Dragon Ball: The Cultural Origin of Omni-Kings Button

The Omni-Kings button allows anyone to summon the lord of all gods to their side. But where did Toriyama receive the inspiration to create this device? Read this article to learn the cultural origin of the Omni-Kings button in Dragon Ball Super!

Dragon Ball: Origin of Omni-Kings Button

Zen-Oh’s button first appears in Episode 55 of Dragon Ball Super, titled “Hey, I Wanna Meet Son Goku — A Summons from the Omni-King!” In Episode 55, Zen-Oh summons Goku to ask Goku to become his friend. Goku then invites him to Earth for a visit. In response, Zen-Oh gives Goku a call button that he can use to summon Zen-Oh to Goku’s location anytime he wants. He says, “If you press this button, I’ll come immediately.” Goku then presses it while it’s in Zen-Oh’s hand, and of course it does nothing because Zen-Oh is already standing there.

The call button looks like a small round disc that fits in the palm of Zen-Oh’s childlike hand. There’s a large button in the centre of it. On the reverse side is another button, which will bring Goku to wherever Zen-Oh is located. So, where did the creator of Dragon Ball Super, Akira Toriyama, get this idea?

Calling Greenman

okusatsu are a genre of television show starring a hero who fights a unique monster of the week. The most famous tokusatsu show is Ultraman 1966. However, there are others aside from Ultraman, including many low-budget and lesser-known series. It’s in one of these low-budget series that we find the original inspiration for the call button used by Zen-Oh in Dragon Ball Super.

I discovered this in the show called “Go! Greenman” which is an early tokusatsu TV show produced by Toho that ran from November 12, 1973 to September 27, 1974. Toho is the producer of Godzilla and other kaijū films. In each of Gurīnman’s 52 episodes, the hero, who is a giant green man sent by God, would fight a monster of the week in order to “protect the children.” The main villain of the series was named “Demon King,” or “Satan”.

The thin plot is that the Demon-King was sentenced by God to live in an underground cave-like prison. The Demon-Kings underlings then go to the surface and cast evil magic in an attempt to capture children so that the Demon-King can suck their energy away and escape from his prison. Fortunately, Greenman loves children so much that he comes flying down from outer space to save them. At the end of the first episode, he gives a call button to the children called “Green Call”.

The device is shaped like a circle with a large button in the centre, similar to Zen-Oh’s button, except with a more complicated design. This one has flashing lights on it! Similar to what Zen-ō says to Goku, Greenman tells them, “Whenever you need my help, just push the button.”

Calling Zen-Oh

Toriyama portrays this scenario in Dragon Ball Super Episode 67.

In this episode, Goku and Vegeta have exhausted their options in trying to defeat their immortal opponent. Goku reaches into his uniform for a senzu, but instead finds Zen-ō’s button, which he had forgotten about.

Dragon Ball

He then remembers what the button does and pushes it. With bright light, Zen-ō appears, defeats the monster, and ‘rescues the children.’

Conclusion

Toriyama grows up watching tokusatsu shows and falls in love with them.  As a result, Dragon Ball has countless references to tokusatsu shows throughout the series, from the first few chapters of Dragon Ball in 1984, all the way up to Dragon Ball Super in 2016. It should come as no surprise that Toriyama continues to pull ideas from shows that he enjoys from this era of his life and then adds them to Dragon Ball Super without telling anybody. That’s his modus operandi.

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