Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (ドラゴンボールＺ 超サイヤ人だ孫悟空 Doragon Bōru Zetto Sūpā Saiya-jin da Son Gokū, lit. Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiyan Son Goku), also known as Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Son Goku, is the seventh Dragon Ball film and the fourth under the Dragon Ball Z banner.
It was originally released in Japan on March 9, 1991 and was later released in North America by Funimation in 2001. It is the first Dragon Ball Z movie to be dubbed with Funimation's English in-house voice cast (not counting the Ultimate Uncut edition of the previous movies). It was also the first movie which involved real-life American rock bands for its English release, with bands ranging from Finger Eleven to Dust for Life and more.
While Piccolo is doing his meditation training, Gohan shows up along with Icarus and shows Piccolo his new whistle and dance routine, however the high pitched noise greatly hurts Piccolo's ears. They both soon sense an object from space fast approaching the Earth which is revealed to be an inhabited planet.
News of the collision begins to wreak havoc all over the planet as it is believed that the impact is going to destroy the entire Earth. Goku and Krillin go to deflect the planet off course so it does not hit Earth. They attempt to move it using a combined Kamehameha, but to no avail; they are blown away by the fierce winds produced by the near-clash of the planet with Earth.
The planet passes near Earth but misses the crash, exploding soon afterward. However, a spaceship from the planet lands on Earth which is full of soldiers who serve Lord Slug. Along with his crew of vicious fighters, Slug has traveled space, conquering planets with Earth as his new target. The way they dominate a planet is by terra-freezing it, changing the atmosphere to make it suitable for themselves as they are a demon clan who can not withstand sunlight for more than an hour. This however is almost unbearable for any other people, including the native occupants of the planet. Later they transform the planet into a giant spaceship (known as a Planet Cruiser), and move on to find a new planet to conquer. Previously in the film, they intentionally destroyed their own craft to make Earth their new Planet Cruiser.
A nearby Gohan attempts to stop Slug's soldiers. Slug notices the Dragon Ball Gohan has on his hat and obtains it. After reading Bulma's mind, Slug learns about the Dragon Balls and how to get them. Lord Slug sends his minions to gather the Dragon Balls via the Radar (which he steals from Bulma after his mind-reading), and uses them to ask Shenron for eternal youth (Slug at this point has aged incredibly old) a time when he was at his most powerful.
Soon after the Terra-Freezing device is launched to the outskirts of Earth's atmosphere which releases a thick dark cloud which covers the planet, blocking out the sunlight and thus lowering the temperature around the planet, freezing it's oceans. Yajirobe, having found Goku, gives him along with Krillin a sensu bean and they soon head out towards Slug.
Later, Gohan manages to infiltrate Slug's camp with Oolong and Icarus, but is quickly discovered and outnumbered by his soldiers. Just as he is about to be killed, Piccolo appears and rescues Gohan. Killing Wings, he soon notices that Gohan has been defeated by Lord Slug's other henchmen, Medamatcha. As he goes to help him he is ambushed by Angila and along with Medamatcha they are able to take him down. As they are about to be finished, Goku and Krillin arrive and save them. Goku easily dispatches of the henchmen and is soon confronted by Lord Slug, who has been watching all along from his spaceship. Slug proves stronger than Goku in the ensuing fight and pummels him around. As Goku is on the verge of defeat, he catches Slug's intended death blow and transforms into a Pseudo Super Saiyan. With his new found power, Goku easily dominates Slug and breaks one of his arms.
As Goku's Pseudo Super Saiyan power fades away. Slug reveals his Namekian heritage by regrowing his arm and removing his helmet to reveal his antennae and transforms into a giant version of himself. King Kai reveals that Slug as a baby, was sent to a planet called Slug before his home planet Namek faced extinction, similar to Kami. King Kai says that although Slug probably didn't realise it himself, he was born with a rare mutation that has allowed only evil to grow in his heart making him pure evil and thus he is a Super Namekian. In this new giant form, Slug proves to be stronger than Goku; King Kai guesses that Frieza and even a Super Saiyan are no match against him in this form.
Piccolo intervenes and starts tugging at Slug's antenna, saying he knows his weaknesses because he is a Namekian too. Although he's being beaten back, in a bloody move, Piccolo tears off his ears and tells Gohan to whistle since the wavelength of it makes a sound terrible to Namekians. Gohan's whistling is able to bring Slug to his knees.
Piccolo gives what little strength he has left to Goku. Thanks to Piccolo, Goku is able to use the Kaio-ken and punch a hole through Slug's stomach. Goku then flies up above the clouds to deliver the final blow to the terra-freezer with a Spirit Bomb powered by the sun; Slug maniacally tries to thwart him. The Spirit Bomb heads straight into the freezing generator, taking Slug with it and destroying him. The atmosphere goes back to normal on Earth. Following Slug's defeat, the friends reunite and are given Senzu Beans by Yajirobe. The final scene involves Master Roshi waking up from his nap which he started before the aliens landed, and he wishes that something interesting would have happened.
Daizenshuu 6 notes that the movie takes place after Goku's arrival on Namek (at the time when he is in the midst of battle) but before the final showdown with Frieza, and Goku's transformation into a Super Saiyan.
This film presumably takes place at least one year after the events of Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might; when Lord Slug is reading Bulma's mind, one of the images is Krillin, Bulma, and Oolong summoning Shenron with the outfits they wear at the beginning of The Tree of Might. Additionally, the dragon Icarus also appears in the film who was originally introduced in The Tree of Might.
Lord Slug was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. In 2006, Toei Animation released Lord Slug 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 Lord Slug for VHS and DVD on August 7, 2001 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 some pieces from Faulconer Productions' score for Dragon Ball Z. 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 The Tree of Might and Lord Slug on DVD and Blu-ray on September 16, 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 and the Faulconer Productions score.
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 third English version released exclusively in Malaysia by Speedy Video features an unknown voice cast.
- Opening Theme (OP): "Cha-La Head-Cha-La"
- Insert Song (IN): "Kuchibue no Kimochi"
- Ending Theme (ED): "“Ya” na Koto ni wa Genki-Dama!!"
- Funimation Dub
- - Drag You Down
- Finger Eleven - First Time
- - Seed
- Dust for Life - Dragonfly
- - Automatic
- Dust for Life - Step Into The Light
- - Fear (home video version only)
- American Pearl - Free Your Mind
- - The Rebirth
- - Elite (home video version only)
- Disturbed - Stupify (home video version only)
- Boy Hits Car - I'm A Cloud
- - Coming Of Age
- Tendril - Time to Burn (Toonami broadcast only)
- Tendril - Sky-Strike the Terror Drome (Toonami broadcast only)
- Gohan and Chi-Chi vs. Lord Slug's soldiers
- Piccolo vs. Wings
- Gohan vs. Medamatcha
- Piccolo vs. Medamatcha and Angila
- Goku vs. Medamatcha and Angila
- Goku and Krillin vs. Lord Slug
- Goku (Base/Pseudo Super Saiyan) vs. Lord Slug
- Goku vs. Lord Slug (Great Namekian)
- Piccolo vs. Lord Slug (Great Namekian)
- Goku vs. Lord Slug (Great Namekian)
The movie was released in theatres in Japan on March 9, 1991 and was part of a double feature alongside Magical Taluluto: The Movie. It grossed a total of ¥2.21 billion (US $16 million).
- The movie was the first of several Dragon Ball Z movies to incorporate actual American rock bands as part of its music for the English dub, setting the tone for this habit to be repeated.
- A truck bearing the logo "TAMA" and the cat's face, is caught in the flood caused by the asteroid early in the film.
- Angila and Wings, two of Slug's top henchmen, strongly resemble Zarbon and Dodoria respectively.
- This is one of the only films when Chi-Chi fights against the antagonists henchmen, the first being her brief scuffle against Ginger in Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone. Unlike Dead Zone, Chi-Chi actually puts up a decent fight against the Slug soldiers managing to defeat two while protecting Gohan before being knocked out while in Dead Zone Ginger quickly defeated her with a simple Kiai.
- Interestingly, both Ginger and the Slug soldiers were members of a Demon Clan lead by their respective movie's main villain.
- In the scene where Chi-Chi realizes Gohan has disappeared from home, a poster of Arale Norimaki from Akira Toriyama's previous hit series Dr. Slump can be seen in Gohan's room.
- A McDonald's fast food restaurant can be seen in the background of Iguana Street.
- During their fight Wings recognizes Piccolo's status as a Demon Clansmen and tries to convince Piccolo to join Slug's Demon Clan. However Piccolo despite being the son/reincarnation of King Piccolo he had lost his demon status by the Raditz Saga as Goku and Raditz went to Other World after being killed by the Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon instead of being stuck in limbo as was the fate of most Demon victims which Mr. Popo and Kami noted as proof Piccolo was no longer the Demon King of old. Piccolo himself proves this when he uses Wings gesture of a friendly handshake to kill Wings while he foolishly let his guard down.
- Based on the shocked reaction of King Kai to Goku's "Super Saiyan" form, it does not appear that Goku assumed the "true" Super Saiyan transformation within this film's past. Created for the movie, this Super Saiyan form (known as "False Super Saiyan" among fans) is a supposed prequel to the actual Super Saiyan form. It was more than likely an attempt to show what a Super Saiyan looked like (due to its mention by Vegeta during the Captain Ginyu Saga and Guru's belief that only a Super Saiyan could kill a Super Namekian like the Nameless Son of Katas before learning of his split during the Namek Saga), but without the knowledge of its appearance since the movie was released before the true form was introduced to the manga/anime.
- It should be noted Goku's proper Super Saiyan form didn't appear until the release of Dragon Ball manga Chapter 317 ,"Life or Death" on March 19, 1991, just ten days after this film's release.
- It is the second time that a Namekian wishes for eternal youth, as well as the second time that a Namekian transforms into its Giant Form in the series. Slug is similar to King Piccolo in this sense, as he is old and wishes for eternal youth.
- The movie reveals that Namekian ears are sensitive to certain high-pitched sounds like whistling and can also be regenerated. As shown by Piccolo, one way to protect against this weakness is to tear their ears off reducing their sensitivity. Piccolo also suggests Namekian antenna are sensitive as well as he pulls on Slug's to inflict pain.
- Great Namekians are even more sensitive to whistling due to the increased size of their ear drums.
- Lord Slug is killed in a similar manner to Turles from the previous movie, The Tree of Might. Both are hit by Goku with a Spirit Bomb and knocked into their device used to do evil things to the Earth (Tree of Might for Turles, and Terra Freeze machine for Slug), destroying it as well.
- The Sun plays an important role in this movie: its light is shown to be harmful to an exposed henchmen of Lord Slug, and it is where Goku gathers the energy to make the Spirit Bomb. Lord Slug shares his hatred of the Sun with the villain Lucifer from Dragon Ball: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle. Both films also involve sunlight hating demonic villains who seek to literally cover the world in darkness (Lucifer by destroying the Sun with his Devil Castle Cannon and Lord Slug by Terra-Freezing Earth and turning it into his new Planet Cruiser).
- The 13th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M11XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in Namek's Destruction.
- When Goku gets knocked into a window and through a toy store by Lord Slug, a plushie resembling Monkey D. Luffy with it's straw hat on can be seen from behind with it's back turned being moved out of the way by the latter while getting up back to fight. While the plushie may resemble Luffy, the film itself actually predates the One Piece manga which started on July 19, 1997 six years after the film's original release in Japan.
- Japan Box Office: Dragon Ball Super: Broly Becomes Top-Grossing Film in The Franchise. crunchyroll.
- Dragon Ball. toei-animation-usa.
- Dragon Ball Daizenshuu 6: Movies & TV Specials (p. 70). kanzenshuu.
- Dragonball Z: Lord Slug. amazon.
- DragonBall Z: Lord Slug/Cooler's Revenge/The Return of Cooler. amazon.
- Dragon Ball Z Double Feature: Tree of Might / Lord Slug. amazon.
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