Hello, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone between and beyond, and welcome to week 91 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.
I misread my spreadsheet last week. DBZ movie 12 is two weeks from now. I'll give you a moment to recover from the disappointment of this revelation.
Okay, let's move on.
Previous thread: Week 90 (DBZ 236-240)
Next thread: Week 92 (DBZ 246-250)
Anyway, without further ado...
Episode 394 - Goten and Trunks — The World’s Most Wanted (DBZ episode 241)
Dub title: Global Announcement
Originally aired 28th of September 1994
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Mitsuo Hashimoto
Animation supervisor: Shingo Ishikawa
Having been resurrected through the power of the Dragon Balls, Kibito saves the injured Kaiōshin. The two find the gravely injured Gohan, and take him to the Kaiōshin Realm. Meanwhile at God’s temple, Bulma and the others are shocked when they learn of Vegeta and Gohan’s deaths. At that point, Babidi sends a message to all of humanity. He says that he is making Piccolo, Goten, and Trunks wanted criminals. As a threat, Babidi has Boo turn the inhabitants of a city into candy and then eat them.
Anime-only/filler content: Boo terrorising another city, the entire scene with Karin.
Episode 395 - Gohan is Revived — Kaiōshin’s Secret Weapon?! (DBZ episode 242)
Dub title: Learn to Fuse!
Originally aired 12th of October 1994
Written by: Takao Koyama
Episode director: Kazuhito Kikuchi
Animation supervisor: Tadayoshi Yamamuro
Babidi’s message sends people into a great panic. Meanwhile, having come to the Kaiōshin Realm, Gohan is revived by Kibito! He is asked by Kaiōshin to try and pull out the legendary Z Sword, which sticks out of a craggy mountain. Gohan challenges this sword, which a countless number of Kaiōshin have failed to pull out! Elsewhere, at God’s temple, Goten and Trunks wake up, having previously been knocked unconscious by Vegeta. The two learn of Gohan and Vegeta’s deaths, and resolve to defeat Boo.
Anime-only/filler content: Goten and Trunks waking up in the unfamiliar setting of the lookout, eating, fighting Mr. Popo, and then Goku stepping in to put an end to such an inane filler plotline.
Episode 396 - It Came Ou~t!! The Legendary Z Sword (DBZ episode 243)
Dub title: The Z Sword
Originally aired 19th of October 1994
Written by: Masashi Kubota
Episode director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Animation supervisor: Masayuki Uchiyama
Bulma and the others at God’s temple are immersed in sadness. Among them, only Videl believes that Gohan is still alive. In the Kaiōshin Realm, Gohan is struggling to pull out the Z Sword, but it won’t even budge. Gohan turns into a Super Saiyan and tries again, finally pulling it out!! But the sword is very heavy, and Gohan can’t manage to even swing it around… Meanwhile at God’s temple, Goten and Trunks resolve to learn Fusion after watching Babidi and Boo destroy another city.
Anime-only/filler content: The gang mourning Gohan's death, Videl refusing to believe he's gone, Mr.Satan trying (and failling) to fly.
Episode 397 - West City is Targeted! Stop, Majin Boo!! (DBZ episode 244)
Dub title: Race to Capsule Corp.
Originally aired 2nd of November 1994
Written by: Reiko Yoshida (filler scenarios devised by Takao Koyama)
Episode director: Jun’ichi Fujise
Animation supervisor: Yukio Ebisawa
Goten and Trunks begin their training for mastering Fusion. A telepathic message then comes from Bobbidi, saying that he has discovered Trunks’ house. Inside his house is the Dragon Radar, essential to finding the Dragon Balls! As Trunks goes to his house to search for the Dragon Radar, Goku teleports to where Boo is in order to stall for time. There in front of Boo, Goku surpasses the limits of Super Saiyan, and saying that he will surpass even this, he begins screaming…!!
Anime-only/filler content: Bulma watching some of Goten and Trunks's training, Kuririn directing her away, Mr. Satan announcing his plans to defeat Boo, Boo going on a rampage before the Karen mother tells Babidi where Goten and Trunks live.
Episode 398 - An Astounding, Great Transformation!! Super Saiyan 3 (DBZ episode 245)
Dub title: Super Saiyan 3?!
Originally aired 9th of November 1994
Written by: Hiroshi Toda
Episode director: Mitsuo Hashimoto
Animation supervisor: Ichio Hayashi
Sensing Goku’s stupendous ki, Trunks unthinkingly stops in place. Goku realizes this and makes Trunks hurry along, then returns to his normal form in order to buy time. He then displays in turn Super Saiyan, the form that surpasses Super Saiyan, and then transforms into Super Saiyan 3, the form that surpasses even that!! Meanwhile, Trunks arrives at his house and begins searching for the Dragon Radar. Goku attacks Boo, and an even battle unfolds.
Anime-only/filler content: Extensions to Goku's Super Saiyan 3 transformation, more of Trunks desperately searching for the radar.
- At this point in time in the manga, Piccolo tells Trunks and Goten to enter the Room of Spirit and Time as he stalls Boo, Gotenks fights Boo in the Room, Gotenks fights Boo for real for the first time using his kamikaze ghost, and Piccolo destroys the entrance to the Room only for Boo to shout a new one.
- Missed Trivia: Frieza is thus far the only character whose physical form changes when he powers up to 100% power despite already being in his final form.
- DBZ episode 241 turns 27 years old tomorrow.
- When Kibito is brought back to life, he returns with his body despite it being decimated by Dabra. In the past this was a more complicated matter: Kuririn, Roshi and Chaozu's bodies were kept in pods to preserve them until they could be resurrected by Shen Long. Presumably this has changed with Dende's restored Dragon Balls.
- Kibito displays the ability to freely teleport to the World of the Kaios. Conveniently he was dead until Kaioshin was about to reach Gohan.
- In another spot of tardiness, neither Kibito nor Kaioshin think to stop by Dende's Lookout to at least check on how everyone else is doing. If they had, Goku could have taught his son how to fuse as well, and thus Boo would have had to fight both Gotenks and "Gohanku". Instead they forget/ignore them, meaning none of them are aware of Gohan not being dead and act without him. They don't even think of speaking to them telepathically, which is something Kaio is able to do.
- In the establishing shot of the Lookout, Toriyama has forgotten to draw in the Nyoi-bo that connects it to Karin's Tower. This omission would become regular for practically all future depictions of the Lookout in the manga.
- This is the second time Chichi has fainted at the news that her close family member is dead, with Gyuumao attempting to console his daughter.
- Karin has also joined the Dragon Team up on the Lookout, which suggests that it's safer than his Tower. Amusingly, in the panels of everyone closing their eyes to see Babidi's vision, he doesn't have to be drawn any differently (similar to Roshi thanks to his shades)!
- In the ViZ translation of the manga, after Babidi explodes the head of the Tournament official who doesn't know where Goten, Trunks and Piccolo are, his response is "No more crank calls!". In America the term "crank call" started as a mondegreen of "prank call" that later became a second way to refer to prank calls.
- Kaioshin tells Kibito to "give Gohan energy", which succeeds in healing him. This is somewhat of a contradiction as past instances of healing aren't simply giving someone more energy. For example, Goku's body was not healed when he gathered ki into his body for the Genki-Dama while fighting Vegeta, and neither was Krillin's when Goku transferred it to him.
- The Z Sword is the first time the letter Z is used in a similar fashion to "Dragon Ball Z" as part of a title within the story itself, and it's possibly why the ViZ translation of the manga obscured the connection by calling it the Zeta Sword. It's possible that Toriyama called it this for similar reasons as Dragon Ball Z: it's the sword that (the characters think) will end Boo, thus it's named after the last letter of the alphabet.
- Gohan's task is to pull the Z Sword out of the rock. It has apparently never occured to anyone in hundreds of thousands of years to simply destroy the rock.
- Gohan lampshades the Z Sword's inspiration of Excalibur as the sword in the stone, by remarking that he's heard of this situation before.
- Gohan pulling out the Z Sword is the final time he goes Super Saiyan in the manga, ironically in the act that will lead to its redundancy. This is of course because Old Kai would give him the Mystical boost, which effectively obsoletes/replaces Super Saiyan 1 and 2 (for example in DBZ Movie 13, Goku and Goten go Super Saiyan while Gohan uses Mystical). Gohan would use Super Saiyan later in GT Episode 26, and in Super he uses it because of not training in a long time. Due to GT's contentious place in Dragon Ball canon, fans have long argued over whether Mystical is used for its superiority to Super Saiyan (similar to Super Saiyan usurping Kaio-Ken), or if it meant that Gohan literally couldn't use those forms anymore.
- Goku shoots down Piccolo's idea to use the Room of Spirit and Time, since people can only use it twice in their lifetimes. This is somewhat wasteful: it takes quite a while to learn Fusion and the time spent there could have been used to discipline Gotenks' behaviour so that he's more efficient and less of a show-off. However it must be noted that Goku has already used the Room twice: once in the Cell Arc, and another unseen instance while training with God to train for Majunior.
- That said, if you really can only enter the Room of Spirit and Time twice in your life (no matter how long each session is), that could have been disastrous, since Gotenks would have almost certainly exited it face Boo after successfully fusing for the first time, therefore wasting his first session by getting his ass handed to him and having to go in a second time. If that's true, then Goku is absolutely in the right, since it of course comes in very handy when Piccolo stalls Boo later in the story.
- Goku's big gambit relies upon teaching Gohan and Trunks a single special move. Later it will blow up in everyone's faces, and Boo is ultimately defeated without it, or any particular special move being solely responsible. This harkens back to Roshi's advice in the 21st Tournament Arc where he chastises Goku and Kuririn for expecting to be taught special moves that will make them win, instead focusing on the fundamentals (although whether this is intentional or not is certainly up for debate).
- Goten and Trunks' skepticism in Goku's abilities is actually well-founded: up until this point, they have not seen Goku actually fight, and his one big fight, against Vegeta, resulted in a loss.
- In the anime, a filler scene is added where the Karen mother from the Tournament tells Babidi who Trunks and Goten are and where they live, explaining how Babidi knows about it.
- Interestingly, Goten is credited as living in West City, when the exact location of Goku's second house has never actually been confirmed, but assumed to not be in the vicinity of West City.
- Toriyama uses a classic editing trick to not draw a whole city turned into candy a second time. After Boo fires the candy beam, we cut to Trunks and Goten's reactions, and then back to Boo eating a bar of chocolate.
- The bar of chocolate Boo eats is the first time he's turned people not just into candy, but the candy's packaging! This trait would become one of the defining characteristics of Android 21 from Dragon Ball FighterZ, who turns people into savoury desserts complete with the cupcake wrapping.
- In the ViZ translation of the manga, when Goten and Trunks talk to Babidi, his name is mis-spelt as "Bobbido". Given that this is Goten and Trunks however (who called Boo a literal genie rather than a djin), this is likely intentional. Then again, the letters I and O are right next to each other on an English keyboard.
- As revealed in a later interview, Toriyama stated that it actually is possible to use the Fusion Dance with disparate battle powers, but doing so makes the process much more difficult. Because Goten and Trunks are children who are just learning it under severe time pressure, it makes sense that Goku would omit this detail, especially given how easy it is to correct it.
- That the Dragon Radar uses special parts only accentuates the talent of Turbo building one from the materials of a biplane sitting around in Penguin Village. Unfortunately, only Goku knows that the original radar was stolen by General Blue and then replicated by Turbo, and Goku has almost certainly forgotten about this himself, thus explaining why nobody suggests going to Penguin Village instead of West City.
- It also apparently never occurred to Bulma to get the Dragon Rador before going to the Lookout, which would have given Goku more time to train Goten and Trunks himself (not to mention delaying when the Z Sword breaks and releases Old Kaioshin, and thus when Gohan gets the Mystical upgrade).
- While we're unsure of Japanese version of the line, in the ViZ translation, when Goku yells at Trunks to go get the Radar, Trunks responds "Y-yes sir!". The use of a more honorific term to Goku shows that Trunks now respects him, in stark contrast to the earlier scene.
- Goku referring to the level above Super Saiyan as "Super Saiyan 2" is the first time the form has actually been called that name. This is reflected in how Goku refers to them earlier in the scene: "Super Saiyan, past Super Saiyan, and beyond that" ("beyond Super Saiyan" was how the characters referred to Super Saiyan 2 before this point in the ViZ manga).
- The Funimation English dub of Z episode 245 features Goku explaining he can go "Super Saiyan". Boo repeats this back to him as "Super... Saiya... Jin?", making it the first time a Funimation character has said the name the original Japanese way.
- When Goku goes to Super Saiyan 2, Babidi says he couldn't even tell the difference. This is possibly a commentary on how similar the two forms actually are (especially in regards to Vegeta). In fact they're so similar that for a while Toriyama thought that Super Saiyan 3 was Super Saiyan 2!
- The panel of Tenshinhan and Chaozu reacting to the Earth rumbling is the first time they've been seen since Ten departed at the end of the Cell Arc. Between that and Kuririn referencing that they don't know where Ten is no less than three separate times, it's likely that Toriyama intended to re-introduce him for the longest time.
- In the anime version of this scene, there's a shot of Goku metaphorically turning into a Great Ape and receding into the fetal position. During this shot there's a frame where he's half-covered in fur with longer hair than normal, which co-incidentally looks a lot like what Super Saiyan 4 would look like GT!
- Goku spends a total of 3 minutes and 35 seconds transforming into a Super Saiyan 3 in the original anime.
- It's time for Robo to wax lyrical about the Ocean dub again. Here's the very underrated Ocean version of this transformation sequence. Kirby Morrow didn't quite have Sean Schemmel's lungs for screaming in the first couple of minutes, but I always liked how (especially in the last two minutes of the video) it really sounds like he's in serious pain, and what he's doing is really, really bad for him. It's an interesting aspect of the performance that I personally miss in other versions of the scene.
- Both Sean Schemmel and Kirby Morrow performed Goku in this form with a surprisingly calmer and lower-pitched voice than normal. Neither would have heard the other's performance, so no one was copying anybody, they presumably both just happened upon the same acting choice here.
- One of the more striking design features of Super Saiyan 3 is the more pronounced brow, with no eyebrow hair at all. This caveman-like appearance is somewhat appropriate for a race who have been compared to monkeys.
- There have been many jokes made over what would happen to Raditz's hair if he were to go Super Saiyan 3, similar to what would happen to Nappa if he just went Super Saiyan at all.
- Gohan sensing Goku's ki is the first time someone has been strong enough for it to be felt in Other World.