Dragon Ball ~ Episode 001
Original Title: Buruma to Son Gokū (ブルマと孫悟空) (Bulma and Son Goku)
FUNi Title: The Secret of the Dragon Balls
Original Air Date: 1986/02/26
English Air Date: 2001/08/20
Runtime: 23 minutes.
Short Summary: Little, orphaned Goku, a young boy with super-human strength, lives alone in the mountains practising his late Grandfather’s martial arts style, until, one day, teenage girl named Bulma arrives, lead there on a search for seven magical items that, once collected together, are said to grant a single wish to their finder.
As it turns out, one of these Dragon Ball is in the possession of young Goku, who believes the ball holds the spirit of his grandfather.
Bulma, who has already collected two of the balls and wants them all to wish for a boyfriend, asks Goku if she could have the ball he has, even attempting to bribe him with a look at her privates, but Goku refuses outright, of course…
So, Bulma asks Goku to come along with her on her search. Goku readily agrees, hoping to make his Grandfather proud. And, so, their adventure begins…
But, they aren’t the only people looking for the Dragon Balls…
Review: Aha, the very first episode. It’s been twenty-five years since Dragon Ball premiered in Japan, and ten since in was localised in English, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see these early episodes through, until now that is. I’m glad I’m doing this – it’s just great seeing the very beginning of Dragon Ball for the first time, and it makes me smile with with childlike glee and a good dose of nostaglia to boot, though I’m sure that term can’t apply to something you haven’t seen before… but, hey, you know what I mean.
Little Goku, a young boy that was abandoned as a baby before being found and raised by an old martial arts master named Gohan, has lived a sheltered life in the wilderness of a remote mountain region on the planet Earth. Trained in his adoptive grandfather’s martial arts, he is an uncommonly strong boy possessing super-human strength. He is also uncommonly clueless and innocent – he’s never met another human being besides old Gohan.
But, now, Goku has lived all on his lonesome since the death of his grandfather some years before the beginning of the series, and yet he’s still a cheerful, perky young boy. It’s amusing seeing how cute and innocent he was at this point, knowing the events that happen later in the series… *nudge wink*
Never the-less, though Goku lives alone, he’s quite independent; he chops wood with exceptional strength and pratices the art his grandfather taught him in doing it. He hunts for his own food, gathering fruits from the forest around his home, and going fishing (whilst being hilariously naked in this beginning episode) with his strange, monkey-like tail.
When, one day, the ball glows, Goku believes it a sign that Gohan is trying to talk to him from the otherworld, but little does Goku know that the glow is the signal heralding the approch of a girl that will soon change his life… That girl is the teenager Bulma. Bulma is a girl from the city, and is searching for something when she unwittingly runs into Goku (with a car, mind you). Goku thinks she’s a monster, running around in a shell that is her car, and promptly attacks her, hefting her (in her car) over his head throwing her unceremoniously away.
Bulma doesn’t know what to think of this weird kid, but manages to convince Goku (but not until after attempting to shoot him and watching the bullets ricochet off of him) that she is not, in fact, a monster, but a girl… Goku can’t believe it. He’s never actually seen one of these “girls” before (or a car, for that matter), but his Grandpa told to be polite to girls if he ever met one. (Poor Goku… it had to be this particular girl, didn’t it.). He’s also shocked that she doesn’t have a tail like he does.
Goku invites her for lunch, and Bulma agrees, noticeng on her way to his home that one of the things she looking for is nearby. Maybe Goku has it, she thinks; and as it turns out, he does. Bulma explains to him that the ball glows when other balls like it come near… and she has two more just like Goku’s (with five and two stars, respectively).
They are Dragon Balls. Three of seven magical items that posses the power to summon a dragon that can grant any wish the beholder desires – and Bulma very much desires a boyfriend.
Meanwhile, somewhere else on Earth, Pilaf and two of his lackeys find a Dragon Ball in the dilapidated ruins of a castle. Pilaf wants the Balls to make a wish to rule the world…
Back with our two heroes, Bulma tries to convince Goku to give his four-star Dragon Ball, but Goku refuses- he’s not going to give her the only thing his grandpa gave him to remember him by (What about the house, Goku?)! After failing to temp Goku into giving it to her by offering him a peek at her privates (really, Bulma, you little flirt, you…), and getting turned-down flat in the process, Bulma convinces Goku to come along with her as she searches for the remaining Dragonn Balls – as long as he brings Grandpa’s ball with him, that is. Hey, she gets a bodyguard out of it their deal, as well as use of the ball at the end. So she thinks she’s got it pretty sweet.
Riding a motor-bike retrieved from a capsule (Oh, god, I wish I had one of those), Goku and Bulma head off to find the next Dragon Ball. But soon, they stop for a short break so Bulma can go for a pee in the bushes – and the unlucky girl gets caught by a pterradactyl (that talks).
Goku comes to see if she’s alright when she screams for him to help her, but the dinosaur ties him up and flies away with Bulma in his grasp. Quickly, Goku frees himself (that tail comes in handy) and chases after them on Bulma’s motorbike, which he uses it to launch himself into the air before he thoroughly whacks the dino over the head with his power pole (Nyoibou).
The dino drops Bulma and crashes back to Earth, just as Goku uses his Nyoibou to pin Bulma to a rock-face before she can fall too far.
Then Bulma subsequently wets herself from her hanging point… Pee flying away in the breeze.
And, so, the pair heads off into the sunset, thus beginning their epic adventure.
In this epsode…
Characters Intoduced: Goku, Bulma, Pilaf, Pilaf’s two lackeys (one named Shu other unnamed)
Returning Characters: Nothing to return from… yet.
Favourite Moment: Bulma offering Goku a flash of her knickers and getting shot down in flames.
Score: 5 of 7
Final Thoughts: *sigh* the very beginning. Funny moments throughout and a cute set-up to what turns into positively epic story.