Episode 3, "A Battle with Their Lives on the Line! Goku and Piccolo's Fierce Suicidal Attack!"
Synopsis: Goku and Piccolo attack Raditz, who proves to be more than a match for the both of them. Piccolo attempts a new attack, but Goku is unable to keep him distracted long enough for it to work. Beaten, Goku is surprised when Gohan bursts from Raditz's pod and headbutts Raditz, injuring him. Goku grabs Raditz and holds him so Piccolo can attack, and Piccolo's beam attack pierces the brothers. Piccolo brags about the Dragon Balls to a dying Raditz, who transmits the conversation to his colleagues on another planet. Goku passes away as Kururin and the others arrive.
I was so excited about this episode before viewing it. I mean, Goku and Piccolo's fight with Raditz is pretty awesome. A lot of fast movement, and harsh injury. This is why I like the first DBZ movie so much, because it has Goku and Piccolo teaming up, trading blows with a powerful enemy, not just beam shots, though there were some of those, too. This was a brutal, agonizing fight the first time around.
And then Toei censored it. Censored it! Sure, there's some blood, but not nearly as much blood as there was originally. When you get pierced through your middle with a giant beam, I expect to see a giant bloody hole in your body, not some minor burn. This is bullshit. Yes, it'll likely be on the DVDs, but it's still sort of lame to see this on television, especially since there's so much more violence in some other anime, and this level of bloody violence was fine for children the first time DBZ aired, twenty years ago. What's next? "The next dimension?" Parachutes?
If you're going to censor DBZ for broadcast, at least do me a favor and air the original English dub version, the way I'm used to watching censored DBZ. At least then I can enjoy Scott McNeil in his prime. Obviously, Japan isn't going to do that, but you get my point. (I recently ordered the classic movies on DVD with the Ocean dub on them... Peter Kelamis as Goku!)
Aside from the censorship, though, the episode was still good. Smooth transitioning, the music improved, the animation was cleared up, Vegeta was recolored so that he didn't look off, with red hair, like the first time around. Voices are well in their groove. The action was still exciting.
It's just, come on. Has Japan become more conservative, or what? Then again, I guess at 8 or 9 in the morning, a little censorship makes sense.
3 out of 5