"Te wo Dasu na! Enma-sama no Himitsu no Kudamono"
(Hands Off! Enma-sama's Secret Fruit)
"Home For Infinite Losers" 96-11-1

Goku awakens in Hell and thinks that he has reached the end of Snake Way, but soon learns the truth from two ogres that he encounters. He goes through a series of trials with them in order to escape, and takes a secret route out of Hell that leads him to... Enma's desk. Goku starts his journey all over again.

AGGGHH! Another episode I don't have! Well, this time it was my brother's fault, so don't blame me. I had to go out of town, and I asked him to tape it for me, but he's a jackass, and only started recording after about 15 minutes had passed. But don't worry guys! I'm only missing one more episode after this, so, even though I hate to have my missing episodes all in about the same area (well, it does make for an easier update...), you'll only have to deal with my blundering VCR problems one more time.

As far as the episode itself is concerned, not much was cut, but there was one rather glaring censor. Other than that, I think this one went pretty much untouched.

English episode 8 continued

Goku is, of course, in Hell in this episode, and it says so right there on the shirts the ogres are wearing. But of course FUNimation can't let this show get away with that kind of sailor talk, not to mention the religious connotations! Why, the potential for offending 40 year old housewives is just... oh, I shudder just thinking about it!

Anyway, the shirts have been painted over to read "HFIL," which we are told is an acronym for "Home For Infinite Losers." Pretty creative, I must admit. But man, this must have been A LOT of work! We see these shirts almost all through the episode, and every EVERY SINGLE FRAME had to be cleaned up (or, perhaps a better way of putting it, dirtied up.)

It all seems very odd to me, since this is a typical filler episode, and could have been cut seamlessly. Why did they keep it in, and go to all that trouble of paying those people to "digitally paint" the shirts? This is one of those instances that supports my theory that FUNimation does this digital paint thing to show off their nifty technology, either that or to keep the painters busy, rather than doing what HAS to be done to keep DBZ airable.

I'm telling you people, something tells me that a great deal of the censoring and editing this show is undergoing has nothing to do with simply complying with broadcast standards. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is NOTHING that has been changed that I have not seen in other cartoons, including the word "Hell."

FUNimation simply wants to play it safe and make money, and the best way to do this is by bowing down to pressure from parents and broadcasters by omitting anything that could be conceived as offensive in any way by any one. Of course, getting exposure for themselves through "impressive" techniques like this digital painting thing sure can't hurt either. They are much more interested in dollar signs than in maintaining the artistic integrity of Toriyama's work.

Have I come to an absolute decisive conclusion? No, of course not. Like I said, this is just a theory based on my observations, and I am more than willing to throw it out if and when FUNimation tells me why they do things the way they do. On the other hand, if it does prove to be true, we have a truly hopeless (not to mention disgusting) situation on our hands, and I sincerely hope it is not the case. I find it a horrifying possibility that DBZ is simply a vehicle by which FUNimation accomplishes its own selfish ends, and that the show has become nothing but an unfortunate casualty of greed.

End English episode 8