This article appeared in the Fall of '96, when the first season originally aired. It is part of a larger piece, which was TV Guide's annual selection of "Top Ten New Kids Shows". I was standing in the checkout line at a convenience store and picked up the issue just to see if, just maybe, DBZ had been picked. I absolutely couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that it had, and I decided to buy the issue as a souvenir.
The Wall Street Journal
Early in December '99, somebody posted a message to alt.fan.dragonball saying that there was a DBZ article in that days WSJ. I had to see this for myself, so I looked through the issue at the University library, and sure enough, there it was. The article itself borders on the sensationalist extremes that typify mainstream media attention on anime, but it doesn't go quite far enough for me to consider it a complete waste of ink. It's definitely worth a read, at least. Here's Part 1 and Part 2. Credit goes out to VegettoEX for the scans, which I viciously stole from his site. Mwahaha!!! (Oh, shaddup. I'm just kidding, I got permish.)
Dallas Observer (external link)
Ah yes, the infamous Dallas Observer article. A true milestone, since it is the first mainstream story on DBZ to go into nearly this much length and depth on the series and the inner workings of FUNimation. I myself actually liked the article quite a bit, if nothing else for the great info, and don't share in the negative and angry attitude that most fans greeted it with. Don't get me wrong, I can definitely see the mistakes and assumptions made by Jimmy Fowler (the author), but I tend to be very forgiving when it comes to articles from the mainstream media. And perhaps since I have a rather pessimistic view of FUNimation to begin with, I wasn't as shocked or surprised as some were when they were faced with the revelations about the company that came out here. As a matter of fact, in a way it improved my opinion of them. VegettoEX's editorial on the article has become rather famous in itself, and I recommend checking it out as well. My reaction was a WHOLE lot more positive than his, but he makes some very good points.
GameProWorld Feature: Dragonball Z (external link)
Well, this article is pretty much a pile of monkey crap. I generally expect more from video game mags with regards to anime coverage because they're just a bit closer to the fandom than other media outlets. But this guy doesn't know what the HFIL he's talking about. A sample: "This anime [DBZ] is reminiscent of older, child-oriented animes like Transformers and G.I. Joe." Need I say more? He basically completely misunderstands the series and portrays it as some sort of kiddie fluff: "The overall storyline is really geared towards children, so adults out there shouldn't expect a whole lot of character development or story depth." I think that Mr. Phuong-Mai Bui-Quang (what the HFIL? Is he a Klingon or something?) needs to drink a nice tall glass of shut up juice.
GameProWorld Feature: DragonBall Z Report, Part One (external link)
Ah, now THIS article, although from the same source (different author), is actually pretty good. It basically discusses the possibilities for an upcoming Dragon Ball game, with comments from the Fuku-man himself.
GameProWorld Feature: DragonBall Z Report, Part Two (external link)
This one's even better, but at the same time it's downright scary in a way. The article focuses on the fact that DBZ is beginning to snowball in popularity, and may be on the brink of a major mainstream
explosion. "Look out, DBZ fans: by the end of the year, the American DBZ landscape will be drastically different than it is now." Wow. I still remembers six years ago, when only like 5 people in the US even knew what Dragon Ball was. I thought it was already frighteningly popular two years ago. The Cartoon Network thing has been insane. It's gone beyond my wildest expectations, and this article gives the impression that we're just in the first stages! Check it out.
TV Guide: Year of the Dragon
Well, this one kinda sucks, I must say. It's far too brief, and it doesn't really offer anything new or interesting. Plus, the author makes some rather annoying mistakes, which anyone who has seen more than five episodes will recognize immediately. I suppose that's to be expected, but come on, can't we get through ONE mainstream article about DBZ without some inane, insulting, or just completely WRONG statement about the show? Here's Page 1 and Page 2. There's also a little backstory to this article, or more specifically, my quest to get a hold of it, that I shared with alt.fan.dragonball, and I might as well share with y'all. Here's Part One, Part Two, and finally, the Epilogue.