Tag: DBZ (Page 1 of 2)

Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn / Wrath of the Dragon

If you’re one of many people who feel that “Dragon Ball GT” hurt the integrity of the “Dragon Ball” franchise more than it helped it, you probably also consider the final episode of “Dragon Ball Z” as the official ending point of Akira Toriyama’s beloved anime. Of course, you’d be wrong to think that. While “Dragon Ball GT” is quite the abomination, Toriyama and Co. released two more “Dragon Ball Z” films that take place after the end of the series, and believe it or not, they’re actually quite good. The plot of “Fusion Reborn” will probably sound familiar to fans (something about the inhabitants of Hell wreaking havoc on Earth while Goku fends off the latest, greatest evil supervillain), but thanks to a nice mix of action and comedy, not to mention the first appearance of Gogeta, it’s actually pretty entertaining. (Bonus points for Hitler’s comment about Trunks and Gohan: “Blonde hair, blue eyes, super strength. I should be recruiting them.”) “Wrath of the Dragon,” meanwhile, is perhaps the best “DBZ” movie of the lot because it actually feels like the writers put some thought into creating an original story. This one involves the unleashing of an ancient monster, and though the monster itself is defeated rather easily, it’s the relationship between Trunks and Taipon (the hero in charge of trapping the monster) that really makes the film feel like it’s more than just one, long 40-minute fight sequence. It’s too bad the other movies don’t adhere to the same set of rules, because while “Fusion Reborn” and “Wrath of the Dragon” feature a similar checklist (action, comedy, and more action), they go the extra mile in making the actual stories satisfying as well.

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Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 / Bojack Unbound

I don’t know what it is about the “Dragon Ball Z” movies that make them feel so second-rate, but it probably has something to do with the fact that they’re nothing more than cheap imitations of the series. “Super Android 13” is the perfect example, because it pits the Z Fighters against a trio of androids created by the late Dr. Gero – even though that ground was covered pretty thoroughly in the Imperfect and Perfect Cell sagas. And though it’s fun to watch Goku, Vegeta, Trunks and Piccolo fighting side by side, there’s not a single original moment in the film’s brisk 45-minute runtime. “Bojack Unbound” fares a little better, not only because it takes place during a World Martial Arts Tournament, but because it showcases something we’ve never seen before; in this case, a slightly older Gohan and Future Trunks. The latter was never seen again following the Cell Games (after all, the real Trunks had already been born), and Gohan went from annoying kid to mature teenager within one episode, so it’s kind of cool to see them fight during the period in between. Unfortunately, the fights aren’t very exciting, because while Bojack is built up to be this menacing enemy, it’s difficult to imagine any of the fighters having a problem defeating him after their battle with Cell. That’s “Dragon Ball Z” for you, though, and when you’re a fan of the show, you learn to take the good with the bad. This might not be the strongest of the double features, but thanks to “Bojack Unbound,” it’s not quite the weakest either.

Click to buy “Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 / Bojack Unbound”

Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven

The seventh season of “Dragon Ball Z” is a bit of an odd duck compared to the rest of the series, as the lack of a major villain makes it seem like nothing happens. In fact, some have even compared it to the mini-arc of filler episodes better known as the Garlic Jr. Saga, but whereas those episodes did little to further the story, Season Seven serves as the buildup to the big finale. It’s also a nice break from the exhausting Cell Games, and it makes some great strides in the development of the Z Fighters along the way. For starters, Gohan has finally become a teenager, and when he’s not getting into trouble with classmate Videl (AKA Mr. Satan’s daughter), he’s moonlighting as the superhero called Great Saiyaman. Goku, meanwhile, takes part in an Other World Tournament for the chance to train with the Grand Kai, and when he finally returns to Earth to fight in the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament, he discovers that he also has a new son named Goten. Though it may seem a bit counterproductive to age Gohan and then create a brand new character who’s just like him, this time around, they’ve given the little tyke someone to play with (young Trunks), making them both that much less annoying from the get-go. Plus, with two tournaments worth of fighting and the hilarious return of Mr. Satan, how could anyone call Season Seven filler? It might not be as epic as past sagas, but you better believe it’s just as good.

Click to buy “Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven”

Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge / The Return of Cooler

By far two of the best “Dragon Ball Z” movies released, the Cooler-themed double feature is much shorter in comparison to the earlier films, but it’s a vast improvement on a tired formula that felt stale the first time around. The first film, “Cooler’s Revenge,” opens with a prologue that shows how Freiza’s older brother let the escape pod carrying Goku as a child get away unharmed. When he discovers that a Saiyan killed his cocky little brother during his attempted takeover of Namek, however, Cooler heads to Earth with his Armored Squadron to exact revenge. Following Goku’s eventual defeat of Cooler (who’s seemingly burned to a crisp by the Sun), the Z Warriors are contacted by Dende warning of an alien takeover of Namek’s new home planet. When they arrive, a new and improved Metal Cooler is there to welcome them – and this time around, he’s got the help of a rogue computer chip that automatically rebuilds him every time he’s destroyed. Sure, he’s kind of like Cell (who had a similar regenerative power), but anyone who enjoyed the Namek and Freiza sagas (and really, what “DBZ” fan didn’t like them?) will absolutely love both of these films. Short, sweet and loaded with wall-to-wall action, “Cooler’s Revenge” features Piccolo in one of his most badass appearances yet, while Vegeta’s team-up with Goku in “The Return of Cooler” is a welcome surprise.

Click to buy “Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge / The Return of Cooler”

Dragon Ball Z: Tree of Might / Lord Slug

It’s a shame that the Dragon Ball Z movies aren’t as good as the series itself, but I guess that’s the price you pay when you’re only given 60 minutes to tell a story. You’d also think that with the sixth season hitting stores on the same day, we’d be a little further along in the DBZ timeline, but “Tree of Might” and “Lord Slug” take place pre-Namek – when Gohan was still an annoying little kid and Goku had yet to become a total badass. “Tree of Might” is definitely the worst of the two, and it might even be the worst of all the Dragon Ball Z movies. By now, we’ve already seen Goku go toe-to-toe against his brother Radditz, as well as his father Bardock (albeit in a strange dream sequence), so the idea of pitting Goku against another Saiyan that looks just like him is, well, kind of lame. Additionally, the battles are boring and the movie ends so abruptly that it isn’t even worth your time. It’s a good thing that “Lord Slug” is included in the set, because “Tree of Might” probably wouldn’t be worth owning on its own. Though it does have its share of similarities to the series, (the villain hearkens back to the days of Lord Piccolo, while his lackeys are reminiscent of the Ginyu Force), “Lord Slug” is still one of the better movies to be released thanks to some entertaining fight sequences. Not even Gohan and his stupid dinosaur friend can ruin that.

Click to buy “Dragon Ball Z: Tree of Might / Lord Slug”

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