It took me a noticeably long time to get through this season for review, which says something about how much I was looking forward to watching this season again. I think I would enjoy it a lot more if the scenery of Planet Namek wasn’t so tedious. It also takes a while for the combat scenes to get good, and then they don’t last long enough. The season is used mainly as a set up though, a kind of teaser of the third season, which is a lot more epic.
The early episodes in Season 2 harken back to the original series, when the show wasn’t so much about fighting but about adventure. It’s also the last big hurrah for Bulma, as her role as one of the adventurers pretty much closes after this story arc.
It takes that giant a long time to get from his bed to the thing right next to his bed.
I related the plot of this season to the journey of Frodo and Samwise in Lord of the Rings. The two heroes the season focuses on the most, in this case being Gohan and Krillin, are not at this point considered to be the best warriors the good guys have to offer, but they are the ones traveling to a far away land (a whole ‘nother planet), evading imposing hostile forces as they navigate through unfamiliar territory. They reluctantly rely on a former enemy to help them against a common threat, the odds are stacked impossibly against them and they do suffer through a lot before the journey reaches its end. Gohan is even given the chance early on to back out of the mission and refuses.
Since you will no doubt be wondering, yes, Frieza is in fact a man. So is Zarbon. That may take a while to sink in. Zarbon’s voice at least gives him away as a male, but there is nothing about Frieza that suggests he’s a dude. We have only the word of his subordinates to tell us that he is male, and if he says so then they probably wouldn’t question that.
Mr. Briefs’ cat is creepy. It’s always looking at you and never blinks.
I’m watching these seasons on DVD, and for this season it is most obvious to me that the American dialogue has been changed from what I remember when I first caught these episodes on YTV all those years ago. For one thing, I distinctly remember Zarbon being Australian (I think he still is in a flashback in a later season). And when Goku gets back to fighting he suddenly starts talking like a news reporter. For the most part the “revised” dialogue fits the scenes very awkwardly.
Another negative note is that Season 2 is even worse for beating up on kids. If you thought Season 1 was bad, oh cripes, this is brutal.
In the midst of an otherwise pretty dark season though, they do add a lot of humourous elements to try and balance things out. Season 2 in particular is known for introducing one of the most infamously comedic villain groups in the series. Once they come in it definitely spices things up.
Language: It’s a bit coarser in this season. I found H*ll, D*mn, and B***ard, and at least three people flipping the bird.
Nudity: A couple of Saiyan butts. Bulma has a daydream about the good ol’ days and Kid Goku has his junk showing. There is a scene where Bulma gets a bubble bath but is covered by bubbles where it counts. She also starts off the season in the same outfit she had on where Season 1 left off. One of the villains spends his entire fight with his butt crack showing.
Sexuality: Roshi grabs a nurse’s butt.
There is also smoking, if that’s a concern.
Quote of the Season
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole ordeal it’s that I’m a freakin’ genius!”
Bardock: The Father of Goku
This technically wasn’t a movie, but a 1-hour special giving background info on where Goku came from. The plot falls into the category of the kind of apocalyptic stories that find popularity with Japanese audiences. The hero, and the audience, both know that the world is doomed, it is simply a question of how to respond to this knowledge.
It is, of course, depressing, but what surprised me was how little action there is in it. A story as brooding as this is not what I was expecting from “The Father of Goku,” although he does have one epic moment that lives up to the title. The American voice acting falls flat here unfortunately.
Suggesting a specific time to watch this is tricky. It requires you to have prior knowledge of a certain event, but it shows the evil deeds of a villain who by that time has already gotten his comuppants. And showing more of the evil deeds a character has done after showing his punishment is something that doesn’t psychologically sit well with audiences. The only real perfect time to watch it would be in the middle of Episode 49 “The Prince Fights Back” – after Vegeta learns the truth about his home planet, but before he responds to that information. That’s a very small window.
Nudity: Bardock’s butt and Baby Goku’s junk.
This is one of my least favourite DBZ movies. I don’t find the villains particularly interesting and, although the plot was potentially interesting, the way it plays out is not. Perhaps by now I’d seen too many of these movies already, and become familiar with their flow, so by the time this story reached its dramatic everybody-around-me-is-dying-and-I-can’t-let-them-down-and-also-I’m-shirtless stage I couldn’t help but laugh. The action is also lacking compared to other DBZ movies.
Yay! Icarus is back!
One point I give to Slug is that out of all the galactic tyrants in the Dragon Ball universe I think his soldiers have the coolest uniforms. And if you’ve gone through Season 2 then you know how important uniforms are to galactic tyrants.
The minion Medamatcha is disgusting, and would make a fun video game character.
Timing this movie is tricky. Gohan has his Season 1 outfit, but his Season 2 haircut. Given the brief talk of Super Sayians, and where they stop with it, it seems they intended this movie to be watched sometime during either Seasons 2 or 3. My recommendation would be in between the two seasons, since once the fighting in Season 3 begins it would be annoying to have to interrupt. You just have to imagine everybody back on Earth temporarily.