Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dragonball Z Movie 13: Wrath of the Dragon

Finally, a movie I've never covered before. For around two decades, this was the final Dragonball Z movie. It takes place at or around the end of the Z series. Much like the previous movie, it introduces some interesting concepts.

Get ready for Dragonball Z: Cloverfield.

We start with this young guy running around on some distant planet, trying to escape a giant monster. I believe this is Tapion's little brother. Who's Tapion? We'll get to that. I've never liked Tapion's name, because it makes me think of "Tapeworm"

The little brother gets stepped on by the monster, and his sword goes spinning into the dirt nearby.

Wait a minute...that's...JBL, that's Future Trunks' sword! It's won titles all over the world!

 Meanwhile, back in the present day, Gohan is suited up in full Great Saiyaman outfit as he takes on a bunch of heavily-armed terrorists bank robbers.

Joining him is Great Saiyaman II, also known as Videl.

The lead bandit is mortified, either because of the sheer bullet-resistant power of Gohan or because the Great Saiyaman duo are so wondrously beautiful.

Time for a five-second pose, for the benefit of those with flash photography.

I feel like these Great Saiyaman poses are DBZ's way of poking fun at Sailor Moon, which had gained quite a bit of popularity at this point.

"YOOOOOU" says Gohan before dishing out the Big Boot and the Big Legdrop. 

 He may be a crime fighter, but Gohan still manages to get to school. Unfortunately, he quickly gets summoned out of school to help a suicidal dwarf elsewhere in the city. HOW WILL HE EVER LEARN ANYTHING AT THIS RATE?

 Gohan tries to talk the guy into coming down from his perch. Videl, on the other hand, tells the guy to go ahead and jump. So...he does.


Gohan catches him. Hopefully Videl doesn't plan on going into business as a therapist.

The dwarf is clearly from some other planet, and has a music box that he wants our heroes to help him open. The good news is, he's clearly well-intentioned and on the up-and-up! 

So...was he actually suicidal or did he somehow know that the strongest people on the planet would show up and rescue him? I guess it was a smart way to get their attention, in any case.

Videl doesn't buy any of this nonsense, but Gohan is intrigued.

Redman says that if Gohan gets the music box open, he'll free Tapion, the legendary hero from his homeworld. Gohan isn't sure what to do, so for advice he goes to...


...his dad.

Gokou: "A super-sketchy guy from another world wants us to open a mysterious sealed box for him? Sounds legit! Let's do it!"

What follows is a Dragonball Hunt, as our heroes travel the world collecting the 'balls to wish for the music box to open. Videl wonders aloud if Tapion will be dreamy. Really, Videl? Gohan's a good man! Don't you hurt him with your cheating heart!

...or maybe she's just hoping that Gohan and Tapion will team up to give her a great birthday. Double Team, Supreme!

Trunks and Goten find a 'ball...in the clutches of this snowman.

 "Immortality...wheeze...will soon be minnnnnne"

Gokou finds a 'ball in a den of magnificent golden lions.

Luckily, he has super-hard skin that can't be damaged by lion-bite, and retrieves the 'ball with minimal difficulty.

They summon the Eternal Dragon, and after first sighing and asking "what the f**** do you people want now" the dragon proceeds to hear their requests to unseal the music box.

The dragon mutters a lot and goes back to trying to watch his shows in peace, leaving us with a now-open box.


Trunks and Goten may be excited for the arrival of Tapion, but Gokou and Gohan are a little concerned at the typhoon that seems to be forming.

The evil imp lurks in the background, absorbing electricity while grinning malevolently. On the bright side, he's only the second-most dangerous person Bulma has ever had behind her.

The storm clears and Tapion appears, now grown-up and glorious. This is just like Ocarina of Time when Link emerged from the Temple of Time. ...and funnily enough, Tapion is playing an ocarina as he descends.

He puts the ocarina away and draws his sword, immediately threatening the imp and demanding to know why he's been released.

Then he...just sorta leaves.

 Next thing we know, Tapion is hanging out at some sort of abandoned factory on the edge of town. It used to be the local crack den, but now it's home.

 Back at the ranch, Roshi notices that Bulma has... tittays.

She of course slaps him and he goes flying through the air. Comedy gold!

He was 32.

Trunks and Goten enjoy some kabobs next to Roshi's prone corpse.

Back at the city, the Cloverfield Monster is suddenly wreaking havoc.

The military proves ineffective against it, so Great Saiyaman I and II show up to...dance and pose.


Gohan finally stops messing around and powers up to Mystical. It may seem like a non-change on the surface, but it actually does affect his appearance a bit. His features get a bit more angular, as usually happens with Super Saiyan transformations. Hair stays the same color, yet stands up. Interesting. It's a potent form, much stronger than Super Saiyan 2... supposedly, cause we never actually see him win anything in this form

Gohan unleashes THE BRIGHTEST BEAM EVER. Even if he misses, the monster will surely be blinded by the sheer luminosity.

Devastation rings out in the city as Gohan continues to blast the monster that we, as of now, still haven't gotten a good look at. Hey Vegeta, what do you think the body count is up to at this point?

 Sadly, as we know from the previous movie...Vegeta is in Hell, and he won't be back. ...For now.

After Tapion shows up and plays the ocarina, the monster disappears. Gohan is nonplussed.

Tapion naps in the ruins, only to be interrupted by...

...the monster warping in again, and now we get a good look at it. This is the monster's upper half, which is sealed within Tapion, while the monster's lower half is sealed within that imp guy. ...I think I'm getting this right.

Tapion plays the ocarina again, absorbing the monster, then goes back to napping. Well, so far, this is pretty weird.

Next shot has Tapion playing the ocarina loudly while the rest of the city tries to sleep.

"CUT IT OUT, JERK" yells somebody in the background.

One cool thing about this movie is that Tapion and Trunks end up becoming buddies; Trunks looks up to Tapion as this super-cool guy from elsewhere, while the generally-serious Tapion slowly becomes happy to have a friend around.

The imp (his name is Hoi, by the way) shows up to taunt our heroes from "safely" behind a wall of fire.

...has he watched this show?

Trunks and Tapion run Hoi off and for some reason don't give chase or finish him off. On the bright side, Trunks finaly wins Tapion over at this point and manages to get him to come back to Capsule Corp HQ rather than sleeping in this abandoned factory.

Tapion tells Trunks the story of how Hirudegarn, the monster, once ravaged his homeworld. He and his brother ended up slicing Hirudegarn in half and imprisoning the two halves inside of themselves. They then sealed themselves in music boxes that would be thrown to opposite ends of the universe to make sure Hirudegarn didn't re-form. Hoi managed to find Tapion's brother, somehow get Hirudegarn to spawn, and that's what we saw at the beginning. Now Hoi controls that half. The other half is still within Tapion, at least until Hoi can kill him too. Hence why he needed Tapion released. At least, I think that's the deal. The story here is pretty odd.

Later that night, Tapion makes himself at home at Capsule HQ, as Bulma insists that he stay the night.

Because, well, she hasn't had a man around since Vegeta got killed, and her libido doesn't take grief leave.

Unfortunately for Bulma, Tapion just tells her more stories of his homeworld. He and his brother had matching ocarinas...and a sweet sword. This is making me want to play another Zelda...

 Interesting-looking homeworld here. Evidently Tapion can use the ocarina to seal away the Hirudegarn that lurks within himself, but only temporarily.

Unfortunately, Hirudegarn tends to break loose when Tapion is asleep; the lower half proceeds to unite with the upper half.

Now that Hirudegarn is whole, he's more powerful than ever. Babidi Hoi commands him to wreak mass devastation as they conquer the universe.

 Gokou, Gohan, and Goten all swing into action in matching attire. This might have just been the animators getting lazy, but it still looks really cool. It's good to see Gokou and sons all fighting on the same side together.

Hirudegarn is a fairly cool-looking monster and not like anything else in the series really. However, if you thought Broly's sporadic dialogue and Janemba's ability to only say his own name were bad, this guy takes things a step even lower by only being able to growl.

Everyone powers up. Gohan not turning gold is good for differentiating him at this point. I liked his blue gi from earlier in the final saga, but hey.

Meanwhile, Hirudegarn has another challenger. Wait a minute, is that... JBL, that's...

...that's Vegeta, the hottest free agent in the DBZ Universe! He's won titles all over the world!

This is definitely after the series ends if Vegeta is alive again. Nice surprise.

Rather than immediately getting smacked down as per usual, Vegeta puts up a good fight and gets some shots in.

The end result is that Vegeta protects an office building full of people from one of Hirudegarn's blasts, getting knocked out in the process, and that's it for Vegeta for this movie. Wait, there are people in these buildings? My God!

Hirudegarn breathes fire as we (do not) hear the shrieks of the thousands of people getting obliterated by this battle. This is worse than Man of Steel! They're not even trying to take the fight to a secluded area!

Goten and Trunks break out the Fusion Dance to become...

...Gotenks! And Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks, no less. Regular Super Saiyan Gotenks is so old-hat and Movie 12.

 He's brash. He's hip.

I wish we saw as much of Gogeta as we see of this guy.

Gotenks finally manages to take Hirudegarn down, only to have the monster go through some kind of molting process and emerge even MORE powerful (and colorful). This is...very similar to the Doomsday fight in Batman Vs. Superman.

Gotenks quickly gets smacked so hard...

...he splits back into Goten and Trunks. Ouch.

Oh, Mystical Gohan also caught a beatdown somewhere in there. Yep. No surprise there. At least Vegeta gets to help Gokou win sometimes, but Gohan seems to just exist to get beaten up until Gokou steps in and saves the day.

Gokou is having some problems too, but at least he's still walking.

Tapion decides that killing him might be the only way to subdue Hirudegarn, and asks Trunks to kill him with his own sword.

Trunks...refuses. He really likes this guy and he's no murderer.

...not yet, anyway.

Tapion finally convinces him that it's the only way.

Trunks looks like he's about to actually do it, when...

 ...Hirudegarn interrupts them by stepping on Hoi and crushing him while he was in the middle of a rant.

Yep, totally Babidi.

But wait! Super Saiyan 3 Gokou is on the scene! As he powers up, buildings crumble around him. Hopefully those buildings were all empty.

"MURDERER" screams someone far below as people run for their lives and Ben Affleck grits his teeth in rage.

Trunks seizes the moment to swoop in and LOP OFF HIRUDEGARN'S TAIL.

 Gokou holds off Hirudegarn's relentless assault while continuing to taunt him and make him angrier. Apparently Hirudegarn gets weaker when his emotions get stronger...or something like that.

 Gokou then dishes out his new super move out of nowhere, the super move that got invented for this one scene I guess: The Dragon Punch.

He uppercuts his way through Hirudegarn's midsection, ending the fight instantly after all the buildup about how Hirudegarn was nearly indestructible.

After the punch, a gold dragon materializes and constricts Hirudegarn into nothingness. Er? Is that Shenron? Why is he gold? What? How?

With Hirudegarn completely eliminated, a new day dawns. A day of peace...and silence, because everyone is dead. I hope our heroes are planning on cleaning up this mess.

"We'll make Kuririn do it!"

Bulma builds a spaceship for Tapion to go back to his homeworld, so he bids everyone farewell. Bulma then climbs into it with him, presumably so she can join the Light Year High Club.

Tapion gives Trunks his sword as a token of his friendship. Trunks is thrilled at this.

Tapion then takes off for the cosmos as another building falls over in the background, filling the air with shrieks.

The credits seem to indicate that this sword is supposed to be the same one Future Trunks used when he fought. This...makes absolutely no sense, since Future Trunks came from a future where none of this stuff happened because most of the cast died in the apocalypse years beforehand.


Oh hell, I don't even know. Decent, if weird movie. Onward to something notably better...


  1. Superhero Gohan is the best.

    Is that Romancing SaGa 3's Snowman trying to become a real man?

    Hey, Mystical Gohan whooped Super Buu's ass before Buu started absorbing people.

    The gold dragon is part of Gokou's dragon fist. I guess. It's all a bunch of nonsense!

    1. Romancing Saga 3 became a true man with his Everlasting Ice attack, sacrificing yourself to one shot a boss is pretty cool.

      Is that the one movie where Videl wears a skirt like all the time? God 10/10