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DRAGON BALL Z #18 - - Watch & Learn

We've reached the end of Snake Way! I don't believe it!

I’m getting close to catching up on both TITAN and GARGANTIA. After that will come a full return to my ongoing experiment to re-watch DBZ’s first season with ‘adult eyes.’ Of course, I’m an impatient guy, and I’ll love my Z-Fighters - - so why not get a head start?

‘Experiment’ really is the right word for this whole endeavor, as I have a very specific kind of distance from this show. Any complaints about the unique… peculiarities of DBZ are oddly irrelevant, now, because I’ve known them all too well for over 20 years. The grunting, the pacing, the grunting, the filler and the grunting have been so thoroughly ridiculed, for so long, that any jokes about them are just beyond passé. These are all just matters of fact, now, and as such, I feel like I’m observing facts at play in the same fashion - - gosh! - - that I would during a lab experiment.

Now, it’s all about near-scientific observations. What qualities does filler take on over extended periods? How does it mutate? When do you, as a viewer, start zoning out enough to not notice that certain points are being spun over and over again until the next revolution in the big wheel comes?

Again, the staff was likely aware of all this the whole time. I feel like they’re just a tongue and a cheek away from outright saying how redundant things are honestly getting when half an episode is devoted to the reversal of logically-irreversible happenings. You know, like Gohan’s tail removal and the total destruction of the Moon.

Especially when Master Roshi is just shown with a completed collection of Dragon Balls here- - without any apparent struggle to find them - - one might ask if the search for the balls would've made for a more interesting half-episode than Gohan turning into a giant monkey, again, and Piccolo ripping his head off, again. But... I’m sure the staff already knows that, all too well.

It's funny. I still think there's an oddly Zen quality to Goku's journey over Snake Way. We've waited so long for him to reach the end that we've gotten used to it not happening - - and, now, there's an oddly unemotional catharsis. The tail end only came when we didn't want it anymore. Such is life, no?

Watch this episode, “The End of Snake Way" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

About the Author

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
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