Takao Koyama-san handled the scenarios for the movies Dragon Ball Z through Dragon Fist Explosion!! That very Koyama-san cooperated with us to get at the secrets of the theatrical movies’ stories!!
With regards to the contents, there was the restriction that the movie “not progress into story settings further ahead than the TV anime at the time of its premiere”; for example, even if I’d decided to do fusion, I wouldn’t be allowed to do it ahead of the TV anime or the original manga.1 So I’d always be conscious of its state of progress on TV, and if we were doing the Freeza arc in the TV anime at the time of the premiere, a story would be born with the sense of, “Let’s bring out Freeza’s older brother!” Except, at times such as when the state of production on the TV anime caught up to the original work, it would be extremely tough with nothing to use as hints, and I received ideas directly from Toriyama-sensei.
It would take about three months’ time from the planning stage until the completion of a single movie’s scenario. Dragon Ball Z had two movies shown each year, in spring and summer, so that works out to me having been writing a theatrical movie scenario for over half a given year at the time. (laughs)
For The World’s Strongest Guy, it’s a series of specialties from Toriyama-sensei‘s home of Nagoya: from uirō, Nagoya Cochin, Kishimen, and fried prawns (ebi furai). Incidentally, I got the name of the Tsurumai-Tsuburi Mountains from Nagoya’s “Tsurumai Park”.
Tullece’s group is bean-type: Cacao, soy(a) (daizu), almond, raisin2, and peanut (rakkasei). If you link together the names of Slug’s squad, you get the Andromeda Galaxy (Andoromeda Seiun). (laughs) Apart from Zeiun, you take the first two characters, and Zeiun is from “nebula” (seiun).3 Also, Slug is English for “slug” (namekuji). The names for Namekians in the original work are slug-type, so I must have been conscious of that when I named him.
Coola from The Incredible Strongest vs. Strongest actually has his origins in Shizuoka dialect. At a time when I was worried because I couldn’t decide on the enemy’s name, the Shizuoka-born producer said the word for “eat” (taberu) in dialect as “kuu ra”, which settled the name. (laughs) Since he’s Freeza’s elder brother, I made his subordinates into a salad-dressing squad of things like Thousand Island and mayonnaise, on the theme of items that would go into a refrigerator. Bojack and his group from The Galaxy at the Brink!! form the four-character phrases “bōjaku-bujin“4 and “gokuaku-hidō“5 when they’re linked together. (laughs)
I would decide on a theme for movie character names like this, one film at a time, and endeavored to make the names as elaborate as possible. If the one sending it out doesn’t have any playfulness through things like this sort of naming, the “let’s-be-friends” beam won’t come out from the screen to reach the kids in the theater. (laughs)
This is true of Broli as well, but Goku & co. are always fighting against “an unbeatable foe”. Goku must win against such an enemy, so he has no choice but to defeat him when his enemy becomes overconfident and creates an opening. There’s absolutely no way he’d be able to win against someone like Broli if he used more orthodox methods.7 (laughs)
Also, I think Chi-Chi’s even more of an “education mama” than she was in the original comic. That was a reflection of the “education mama” and “entrance-exams-are-everything” zeitgeist at the time the movie opened; I thought kids at the time would feel better if they heard Goku’s message of, “It’s fine as long as he’s healthy, ain’t it?”. Because the kids who came to see the movie might have had a home environment similar to Gohan’s. (laughs)
Also, with just the two kids, Goten and Trunks, they’d almost certainly be goofing off the whole time, and the story wouldn’t go anywhere. (laughs) So, by adding Videl, who is like a sister to the pair, I got her to pull the story forward. Plus, it was nice how, thanks to Videl having Satan as a father, it was easy for me to use him as I pleased. Satan, whose bad luck seems unusually strong, was a character I prized for his ease-of-use in developing the story.
Even so, there would probably be people who wanted to see Goku on the screen. So, in the spirit of fan service, I’d make just a single shot of a scene in the afterlife. Like the last shot in The Galaxy at the Brink!!8 (laughs)
But I believe that, to the same extent, I was really able to depict an image of the everyday Vegeta. The scene where Vegeta, who once went around causing destruction, tells off his foe with, “How dare you destroy someone else’s house?!” shows an unexpected side of him. (laughs)