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Advanced Guide to Dragon Ball Z

User Sotyfan16 continues to rock the dragon in this Namek saga guide.

Welcome to Anime Vice’s Advanced Guide to Dragon Ball Z! Included in this Guide is a summary of the Namek Saga, a breakdown of new characters, and a verdict on the Saga’s watchability. Need to catch up? No problem. Just check out the Beginner’s Guide to Dragon Ball Z and then come back! It's cool, I'll wait...wasn't that COOL?! Okay, moving on:

In manga terms the Namek Saga runs from Vol. 5 to part way through Vol. 12. In anime terms the Saga runs from episodes 37-107 (approximately).



Previously

The Z Fighters took major losses in their fights with Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta. Goku died to save the world only to learn some amazing techniques from King Kai in Otherworld before being wished back with the Dragon Balls to help his friends take on the notorious saiyans. The battle was the most difficult yet as power levels of shocking magnitude went head-to-head and the lives of Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, and Piccolo were lost before Goku arrived. Though he quickly disabled Napa, who was executed by his own partner, the ensuing battle between Goku and Vegeta took on a whole other level as it took the additional combined intervention of Gohan, Krillin, and Yajirobe-yes, the fat guy with the samurai sword-to defeat Vegeta. However, Vegeta was shown mercy by Goku and he left the planet. Desperate for another way to bring back Kami and Piccolo for the Dragon Balls so they could resurrect the other Z Fighters, Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma fix up Kami’s original Namekian spaceship to voyage to the far reaches of another galaxy in order to make a wish with the Dragon Balls on Kami and Piccolo's home planet of Namek. But the traveling trio may have stumbled into something that’s more than what they bargained for!

The Story

Upon arriving to Namek, Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma find out they are not the only ones looking for the Dragon Balls. Their worst fears become a reality when Vegeta shows up fully recovered from his fight on Earth and vastly more powerful than he was before. Not only that, another group has already been scouring the planet for the mystical balls: The group is led by the universe’s most deadly threat yet, Frieza! The intergalactic warlord has been waging a campaign of genocide against the vastly outclassed Namekians so it’s time for covert operations against these powerful new and old enemies for our heroes. Unlikely alliances are forged, new friends are made, greater powers are found, and legends are proven true as this Saga comes down the wire in a race against time!

New Characters

 



Dende is a young Namekian boy saved by Krillin and Gohan from Frieza and his henchmen. He helps them with their search for the Dragon Balls by leading them to the Grand Elder as well as proving vital in battle with his healing ability and knowledge of the Namekian language.



Nail is a Namekian man who protects the Grand Elder. He is an expert in the Namekian arts and shows them off in a battle against a terrifying foe. He also shows the viewer that there are more ways to help a friend than fighting by his side.



Guru is the Grand Elder; leader and caretaker of the Namekian race. He created the Dragon Balls as well as ushering his people through a time of incredible difficulty known only as "The Great Drought." He aids Gohan and Krillin by tapping into their hidden powers and giving them a Dragon Ball (they are huge!).



Dodoria is spiky, pink fat man with a short temper. He is one of Frieza’s bodyguards. While not very bright, he’s powerful and ruthless with a sadistic streak.



Zarbon has a cooler head than Dodoria but he’s twice as strong. While extremely vain, he can transform and become vastly more powerful, but also hideous. He is Frieza’s other bodyguard.



Frieza is the most powerful being in the universe but don’t let his size fool you! He can destroy planets with nothing more than wave of his finger. He is short-tempered yet tactical (in a certain regard) but no life means anything to him except his own. He has a few secrets which he gradually reveals throughout the saga and he wants the Dragon Balls so he can wish for immortality.


The Ginyu Force

The Ginyu Force is Frieza’s elite fighting team. These 5 fighters are brought in when Frieza has a real problem to deal with that his bodyguards can’t. A funny tidbit on their Japanese names, as if their mannerisms weren’t enough: they are all derived from dairy products. They are listed in order of strength.
Guldo is a small, 4-eyed green guy (no, he does not wear glasses) with a useful yet quirky power. He’s not a physical fighter so he uses psychic powers and can freeze time for as long as he can hold his breath.
Recoome is a goofy red-haired guy who is full of himself and behaves very much like a professional wrestler, constantly taunting and showboating (though he can back it up). He is massive but surprisingly quick and can absorb incredible amounts of punishment without slowing down. He causes the most trouble for our heroes (next to the Captain).
Burter is a big blue man who takes a lot of pride in being the fastest. He is very powerful and can team up with Jeice for attacks.
Jeice is red with long white hair which he hates getting his hair dirty. While he is powerful and fast, he is quite the coward when facing stronger opponents.
Captain Ginyu is the leader (duh!). He is purple and has horns. His power is matched only by his skill and, as if that weren't enough, he has one very special trick up his sleeve that causes a number of problems for the Z Fighters. Even Bulma!

 

Why Watch?/Verdict

The Namek Saga brings the Dragon Ball Z series to a head, and a whole other level, by proving a legend only previously hinted at to be true. There are more fights than the Saiyan Saga but a number of them are brief and insubstantial with a few really long ones scattered throughout. Most of the fights are good, though, as they have tremendous explosions and frantic hand-to-hand combat. Even despite all the action that goes, on the comedy pops up every now and again. Many complain about the length of this Saga with all the filler material and longer-than-needed fights so for those who want to get right to the nitty-gritty, skip the main series and watch Kai. For the rest, enjoy the original with the awesome power-ups fully intact!

Author’s Note: This is the last Saga of the series that numbers are applied to power levels. After this point, everyone is too powerful to spout off numbers and almost every character can sense other’s power. Also, my favorite moment is Goku powering up against Captain Ginyu. Goku was barely mentioned in this Guide because I felt it would add to the suspense for those who have not seen the show and most everything regarding Goku in this Saga involves spoilers.

 -Will McQuigg ( sotyfan16) is your everyday anime/manga enthusiast. You can also find him on Twitter ( bildo_88). 
buhssuhton May 2, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.
cue the old joke
are they still on Namek?
Kagemenon May 2, 2011 at 1:36 p.m.
@buhssuht said:
" queue the old joke
are they still on Namek?
"
I think they never left
Veidton May 2, 2011 at 9:59 p.m.
imho this is the last good dbz saga, didn't find the next ones as enjoyable as this one =/
Phoenix87on May 3, 2011 at 7:01 a.m.
Once all the voice actors changed (right in the middle of the first ginyu fight), that's when everything started going sour for me. Namek dragged out way too long. The body switching thing between Goku and Ginyu was lame. Frieza having like 9 forms got old pretty fast, and it was at this point the repetitive, serialized structure of the show became overtly obvious. 2 minute intro, 5 minutes talk/ kinda fight, 5 minute commercial, 5 minute talk/ kinda fight, 5 minute commercial and then 2 minute cocktease for next episode and credits. These fights got dragged out so much, it was ridiculous. Goku vs. Frieza was the culmination of the series for me, after that it went off the rails hard. They make Frieza out to be the strongest most badass guy in the galaxy and then 2 episodes into the next season, here comes king cold, WTF. Lame name and the whole vibe made Frieza out to be like a little kid, despite King Ki practically pissing his pants at the very mention of Frieza's name. Oh Well, I guess that's been pent up for about ten years, feel much better now.
CrackedOnyxon May 3, 2011 at 7:32 a.m.
Heh, this brings me back.  Not so sure if that's a good thing, considering that this is DBZ we're talking about, but hey, nostalgia is nostalgia.

Anyway, nice guide.
SSJjanembaon May 3, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.

cool
mrmangaon May 23, 2011 at 8:13 p.m.
I like Dragonball and all but the anime show is soo stretched out. Like the first post here said with the joke and all. It takes them sooo long to leave Namek. Something that didnt take forever in the manga. I know its kind of picky and all but still. 

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