104 "Goku no Shouri Sengen da!! Freeza ga Jimetsusuru Toki..."
(Goku's Declaration of Victory!! The Hour of Freeza's Self-Destruction...)
89 "Frieza Defeated!" 99-10-29

Freeza manipulates the energy blade he released, but has no luck hitting Goku with it. He launches a second, and through some clever maneuvering Goku avoids the blade, which comes back to accidentally slice Freeza in two. He lies helplessly on the ground, and begs for Goku to help him. It is not within Goku's nature to resist this plea, so he shares some of his energy to keep Freeza alive.

Now this... THIS is a good episode. No, it's a great episode. We get some kick-ass fighting, an interesting flashback, and far and above all that, something we've all been awaiting for over 50 episodes: Freeza's absolute and utterly humiliating defeat. And to top it all off, we watch as Goku grapples with a complicated moral dilemma. Yes... this is exactly the stuff that made me fall in love this wacky show in the first place.

As far as the dub goes, we are hit with a little surprise: Tenshinhan's voice changed! And it didn't just change, it got WAY better. I could actually get to really like this guy. Apparently though, this was all just a sick and evil prank on FUNimation's part, as the old crappy voice comes back again almost immediately. Why they enjoy torturing people like this is beyond me.

Speaking of voices, we hear both Nappa and Raditz during Vegeta's flashback, and while Raditz doesn't sound half bad, Nappa is... crappa (I will not even pretend that that was funny). But guess who does him, Zarbon, Vegeta and Yamucha in this episode? That's right! My hero Chris Sabat, the man of a thousand voices. His performance of Vegeta (who pretty much laughs for the whole episode), is STUNNING. This may be the best laughter EVER in a cartoon. Oh no wait... it sounds really forced and is extraordinarily annoying. That's what I meant to say.

This is something that I actually didn't notice in the last episode, but the shot appears in the recap so I'll just put it here.

When Goku's cheek first gets cut by Freeza's blade, there is more blood on his face in the original. The blood actually oozes out of the cut and drips down, whereas you just see the cut itself in the dub. This was a very subtle alteration that I would have probably never noticed if not for an e-mail from HRF252@aol.com. Thanks for the correction. Heh, I guess my eyes aren't as sharp as some other people's.

But I think we all know about THAT at this point...

Freeza: "That's a pretty good trick for a primate!"

Wow... what an insult! Calling Goku a PRIMATE! Sure, it might just be a conspiracy in the anthropology department at my school, but I keep hearing this strange, heretical rumor that human beings are primates.

That's right, FUNimation script writer guy. Look it up. The classification of "primate" includes monkeys, apes, AND HUMAN BEINGS. But the hilarity escalates even further in Goku's response:

Goku: "I don't understand why you call Saiyans by such mindless names. The only thing it does is reveal your own fear and ignorance."

Well, it certainly reveals SOMEONE'S ignorance.

Kaiou: "Awwww yeeeah! OK! Give it to him, Goku! Oh boy! Uh huh! Make him really FEEEEL it! Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

The sick feeling that overwhelmed me when I heard this line was akin to the unique horror one experiences after witnessing a 40-year old white woman attempting to do freestyle rap.

What's really funny (not funny?) about this is that according to planetnamek.com's online chat with Sean Schemmel, this was not only his idea, BUT HE IS ACTUALLY PROUD OF IT. HE IS PROUD OF WHAT HE DID.

Good job, Sean. I'm sure Akira Toriyama would be very pleased with you taking his character and breathing "the gangsta life" into him.

When Goku smashes Freeza on the top of the skull, not only does Freeza make that really funny face, but blood shoots out of his nose and mouth. It's too bad they censored this, because blood makes the shot far more comical. Let's face it, blood is funny stuff.

The exchange between Vegeta, Nappa and Raditz about Freeza destroying their homeworld is a little strange. Vegeta says that he already knows that the "an asteroid crashed into it" story is nothing but false propaganda, and that Freeza is truly the one responsible.

This is strange because Vegeta acts surprised when Dodoria eventually reveals this to him during their battle. Why would he be surprised if he already knew? Not only that, but why would Raditz have told Goku "the lie" if he knew better as well?

I can't classify this as stupid dialogue, because I listened to this scene in Japanese and they say basically the same thing. So it's not the dub's fault. And it's not Toriyama's either, in fact. Why? Because this scene is ANIME-ONLY FILLER, which is often almost as bad as the dub in making continuity holes.

When Freeza gets cut by his blade, there is blood pouring out of every point of incision. Also, notice how "computerized" and unnatural the panning looks during the brief shot where Freeza says "My own attack..." This is because there's painted-over blood streaming from his body. Following this, there are no more blood censors, because there's no blood TO censor.

To be honest, I'm surprised as hell that they even showed this at all. But they didn't really have a choice, since Freeza is in pieces for the rest of this episode and all through the next one. I just love it when the plot demands that FUNimation be unable to censor something.

I just had to mention how much better Freeza's final pleas are in the Japanese version. First of all, he only says "Help me" and "Please help me," nothing more. The dub overcomplicates the dialogue, which makes the whole thing less effective and not nearly as chilling. In terms of performance, Nakao-sama is absolutely beautiful here, and he truly sounds like he's on the verge of death. Linda Chambers is alright, but doesn't even come close. Then again, how can I expect her to compete with the greatest voice actor ever?

And then there's the music, or lack thereof, in the Japanese version, which only adds to the mood. Naturally, the dub is as noisy as ever.