I was thirteen when ‘Dragon Ball Z’ hit me. It was around Vegeta’s saga. I had watched a couple of episodes of Dragon Ball and it was ok, it was really funny. I loved when he fought Piccolo (Pikkoro) on the tournament. That was hardcore. Anime wasn’t a ‘thing’ yet. Me and my friends watched anime like you watched cartoons. ‘Saint Seiya’, ‘Speed Racer’ or ‘Robotech’ and ‘G-Force’ were cool cartoons and that was it. No anime. But it was different. People died on this ‘cartoons’. Villains and heroes.
Last year, a new movie based on Dragon Ball Z universe came out. We –me and my friends and my wife- were really excited. And while a lot of people hated it (Vegeta singing was pretty much like Death Mask singing on that truly awful Saint Seiya reboot movie) I liked it because it reminded me all the laughs I had with the original Dragon Ball and the character of Beerus and his love for Earth food was actually super funny. A few months ago we were struck with the lightning of a new Dragon Ball Z movie. The resurrection of Freeza! What the fuck!!! So cool! And directed by Tadayoshi Yamamuro, a guy that was always related to Dragon Ball Z. Back to the origins, oh yeaaaah!
Until we watched it.
PRODUCER: TOEI ANIMATION
The plot revolves around the idea that after being slaughtered by Trunks, Freeza can still be resuscitated. And that happens in the first fifteen minutes of the film when the general of his army, a midget named Sorbet arrives to the Earth with Tagoma, one of his minions. They force Pilaf, Mai and Shu to search for the Earth Dragon Balls which they do. Freeza is revived by Shenlong. In pieces though. Back in the spaceship they put the destroyed flesh of Freeza in a machine that puts him back together. Freeza is alive!
Piccolo and Son Gohan feel a huge Ki and start to suspect that something fishy is going on. That is revealed to them when Bulma is reached by Jaco, the galactic patrolman (from the homonymous manga of Akira Toriyama), a little dude that functions as a Green Lantern of sorts.
In the meantime, Goku and Vegeta are training with Whis and Beerus back in Beerus planet when they found out that Freeza is returning to Earth to get his revenge. And he has a card up his sleeve.
Narrated like I did, it seems like a regular DBZ plot crushed in a 90-minutes movie. And it is. But with all the things you hated from those sagas, specially, the random jumps of animation quality. Back in the 90’s (and today too) you knew the cycle of this 100-plus episodes anime. One normal animated episode, one superbly animated episode, one awfully animated and the fourth returned to normal. This was the norm with long life shonens like Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya and it even happened with short series like Evangelion (for naming a fairly known one). You got accustomed to that.
Now when this happens in a 90-minutes movie. No man. That’s a dickmove and it totally feels that this new resurrection is a complete money-grab.
For starters, the movie, as a whole, looks like it was animated by one of the “normal animated episode” studios. Even the CGI parts looks shoddy for 2015 standards. Second of all, the bad parts, the sloppy animated ones, look really hideous. There’s a particular scene you’ll feel ripped-off. The scene is completely not important and it serves as a way to introduce a fan favorite like Kuririn. It looks like I was the one drawing. I’m not kidding. That kind of crappy animation it’s all over the non-relevant parts of the film and are a deal breaker.
I went to the movies with my wife, Pol Jordan (PS4 main writer here in G&P) and another friend, all fans of Dragon Ball and we all came out of the cinema disappointed. This wasn’t a good way to bring back the best villain Dragon Ball ever had. Freeza deserved better than this half-assed attempt they made. Akira Toriyama’s castle needs a renovation of the vitreaux or something?
We all remembered Freeza like the greatest because he was the one that made Goku reached Super-Saiyan level. His saga lasted 67 episodes (a year and a half). It was epic. The only epicness in this movie are Beerus remarks and ‘Maximum the Hormone’ song ‘F’ dedicated entirely to Freeza.
The rest of the soundtrack composed Norihito Sumitomo like in ‘Battle of the Gods’ and it works fine with a mix of classic and metal. ‘Momoire Clover Z’, an idol group formed by DBZ fans provided ‘Z no Chikai’ song.