What’s fun about Teen Titans Go! is that this show can make an episode out of anything. Seriously. There have been episodes on rental property, quantum physics, and even labor day. As a result, it’s not surprising that there is a holiday special for almost every holiday. In addition to yearly Christmas and Halloween specials, TTG has also done two St. Patrick’s Day episodes. As a show meant to poke fun at the superhero genre, St. Patrick’s Day takes it up a level but parodying the anime classic, Dragon Ball Z.
For those who are unfamiliar with the franchise, Dragon Ball Z began as something of a fairy tale in the form of Dragon Ball. The manga upon which both are based is just called Dragon Ball for the seven magical stones that, when brought together, can grant a wish. Though it has fairy tale elements, it’s also a technologically advanced society, which is why characters are able to use the dragon radar to find the dragon balls more quickly than the would otherwise. In the latter half of the manga, the Dragon Ball Z anime, alien species and planets are introduced, with some of the characters being retconned as aliens.
So, what does an Irish holiday have to do with a Japanese program? Well, let me tell you…
The first St. P’s special revolves around the superstition of someone wearing green pinching someone who is not. Beast Boy argues that since he wears his skin, that counts and doesn’t hold back on the pinching. When the other Titans retaliate (while not wearing green) they are cursed with Bad Luck and must find a leprechaun’s gold to free themselves from the curse.
So, do they have to use some kind of leprechaun gold radar? Nope!
Robin reveals himself to be a leprechaun! Which therefore enables him to power up and utilize leprechaun attacks, which look at lot like DBZ moves. For those who are unaware, one thing that classic DBZ is known for is the countless power ups. (We’re talking episodes spent yelling while the ground is shaking.) The primary alien race, the Saiyans possess the ability to ascend to a more powerful Super Saiyan form, during which their hair gets spikier and turns gold. Here, as Robin powers up his hair turns orange and a beard manifests along with green leprechaun garb.
His most powerful attack is a parody of DBZ main character Goku’s attack, the Kamehameha Wave: the Shillelagh Wave. As Robin and the other leprechaun battle, they also parody the constant back and forth of evenly matched characters moving at extreme speeds, but instead of trading punches and kicks, they trade pinches. In the second St. Patrick’s Day special, all of the Teen Titans come together for the most powerful attack. Parodying Goku’s Spirit Bomb, they perform the Spirit Clover.
While there’s a lot of humor in this Irish-Japanese parody, both episodes poke fun in other ways as well– a common feature of TTG episodes. Although the show is aimed at children, it’s very aware of its older audience, something that is evident in both of these specials. In another post, I hope to go deeper into the commentary I believe Teen Titans Go! is providing.