87 "Choukessen no Makuake da!! Omee dake wa Ora ga Taosu"
(The Opening Act of The Great, Decisive Battle!! I Will Defeat You)
72 "The Ultimate Battle" 99-10-6

Piccolo, Gohan, and Kuririn decide that there is nothing they can do to help at this point, and they leave the battle to Goku. He and Freeza begin to fight, with the two titans releasing such a sheer amount of force that volcanic eruptions are taking place. Freeza begins to realize that he may indeed have a worthy opponent in Goku.

And so begins the longest twenty episodes in all of DBZ. Part of me loves the "Good LORD, when is this thing going to end?" feel of the Goku vs. Freeza battle, but BOY does it drag on. The problem is compounded by the fact that the anime filler during these episodes is really uninspired, and Namek itself is an incredibly boring-looking place. Give me the Cell Game anyday. Almost as long, but SO much more well-executed.

As far as the dub is concerned, isn't it interesting that, even when it's totally OK by Cartoon Network, FUNimation is still shying away from using the words "kill" and "die?" In this episode, dub Kaiou says that "Vegeta is gone" (Japanese version: "Vegeta is dead") and then goes on to talk about what Vegeta said "before he left that world." Later, dub Gohan tells his dad "don't you dare lose!" whereas Japanese Gohan says "shinanai de!" ("don't die!") Sure, they use die and kill every now and then, but the dub scripts continually dance around it. And then, just to confuse us, they'll throw one in there every now and then. In the case of this episode, it actually ended up being one of the best lines:

Goku: "What's your deal anyway Freeza??"
Freeza: "Basically, I'm trying to kill you"

Heh, I kinda liked that one.

During Goku's "you take the lives of innocents" speech, there are a few "flashback" shots. Some of these are from episode 70, part of the scene where Buruma discovers the village of dead Nameks. This is interesting because that scene was cut out of the broadcast version of that episode, and I wondered whether or not the cut was for time or content. But since both that episode and this one were cut under the same censorship standards (Cartoon Network's) I guess it was a "time" cut after all. Or perhaps it was a little of both. Whenever they are looking for something to get rid of in order to trim an episode down, it seems that FUNimation always goes after the most potentially offensive footage (not the least important footage, mind you), in order to be on the safe side, even if that footage may not technically need to be cut at all.

Also, the flashback clip of Gohan making graves for dead Nameks (cut from the original episode it appeared in) is left as-is.

Yamucha: "No kidding? That's wack!"

Huzzah. Good to see that FUNimation is reaching out to the inner-city youth through Yamucha. We now know for sure that his "da bomb!" line was not just some freakish mishap by one of their dialogue writers, but merely the first salvo in FUNimation's new "ebonically enhanced" scripts. If I was in charge of the dub, I would have had whoever wrote this garbage beheaded. The situation isn't helped any when Yamucha says "Man, that bites!" a few seconds later.

Freeza: "I'm making a stew down there, and I wouldn't mind adding a Namek for seasoning"

Not too terribly bad, but I thought I'd mention it. And I seem to remember dub Nappa threatening to do something similar to Piccolo during the first season. Then there was Freeza telling Kuririn that he was "going to eat" him. I guess FUNimation enjoys adding a certain cannibalistic streak to all of the villains, which is really kind of bizzare if you think about it.

Goku: "My rear's on fire!"

Nothing really bad about this line, but I wanted to mention it because it was changed for the broadcast version. In the uncut video, the line is "my butt's on fire!" which, judging by other shows on Cartoon Network, would have been absolutely fine by their standards. So, I suppose it IS stupid dialogue in that respect. FUNimation's self-imposed censorship is starting to become painfully obvious when you put DBZ next to other shows on CN, particularly Tenchi Muyo, where they drink sake, say "damn," and flip each other off with reckless abandon. My theory is that FUNimation oversanitizes the broadcast version to make the suckers who paid good money for the "uncut" videos feel like they got their money's worth. And they also do it to cover their own asses, of course. Anyone who doubts this should read the Dallas Observer article and pay special attention to Barry Watson's quote about the people who he's "not interested in offending."