films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Dragon Ball: The Path to Power

Doragon Bôru: Saikyô E no Michi
1996 / 80m - Japan
Action, Comedy - Animation
Dragon Ball: The Path to Power poster

Back to basic. We're losing the Z and we're going all the way back to the beginning of Dragon Ball, with the first scene showing how Son Goku and Bulma met up. It's not too weird for a 10th-anniversary flick to look back at the past, but it does require a mental shift, as the gap with the Z series is quite big.

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Bulma is looking for the legendary dragon balls, after having found two in an old storage room. She bumps into Son Goku, whose grandfather also has one hidden away. They decide to journey together, but the Red Ribbon Army is also trailing the seven balls, and they want to take them with force.

The animation style is a lot nicer compared to Z. The animation itself is also better and the mix of comedy and adventure is way better suited to the material. I just prefer the original Dragon Ball material I guess, even though 80 minutes is a bit long for a rather flimsy plot. Solid entertainment though, which is more than I could say about most of the Z films.

Dragon Ball Z: Revival Fusion

Doragon Boru Z: Fukkatsu no Fusion!! Gokuu to Vegeta
1995 / 51m - Japan
Action, Fantasy - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Revival Fusion poster

I'm happy to say this is another (minor) step up from the previous film. While the art style is surprisingly dodgy, they've taken the DBZ franchise to a much weirder place, almost to the point of self-parody. This franchise is at its best when it's not taking itself too seriously, and this film is random as fuck.

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There are several plotlines here, one involving a battle against Hitler and his troops, but the main line follows Goku's fight against Janemba, a weird childish blob containing a whole bunch of evil. Janemba grows stronger when he fuses with Freeza. Goku and Vegeta see no other option than to fuse too, in order to stop this formidable monster.

The animation is fine, but the art style is a bit distorted and angled, not pretty at all. I liked the almost super-deformed rendition of the Hitler battle though. Janemba is also pretty funky, and the plot is completely bonkers. If they keep this up, it might eventually reach the heights of the original Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming

Doragon Boru Z: Kiken na Futari! Super Senshi wa Nemurenai
1994 / 52m - Japan
Action, Fantasy - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming poster

Is anyone surprised when I say this is just more of the same (again)? Why change a winning formula, the DBZ series was immensely popular, so these shorter films must've been tasty extras. I do wish they'd tried to be a bit more creative with it, the endless repetition of random intros and drawn-out fights isn't all that exciting.

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Especially not when they're starting to recycle enemies from previous films. As the title suggests, Broly is back. After 20 minutes of goofing around, Broly reappears and starts his battle with Trunks and Goten. Broly is a fierce enemy and it's only when Gohan returns from the dead that they stand a real chance.

The art style is a tad more detailed and the prolonged intros are by far the most enjoyable part of the film. The battle is quite dull again and takes up about half of the film. There's so much more that could've been done with this, but money rules the world, with yearly cash-ins as the result.

Dragon Ball Z: Broly! The Legendary Super Saiyan

Doragon Bôru Z 8: Moetsukiro!! Nessen Retsusen-chô Gekisen
1993 / 72m - Japan
Action, Sci-fi - Animation
Dragon Ball Z: Broly! The Legendary Super Saiyan poster