Monthly Archives: November 2015

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection of F [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: The F stands for “Frieza”

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Synopsis: vs. Shiny Statuette

Pros: Resurrection of F is the second cinematic entry into the, I guess you would call it “relaunch,” of the Dragon Ball Z franchise. This one deals with a resurrected Frieza in a new, more powerful form. I liked how the film treated Frieza. In most of his post-death iterations, Frieza has been treated as something of a joke, but in this one, even Goku treated him as a threat. This version of Frieza, while as pompous and evil as ever, seems to have gained a little respect for Z fighters. You also get a cool little battle sequence between the Z fighters and Frieza’s army. You know, I always did kinda wonder what ever happened to Frieza’s Empire after he and his father died. But it’s still big enough to have a standing army. On that note, I loved that the movie kept the continuity alive by referencing that Frieza’s death was actually at the hands of Trunks, not Goku. Frieza just can’t find Trunks, cause time travel, so he goes for Goku instead. I also loved the fact that one of the movie’s plot points was Goku’s, and a lot of his friend’s, bad habit of going easy of bad guys to get a good fight out of them, which has been a common logic argument among fans. Pretty solid overall.

Cons: I do feel that reusing a classic villain like this diminishes his appeal a little. I’m also a little iffy with the idea that Frieza could catch up to Goku so quickly because he actually trained for the first time in his life. That’s a little fan-fictiony to me. Also, where’s Majin Buu? They mention him, but he never shows up. Another thing, in the movie, Gohan gets punked by Frieza to show how strong he’s become, but earlier it’s said that Gohan hasn’t been training and may only be able to enter Super Saiyan. So which is it? Is Frieza stronger or is Gohan just weaker? I guess it’s both at this point.

Top 10 DBZ Film?: Yes

Villain: Golden Frieza

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He chose that color to show off

Best Moment: Android 18 calling Krillin “Cool” (I just find that very cute)

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Assassination Classroom

Type: No one dies today

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Synopsis: Despite the name, no actual assassination takes place. The gist is that a weird yellow tentacles monster threatens to destroy the world in six months. But being a sporting man, he gives the planet a chance if he is allowed to teach a group of middle school losers how to kill him/pass their algebra tests. Surprisingly, he becomes the best teacher the kids ever had, even though their ultimate goal is to kill him and collect the bounty on his head. Ah, middle school…

Pros: The premise of the story is pretty great. A story about a classroom full of middle school aged assassins is brilliant! Their target, Koro-Sensei (a play on the Japanese word for unkillable), is no slouch either. Much of the humor comes from his overwhelming speed and weird abilities and pop-up every know and then. His ability to multitask is truly something to behold. The best parts are when he is able to incorporate his freaky abilities into his teaching. It was also fun when the students noted Koro-Sensei’s weird habits in an attempt to kill him. The best part of the story is when it highlights the premise of the story itself.

Cons: The main premise is great, but it unfortunately gets bogged down by unnecessary detail and plot elements. First off is the inclusion of two other teachers, Karasuma and Irina, who don’t really do much other than give Kuro-Sensei other adults to bounce comments off. Their also the inclusion of “mysterious” antagonists that hint at Kuro-Sensei’s past, but again, they were unnecessary. The anime is better when it just focused on Kuro-Sensei and 3-E’s relationship with each other and the school at large. Since this anime is about a teacher and student, you will get sugar coated messaged about believing in students and helping them grow, which sadly makes the show mildly generic. Its like Stand and Deliver, but with killing. Speaking of which, the show doesn’t really have a “main character,” as it were. The character Nagisa acts more like a narrator than lead, and the only other characters that get as much attention are Ritsu and Terasaka. The show is an ensemble, meaning that many of the students get superficial spotlights.

Watch it?: Yeah, but feel free to skip parts you don’t like (3/5)

MVP: Kuro-Sensei

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Tentacle monster, the true hero of Anime

Best Episode: Ep.1 “Assassination Time” (Let’s Kill Teacher!)

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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: A new one

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Synopsis: vs. a Cat

Pros: Battle of the Gods is the first new Dragon Ball Z movie in about a decade. It’s also a continuation of the original story, co-created by the original author himself. It’s set about 4 years after the Buu Saga, and deal with the God of Destruction coming to Earth to look for a “Super Saiyan God.” The God, Beerus, isn’t actually evil. He’s just a little impatient. The film does a great job at treating him like the BIGGEST fighter the franchise has ever introduced, even making the Dragon Shenron nervous. Goku couldn’t even touch him without energy from his friends, something that actually ticked him off. Goku laments that fact that with Beerus, there exists a power level he has no hopes of achieving by himself, which hurts his pride as a fighter. It’s a nice character moment from someone with a reputation for being goofy. After so many years, I’m happy to see that the Dragon Ball Z characters are still enjoyable to watch. I’m not sure how many of the original voice cast returned, but everyone sounded enough like themselves to give me that sweet nolstalgic feeling. Vegeta also shines in this, as his comical attempts to keep Beerus calm when he comes to Earth made me smile. Plus, he’s the first person to actually hurt Beerus. Even Goku couldn’t do that in his SS3 form!

Cons: I’ll admit, when I first saw Beerus, I thought that the Dragon Ball Z franchise had officially run out of ideas. But it turns out he’s a great character. In classic Dragon Ball Z form, the story takes some of the wind from the sails of the fans by suggesting that the universe is full of even more powerful characters than Goku. Even the mighty Super Saiyan 3 is no match for Beerus. The same thing happened for Super Saiyan 1 during the Android arc. I don’t mind, but I get the feeling some fans resent this trend.

Top 10 DBZ films?: Yes

Villain: Beerus

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His name means “Beer” (though it originally suppose to mean Virus)

Best Moment: Vegeta trying to keep Beerus calm in a Sitcom-like fashion (all we needed was a laugh track).

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Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: What if?

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Synopsis: Days of Future Past

Pros: I would say that this special is the best Dragon Ball Z story in the franchise. And I’d hazard to guess that most fans wouldn’t disagree. Using the predictably popular “darkest timeline” troupe, this special explores a scenerio where Goku died prematurely, the Z fighters were all killed, and the world is at the mercy of two evil Android. The only heroes left are the a young Trunks and battle harded Gohan. This special had the first, and arguably best, iteration of an adult Gohan. Though nowhere near his power potential, the Gohan here is basically a more serious version of his father. A good soul, but a bit more focused. The interactions and friendship between Gohan and Trunks were great, with a very Batman-Robin vibe (Dick Grayson-Damion Wayne). The androids are presented perfectly as two simply uncaring forces. Literally two teenagers with too much power and no empathy. There’s no winning in this movie, only surviving. Each of the fights in the movie mean something, with the last fight in particular being notably heartbreaking. All in all, and excellent story of loss, struggle, and sacrifice.

Cons: I prepared this time. For one, time travel. Always an iffy solution to a problem. Second, I’ve always wondered why Bulma, a mechanical genius, never figured out a way to either deactivate the Androids, or simply make her own good Androids. She can make a time machine, but can’t make an Anti-Terminator. And sadly, some fans have always resented the fact that Teen Gohan never reached the badass levels of Future Gohan. He’s sorta like John Connor this that respect.

Top 10 DBZ Films?: Yes

Hero: Future Tunks

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The Last Saiyan

Best Moment: Gohan literally fighting the Androids single-handely (and holding his own for a while!)

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Dragon Ball Z: Bardock- The Father of Goku [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: Prequel

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Synopsis: The Last Days of Krypton

Pros: O.k, so this is technically a “Special,” not a movie, but whatever. Bardock-The Father of Goku, coupled with The History of Trunks, are probably the two best Dragon Ball Z stories ever produced. This one tells that tale of Bardock, Goku’s Father (duh) right before the destruction of the Saiyan race. Bardock is just an army grunt who is given vision of the Saiyan Genocide, as well as his son’s future. He tries to make sense of these visions before decided to rebel against Frieza, his lord and executioner. Bardock is who carries this film, as the plot largely revolves around his exploits. He’s a typical Saiyan: violent, arrogant, aggressive, but not to the supervillainess extent that future Saiyan’s are depicted as. We know he can’t change his fate, but we’re fascinated to see his response.

Cons: Umm, huh. Ah….oh! At the start there’s this female Saiyan named Fushia who people theorized was Goku’s mom for years. I guess that’s something.

Top 10 DBZ Movies?: Yes.

Hero: Bardock

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Went out like a Boss

Best Moment: Bardock taking on Frieza and his army all by himself. (and dying, of course)

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Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: The Origin of Trunk’s sword somehow

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Synopsis: vs Kaiju

Pros: The film is basically the Z Fighters vs. a Kaiju. Which is a pretty cool concept. Two classic Japanese troupes meeting up against each other. I was surprisingly into the Saiyaman and Saiyawoman segments. I would love a side-series just staring Gohan and Videl trying to be comedic superheroes. The last fight is pretty good, thanks mostly to the size differences between the Z Fighters and Kaiju. And their is a story involved in this one. It’s not amazing, but it’s there.

Cons: “It’s not amazing, but it’s there” is a pretty good summary of this movie. The villain is alright, the plot is alright, the new character introduced is involved. I remember using Tapion a lot in Budakia Tenkaichi 3. But nothing really shines (again, except for the great Saiyaman and Saiyawoman parts). This film is also implying that Trunks got his trademark sword from Tapion, witch makes no sense canotically.

Top 10 DBZ movies?: yes.

Villain: Hirudegarn

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Is he the dragon?

Best Moment: Saiyaman and Saiywoman! (look at these nerds, they’re so cute!)

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Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: Gogita!

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Synopsis: vs. the Devil

Pros: Fusion Reborn is a pretty great movie. But it’s unique among the DBZ films in that the antagonist is actually the least interesting part. In this movie, the big villain is this super demon that doesn’t really talk. At first, Goku treats him like a fun diversion, but even he can’t beat him at SS3. So the emotional crux of the film comes when Vegeta arrives, and has to be convinced to Fuse with Goku. You see, at this point in the story, Vegeta has already sacrificed himself to save his son. He was no longer a arrogant/selfish person, so it was very interesting to see how a more mature Vegeta behaved. A lot like The Return of Cooler, it’s Vegeta and Goku’s interactions that steal the film (well, aside from Gotenks and Trunks fighting zombie Hitler).

Cons: As mentioned above, the villain is totally forgettable. In fact, I don’t even remember his name. It was J-something, I think. Timeline wise, this film is very confusing. It clearly takes place during the Buu arc, but I’m not quiet sure when. This may be one of those between episodes deals. And I wish Gogeta had more screen time. Even Vegito got three episodes.

Top 10 DBZ movies?: Yes

Villain: Janemba

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I had to look his name up!

Best Moment: Goku explaining the Fusion Dance to Vegeta (it’s like water ballet)

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Sankarea: Undying Love

Type: Necrophelia!

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Synopsis: A young heiress named Rea has an incredibly overprotective and pervy father who tries to control every aspect of her life “for her own good. So first opportunity she gets, Rea offs herself with a potion made the town’s resident zombie freak. Turns out the potion was legit, and Rea become part of the walking dead, and puts herself under the care of an incredibly overprotective and pervy boy who tries to control every aspect of her undead life “for her own good.” They say women fall for men who remind them of their fathers (unless they listen to their mothers), but this is ridiculous.

Pros: So yeah, Chichiro totally wants to bang a dead chick. To each his own I suppose. The anime is pretty straight forward. A zombie fan named Chichiro makes friends with a pretty rich girl named Rea, and accidentally turns her into a zombie. She moves in with him, and he needs to figure out how to keep her from rotting away. The twist is that Rea is much happier and more alive as a zombie than she was as a human, because her father was overprotective and harbored unsettling emotions towards her. The anime has a mix of psudo-psychological drama with typical anime comedy and fan service. The drama comes from Rea’s side, and the comedy comes from Chichiro’s side. Chichiro has a pervy grampa, a dead pan sister, and a curvy childhood friend named Ranko. They provide most of the laughs, and Rea and Ranko provide the fan service. You wouldn’t think a show about a dead girl would have this much fan service, yet here we are. Chichiro himself is pretty funny, since he looks and sometimes acts like a cat, meaning he’s more of a tease than your regular anime protagonists. Seriously, everything on Chichiro’s side is awesome. Great love-comedy stuff. Everything about Rea’s family is icky.

Cons: Rea’s dad is creepy as f!@#!!! Ew, ew, ew, ew. That what gets the anime going in the first place! Rea is so skeezed out by her dad, that she decides to kill herself. Talk about problems. Because of this, the anime covers the extremes of dark psychology and silly humor. So one scene may show Rea’s dad taking naked pictures of his daughter, and the next will show Ranko rubbing her chest all over Chichiro’s face. The show is about 30% the former, and 70% the latter. Speaking of which, I am still surprise at the amount of fan service in this. Not offended or anything, just surprised. It’s also worth mentioning that Rea basically traded one freak for another, as Chichiro is often worried about Rea’s health and whether or not she will decompose, and he does at one point start recording her on a daily basis. Does no one see the irony in this! Though, in Chichiro’s defense, he does at one point say that Rea’s fate is hers to decide, not his or her fathers. The anime implies as second season that will deal with Rea’s decomposing mind and becoming a flesh eater, but we’ll have to see if anything comes of it.

Watch it?: Just skip the yucky Rea’s dad parts (4/5)

MVP: Ranko

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Weird crushes on your cousin aside, she was still pretty fun

Best Episode: Ep.6 “Because… I Met You” (zombie meets family)

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Dragon Ball Z: Bio Broly [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: From Best to Worst

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Synopsis: vs. Broly’s Symbolic Status in the Franchise

Pros: I kid, I kid, Broly’s great. But at this point, the writers did not know what to do with him. So they had Trunk and Goteks fight him. I’ve heard rumors that at this point, Goteks was suppose to be the new protagonist of the franchise, so this might have been an attempt to push him and little Trunks. In this movie, a rich guy pays a bunch of scientists to recreate Broly, and fails miserably, leaving some sort of slug monsters instead. Mr. Satan (Hercule) is in this one, and provides a lot of solid jokes. Android 18 also picks up the slack, being super cool. I think I could have just watched the Android 18 adventures instead of this.

Cons: Bio Broly. What the hell was that!? And making little Trunks and Goteks the leads? That was a bad idea. Hercule and Android 18 were fun, and almost enough to carry the film, but not quiet. Unlike other movies, this doesn’t end with a big fight, and instead ends with Bio-slime threatening to take over the world. Until it’s discovered that that Bio Slime becomes harmless when expose to salt water, you know, that stuff that covers 70% OF THE EARTH. The film even has the audacity of ending with Goku being told that Broly is cause havok in Hell and it’s up to him to stop it. DON’T END A CRAP MOVIE WITH A COOL NON-SEQUEL.

Top 10 DBZ Movies: No

Villain: Bio-Broly

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Got Slimed

Best Moment: Android 18 (She’s such a bad-ass)

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Dragon Ball Z: Broly-Second Coming [DBZ Movie Month]

Type: Ghost Goku!

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Synopsis: vs. Everyone’s Fan Art, Again

Pros: So this movie was clearly just another excuse to use Broly again, most likely because he proved to be more popular. It’s set during the Buu Saga, so he get a Teenage Gohan, his girlfriend Videl, his little brother Goteks, and little Trunks. Now, I do like Teenage Gohan and Videl, with Videl getting most of the story and even getting a few hits in on Broly. Videl’s pretty cool, and more should have been done with her (like, in the entire Franchise). I like the match-up between Gohan and Broly, since both characters are described as having unlimited potential. I just wish that Gohan had beaten him without his dad’s help.

Cons: Once again, we get a story where the bad guy cannot be defeated without Goku’s help! Even if Goku is dead!! This leaves Gohan, once again, as the ultimate unfufilled promise. We get all these references of this kid supposedly being incredibly powerful, but when it comes down to it, he’s still behind Goku. That just really irks me. Most of the story involves Videl, Trunk’s, and Gotek’s search for the Dragon Balls. And if you don’t like bratty kids who literally pee on your favorite bad guy, you might want to steer clear. I mean, I thought it was funny, but fans of Broly might see it as very symbolic on what the writers think of him.

Top 10 DBZ Movies?: No

Villain: Broly

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In it for the paycheck

Best Moment: Trunk’s peeing on Broly (the more I think about it, the funnier it is)

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