"Mini Goku wa Obbochama! Boku, Gohan Desu"
(Little Goku is Mr. Charming! I am Gohan)
"The Arrival of Raditz" 96-9-13

Gohan gets lost in the woods and is rescued by his father just in the nick of time. Meanwhile, Raditz lands on Earth and immediately begins his search for Goku...

Most of this episode was cut in the English version, which is a regrettable loss because it serves as a great introduction to Gohan. There is something very poignant about seeing him simply being a normal little boy, doing normal things, knowing that by the end of the day, he will have come to the greatest turning point in his life.

Having said that, I do understand why this episode had to be heavily edited, and I don't think FUNimation made a bad decision. This is a very quiet, peaceful, and slowly paced character-oriented episode, and it does not get the series off to an exciting start. This is just fine for Japanese viewers already familiar with Dragon Ball, but for a fledgling production company that wants American viewers back next week, Episode 2 had to be emphasized, since most of the action, story, and conflict are there.

One important note: Several scenes in this episode had to be shifted around, because since so much was cut, the pacing would not have made sense if they they had not done so.

(51 sec.) The original episode opens with a montage of a peaceful, serene landscape as the narrator discusses what has happened over the last five years. The camera then moves slowly out into space and we see Raditz' pod approaching from the distance. This is where the English version starts. It's kind of interesting to see how different each version of this episode feels, just from the way they begin. In less than a minute, the music and visuals of the original version set up a mood of tranquility and calm, we start from the perspective of the peaceful world, which makes the "intruder from space" that much more of an intruder. The English version, on the other hand, begins way too abrubtly for a first episode. Even a very short version of the Japanese beginning, with just a few seconds of narration, would have made a big difference. But instead we start from the perspective of the spacepod, which kind of makes the viewer feel like he is experiencing things from Raditz' point of view, something that was definetely not intended by the original director.

A picture from this scene is available in Gallery 1

Throughout the scene of Raditz' pod landing, the farmer's cigar has been painted over.

A picture from this scene is available in Gallery 1

Just so we'll know he's o.k., we can hear the farmer murmuring "that smarts..." after having his bullet shot back at him by Raditz. Incidentally, the farmer refers to his gun as a "pea shooter." I'm hoping that's just a figure of speech.

(6 min. 59 sec) This is the big chunk that was cut, the "Gohan in the woods" sequence. A very unfortunate edit, since this scene also includes his very first appearance, an important moment that should definetely not have been cut since he is (arguably) the most important character in Dragon Ball Z. Another important loss here was that this is where Gohan first meets the mountain lion, who reappears every now and then throughout the next dozen or so episodes. I happen to really like these scenes, they are charming, funny, and the only real chance we get to be alone with Gohan, and to see what he was like before his life was changed forever. It's too bad they had to be cut.

A picture from this scene is available in Gallery 1

(1 min. 45 sec.) Goku rescuing Gohan, who has by now fallen into a river.

(1 min. 14 sec.) The scene where Goku, riding Kintoun, floats up to Gohan, who is hanging from a branch, screaming for help is a little longer in the original version. (By the way, since the earlier scenes were cut, this is actually the first time we see Gohan in the English version, kind of a crappy way to introduce the character if you ask me) Gohan jumps into his father's arms, and Goku asks him if he is ready to go to the Kame house. Directly after this, there is a short scene of Raditz flying over a town. He looks down at it and is amused. "The fools, they have no idea..."

English Episode 1 Continues...