, it’s really old. But I, I don’t know, like, it’s one of those things. It’s like, it’s like a nostalgia trip for me. And it’s like reminding me of like, where I started almost in the Geekdom world. So like that said, I’m just kind of curious of like, what for you guys? Like, if you had to think about it, like what are some of those types of media for you? Whether it’s a movie book, TV show, series, whatever.

Josué Cardona 3:20
I have a question for Lara. Yes. Are geeks kids in grown up bodies?

Lara Taylor 3:27
No, they’re not.

Josué Cardona 3:29
Okay, cool.

Lara Taylor 3:30
Don’t get me on my soapbox. I have. I’ve had to say that several times.

Josué Cardona 3:34
I know. Yeah, I know. Yeah. I bring that up. Because, right. That’s a blog post that you wrote a while back on Geek therapy.org A few years ago.

Lara Taylor 3:46
And like eight years ago, nine years ago

Josué Cardona 3:50
you don’t gotta be that specific. It’s been a while. how old are you?

Lara Taylor 3:53
Don’t be specific. don’t be specific

Josué Cardona 3:59
Because because I think that that’s something that people like we’ve heard a lot. It’s like, oh, like, you’re still doing kid stuff. Or like, I’ll have I mean, I’ll have people. I’ll be at work. And sometimes people will see my background and be like, Oh, that’s so cool. And they’ll connect with it. But other times they’re like, oh, like are you in a kid’s room? No, it’s my room

Lara Taylor 4:19
Or I mentioned this this past week, Nina and I went to Shabbat services at a New Synagogue we’re going to and the executive director was trying to get to know as she was mind blown by how young I look, but also was like I mentioned Geek Therapy. And she was like, do you work with teenagers? Yes, I do. But I mostly work with adults.

Josué Cardona 4:42
Always have to make that caveat. Yeah. Yeah. So at work recently, someone a co worker who is much younger than me, was saying, Oh man, I miss those days when you just spent the day playing and you came home and you were so tired that you just went right to bed. I really That’s those days. And he was like, do you miss them? I was like, Ah, I try to have them like I have them. I play harder now than when I was a kid. They I feel like I didn’t have that much in my childhood. And

Lara Taylor 5:15
there’s no parental oversight. You can play games as long as you want.

Josué Cardona 5:18
Yeah, yeah. But there was something very sad about this young guy, like 25 talking about, like, how he doesn’t have that kind of fun anymore. Like, everything is so hard and you know, work your life. And I was like, ah, but that’s, I don’t know if this goes to what you’re saying, Marc, but like, I realized, and it was probably in my early 20s, when I came back around, and I started thinking, like, oh, wait a minute, there were things that I really enjoyed before. And I don’t haven’t gotten to do them as much anymore. I mean, go back. And it started. It started with comic books. It was like making connections it went from, I think I was I was rewatching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I wanted more. And I was like, oh, wait a minute, there’s more in the comics. So then I started buying comic books. And I just started reading comic books like crazy. Like I, I had library cards at multiple libraries. And I would max out graphic novels, and I would have these stacks. And I’ll go through them go back. And it was it was it was so much fun. It was so crazy. And from there, I got back into manga and anime, and I had never really stopped playing video games. But I was I was, I was able to enjoy it, I think more. So I mean, that’s one part of it. Another another thing to what you said, there, there have been like two huge betrayals that I feel in my life, to people who used to play games with me when I was a kid. And then they stopped playing. And those are my parents. They used to play a lot. And I think that’s the reason why I play video games. And my dad used to take me to the arcade. And like my earliest memory is playing Super Mario Brothers with my mom. And, and then like, I don’t know, at some point, they stopped playing. And it was kind of weird, too. So all those things are things that came to mind. For me, Marc, but I think I think I still like a lot of the same stuff that I did when I was when I was a kid. And I appreciate how a lot of things have kind of grown up with me in a way. Like there’s some things that I’ve tried to go back to, like I tried to watch the original he-man cartoon that has not aged well at all. But then they did the sequel series that came out last year. And that was really cool. It was it was like it was it was the same show. It just picks up immediately where it left off. But it was but it was like modern. It was like oh, cool

Lara Taylor 8:02
it had writing instead of it was an ad for toys.

Josué Cardona 8:06
Yeah, well is a better ad for toys

Lara Taylor 8:08
better ad for toys with narrative.

Josué Cardona 8:10
Yeah. Yeah. It was I used to love the narrative is it’s like it’s everything else about it. Yeah, that was weird. I don’t know. Am I am I tracking with you, Marc and where you want to go?

Marc Cuiriz 8:22
I mean, for the most part. Yeah. I think it’s like, for me, it’s like, not I’m not necessarily thinking about like things that like we’ve tapered off of and then like we rediscover it, and it’s like, oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, because Dragon Ball is something that I’ve I’ve been with like I you know, I’m like waiting for the new movie to drop. So I can go watch that. And I’m all about the already spoiled and new forms for Gohan. And Piccolo.

Josué Cardona 8:49
Don’t tell me nothing.

Marc Cuiriz 8:50
I’m not telling.

Josué Cardona 8:51
You didn’t know there were new forms how dare you

Marc Cuiriz 8:53
Well, now you know, congratulations. They’re they’re worth it though. I’m building up hype.

Josué Cardona 9:00
We should watch it in the in the theater should go together

Marc Cuiriz 9:03
see now you’re speaking my language. Yeah. But it’s like for me like going back and like rewatching the original series because I’ve never really watched it fully. Because I can never really appreciate the filler for kind of what they were. It’s now like, it’s making me sort of like reminisce and like kind of have a newfound appreciation for the things that I enjoyed when I was younger. And just how they shaped me into being the person that I am today. Like, you know, like for me like you know, my wife, she will usually make the joke of like, when you when are you going to grow up or things like that? Yeah, she’s jokes around with it like because of like when I collect like the Pokeball tins, like the collectible tins and I’d have them on full on display. And I’m always like, well, this is this is me, this is you know, I want to, like this is just this is part of my my life and it’s been a it’s been a huge part of my upbringing and everything and I’m gonna show off my knickknacks. All live long day. My Assassin’s Creed statues, they’re gonna be proudly on display until I can’t find any more places to put them and then they’ll probably stay in the box. But like it something like Dragon Ball and and Pokemon is like, you know, it shaped me like I was looking I’m more so like thinking of like what are some shows are like series and stuff that like helped shaped you guys into the people that you guys are today from like, young childhood stuff?

Josué Cardona 10:42
Yeah, then some of the stuff I said before applies, like literally playing video games with my parents when I was a kid. I don’t know any time in my life when I didn’t play video games. And and I still play games on like mobile phone games with my with my parents. We still talk about that if I don’t if I don’t play, my dad’s like, hey, everything okay? Like haven’t seen you on the leaderboard this week. And my mom just bought an iPad and she was like, Josué I need to you know, I need to make sure all my games files transfer over. I was like, ya know, my dad actually once called me very disturbed, because he couldn’t, like he had lost all his progress in a game. And, and it was funny. Like, I think it’s like the the time he’s most like, called me to, to help him with anything. It was pretty funny. And then I will say I remember watching as a kid also, Star Trek with my parents. And, and I think that was a big one. I think that’s why sci fi is like that shaped me. Because I think about technology and the future. And, and I think about it deeply the way that good science fiction now helps you to think about things and I think that definitely shaped who I am. And I think the first the first sci fi I ever watched was was Star Trek The Next Generation specifically. And I’m still watching Star Trek now. that’s my answer answers.

Lara Taylor 12:23
It’s interesting, because this way, we are the same person. We are the same person. And I think I never really I’ve always been a geek. I grew up in a house of geeks like my mom and I used to play video games together. We went to Disneyland all the time. And I think I don’t really go back and rewatch things as much as I used to. Because there’s too much to watch. And I’m like, I need something new. I need to take in all this. I’m never going to be able to watch all the stuff I need to watch. Although I am re watching avatar and Legend of Korra and it’s gotten me to the point where I am this close, so close to writing fanfics so close, I’m so obsessed. Um, but anyway, as far as stuff from when I was young video games, we watched Star Trek together. DS nine was my favorite but we watched next generation and DS nine and Voyager together as a family. The Disney trips and I think I’m not as big into sci fi but I think as I am like fantasy, but like watching Star Trek gave me this, like hopefulness for the future. Which maybe now my soul is being crushed by the future I’m in but maybe there is some hope for the future with Star Trek. My dad and I used to watch Star Wars all the time. We had the laserdisc player and my dad still has his copy of the original Star Wars trilogy before George Lucas went back and edited it on LaserDisc. So it’s like the highest quality you can get without going into the territory of George Lucas messing with things after the fact. But I do think that those things like it’s just a part of me. I can’t separate individual pieces except maybe, I don’t know. Growing up on Disney helped me with my parental grief going into that. I mean, there’s a lot of dead parents in Disney. But it also gave me like, a love for fun and a love for adventure. I think that’s what I got from it. And I’m still watching Star Wars and loving how much Star Wars and still watching Disney movies and guess what Disney and Star Wars are now the same thing so I get I get everything. Everything.

Josué Cardona 14:58
I’m curious to you because I was thinking about Link in video games, and I’m curious about your response to this, right? Because I think there’s like two different pieces here, Marc which is like, like, one thing that like defined who you are, maybe as a person like it, like it influenced you a lot. So maybe, Lara, in your case, it’s like, Oh, I gotta try to have fun in my life, right? That’s something I picked up from the media that I was exposed to as a kid that I liked. That resonated with me. But I wonder, too, as we as we keep talking, like how much of it has affected not just the way you maybe you see the world but maybe like the professional, or career path you took or what you studied in school? Curious? Link? Where are you at? I’m here. What do you think

Link Keller 15:52
I love video games. Haha. My earliest memory, I’m gonna I’m gonna tell you guys a story that I think really describes who I am as a person. My earliest memory that I have, and I must have been five. Because my parents were still together. My brother wasn’t born yet. We went to dinner at one of their friend’s house. I do not remember anything about these people. What I remember is that they had a golden retriever. And they had a joust cabinet in their house. And I thought that that was the pinnacle of adulthood. And I’ve been living my entire life trying to get to that point. I don’t particularly I like I am more of a cat person than a dog person. But the goal for me is to someday own a video game arcade cabinet and a pet. That’s mine. That’s what I’m going for.

Lara Taylor 17:00

Link Keller 17:01
Goals. So five year old me, really, you know, set high expectations for 33 year old me. Yeah, I haven’t returned to any media recently from my youth. But last year, I did go back and read reread some of the YA novels I was really into as a child. Tamora Pierce is the author, the lioness, quartet and Wild Magic quartet and the protector of the small quartet, which is my favorite, that one’s about Kel. Who I loved, I reread most of those last year. And it was it was it was very interesting. And I think part of it was, is like I was just coming out of the whole grad school situation. And I was finally like, I’m gonna read, like for fun, which I haven’t done in like years at this point. And so I was reading for fun. And I was reading something that really resonated with me as a kid, you know, stories about girls, choosing their own path in life and wanting to help and protect other people, and standing up for yourself, even if you aren’t, what society expects of you. And I think all of that stuff obviously, still resonates with me. I think it was also nice to return to because I haven’t been brave enough to return to the biggest thing of my youth, which would be Harry Potter. JK Rowling has ruined it for me to the point that I am I am scared to go back. So I’ve just sort of avoided it. So this was a nice thing to return to. And there’s you know, there are a couple of questionable things of you know, YA novels written in the late 90s, early 2000s. But overall, pretty good, pretty, pretty good, pretty good gender politics. You know, minimal racism it’s doing all right. But um, it was nice to sort of reconnect to that part of my childhood. Because I was a voracious reader as a kid. I have also started reading modern releases of YA novels, I would like to specifically mentioned Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, which was so good and I loved it so much and I immediately texted my sister and I was like, you have have to read this book. Because one, it’s fantastic but also like this, it feels like it was written for her. This is about you know, the main character is a very intelligent black girl who is going to like early college and get swept up in like an Arthurian magic legend story and is also reconnecting with like her ancestral magic, which is like different and distinct and like bringing those together. And the main character has a dead parent, which my sister dealt with as a child. And so it’s like, it was like you need to read this one! I was, honestly kind of mean about it. It’s getting a little bit like bullying. I’m like, check out from the library today, like today dude and she’s like I’m in the middle of reading I’m like, I don’t care what you’re reading right now. Check it out, please. But yeah, that’s I guess, mostly books. I played a lot of games as a kid, but I like I’ve, I’ve always played games as sort of baseline for me. I think definitely reading YA adventure tales is the thing that I peeled off of, and have returned to and found enjoyment in sort of recognition of the person who I wanted to be when I was younger, and the person I am currently and the person I would like to be moving forward. Feeling some sort of reconnection there.

Marc Cuiriz 21:29
You know, like, as we’re kind of talking right now, I’m thinking back on, like, a lot of the forms of media that I took in as a child. And the more I think about it, the, the common theme that I think I take away from, like, a lot of the things that really stuck with me was, I often like really latched on to pieces of media, that sought to, like, sought to like highlight, or to drive home like a deeper meaning to just life in general. Like, the reason why I latched on so much to Spider-Man was because the messages that I took from him was, you know, you always want to do the best you want to be there to help out the little guy basically, you know, you want to help out your, your every day. You know, your everyday neighbors, strangers, friends loved ones, like that’s just what you do, you be good, you know, and all that stuff. For when I think about it for for Dragon Ball, it was the idea that like, you don’t give up like, when there’s always going to be a tougher opponent a tougher obstacle, a tougher challenge. And when you can prepare yourself and you train yourself, you’re going to be able to overcome that challenge and might be hard. And also, you’re not alone. In it, you have friends, you have a support network, people that you can turn to to help you get through those things. Or you can find them and create them kind of like with Goku and Vegeta. And then there’s even things like Avatar that Upon rewatching it last year, like I that was a lot for me to be like wow, I missed a lot as a kid. But the overall concept of it it was like it was what I picked up from and I’m also now fully convinced that I’m but the both of you Josué and Lara from just a like a UNO reversed timeline here. Because for me, my first memory of playing video games was with my dad, not my mom, my mom was not really much of a gaming person. But for my dad, he had the original Nintendo so I was playing Super Mario Brothers and duck hunt those were the first two games I remember. And then when I got the PS two then it became my that my dad had like this, like Namco arcade type game so we were just playing Pac-Man and even when we would go to like go out bowling and we’d go to like an arcade and like we’d stop at the arcade there like we would waste hours just at the Pac-Man Machine.

Link Keller 24:20
Hell yeah

Marc Cuiriz 24:21
He like he and I would just be playing that thing together like non stop and so that’s why for me like gaming has also been one of those things where it’s been a fundamental base for me and I know that is never going to change but like I’m looking back on things and I’m like I think the reason why like I’ve always found philosophy to be sort of like a hobby of mine to like dabble in every now and again is because everything that I’ve enjoyed up until now has always I’ve always looked for a deeper meaning behind what it is that presenting so for like you know like Dragon Ball like it’s a fighting anime They screamed for literally five episodes, and then they throw one punch in the sixth episode. And then yeah, filler for the next five.

Lara Taylor 25:08
And then the second punch comes after that.

Marc Cuiriz 25:11
Exactly, because then you have like a flashback for another three episodes. And then the second punch gets thrown. And you have all of that. But when I’m rewatching it now I’m like, No, I remember taking this, like taking in that what I talked about earlier, like, that’s what I took from it.

Josué Cardona 25:29
When you can skip the recaps and the intros and outros it goes, it doesn’t it doesn’t feel as long as watching it on Toonami

Lara Taylor 25:37
DBZ taught me patience. Like it really did. I remember I remember my friend lives. I live in California, my friend lived in New York, he would tape the DBZ episode from on Toonami that day, call me up when it was coming on at my time. And he would press play and we would sync it up and watch together.

Link Keller 25:58
That’s so cute

Lara Taylor 25:59
And yeah, so waiting week after week after week, a fight would start and then three months later, we would finally get the end of the end of the fight. So yeah, patience patience.

Josué Cardona 26:17
As as I’m hearing your talk, I am I’m wondering what you just said Marc about how like you, you’re looking at the deeper meaning of of stuff. I don’t remember doing that when I was younger. Like when I think back. I think everything was kind of just escapist for me, it was just, it was simply entertainment. And it wasn’t until the matrix that I started thinking about, about what I was watching. And I think that that movie influenced a lot of ways that I that I think that probably shaped me, but that came out when I was 16 Like up until that point. I was I mean, I was watching DBZ. When you were very young, Marc. Maybe even not even born. Before you were born. I was watching DBZ I probably told these stories before but like i i It did not teach me patience. Those are the first like VHS tapes that I bought, I would buy. They used to sell three episodes per VHS tape. And you would go buy them. And then and I rented them in Spanish because they had been dubbed years before in Spanish I would rent these like bootleg copies from a from a questionable video establishment and I saw them I would watch the stuff that I hadn’t watched in like Mexican and or Spanish Dubs, because they were different to in different countries.

Lara Taylor 28:01
I made my own Sailor Moon tapes like I got up every morning before school and recorded every single episode. I still have them somewhere.

Josué Cardona 28:11
I watched them at 5am While I was getting ready for school. Wow, it’s it’s so early.

Lara Taylor 28:16
Sailor Moon says.

Josué Cardona 28:20
But Marc So I’m curious at what age because and you can listen on Otaku Ryoho Like I’ve gone deep into how I feel about Dragon Ball and what it’s meant to me afterwards on on on repeated viewings. And like how it does, like motivate me and it does inspire me. And a lot of shows do that now. But it wasn’t like that. Definitely. I don’t think it was happening when I was a kid. Other than I mean, I have one memory from when I was in first grade. And there was a guy bullying these, this these girls, I remember they were twins in our class. And I stepped in and I told them to stop because I was a detective. And I had my Dick Tracy watch on. And I was trying to be, you know, like that kind of character. But I don’t I don’t think that that like, I don’t think that those type of shows or even those heroics? I don’t I don’t think that they really shaped who I am. Maybe they did, but I don’t I don’t think I don’t think so. So how old were you marc when, like you started

Marc Cuiriz 29:17
thinking about it?

Josué Cardona 29:19
thinking? Yeah, like, is this me? Is this a part of that is am I is this influencing who I am?

Marc Cuiriz 29:27
I would say I don’t think I started actively thinking about those sorts of things until I was probably like 13-14. But when I look back at it, like look back, like looking like thinking back recalling just kind of how my childhood was like, I start to see like it wasn’t necessarily something that I was actively doing, like looking into the deeper meaning but it became apparent in the way that I would play. So whether it was playing with you know my cousin’s, or I was just playing by myself, a lot of the make belief scenarios I would have in my head would be sort of like those lessons of like, you can’t give up, you have to Oh, like, don’t ever give up no matter how hard the challenge is, you get back up and you keep going. Because you have people there. And, you know, I’d have I play these these whole, basically, I basically would be playing out my own fanfictions in my head as if I was the main character. And it was always highlighting the specific points, like whether it was, you know, role playing Dragonball Z, or it was role playing Spider Man, or it was, you know, role playing out Harry Potter stuff, like it was just what I would do, and how I would, and just how I would take my like, how I would perceive those lessons. And then when I was older, when I was a teenager, since I had, you know, I had gone through a whole lot of stuff like, you know, by that point, my dad is and was in prison. They were divorced, I had to move into a one bedroom condo with my mom and my brother. Like, I had to grow up pretty quickly. And that’s because then then, so that’s when I started like thinking about thinking back on, like, all the all the things I watched and all like the games I’ve played, I’m like, Huh, I want to be more like these characters, because they are upholding the values that I hold close to me. And so therefore I want to I feel I find that, like, Oh, I think it’s because I watched them at the age that I did. That it’s what influenced me to want to be kind of like those characters. So like, I’m like a weird mashup of Spider-Man and Goku and even Gohan does to an extent of just like, I want to encompass all of these characteristics. And then, you know, and then there’s obviously just like normal everyday cartoons like Danny Phantom, and then later it became Aang. Like, all these like, great aspects of all these protagonists, and I just wanted to like, just lump them all together. I’m like, That’s me. I’m the ultimate combination of all of these characters. I am the ultimate fusion

Link Keller 32:26
childhood me Wow, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time is really cool. Current me? I’m link call me link. That’s my name. Now.

Lara Taylor 32:37
We should have started the episode with that. I’m trying to think. I mean, looking back on things now I think all those heroics that I’ve watched throughout the years X Men was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Getting the Message like, do good help people. I think that’s influenced who I am. But as far as like, thinking about how media is influencing me, I didn’t I don’t think it happened till I started watching Buffy when I was 17. When season I started when season four came out, and that’s when Willow is gay. So I think that was a big moment for me realizing oh, wait, there’s someone on TV who’s like me, who has been dating guys and now likes girls. I’m trying to figure things out. And I don’t know I just I love I love Willow so much. But also like all the other characters Buffy Xander, there’s pieces of me and all of them. And I think that was the first time that I had like, thought about what a show meant to me and how I related to it. Yeah,

Josué Cardona 34:09
yeah, cuz it’s hard to cuz I think about this. Sometimes I’m like, wait a minute. Did Batman influence me that Batman stories influenced me or do they just resonate with me?

Link Keller 34:23
The answer is almost always, both.

Josué Cardona 34:26
Yeah. But but it’s it’s hard to, to I mean, you’re probably right. That’s probably the answer. Because it’s like, oh, once I I don’t remember seeing something and saying. Well, I never thought of it that way. Maybe I can. Let me try that. Right. I think a lot of characters that I like I’m like, Yeah, okay. That’s what I would do in that situation. Okay, I see you what else would you do? And then I kind of like really liked the character. But I can’t think of other than that Dick Tracy example, something that maybe I wouldn’t have done and was inspired by the character I’m sure there are. But I can’t I think about this all the time, because it because it’s great to have those characters were like so then from it’s an external reminder of maybe the values that I that I want that I believe in that I want to enact on, right, like, like, oh, like I can think of these stories that’s like, yeah, no, that’s a good reminder of who I want to be or who I am. Or at least why I’m when I’m at my best self for when I’m, you know, the most congruent. And

Lara Taylor 35:43

Josué Cardona 35:43
but like, I can’t think of a story or stories. It’s like, yeah, no, I mean, until I till I saw He-Man pull that sword out and transform like, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t know what it meant to be strong to be He-man. I dunno

Lara Taylor 36:02
It’s more subtle than that, I think and Josué, like that you brought up the seeing a character? And oh, would I have done things like that? I would do it that way. Because I know we’re talking about, like other kinds of media. But when we are playing at CASTT gamers like one of our checkouts on our RPGs. every once awhile Menachem will throw out a question that’s what is something that your character did that amused you? Or resonated or something that amused you had meaning for you? Or I can’t remember the last piece of it. But and then the follow up question is, how would you have at or surprised you? And the follow up question is, how would you have acted differently in that situation? So that you can take that experience of playing and like, figure out how you fit in with what the character is you’ve created? And who what you’ve played? Or how you’re different and how you want to integrate that into your life or not. So kind of cool to maybe do that also with the media we watch.

Josué Cardona 37:17

Link Keller 37:18
yeah. d&d is another thing that’s been pretty consistent throughout my whole life. I played my first game, when I was eight, I want to say and that was a very formative game, I played with my my mom and some of her friends. And that they included me it was a big deal, because, I was a little kid, and you know, I only got to see my mom during the summers. And so it was like this thing we got to do together. Then later, my adolescence my my dad included me in and my sister in his game. Some not as great experiences in that. But thankfully, the negative experiences did not tarnish my love of d&d. I’m very grateful for that. And then, you know, playing more recently, is very much when I was a child making characters that was like, It’s me, but if, like I had magic, If I lived in a magical world is very much more as an adult, where I’ve been able to be like, I want to, like try out people who aren’t like me and play around in that space and see what you know that and helps me gain perspective on myself. And others, Geek Therapy but um, yeah, yeah.

Josué Cardona 38:58
Yeah. So these are, I was only thinking of narratives before, like specific narratives. But when I think more and more about video games, I’m thinking I remember when I read Reality is Broken. By Jane McGonigal, it was just saying things that I had been saying, since I was a kid. Right? And I remember arguing with adults, about the value of video games and the stuff that I had learned from them. And video games helped me. Think critically about things, how to strategize how to solve problems in creative ways. And how to that fun part that you talked about, Lara, too right? it’s like, I’m doing like a, like a stupid task here. But here, it’s fun. Why isn’t it fun in real life? And every time someone would come at me with like, oh, you know, stop playing video games it’ll rot your brain. I just like got on a soapbox. I was like, this is more stimulating, engaging, it’s hard, it’s difficult blah blah and go through all these things. And then here we are Geek Therapy is, you know, 11 years old now. Right. And it was born out of that exactly that kind of spite. Right? Like, absolutely not. So I mean, so that was just playing games was very playing video games, in particular, because I was in a big I didn’t, my family didn’t play good board games, we played Monopoly, and we didn’t do it well. And it was, you know, I didn’t enjoy it. I mean, we did play dominoes and different card games that were super strategic, and my families are going a little too seriously. My grandfather got real upset at me a few times, because because of plays that I made, but, but that was, again, it was like, oh, wait a minute, I’m learning to, to, like, I was, like, just, we can play the like any game, you can go really, really deep into the systems of it. And that’s something that was always prevalent in, in my family. And it’s something that I still see as an advantage today. Where a lot of people don’t see systems that way, they don’t see, you know, that there are alternatives, and that there are strategies, and that sometimes, you know, if you already know all the cards in the deck, you can make some guesses about what has happened and what’s going to happen next and things like that. So I think I think there is a lot of stuff then that I could think that it has shaped who I am. I have no idea who I would, what kind of person I would be, or who I would be if I didn’t grow up playing video games if I didn’t play video games, like regularly. I played video games today, I play almost every day.

Link Keller 41:51
Yeah, I would say childhood trauma and video games got me into psychology, and then becoming very interested in horror. More specifically, in my late teens and early 20s. And continuing on till currently got me more into really thinking about media and you know, the way it sort of shaped who we are and what our culture is and how we understand those things. But it started with video games, it absolutely started I would say not so much thinking about like the themes of video games in a deep way but more so focused on the social aspect of the way that video games were a important tool for me to connect with people who were important to me in my life as you know, my mom and my brother my my sister friends in middle school, like playing games together, I was like how can I how can people not like video games because this is so clearly to me. The way that I can connect with people and we can get on the same page and builds rapport and have shared experiences later on building out to like what is this game saying about relationships? And what is this game you know, saying about you know, what it means to have agency in spaces and all of the nitty gritty delicious stuff that I’m into now. That definitely came later. But the the start of it was like, you know, my mom playing The Hobbit on GameCube and having you know, me and Andrew like taking notes and like pulling out the hobbit book and being like, wait, what part is supposed to come next like is out there are wolves like ooh, it’s the wolf part. And all you know, the trolls are gonna come up soon like Yeah, yeah. Video games are to blame for a lot of things.

Josué Cardona 44:11
So many things.

Lara Taylor 44:14
Everything except rotting your brain. No, that’s gay pirates

Josué Cardona 44:18
That’s right. It’s some games though. Some games are not good.

Link Keller 44:23

Josué Cardona 44:24
Yeah. Yeah. I’m also anime.

Link Keller 44:29
also there’s bad anime

Josué Cardona 44:30
Because I know we started talking. Yeah, yeah. No, but anime. One thing that anime has has definitely influenced in my life. And I think I was watching anime way before I knew that I was watching anime. I think I’ve told the story how my dad was always like, Oh, that was Japanese cartoons. And then he’s like, Oh, sure. Watch Astro Boy. That’s the first Japanese cartoon What are you What are you talking about? Um, but anime does stuff that I don’t know, like Western, especially before, like Western animation just didn’t do when it was like if you just think about Dragonball Z, right, like Dragonball Z like starts with like, this kid who’s orphaned and he’s taken care of by his grandfather and he kills him by accident and then they’re like, like it is like it’s not. It wouldn’t be considered a kids show. Like, Have you have you watched the original Dragon ball, Marc?

Marc Cuiriz 45:35
bits and pieces here and there?

Josué Cardona 45:37
Oh, you know, you gotta you gotta watch

Marc Cuiriz 45:39
once I’m done with Dragonball Z. I’m going back and watching dragon ball.

Josué Cardona 45:43
Like on the first episode, Bulma empties that clip at Goku and he sees her panties or something like it’s this is like this, this whole thing like it’s it’s a, it’s a very different show. But it’s not that different. It’s, but it just explores all these ideas. And there’s like this army that’s like that he’s fighting. And there’s all of these elements. And then as you keep going through through Z, it’s like, it becomes multigenerational, right. It’s like he named his son after his grandfather characters get married, they have kids. The kids have kids, right? Eventually, like you’re going through this stuff. Like, I don’t know, there’s like deep component to it. And there’s also everyday stuff. I don’t know, there’s something but Dragonball Z is also over the top right? Like people are breaking planets apart. And that kind of stuff. Sometimes, when I’m when I’m feeling pretty down and depressed and kind of foggy, I need some anime to just like shake me out of the mundane. Because anime will go places that like my everyday life doesn’t go and like the things I talked to most people about places where it won’t go. And so something it’s like, it stretches my imagination. And the way that video games like stretch my exercise my brain and have like, since I was a kid allowed me to, to do difficult things and think about things in a very complex way and figure out problems. Anime is is the only thing. And it’s weird, because like anime’s like, is it a genre? Like what is it? I don’t know. But there’s something about it. That’s just almost, you know, I can close my eyes point at an anime on Funimation or Crunchyroll. And like, my mind might get blown, whether because it’s so ridiculous or so. There’s just something about it that just, again, that stretch of the imagination. Definitely changes. Sometimes I do this all the time. People are like, Oh, no. Does anybody have an idea? And I come up with like, what everybody thinks is a really crazy idea. Because everybody’s like stuck in a in a very small box. And I’m like, what if we did this? so yeah, so Dragon Ball it was it? I guess it was a big one? Because that was probably the the one that got me.

Josué Cardona 46:21
Yeah, it’s so interesting. You say that DBZ is out there because it is but I didn’t ever think of it that way. I think I watched I watched Sailor Moon and DBZ and then joined the anime club at my high school and we watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and it fucked with my head

Link Keller 48:27
Dragonball Z is not out there compared to Eva.

Marc Cuiriz 48:30
No, neon genesis, no

Lara Taylor 48:32
no, no. No. And then I did

Josué Cardona 48:36
we could get into a topical debate about all of this, but I’ll save it for the anime podcast

Lara Taylor 48:40
that I didn’t watch. I didn’t watch that much more anime. I guess I did watch like Toonami but like, then I didn’t watch that as much anime until I moved in with a roommate who made me watch a lot of good anime. We watched a lot of Full Metal Alchemist. He would he threw stuff out there that I didn’t like never heard anyone talking about like Excel Saga and like that shit was weird too.

Josué Cardona 49:11
I was watching Ranma one half. Ranma one half when I was in grade school, like they were just like, I was watching that in Spanish. They just gave it on TV.

Link Keller 49:20
hell yeah

Lara Taylor 49:20
We watch that after neon genesis evangelion

Link Keller 49:24
I think Ranma one half was the first manga that I read. which probably explains some things about me.

Josué Cardona 49:36
For those of you who don’t know, there’s two characters, the two main characters, right? I remember one. What is it when they what is it water? It makes them turn?

Link Keller 49:45
hot and cold water,

Josué Cardona 49:46
hot and cold water. So Ranma changes into a woman right? His body changes to a female body and then his teacher changes into a panda.

Link Keller 49:56
Yep, yeah, I watched

Josué Cardona 49:58
and hilarity ensues.

Link Keller 50:00
I watched, you know, a little Pokemon and a little even less Sailor Moon as a kid, but most of my anime is post high school. My friends were like, I wanna show you a little show called Gurren Lagann and then I slid down the trigger hole and have never returned. I’ve been watching spy family recently. That’s pretty good.

Josué Cardona 50:25
It’s so good. It’s so good.

Link Keller 50:27
You know what? Sometimes a family is a spy and an assassin and their secret psychic daughter. It’s a family. I love that.

Josué Cardona 50:38

Marc Cuiriz 50:39
I think I’m very much in that same boat of a lot of my anime watching didn’t happen until post high school. When my girlfriend at the time was the one who introduced me to all of that. And like, I watched Guilty Crown first. That was like the first like, anime aside from Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball that I watched. And I was like, okay, okay, I can kind of get behind this. And then then it was Toradora completely different take on anything I’ve watched because I’ve only watched the you know, shonen fighting anime up until this point. And then I watch a cute little rom com. And I my heart’s been there ever since I just I can’t I can’t get enough of it. I like the slice of life. I like romance. I like the comedies. It’s it’s just all there. Now don’t get me wrong. I do like my shonen and every now and again. But you know, it’s that’s just where the heart lies. Now, that says a lot about me. But, hey, I’m here for it.

Link Keller 51:50
You’re soft and romantic.

Josué Cardona 51:52
Yeah, well, one thing that I do remember the first time experiencing this particular notion was there was a show called slayers an anime called slayers. And it’s a fantasy anime. But there’s three or four versions of it. And every time it’s a retelling of the story. And it’s like Tenchi Muyo, like the Tenchi Muyo shows like it’s, it’s I believe there’s three versions of it, where it just basically restarts the series from the beginning. And you reintroduce the the characters, and it’s like, I was like, I remember being very confused about Tenchi Muyo, because I was like, wait a minute, what series am I watching? And then I realized, like, oh, it’s three completely different series, just retelling the same stories of these people and Slayers is the same way. And I was like, oh, things don’t have to be just one way. We can, like, you can do it again. You can try again and do it differently. That was something that yeah, that I thought was really cool. Now it’s, you know, now, that happens more, more frequently with all sorts of stuff, right? But But it’s like, it’s not just a remake. You know, it’s like, oh, let’s tell the story a little differently.

Link Keller 53:07
Sort of the history of human culture, right there. like, hey, you know that story? I’m gonna tell it again. Just just put a little extra sprinkles on and see see how my audience fares?

Josué Cardona 53:22
Yeah, yeah. I mean, everything we talked about on Geek Therapy is about, like, how influential a lot of this stuff is and how helpful it can be. But this has been a good exercise of like going back and kind of revisiting them. I really do really feel like I’m revisiting some of these ideas, which I, I definitely take for granted. And, and a lot of them I don’t know what, where it begins, where it where it started. What exactly influence was it resonance? Was it influence? I don’t know. Yeah. But it was definitely definitely shaped shapes continues to shape who I am. For some people, it’s church, for some people, it’s sports. For some people. It’s for all of us it’s trauma, but you know, we’re talking about entertainment and things like that.

Marc Cuiriz 54:14
Yeah, you’re not wrong there.

Link Keller 54:16
There’s overlap.

Josué Cardona 54:17
There’s some overlap. Yeah.

Marc Cuiriz 54:20
Yeah, no, I I definitely would have to agree with that. You know, I had a thought and it’s gone now. So that’s fun. I have no idea

Josué Cardona 54:35
there went a thought

Marc Cuiriz 54:37
Yep. Oh, I Oh, wait, no. Came back. It reminded me

Lara Taylor 54:41
there comes a thought

Josué Cardona 54:43
here comes a thought.

Marc Cuiriz 54:44
See, there you go. That’s exactly what how to actually jumpstart it. Um, I when you were talking about like, Oh, does something resonate and or did it influence I think, like Link said it was like, it’s a bit of both. I think like because it resonates with That’s how it influences. But just because like something that resonates with you doesn’t always influence you influence you. But I think that things that influence you most of the times are things that because you’re resonating with it, to some extent, I’m not saying like a deeply resonates or anything like that, but like, to some extent like you, you, you vibe with it. Like, I would say

Link Keller 55:23
the technical term.

Marc Cuiriz 55:25
Yeah, the the completely professional term

Lara Taylor 55:28

Josué Cardona 55:28

Marc Cuiriz 55:29
but I would say like, for me, Steven Universe is one of those shows that I deeply resonated with, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it influenced mainly because it I had, like, a lot of the ideas that it carried with it, like, I already had those. So it didn’t really sway me towards any sort of new enlightenment,

Link Keller 55:52
no, but it like influenced actions that you have taken in your life my dude

Marc Cuiriz 55:57
it. Okay. For example. Okay, I wouldn’t say like, let me backtrack that, let me backtrack that a little bit. Let me let me let the

Lara Taylor 56:06
chicken or is it the egg which came first? Like, that’s what happens.

Marc Cuiriz 56:11
I would say it didn’t. It didn’t influence like a big like mindset or behavioral change in me kinda like how Spider-Man and DBZ did were like it, it changed my mindset of how I tackled problems and why like, even now, like, I’m very tenacious, almost to a fault. Like with my job, for example, it’s very stressful. But I also don’t know when to just be like, You know what, I just need a late put throw in the towel. I keep right, I keep trying to rise

Josué Cardona 56:45
Goku killed first, like 15 episodes of dragon ball z

Marc Cuiriz 56:49
that is true, but then he trains comes back, and he’s even stronger than ever. So it’s one of those things where you get knocked down. You might physically perish, but then you come back. And then you rise to the challenge, having to learn some new techniques through therapy, or training.

Josué Cardona 57:12
the look on Lara’s face is priceless.

Marc Cuiriz 57:17
I know that’s why keep going with it.

Lara Taylor 57:20
diagrams or

Marc Cuiriz 57:25
that looks like a like a gallican. Kamehameha blast, you know, coming together, you know,

Link Keller 57:30
oh, my God.

Lara Taylor 57:31
I mean, I’ll redraw it.

Marc Cuiriz 57:35
No, don’t it’s perfect the way it is.

Josué Cardona 57:41
I hear you Yeah. I mean, I mean, I get it right. You’re like, Oh, like this is this show this shows is I’m vibing with this show so hard. What is this feeling? And I think I think you’re right, if the more that that happens, the more vibes the more likely it is to influence you. I agree with that. I like that. I think yeah. Yeah, there’s a few different versions of this. Of course, we talk about all the time. There’s there’s one, the comic book series unbreakable, which is a TV show now. No, not unbreakable.

Lara Taylor 58:27
that was a Shyamalan movie

Josué Cardona 58:28
wasn’t a Night Shyamalan movie. No invincible. The comic book invincible. That’s a show that that’s a comic book that every time I read, I was like, I feel like I that’s exactly what I would do in every situation. Like, I almost just watched the show the or read the comic and just to confirm that he that he would always do what I would do in that situation. Yeah, yeah. But there was never anything that I was like, Oh, yeah. Like it wasn’t influence for sure. But it was it was more validation. And I think I think I feel that way with, with Steven Universe as well. It’s like, it’s like, and not always because there’s lots of times that I’ve disagreed with Steven, but there are a lot of things in that show where I’m like yeah, that would be a better option like yeah, no, I like that. Yeah. I would stay fused with the person that I love you know, for a long time you know that I would Yeah, yeah, like that. Spoilers for Steven Universe

Marc Cuiriz 59:32
careful now here comes a thought hasn’t covered that episode yet.

Josué Cardona 59:34
Are you serious?

Marc Cuiriz 59:36
No wait. Hold on. No, I’m pretty sure we actually,

Josué Cardona 59:41
I think I was on that episode. Well, yeah,

Marc Cuiriz 59:44
I mean, you were on that episode, but like they don’t like go deeper into explaining that like they did.

Josué Cardona 59:47

Marc Cuiriz 59:48
We I don’t think we’ve gotten to story for Steven yet.

Josué Cardona 59:50
Okay. Okay.

Marc Cuiriz 59:51
I don’t think I know we have recorded quite a bit.

Josué Cardona 59:54

Marc Cuiriz 59:54
We just have not published it because we’re trying to finish Season Two.

Josué Cardona 59:58
shhshh shh don’t worry about that.

Marc Cuiriz 59:59
It’s up and coming. TBD.

Josué Cardona 1:00:05
Alright, so I think I’ve shared my closing thoughts on here. What, oh, what does everybody else want to wrap up with, Link? what you got?

Link Keller 1:00:13
And just, I think being aware of when you are young, the stories that you consume are impactful. And they’re still impactful as adults, but in a different way. So if you are around young people, try and encourage them to consume Cool, good, thoughtful, meaningful, deep, delicious media. or Dragonball Z, you know, whatever.

Josué Cardona 1:00:47
hey hey hey If it matters to you, it matters, right? Like, and it may matter in different ways. Like we’ve touched on a few different ways. And sometimes it matters because like it does shape who you are. Completely. Lara, any closing thoughts?

Lara Taylor 1:01:07
I was gonna say something similar to what Link was saying. Like, we’re talking about our experiences as kids and teenagers. Look, watching this media consuming this media. The young people in your lives need people to appreciate the media and appreciate what they like, and not saying, well, that’s just kids stuff. When are you gonna grow up? Let them like things. Because you never know what you’re gonna get when you grow up. A therapist an ex therapist, who knows?

Josué Cardona 1:01:53
Marc closing thoughts.

Marc Cuiriz 1:01:55
I just want to thank you guys, for coming down this slight nostalgia trip for me and unlocking some old childhood memories that were actually not half bad. And also let me just basically talk about Dragonball Z for half an episode. So it’s great. It’s fun.

Josué Cardona 1:02:14
I felt like this episode would make me feel old and it did. So thank you, for confirming. thank you so much for listening to GT radio, on the Geek Therapy network. Engage with us. Talk to us talk to the community. There’s links in the show notes on how to reach us how to join our community spaces. For more Geek Therapy, visit geek therapy.org. Remember to geek out and do good. See you next week.

Link Keller 1:02:46

Josué Cardona 1:02:50
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place to geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine
  • Pokemon
  • He-Man
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Star Trek
  • Avatar The Last Airbender
  • The Legend of Korra
  • Star Wars
  • The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  • The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  • The Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  • Harry Potter series
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • Spider-Man
  • Dunk Hunt
  • Pac-Man
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Sailor Moon
  • Danny Phantom
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • X-Men
  • Dick Tracy
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
  • The Hobbit (Gamecube game)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Excel Saga
  • Ranma 1/2
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Spy Family
  • Guilty Crown
  • Toradora!
  • Slayers
  • Tenchi Muyo!
  • Steven Universe
  • Invincible
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Change
* Cultural representation
* Death
* Difficult emotions
* Family
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Problem Solving
* Standing up for oneself

Relatable Experience:

* Clarity/Understanding
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Depression
* Nostalgia
* Influence/Resonance

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

What’s a piece of media (or series) that you loved as a young person that you’ve returned to? What was that experience like?

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