Episode 88, "The Decisive Battle! Cell vs Son Goku"
Synopsis: Mr. Satan reels from being thrown from the ring, claiming to have been tripped. Goku steps into the ring and faces off with Cell. Goku attacks, and Cell evades, blocks, and counters. Gohan claims his father isn't using his real power. Goku powers up, causing his allies to be astonished. Cell powers up as well. They begin the battle again. Cell claims that he's enjoying himself. Then he splits into four, a technique of Tenshinhan's. He also uses Makankosappo, Kienzan, and even Kamehameha. Goku uses Shikan Ido to avoid being hit. Cell's speed frustrates Goku.
We finally get to the real action, with Goku's fight with Cell starting. But because of this, there's really not a whole lot to say about this episode!
Mr. Satan must be made of some tough stuff if he was capable of surviving Cell's swatting him out of the ring. Though perhaps, as Kuririn suggests, Cell found him too pitiful to kill. He got off really easily, with only a little bleeding. You'd figure he'd at least be unconscious after slamming into one of those big rocky crags that litter the DB world landscape. I think the television announcer accepts his explanation of having tripped because frankly, he needs to believe that. The cameraman seems to be a little wiser, though.
The beginning of Goku's fight with Cell is marked with the two of them sandbagging for whatever reason. Goku finally does a power up that resembles that part of the first DBZ OP towards the end where he's summoning up power. I like the part where Cell claims that he's having fun. Those are those Saiyan cells at work. Cell and Goku are alike in that they're just looking for a good fight, though I'm not sure Goku is enjoying this fight as much as you'd expect.
For the beginning of an important battle, the quality of art is sure abysmally bad at times. I mean, they couldn't have corrected some of this for Kai? They couldn't take some of the money they saved not fixing up the million other mistakes they kept in by completely redoing just a few shots, or at least touching them up? Some of the shots look like utter shit and the animation isn't anything special either. It's fucking shameful at this point.
Then there's the music. For the most part it's okay, but the pieces used in Z in this fight were a lot better, if obscenely overused (like stuff from the fifth DBZ movie). The Kikuchi pieces made you feel how important and extraordinary this battle was. The heroic-sounding music here just make it seem like any other display of power. Although, I really like the piece used just before and as Goku powers up.
Another thing that bothers me is that they're actually cutting down the meat of the fight, the actual fighting. There's more exchanges in Z than here. This isn't the Freeza battle, which goes on forever. They can afford to keep a bit more material here, can't they?
Color me unimpressed.
3 out of 5