Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest Review

The first thing I noticed about The World’s Strongest is how similar its opening is to Dead Zone. Like in Dead Zone, Piccolo is training alone, in so far off part of the world. This time it’s the frozen Tsumisumbri Mountains, not a wasteland. Meanwhile, the villain, Dr. Kochin manages to summon Shenron. I found it interesting that in both movies the main villain can get his wish. Regardless, Gohan and Oolong are on a quest to find those Dragon Balls. After failing, they approach Dr. Wheelo’s lab. They’re attacked by Bio-Men. These Bio-Men are like blue Saibamen that make short work of Gohan.

Master Roshi takes on the trio in Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest
Master Roshi takes on the trio

The search for the world’s strongest

Piccolo intervenes, rescuing Gohan and Oolong. Much like Dead Zone, Piccolo is overwhelmed by three minions of Dr. Kochin. Eventually, Kochin arrives to kidnap Master Roshi. Mistakingly thinking that Master Roshi is the strongest man of the world he uses Bulma as leverage to get Roshi to obey. Oolong rushes to Goku’s house to tell him. Meanwhile, Dr. Kochin tests Roshi’s skills against Kishime, Ebifurya, and Misokatsun. Despite putting up a good fight he’s defeated. Bulma informs them that Goku is the strongest warrior on Earth. Dr. Kochin reveals that his plan is to implant Dr. Wheelo’s brain into the body of “the world’s strongest.” He hopes to seek revenge against all those that doubted his mind.

Goku arrives quickly destroying the traps inside. His encounter with Miskatsun is over quickly when Goku uses his Kaio-ken. When he battles Kishime and Ebifurya he becomes incase in ice. Gohan and Krillin arrive just in time. However, they are easily defeated. Goku uses his Kaio-ken once again. He quickly defeats Kishime and Ebifurya. Now inside Wheelo’s lab, Goku fights against a brainwashed Piccolo. Angered at Piccolo being brainwashed, Gohan releases his power. The wave of energy causes the brain control mechanism to break. 

Dr. Wheelo verses Goku

Dr. Wheelo breaks free from the wall. Dr. Kochin is killed by an accident. Dr. Wheelo defeats Master Roshi, Piccolo, and Krillin. The Power-Pole makes a return in this movie, serving Goku as he’s able to trip Dr. Wheelo. Goku fights against Wheelo alone. He continues to increase his Kaio-ken up to 4 times. In combination with his Kamehameha wave, he’s able to send Dr. Wheelo into orbit. With Dr. Wheelo deciding to destroy the Earth, he has no choice but to use the Spirit Bomb, defeating Dr. Wheelo. The World’s Strongest is a good but basic Dragon Ball Z movie. This movie takes a lot of its cues from the previous one. 

Growing up I was always a Goku fanboy, but now that I have grown the fact that Goku was always the savior annoys me. In Dead Zone, Goku and Piccolo team up against Garlic Jr. This movie marks the point in which Goku started to separate himself from the other in terms of power. That said it was nostalgic to see Goku using the Kamehameha wave, Spirit Bomb, and the Kaio-ken. Despite Goku’s inevitable victory, it still felt like he had to work for it. Finally, it was cool to see Master Roshi fight again. 

Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone Review

Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone Review

The first Dragon Ball Z movie

Garlic Jr. returns for revenge

Piccolo and Goku prepared to fight Garlic Jr. in Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone.
Piccolo and Goku prepared to fight Garlic Jr.

Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone opens with Piccolo training in the wastelands. He’s ambushed by Garlic Jr and his men, Ginger, Nicky and Sansho. Their goal is to kill Kami by killing Piccolo since their connected. However, Kami is merely weaken, meaning they failed to kill Piccolo. Later Gohan is studying when his grandfather (Ox-King) arrives with presents. Suddenly, Ox-King is attacked by Ginger. He collapses. Chi Chi tries and fails to protect Gohan, who’s kidnapped for his dragon ball. Goku sensing something is going wrong, rushes home but is to late. Chi Chi tells him what happened to Gohan. With 5 dragon balls in his possession, Garlic Jr reveals that he hopes to wish for immortality and “plunge all living creatures under misery and despair.”

Goku comes to rescue Gohan

Goku uses the Dragon Radar to locate Gohan. Garlic Jr’s henchmen final the last two dragon balls and he summons Shenron. Now blessed with immortality, Garlic Jr. plans to punish humanity and rule over Earth. Goku and Kami arrive to stop Garlic Jr. and rescue Gohan. Kami explains that Garlic Jr’s father was passed over for the position of Guardian of Earth. However, the evil intentions of his father was his undoing. He rebelled against the previous Kami, but was sealed away. Anxious to find Gohan, Goku rushes past Garlic Jr. Ginger, Nicky and Sansho give chase. To confront Goku the three power up, increasing their size and strength. Overwhelmed by the three, Goku is aided by Krillin. At the same time Piccolo arrives to get his revenge against Garlic Jr’s henchmen.

Gohan’s rage

While Krillin takes care of Gohan, Piccolo defeats Sansho and Goku kills Ginger and Nicky with a Kamehameha. Now only the immortal Garlic Jr. remains. He battles Goku and Piccolo together after transforming into a more powerful form. Goku and Piccolo have no choice but to work together. The “defeat” Garlic Jr. but he can no longer die. He opens a portal to the Dead Zone. Gohan awakens, enraged he overpowers Garlic Jr. knocking him into the Dead Zone. Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone is dated but the animation still holds up. That is all that really does however. The plot is uninspired and while there are always plot holes, I noticed several. Maybe, it just because I’m older and it’s easier to spot, but a lot of the conflict could be avoided if Gohan had just given Garlic Jr. his hat.

Plot holes and traditional martial arts

Obviously, Garlic Jr. still would need to have been stopped, but Gohan didn’t need to be kidnapped. Actually, if Gohan wasn’t kidnapped Garlic Jr. would have succeeded. Garlic Jr. wanted to kill Kami through Piccolo but if they had succeed the dragon balls would have disappeared. Krillin apparently took his sweet time leaving with Gohan, it seemed like there was enough time for him to leave. The fight between Goku, Piccolo and Garlic Jr. is just like the fight between Goku, Piccolo and Raditz. I did like the action that centered more on the martial arts than simply power ups. Goku had to be more clever in battle, even using his famous Power Pole. I loved when the non-saiyan characters, like Piccolo mattered in battle. Overall, Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone is entertaining, but largely mediocre.

I will be reviewing all the Dragon Ball Z Movies in order. Having not seen them in years, I think that I would have a different perspective. Have you seen Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone? Did you like it? What series or movie would you want to re-watch with fresh eyes?

Anime Movie Review: Kimi no na wa

Anime Movie Review: Kimi no na wa, one of the best Anime Movies

Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu from kimi no na wa.
Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) is a romantic drama, released in 2016. It became the highest grossing film in Japan that year ($190 million) and the second highest grossing anime film of all time ($361 million). The film has received critical acclaim, earning 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 79 out of 100 on Metacritic. Your Name is from the director Makoto Shinkai, who created Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second. It’s based on the novel of the same name, it premiered during the Anime Expo 2016 convention on July 3, 2016. Your Name was animated by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho.

The story centers on a high school girl named Mitsuha Miyamizu who wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in another life. A boy named Taki Tachibana, wakes up and realizes that he is now Mitsuha. Taki and Mitsuha switch bodies, they communicate through leaving paper notes and memos in their phones. They begin to interfere in each others lives, Mitsuha helps Taki being a relationship with a coworker, Miki Okudera. Taki increases Mitsuha’s popularity in high school. Suddenly, Taki and Mitsuha return to their previous bodies. Taki begins searching for Mitsuha, without having the name of her village, he uses sketches that he created by memory.

The comet

He is finally told by a restaurant server that he’s looking for Itomori. However, he is informed that a fragment of comet fell to earth three years ago, killing a third of Itomori population. Taki searches through the names of fatalities and sees Mitsuha name listed. He realizes that Mitsuha existed on the completely different timeline. Taki drinks an offering that Mitsuha leaves behind and returns to her body. He attempts to save the town, managing to convince her friends to help her evacuate the town. Eventually, they finally meet, Taki tells Mitsuha to convince her father to evacuate the town. Their memories begin to fade and Mitsuha begins to give up on Taki.

However, after inspiration from Taki’s “I love you,” she begs her father to evacuate the town a second time. The comet crashes into Itomori, destroying the town. It is revealed eight years later that Mitsuha succeeded in convincing her father to evacuate the town. Both Taki and Mitsuha forget each other. Taki moves on, living his life, he graduates from university. However, he does have a fondness for items from Itomori. Finally, while riding on parallel trains they see each other and finally ask each other their names.

I generally don’t gravitate towards anime outside of the typical Shonen genre, however, the critically acclaim of this movie made me curious. I’ll admit that I really liked this movie. I cared about Taki and Mitsuha, their relationship and was sad when I found out she had initially died. Even with it’s heartbreak, Kimi no Na wa does have some humor. The tendency of Taki to fondle Mitsuha’s breast when inhabiting her body, while juvenile, was still funny. Finally, the animation is some of the best you will ever see. Even if your not a fan of romance (like me), any anime fan will enjoy this movie.

Read my review of Steamboy.