Quick Look Through Dragon Ball – Emperor Pilaf Saga

emperor pilaf saga

Hello, and welcome to my new installment on Some Review Site called Quick Look Through Dragon Ball! This is a new review series where I will do a review of each season of all of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. I will do a review of each and every Dragon Ball movie that has ever came out, both theatrical releases and non-theatrical releases. I will do a review of the specials that came out too, such as the Bardock episode that came out 4 years ago. I will do these in their respectful releases, so I’m going to try to squeeze the movies and specials in order. In case if you’re wondering why I won’t do a review of each episode instead, don’t worry about it. I will do a review of each episode on Rerunagade. I just want to do a review of each season for this segment. Plus, now that Dragon Ball just celebrated its 30 anniversary with Battle of the Gods last year, as well as a new series that is coming out sometime this year, I thought that it is fitting to do this to get ourselves familiarized with the overall series before the new show comes around. That, and there’s suppose to be another movie coming out sometime.

The show begins with Goku living on his own, isolated from the whole world, until Bulma drives her car, hitting Goku. Goku’s first impressions on her was thinking that her car was a beast, Bulma was a goblin, and that her shooting him with a gun was black magic. Goku admits that he has never seen a girl before, which should make all of the jerks in the world watching this look stumped for making fun of all of the nerds for not making any contact before.

Anyway, Goku thinks that Bulma’s name is funny to him because Bulma, in English, means bloomers. If there is something that most of you have never notice before, the names in this show have a meaning that are actually puns. Examples are: Goku means eat, Gohan means either meal or cooked rice, and some of the Saiyan’s names sound like vegetables, such as Brolly sounding like Broccoli, Vegetta sounding like vegetable, and Raditz sounding like Radish. Akira Toriyama’s strength in this franchise is humor, which is something that slowly, but surely, dissolved later on. That fact is what made, to me, the franchise weaker.

The English dub never bothered explaining how Bulma first got a dragon ball, but the Japanese dub did. Bulma said that she found one in the cellar in her house. I have no idea why Dr. Briefs kept one in there in the first place, but it was there. Bulma doesn’t explain to us what the dragon balls are, because the show had to introduce emperor Pilaf to explain what they are. Emperor Pilaf is the main villain in this saga, who is a…….blue imp-looking guy? In the spanish dub, he’s called martian, and I can see why, so I’ll call him a martian too. I don’t see the harm in calling him that anyway. This franchise later on became soaked in the sci-fi genre later on. The other reason for why I’m okay with calling him a martian is because his origins were never explained in this show. Pilaf somehow rules a kingdom in a mushroom forest, and somehow has a castle that has an airplane, laser cannons, and two other people who are dumb enough to follow him, named Shu and Mai. He gets even dumber later on in GT. Someday, you will see why. This character is so vague that I have little to no connection to even care for him. I forgotten all about him until I started doing this quick look.  He’s still better than Garlic Jr. though. Pilaf’s end goal in finding these dragon balls is to, you guessed it, ruling over the world.

The other thing that I don’t understand about his moments in these episodes is that they don’t really need to be in them. Sure, they’re the bad guys in this episode, but the only thing that is important about these three is that Pilaf has one dragon ball.          …just like everyone else.

All of that was covered in episode 1, and then in episode 2  we get to see how Goku identifies a women. Since Goku has never seen a girl before in his entire life, he checks to see if one individual woman is a woman by doing the most gentlemanly thing in the world. By tapping their crotches. No, really. Throughout this saga, Goku’s main first contact with some of the women is sexual harassment. Things like this makes you wonder how this was passed on TV, but keep this in mind that anime was never meant for children to begin with, which is why 4Kids banned an episode of Pokemon, where James used fake boobs.


However, Funimation’s dub team did do something about it by re-writing most of the dialog to get it passed to be televised here in the US.

Now, for the longest time in my life, when I first read the manga, I saw that Goku was 14 years old, and Bulma was two years older than him. I, for some reason, thought that it was the other way around.


Yeah, what in the world was I thinking? Since Bulma is only 16 at this time, this does make me wonder how much older Vegeta was when he married her. We also get the introduction to the sea turtle named, well, Turtle.

Yes, that Turtle.


Goku first meets Turtle by trying to get some exercise by crushing boulders with his bare hands, and almost crushed Turtle in the process. Want to know what a sea turtle was doing in the middle of nowhere? He got lost after trying to find some mushrooms to eat and was trying to find the ocean ever since. I really don’t know how you can do that, but that does lead us into episode 3, where we get to meet Master Roshi.


When Turtle finally reached to the ocean waters, he swam into the ocean, only bringing back Master Roshi, which lead to giving Goku his flying Nimbus, a.k.a., Kinto. I know I should have brought this up earlier on, but this show is loosely based off of the old Chinese folktale Journey to the West, which talks about the monkey king, who is based on a real life monk Xaun Zang trying to receive Buddist scriptures, who later on is retold in fiction about how he fights against demons and flies on a cloud too. Most of the stuff in this show is also that too. No, wait, Goku is an alien from the planet Vegeta, which is why he has that tail to begin with, as well as his villains from other planets too. Never mind.

Master Roshi gives Goku Flying Nimbus, and it can only be ride with those who are good. According to this show, Goku is counted as good, even though he attacked and harassed Bulma. Go figure. Master Roshi gives Bulma his dragon ball by flashing him her panties that she is not wearing, only later on finding out that she was not wearing any panties. That Goku took off to check if she has a wiener. Yup.

Episode 4 gives us the introduction of Oolong, who can only transform into anything he wants for 5 minutes. Oolong was first introduced by threatening a village  by kidnapping girls of all ages to live with him in his later on revealed palace, while transforming into different kinds of beasts. Both Goku and Bulma did so if they the next dragon ball that an old woman so happened to have in the village. Yeah, there wasn’t a lot worth talking about in this episode to warrant a Rerunagade review, other than it’s a must see on Oolong’s part.

Episode 5 brings us to a much better episode. Bulma loses her box of capsules in a river, meaning that she lost her house, meaning that she lost her clothes, meaning that she lost her other means of transportation. Since Oolong is unable to give her a ride as a motorcycle, because he can’t hold on too much weight, they had no choice but to walk on foot, across a desert to get to Mt. Frypan. Yamcha  and Puar are first introduced as bandits, living in this house:

Yamucha's place
You couldn’t have made your place seem more obvious, even when you live in a wasteland.

Yamcha first fights Goku in what I say is a really good scene. He even uses his rock, paper, scissors technique that we never get to see anymore, because his other moves, such as the Kamehameha wave, has overshadowed it. I should also mention that the guy who does the voice of Yamcha is Christopher Sabat, who did the voices for were just Yamcha, Shenron, Vegeta, Piccolo, Mr. Popo, and Korin. Oh, and he also wrote some song for a show that maybe one or two people in the world might know of that’s probably worth mentioning about:

Just by seeing Yamcha fight in this one amazes me of how he started off with a huge high, and then fell very low of being as weak as Krillin. This goes for everyone else in this series too. It just feels very weird for me to see how just about everyone in show appeared to be so much stronger than they are later on. Now, they’re just red shirts, ready to be slaughtered, while making characters, such as Goku, Gohan and Vegeta overpowered, making everyone else that you liked in the past suck  at what they do. But yeah, this is worth watching. Even though the first half is okay.

Episode 6 has Yamcha and Puar trying to capture Oolong’s capsule that turns itself into a mobile home. However, Yamcha finds out by hearing Goku explain to Oolong on what the dragon balls do, making Yamcha wanna steal the dragon balls instead. Just so he can not be scared of going near girls ever again. So he can snuggle with them. And then lose that relationship against Vegeta being single. Oh, what a wonderful world! Oolong just wants to use the dragon balls to wish himself a woman. There are some shenanigans of both Puar and Oolong turning each other into Goku and Bulma,

oolong and puar

Shu and Mai continuing to have no purpose for these episodes, Yamcha confusing for Bulma’s naked body in a blanket for dragon balls, and Bulma wearing a Playboy bunny outfit that can be seen on the front cover of the volume 1 manga:


This episode is a lot of fun to watch, and I do recommend this one for a watch.

Episode 7 starts with the English dub continuing not to explain why Mt. Frypan is on fire, so I will have to explain it here. Mt. Frypan used to be called Chilly Mountain, until a fire spirit came down and caused the whole mountain to set on fire 10 years before the events of this episode. It’s what cause the climate to change in the show too. If Al Gore became a Scientologist, This would probably be his explanation to global warming. On top of Mt. Frypan is a castle where the Ox king use to live. Yup, this episode is the introduction of both the Ox king and breasts, I mean Chi-chi. You wanna see her first appearance?

Not even in my wildest dreams can that ever happen to me. That was awesome! We also get a first look of the Ox king who looks more intimidating at first, wielding a huge axe against Goku with goggles on, but then turns into the Ox king that we’re all familiar with once he sees that he knows Master Roshi when Goku rides Flying Nimbus! His authority as a king really makes me wonder if he still is a king in DBZ and GT, because I never saw it in those shows at all. Well, to be fair, I never saw GT all the way through, in spite of how utterly boring I thought the show was, but I will get to that, unfortunately.

So, Ox king says that Master Roshi can get rid of the fire from Mt. Frypan with the Basho-fan (why couldn’t he ask him after 10 years is beyond me), and he sends Goku to bring him over, but to take Chi-chi with him since she knows where he lives. Goku finds Chi-chi, Chi-chi grabs his tail to climb on Flying Nimbus, but Goku tells her not to grab his tail because that makes him weak, which Yamcha was able to hear to defeat him. I could talk more about the continuity problems with the tail now, but I will save that for later on. But Chi-chi in this one first appears as shy, and adorable. I love seeing this side of her so much. Even how she feels so touched when Goku tapped on her crotched to identify her gender. Just. Simply. Creepy. But hey, at least their first date was romantic!

Those were the days!

Episode 8 has Master Roshi travel to Mt. Frypan instead of handing the Basho-fan to both Goku and Chi-chi, because he threw it away after spilling soup on it. I’m really, really, 100% sure that the fan will never come back in the show ever again! Yup, I’m positive about that. Since Master Roshi can’t fly on Flying Nimbus, he summons Baby Gamera!

Baby Gamera

What? You don’t remember Baby Gamera? Don’t worry about it. The show doesn’t either. Master Roshi arrives at Mt. Frypan, and then takes the fire out with the greatest technique of them all:

Master Roshi’s Kamehameha wave accidentally destroyed both the mountain and the castle, and Goku tries the Kamehameha for himself. He manages to do it. He just wishes it was bigger. In the English dub, Chi-chi asks if Goku will ever think about her again. The Japanese version has Chi-chi ask Goku if he will marry her when they see each other again. It does happen. How did that turn out?

Yeah, I can believe that.

Episode 9 gives us a pretty strange story, which may sound like a massive understatement, considering what this is like and what it contains. Goku, Bulma, and Oolong stops at a small town with people who are dressed up like Middle Easterners. Even their accents sounds Middle Eastern too. I’m struggling to understand if this is ethnically sensitive or not. Everyone is scared of Bulma for dressing up as a bunny, but then it’s revealed that there is a gang that bosses everyone in town called the Rabbit Gang, who are dressed up in Nazi like uniforms, wears black bunny ears, and kicks women and children. At the same time!

Rabbit Gang

And their boss comes into the scene in the most epic, mind-blowing, terrifying entry in history!

Bunny car

A BUNNY CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! You may be wondering how anyone can drive such a thing and be terrifying at the same time. This guy,

Rabbit Gang Leader


ARE YOU SERIOUS!!??!?! You couldn’t have made him any more adorable, and those sunglasses doesn’t help your image either. But his ability does. Anyone who touches him turns into a carrot. It’s a lot like Majin Buu’s ability, but only with a touch. I wonder. If this rabbit were to encounter Frieza, Cell, or even Majin Buu, would they automatically lose in front of this guy by touching him? Well, Goku does save the day by grabbing Bulma as a carrot,

Kakarrot holds a Carrot
Would you look at that. Kakarot is holding a Carrot!

and then launches them to the moon with the power pole to make marshmallow rabbits. That’s so insane that you should watch this. It’s an entertaining episode, and I love it!

Episode 10 brings us to Goku, Puer, Yamcha, Oolong and Bulma into Pilaf’s castle, where all, but one of their dragon balls get stolen. This finally brings Yamcha, the man who has been afraid of women for the longest time, teaming up with Bulma. The five of them go inside of Pilaf’s castle, going through bats that Pilaf have inside of his entrance for some reason, and then they go through booby traps like in Indiana Jones. There’s even a part where they get trapped inside of a room, where the episode ends. This episode was fine, but we got 3 more to go.

If you thought that episode 9 some craziness, episode 11 puts that a step further. Pilaf exposes sleeping gas inside of the room that our heroes are trapped in, and tries, but sleeps when trying to get the dragon ball. Shu and Mai gets Pilaf and the dragon ball out, but forgets to close the room that the five heroes were in. From  there on until they go back in the room, crazy hijinks happens. You get to see Bulma doing this on TV,

Insert internet meme here, or go use this to create your own.

Goku and his friends falls in a giant pinball machine, and Goku and friends get chased by a giant pinball inside of Pilaf’s castle. You have to see this to believe it. It’s crazy in its unique ways, and I love it!

Episode 12 is Shenron’s introduction as Pilaf summons the eternal dragon from the dragon balls. Goku shot a kamehameha beam through a wall in the last episode that was small enough for both Oolong and Puar to fly through. Right when Pilaf finally gets his chance to make his wish, he wastes time by hesitating. Even the dragon gets impatient about this to the point that I can understand why he’s able to put up with the same people who finds and summons him. Because of this, Oolong had enough time to make his wish for panties, and Goku was able to make a Kamehameha big enough to make a bigger hole to get out of. Once that wish was granted, the seven dragon balls scattered all around the world, and makes Pilaf mad! So mad, that when he sees Goku, Bulma and Yamcha escaped he says, and I’m not when I say this “EXTERMINATE!!! EXTERMINATE!!!” I had no clue that Toriyama was a Whovian. Small world we live in. They eventually get caught after being chased by a pack of Mr. Burns’ hounds, and puts them inside of a prison cell that was made for people to burn to death with a sealing window that the sun can shine through. This brings Goku to talk about the giant monster that crushed his grandpa in a full moon night, that he ends up looking at. Which brings us to the last episode of the saga.

Episode 13 has Goku in his Donkey Kong form destroying most of Pilaf’s castle, and everyone else trying to escape from Goku’s destruction. Pilaf, Mai, and Shu do managed to escape on their airplane, but ended up trying to attack Goku, just to get attacked. The rest try to escape, but Yamcha tries to fight Goku’s ape form, and ends up telling Puar to turn into a giant pair of scissors to cut off Goku’s tail. Yamcha and Bulma agreed to not tell Goku about his transformation and sticks with it. Because of that, Goku sees the destroyed Pilaf castle and wants to be trained by Master Roshi to be stronger than he already is. That, and both Bulma and Yamcha become boyfriend and girlfriend until Vegeta comes into Bulma’s life.

The Emperor Pilaf Saga is a pretty good start for Dragon Ball. There are some dry spells here and there when it comes to the pacing, but you will manage to get use to it after a while. Every one of these characters are enjoyable, and Goku was, and is, a great character to watch. As for everyone else, they pretty much had their good humble beginnings, but unfortunately became useless afterwards. Here, you don’t have to worry about that. If you’re the type of person who likes to start from the beginning, this will definitely work for you. If you just want to get into the show and keep up to date with everyone else, I say that you can start with Dragon Ball Z Kai. It’s still in it’s earlier episodes of the series, but you can still start off right here too.

Join me next time as we get to see the introduction of Krillin, Launch, the first Dragon Ball movie, and the very first Worlds Martial Arts Tournament in the franchise!