Dragon Ball – episodes 58-67

April 2, 2007 on 1:57 pm | In Dragon Ball | 1 Comment

“Commander Red Saga”

I have a feeling that those dastards at Funimation and Madman actually cut the Red Ribbon arc one episode shy on this release so that they could say that it covers all of Commander Red, and ends when he does.
The next set – the Fortuneteller Baba set – looks like, from its description, that it is the true end of the Red Ribbon Army. That is until Dr. Gero brings them back for one of the better DBZ arcs. It’s too bad that damned Frieza had to come in and mess the hell out of that story.

What? Oh, yeah, the Commander Red Saga. I think I’ve distilled the essence of what Dragon Ball has lost. Join me on that ride!

After General Blue’s failure, Commander Red employs Tao Pai Pai, the greatest assassin in the world, to take care of Goku. Goku undergoes intensive training at the hands of Karin (Neko Sennin, baby!) and takes down the man with “KILL YOU!” sewn on his back.
Also featured a three part assault on the Red Ribbon Army’s HQ.

We’ll get General Blue out of the way first. Here is a General Blue Spoiler: he meets his fate at the tongue of Tao Pai Pai. The most multitasking villain in history, taken down by a tongue to the temple; it’s tragic, particularly as this is a man who had previously survived having an entire underground cave collapse on top of him, and also being in a plane when it exploded.

In other news, Goku has been killing a lot of people without remorse in this storyline. He just makes them explode, and it’s significantly different to the “compassionate” Goku of Z who values the sanctity of life. Which worked in the instance of Vegeta, certainly, and provided some of the best material amidst the hours of repetition central to that franchise, but never again after that.

Watching these episodes, I thought back to the first arc of Dragon Ball: back then it was a journey anime, with a full sized team of misfits. Here it’s the Goku show, with semi-frequent (and welcome) detours to his offsiders – who are largely wasted here, because they decided to storm Red Ribbon HQ but, by the time they get there, Goku’s work is done.
I prefer team based anime to Goku doing his own thing.

Novelty: the narrator said “Next episode features an unforeseeable twist!” But it didn’t really.

The Commander Red Saga was good enough, but not super great. If Goku keeps getting stronger, it’s hard to fathom how more and more people stronger than him can possibly surface. That was the critical failure of Dragon Ball Z, but at least we’re still in friendly waters here.

1 Comment

  1. You are absolutely right. I’ve been reading your DB posts, having not had the opportunity to get past episode 68 yet in this series, but I can see it coming.

    The Goku Show/DragonballZ-GT, that is. It just gets worse and worse as time goes on, since he becomes nigh unstoppable by end of series (and when he is killed by Raditz in the first episode, it’s really just to make DB watchers go “That really was an unforeseeable twist! YEAH!”). I think having a created a life of his own (Gohan) may have changed Goku from a Saiya-jin to a human more significanly than we may have thought, though. He still is remorseless all the way up until the end of DB, as far as I’ve read in the manga, and then Gohan appears.

    Even so, he continues to kill “bad guys” with little trauma or remorse until the end of all three series. This is because, frankly, he’s a mortal with powers that will eventually surpass all the gods in the universe, and feels that he is more than qualified to make these decisions… particularly if it means a good fight.

    Oh, Goku. Why.

    Comment by Mara — April 5, 2007 #

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