I've talked about Toriyama Akira's shounen classic, Dragonball before. I've also gone over its first film & several of its sequel DBZ's films. Which is natural, I suppose, given how influential it is and how many films it has. We're kicking off this year's film festival with a look at the second Dragonball film. This one hit theatres in 1987, when most of you weren't born and I was just a baby. I understand I was already highly critical of media and snubbed Maya the Bee for being too pedestrian.
We open with a quick retread of Goku & Krillin approaching Roshi for training. He sends them
on an errand to bring him a beautiful young girl but he doesn't trust them so he specifies that he wants the sleeping princess who's been imprisoned by demons for centuries according to legend. Which, I guess still makes her young when compared to Roshi. The pair set off, each determined to be the one who finds her. Unbeknownst to them, there's more to the situation than meets the eye. And no, the castle isn't a Transformer. As awesome as that would have been.
The biggest narrative issue does lie in the retread. First off, there's no real reason for this. You could easily have Roshi send them during their training whilst offering some reward that they both want. Secondly, there are parts of it that really don't work when you think about it. Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong & Pu'ar all arrive on Roshi's island to look for Goku, for example. And there's no reason they should expect him to be there if he's not being trained. It would be like if I asked a store's manager if they knew where my friend was because I saw her shop there once and just assumed the staff would know her whereabouts because of it. It's like they want to have the established situation of the series proper but they also want to reset it.
On some more positive notes, the film does to a good job of encapsulating the show's aesthetic. It's the type of quick, goofy scenario you might just get for one or two episodes. It has a strong sense of fun to it and just the right ratio of weirdness.
The film has all your favourite characters, from the point it's set. You have Krillin, Goku, Roshi, Bulma, Oolong, Lunch & Pu'ar. Also, Yamcha is there but he'd already begun his spiral into uselessness at this point and, while Goku & Krillin are fighting demons he punches out a physically deformed old man and that's pretty much it. I'll echo a question from DBZ fans everywhere. Why is Yamcha even here? Anyone could've decked that deformed elderly man. Even Oolong.
The best part of the characterisation in this film has to be the portrayal of Krillin & Goku's rivalry and transition into friendship. It's a nicely done element that's actually kind of genuine, in spite of all the absurd elements around them.
The film looks like the series that spawned it. Which comes with the good and the bad. They recycle some bits. The backgrounds aren't the best. However, the aesthetic is appealing,the monster designs are pretty good and the crazy futuristic technology is nicely done.
I'll focus primarily on the film only characters since every single member of our main cast was well acted in the series proper, occasional overdone moment notwithstanding. They were also strong in the last film and I'm sure they'll be strong in the final two Dragonball films when I eventually review them. And that's not even going into the Z related part of the franchise. In this case, we only really have the antagonists voiced by Nozawa Nachi, Iizuka Shouzou (who also voiced good old number 8 in the main series) & Gouri Daisuke (who voiced a plethora of minor characters including the tortoise, Colonel Yellow, Cymbal & Drum). Gouri also voices my favourite antagonist in the film because he just seems to be having such a grand time although all three give good performances. The music is solid as well.
Not really any here. Unless you think Goku's eagerness to be friends with Krillin has to do with romantic tension. Which I don't but I'm not averse to the idea.
Majinjou no Nemuri Hime is a solid film. It's enjoyable with some strong action sequences, good comedic moments and, frankly, if you're a fan of Dragonball this is forty five more minutes of the same type of thing. So, you'll enjoy it. It's definitely a vast improvement over the first film. I give it a solid 7/10. Tomorrow, we'l continue the week with Godzilla: Kaijuu Wakusei.
After watching the 2010 dub version on youtube I can say this: FINE MOVIE.
The movie occurs in the timeline after goku finished his first jurney for obtaining the 7 dragonballs. Master roshi promises goku to train him when suddenly we meet krillin, who appears on the island and askes roshi to be his pupile. But master roshi won't agree that easily and sends the two boys to resque a princess trapped in a castle.
Goku's dubbed voice finaly actually sounds like a normal boy, the rest of the cast get to keep their normal voices. The movie was a direct sequal to the first movie, and
I think it was a little better. As usuall it creates an alternate story to what really happened, but the idea stayed the same.
1. The Vampire was a cool designed villain, not like the usual cliche anime movie villain.
2. He had an alright motive, blowing up the sun to create permanent darkness for him and the demons.
3. Very cool art design for the "Devil's Hand". Very spooky design and it gave off some Fantasia "Night on Bald Mountain" vibes.
4. We get to see more of Goku being a Great Ape.
5. Launch is in this movie, so I gotta list this here because she is such a cutie!
1. The dub voice in this movie for Goku is terrible, he sounds like hes always whispering
and exhaling at the same time.
2. The dub voice for Bulma wasnt very fitting in my opinion. I don't know why they couldn't get the original voice actors, seeing as Master Roshi and Krillin have their respected voice actors.
3. The first 15 minutes are basically scenes we have already seen before in the anime. Like the first movie it is a retelling, this time of how Goku and Krillin become Master Roshi's students. I am not a fan of these retellings. I would rather see something new and original not recycled story.
4. Bulma is a damsel in distress in this movie and she trusts a very vampire looking man named LUCIFER. She also walks into the coliseum looking room filled with demons in the stands and doesn't seem scared and acts like nothing is out of the ordinary. Like seriously? Bulma isn't that dumb, as she is an inventor.
5. Even though I put Goku turning into a Great Ape into the pros, I also have to list it here as it only lasts a little over a minute before Puar turns into a giants pair of scissors and cuts Goku's tail off. I want more Great Ape epicness please!
5. The whole Sleeping Princess thing was confusing. First of all, why is this blue crystal called the sleeping princess? How did they come across it? The purpose for it was that they needed the crystal and the blood of a girl (coming from bulma) to power up a canon to take out the sun. Why did they have to use this specific canon? Couldn't they just make a canon that used normal explosives?
6. All of the demons used guns. Instead of using..I don't know maybe their claws or teeth? Nah, give them the human creation called guns!
7. There was plenty of fan service of Bulma's breasts, including 2 close ups, the demons were even joking about them, and not to mention the recycled scene of Oolong transforming into Bulma to show Roshi her boobs.
8. Krillin really didn't do anything in this movie and was a big burden to Goku who had to save him countless times, even Yamcha did more in this movie than Krillin.
9. The ending. Goku managed to blow up the canon as it was about to shoot the moon, thus resulting in a big explosion. It does not show what happens to the vampire, so it is assumed that he perished in the explosion. But what about Goku and the gang? How did they all get out of there? It is not explained.
Yet another retelling of the Dragon Ball tale. Have any of these been worth watching? Not in the slightest. Outside of curiosity you have no reason to watch this.
The animation in particular is shoddy. Seems like characters just don't move around as well as they should. Couple this with some awkward scene transitions. The audio is also really bad. Even on the direct streaming version from Funimation it seems like voices are way too low and certain sounds are ear piercing. It becomes annoying to watch.
Speaking of audio, yes a lot of the English voice actors are different. Goku and Bulma in particular sound awful.
Luckily Roshi and Krillin are the proper English voice actors.
The story is painfully dull. Roshi decides before he can train Golku or Krillin they must rescue a princess. The main villain is a vampire and is not interesting in the slightest. The whole thing is a struggle to watch. Nothing interesting happens the entire time.