91 "Kecchaku da!! Honoo no Keshin Nijuu-bai Kaiou-ken no Kamehameha"
(This Settles It!! Fire Incarnating in a 20X Kaiou-ken Kamehameha)
76 "Embodiment of Fire" 99-10-12

The Ginyu-possessed Buruma attemps to switch bodies with Piccolo, but Gohan thwarts the attempt. Ginyu becomes a frog once again, and Buruma returns to her body. The battle rages on as Freeza fractures all of Planet Namek with a single blast. Goku then attempts a 20X Kaiou-ken Kamehameha, which ends up having little to no impact on Freeza.

Most of you have probably noticed by now that FUNimation is getting much closer with their title translations as of Season 3. This one kind of impressed me particularly. The Japanese titles are usually quite long, and often consist of a concise, descriptive phrase that is paired up with another phrase or quote that expands on that description. FUNimation's third season technique is generally to pick out the descriptive one and drop the "expanding" one entirely. In this case, I like how they chose "Embodiment of Fire" (Honoo no Keshin), rather than something more straightforward like "Fiery Kamehameha" or something. It kind of gives the title an ambiguous, poetic quality. I personally prefer to translate "Keshin" as "incarnation" (since I have three separate dictionaries that identify it is a Buddhist term), but theirs is good enough.

As far as the episode itself is concerned, it is almost completely unmolested from an alteration/dialogue standpoint. Except of course for the problems that are always there (music, voices, generally loose translation, etc.) Except for dub Kaiou's pathetic whimpering (bringing the desecration of Kaiou-sama to new lows), and one scene in particular that I will get to later, this episode is pretty much A-OK. I suppose that's a good thing which should be commended, but it sure makes things a lot more boring for me and all of you.

Oh wait... less alterations mean less work for me. Never mind, it's great.

Not really so much a comment on the dubbed version as it is on the original. This episode starts out by going back to a point BEFORE the previous one ended, and essentially repeating the very last scene. The interesting thing is that there are some slight changes to the way that things play out. Not only do they go as far as to completely redraw and reshoot the scene, some of the dialogue (as well as the order of events) is actually completely different.

This is an interesting phenomenon that happens from time to time in DBZ, and I often wonder why they do it. Perhaps it's because they change from one director to another from episode to episode, and the second director decides that it would be better to redo the final scene in his way. Or it might just simply be a means to fill up time, which the producers of this show were under constant pressure to do. The whole Ginyu/Buruma thing was just anime-only filler, in fact. It's pretty easy to identify it as such, since it's a ridiculous little subplot (a translator that can MAKE A FROG SPEAK, invented within a matter of hours in a place where Buruma has no access to any resources??? Come on. DB can get pretty implausible at times, but Toriyama would never write crap like that).

In any case, the "repeated scene" thing certainly made things easier for FUNimation back when they were hacking up episodes and combining them, because it made for some very obvious time-saving cuts. They could simply decide which version of the scene they liked better and use that one without anything important being lost.

Goku's dream sequence, a VERY cool scene in my opinion, is utterly ruined in the dub. There are just a few small alterations, but it's amazing how much they change this from something very cool to something absolutely laughable. First of all, the dub music just sucks here. The Japanese music used, on the other hand, just happens to be my absolute favorite piece from the entire series. It was written for Movie 3, but occasionally shows up in the episodes, and it adds a haunting beauty to whatever scene it appears in. It works here perfectly.

My second beef is with the sequence that shows the faces of Goku's Earth friends flashing by rapidly. In the dub, we see their faces, and hear each of them laughing. It's really, REALLY annoying and sounds quite goofy. Incidentally, Lunch is one of the people who appears in this sequence, which will only confuse American viewers who don't know who the HFIL she is because FUNi skipped most of Dragon Ball and cut all of her scenes from DBZ. Amusingly, she is the only person whose laugh we don't hear. In the Japanese version, we don't hear them all giggling one after another like a bunch of jackasses, all we hear is FREEZA'S laughter. It's SO much more effective, and makes a lot more sense dramatically.

I can't wait until this scene comes out on the bilingual DVD's so that you all can compare the two versions. It really is amazing.