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Japan - 68 years old
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Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon

Doragon Boru Z: Ryûken Bakuhatsu!! Gokû ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru
1995 / 52m - Japan
Action, Fantasy - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon poster

And we're back to square one. After the jolly madness that was Fusion Reborn, Wrath of the Dragon is once again a more traditional Dragon Ball Z film, with a strong focus on a single enemy and a fight that lasts more than half the film. It's a good thing these films are pretty short.

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The DBZ crew is approached by an old man who wants to revive an old hero. They collect the dragon balls to make his wish come true, not realizing that they're about to unleash a terrible evil. Tapion is a Kaiju-like monster with incredible powers who can easily avoid their strongest attacks.

The art style remains a bit crummy, and the animation is not quite as good as you'd expect from a popular franchise like this. Tapion is an amusing monster, but that's about all there is here. Too serious for its own good, and hardly any memorable moments for a film that lasts only 50 minutes.

Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge

Doragon Boru Z: Tobikkiri no Saikyô tai Saikyô
1991 / 47m - Japan
Action - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge poster

Yet another pointless DBZ film. All it really comes down to is the introduction of another bad guy who needs to be fought off to protect the Earth from its demise. Not a bad premise as such, but you need a cool/interesting bad guy and some fun action scenes to make this work. And that's exactly what DBZ has been missing so far.

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This time around, the Dragon Ball crew is dealing with Cooler, the brother of Freeza (an enemy they defeated before). He wants to take revenge on his brother while getting rid of all the Saiyan in one clean swoop. Gohan and Goku will have to make use of all their strength if they want to fight off Cooler.

So basically, we're going camping again, followed by two people upgrading their strength gradually and throwing fireballs at each other for the remainder of the time. The art style and animation seem to have taken a nosedive again, so there's really no good reason for non-fans to watch this film. This is as generic and predictable as they come, and exactly the reason why I never bothered with DBZ before.

Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug

Doragon Boru Z: Super Saiya-jin da Son Gokû
1991 / 52m - Japan
Action - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug poster

Just another DBZ movie. Shorter certainly isn't worse in theory, the problem is that they are cutting out the fun bits, which doesn't improve the overall quality of the film. If you like the endless battles you may actually prefer the shorter films, if you're like me and you like the light-hearted banter then there's not a whole lot left to watch.

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The plot is as simple as can be. Earth is in danger of being hit by another planet, Gohan and Goku try to avert the disaster. They succeed, but only barely. When they wake up after the near-hit, a spaceship has landed nearby. Its ruler is planning on conquering Earth, Goku and his friends will do anything to stop this from happening.

The animation received a little boost, but the art style is still pretty crude and unattractive. The plot is simplistic, the battles are nonsensical and unexciting and the short runtime allows for little extra beyond the main fight. I guess I'll power through until the next batch of Nishio-directed films and take it from there. This was a clear step back from the previous films.