Episode 55, "That's Earth, Papa... Freeza and his Father Strike Back", or "We Can Rebuild Him... We Have The Technology. But I Don't Want To Spend A Lot Of Money"
Synopsis: Freeza's damaged body is rescued from the space around where Namek once was and is rebuilt by men working with his father, King Cold. Freeza declares they are going to Earth next. On Earth, peace reigns, but Kuririn trains, and Vegeta returns from space, having not found Goku. Suddenly, Gohan, Kuririn, Vegeta, and the other fighters sense an enormous ki heading for Earth. A familiar ki. Freeza's ki. Kaio panics on his planetoid. Everyone speeds towards where Freeza will land. Bulma arrives, too, with Puar. King Cold's ship lands. They send out soldiers to kill people, but the soldiers are all cut up. A mysterious boy with a sword appears, and tells Freeza that he's come there to kill him.
This episode begins the new story arc in the Dragon Ball story, the Androids/Cell arc, with the arrival of cyborg Freeza and his father, King Cold, on Earth. It's amazing that we've reached this so soon, at episode 55. In Dragon Ball Z, they didn't even start the battle with Freeza at this point. So, once again, I'm in awe of the amazing pacing of Dragon Ball Kai. Still, everything seems a tad too quick at times. Just not in this episode. Everything went fine here. There's no reason to stretch out the gang reacting to Freeza's arrival, especially since he's not around for long.
You know, I'm curious about the hierarchy in the Freeza family. Freeza is the emperor of the universe, but King Cold is... the king? Does Freeza outrank his father? Is it one of those things where King Cold used to be the big man, but retired so that his son could be the one in charge? I know he's non-canon, but where would Coola fit in? Is Cold actually more powerful than Freeza? If he is, then how can Freeza call himself the most powerful in the universe? It seems a little like Toriyama just pulled King Cold out of his ass, frankly.
We get a new ED this episode, with a new song, "Wings of the Heart" by AKB48. They're the girl group made up of tons of girls. They're like an army of girls. Needless to say, when I heard they were doing the new closing them for Kai, I had my doubts. And when I first heard it, I continued doubting. It's just not very Dragon Ball. However, its grown on me a little bit, even if it seems like a song more suited for Inu Yasha. MOTTO MOTTO, HAYAKU! The OP has some new bits, featuring the androids and all the Super Saiyans from this part of the story. I wish they would have removed some of the bits with the Saibamen. Maybe later they'll replace them with the Cell Juniors.
We got some new BGM, too. One piece sounded like it was from Jaws. Another sounded like it came from an old RPG. There was another piece, too, when Gohan and Kuririn were flying, which sounded a bit Kikuchi-like. The new BGM sounded okay, but to be honest, it's a bit too restrained. Maybe I'm being a little too critical. I didn't like a lot of the BGM music from before, but when Goku was fighting Freeza, I thought the music was used in a way where it seemed pretty natural, so who knows? Maybe I'll end up liking it a bit more later.
Trunks is here! He's still voiced by Takeshi Kusao. King Cold's VA, Daisuke Gouri, sadly passed away, and is now voiced by Ryuzaburo Otomo, voice of Crocodile in One Piece and Buccaneer in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I wonder if he'll also be playing Gouri's bigger role, Mr. Satan, later on in the story.
3.5 out of 5