"Yamucha Shisu! Osorubeki Saibaiman"
(Yamucha Dies! The Horror of the Saibaimen)
"The Battle Begins... Where Are You Goku?" and
"The Saibamen Strike"

Piccolo, Gohan, and Kuririn are preparing for the attack of the Saibaimen, when Tenshinhan, Chaozu, and Yamucha arrive suddenly and unexpectedly. Tenshinhan is eager to fight, and steps in first, defeating one of the Saibaimen easily. Yamucha takes his turn next, and seemingly defeats his foe with little difficulty. He turns around to walk away, and the monster jumps onto him, clings to his body, and self-destructs. When the smoke clears, Yamucha's lifeless body lies in a crater, and an anguished, furious Kuririn steps up to avenge the death of his friend.

This episode features the first death of a major character since Goku, and luckily we were spared that damned "sent to another dimension" line until the recap in the next episode. I really don't like the way this death was handled in the English version, you feel absolutely none of the emotion that is present in the original.

English episode 16 continued

This is it folks, my personal number one Stupidest Line of Dialogue Of All Time in FUNimation's Dub of Dragon Ball Z:

Tenshinhan, after Nappa blows up a manned chopper: "Look! I can see their parachutes! They're ok..."

This one line almost made me give up on English DBZ entirely, I was this close to turning my TV off right then and there and never turning it back on again. And there were chunks on deck, I was ready to spew.

What a sad, pathetic, disgusting, insulting copout. How dare FUNimation make a mockery of DBZ like this. Couldn't they have just cut the scene? Or made the dialogue slightly more tolerable somehow?

And again, it just doesn't make sense. We can clearly see that the guys weren't wearing parachutes, and even if they were, THE DAMNED HELICOPTER BLEW UP RIGHT THEN AND THERE! No escape would have been possible!

This line actually became Animerica magazine's "Anime quote of the month," it is indeed a classic.

English episode 16 ends (about 7 minutes in)

(2 sec.) An up-close shot of the Saibaiman exploding from Vegeta's blast. Amazingly, some of this scene is maintained, we can actually see its body falling apart, and no "other dimensions" or any of that. Once again, it's the "alright to kill anything non-human" clause at work.

This is one of those times where FUNimation completely misses the point of a scene and ruins it. I'm talking about when Gohan is concentrating, trying to see Yamucha fighting the Saibaiman. In the Japanese one, as he is starting to concentrate, all you can hear is the sound of the wind blowing, which gradually fades away, and is replaced by complete silence. Then you hear the faint, far off sounds of them fighting, which gradually get louder and louder, until Gohan finally sees what is happening.

In the English version, the tension and interest that is built up by this scene is totally lost. Gohan and Piccolo sit there yapping back and forth, while that godawful "music" drones on and on in the background. So there is no sense of surprise or discovery, just that ever-present loudness that so characterizes the English version. They can never, ever use silence, even when the scene calls for it.

(20 sec.) Yamucha's body lying in the crater. Kuririn runs over and puts his head on Yamucha's back, listening for a pulse, and then realizes that his friend is dead. A very, very, very, very important 20 seconds, the exact point that all the drama of this episode is centered around, which is of course, lost.

There is a shot of the crater on the TV, which Yamucha's body should be lying in, but is, of course, not. Painted away to the next dimension.

(1 min. or so) Various shots here and there of Yamucha's dead body throughout the rest of the episode, snipped for your convenience.

Of course this doesn't need to be said, but the music during Yamucha's death sequence actually suceeds at provoking an emotional response in the Japanese version. The Shuki Levy crap sounds the same as ever. Man, I know I say this a lot, but that stuff just doesn't do ANYTHING but sit there. It just doesn't do any kind of justice to important moments like this.

English episode 17 continues...