I have no idea why Hulu deigned to remove the three specific episodes between #31 and #35. Maybe whoever runs programming there is just a DBZ fan with very strong opinions about which installments aren’t up to snuff. Alas, my Saiyan Saga experience is irrevocably compromised.
Even if I’ve missed a few of the final steps that brought us to this finale, it was still an absolutely thrilling experience. Yajirobe’s last stand is a moving act of clumsy valor. Krillin's hesitation about killing Vegeta is one of the tensest scenes I’ve seen in any anime. And it feels bizarrely appropriate that this epic battle concludes with Gohan smashing his giant monkey butt on Vegeta.
To slide another bead on the abacus that we’re constantly using to measure the differences between DBZ and supeheroes, the way the kill-or-don’t-kill-konundrum is handled here certainly offers a meaty discussion point. People’s objections to Batman’s refusal to kill the Joker have always been a little narrow-sighted by my reckoning. The futility of locking a killer way, knowing that he’ll simply break out again and kill more innocents, only ‘exists’ due to the plot conceits of an ongoing superhero serial. ‘Realistically,’ it’d be more like the new movies, where the hero locks the villain up and that’s the end of it (barring one or two prison breaks at most).
There doesn’t seem to be any super jail in the world of DRAGON BALL, so the mercy Goku begs Krillin to show Vegeta here is far more insensible. There’s a difference between taking the high road and simply allowing a mass-murdering psychopath to go free while you’re all half-dead and he’s also swearing to come back and do the exact same thing again. Of course, Goku’s ultimately proven right and Vegeta proves to be a valuable ally… but that’s just as much as a plot conceit as the Joker escaping Arkham likes it’s got a revolving door, isn't it?
I’m searching for a more conclusive statement about the Saiyan Saga but, between however many episode write-ups and however many Vice Pit sessions, I’ve probably said as much as I’ll never need to about this arc, anyway.
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|