TV Review: Dragonball Z - Season Three.

This season took way too long to get through. Why? Because Netflix started messing with me for a while, and I didn't get a new disc for nearly two weeks. It literally kept skipping over a whole chunk of DVDs, even those that weren't on a 'short wait' or whatnot. But oh well. I've gotten through them now, so I can review them.

Season 3 is a bit unlike the previous two seasons: it doesn't have the setup that the other two had. This is mostly because all of Season 2 is basically the setup for Season 3. That's why I felt that they should be considered one uber-season (much like I know a couple parts of the "Cell" season got split up). But this isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. Instead of having to wait for episode upon episode for Goku to finish doing whatever it is he's doing and show up to the battle field, we pretty much have him from the start. And Frieza needs no introduction, as he was built up all throughout Season 2. So what we have here is an entire season of almost non-stop fighting and action.

Yet, even with a 6-disc action scene, the season still manages to do some crazy things... like put large amounts of focus on the unnecessary. Chi-Chi, for instance. Or King Kai's planet. Or Bulma. Though the Bulma scenes inevitably pay off with the (pointless) return of Captain Ginyu. And speaking of the Ginyu Force, was bringing them back into the show really necessary? King Kai eventually invites them to his little planet to face off against Tien, Chaotzu, and Yamcha to show the boys how strong they've become. Needless to say, they wipe the floor with them. But there were really just some unnecessary moments and flashes to other places.

This was especially true toward the end, and this was one of the big things I always disliked about the Frieza Saga. Frieza attacks the planet and gives it 5 minutes before it will explode, killing Goku while he escapes (he can live in space). Well, it apparently takes roughly 8-9 22-minute episodes for 5 minutes to pass. And it just gets ridiculous in one of the final episodes before Goku defeats Frieza. Frieza remembers everything he hates about Goku in a series of flashbacks. But it's not just a quick montage of flashbacks. No. It's about a half-episode long set of flashbacks wherein each scene takes about a minute to retell. It's like "We just finished watching the season... let me show the entire thing to you again... including scenes from this very episode." So you get to see a scene from that one episode about 3 times. Between that and King Kai repeatedly explaining "The planet is going to explode with Goku on it, so it doesn't matter if he defeats Frieza... he's still gonna die!" Seriously, Yamcha et al. must be idiots, because King Kai had to tell them that every single time they showed them (and they showed them often). I about laughed at one point when they ask "What's wrong?" It's like "he just finished telling you for the 50th time!"

I also have a couple other issues with the final episodes, including a couple major continuity problems. First of all (the smaller issue), there's a point where Vegeta and Gohan fight, Gohan gets the crap beat out of him, and Vegeta leaves. The very next episode shows Gohan perfectly fine and Vegeta just hanging out. Not only that, but Bulma then starts to hit on Vegeta (like, flirt with, not beat), after mainly being scared of and hateful toward him. Though I've always enjoyed the Bulma/Vegeta relationship, so I'm not too flustered. The bigger issue is with the Namekian dragonballs. They want to wish Goku and Krillin back (assuming Goku had died when the planet exploded) with those dragonballs, but discover that they could only be wished back to the place they died. But earlier on in the previous season, they used the same dragonballs to wish Piccolo back to life. He died on Earth, but he doesn't reappear where he died. He stays on King Kai's planet where he currently was, and they have to wish him to Namek. The continuity issue there is alarming.

There seems to be a lot of negativity here, but it's really a fun season. The action is great, though they really undermined Gohan's powers. He turns out to be one of the strongest fighters (if not the strongest) on the show, yet even with boosted ability, he's shown as mostly weak against Frieza and the Ginyu Force. But I guess that's hindsight for you. And the best thing about this season? The introduction of the Super Saiyan! That's right, Goku finally turns Super Saiyan, and it is epic. Once he does that, Frieza (mostly) gets his ass handed to him. It's great fun to watch. And I love how they use juxtapositions to show increased strength on this show (you see how strong Vegeta is, yet Frieza manhandles him... then Goku shows up and beats on Frieza, showing how much stronger Goku is than Vegeta).

Anyway, I don't have much else to say about the season. I already have disc 1 of season 4, so it won't be long before I get to my favorite stuff (the Cell saga(s)). There are a couple things to get through before that (Garlic Jr. and Androids, specifically). So, yeah.

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