Originally Posted by jekyl_hyde
I understand everything you're saying... but there is an old saying.... $$$$ talks and bullsh!t walks. When Dragonball Z was being played on Cartoon Network's Toonami back in the day, the Dragonball Z franchise pulled in roughly 1/2 of a $100 Million. This was back in the late 90's, early 00's. On an annual basis, the Naruto franchise makes well more than $100 Million now a days per year. And this is in the U.S. alone.
You are assuming Japanese people act like US people. They are by average much more nationalistic than the US and normally the authors/editors behind pieces of media make decisions based on the Japanese market/fanbase alone, not even acknowledging a worldwide market/fanbase. Heck, many franchises with a good chunk of worldwide following have rushed their endings because they were doing poorly.
Furthermore, the cash cow goalpost of the manga media now is One Piece, which racks up 100~150 million per year on Japan ALONE and outsold Dragonball years ago (and let's not even talk about the absolute batshit insanity around One Piece that has taken Japan by assault). That's what mangakas and manga magazines are after now, and even some have emulated aspects of One Piece to try to steal some thunder (Kishimoto included, with the failure of a humor he has been coming up with since the Armadillo Dick incident). I'd even dare to say most of them have no idea One Piece lacks the punch it has in Japan outside of it borders.
So I'd only find the claim of your friend at least veritable if it was a comic book author from the US/Europe who would want to buy Dragonball and make it a cash cow outside of Japan. Or a mangaka/magazine on the brink of bankruptcy and desperate for a last stand.