Episode 112, "The Star Performer Takes the Stage! Take Down the Demon King!!"
Synopsis: Dabura arrives on Stage 3 of Babidi's ship, willing to take them all on. However, Gohan insists that he fight him alone, which insults the demon. Babidi uses his magic to send them to a new environment for the fight. Back at the tournament, 18 gets Mr. Satan in a headlock and offers him a deal: she'll allow him to win if he gives her twice the amount of the prize money. Desperate to maintain his fame, Mr. Satan agrees to this arrangement. They fake an end to the fight that sees 18's defeat and Mr. Satan remaining the champion. Bulma, Chi-Chi, and the others in the audience that know better are bewildered. In the air, Videl tells the little Saiyans about Babidi and his plans, and an excited Trunks and Goten speed in that very direction to see. The fight between Gohan and Dabura begins, both fighters doing well in the bout.
Wow, the plot actually makes some head way in this episode. That's pretty surprising.
You really have to admire Artificial Human 18's moxie. Toriyama really could have gone the laziest route with the character, but she actually gets something interesting to do here, striking a deal with Mr. Satan for more money. Looking to strike a double payout, she offers to let the big ham retain his championship and fame, and Mr. Satan, ever the paranoid, takes him up on it. He has this gloriously self-centered fantasy where if he loses the match, everybody everywhere will hate him and they will even tear down the city baring his name. Dude, people think you saved the world from Cell. The whole world. It's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that they'd think that you've just gone past your prime as a fighter.
Of course, Mr. Satan, not being exactly the clearest thinker, immediately agrees to 18's plan. Besides, even if he has to pay 20 million zeni (10 which he's getting for free anyway), it's probably small potatoes compared to the fame he's received over the years. It's about time the fraud give a little payback to the people who actually did something against Cell. Though whether or not 18 actually plans to share the money with the Son family is never revealed. Honestly, I'd be happy if her and Kuririn just move out of Kame House and let Roshi have his privacy. Maybe that's why the old man was so excited about the possibility of 18 winning.
Even though it's sort of removed from the main plot involving Babidi, I still really like this part of the story. Yeah, the tournament is pretty old and busted at this point in the DB saga, and the padding in the previous episode really bothered me, but I love this bit of comedy that gives us some more characterization for 18 and Mr. Satan, the latter of whom we'll see play a bigger role later on. Come to think of it, I wonder if she ever does go and pick up that money, with all that happens later. Yeah, yeah, DBZ Movie 11, but screw you, that's not in continuity.
Another thing I really enjoy is the reaction Trunks and Goten have to Videl telling them what's going on with Babidi. They are wildly estatic for the chance to see something so cool. They speed off to go see it, surely to be disappointed when they discover Babidi looks like a hairy ball sack.
I like to see Gohan in action, but clearly this isn't one of the better fights in DB. It all seems a little too "been there, done that" at this point. Besides which, there's a completely different point for this battle which doesn't come until the next episode.
Oooh, but there's a new ED now, with new credit scenes. And like the last ED sequence, it spoils the hell out of everything. But whatever. The song is decent enough, though it's not very DB-ish. I guess not many of the songs for this show has seemed so, either. The cynic in me thinks they're just trying to pad out the soundtrack for money. But hey, at least there's some variety now.
3.5 out of 5