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Episode 157 "A New Guardian"

The Summary:

In this episode of DBZ, Piccolo emerges from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber while Goku, Gohan, Krillin, and Chi-chi enjoy themselves in the park. We find out that after 5 tries, Goku finally got his license (it also provided an excellent opportunity for the animators to kill some time with recycled footage from previous episodes.). However, while relaxing Goku notices a formation of airplanes flying across the sky…

After their picnic, Goku drives them to the city in order to buy a gift for Master Roshi. However, upon arriving they find that everyone was in the process of retreating toward the countryside because of the Cell Games. In order alleviate the silence, Goku turns on the car radio just in time to catch a news flash that the entire military has approached Cell's position and will attempt to destroy him.

Everyone dies.

Goku, distraught at the enormous loss of life, transmitted himself to Kami's lookout to ask Piccolo if he can split with Kami in order to restore the Dragon Balls. Piccolo informs Goku that the fusion is permanent and he will never be able to split with Kami.

Goku then has the idea to bring another Namek to Earth, thereby giving the earth a new guardian and a new set of Dragon Balls. Unable to find the planet on his own, Goku heads to King Kai's to enlist the help of King Kai to find location of New Namek.

The Review

An interesting episode with some interesting points… Lets look at the breakdown:

ANIMATION: Sorry, I expect a lot more from TOEI, the animators of DBZ. Much of the animation was good, but there many instances where it looked like they were letting their Intern's do the "in-betweens." Most noticeably for mw was the scene where Goku and the others were listening to the radio in the car. Take a look at Goku's face… take a good look. His face looked flat and not at all consistent with the facial quality of the rest of the episode. Perhaps they were trying to accentuate the drama with his face… but it didn't work.

4 out of 7

CHOREOGRAPHY: 5/7 - Again, there were some things in this episode that just was cheesy. Case in point: the infantry soldier firing at Cell with a machine gun. Weak. The episode director could have done much better than that when working the storyboards.

My suggestion: Instead of doing a full-frontal close up of ONE soldier screaming and shooting, why not convey the MASSES of soldier by animating a three-quarter top view of at least 20 Soldiers firing at once (not TWO, which was shown later, but 20+) with the zoom pan out.

I understand that large amounts of objects in a scene require much more time and attention, but if your going to try to prove a point that not even an entire Nation's military can stop Cell… do it all the way. The animation of one solider, two to three tanks, a few jets, and section of the military, and then only show any scope of the army as dots in an extremely far zoom, just doesn't cut it for me. It was only when Cell was on the offensive that we saw something kind of like what I was talking about. With the soldiers tanks and jets retreating to avoid Cell's attack only to be killed.

The saving points in the choreography: Many of the comedic scenes were well timed, like Chi-Chi falling onto the ground when expecting Goku to catch her, as well as the droop faces when Goku was unable to locate the new Namekian Planet without help.

5 out of 7

ACTING: Well done. I really enjoyed Vegeta's witty remark when responding to Mr. Popo's remark to, "Try and stay calm." I won't repeat it; you'll just have to watch yourself. The voice acting has always been very good, but it seems in some of the later episodes of the Cell Saga that they really come into their own.

6 out of 7

PLOT: Rating the plot is always an interesting thing to do, since just about every episode has some development, it becomes more of a subjective rating. So it no longer is about, "What developed in the plot today," it becomes, "How did the plot developments affect my perceptions of this episode?" When I first saw this episode, I was rather taken back that new Dragon Balls could be made… and any surprise is always good when it comes to plot.

6 out of 7

OVERALL: I'm going to have to give this episode the "eh" response. It wasn't too horrible, but it lacked any sort of real action that I crave from DBZ, and combined with the slight animation and choreography boo-boo's, lets just say that I'm looking forward to the next episode not because I have to see what happens, but because I want to see what develops with the "new Dragon balls" thing.

The Celestrian gives "A New Guardian"

5 out of 7

Fan Art of the Moment

Vegeta SSJ
by Abe Stemmons

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