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DRAGON BALL Z #15 - - Watch & Learn

Please, please, please... let this be the last Gohan training epiosode.

Look, I’m all too aware that I’m breathing back some of the hot air I only just recently let loose on camera, but… in my defense, I did always qualify my sentiments by stressing that filler is only sometimes good.

Most times, as we all can agree, filler is pretty bad. And the biggest tip-off that you’re getting served, shall we say, stale spam in DBZ is if the episode centers on Gohan’s wilderness shenanigans, extended martial arts training or, worse yet, Gohan’s extended martial arts in the wilderness.

I feel like I’ve already watched this exact episode before. If we’re really going to break down the semantics of filler (and why not? It isn’t like there’s a limited amount of space available), I’d say the term should only be used pejoratively in instances when the animation staff is clearly just recycling assets they’ve already used. That goes for recap clip shows, it goes for the rote re-use of scenarios, and it goes for any other instance where the crew is just throwing something up so they can punch the clock for the week.

Episodes like the one where Vegeta nukes the bug planet, or the one where Goku falls pretty to the feminine wiles Princess Snake, on the other hand? I respect and enjoy those. You can tell that some staffers were faced with the predicament of not having any new manga to use, so they worked hard to fill the gap creatively. Cases like that offer an added layer of enjoyment, honestly; because there really is some fun in watching clever people solve problems.

Yet another episode of Gohan running around with that sabretooth tiger while Piccolo grunts at another monolith isn’t clever or fun, though. I don’t care if we get some resolution to this little training sub-plot because Gohan winds up on a little boat in the last couple minutes. Filler might as well be a synonym for “white noise,” and boy, did this episode earn that descriptor. After five minutes, I started doing other work in a different window while I just left this Hulu player running in the browser... letting the clock just run before I punched out.

Watch this episode, “Dueling Piccolos" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Top8caton May 3, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

But if Gohan doesn't train how is he going to learn.how..to. DODGE!!!

Petiewon May 4, 2013 at 7:36 a.m.

I remember commenting 5-6 episodes back or so wondering how long it'd take for your interest in the filler to completely stop. The thing is the majority of the filler is this kind of bad stuff, or long drawn out staring contests. There are probably only a handful of decent filler episodes in the whole series.

As a reference, by episode 15 in Kai the Spirit ball is already completed and they're getting ready to finish off Vegeta. A lot of people dislike Kai because they feel the pacing is off, but if you actually go back and try and sit through all of these dry fillers I don't know how anyone could prefer original Z.

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