Open Channel: Which Fan Work Is More Important to You Than the Original?

Gohan is angry. He’s, uh, very angry.
Gohan is angry. He’s, uh, very angry.
Image: Toei Animation

Fandom makes a lot of cool stuff. Sometimes, that stuff might even be better than the originals.


So, confession: I love Dragon Ball Z, a lot. It’s a great anime. But I might like Dragon Ball Z: Abridged more. The anime has problems with pacing and direction, while Abridged, by its nature, condenses all of that into something much snappier. The editors, writers, and fan dubbers at Team Four Star have crafted an interpretation of Dragon Ball that feels both incredibly authentic to the original and that takes liberties no official work could. It’s also really, really funny. While early episodes certainly have jokes I wouldn’t defend and rough production values, it has evolved, over its near-60 episode runtime, into possibly my favorite interpretation of Akira Toriyama’s manga.

So, now, as I get really hype to watch the first part of the show’s sixtieth episode, I’d like to ask: what fan work does that for you? What captures the essence of something you love just as well if not better than the thing itself? There’s a lot of art we can’t live without. What fan work can’t you live without?


Let me know. I’m gonna go think about Goku for a while.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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