I recently archived some of my earliest online endeavors. Some of them are filed away under lock so none of you will ever have a chance to see them. Some, like what I am about to share, are too cute to hold back. It is occasionally a good thing to look back at where you came from, figure out how much you have grown, and where to go from there.
When FUNimation (in conjunction with Pioneer) was releasing the first three DragonBall Z movies state-side back in 1997-1998, I was just beginning my website and writing quick reviews of the releases. Here is what my 15/16-year-old self wrote about “The Tree of Might” (DBZ movie 3), and specifically the uncut home release of its dub, back in 1998:
DragonBall Z Movie # 3: The Tree Of Might
Was I ever surprised with this one!! This IS NOT, I repeat, IS NOT the same “Tree of Might” that was shown on television. It has been completely re-dubbed, and it is SOOO much better. No more of that, “jerk” crap. Instead of Taurus (yeah, it’s still “Turles” in the dub, folks) saying to Piccolo, “And just who are you?” he now says, in a tone that suggests he is quite unimpressed with Piccolo, “Who the Hell are you?” Just great!! While the signature move names (for the most part) have still been changed (“Kienzan” – “Destructo Disc”…. “Taiyo-Ken” – “Solar Flare”….. “Genki-Dama” – “Spirit Bomb”… etc.), I must say, it was nice to hear Gokou (uh… whoops… it’s “Goku” in the dub, still) say “Kaio-Ken” the correct way!! No longer is it being pronounced “Kayo-Ken”… we now get the true, wonderful, “Kaio-Ken!!!”…. I love it. The new voice actors actually didn’t get on my nerves!! Goku kept it pretty good, Oolong’s new one sucks like Hell, Roshi seems to have about three different people doing his voice, and….. uh….. Higher Dragon (yes, no more of that “Icarus” crap!! We get an actual translation of “Heiya Dragon”) must have had his Japanese “voice,” because it wasn’t half as annoying as it was as the TV version. The gay-ass one liners have all been taken out, and I’m pretty sure they’ve stuck to the original Japanese script (from what I’ve read of the translated Movie # 3 script, so far). I’m still in shock at the new queer names for some of the moves, though… no more “Kamayamaya” for “Masenko,” but now it’s called “Power Beam!” “Souki-Dan” was “Here’s a power shot!” Oh well… can’t have everything you want (actually, you can…. buy the sub-titled version!) This movie is a whole hour long (15 minutes longer than # 1). It’s a great hour, though. There’s a ton of scenes in the Movie here that weren’t shown on TV, which made it all the more enjoyable. The original Japanese soundtrack was also left intact in this movie, from “Cha La Head Cha La” to the ending song (who’s name I can’t remember… I’ll put it in when I watch the movie again). This is just another example that says the guys behind the dub CAN pull something off that is somewhat worthy of Toriyama’s name. Once again, I commend them. Now, if we could only get this “Masenko,” Taiyo-Ken,” “Kienzan,” “Souki-Dan,” and “Genki-Dama” stuff right…..
Contrary to earlier reoprts, “The Tree of Might” is already available, on Dubbed VHS, sub-titled VHS, sub/dub Laser Disc, as well as sub/dub DVD. Pick up a copy!!
SCORE —- 5.5 out of 7 DragonBalls
It is horribly embarrassing. To be fair, I was 16 years old — random cursing and slurs was awesome, and knowing any amount of Japanese (never mind character name pun origins) at that time was equivalent to being King of the Moon. I insisted upon spelling the main character’s name as “Gokou” (something I have done a complete 180 on) simply because it was “different” from what “THE MAN” told me it was. I used a numerical grading scale, something I would never imagine doing these days. I somehow managed to use more ellipses than I even do today. I used the wrong “whose”.
You can probably imagine me bashing my head against the wall right now.
At the same time, it is interesting to see some of the things I have not compromised on. I still have a huge problem with mispronunciations. I still have a huge problem with replacement musical scores. I still have a huge problem with revised scripts. Amusingly, these things all affect me far less due to the widespread availability of the shows in their original Japanese format — as you have come to hear me explain time and time again, an English dub these days is irrelevant to me (up through the point of it affecting greater conversations and information accuracy widespread-ness).
I think this is why I have more patience for kids on our forum over on Daizenshuu EX than a lot of you wish I had. I know that some of them just need a path and a guide. VegettoEX of 1998 was just a punk-kid with delusions of grandeur. He kept working at it, though, until those delusions were at least halfway real…!
Now you have to suffer with me whether you like it or not… which is just the way I like it.