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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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Akira Toriyama's Dragonball Z was one my favorite cartoon television shows and animes as a teen. I remember like it was yesterday, whether racing home after school to catch its evening time slot on Cartoon Network or drawing all of my favorite characters, including Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks, and Brolly, in a scrapbook.
Heck, today, some 15 odd years later, I even have a tattoo of Goku inscribed on my bicep to depict my admiration of the character and series.
Sure, DBZ was far from perfect. The series is known for drawn out fights and endless staring-off-into-space moments, but it's the positive elements of the series-- lovable and memorable characters, action-packed fights, and creative story development--that have made it one of the most successful anime franchises of all-time. Here's my top 5 favorite badass moments in Dragonball Z:
#5. GOKU VS. MAJIN VEGETA
When Vegeta, under the influence of Buu, and Goku finally duke it out, what follows is an epic battle worthy of an MMA Pay-Per-View match that every fan of DBZ was waiting for since the duo became 'friends.'
It was that first incident; when Vegeta blew a large hole into the stands and killed hundreds of innocent bystanders at the World Tournament. Then it happened: Vegeta devilishly eyed Goku and that led to a legendary all-out melee between the two.
Flying knees, kicks to the head, body shots, energy blasts, and of course, an endless amount of face-offs and shit-talking from both sides.
In the end, Vegeta had won the battle, but ultimately, Goku won the war, with the help of Vegeta's ultimate sacrifice. Count it as one of the greatest character battles of all-time.
Watch the clip of Goku fighting Majin Vegeta here.
#4. GOKU KILLS BUU
Majin Buu was one of Goku's toughest villains. He was powerful, had undergone numerous transformations, and even used a mind control technique on Vegeta, turning our once heroic friend into a stone cold killer. He was pure evil, and what made it worst was that he was sort of, well, goofy.
Fast-forward and you've got one of the most intriguing deaths in series. Unlike any previous deaths of major villains in the series, Buu's death at the hands of Goku was shown as a very spiritual and, larger-than-life moment.
You've seen it--From the way Goku’s comrades "cheer" him on to throw that final Spirit Bomb, to his God-like pose, to the highlight reel of Buu's previous attacks, and even to the musical score that accompanied the scene, everything was made to portray Goku as an almighty savior.
And based on Goku's character and attitude, it was actually quite fitting to his development throughout DBZ.
Watch the clip of Goku killing Majin Buu here.
#3. GOKU AND VEGETA FUSE
Dragonball Z is probably the only place where the concept of fusion between two superheroes exists. There have been incidents in Marvel Comics where Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, had been overtaken by an alien mutagen to form Venom, but that didn't even come close.
The first time Goku and Vegeta fused was mind-blowing. What DBZ did right was combine the strengths of two powerful and opposing heroes in order to defeat a common enemy, and it worked out perfectly.
Gogeta—Goku and Vegeta combined—pummeled their nemesis Janemba with ease and in quick fashion. To add icing on the cake, Goten and Trunks, feeling the qi of Gogeta during their own fierce battle, made a fusion of their own. How cool was that!?
Watch the clip of Goku and Vegeta fusing here.
#2. GOHAN TURNS SS2
Early on in Dragonball Z, Gohan had undergone an interesting journey. As the son of Goku he had fought a good fight but was the last to transform into a Super Saiyan, and it wasn't until the Cell Saga that he was able to do so.
The problem: Gohan just couldn't get angry enough and hadn't experienced any significant event that would force him to unleash his true potential.
Later, it was Cell's unsympathetic destruction of Android #16, Gohan friend, that lifted his restraints and, to the surprise of everyone, catapulted him to SS2 where he was able to ultimately defeat Cell.
Until this day I can still remember SFX of birds chirping and the building Japanese musical score that accompanied his transformation. "Zet ta baby whoah whoahhhh", or something like that.
This was Gohan's pinnacle moment; after all, from the very moment he began training with Piccolo at childhood he was a tough cookie but still not a viable threat. Jump forward to his battle with Cell and the second he became SS2, he became more powerful than everyone.
From then on Gohan developed a 'swag', and he would prove to be even more spectacular in my #1 moment from the series. Let's keep reading ...
Watch the clip of Gohan turning SS2 here.
#1. GOKU, GOHAN, AND GOTEN KILL BROLY
After suffering major losses and on the verge of absolute defeat, Gohan made a last minute effort to push for one last solo Kamehameha against Brolli, his indomitable opponent.
Goten would join in too, using the same power move, but they were still no match for Brolly.
At the hands of inevitable death, Goten asked the Dragonballs for help, and Goku’s spirit descended from the clouds and he joined his two sons with a Kamehameha of his own. Brolli is ultimately defeated.
As a fan since his transformation into SS2 during the Cell Saga, watching a more mature and experienced Gohan engage Brolly was akin to rooting for "the karate kid" in his final showdown.
And though his own challenge was unsuccessful, the unification of the father, oldest son, and youngest son for an epic Kamehameha was the icing on the cake.
And that close-up of Goku's face--his eyes piercing away at Brolly, and his body wrapped in a golden and angelic aurora. Brolly's irritable reaction to Goku's arrival was even more priceless.
The trio shot of the family hurling their Kamehameha while blanketed in a blue flash of light will forever be my most favorite shots of the series!
Watch the clip of Goku, Gohan, and Goten killing Brolli here.
Well, that’s my list. I hope you enjoy these Dragonball Z scenes as much as I did! Let me know what you think about them down below. If you also have more to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
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