Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (ドラゴンボールＺ とびっきりの最強対最強 Doragon Bōru Zetto Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō, lit. Dragon Ball Z: The Incredible Strongest vs Strongest), also referred to as Dragon Ball Z: The Strongest Rivals, is the eighth Dragon Ball film and the fifth under the Dragon Ball Z banner.
It was originally released in Japan on July 20, 1991. It was dubbed in English by Funimation in 2002, and released on VHS and DVD on January 22. The movie was re-released with its sequel, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, in November 2008.
In this movie, Frieza's older brother Cooler is introduced. The film begins with a flashback to when Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta, and Cooler's ship picks up Goku's space pod escaping the system. Cooler calls off the order to have it destroyed and lets it go, wanting Frieza to "clean up his own mess".
More than twenty-five years later, Goku is practicing the Kamehameha at Kame House, with Master Roshi noting that Goku had gotten stronger since defeating Frieza on Namek. Back on Mount Paozu, Goku tries to get Gohan to finish his homework, causing Chi-Chi to grow concerned due to Goku not generally caring if Gohan completing his homework.
However, soon, she discovers that Goku wanted him to finish his homework so he and Gohan (alongside Krillin, Oolong, and Icarus) could go on a camping trip. She then demands to know which of the two he felt was more important. Goku humorously responds that camping was more important, to Chi-Chi's dismay.
Meanwhile on a far away planet, Cooler discovers that his brother was killed by Goku. Disgusted that Frieza, who he already had a strained relationship with already, would tarnish his family's honor by losing to a primitive Saiyan, he orders Salza to plot a course for Earth, with the intention to kill Goku and destroy Earth.
Upon arrival, Cooler's forces ambush Goku and his friends on their camping trip, and after battling Salza, Neiz, and Dore, Goku is wounded by an energy blast launched by Cooler that was meant to kill Gohan (but not before countering with his own ki blast at Cooler); Cooler effortlessly deflects the blast, contemplating that Goku may have in fact beaten Frieza, and even speculates that Goku may be a Super Saiyan. Undaunted, he tells the Armored Squadron to find and destroy them.
Icarus reawakens Krillin during the aftermath of the assault by the Armored Squadron, and Krillin then ponders Goku's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Goku and Gohan emerge near a bank, and Goku loses consciousness due to his injury sustained from Cooler's blast. Gohan takes his father to shelter within a cave, but they are sealed away within a cavern due to Dore, Neiz and Salza blasting the landscape in an attempt to kill them. They assume their efforts are enough to have killed both Saiyans, to which Cooler disagrees, stating that while he would prefer to just destroy the Earth, his pride won't allow it; he wants to personally ensure Goku's death since he smeared his family's name (Cooler also makes the point that he is not here to avenge Frieza in the Japanese dub). Meanwhile, Krillin, Oolong, and Icarus, while hiding from the Armored Squadron, search for Goku until they discover them trapped within. When Krillin uses a Ki Blast to destroy a rock that was about to crush Oolong; this is picked up on Neiz's scouter, but to their luck, a Pterodactyl passes Neiz and he supposes that is where the reading came from.
After Krillin sets up shelter in a small cave with Goku, Gohan flies off to obtain Senzu Beans from Korin on his tower. After obtaining the beans from Yajirobe, who was at Korin's Tower he is ambushed by the squadron, but just as he is about to be killed by Dore, Piccolo arrives on the scene and saves him. Piccolo proceeds to battle the warriors and kills Dore with a homing energy blast. He continues to fight Salza and Neiz, but is trapped for a moment in Neiz Bind Wave, allowing Salza to chase down the fleeing Gohan. However, Piccolo proves far too powerful for the attack to work on him, and he transmits it on Neiz, frying and killing him. Piccolo then ambushes Salza in a forest, but Cooler arrives and blasts Piccolo through the chest. He orders Salza to continue chasing down Gohan.
Gohan arrives at the cave with the Senzu Beans a short time later, but Salza arrives and destroys the bag just as he is about to give them to Krillin further weakening Goku. An outraged Krillin attacks Salza but proves no match for him; Gohan comes to his aid, but not before giving Goku the extra bean Yajirobe had thrown to him. Gohan is beaten and Salza walks toward the cave to finish Goku. However, Salza's scouter picks up on a rising ki, and Goku walks out of the cave.
Cooler arrives moments later with an injured Piccolo, Goku demands that Piccolo be released while calling Cooler "Frieza". However, he learns from Salza that Cooler is Frieza's brother, just before Cooler drops Piccolo. Goku runs to save him, only for Cooler to blast the wounded Namek away. Horrified by this, Goku is enraged as Salza attacks Goku, to absolutely no effect.
Goku condemns Cooler as being as evil as Frieza, and tells him that he will make him pay, as Cooler states he will destroy the Earth after killing Goku. However, the Saiyan powers up and Salza is sent hurdling into a rock face. An amused Cooler tells Goku to show him the power he used against his brother; with that, Goku charges at Cooler.
Goku vs. Cooler
Goku continues to pound on Cooler, though Cooler seems to be not visibly affected by his attacks too much. The fight initially starts airborne, and then goes underwater. After they emerge from the water, Cooler understands how Goku gave Frieza trouble and decides to take things more seriously and reveals his ability to transform once more than Frieza to a shocked Goku (In FUNimation's dub, Cooler tells of his history with his younger brother Frieza, and how he always hated his "spoiled brat" of a brother, and that he was actually planning on killing him himself one day. Cooler reveals that Frieza always had the edge in strength until Cooler found a transformation beyond his brother's). The tyrant then reveals his final transformation and Goku ascertains that he has surpassed Frieza in strength. Even with the uses of Kaio-ken and a Kamehameha, Goku proves no match for the transformed power of Cooler and finds himself completely outclassed.
However, as Cooler threatens to destroy the planet, injuring a bird in the process, Goku once again channels his fury to become a Super Saiyan, and uses his aura to heal the bird. Cooler finds himself, like Frieza was, grossly outclassed, he laughs in amusement at how his brother was killed before he blasts Goku but he is unaffected. However, this was a diversion as Cooler summons a trump card in the form of a Supernova (the same attack Frieza used to blow up Planet Vegeta, and the one he used to attempt to kill Future Trunks) to destroy Goku and the Earth. However, after a stint of struggling, Goku eventually manages to send it back with a Super Kamehameha, sending Cooler hurtling into the sun. As Cooler curses Goku, he realizes that Goku is the Saiyan he let escape over two and a half decades ago, and that he could have prevented this fate by killing the Saiyan child when he had the opportunity. Cooler then disintegrates and seemingly dies in the Sun.
Goku, drained after his battle, is found by Krillin and Gohan. Salza reappears and attempts to attack them; however, he is run through and killed by a Special Beam Cannon from a distance. Gohan looks around and calls out Piccolo's name; the movie ends with Piccolo staring at the sun and drinking some water.
This movie takes place after Future Trunks first appears but before the Androids arrive.
In Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, it is shown that Cooler arrived on Earth in Age 764, during the time when Goku, Gohan and Piccolo had just begun training. However, Cooler is fought in his final form much later in the game on New Namek.
Cooler's Revenge was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. In 2006, Toei Animation released Cooler's Revenge as part of the final Dragon Box DVD set, which included all four Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. These were presented in a new widescreen transfer from the original negatives with a 16:9 aspect ratio that was matted from the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
FUNimation released Cooler's Revenge for VHS and DVD on January 22, 2002 in both edited and uncut forms. As was the case with all previous releases, the movie was released in an unmatted 4:3 aspect ratio. The DVD featured a new English dub with a soundtrack of American rock bands and was also the only movie to include a Latin American Spanish audio option. In 2002, FUNimation bundled Lord Slug with Cooler's Revenge and The Return of Cooler in a new DVD box set. It was released on October 15, 2002, available in both edited and uncut forms.
FUNimation re-released Cooler's Revenge and The Return of Cooler on DVD and Blu-ray on November 11, 2008 as part of their "Double Feature" line. This new set featured a brand-new widescreen transfer from Video Post & Transfer and a new audio mix for the English dub featuring the original Japanese score done by Shunsuke Kikuchi in addition to the old mix featuring the American rock bands.
FUNimation repackaged the Double Feature DVDs into three new thinpak sets, the first of which was released on November 1, 2011 and included Dead Zone, The World's Strongest, The Tree of Might, Lord Slug, and Cooler's Revenge. These three sets were also released together in the Canada-only Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection featuring reversioned artwork of Goten and Trunks from Bio-Broly on the cover.
A fourth English version released exclusively in Malaysia by Speedy Video features an unknown voice cast.
- FUNimation dub:
- - Reminded
- - Poison
- - Seven Years
- - Under
- - Stay and Drown
- Breaking Point - Falling Down
- Drowning Pool - Mute
- - The Game
- Drowning Pool - Told You So
- - Change
- American Pearl - Revelation
- Breaking Point - Phoenix
- Krillin vs. Neiz
- Gohan vs. Dore
- Goku vs. Salza, Dore, and Neiz
- Goku vs. Cooler (Final Form)
- Gohan vs. Salza, Neiz, and Dore
- Piccolo vs. Dore, Neiz, and Salza
- Piccolo vs. Cooler (Final Form)
- Krillin and Gohan vs. Salza
- Goku (Base/Super Saiyan) vs. Cooler (Final Form/Fourth Transformation)
Anime News Network rates the DVD with a B for both the Dub and the Sub but said the movie overall is a pretty mediocre release with the story itself being rather weak and using the standard villain of the week feature with no real impact on the lives of the heroes. The movie was released in theatres in Japan on July 20, 1991 and was part of a double feature alongside Dragon Quest: Great Adventure of Dai. It grossed a total of ¥2.38 billion (US $17.5 million)
- In some versions of the movie, the scenes with Cooler and his Armored Squadron in the prologue before fleeing the destruction of Planet Vegeta (as well as Cooler's flashback to these events right before meeting his own end) were given in sepia tone, while in others, the flashbacks were given in full color.
- At the beginning of the movie, the events of the end of the Bardock - The Father of Goku special are shown, and dialouge from the special was also used.
- Gohan appears in his bowl-cut Namek Saga design in this movie, but has a tail; it is possible that is grew back and was removed again between when Frieza came to Earth and the arrival of the androids. This is the only movie besides Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone that Gohan has a tail but does not transform into his Great Ape form.
- Icarus, who first appeared in The Tree of Might, Lord Slug and the Garlic Jr. Saga is seen multiple times in the film. This movie marks the final appearance of Icarus in the Dragon Ball series.
- All three of Cooler's henchmen are killed by Piccolo. This parallels all members of the Ginyu Force, who Cooler's Armored Squad is based on, being killed by Vegeta.
- The movie contains several peculiarities that are not fully explained. To begin with, in spite of Future Trunks killing both King Cold and the revitalized Mecha Frieza only hours prior to Goku's return to Earth, Cooler seems intent only on seeking vengeance for the shame thrust upon his family by Frieza's display of inferiority on Namek, as though he were completely unaware of not only his father's recent death, but also of the second defeat (and actual death) of his brother, as well. However, it is entirely possible that news of these recent events never reached him, since Future Trunks, along with killing Frieza and King Cold, blew up their spaceship and killed all of King Cold's men. However, the video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 does mention King Cold's death as well, though this has no bearing on the film itself.
- The lack of any mention of the events of the Trunks Saga is likely due to the fact that the film was released before the episode Frieza's Counterattack which first aired on Japanese television in November 27, 1991 - four months after Cooler's Revenge. However the film was released after Mecha Frieza and King Cold first appearance in the manga chapter Where is Goku? which was released July 1, 1991, however the chapter The Second Super Saiyan which features King Cold's death at the hands of Future Trunks, was not released until July 22, 1991 two days after the films release.
- The film was released in Japan when the Frieza Saga was still ongoing in the anime as it was released in between Approaching Destruction and Gohan Returns, thus Frieza had not yet even been defeated yet in the anime.
- Goku was shown to easily transform into a Super Saiyan upon his return to Earth, but in this movie he only transformed right at the end of the battle. However, it is shown that Goku did not really need it throughout the battle, and at this point in time he only used the Super Saiyan transformation as a last resort. In this film, the Super Saiyan transformation happens as a result of anger, similar to when Goku transformed for the first time on Namek.
- Additionally at the time of the films release Goku had not yet returned to Earth in the manga, thus his ease at using the Super Saiyan form had not yet been shown, thus the film makers presumably decided to have Goku transform after becoming angered by Cooler's disregard for innocent inhabitants of Earth to match its depictions in the series up to that point.
- The 14th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M12XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in Extreme Measures.
- Even though Cooler is in his fourth form and may have found his fifth form beyond it, he tells Goku "as you know, I'm in the third transformed state but I found the fourth beyond it". This is definitely a dialogue mistake.
- In the Re-mastered DVD release, Cooler's voice is slightly deeper in his final form and a different vocal effect was used for his Super Evolution.
- This is the first Dragon Ball Z movie in which Shenron does not make an appearance.
- In the first English versions in this movie until it combines with the sequel of the Return of Cooler, the title of the movie is changed into Dragon Ball Z: The Greatest Rivals in the Philippines.
- The voice dubbers from Creation Corp of 1996 are known for dubbing English voices in the Philippines prior to the characters are voiced by actual English dubbers in the United States.
- Interestingly, Goku's original Philippine-English voice actor in both movies and the RPN-9 version of the anime series' run is Nesty Calvo Ramirez prior to be voiced by Jefferson Utanes who currently voices him in their native language which is the Filipino Dub.
- There was a reference to Goku's name origin at one point in the film. When Chi-Chi, out of concern when Goku tells Gohan to finish up his homework (something he is not known to do)m checks up on him, she briefly speculates that all the fighting has reduced him to a vegetable, which is a reference to how his Saiyan name, Kakarot, was named after the vegetable Carrot.
- Gohan cutting the logs into firewood was taken from the first episode of Dragon Ball (and to an extent the first manga chapter) where Goku did the same thing. This would later be reused in A Girl Named Lime, the only difference being that Gohan comically failed due to Lime distracting him in the latter.
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