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DRAGON BALL Z #35 - - Watch & Learn

This is how the arc ends. This how the arc ends...

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.

Watch this episode, Mercy" 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
SamJazon Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:35 p.m.

I love how the Abridged series put it.

"No... Krillin... If he's really sorry... you have to let him go..."

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"

"Vegeta... Are you...?"

"YES! I'M SORRY! I'M REALLY VERY SORRY!"

"Okay... Krillin, let him go..."

"HE'S LYING!"

Lurkeroon Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:32 a.m.

I slightly agree about the Batman thing. The comics by design allow the criminals to escape because Batman has a rogue's gallery that writers want to tap into. There are some Batman villains that do not belong in prison though. Batman is putting those prison guards' lives at risk by making them watch over villains like Clayface and Killer Croc. Those two could kill a person easy.

You did forget to address the fact that Batman avoids killing villains when they are actively harming him or others. There is a right to self-defense that the police regularly utilize to kill violent combatants. Batman could use that right too.

If I were in Goku's position I would have considered what I could do to Vegeta to possibly reform him, but at the first sign of resistance I would have taken him out.

YotaruVegetaon Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:47 p.m.

The meta reason behind Vegeta and Joker being left alive seem to be the same: "I can use him for more." Vegeta became not only one of the most popular villains in Dragonball history, but one of the greatest heroes as well. I've not read any interviews (I wouldn't know where to look) of why Toriyama originally spared Vegeta, but I suspect that he saw a gem and didn't want to let go of it. The same thing with The Joker. He was such a deliciously evil creation that his creators just could not let him go.

As for the reason why the heroes in the show spare people like Vegeta is that philosophy of these happy-go-lucky fellows like Goku. They will give you enough rope to hang yourself, they'll give you enough chance to not take that deeper dive into evil. You will often hear Goku say something to the effect of "You don't have to do this!" to every major villain he faces. Goku is stronger than us in more than just power levels. He has great mercy. Let's not forget that Picollo was once Goku's greatest enemy. Now he's a hero, he was the key to defeating Radditz, and he's a member of the family.

I know you've been running into this brick wall with episodes 11-34 of the show, but it's not Hulu's fault. I would guess that those episodes are currently being pushed in a DVD collection or something? There's a new collection out, right? Maybe they're starving one crowd so they turn their attention to what's on sale.

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