Hello, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone between and beyond, and welcome to week 90 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.
Two weeks until Z movie 12.
Let's all pretend I said something witty and clever right here.
Previous thread: Week 89 (DBZ 231-235)
Next thread: Week 91 (DBZ 241-245)
Anyway, without further ado...
Episode 389 - A Warrior’s Resolution!! I Will Dispose of the Majin (DBZ episode 236)
Dub title: The Warrior's Decision
Originally aired 17th of August 1994
International Kai equivalent: Episode 126 - I’ll Take Care of the Majin — Vegeta’s Final Desperate Battle! and Episode 127 - For Those Whom He Loves… The Proud Warrior’s Death!
Japanese Kai equivalent: Episode 119 - I’ll Take Care of the Majin — Vegeta’s Final Desperate Battle! and Episode 120 - For Those Whom He Loves… The Proud Warrior’s Death!
Written by: Masashi Kubota
Episode director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Animation supervisor: Shingo Ishikawa
Vegeta attacks Boo with tremendous power. But even after having a hole put through his stomach, Boo quickly returns to normal, and begins his counterattack! Boo creates a giant explosion around his own body, seriously injuring Vegeta. He then goes on to tear off some of his own belly, and wraps it around Vegeta. With Vegeta now unable to move, Boo pummels him with blows. With Vegeta in danger, Trunks takes off to help…
Anime-only/filler content: Kuririn getting scared by a lizard.
Episode 390 - For Those Whom He Loves… Vegeta Perishes!! (DBZ episode 237)
Dub title: Final Atonement
Originally aired 24th of August 1994
International Kai equivalent: Episode 127 - For Those Whom He Loves… The Proud Warrior’s Death!
Japanese Kai equivalent: Episode 120 - For Those Whom He Loves… The Proud Warrior’s Death!
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Mitsuo Hashimoto
Animation supervisor: Yukio Ebisawa
Trunks heads for the battleground, followed by Goten. Trunks kicks Boo, and frees Vegeta with Goten’s help. Meanwhile, Piccolo slices Babidi in half. Vegeta hugs Trunks, then knocks him and Goten unconscious. Vegeta asks Piccolo to take Trunks and Goten and run away. He then unleashes his ki, creating a gigantic explosion around himself. In order to defeat Boo, he is willing to die.
Anime-only/filler content: An extra scene of Trunks talking to Goten about Vegeta, Piccolo briefly trying to hold Goten back from helping Trunks before deciding to let him go, Babidi shielding himself before Piccolo kills him.
Episode 391 - The Nightmare Revisited! Majin Boo has Survived (DBZ episode 238)
Dub title: Evil Lives On
Originally aired 31st of August 1994
International Kai equivalent: Episode 128 - A Reoccurring Nightmare — The Invulnerable Monster: Majin Boo!
Japanese Kai equivalent: Episode 121 - A Reoccurring Nightmare — The Invulnerable Monster: Majin Boo!
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Kazuhito Kikuchi
Animation supervisor: Masayuki Uchiyama
The shockwave from Vegeta’s explosion causes the plane Bulma and the others are riding in to malfunction. No. 18 saves the plane, but Bulma has a premonition that something bad has happened to Vegeta. Vegeta is scattered like ashes, but when Piccolo goes to check out the situation, he sees the pieces of Boo’s flesh regenerate and merge together, restoring himself back to normal. Boo then goes on to restore Babidi to normal as well. Piccolo tells Kuririn to take Goten and Trunks to God’s temple. The two of them are the only remaining hope!
Anime-only/filler content: Piccolo considering going back to help Vegeta, the plane nearly crashing after Vegeta's self-destruct, Yamucha attempting to fix the plane.
Episode 392 - The Struggle of Videl and the Others! Find the Dragon Balls (DBZ episode 239)
Dub title: Find the Dragon Balls
Originally aired 7th of September 1994
International Kai equivalent: Episode 128 - A Reoccurring Nightmare — The Invulnerable Monster: Majin Boo! and Episode 129 - The Secret Plan to Defeat Boo — Its Name is Fusion!
Japanese Kai equivalent: Episode 121 - A Reoccurring Nightmare — The Invulnerable Monster: Majin Boo! and Episode 122 - The Secret Plan to Defeat Boo — Its Name is Fusion!
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Animation supervisor: Keisuke Masunaga
As Boo destroys cities, Bulma and the others gather the Dragon Balls in order to resurrect the audience members killed by Vegeta. Learning that the last ball is on a solitary island in the middle of a lake, they rush there. After a difficult struggle, they steal the Dragon Ball from the island monster that had it! Meanwhile at God’s temple, having brought Goten and Trunks there, Piccolo and Kuririn wrack their brains to think of some counter-plan. Goku arrives there as well, having finally awakened, and is healed by Dende.
Anime-only/filler content: The gang searching for and finding the Dragon Balls, Kuririn and Piccolo talking to Yajirobe and Karin, some extra scenes of Boo wreaking havoc in the city.
Episode 393 - Enormous Hope!! A New Finishing Technique for the Little Squirts (DBZ episode 240)
Dub title: Revival
Originally aired 21st of September 1994
International Kai equivalent: Episode 129 - The Secret Plan to Defeat Boo — Its Name is Fusion! and episode 130 - A Faint Hope in Sight! Wake Up, Warriors!!
Japanese Kai equivalent: Episode 122 - The Secret Plan to Defeat Boo — Its Name is Fusion! and episode 123 - A Faint Hope in Sight! Wake Up, Warriors!!
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Hiroki Shibata
Animation supervisor: Yūji Hakamada
Goku suggests the merging technique Fusion, which he learned from the people of Planet Metamor. It is a technique where the power of the two who merge has to be equal, so they decide to teach it to Goten and Trunks! Meanwhile, back on the Earth’s surface, Bulma and the others call forth Shenlong. To use the Dragon Balls now would make them unable to revive all those who will be killed while Goten and Trunks are learning Fusion, so Goku returns to the Earth’s surface and returns the Dragon Balls to normal after they’ve revived everyone who died that day. He then takes Bulma and the others to God’s temple.
Anime-only/filler content: Boo enjoying a roller coaster before destroying it.
- At this point in time in the manga, Earth's armies are annihilated by Boo, Goten and Trunks perfect Fusion, Boo befriends, loses and revives Bee the dog, and Boo expels his evil before being turned into chocolate and eaten by it.
- Notably, when Boo repairs the hole pierced through him by Vegeta, he fixes the damage to his vest, cape tassels, belt and pants, suggesting that they're part of his physiology. The anime makes this a tad easier to animate by shrinking the size of the hole, so that it doesn't cut into his belt and pants.
- The big shockwave attack Buu uses is coincidentally the same move Vegeta tried to use towards the end of his first fight with Goku, only much larger (notably, Vegeta's version was weaker than he expected at the time). They're both the last ki-based attacks both characters use in their fights, both in similar-looking battlegrounds.
- Vegeta has the same arm broken as Gohan did in his fight against Cell: his left arm. Gohan got his broken by attempting to protect Vegeta.
- Finally, Boo is left hovering in the very large crater caused by his attack, which is visually similar to how the anime depicted Gohan after defeating Cell.
- Boo's wrapping attack is very similar to Giran's Merry-Go-Round Gum from the 21st Tournament, being a gummy substance that wraps around the target and immobolizes them, leaving them wide open for any further attacks. Giran's move is named after bubblegum, which is certainly a connotation one can draw to Boo's version given his pink and malleable form.
- Before he dies, Vegeta asks Piccolo if he'll be able to specifically see Goku in the afterlife, to which Piccolo says he won't, since he will be sent to hell where his soul will be cleansed and recycled. Vegeta was likely hoping to see Goku again for a rematch, but sacrifices himself anyway for the greater good rather than looking for an alternative way to Other World.
- This moment is somewhat undercut by the anime constantly contradicting this version of the afterlife. Eventually even the Super manga would go with the anime version of how hell works.
- And now, a comparison between the English translations of that scene:
- Vegeta grabs Boo's attention by insulting him, which is broadly the same tactic that played a part in Nappa's downfall.
- Kuririn is once again depicted floating in the air looking back at a colossal explosion in Vegeta's direction while in the presence of one of Goku's little boys, just as in the Saiyan Arc.
- The plane that the Dragon Team are flying in is the same one they used to get to the Tournament earlier in the arc.
- Recurring death tallies:
- River fish: 8
- Vegeta: 2
- Son Goku: 2
- Piccolo: 2
- Chaozu: 2
- The moon: 2
- Kuririn: 2
- Yamucha: 1
- Tenshinhan: 1
- Roshi: 1
- Bulma suddenly has a very uneasy feeling regarding Vegeta, echoing the reaction Goku had in the resteraunt the moment Kuririn was killed at the end of the 22nd Tournament in the anime.
- Once again Kuririn is put in the position of telling Chichi that one of her family members has been killed fighting the most recent villain.
- Piccolo forgets to vaporize Babidi before flying away to escape Boo, thus inadvertantly allowing for the manhunt on Goten and Trunks afterwards.
- Episode 239's filler of the Dragon Team going after the Dragon Balls is the final time in the core, manga-based anime that a search for them is depicted on-screen. Fittingly Bulma is involved, meaning that she is part of all the searches except for the one in the wait for the Cell Games. She is tied with Goku, who himself missed out on the search for the Namekian Dragon Balls.
- In the manga meanwhile, Kuririn only explains that Bulma already had the Dragon Balls, making that search exclusive to the anime. This is similar to the beginning of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, where she also has all the Dragon Balls in her possession beforehand.
- In addition to having his body healed, Goku's clothes are repaired as well, something Dende isn't usually capable of. It's possible that Piccolo was able to do it as he's known to generate clothes and other objects (as he did for Gohan twice in past), but being versed in magic it's possible Dende has since learned to do it himself as well.
- Despite having Super Saiyan 3 up his sleeve, Goku describes himself as being just as strong as Vegeta. He is likely thinking from the perspective of their base battle powers, not to mention Super Saiyan 3's impracticality due to its ki drain.
- Piccolo clarifies that Goku cannot return to the world of the living after his 24 hours, even fused with another being. This conveniently plugs up the possibility of Goku fusing with Gohan once he meets him in Other World, and thus may be a sign of Toriyama covering his bases for later on in the story.
- This does however show a bit of tardiness on Piccolo and Dende's part: Gohan is still alive, and if they had bothered to check in on Kaioshin, they would have discovered this and brought Gohan to the Lookout, allowing him to fuse with Goku and be more effective against Buu than Gotenks would have been.
- Piccolo seems to confirm that a living person fusing with a dead one is entirely possible, as he only objects to Goku returning to the world of the living while fused with Gohan, not the fusion itself.
- The summoning of Shen Long at Capsule Corp. means that it's only one of two locations in Dragon Ball history to host more than one of the Dragon Gods (and at the time, all of the known Dragon Gods). Amusingly the people of West City are still not used to it, as a panel shows a woman freaking out at his presence.
- The Lookout does briefly tie with Capsule Corp. thanks to Super Shen Long in GT, but later Black Smoke Shen Long breaks the tie in Capsule Corp.'s favour.
- Videl witnessing Shen Long is one of the few contradictions Z movie 13 has with the core storyline, because in that movie she reacts to Shen Long as if she's seeing him for the first time.
- After Goku fails to make it back to Capsule Corp. in time, Dende speaks to him telepathically. This means that Dende could have spoken to Bulma the same way to prevent the wish from being made instead of having Goku warp over to her.
- Dende tells Goku that with one wish made, they only have to wait four months for the Dragon Balls to return to their natural state. This is contradicted later in the manga when Goku says that Good Boo only needs to hide for three months until they can make the wish for everyone on Earth to forget about him. Granted, this could easily be handwaved by saying Goku simply forgot the precise amount of time.
- The use of the Dragon Balls at this point in time seemingly exposes a major contradiction in the story, because the characters talk about having three wishes to make. Back in the Cell Arc, Dende said that the newly restored Dragon Balls could revive multiple people in a single wish, but in that case the Dragon Balls would be reduced to two wishes.
- That said, KBABZ has always held this interpretation: Dende was speaking in the context of reviving everyone killed by Cell, which was a HUGE quantity of people: such an expense of energy would reduce the number of wishes Shen Long could grant afterwards. Meanwhile, restoring those killed by Vegeta is a much lower amount, thus Shen Long would still be able to grant the other two wishes.
- The wish made in Z episode 240 would give birth to the Seven-Star Evil Dragon in GT.