Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Dragonball Movie 3 - Mystical Adventure (1988)


I don't know what to expect from this one, but I gotta say the prognosis isn't good...

We begin with Pilaf and his goons being completely upstaged by the nefarious Minister Shen. I think he's Roshi's rival counterpart. He also has General Tao here. This doesn't seem to follow the normal show timeline though. In any case, Minister Shen got Pilaf to build a "worldwide dragon radar" to find 'Balls. Then he fires Pilaf because the 'Balls will be his!

Elsewhere, Roshi is training Gokou and Kuririn. I think this takes place right around the time of the 1st World Martial-Arts Tournament.

Here's Tien and his hetero lifemate, "Thirst Trap" Chaozu. Wait, these guys didn't debut until way after the first tournament! They're already retconning stuff.

So basically, Minister Shen and General Tao are telling Chaozu that they need his help gathering the Dragonballs. In return, they'll bring back his missing wife, Ran-Ran.

Wait, Chaozu has a wife?


Chaozu is the emperor of some castle I've never seen before. It's probably the most visually-impressive land-structure in the DB-verse.

Chaozu's main soldier is this guy named Blue, who suspects Minister Shen of having evil intentions for the 'Balls. He challenges Shen to explain himself.

General Tao proceeds to kill? him with a TONGUE STAB.

I have never seen anything like this in DB.

Chaozu and Tien are horrified! Then they just sort of move on working with Shen and Co even though Tao killed a well-regarded soldier.

What even is this movie

We finally get something halfway normal, as Bulma and The Crew are flying around. Not sure why Yamcha isn't kissing and/or lightly biting her shoulder. It's right there, fully out, completely un-bitten!

............Then they get ambushed by fighter jets!

Bulma does evasive maneuvers and fires back with guns of her own! So she learned from previous mistakes and put weapons on her plane so it can defend itself? I don't know, that'd require continuity from the previous movie...

Elsewhere on some other plane, our heroes are heading to the Tournament. Roshi stealthily grabs the stewardess' butt!

Launch sneezes and decides to HIJACK THE PLANE.

This movie is like some kind of fever dream. I can't keep up with it.

Elsewhere, General Tao's fighter jets locate the 7th Dragonball, but it's guarded by that super-buff Native American guy from the show. He THROWS BOULDERS at them to take them out, then he and his son go on their way. This guy might be the strongest character in early-Dragonball who isn't main cast.

But yeah, the bad guys already have six Dragonballs and they just need that last one. This was basically The Plot of all Dragonball-related content at this point in time.

The Native guy, whose name is Bora, is located by Tao's troops at a nearby restaurant. Which also happens to be where Gokou and friends are having lunch. Unlike the show, at this point Gokou and Bora have never met, apparently.

Then a GIANT TERMINATOR GUY named Major Metallitron arrives, and actually breaks through the restaurant walls because he can't fit through any doors.

This is seriously a fever dream of a movie. MAKE IT STOP.

Launch opens fire! The bullets just plink off.

Gokou unleashes a dropkick! Finally ::checks notes:: Major Metallitron is downed.


Wait, no cause for alarm, Gokou just knocks his head off. This is like Dragonball GT, where every bad guy immediately gets neutered by Super Gokou for the first 60% of the show.

Bora tries to escape, but General Tao cuts him off. It's very clear that Tao is on a completely different level from everyone in the room except maybe Gokou, and Bora is unable to even land a hit.

Eventually Roshi gets the bad guys to just kind of telling them that these people are all Tournament participants and thus have immunity from being murdered, I guess.

Gokou quickly makes friends with Bora, then they find out that the final Dragonball that these guys actually the Four-Star 'Ball that Gokou's grandpa gave to him once upon a time.

Elsewhere, Emperor "Thirst Trap" Chaozu has a nightmare, and Tien runs in to make sure he's alright. They're portraying both as good guys, which is a far cry from the show where they were both nefarious bastards at the beginning.

Chaozu's nightmare was that Minister Shen and General Tao were trying to murder him and take over. Which, unbeknownst to them but knownst to us, is the exact plan.

Elsewhere, the Tournament begins! This is like Dragonball on 500x speed.

Of course, Roshi sees Bulma and reflexively starts gawking at her like a fucking nimrod.

Tournament Announcer: "For the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching around the globe!"

"Let's get ready... to suuuuuuck it!"

So apparently this tournament is overseen by Emperor Chaozu, the man who would be boy-king, master of all he surveys.

Round 1 begins! They're wasting like no time here. Yamcha easily dispatches this giant guy.

General Tao informs his boss that the final 'Ball is in the possession of Bora. So all they have to do is kill him. If only it weren't for this pesky tournament!

We go to Round 2, and it's Yamcha fighting again already for some reason. Bora actually manages to quickly ring-out him for the win.

Kuririn is in shock that Yamcha lost to some rando, while Gokou is pretty excited to see how strong this guy is.

Unfortunately, things are about to go south, because General Tao has joined the battle!

This Tournament is like some kind of weird gauntlet-style deal. Someone wins a match, and then someone else just gets in and fights them?

He easily defeats Bora, then throws him into a nearby pointy object that completely impales him.

He's like SUPER DEAD. Wow. Gokou is outraged!

Gokou asks Tao why he'd murder someone in a tournament that is supposed to be about sport!

...I dunno, probably because this tournament apparently has no rules whatsoever

Case in point, the next match begins and it's Gokou vs Tao! Surprisingly, Tao easily dodges Gokou's attacks and smacks him down.

Gokou pulls out the big guns and unleashes Kamehameha!

Tao survives and blasts him with a Dodon Wave, which knocks Gokou into the upper atmosphere.

So after Gokou no-sold everyone he ever fought up to this point, suddenly Tao is completely manhandling him. Sounds like the bad side of the power level system is rearing its head.

Gokou lands at Korin's Tower. He's never been here before. Korin heals him up and trains him in various wisdom for a couple minutes. Now, in the show version, it took Gokou ages to climb up here, and Korin trained him for a while.

Once he realizes that Gokou had the 7th Ball, Tao picks up a huge stone pillar and throws it as hard as he can, then stands on it to ride off into the sky. This isn't how physics works!

Elsewhere, Bulma and friends find the other six 'Balls.

Then shortly after that, they drop all of them into an ocean chasm while being pursued by troops.
::checks to see how much time is left on this movie::

Elsewhere, this random girl shows up with her two thirst-trap pixie accomplices. Who?

I feel like I'm supposed to recognize this character.

Glasses girl throws a boulder at General Tao and knocks him out of the sky. Wait, is she like, a God of Destruction or something like that? What about her two boy-toys? How many Raditz is Pixie A?

Back at the arena, Tien beats up Roshi. Minister Shen is thrilled that Tien is going along with their takeover, and declares that they'll use the 'Balls to make themselves rulers of all the land.

But first...he orders Tien to kill Chaozu.

AH! Now he must choose!

Chaozu finally realizes that all these guys have been conspiring against him... including Tien?? Why does Tien seem conflicted about all this? I think Tien might have been working with Shen before, but only up to a point, and didn't know they'd be getting rid of Chaozu.

Tao recovers from being knocked out of the air, and is unsure what to make of purple girl and her man-harem.

Gokou flies in on his cloud and they finally lock horns!

...only to have Tao immediately trip and fall down because purple girl and her pixie minions tied his hair to a distant tree with a rope when he wasn't looking.


She no-sells it and zaps Tao with some kind of Pokemon-style electric zap, just sorta knocking him out. I mean at this point, sure, whatever.

Tao then flies off, bidding everyone adieu, since he can't do anything to this purple girl and her plot armor.

Gokou summons Nimbus and takes off after him while this crew waves. What was the point of all that? Aside from feasting our eyes on the 'bods of those pixies.

Some guy who I think might be Akira Toriyama himself pops up in the frame and shrugs.

Alright, I need to find out what all of this is about. So it turns out purple-haired girl is Arale, the protagonist of Dr. Slump. Toriyama's first series, before he made Dragonball. So basically this is just a cameo from the main character of his previous work.

Rather than a kid, she's actually a robot, and has super-powers. Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. Still, it's so RANDOM.

Elsewhere, Tien is struggling with his orders to kill Chaozu. As Chaozu's bodyguard, he is sworn to protect the lad. However, Minister Shen is offering him dominion over half the land, plus tons of money and hoes.


Shen finally snaps and fires the Dodon Ray at Chaozu, only to have Tien step in and intercept it with his Tri-Beam, obliterating Shen.

With Shen gone, all of the turncoat soldiers go back to serving Emperor Chaozu, only to have him inform them that they're all fired.

This is so different from the regular Dragonball show. In that, Chaozu wasn't an emperor, he was kind of evil, and it was HE who used the Dodon Ray to kill his foes.

This is like some sort of Krazy Remix of show characters with different personalities.

Tien finds Chaozu's wife in the basement, where she was being held captive by Shen's minions.

Behold, the beautiful Ran-Ran!


Chaozu's "wife" a creepy inanimate doll.

I'm not even making any of this up. I...don't think I could.

But wait! They have one more wrong to put right. Bora's dead, and six of the Dragonballs are at the bottom of the ocean. So Gokou gets the idea to throw the 7th in and see if it summons the dragon.

It does...while the credits roll. Weird how the credits are onscreen during all of this. This whole movie plays out like it's on fast-forward, like they only had a little while to try and tell like 30 episodes worth of story. I don't think they really knew what their goal was here.

Bora is revived and reunited with his kid, and everyone lives happily ever after!



.........I don't know if I can do another of these movies. And the fourth one is twice as long as the others, while continuing to re-tread ground (even re-treading the other movies). On the bright side, it looks like it was made much later in time, with a way-higher visual fidelity. Maybe it'll be good. Dunno, but I'll leave that one for later because I'm about tapped-out over here.

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