'Dragon Ball' Almost Caused A Diplomatic Fight Between Japan And Mexico
Who hasn't seen at least a few episodes of the Dragon Ball franchise? The multi-pronged series starring the same Goku in the same (what by now has to be a reeking) gi has over a thousand episodes featuring one and a half epic fights. And if you live in Mexico, chances are you've not just seen all of those episodes, you've gazed at them from a crowd as if these cartoons were fighting in the heavyweight championship of the world.
Mexico has the third largest fanbase for Dragon Ball, where the series has been broadcast on public channels since the '90s, outclassing both Japan and the United States. And it's not hard to see why when you ask what those three countries have in common. (Besides having lost wars to America). They all share culture obsessed with wrestling, a love for outlandish characters talking smack for hours on end before, during, and after an over-the-top fighting bout. But Mexico doesn't just relish in the luchador vibe of DB; it returns that Lucha libre love by turning episodes into massive public fight nights with their own outlandish fight posters.
Even local governments get in on the action, hosting large, advertised viewing parties for the entire town to come together and watching monkey dudes and sentient cruciferous vegetables almost beat each other up. The events became so big they almost veered into a diplomatic incident. The Japanese embassy had to send a strongly worded letter to Coahuila's governor to cease and desist its sponsored DB revelries since they violated those viewing restrictions that used to flash in front of DVD menus and no one ever read.
Meanwhile, in Juarez, the government had to enter into diplomatic talks, convincing the esteemed gentlemen from Japan to allow them their 30,000 attendee screening of a Dragon Ball Super episode.
Say what you will about Mexican governments, but they know how to give their otaku constituents what they want.
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Top Image: Toei Animation