Episode 105, "What’s the Matter, Piccolo?! An Unexpected Conclusion to the First Round"
Synopsis: The matches for the first round of the Tenkaichi Budoukai are decided. First up is Kuririn against a giant man named Punta, who he defeats in a single punch to the gut. Piccolo gets in the ring with the mysterious "Shin", but cannot bring himself to fight him. He gives up the match, much to everyone's surprise. Videl's match with the hulking Spopovich begins next, with Videl confident that her new skill and new ability will mean a victory. Piccolo inquires if "Shin" is really the Dai Kaio, but his attendant Kibito reveals that he is actually a being called Kaioshin, above Kaios. Kaioshin tells Piccolo not to tell anyone. Meanwhile, Spopovich proves to be inhumanely resilient and extremely brutal. Videl goes at him at full force, almost seeming to break his neck, but he recovers. It also appears he can fly, and Goku comments that he doesn't sense any life in him. Videl is determined to continue the fight.
The first round of the tournament begins with a one-punched-chump, Piccolo pussing out, and Videl getting the tar beaten out of her by a mound of muscles that bleeds purple.
I wonder if Yamucha's comment on Kuririn being the strongest fighter amongst Earthlings is necessarily true. I don't mean to get into "power level debate" territory, but surely Tenshinhan is at least comparable, if not stronger, than Kuririn. I guess since Tenshinhan isn't there, Yamucha can feel free to embellish a little to settle Marron's nerves, though it does make me wonder. Tenshinhan was able to hold Semi-Perfect Cell at bay with a Kikouhou, at least for a little while. It's not clear how powerful Kuririn was in that part of the story, though. Perfect Cell downs him with a single blow, but Perfect Cell is, of course, much more powerful than his previous form, and Tenshinhan was only able to hold Semi-Perfect Cell up for a few minutes. Tenshinhan trained with Kaio and is constantly in training with Chaozu to get stronger and perfect his techniques. Kuririn trains, sure, but he's also been largely at peace for years, and without any reason to train on a regular basis, I can't imagine that he's that much stronger than Tenshinhan. I guess it's kind of impossible to tell at this point, and Yamucha was just trying to assure his friend's daughter.
As I mentioned in my review for the last episode, it's odd how different Kaioshin is in this part of the story. Here he has this mysterious, authoritative, confident aura about him. He almost seems arrogant, though friendly. Those smirks on his face project a sense of power and regality. It makes sense, given his position, since he's above the Kaios, but it later seems to prove a facade. I wonder if he could even take Piccolo in a fight. I'm pretty sure Piccolo only gave up in deference to Kaioshin's position. He wasn't conscious of it, but since he fused with Kami, it's pretty clear his body would not physically allow him to fight his superior. I can't imagine Kaioshin being that much stronger than Piccolo, if at all. It's pretty funny seeing Goku offer to go yell at Kaioshin and Piccolo panicking and warning him off it. Piccolo's totally freaked out at Kaioshin's presence.
I feel a little insensitive saying this, but I love, love the fight between Videl and Spopovich, though it's really difficult to watch at times. I mean, wow, the utter brutality of it all is astounding, and I'm surprised that even on TV these days it's apparently uncensored. I guess so long as no beams are drilling bloody holes in bodies, it's okay to see a young woman get utterly trounced by a giant man. But hey, is that sexist of me? They're both fighters, after all. The weird thing is, Videl is the one being extreme at first. If Spopovich was anybody but who he is, he would have been killed. Easily killed. What Videl did to Spopovich's head and neck? Yeah, that's fatal, folks. So when Spopovich begins his relentless, bloody assault on Videl? It's kind of payback. I get the feeling, though, he would have done that regardless. It's hard to know whether Spopovich has any living consciousness left, but we do find out that he was defeated by Mr. Satan in the previous Budoukai. so maybe he's taking out his rage on Satan's daughter. It's a fight that is not for the squeamish, and it continues into the next episode.
Goku makes an interesting observation about Spopovich, too, which is that he lacks life energy. Not just "ki", but "reiki", spirit force. He's essentially soulless or possessed. Anyone who's read this part in the manga or watched the show clearly already knows that's true, but I've always missed that Goku actually calls it this way as he's watching the match. Goku is not as you might say the most keen mind on the planet, but when it comes to combat, he's very smart, and he recognizes spiritual forces and pressures like nobody's business. So when Nozawa gives him that grim, serious sound and states that something strange is going on, you know things are serious.
By the way, Spopovich, is, in fact, supposed to bleed purple. That isn't censorship, it's how he bleeds in the original version of this show, too.
The music has improved, with a few new pieces, and everything used seems to suit the mood and setting of the scenes the tracks accompany. It's still not on the level of, say, Kikuchi's pieces or Yamamoto's, but it's getting very respectable. My continuing problem is with how there are so few quiet moments, but it's not the pit of failure it was before.
The voice acting remains as strong as ever, and I've grown more attached to the new Videl.
4 out of 5