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Closing In (Episode 123)

The Summary

Our episode kicks in with Kami and Piccolo facing off and discussing Kami and Piccolo merging. Kami tells Piccolo how glad he is to see him again, and that he often thought about this moment. Piccolo, however is not there to merge because he wants to, but has run out of options. In fact, he even tell him that the very sight of Kami disgusts him. Kami is hurt and insulted by Piccolos attitude but concedes to himself that he understands, after all he and Piccolo are one and the same.

We then have a flashback narrative of how Kami has seen Piccolo battle one foe after another, and how he has always been able to miraculously beat the odds, but now, the only chance they have of protecting the planet is if the two merge, because, "even Vegeta, with all of his power was no match for these androids…"

However, Kami has not made his decision to merge yet, much to Piccolo's anger. Kami indicates that he is not so certain that the purpose of the androids is to destroy the world. Piccolo tries to tell Kami of what Trunks said, but Kami also states that Trunks said that the androids were not the same ones of Trunks' future. So Kami asks Piccolo (tells him, rather) that he needs more time make his decision. Piccolo consents, and as a "token" of his good will, says that he will wait RIGHT THERE until Kami makes up his mind.

We then go to brief scene with Krilliin, Tien, and Trunks, flying to Goku's, Tien decides to go get his friend and train till "Things get dicey." We also have Trunks thinking to himself how these androids are so much stronger than the ones in his future.

At the same time, the three androids are flying over the road when they finally spot a truck. 17 (the boy, I sometimes get their numbers confused…) tells 18 that he wants to do the driving, and the three procede to fly down and inspect the vehicle. The two drivers are getting some old coffee at the stop (one of the drivers makes a surprisingly funny comment about the coffee is older than his mother-in-law!) when they see the three opening the door to their Lucky Foods pink delivery truck (great choice in vehicles, yes?). The two try to tell them to stop, in which 16 (The BIG one)picks up the truck and empties the contents. They all get in, and dive off.

Another cut comes to a scene with Vegeta wiping blood off his mouth and turning SSJ, (This also has some music which a fan of the website e-mailed me about, so wherever you are Ril, I know what music you are talking about now, and will look to see where you can find it.) and makes a typical Vegteta speech about how he is going to make them pay and prove that he is the strongest warrior in the universe yadda yadda yadda…

So were back to the androids driving along the road, when a group of bikers called the "Toad Warriors" (I don't know, but if I were driving on the road and saw a bunch of people called the TOAD WARRIORS,… well, I would suggest a new mascot, something less…). The… Toad… Warriors (AHEM) then try to harass the androids, not knowing who they are and proceed to follow them. The Androids, somewhat amused decide to make two of the bikes crash and then lead the rest on a "suicide run" when they decide to follow them. Some of the dialogue between the androids was very clever, which I will cover in the Review. After leading them through a train track and making them all crash, the Toad (snicker) Warriors, continue to pursue the androids who finally stop.

Alright, so we get a little taste of action. One of the Frog… er… I mean TOAD Warriors, decides to launch a chain at 17 (the boy). Who catches it and yanks him to the ground. Then another Toad tries to axe 18, which only ends up cutting some of her hairs (interesting). She then blasts a streak in the pavement in front of them with an energy blast from her unmoving hand. Petrified with fear at this point, and a siren coming in the distance, the Toad Warriors, being the brave tough bunch of macho men that they are, affirm that they would have had the two androids for lunch if the cops weren't coming (16 is still sitting in the truck…) and proceed to flee. With that, a squad car (a hover squad car, the Lucky Food trunk still has wheels, guess Lucky Foods hasn't been to lucky with their sales…) stops in front of the truck. Two officers, the "sheriff" with his cowboy hat and horrible "cow-polk" accent, cuffs the two androids while the "deputy," who is desperately trying to be Don Knotts, calls into the truck that if anyone is in there they need to come out now, in which 16 comes out, and lets the deputy cuff him. 18 then tells the sheriff to, "pay attention as she will only do this once," and while still wearing the cuffs, picks up the squad car and hulrs into a nearby cliff where it explodes. After this, only then do all the androids break their cuffs.

(We do have brief scene with Kami watching the events and Piccolo waiting, but this seems to be most space filler.)

Cut to Yamcha and Chi-Chi watching over Goku, saying that the worst is not over. At this time Krillin and Trunks finally get to Goku's place, and Krillin asks Trunks if the androids are as horrible as he says, Trunks gives his "they're ruthless and terrible, and I've told you this before." Krillin says that he was hoping that they all wouldn't have to fight, and is think about how 18 kissed him on the cheek. They knock on the door; Chi Chi opens it thinking its Gohan, but its "only Krillin" while giving him a bump on the head. While this I happening, Trunks has a very odd look on his face, and I can only wonder what the implication of it was in the original dialogue and episode when it first aired in Japan… Krillin then nudges Trunks to say hello, and explains that they have to move Goku because they haven't destroyed the androids (I don't think Yamcha knows there are three NEW ones yet.) and they need to buy some time. While loading setting Goku into a transport plane, Gohan arrives, is smothered by his mom, and this is where the episode FINALLY comes to an end (whew!)

The Review

Wow! That was quite a bit for 25 minutes, huh?

I think Funimation must be coming onto our website and reading the reviews from this highly competent staff that we have… because this episode made A LOT of improvements.

Number 1: The Dialogue - this episodes dialogue was the funniest, and best written in any episode I have seen so far, there was a lot of clever humor in some of the one-on-one dialogue. From the two truck drivers with the Coffee being older than one's mother-in-law. To a conversation between 17 and 18 when the Toad Warriors first start chasing them:

17: Hey, 18. Maybe you should get a new wardrobe form these guys….

18: No thanks; they have nothing in my size.

17: (Smirks) Hmmph…. Picky.

Now, I have to say, combined with the animation, this was very well timed, and extremely clever, the shots also made notice of 18's tattered clothes (which is also good that they did not miraculously repair as in many American Cartoons). And I found it quite funny.

However, we still had some Funimation dribble seep in, like the final "conversation" between Krillin and Trunks, but it was not as bad, and certaintly not as frequent as previous episodes. Some of Kami's lines were bad ("Piccolo's attitude angers me…"), yet some of his others (like the flashback monologue) where pretty decent, and relevant to the issues at hand. All in all, the dialogue is coming around to being more realistic, less repetitive, and much more dynamic and witty than previous episodes, if Funimation continues to improve and tweak, they might yet put together some very solid (and marketable) episodes. I really feel the future of this series in America is dependent upon this aspect, because the hard-core fans own the Japanese episodes and will always prefer them over any American version, but the demographics Funimation is marketing to (I would say 7-18, and even some of the people who have already have an interest in DBZ) cheesy dialogue will only last as long as DBZ is the "in thing" (This is whats going to KILL pokemon when the majority of its fan get older, but enough marketing and economics). And as far as my reviews go, this aspect alone can make or break an episode.

Number 2: The Music - I was extremely impressed to see that Funimation tried a few new things in this episode, mainly when the Toad Warriors were chasing the androids. Funimation actually put in some heavy metal/grunge metal into the music mix, very much like MANGA does (didn't I mention this in a previous review?), and it actually helped the atmosphere of the scene, in which the Toad Warriors where chasing the androids on the train tracks.

Some of the stuff was pretty standard, and the music in Vegeta's scene was pretty good (thanks again Ril, I would never have listened for it…). Again, much improved, and it makes a world of difference.

All in all, Funimation is finally starting to pay some more attention to the elements of the show, but there are still some kinks to work out, there were a few animation mistakes (one of the truckers "old" coffee keeps on spilling from his broken cup in a constant and unending stream), which they can't fix, but still some remnants of cheesy dialogue, which they can fix.

The Final Word: Much Improved. And I can finally say that the episode that I am reviewing for today was GOOD, and very entertaining. I only hope that Funimation continues to improve and tweak the episodes as the series progresses.

The Celestrian gives todays episode: 4.3/5 (I'm still looking for some more improvement Funimation)

-The Celestrian DBZN Staff

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Vegeta SSJ
by Abe Stemmons

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