95 "Tsui ni Henshin!! Densetsu no Super Saiya-jin - Son Goku"
(Finally the Transformation!! The Legendary Super Saiya-jin - Son Goku)
80 "Transformed at Last" 99-10-18

Spurred on by the news of Freeza's apparent defeat, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, and Yamucha knock the Ginyu Tokusentai from Kaiou-sei all the way to Hell. Piccolo, Kuririn, and the Sons prepare to find Buruma and leave the planet, but to everyone's horror, Freeza appears. He takes out Piccolo with a beam through the chest, and proceeds to destroy Kuririn entirely. Goku, enraged on a level he has never experienced, transforms at last into the legendary Super Saiya-jin.

This is one of those episodes that everyone was waiting for, and everyone hoped wouldn't be utterly ruined. Of course, it was all really about "the scene" and whether or not the dubbed version of "the scene" would live up to the lofty standards set by the original. Once it finally aired, everyone went on and on about it, and the response was generally negative. I personally thought it was alright.

As for the episode in general, there were indeed a few nuggets of crap, but overall it came through pretty well.

Kuririn: "I'm homesick!"

No you're not, you want to get married. According to the silly Japanese version, anyway. I'm pretty baffled by this whole "let's make Kuririn asexual and talk about how homesick he is, while the animation will show him blushing and acting embarrassed" thing. I really, REALLY want to know the rationale behind this.

Kuririn: "HELP ME!"

(at which point he explodes). This doesn't really bother me at all, to be honest. In the original, he calls out "GOKU!" instead, and either way it basically has the same meaning behind it. I kind of like both ways for different reasons, but it's not really worth getting into I guess.

Freeza: "Pop goes the weasel!"

Self-explanatorily lame.

Narrator: "Can Goku avenge the life of his close friend Krillin?"

Uh... you don't typically avenge someone's life. You tend to avenge their DEATH.

The ogre's shirt in Hell is painted over to read HFIL. This being one of the most famous edits in the history of dubbed DBZ, I'm not even going to say any more about it. Except that we'll see it a couple more times, at which point I'll write "HFIL" in the censored box, and that'll be it.

In a somewhat related vein, I would like to take this occasion to do something that needed to be done long ago:

I am officially retiring the expression "What the HFIL?" from this website. It served its purpose, and was actually funny at some point, but it has now been run into the ground so thoroughly by me and everyone else that it should be laid to rest for the good of all mankind. Don't get me wrong, I got a kick out of seeing it slowly spreading like a fog to DBZ web sites and into people's vocabularies, but I just feel stupid when I type it now. Unlike a monkey wearing diapers, or an elderly woman on roller skates, "What the HFIL?" is not "always funny." Feel free to keep using it if you like, but I think I am done with it forever.

Look out "for Kami's sake," you're next.

(less than a second) Kuririn's explosion is just a TAD more graphic in the original. We can actually see his body expanding for about 10 frames before he blows up, but SOMEHOW FUNimation decided that was a bit too much. Kiwi was shown doing THE EXACT SAME THING, even more graphically, during Season 2 (under the "repressive" Saban's clutches), but how is FUNimation going to sell uncut tapes if they don't remove those little "bits" here and there?

And now of course, "the scene."

While I prefer the Japanese version which has better music and a much more subtle performance from everyone (the true Freeza's laughter is beautiful), the dubbed version works OK for me too. Sean Schemmel gives the transfomation more of a "manic" edge, while Masako Nozawa's is kind of restrained and almost...thoughtful.

The only other notable difference between the two is that in the Japanese version, Goku's scream just as he transforms is... not quite human. It almost sounds like an animal roaring or something. I thought it was very cool, but I suppose that I can deal with it not being part of the dub.