Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
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|Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone|
Japanese poster art
|Hepburn||Doragon Bōru Zetto|
|Directed by||Daisuke Nishio|
|Produced by||Kōzō Morishita|
|Written by||Takao Koyama|
|Based on||Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama|
|Music by||Shunsuke Kikuchi|
|Edited by||Shinichi Fukumitsu|
|Distributed by||Toei Company|
|Box office||¥800 million|
Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, originally released theatrically in Japan as simply Dragon Ball Z and later as Dragon Ball Z: Return My Gohan!! (ドラゴンボールZ オラの悟飯をかえせッ!! Doragon Bōru Zetto Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!?) for its Japanese VHS and Laserdisc release, is the fourth anime film in the Dragon Ball franchise and the first one under the Dragon Ball Z moniker. It was originally released in Japan on July 15, 1989 at the "Toei Manga Matsuri" film festival along with the 1989 film version of Himitsu no Akko-chan, the first Akuma-kun movie, and the film version of Kidou Keiji Jiban.
The film was licensed in North America by Funimation Entertainment and the home video rights were sub-licensed to Pioneer Home Entertainment. Pioneer's dub used the same voice cast as the TV series did at the time, and was dubbed by Ocean Productions. They released the film as Dead Zone, and later retitled it Dead Zone Vortex for its television airings. AB Groupe, a French company that holds the license to the Dragon Ball franchise in most of Europe, licensed and dubbed the movie, which they re-titled In Pursuit of Garlic. This dub featured an entirely unknown voice cast and dialogue that did not fit the mouth flaps. In Pursuit of Garlic aired on TV in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, and was sold on DVD in the Netherlands by Bridge Entertainment Group. In North America, Pioneer's dub was released on VHS and DVD on December 9, 1997. Once their sub-license expired, Funimation re-released the film on DVD on November 14, 2006, with a completely new dub done by Funimation's voice cast; as part of a movie box set titled "First Strike", also containing The World's Strongest and The Tree of Might. It was later remastered and released in a Double Feature set with The World's Strongest on Blu-ray and DVD on May 27, 2008. The film was released to DVD again on November 1, 2011 in a remastered box set containing the first five Dragon Ball Z movies.
Despite some timeline issues, Dead Zone acts as a prelude to the series, and is the only movie to get a complete follow up during Dragon Ball Z, with the Garlic Jr. arc. After the credits on the Pioneer DVD release, the original episodes 1 and 9 are shown in Japanese with English subtitles, as they were two episodes yet to be dubbed in full at the time.
The film opens with Piccolo being attacked and supposedly killed by a group of shadowed fighters. Chi-Chi along with her father, Ox King, and Gohan are attacked by the same group. Goku is out fishing during the attack and after sensing danger, he returns only to find his son has been kidnapped. The group responsible for the attack are Garlic Jr.'s henchmen, and it is later revealed that their reason for kidnapping Gohan was to retrieve the four-star Dragon Ball that was attached to his hat. After gathering the remaining Dragon Balls, Garlic Jr. summons Shenron and he immediately wishes for immortality. Shenron, never having had to grant this type of demand before, grants Garlic Jr. his wish. A furious Goku arrives to try to take back his son, but soon discovers Garlic Jr.'s new power. Kami makes an appearance (which surprises Garlic Jr., who thought that his henchmen had killed Piccolo) and meets up with Goku, and describes a brief history of Garlic Jr. and his father Garlic. Goku then proceeds to try to find Gohan when he is attacked by the villain's gang, whilst Kami faces Garlic Jr.
After brief fighting, Krillin and Piccolo arrive to help. Piccolo gets revenge for being attacked earlier by defeating Garlic Jr.'s henchman Sansho, while Goku manages to defeat the other two henchmen, Ginger and Nicky. Meanwhile, Kami is getting brutally outmatched by Garlic Jr., until Goku and Piccolo rescue him. And with Garlic Jr.'s newly obtained immortality and a new muscular second form, it seems not even Earth's strongest warriors can take him down. But when Goku & Piccolo work together, two-against-one prevails, and Garlic Jr. is outclassed. Goku and Piccolo then prepare to fight each other, but then Garlic Jr., angry at his defeat, unleashes his ultimate attack, opening up a portal into another dimension known as the "Dead Zone" (the same place Kami banished his father), intending to suck his enemies into the void. However, as it seemed that victory would be his, Goku's son, Gohan, becomes enraged witnessing his father and friends in danger and releases his latent energy, blasting Garlic Jr. into his own vortex to be trapped for all eternity. Remarkably, in the end of it all, Gohan doesn't remember a thing of what happened, instead believing that his father defeated Garlic Jr., and with amazement, Goku figures his son is no ordinary boy, but one with a great hidden potential. At the end of the film, Piccolo is seen from above, looking down on Goku and his friends and vows that one day, he will defeat Goku.
|Character Name||Voice Actor (Japanese)||Voice Actor (English 1997 / Pioneer)||Voice Actor (English 2006 / Funimation)|
|Goku||Masako Nozawa||Peter Kelamis||Sean Schemmel|
|Gohan||Masako Nozawa||Saffron Henderson||Stephanie Nadolny|
|Piccolo||Toshio Furukawa||Scott McNeil||Christopher Sabat|
|Bulma||Hiromi Tsuru||Lalainia Lindbjerg||Tiffany Vollmer|
|Krillin||Mayumi Tanaka||Terry Klassen||Sonny Strait|
|Ox King||Daisuke Gōri||Dave "Squatch" Ward||Kyle Hebert|
|Chi-Chi||Mayumi Shō||Lisa Ann Beley||Cynthia Cranz|
|Master Roshi||Kōhei Miyauchi||Don Brown||Mike McFarland|
|Kami||Takeshi Aono||Dale Wilson||Christopher Sabat|
|Shenron||Kenji Utsumi||Don Brown||Christopher Sabat|
|Garlic Jr.||Akira Kamiya||Don Brown||Chuck Huber|
|Ginger||Kōji Totani||Terry Klassen||Troy Baker|
|Sansho||Yukitoshi Hori||Ward Perry||Eric Dillow|
|Nicky||Shigeru Chiba||Paul Dobson||Doug Burks|
|Narrator||Jōji Yanami||Doc Harris||Kyle Hebert|
- Official anime website of Toei Animation
- Dead Zone at the Internet Movie Database
- Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia