One thing that ScrewAttack’s video gets absolutely right is that Goku ain’t the brightest bulb in the marque, and his oft-naïve sense of mercy is truly his greatest weakness. As this episode evidences, those qualities were all established very early on in DBZ’s lifespan. Even when I was first watching this show as a tyke who didn't know much about anything else, I would’ve stood up with great consternation and pointed out how stupid Goku was - - falling for the oldest trick a schoolyard brawler’s playbook!
What’s funny now, of course, is that the stupidity is even more blatant to me as a grown-up (right?), and my reaction to it is completely opposite. I’m so glad that Goku makes such a boneheaded move, and I know the show would be far less interesting if he didn’t. As if I’ve been coming to understand more and more throughout all of these re-visits, I really hadn’t grasped how comprehensive of a parody DBZ was for my lifetime of fandom. It’s not a total spoof - - it pulls off the precarious feat of having its cake and eating it, too, with respect to self-ridicule - - but damn, does every episode make me chuckle.
(There’s even an added layer of humor to be found since I’ve re-visited YU YU HAKUSHO, as well - - recognizing the usual Funi team of players and realizing that Justin Cook and Chris Sabat have more-or-less just gotten to swap their white hats and black hats around).
The humor’s come into even sharper relief since I finally checked out some of the trailers for that EVOLUTION flick that just kind of came and went a few years back with everybody silently agree to act like it never happened. For whatever stones you can throw at the movie, the biggest would have to be over how it seemed to totally miss the tone I’ve just described here.