Dragon Ball Z Movie Mondays!

2VMZ1zRFPnUQtQp5K4WRXvDYBjhWhen I first started this blog back in 2011, I just wrote whenever I felt like it. I was a bachelor at the time with no significant other so you would be safe to assume that I had a lot of free time on my hands. Despite that though, I didn’t post a ton here. I felt like if I could do one post per week I was doing pretty well, and then I think that slid to twice per month. That’s not a lot of content, but I’ve also never blogged here for any reason other than pleasure so it’s not as if I really felt like I needed to do more. By and large, it doesn’t matter to me how many people read or follow what I do here, I just do it because it’s kind of fun to talk to myself via blogging and it’s rewarding to see my thoughts preserved. I love and appreciate any attention I get from subscribed readers and commenters, but I’d probably keep posting even if no one read at all.

I’ve found over the years though that creating goals for myself in relation to this blog is what gets me to actually write. And the more I write, the more rewarded I feel. Doing annual Christmas posts gives me a goal and something to work towards and starting the feature on Batman: The Animated Series last year gave me a goal to keep up with throughout the whole year (as well as provided me a good reason to revisit an old cartoon I enjoy). Since starting that I’ve been in search of another goal. Writing about Batman constantly does get a bit old, which is why it’s probably a good thing I at least limited myself to one a week. If you like that feature though, don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere and I’m as committed to it now as I was when it started, but I am posting today to announce my next little project:  the movies of Dragon Ball Z!

As a smaller project than Batman, blogging about the 13 theatrically released Dragon Ball Z movies accomplishes similar goals, just on a smaller scale. I’ve wanted to revisit the movies for a long time, and a few I’ve actually never seen. They’re quite affordable on DVD, and since there are only 13 it makes for a nice summer time feature. Which is why every Monday this summer I’ll post a review/synopsis of each of the 13 original DBZ movies. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “What about the other two movies released in the last few years?” Well, I already did reviews for them, and if you want to check out my thoughts for Battle of Gods or Resurrection ‘F’ you can do so. Even though they are branded as Dragon Ball Z films, they’re actually part of Dragon Ball Super, but I suppose it’s all the same anyways.


Most of the movies can be purchased in multi-pack DVDs or as two-part Blu Rays.

The original 13 films were produced and created by Toei without input from series creator Akira Toriyama. They’re supplemental stories to the overall narrative of the Dragon Ball Z story. They all have an obvious, general time in which they take place relative to the story, but almost none of them could actually exist in the main story for the simple reason that it doesn’t contain room for them. Movie 3 for instance, The Tree of Might, obviously takes place around the time that Goku fought Vegeta because of how powered-up Goku is, but Goku spent that time either in a hospital bed or in a spaceship heading for Planet Namek so the events of that movie could not have possibly occurred in the same universe. And that’s fine, why should it have to? These movies are just for fun and not intended to intrude upon the actual Dragon Ball Z plot. The sooner you’re able to get past that the sooner you can start enjoying them for what they are.

For my reviews, I’ll be going in chronological order and using the English release titles and character names for simplicity’s sake. These movies are all available both dubbed and subtitled so you can enjoy them however you wish, it makes little difference. They’re mostly extended fight scenes with minimal plot developments rendering the non-visual aspects of each film kind of moot. That’s not to say that some aren’t better than others. For the most part, the films all seem to try and take some aspect of the main series, like Goku unlocking the ability to turn Super Saiyan, and truncating that story into a 45 minute movie. Most of the films are under an hour with the longest only lasting 72 minutes, so there’s not a lot of room for complicated narratives. I mostly want my posts to be spoiler-free reviews, but I found my main point of criticism is often in how the film’s choose to wrap-up the story and they’ve turned into more of a discussion/analysis than a true review. I don’t really think there’s much to spoil in these movies, since often the cover art or title gives away most of the plot and each film needs to reset the status quo at the end. I’ll still try my best to avoid them though and warn those who haven’t watched these movies ahead of time if I’m about to spoil something major.


Since the movies are non-canon, you’ll sometimes get to see match-ups that you would have never seen in the main series, like Trunks vs. Tien.

If you haven’t seen all of them though then I encourage you to watch along with me as I go. Dragon Ball Z is largely an imperfect series, but it’s also inherently fun. Because of the wish-fulfilling Dragon Balls, the stakes are often pretty low even when they seem vast and the movies are full of plenty of humorous moments as well. They’re often a place for the underused characters, especially Oolong, to have a little moment to themselves which is often quite nice. The super-powered Saiyans seem to soak up a lot of the attention in the series, and they do in the movies too, but it’s easy to forget that the franchise boasts some pretty entertaining supporting characters as well. If this all sounds like fun to you, then check back this Monday for our very first movie – Dead Zone! And if you’re seeing this for the very first time and I’m well into the series, use the drop-down menu to your right to find all of the Dragon Ball Z movie reviews in one handy place. And if you love Dragon Ball, but don’t care for the movies so much, well good news because I have a few other posts on the way concerning the subject. I hope to see you Monday!

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