Great episode! I agreed with a lot of what was said, especially the board game bit. Mike actually had a pretty good memory there: an early GT episode showed how unreliable Goku’s Instant Transmission is as a kid, warping him to random places in the local area.
On the singular Baby entity, what Mike is missing here is that Baby is Baby, the one Baby being that we’ve seen since Dr. Myuu’s tank is Baby and that’s him. When he lays eggs inside of people it makes them evil and agree with him no matter what, but they are NOT Baby. Bulma cannot transform like Baby-Vegeta can because she is not directly possessed by Baby.
For those wondering, at 50 minutes Mike’s referencing the intro to the original English dub of OG Dragon Ball (which isn't on Spotify anymore, weird).General Thoughts
I really liked episode 28; I thought it was a nice cooldown episode and yet had a fair amount of foreboding about it. In particular I liked the connection you see between Goku and Pan near the end. Goku felt like he truly cared about Pan and more than ever that made him feel like an actual parent.
Personally I didn’t really see that much wrong with Pan’s writing in the return to Earth episode. I think she’s justifiably proud because they just crossed half the galaxy getting these things and they succeeded in that task. It’s typical “we got the Dragon Balls!” behaviour to me.
Goku turning SS3 in Ep29 to me is a clear example of one of GT’s presentational problems: in DBZ going Super Saiyan 3 was a monumental event that rendered him faster than any perception and sucked up almost all of his energy. Here, it appears like a normal state and Goku’s fighting is incredibly generic; it doesn’t change compared to his fighting not 20 seconds ago. The choreography, camerawork and actual storytelling just isn’t there to really sell the scale of the fight, or SS3, so it just doesn’t work. The speed is normal, there’s no drama about it, and Goku doesn’t even get appreciably tired like he did in DBZ. It’s pretty clear that it’s only there to set up Goku requiring to go to SS4 to defeat Baby.
For all of the script changes, I like how Baby is being hypocritical in his approach. He claims to come from a peaceful race and is enacting revenge on the Saiyans, and yet he’s going to turn the Tuffles into a warrior race. It’s like he doesn’t ACTUALLY care about the Tuffles and is instead using his race’s past as a Freudian Excuse to be evil.
The whole board game thing with Sugoro felt like a complete waste of time. Considering Goku’s exit from here was the same as how he was rescued the first time, and that Sugoro and his son only appear for like four shots, I think that bit was added to pad out an extra episode or two. As will be clear a bit later though, they annoyingly have some MINOR contributions to SS4 later on.
Spoiler: And now, my bullet points, including dub edits
Ep 28: A Worldwide Problem
• DUB EDIT: The Narrator says at the very end that “everything they hold dear is now infected by Baby”, prematurely spoiling the extent of Baby’s takeover.
• The subtitles refer to Kami’s Lookout as the Heavenly Realm. Has it ever been called this before?
• I’m guessing they can’t use the regular Dragon Balls because Goku far exceeds Dende’s power?
• DUB EDIT: After pecking Giru, Pan says “There, you get my first kiss!” in the Japanese, while in the dub she says “I couldn’t have done it without you”, which for me is more appropriate.
• DUB EDIT: In Japanese, Mr. Satan says that it’s been two months since Baby started taking over the Earth, while in the dub he makes no mention of it.
• …how exactly is Baby suppressing his appearance?
• DUB EDIT: In the Japanese, Trunks warns Giru that Vegeta is Baby. In the dub, he says that “it’s not my dad!”. A similar adjustment is made when Trunks originally says he’ll never be Baby’s servant, instead asking what’s come over Vegeta. It isn’t until the flashback that Trunks realizes what has happened. IMO this makes a bit more sense overall and adds a bit of tension.
• So why exactly were Chi-Chi and Videl giving Goku and Pan the silent treatment? Goten and Gohan appeared to have been in the house the whole time so why didn’t the ladies let Baby know themselves?
• DUB EDIT: Goku initially thinks Gohan and Goten are trying to destroy the “city”, not Earth, which obviously contradicts the house’s location in Mount Paoz. Also, Goku refers to Goten as “son” and refers to himself as their dad once, which reminds the audience of the paternal connection.
• Despite doing the ultra-cliché “woman can’t hold her own in a fight” trope, I actually really like this moment. It’s heartbreaking seeing Pan shriek in terror as her own father attacks her, and it’s moving to see Goku reassure her and get so riled up about her passing out. It really shows that Goku cares about his grand-daughter.
• Oooh, backhand block!
• DUB EDIT: In the dub, Mr. Satan throws out the name “Baby” like he knows that Goku already knows who that is.
Ep 29: The Fall of the Saiyans
• DUB EDIT: Yep, they added Satan insulting the Saiyans while his mouth wasn’t visible.
• Weird audio edit with the classic “Woooooooo” sound there.
• Huh, Gohan’s behavior there definitely implies that it IS Gohan under Baby’s influence, but Baby does not directly take over his subjects.
• …what’s with the transition in the middle of the fight?
• DUB EDIT: In the grapple-conversation, the subject has been changed to Goku and Baby discussing Baby’s reasoning and why it’s, well, unreasonable. Improvement IMO, and Goku’s dialogue actually mirrors what he says to Frieza in DBZ Kai funnily enough.
• DUB EDIT: “Gosh Trunks!”
• DUB EDIT: Baby explaining the egg thing is replaced with generic convincing Goku to submit to Baby and how amazing it feels. Funnily enough, one of the lines is Goku noting that Vegeta would never call him by that name.
• I’ve never noticed an animation change before, but this one is strikingly obvious. Baby Vegeta looks more flat-faced compared to the last episode.
• DUB EDIT: Goku makes a reference to Uub coming to defeat Baby, rather than talking about the fight not being over.
• DUB EDIT: Yeah there’s way more generic trash talk inserted here, there’s no attempt to stick to the original script or tone. I’m guessing it’s because the original “Lost Episodes” were dubbed later and now we’re back onto the 1998-style scripting?
• Haha, the Saiyan circle is reminiscent of the ritual required for Super Saiyan God!
Ep 30: The Game After Life
• Oh yeah that’s right! Baby can get any wish he wants with the Black Star Balls! I thought he was going to eat them like Daimao did back in the day.
• DUB EDIT: Satan doesn’t know what Shenron is. Pan also talks about how incredible it is to see Shenron.
• DUB EDIT: Baby refers to Omega Shenron as if he has a much higher power, which to me doesn’t make sense.
• Huh! Technically this means that planet Vegeta has been restored! …as Baby duly notes in the dub.
• …this Sugoro violates all the rules of the Other World.
• …this entire sequence feels like filler garbage.
• Okay, this Kibitokai flashback feels like something that should have appeared before that scene started. This is just like the Carbonite Trunks bit.
• Caspsule Corp had a doomsday transport? Sitting right there in West City? Really?
• DUB EDIT: Pan says that Trunks was her best friend. Aww.
• Man this still feels rather useless as far as content goes. This is weirder than Dragon Ball filler arcs, and is more reminiscent of the EARLY GT stuff!
• Wait, that was the whole episode? What a waste! Nothing happened!
Ep 31: Collapse From Within
• Why did Sugoro even need to use a disguise form in the first place?
• DUB EDIT: Sugoro’s requirement to win 530,000 games is not mentioned at all.
• Random cut to Kibitokai!
• Ooookay, holiday music then!
• After all that, I think it’s pretty clear that the excursion with Sugoro was added in there to pad out an extra episode, especially since he and his son disappear from the story after that point!
• DUB EDIT: Predictably, the joke of “Truly, there is no god” wasn’t used in the dub script, funny as it is.
• Oh goodness, Buu is using the bishonen face again?!
• DUB EDIT: Krillin’s perverse angle towards serving Buu has been removed, making him appear completely normal.
• …this laxative plan feels like a terrible idea.
• Wow, the crystal ball does camera cuts!
• Well I’m sure the next episode will explain how Uub survived Baby’s control.