Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku

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Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku
North American poster art
Based on Dragon Ball 
by Akira Toriyama
Written by Takao Koyama
Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto
Narrated by Jōji Yanami
Composer(s) Shunsuke Kikuchi
Country of origin Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
No. of episodes 1
Editor(s) Shinichi Fukumitsu
Running time 48 minutes
Production company(s) Toei Animation
Original channel Fuji Television
Original release October 17, 1990 (1990-10-17)

Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku, known in Japan as Dragon Ball Z: A Lonesome, Final Battle - The Father of Z Warrior Son Goku, who Challenged Freeza (ドラゴンボールZ たったひとりの最終決戦〜フリーザに挑んだZ戦士 孫悟空の父〜 Doragon Bōru Zetto Tatta Hitori no Saishū Kessen ~Furīza ni Idonda Zetto-senshi Son Gokū no Chichi~?), is the first Dragon Ball Z TV special, which is based on the popular manga Dragon Ball. It was broadcast on Fuji Television on October 17, 1990, between Dragon Ball Z episodes 63 and 64.

AB Groupe's title is Dragon Ball Z: The Father of Goku. FUNimation first released the special on DVD in January 2001 and later re-released this and the Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks TV special on a digitally remastered double feature DVD on February 19, 2008; a Blu-ray Disc version was released on July 15, 2008. The special was re-released in its remastered form on September 15, 2009 in a single disc release. On December 17, 2011, a sequel short film called Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock was released.


The main protagonists of the film Shugesh, Bardock, Borgos, Tora & Fasha

The special is the story of Bardock, a so-called low-level soldier in Frieza's armed forces. At the outset of the story, his son, Kakarot, is born on Planet Vegeta, and is being prepared to be sent to a "frontier planet" (Earth) in order to destroy all life there. Meanwhile, Bardock and his crew are on an assignment to exterminate all the lifeforms of Planet Kanassa, transformed into Great Apes by the planet's full moon. The next morning, after the planet is seemingly devoid of all other life, Bardock and his crew rest up and celebrate their victory until one remaining Kanassan warrior catches him off guard and decides to give him the "gift" of seeing the future, before being destroyed by Bardock. This haunts Bardock with visions of the destruction of Planet Vegeta, and the oppression of the entire Universe at the hands of Frieza.

Bardock dismisses the visions, and goes to join his team on Planet Meat, but soon discovers his friends are all dead. He then briefly talks with the nearly deceased Tora, who tells him that Frieza ordered the attack on the crew, saying that Frieza was frightened by the growing power of the Saiyans. Horrified and then furious by his fallen comrade's words, he takes Tora's blood-soaked armband and wraps it around his head. He battles the ones responsible, and defeats them all, but is easily overwhelmed by a single mouth blast from Frieza's henchman Dodoria. He is left severely injured, but manages to return to Planet Vegeta.

Bardock now realizes Frieza intends to destroy the entire Saiyan race by annihilating their homeworld. Unfortunately, he is unable to convince the others of the approaching peril and, with no other choice, decides to confront Frieza himself. After penetrating Frieza's armed guard, Bardock sends a large energy blast at the tyrant himself, expecting a sure victory. However, Frieza counters this with his Supernova technique, which destroys Bardock, many of his own guards, and the Planet Vegeta itself. As he is dying, Bardock sees one more vision of the future: his son Kakarot facing Frieza. Being assured that Kakarot will be the one to defeat Frieza, Bardock gives a small smile as he disintegrates along with the planet. Bardock, after his death, telepathically asks his son Kakarot in the space pod to avenge the Saiyans, to which Kakarot wakes up.

Elsewhere, Vegeta, having just completed an assignment on a far-off world, is informed by Nappa (in the English version it is one of Frieza's minor soldiers who tells him) of his homeworld's destruction, and that Frieza claims that the planet was destroyed by a huge meteor. Vegeta's pride keeps him from expressing his shock, and he remains outwardly emotionless. Soon afterward, Kakarot's space pod touches down on Earth, where he is found by an elder man named Gohan, giggles happily in the old man's arms. Gohan then decides to adopt the boy as his own grandson, and gives him a new name, Goku.

As the credits roll, scenes are shown of Goku's adventures and battles, such as against Emperor Pilaf, the Red Ribbon Army, Tien Shinhan, King Piccolo, Nappa and Vegeta, culminating in an image of Goku ready to face Frieza, with Bardock and his elite watching from the background.


Character name Japanese seiyū English voice actor
(Funimation, original dub, 2000)
English voice actor
(Funimation, remastered dub, 2008)
Bardock Masako Nozawa Sonny Strait
Tora Kazuyuki Sogabe Mike McFarland
Fasha Yuko Mita Linda Young
Borgos Kôzô Shioya Christopher Sabat
Shugesh Takeshi Watabe Chris Rager
Frieza Ryusei Nakao Linda Young
Dodoria Yukitoshi Hori Chris Forbis
Zarbon Sho Hayami Christopher Sabat
Vegeta Ryo Horikawa Christopher Sabat
Nappa Shozo Iizuka Christopher Sabat Phil Parsons
Son Goku Masako Nozawa Sean Schemmel
Stephanie Nadolny (baby)
Grandpa Gohan Jinpei Azusa Christopher Sabat
Toolo Banjō Ginga Mike McFarland
Narrator Jōji Yanami Dale D. Kelly Kyle Hebert


  • OP (Opening Theme)
  • IN (Insertion Song)
    1. Solid State Scouter (ソリッドステート・スカウター Soriddosutēto Sukautā?)
      • Lyrics: Fuminori Iwazaki, Music: Fuminori Iwazaki, Arrangement: Dragon Magic Orchestra, Vocals: Tokio
  • ED (Ending Theme)
    1. 光の旅 (Hikari no Tabi Journey of Light?)
      • Lyrics: Dai Satō, Music: Chiho Kiyoka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama & Kuko (Waffle)

The song "Solid State Scouter" by Dragon Magic Orchestra is a homage to the Japanese synthpop band Yellow Magic Orchestra, specifically their 1979 album Solid State Survivor.

Funimation Dub Soundtrack[edit]

The following songs were present in the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku:[1]

  1. Caviar - The Good Times Are Over
  2. Sum 41 - Makes No Difference
  3. American Hi-Fi - A Bigger Mood
  4. Saliva - Superstar


Chris Beveridge of Mania.com says that "Bardock getting explored a bit more is definitely a positive, and surely could carry an arc himself if not more in giving us the Saiyan view of things pre-Freeza and though the early part of it."[2]


  1. ^ Toriyama, Akira (Director). (2008 Feb 19). Bardock: The Father of Goku [Motion picture]. Japan: FUNimation.
  2. ^ Dragon Ball Z Bardock/Trunks Double Feature review

External links[edit]