The Bukujutsu Mystery
If you've been a Dragon Ball fan for any amount of time, you've probably realized by now that the show very often has a problem with continuity. These errors usually show up most readily in the filler episodes, when Toei story writers, who are perhaps not as fluent in Toriyama's world as he is, make a few mistakes in the writing of these episodes. Usually it's no biggie, but sometimes the mistakes in writing create big problems, ones that aren't present in Toriyama's original manga, since the filler episodes were written specifically for the TV show. And the movies? Hoo boy, don't get me started. That whole series is just one big continuity error. None of that stuff could have actually happened according to the chronology presented in the manga and the show.

But there is one thing that Toriyama never explained in the manga, and it really kind of bugs me.

When, exactly, do Goku, Gohan, Kuririn, and the rest gain the ability to fly, the technique otherwise known as Bukujutsu?

At the beginning of Z, it is clear that no one except Piccolo and Raditz are able to fly. Goku is still using Kintoun, Gohan is constantly falling all over the place, and often finds himself in precarious situations, and no one else seems to be able to do anything more than a spectacular leap. In episode 3 or 4 (don't remember which) Goku kind of hovers for a few seconds, but he doesn't do any actual flying.

Goku takes almost nine months to run across Heaven on Snake Way, and obviously can't fly when he falls to Hell, he spends quite a bit of time and energy trying to get himself catapulted back up, in fact. (Of course, this was a filler episode, so I'm not sure it can be counted as part of the actual story) Then he trains with Kaiou, and we don't see him for a couple months. Then, after he is wished back, he totally effortlessly flies, yes FLIES, back across Snake Way and makes it home in less than a day.

Uhh... hold on a second, what happened here??

Before he could jump pretty high, but now all of a sudden he's shooting across the sky faster than a jet, with the flying aura and everything!

Then we see Gohan and Kuririn, who can now do it too all of a sudden, along with Yamucha, Tenshinhan, and Chaozu. How did all of these people learn to do this, and why wasn't it shown? That seems like kind of a big detail to me, we see Goku learning Genkidama and Kaiouken, why not everyone learning Bukujutsu?

The funniest part is that it is made very clear that certain people cannot fly and never will, Yajirobe, Buruma, Chichi, Mr. Satan, etc. They don't just go from being flightless in one episode to zooming across the sky in the next.

The only time we see anyone actually being trained in this technique is much, much later in the series, when Gohan teaches Goten and Videl. I just wonder why they didn't do a story about it during the Saiya-jin saga, when everyone learns for the first time.

Oh well, just something that kind of bugs me. If you have some thoughts on this mystery, send me your ideas, perhaps one of you knows or noticed something that I didn't!

UPDATE! Well, according to a few readers, it seems that Goku did indeed learn Bukujutsu near the end of the original Dragon Ball. Since I have seen next to none of that series, I am a little in the dark as to many of the finer details of what exactly happens. Dammit, I must see more DB.

Thanks to Goku-jin, Vegeta900, Ken Tan, and Jamey Smith for bringing clarity to my addled brain.

But that still doesn't explain the rest of them... OK, maybe Piccolo taught Gohan, but why wasn't it shown?? Oh well, enough about that.

NEXT TIME: Hmm. Haven't quite decided yet. I've got a few ideas, so I'll come up with something. See you then!

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