It has been thirteen years since the Androids began their killing rampage and Son Gohan is the only person fighting back. He takes Bulma's son Trunks as a student and even gives his own life to save Trunks's. Now Trunks must figure out a way to change this apocalyptic future.
This is a pretty good movie, if you watched Dragonball, Dragonball Z or Dragonball GT, you must be a fool to not watch this atleast once.
In the future of Dragonball Z in th alternate world, where Goku dies from the heart disease and there are few survivors including Trunks and Gohan. This movie got me very close to tears midway through, and i felt I could really connect with how the characters was feeling. This is why this is my favourite Dragonball Z movie, there seems to have been alot more effort put into this movie.
The animation quality of this movie for me seemed
really good, seeing the fights in the rain and things you have never seen on previous Dragonball Z.
The sound went well into the movie and added alot more to the feeling, unlike Dragonball Z which only seems to have music up to the build up of a major battle, theres appropriate sound for most events in this movie, which adds alot of feeling.
What you'd expect from Dragonball Z, unique characters.
Considering I've watched this movie about 6 times...I'd say i fairly enjoyed it... lol :]
Since I reviewed the 2011 Bardock 2, considered the worst DBZ special, now I will review what is arguably the best DBZ special: History of Trunks! Can something as silly and lighthearted as DBZ pull off tragedy?! Well...it sort of can actually. I am not saying this is Clannad or anything, but when I watched this at 12 years old, it was depressing as SHIT!
I bought the VHS in the year 2000, when it first came out in the US. As mentioned before, I was 12 at this time. Obviously this is a highly nostalgic review for me, so someone seeing this for the
first time in 2014 may feel completely different. Also keep in mind that I had really only seen very campy and "happy go lucky" anime at this point in my life. I didn't have an elder brother or sister that showed me uber violent and depressing anime at age 6 to see what my reaction would be. I WAS the elder brother and this little DBZ special caught me totally unprepared. Unlike so many anime fans of this current generation, I was "weened" on Pokemon, Digimon, and Yugioh, NOT Berserk, Hellsing Ultimate, and Elfen Lied. If the latter 3 had been my first anime, then obviously something like History of Trunks wouldn't have had any impact at all. Now that we have some perspective, lets begin!
Oh and spoilers!!!
The story shows what happened during Trunks' timeline before he came back in time and created an alternate universe. The story was clearly inspired by the Terminator movies with machines wiping out most of mankind and a strong resistance fighter having to go back in time to defeat the machines. The difference is that in Terminator, mankind starts winning the war and it is the machines out of desperation that go back in time to try kill the mother of the human resistance. In DBZ, the androids streamroll mankind and it is the human resistance that has to go back out of desperation. Literally, EVERY ONE of the characters gets brutally murdered in this special. This is the action Shonen version of the Eclipse Saga from Berserk! We see Gohan train a young Trunks while occasionally trying to fight the androids and repeatedly getting the shit beat out of him. Gohan even gets his arm blown off trying to protect Trunks. The now one armed Gohan fights the androids one last time and is killed like you would expect at this point. Trunks is furious at his teacher's murder and turns Super Saiyan out of anger and grief. Although in the manga, Trunks was already a Super Saiyan when Gohan died. That transformation scene was made up for this special. It IS actually very effective though. We don't even see how Trunks transforms in the original manga! Trunks then fights the androids himself, but is brutally beaten and nearly killed. He then finally goes to Bulma and travels back to fight Freeza and meet the Z fighters!
One thing that is different in this special vs. the main anime DBZ is that when characters die, they stay dead! That forces the characters to grieve in a way that is completely different than in the main series. Trunks and Gohan in this special have to deal with loss the same way we all have to deal with loss in real life. There is no hope that it is going to be fine and our loved one that died can just be brought back to life with a magic dragon. The fact that Gohan and Trunks have to suffer in a realistic manner this time makes them far easier to identify and empathize with. Trunks grows up living in constant fear in a world where every day he is still alive is a miracle. This helps shape his personality and explains why he is FAR more dark and serious than the alternate Trunks that grew up in a happy world with 2 parents, friends, and not so much danger. Even when everyone was killed by Buu, they didn't stay dead for longer than a few days. That means the Trunks of the main timeline never had to overcome the pain of losing someone. This makes future Trunks a far more interesting character in my opinion. The androids (technically they are cyborgs) in the future are purely evil and nothing like the fun loving and silly 17 and 18 from the main timeline. Future 17 and 18 may be simplistic characters, but they serve the role of antagonists in a very effective manner. You the viewer will actually REALLY hate them and want them to die! An antagonist is effective if the viewer finds himself or herself constantly cheering for their death to occur.
This was originally made in 1993, so it is par for the course early 1990s anime. It isn't very good by today's standards, but it certainly looked fine for the time.
This was one of those late 90s, early 2000s dub anime that for the US release had a new soundtrack with Western rock bands. The same thing was done for the Street Fighter 2 movie. The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin in this special! This was before "AMVS" even existed, so seeing popular music mixed with our favorite anime was AMAZING! Those were simpler times!
Ok, so watching all of your childhood heroes get butchered doesn't sound like a fun time, but this is a very well made special and mandatory viewing for any DBZ fan.
DBZ was a precious anime of my childhood and this special is one of the DBZ moments that had the biggest emotional impact on me. You could even say that THIS was my first "dark and edgy" anime I had ever seen! It was a small step in the process of maturing my tastes and not just watching slice of life rainbows, puppies, and sunshine all the time. I avoided tragedy and brutality as a kid, and this helped me see the psychological drama and value in tragedy that has made it the most respected and enduring form of storytelling throughout human history across cultures.
Here we go, the last DBZ film that I would consider to be really good. As a matter of fact, it's my favorite of the 13 movies and I think it's better than the first special. Plus, it doesn't feel like a chore to watch at all. This movie does several things right which sets itself far away from most of the redundant pack. It almost feels like a different animal.
The History of Trunks is normally referenced along side Bardock: The Father of Goku. Besides being a special feature along with the aformentioned movie, the reason for me is the similarities between the two. This
movie is just as dark for one thing and it contains character development. The small cast it has to work with are developed really well in a short time. Trunks is a character that is easy to relate to despite coming off a bit too whiny at first; but at least his angst is perfectly understandable because of the miserable state the world is in. Now, unlike the aforementioned movie, this feels a lot more like a real prequel which is canon to the Trunks Saga. Mainly because it provides detailed insight to his past which I feel is better covered here than in the TV series.
The two androids which are male and female, both named #17 and #18 respectively, aren't exactly the cookie cutter characters you will see in many of the franchises movies. Instead of having the personalities of robots, or just being simple minded and one sentenced dimwits you will see in the other movies, they seem to be somewhat human themselves; but they have a thirst for carnage, and hopping into a car and running down people seems to get 17 off.
I have to mention that I'm very impressed with the writing. Among the most annoying elements in this series is characters standing around and making funny constipated looking faces, while also waiting until near death to "reveal their true power". That is not the case here, especially when taking Gohan under consideration. He understands the danger of the androids, and he wastes no time at all going full power with intentions on killing them.
The action scenes at times contains the re-used cels simulating combat thing, and I won't say that the scenes have good choreography, but some of the fights are very cool to watch. So cool, that at least one scene is rehashed for a later movie. Also, the fights aren't very one sided either.
The artwork is pretty good and at times seems better than the TV series. I also like the soundtrack, but I'm also impressed with the use of it as well. The more upbeat songs brings out the best in the action scenes, but I also notice that the music isn't incredibly loud to the point where the writers are trying to cover up the flaws in the action. Certain key moments are better worked out due to the choice of the song and even the lyrics. I think the final song worked well into the drama towards the end. Now remind you, this is a DBZ movie we're talking about here.
The movie does have issues with its story. The most notable for me would be people going to public amusement parks, with the full knowledge of two killer androids completely blowing up cities. I don't know, but if that was me. I would take Master Roshi's idea, which was grab a submarine and hide in the bottom of the ocean.
Even though I like the premise of this particular movie. I just can't shake the possibility of the entire story being borrowed from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Maybe I'm thinking about it too hard. Another problem that I have with the movie is actually the length, which is something you're not going to hear me complain about again. It's no secret that the Z-fighters are killed, any product description will mention it; but it would have been better had the battle been shown in its entirety.
In any case, The History of Trunks is a very solid movie that I recommend to fans of the series. For those whom are new to the series, but haven't made it to the Trunks Saga yet. I recommend watching this first for a better experience.
Highs: Interesting premise, doesn't follow usual DBZ formula, some good fights, hot soundtrack
Lows: Could have used more battles, minor story issues, length
Some bloke ones told me, that the History of Trunks is like a DBZ, mixed with the Last of Us, that's nursed by Terminator, and boy, was he wrong!
Now, don't get me wrong - I gave this movie... well, special, the highest score yet, out of the whole franchise! True, I'm not a fan, and thus my opinion maaay be just a liiiitle bit biased, knowing of how much this franchise hurt me... but still... there're just too many details, and flaws, that keeps reminding me why I'll never gonna be a fan of the series! That aside, what do I think about this
mov... no, special! Special...
The story? Goku is dead, cyborgs are killing people, everything is horrible. That's it. That's just as deep as it gets, and boy... it is shallow as hell!
First of all, Goku's dead, so that's a huge plus! Only downside is... no! No downsides here! Goku's dead and burried, so now's the chance for all the other left-over-fighters in the series to actually nutt it up, and do something, rather than doing nothing, right?! Heck no! We all know, that the rest of the Z-fighters are utterly useless, and truly incompitent, without this one, stupid, sadistic knucklehead, inable to do, or accomplish anything on their own, so... why take the chance to improve now, when the world is about to end - again! Instead of just letting all the stupidity take place, they could've easily take advantage of Krillin's plan to find androids beforehand, and destroy them before activation! After dying, Goku's not there to insist on fighting them, so why be so stupid now?! Seriously! And what's even stupider, is that how stupid these stupid idiots - heroes - are, by taking these cyborgs out in... one-on-one- style. Like real man/hero/fighter/stupid alien would do... right?! But hey, obviously I'm not a fighter, a man, nor a alien, so... what do I know?! Expect that, when your enemy is out numbered, yet still stronger than you, or your party, just suck it up, and take them out together - simple RPG logic here, guys! If they really are so stupid, that they would rather die meaningless death, while accomplishing nothing, then they really should just die, and stay dead... and for good, this time, if you don't mind!
The villains - I refuse to call them androids - aren't really any better. They're just two punks from the hoods, who like to kill, and destroy aimlesly, without any motivation, or goals in set! They say they hate humans, but really... who doesn't sometimes, am I right?! What are they planning to do with themselves, when all of the humanity is dead and gone, and they're the only living things on Earth? Go Casshern Sins on us, and just... rust away?
Besides, these people of Earth, don't even seem to care anymore, what's happening, who's doing the killing, and who dies - I guess they're just too used to that by now - and who can really blame them, since all this world ever sees, is it's habitants getting killed horribly, then brought back from the dead - Buffy knows, it ain't funny! - only to get killed again, when the next bick bad evil comes, either to suck ass in what they're doing, or eat us?! I swear, not as dirty as it sounds! They won't even fight back anymore, what brings me back to my old peeve, of this franchise - why is it, that when the world is threatened, all the humanity needs in order to survive, is some stupid, muscle-bounded psychos, presumably aliens, to save the day?! Why can't humans fight for themselves... just for once?!
And what else, this wolrd is the most nicest, and actually most pleasant apocalyptic-settings I've ever seen! I would totally live in there, since the only thing, that would truly bug me in any day, would be couple of murderous, sociopathic cyborgs - not as bad, as it sounds, really! They had cities, with people in it, doing things, having fun with themeparks, and eating themselves fat and happy, like in any other day of the week! Only thing to remember never to do, would be to listen up radio, and hear all the terrible screams and cries of human incinerating themselves, and you would be just fine!
If theres anything good I can say about this movie, it would be... well, it was short, for the starters. And it actually had Gohan, for the main hero, and not his deadbeat father, nor that obnoxious Veggiemite, Prince of Apes! This movie at last profed to me, that Gohan should have been the hero in DBZ after Frieza-saga, and not his father. Unlike Goku, Gohan doesn't enjoy fighting for the sake of it, but because it just has to be done! He knows, what needs to be done, and he does it, without streching the battles out needlesly, thus endangering innocent lives and partymembers, nor does he let his powers get into his head, thus clouding hes reason and judgment, like Vegeta. By the standards of this franchise - that are relatively low to beging with for someone to be a hero - he's a true hero to me, and it truly pains me, that it's only shown here, in this special movie... which I'm not even certain, is even canon! Trunks on the other hand... well, altough I never truly felt, that he's needed, or that he was ever supposed to be born, for the sake of the story anyway, it's actually nice to see, that even if your father is as horrible as Vegeta is, you can still be somewhat decent guy, so... that's nice, eh? I really did like Trunks as a character on this one, but... yeah, I really have to stand behind my point, on this one. Trunks didn't need to be born, and Gohan - who has freaking three hidden potentials unlocked in tv series... with no prevail! - could have just as well be the one, that got sented to the past, thus making his character arc have a full circle, when battleing with Cell. Oh, no, wait... that would actually reguire some sort of talented writing, from Toriyama... wouldn't it?!
Overall, this movie was a dissapointent, in so many levels, that I almost feel sad for it. I really wanted to like this one - I really did! I liked how this movie, unlike original TV series, was more about characters, and story, and less about mindless action, and pointless fighting! I loved to hear characters talking to eachother, about live, death, power, and faith and responsibility, and I truly liked the fact, that Gohan/Trunks was all about respect, trust and friendship, and not nearly as disturbingly abusive, and bitterly revenge-based, Stockholm-syndrome-ish and always somewhat unequal level, like Gohan/Piccolo was to me, but when judging this as an actual movie and not just a overlong episode... it's just really, really weak! The story, while having a tons of potential to be something truly great - yeah, right... like a DBZ would actually mature a bit! - was just very shallow, and somewhat empty, with very little impact, and satisfaction, on my part. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that this movie finally proved to me, that a DBZ at it's best, can only be to me - as a former pokemaniac - what pokemon movies can be, at their worst. The villains, while likable and somewhat interesting as an consept to the very least, were just... there, for the sake of being evil, and not doing anything special, that hasn't been done about billion times before already, with so ridiculous motivations, that I just wanted to hang my head low, and weep. This movie - much like most of the pokemon movies - suffers ultimately from the oh so deadly sin, of laziness, never really shining on any of the categories for me, and I truly despise laziness, when I'm trying so hard to actually like about something!
I guess what can be said about my feelings towards this movie, would be guilty pleasure, at best - really, really guilty, low and bad pleasure! I guess I would see it again, if forced against my life, but I still wouldn't enjoy it. At all! It's like diving in a deep blue sea, but being too scared to descend all the way down to the bottom, in order to see, what's in there - wich is how I felt, during this whole movie. You get the experience, and the basic idea, but you'll never truly grasp, of what you could have gotten out of it. And it's both sad, and sickening, since this movie had all the potential to be, what DBZ as a franchise, has never ever been to me before; the growing-up tale, about actual losses, sacrifices and consequenses, thus accepting your own destiny, wheter you liked it, or not, for making everything better for everyone. Tried as it might have, it just never bothered to go to that extra mile, thus, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth, and utter and complete dissapointent. Not quite on the shitpie-levels on the scales of bad animes, but it's still there, and staying, for me.