Hello, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone between and beyond, and welcome to week 67 of the first Dragon Ball rewatch of the decade.
We're doing five episodes a week, and we'll be watching every single episode of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. All 508 episodes. Plus the TV specials and the movies.
I encourage you all to watch in Japanese with subtitles, especially if you have never done so before, but watch along in whichever way brings you the most joy.
Funimation's original DVD cover for Z movie 7 was really terrible.
Previous thread: Week 66 (DBZ 131-135)
Next thread: Week 68 (DBZ 139-143)
Anyway, without further ado...
Episode 289 - Nobody Can Stop Them… Is This the End of the Z Warriors?! (DBZ episode 136)
Dub title: No Match for the Androids
Originally aired 22nd of April 1992
Kai equivalent: Episode 65 - A Cute Face, and Super Power?! No. 18 vs Vegeta (Last half)
Written by: Hiroshi Toda
Episode director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Animation supervisor: Masayuki Uchiyama
Trunks and the others go to save Vegeta. But No. 17 blocks their way, saying he won’t let them interfere in No. 18 and Vegeta’s battle. Super Saiyan Trunks, Piccolo, and the rest are all helplessly defeated by No. 17. Vegeta is then at last completely defeated by No. 18. Kuririn, the only one unharmed, asks the artificial humans what their objective is. No. 17 answers that it is a game to defeat Son Goku, the strongest of the humans.
Anime-only/filler content: The scene at Kame House with Maron, Chichi and Yamucha at Goku's house, and Gohan, BUlma, Yajirobe, and Trunks arriving at Goku's house then deciding to go to Capsule Corp.
Episode 290 - Piccolo’s Decision!! The Last Measure in His Reserve (DBZ episode 137)
Dub title: Last Ditch Effort
Originally aired 29th of April 1992
Kai equivalent: Episode 66 - The Time has Come to Become One Again… Piccolo’s Decision for Ultimate Power! (First half)
Written by: Hiroshi Toda
Episode director: Kazuhito Kikuchi
Animation supervisor: Tadayoshi Yamamuro
Piccolo and the others are revived with the senzu. Vegeta leaves, frustrated at having been completely defeated by No. 18. Piccolo, who was effortlessly defeated by No. 17, heads for God’s temple in order to merge with God and become the single Namekian he once was, and thereby obtain his strongest power. Meanwhile, Kuririn and the others head for Goku’s house in order to move the endangered Goku to Kame House. At this time, Piccolo arrives at the temple.
Anime-only/filler content: Piccolo firing a ki blast at the ground when he leaves for the lookout, another scene at Kame House with Maron, the arrival of Gohan, Yajirobe, Bulma, and Trunks at Capsule Corp., God's flashback to his history with Piccolo.
Episode 291 - Walking Weapons of Mass Destruction!! The Artificial Humans Draw Near Goku (DBZ episode 138)
Dub title: Closing In
Originally aired 6th of May 1992
Kai equivalent: Episode 66 - The Time has Come to Become One Again… Piccolo’s Decision for Ultimate Power! (Last half)
Written by: Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Episode director: Yoshihiro Ueda
Animation supervisor: Takeo Ide
Piccolo pressures God to merge with him. But God is hesitant, saying to wait until they can confirm whether or not the artificial humans will wreck havoc on the Earth. Meanwhile, Kuririn and the others head for Goku’s house. Tenshinhan heads for Kame House ahead of them to get Chiaotzu and do some special training. As this is happening, the artificial humans obtain a car and continue on, aiming for Goku’s house. Kuririn and Trunks arrive at Goku’s house. Placing the sleeping Goku on a plane, they carry him to the safety of Kame House.
Anime-only/filler content: 16, 17, and 18 encountering the bikers and the police.
DBZ movie 7 - Extreme Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans
Dub title: Super Android 13!
Originally released 11th of July 1992
Written by: Takao Koyama
Director: Kazuhito Kikuchi
Animation supervisor: Minoru Maeda
In a hidden laboratory in the mountains, Dr. Gero activates Androids 17 and 18. However, his creations turn against him, killing him with a single kick. The oil from his crushed head slowly trickles down through the cracks to the depths of the laboratory, where a computer continues to work diligently on Dr. Gero’s other creations. Soon, Androids 13, 14, and 15 are activated and dispatched to kill Son Goku and his friends.
Interesting trivia about episodes 136-138:
- At this point in time in the manga, 16 battles Cell to protect 18, but 17 is absorbed anyway and Cell attains his semi-perfect form, before 16 fights him again and loses, prompting Tenshinhan to appear and start using his Kikoho to stall Cell.
- Vegeta is only the second character to have his bones visibly broken on-screen, the first being Goku, of course.
- The fact that Androids 17 and 18 consider the search for Goku to be a game might be the earliest sign of Toriyama planning ahead for the introduction of Cell. Rather than being the terrifying monsters Trunks introduced them as to Goku, they seem more interested in entertaining themselves. This outlook would be incorporated in a dark manner for the Trunks: The Story chapter where they kill for fun between freeloading.
- In the second panel of Chapter 355's first page, Piccolo's gi is uncoloured and has two thin Xs on the shirt and legs. These are actually markers for Toriyama's inkist to ink them in, but were missed (likely due to the sheer amount of detail in the rubble he's lying on). This mistake is present in all editions of the manga, with the exception of the Full Colours where the Xs are removed and the gi coloured in correctly.
- While Tenshinhan could be forgiven for not knowing all of Earth's geography, he wonders if he's been to the place Kuririn is alluding to. Turns out he has: he went to God's Lookout to train for the arrival of the Saiyans.
- There are nine redrawn shots in Kai episode 65, including one that paints over some blood Vegeta spits out to look like spit.
- While most of Maron's dialogue in the remastered Funimation dub was redubbed by Leah Clark, the original dialogue recorded by Daphne Gere was used in Z episode 136.
- On a similar note, Nappa's dialogue in God's flashback in Z episode 138 was left as originally recorded by Chris Sabat, rather than being redubbed by Phil Parsons as had previously been standard for the remastered dub.
- Another oddity in the Funimation dub is that their script for Z episode 138 had Kuririn say he was told about Piccolo/God's incredible combined potential by Roshi, rather than the Grand Elder.
- The scene with Chichi looking for Goku's medicine is the very first time that Goku's house has been depicted in the manga in full, after its front door was seen when Gohan left when Freeza approached Earth. Similar to the future DB-, Toriyama has changed things about the design: it's now a single large dome with a pink garage, and instead of being next to Gohan's Hut in Mount Paozu (as in the anime and movies), it's now on a road next to a river and some farmlands. In the following chapter, 16 even describes that it's in a village, something the anime ignores almost immediately after it's introduced.
- Interestingly, this version of Goku's House is what's used in Dragon Ball Kai's opening to show Goku and Gohan training together in their Saiyan Arc designs (which cannot happen for reasons similar to the early Z movies), despite the old anime version of the house appearing in its earliest episodes.
- Toriyama's new design is what the anime will use from this point forward, and while it almost always removes the farmland, surrounding buildings and the road, the revised house isn't associated with Gohan's Hut at all. The last anime appearance of the old house is at the end of Z episode 125, when Goku, Gohan, and Piccolo leave to fight the Androids, leaving absolutely no room for them to move unless Chichi did it while Goku was away, and then somehow told Yamucha about it before he returned the virus-stricken Goku to his house. In the Daizenshuu map of the Dragon World, Gohan's Hut and Goku's House are in separate places rather than being one location.
- Finally, for End of Z Trunks visits Gohan's house, and in the anime he chats with Chichi who lives next door (which doesn't happen in the manga). This third version of the house only has its front door shown in the manga, while the anime gives it a wide shot revealing it's next to a cliff and doesn't have a next-door neighbour like in the manga.
- Yamucha suggests he and Chichi taking the medicine as well since he heard the heart virus is contagious. He'd do well in 2020, amirite?
- Z episode 138 is the 291st episode of Dragon Ball overall. If we, like so many before us, had made the mistake of skipping straight to Z, that would be the end of the rewatch.
- In the manga, the wide shot of God's Lookout is the same drawing as the one where Piccolo arrives, only with Piccolo painted out.
- In the scene where Kuririn meets up with Chichi and Yamucha, in the manga Yamucha's wearing a fresh gi when in the previous scene he was still wearing the one with holes in it, while the anime keeps the hole-y one.
- While discussing the matter of using the time machine to destroy the Androids in the past before they were activated, a few questions and notes can be raised:
- First, this is the earliest time somebody mentions that Trunks' time machine "isn't flawless" (or "not that precise" in the English dubs of Z). This has seemingly not been an issue before, at least for Trunks to not mention it at all; he did not mention having to wait a while before Freeza showed up, although it would explain why he was late for 19 and 20.
- Second, the question is brought up about whether Trunks can charge the time machine in time. Since it's a time machine, it doesn't matter how long it takes to charge it so long as Trunks and the time machine survive.
- Third, Trunks finally realizes that time travel doesn't work the way he expected it to: rather than changing a singular timeline, any event that changes the past will create a new, independent future. This is effectively how time travel worked in Endgame in situations where the Infinity Stones were moved around (as per Hulk's discussion with the Ancient One). Toriyama likely wrote this to explain it to the audience, but it also conveniently gives wiggle room for Cell, whose story begins at the end of the same chapter.
- Fourth, Toriyama also has Chichi tell Trunks to not worry about why the new timeline is so different from his, possibly to convey the same idea to the audience since he has no intention of explaining it himself.
- Fifth, this is the rare moment where Chichi expresses care and love for Goku by thanking Trunks for saving him.
- Sixth and finally, Chichi says that she's sure it'll work out fine and for the best. This reassurance rings a little hollow considering the original timeline resulted in an apocalypse with nearly everyone dead.
- The scene where Vegeta angsts over his defeat had rain added to it in the anime.
- In Funi's dub of Kai, Vegeta wonders if he's limited by "mere biology" (to highlight the Android comparison), as opposed to the manga where he wonders if it's "the best [he] can do" (a problem Goku has faced many times before).
- 16 describes Goku's house as being in the 439th Eastern District, which may have influenced its placement on the Daizenshuu map.
- In the ViZ translation of the manga, a character refers to Roshi as "Master Muten Roshi", a... unique name which translates roughly to "Master Muten Master".
- The seventh Dragon Ball Z movie premiered on the 11th of July 1992 at the Summer Toei Anime fair, alongside two moves from Dragon Quest (another Toriyama-adjacent work) and Rokudenashi Blues. At this point in time, the anime had Trunks and Vegeta enter the Room of Spirit and Time while Piccolo prepared to fight with 17 and 18, while the anime was up to Cell fighting 18 and then absorbing her.
- The movie opens with a recreation of the scene where 17 slays Dr. Gero. Interestingly, we do not see any of the Dragon Team in this version of the scene, the focus instead being on Dr. Gero's death. As well, by the time this movie aired, 17 and 18's fates were up in the air, and so they are absent from the movie; nobody, not even 13, 14 and 15, make mention of what happened to them.
- The movie attempts to be authentic by showing the "basement" lab where Cell is, with the computer tinkering away at other projects and even showing the access ladder. The issue with that however is that Kuririn and Trunks destroy this lab after they gather the Android schematics, making the events of this movie impossible in the core storyline. Cell is also nowhere to be seen in this lab.
- Daizenshuu 6 tries to smooth this over by saying this is a separate lab, which is somewhat feasible as while the computer is an identical design, Cell's tank is nowhere to be seen. It doesn't however solve the issue of the narrator referring to it singularly, as if it was Dr. Gero's only computer.
- The narration also describes 13-15 as the mightiest of all the Androids, despite Gero calling them abject failures that he had deactivated (which is another contradiction).
- Dr. Gero's computer in this movie (derived from the manga) is visually similar to two droids from the original Star Wars: the R1 astromech droid, and the WED-15 droid. Both of these appear in the same scene, where Luke buys C-3P0 and R2-D2 from the Jawas.
- In Chapter 350 (published 4 months before Movie 6), Android 18 says that Dr. Gero had "disposed of" all prior Android models. However in the title page of Chapter 367, a graph is shown depicting Gero's Android line, and here Androids 9-15 are described as "nearly complete". 367 was published on the 31st of March 1992 and possibly fell during the production of Movie 7, so Toriyama may have retconned this to open the door for Androids 13-15 to be finished by Gero's computer.
- This is the first story to have a fight take place in West City (as stated by Daizenshuu 6). This may have influenced its inclusion in Dragon Ball FighterZ: the arena being in a traffic tubes the bends into the background on the right side, as well as several building designs, is lifted directly from the wide shot of the city.
- Kuririn is suitably disgusted at his master's behaviour in the opening scene. This is the second film in a row where Roshi and Oolong are included purely as comic relief, and certainly not the first time they've been included for ecchi humour.
- Amusingly, Chichi tells Goku that she'll get him new clothes since he wears the same thing all year 'round. This is possibly a reference to the Summer Vacation Special, where he and Gohan present the recap in white tuxedos.
- Similar to Movie 6, much of the music from Movie 7 would be used for the Kikuchi replacement score of Kai.
- As pointed out by Tanooki Joe on Twitter on the morning this trivia was written, when 14 and 15 burst out the other side of the department store, there's a woman who continues to hold her teacup and plate even as she's being thrown out the window!
- While 14 and 15 do wear hoop earrings, unlike 16-20 their earrings are silver, not golden.
- Z movie 7 is the first time we see that Gohan didn't inherit his father's infamous Saiyan appetite.. Amusingly, the Buu Arc would confirm that Saiyan appetites only apply to pure-blooded Saiyans, a fact that chefs of the Dragon World are surely thankful for.
- The elevator bell dings before 14 and 15 explode out, despite them stopping the elevator earlier and emerging without it. But hey, comedy!
- Goku, Gohan, Kuririn and Trunks saving everyone in the upper floors is the first time we've seen a Dragon Ball character rescue a group of people like a superhero.
- In the shot from within the building where 14 and 15 target Goku again, the background layers of the building shift slightly.
- The font used for 14 and 15's HUD is Stop. Stop was the font used by Harmony Gold two and a half years earlier for their Dragon Ball credits, and would be the baseline for their Dragon Ball logo seen in their eyecatches.
- In the shot where Gohan whooshes past the camera with Chichi, it's possible to spot the pink bag she dropped and is currently complaining about losing.
- 14 and 15's HUD also describes Goku's battle power as "Power Level", beating Funimation to the punch by a couple of years.
- One of the signs in the sequence of Goku flying through the buildings reads "Nagasaki", a rare inclusion of a place from our Earth.
- After dodging 14's attacks, Trunks advises Goku that they should take their fight elsewhere to reduce casualties. However this is partially his fault: rather than deflecting 14's ki attacks, he dodges them and lets them fly right into the building behind him! Not very in character.
- The point where Goku and Trunks fly away is when the Summer Vacation Special begins. This cannot be canon to the movies however, as Gohan is busy with civilians and will soon be chastised by Chichi as Goku and Trunks leave. In the special, Goku and Gohan arrive rather carefree and in tuxedos to reminisce about their earlier adventures and compare notes, such as how their childhoods differed vastly and how many times the Dragon Balls were used, and Goku and Gohan's special techniques, among other topics. All of this is achieved with 4 shots recycled for all of Goku and Gohan's dialogue.
- The Summer Vacation Special is the primary reason why KBABZ considers Dragon Ball Movies 1-3 to be canon to the DBZ movies (as much as the word "canon" applies when talking about DBZ movies), since it covers them with equal billing to the six DBZ movies that came after them, including the VHS ad at the end and the recap of all the movie wishes.
- Interestingly, the footage used for DBZ Movies 4, 5 and 6 are widescreen in the special (meaning they're letterboxed). Most likely the reason for this is that the only broadcast-ready master Toei had handy was the widescreen one used on the Laserdisc releases.
- The Special also completely skps over Goku using the proto-Super Saiyan in Z movie 4, despite Goku reciting the subtitle for that movie, "Super Saiyan Son Goku", before it's shown. It instead cuts to Goku using the form and defeating Cooler in the movie after it instead, and Goku "introduces" the Cooler movie after its clip has finished.
- The special concludes with a 6 minute preview of scenes from Movie 7, which is possibly why the intro is also a preview scene that serves as a cold opening. Goku then destroys his white suit before Gohan fails to do so, then the credits roll. The final shot is an advertisement for every single Dragon Ball movie available in an 8-in-1 set.
- Interestingly, Chichi says that Gohan is currently in Summer Vacation. This may have been an intentional way to help him feel more relatable to the target audience, who would have been on Summer Vacation to see this movie in theatres.
- The glacial belt is only the second time an ice location has been used as a Dragon Ball setting, after Movie 2, World's Strongest. It'd be used again for the Super Broly movie, inspiring the name of Broly's theme in that movie, Blizzard.
- Android 14 says Trunks' name. This is a contradiction, as Dr. Gero did not use his miniature drones to study the Dragon Team after the battle with Vegeta, meaning Trunks should not be in his database. It's possible however that 14 overheard Goku say his name when he arrived in West City.
- Android 13 was chosen as the big boss of the movie due to 13's association as an unlucky number.
- Every Android model from a Dragon Ball Z story has the Red Ribbon logo somewhere on their clothing. Interestingly, Eighter and Super 17, who originate from Dragon Ball and GT, don't have it.
- It seems Goku still has trouble counting: he wonders how many Androids Dr. Gero made, when that should be obvious based on their names by this point!
- Goku catching and being pushed by 13's attack is very similar to Freeza doing the same with Goku's Genki-Dama on Namek.
- Android 15 is only the second being to catch Trunks' sword, after Goku.
- The name of Android 13's attack, the S.S. Deadly Bomber, is likely an allusion to how the Red Ribbon Army are modeled after Nazis (the 1940s ones).
- This is the second movie in the row where Vegeta shows up to save Goku on the grounds that he intends to kill him later (and says it to him).
- Vegeta also has a habit of calling the Androids dolls whether they're cyborgs or not, as he does in this movie and while fighting 18 in the main storyline.
- Goku uses a ki attack charged in his hands to deflect another one fired at him, which is a first!
- I honestly can't even count the number of times Piccolo saves Gohan in these movies, but it happens again here!
- Android 13's ability to absorb parts of two other Androids in order to change form and power up is of course exactly what Cell is capable of. Assuming Cell exists in the Movieverse, this would possibly be Gero experimenting with the idea before incorporating it into Cell later.
- The shot of Piccolo bouncing off the ground before flying into the wall is visually similar to the gag of Yamucha bouncing off the panel / the top of the screen from the Pilaf Arc, albeit not played for comedy this time.
- After punching Goku in the crotch, Super 13 throws Goku laterally, only for him to be immediately falling vertically in the shot after it.
- 13 once again fires the S.S. Deadly Bomber, except it doesn't blow up half the Earth when it connects like he says it will.
- The scene of Android 13 breaking Vegeta's back (much like Bane will do to Batman two years later in 1994) is set to serene music for some bizarre reason.
- Before fighting Super 13, Trunks says that the reason why 13 doesn't exist in his future is because he'll be destroyed by Goku today. This is a BIZARRE claim for him to make because Goku died of the Heart Virus before ANY Androids showed up. On that note, the movie doesn't attempt to explain why Androids 13-15 aren't in the original timeline Trunks is from, where Dr. Gero was also destroyed by 17 and 18.
- This movie is the only time Trunks' sword has been broken in two. In the main storyline, it gets a chunk broken out of it when he uses it to strike 18's arm, after which he doesn't use it again.
- Kuririn directly acknowledges the contradiction of using the Genki-Dama as a Super Saiyan, due to the change of mood the form imbues on the user. Presumably this issue is fixed thanks to Goku and Gohan's training in the Room of Spirit and Time, although this issue is not brought up in the manga when Goku throws it at Buu as a Super Saiyan 3.
- Okay I was NOT expecting Goku to absorb the Genki-Dama and have a look of pure evil on his face!
- The idea of absorbing the Genki-Dama isn't too far-fetched, as before Namek the ki was contained in one's arm before throwing it, and Goku was able to pass this energy on to Kuririn. This is however the first time someone has been able to take ownership of it in their own bodies, rather than simply containing and "borrowing" it as before.
- The shot in the hospital opening on the nurse's butt is compositionally similar to the shot from the Head Cha-La opening that zooms out from Bulma's bosom.
- Interestingly, the clips of the movie shown during the credits are all cropped to widescreen.
- The main shout Kageyama does in Movie 7's closing song, "At the Brink: The Earth’s Limit", is similar to the main shout in Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. Amusingly, the song opens with "I come from the land with the ice and snow", pairing with the setting of this movie's main fight. Kenji Yamamoto arranged this track, for what it's worth.
- At the Brink is also used as the closing music to the Summer Vacation Special.