Dragon Ball Z: Saiyan Battle Arc Review

Michael A Gold
8 min readSep 16, 2019

The Saiyans have arrived, except for one, which is a problem. This arc of episodes begins with most of the Z-Warriors getting absolutely floored while Goku runs back to Earth. This whole thing takes an agonizingly long amount of time, but then he does show up and successfully fights off the Saiyans with his son and best friend. Kind of. This arc is defined by a series of bouts that mostly end with the heroes getting stomped, and multiple reversals of fortune that are supposed to be exciting, but are instead pretty tedious. On the other hand, when the fighting is actually happening, it’s pretty good. The new moves characters show off are fun to see, and the stakes feel real as we watch several people die (permanently?) and also have to watch Goku scream horribly. It’s a lot, maybe too much, but some of it is fun.

Goku faces off with Vegeta. FUNimation

Let me summarize the action just a bit: Goku and King Kai realize with horror that the Saiyans will arrive before Goku does, so he begins to sprint back to Earth. The Saiyans show up and wipe out a city before the Z-Warriors can get to them. Yajirobe is acting as a spokesperson, but is not really doing a lot to actually help. The rest of the crew faces off with Nappa and his Saibamen (little plant monsters he grows from seeds). One by one, Chiaotzu, Yamcha, and Tien get killed. The Saibamen are defeated, Nappa has his armor blown off, but it’s down to just Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo. When Nappa tries to kill Gohan, Piccolo takes the blast and gives his life instead. This is frustrating to Vegeta, who hoped to keep him alive to learn where the Dragon Balls are. We also learn, I guess, that Piccolo and Kami are aliens called Nameks. This signals to Vegeta that they know about the Dragon Balls even though he doesn’t know that Kami created them.

Goku using his Kaio-Ken technique. FUNimation

Goku shows up finally and uses a Kaio-Ken technique to beat up Nappa, breaking his back. Vegeta throws his former comrade in the air and blasts him to finish him off. Wild. Goku and Vegeta trade blows, Krillin and Gohan leave, but then come back. They do so because Vegeta turns himself into a monkey using a fake moon, harnessing the power of Blutz Waves (which are not real). Yajirobe finally appears in time to cut off…

Michael A Gold

Michael writes about history, religion, and the Bible. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and Netflix account.