Episode 102, "The Dragon Team, All Assembled! Son Goku has Returned!!"
Synopsis: Videl's ability to fly improves drastically after some practicing. Days pass and Goku's friends and family gather to meet him at the Tenkaichi Budoukai. When Goku appears before them, he's surprised to finally meet his youngest son, Goten, who looks identical to him. Trunks and Goten are both disappointed that they can only enter a children's division of the tournament. Goku and friends try to hold back when registering on the punch test machines, but have trouble. Vegeta doesn't bother, however, entirely destroying one.
Do I have enough energy to really talk about this? I guess we'll find out!
Wow, Toei, you really know how to take the wind from my sails. It gets harder and harder to defend some of the cheap, shoddy elements of the production of this show. The lazy editing, the green tint of the picture, the 16:9 ratio that even the DVDs will be in, and, of course, the dreadfully bland, uninspired musical score. If it weren't for the better pacing and topnotch voice acting, I'm not sure where I could even find a reason to continue watching this, let alone review it. I was so excited that this came back, and you're just fucking up all the right things for me to start not giving a fuck about it. Thanks. Good luck with Sailor Moon Crystal, by the way.
Okay, okay. Actually, for the most part, I enjoyed the episode. Seeing Goku interact with his friends after seven years have passed, watching some of them return to Papaya Island and the Tenkaichi Budoukai, I was pretty pumped. I love the Tenkaichi Budoukai. Even now that the characters are so powerful that the tournament is completely pointless as a central plot element, I can't help smile seeing that martial arts temple setting and the crowds of people coming together to watch funny-looking strong men beat the tar out of each other for glory. It almost makes me wish I were living in the Dragon Ball world. Almost, because I don't want to die a horrible death from ki blast, explosion, or dinosaur. The tournament is a great place to see this group meet up at, a sort of return to the past, but with the future generation in tow.
Especially amusing was Goku's reactions to Kuririn's new life. Goku's expressions when Kuririn explains how he grew his hair out again for Artificial Human 18/Lazuli (yeah, that's what Toriyama says her real name is) and they settled down and had a kid are priceless. He eventually recovers and congratulates Kuririn, but it's almost an afterthought, like he thought, "Oh, right, I should say something out of support." And 18, for her own part, has no problem calling Goku an idiot. Come to think of it, this is the first time they've ever met.
Speaking of first meetings, and this is the crux of the problem I have with this episode, we have Goku's first ever meeting of his younger son, Goten. It always kind of escapes me, but Goku honestly had no idea he had another son. Apparently he never checked in from the afterlife until Gohan mentioned the Budoukai at the Capsule Corp building. Apparently he was never once curious as to how his wife was doing. Goku has literally never seen Goten before in his life, and it even takes a while for him to notice Goten when he arrives.
That isn't my problem, though. That's just a hilarious example of Goku's usual disinterest in family life. Yeah, he's also dead, but come on. He can't look on from the afterlife? Too busy punching caterpillar men and fighting not-Piccolo? Father of All Years, everybody. But then, we already knew that, didn't we?
The problem is the out of place, poorly composed electronica track they play when Goku arrives at the tournament. What. The. Fuck. I don't know who to blame for this, Norhihito Sumitomo for this pile of puke number, the sound director for placing here in an important, heartwarming scene intended to provoke a sentimental whimsy and not a day at the Otakon rave with glow sticks, pacifiers, and ecstasy. This is sub-Faulconer level trash that steps all over an important scene. For one, it's so poorly mixed, you can barely hear the voice actors, who are actually DOING their jobs. Second, it doesn't line up with the actions or the emotion of the scene. Third, FUCK YOU TOEI.
How do you fuck up such an important scene so badly? When Funimation can give you tips on replacement music production and placement, you done fucked up, son. I am disappoint.
Maybe we'll get lucky and Toei will replace it AGAIN with something else for the DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Really, ANYTHING else. The entire soundtrack could be the screams of a child getting mauled by a tiger and it would put across the proper effect of the scene better than the dreck music they used in this scene.
You're losing points for that one, Toei! Please don't embarrass yourself like this again.
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