Tag Archives: Dragon Ball Z

DBZ Abridged

Type: It was the hype!!

Synopsis: It was hilarious, and we will all quote everything it said.

Pros: Dragon Ball Z: Abridged is probably the best anime abridged series in the history of the medium. It’s certainly the standard bearer. I say this with no hyperbole. For over 10 years, Team Four Star created one of the funniest, silliest, and weirdly emotionally resonant parodies on the internet. I think that a part of being a fan is secretly wishing to add to your fandom, at least a little. Team Four Star lived out that dream. Not only did they get to play around with the Dragon Ball Z characters, they made one of the best entries in the franchise. This may sound odd, but I would argue that DBZ: Abridged is the best way to ingest Dragon Ball after the original airing. DBZ: Abridged acts as a loving reflection of all the horribly funny inconsistencies in the greatest shonen story of all time. How many of us witnessed the Saiyan, Freeza, and Cell Saga and thought: Ya know, Goku is kinda a bad father, Piccolo is much better…I wonder what the human Z-fighters think about all these Super Saiyans running around…Now that I think about it, PoPo probably is some sort of Eldritch horror. But in all seriousness, I think that DBZ’s greatest legacy is that for a group of fans, myself included, it kept the Dragon Ball flame lit during some very dark times. It was a 10 years gap between Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. This show started in 2008. The abridged series made me fall in love with Dragon Ball Z again, and got me excited for new entries like Dragon Ball Super and DBZ Fighters. I guess it’s a little poetic that DBZ abridged is ending right as Dragon Ball got another resurgence. After reigniting passions for the franchise, making it’s own mark on the industry, and even creating it’s own lore, it was time to move on. Team Four Star made us laugh and care about Dragon Ball again, and they did it there way.

Cons: After reading all that, you might be wondering: What the hell is Dragon Ball Z Abridged? To which I say: You go some attitude mister. DBZ: Abridged was an online video parody series about the story and characters of Dragon Ball Z. The show covers every episode and plot-line from the original show in a condensed, often satirical version. Everything is more or less the same, just bent or twisted for comedic effect. For example, in the show Guru of Namek is still the ruler of the Namekians, but he’s also an asshole and war criminal. Piccolo is still a stoic warrior, but also a bit of a tsundere. Some characters veer off their beaten track, and others go way off. Looking at you Mr. Popo. Despite my love and gratitude of this show, it’s not perfect in any way. The early episodes are rough, and the joke very in quality. There are some very lazy dick and drug jokes. I would say that this show, on average, is about at a mid-2000’s Adult Swim level of comedy. It’s stupid funny. That could be a compliment or an insult, depending on the episode.

Watch it: A must for DBZ fans! (5/5)

MVP: Team Four Star

Now they can live their own lives, and make their own futures.

Best Episode: Ep. 60, Part 1-3 (They were perfect).

 

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Overlord

Type: A horrible nightmare for some, an opportunity for others.

Synopsis: A complete nerd that spent 12 YEARS on an online MMORPG has to sadly say good-bye to his friends as the servers are being shut down. As he closes his eyes to feel the sweet relief of digital death, he discovers the he is now stuck in the game. The game where’s he’s an over-leveled sorcerer, and commands other over-leveled characters, some of whom are hot babes that want to literally jump his bones (he’s a skeleton). Man, if I wasn’t such a huge nerd in other areas, I’d give MMORPG’s a try. According to anime, there’s no downside!

Pros: So this is an Isekai series…sit down DAMMIT! Or I’ll never give you the launch codes! Anyway, this one’s gimmick is that the character is stuck in a non-human body and is in charge of a crew of boss tier NPCs. Since the main character, Momonga, is the only player character still in the original game, the story takes him to another country. Kinda like an expansion pack map (or DLC for you kids out there). The two main plots are Momonga slowly gaining influence in the new country, while also trying to discover if any of his friends are also in the game. What I liked about this Isekai show is that Momonga is stuck in his player avatar, which is a huge skeleton, and how he basically starts to become his character, like become more indifferent towards other humans, and how something or someone is preventing him from losing his temper. And since he’s a character that’s been leveled up over 12 years, it makes sense that he’s so overpowered. Plus, Momonga’s tendency to reminisce about his past friends gives his characters an extra layer of sympathy.

Cons: Momonga’s general’s aren’t anything to write home about. They’re basically a mix of different troupes that, in fairness, seem like a group made by a bunch of MMO junkies. Even Albedo, the poster girl, isn’t that deep. Just your basic devoted demon. The best part of the anime are the first 1-4, which serve as an introduction to the series and help flesh out Momonga’s character. Episode 5-13 sadly move away from Momonga’s palace and deal with a local adventurer’s guild and church baddies. It ends with a battle against one of his generals (who’ve been brainwashed). Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Literally. And obviously, any fight involving Momonga has no stakes because you know that he’ll win, but sometimes having a show like isn’t a bad thing.

Watch it?: Depends on your tastes. (3/5)

MVP: Momonga

All hail the overlord!

Best Episode: Ep. 4 “Ruler of Death” (battle!)

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Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Type: HD Remake

Synopsis: A long time ago, the author of a popular fighting manga made fun of super buff/macho characters to take the wind out of his fanbase. Years later, that same author decides to take on that same character archetype to pad out his retirement fund. The result? A pretty good interpretation all things considered.

Pros: Let’s address the Elephant in the room. Yes, Broly has been a fan favorite ever since his inception. He’s been in every non-anime release for Dragon Ball since his debut movie. And no, I don’t think the original Dragon Ball writers knew exactly why he was so popular, which is why all his subsequent animated portrayals were bad. Just the worst. Remember Bio-Broly? Because I DO. Anyway, in this movie the writers for Dragon Ball Super give something to Broly he was sorely lacking: a personality. You see, the original Broly movie was more of a Pegasus film, with Broly sorta just being there for the fight. But in this, Broly is given his own supporting cast and backstory, while staying true to the original film. The start of the film also works to canonize a few Saiyan story lines into the main continuity. Frieza is there. Bardock is there (and yes, he does the thing). Flippin’ Tarble gets a mention! Later in the movie, the fight between Broly and Goku/Vegeta is set up well enough, and the resolution worked well to protect everyone’s status. And hey, Gogeta joins the fight!

Cons: This movie is far and away better than the original. That being said, no one really explains why Broly is so strong. He just is. This would be find, except that this movie happens after the tournament of power, where Goku and Jiren surpassed the levels of gods with the multiverse at stake. So having some random dude push Goku to his limit created a bit of dissonance. And the fusion stuff reeked of fan service/marketing. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool that Gogera became cannon, but still. The movie also does retcon a few small details from the Story of Bardock, but honestly, it was nothing too controversial. And hey, Goku’s mom is here!

Watch it?: Best Dragon Ball hyperfighting you’ll see

MVP: The first half hour

Someday they will join you in the Sun Kal–I mean Kakarot.

Best Moment: The POV fight segment (I personally liked the early story stuff, but let’s be honest, everyone should watch the POV segment).

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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

Golden-Frieza

He chose that color to show off

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

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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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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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