Dragon Ball Wiki

"Dragon Ball; priceless and unbreakable."
Colonel Silver to Antique Shop Owner

"Pilaf and the Mystery Force" (ピラフとなぞぐんだん Pirafu to Nazo no Gundan, lit. "Pilaf and the Mysterious Army") is the thirtieth episode of Dragon Ball and the second episode of the Red Ribbon Army Saga. This episode first aired in Japan on September 17, 1986. Its original American airdate was February 12, 2002.


Thief running

The young thief runs off with Goku's Dragon Radar

Goku is still searching for the Four-Star Dragon Ball. Meanwhile, Emperor Pilaf is having terrifying flashbacks of Goku destroying his castle. Some poor little punk comes along and steals all of Goku's clothes, Power Pole, backpack, and Dragon Radar. Goku comes out of the water looking for his stuff and realizes it has been stolen. He calls the Flying Nimbus and flies around naked on it. Goku can't find the thief because of the thick forest. He decided to tell his power pole to extend until it is taller than the trees. The thief freaks, and leaves all but the Dragon Radar.

Antique Shop Town - Cuadro Joya

Antique Shop

The thief goes into town and pawns off the radar to a Pawn shop owner. Emperor Pilaf is in town and buys the Four-Star Dragon Ball from the pawn shop. Goku comes into the pawn shop and takes his Dragon Radar back, and chases Emperor Pilaf for his Four-Star Dragon Ball (Grandpa Gohan). Emperor Pilaf flies away in his airship.


Goku meets Mai and Pilaf in the Antique Shop

The Red Ribbon Army comes into the pawn shop shortly after that and also gets a Four-Star Dragon Ball. The Pawn shop dealer has a box filled with fake four-star Dragon Balls in the back room. They know it is fake and when Colonel Silver drops it, it breaks into several pieces. The radar is actually reacting to the 6-star dragon ball in a gull's nest on top of the pawn shop. The Red Ribbon Army is angered, so they kill the owner of the shop. We see a close-up of the mysterious leader of the Red Ribbon Army. Emperor Pilaf also realizes his Dragon Ball is fake after he also drops his and it shatters.

Major Events[]

  • Goku's clothing and items are stolen and sold at a Pawn Shop.
  • Goku crosses paths with the Pilaf Gang for the second time.


  • Red Ribbon Army Soldiers vs. Pawn Shop Owner





Differences from the Manga[]

  • The entire events of this episode were exclusive to the anime.


  • This is the first episode of the anime that is entirely anime exclusive.
  • At the beginning of this episode, Commander Red is seen petting his cat while his face is not shown, in a similar style to Ernst Stavro Blofeld in earlier James Bond films.
Things Newspaper

The newspaper the shopkeeper reads

  • A reference to the real world is made; Emperor Pilaf is trying on a crown when the pawn shop owner reveals it to have been worn by Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Emperor. Following this, it is revealed that the crown actually belonged to "King Ralph", likely referencing the 1991 film starring John Goodman.
    • In the Japanese version, the shop owner claims that the crown was owned by Emperor Aremasandaru who similarly built a kingdom to the north over 300 years ago. Pilaf then comments that the jewel in the crown looks a bit small, giving away the deception.
  • The newspaper the shopkeeper is reading makes reference to the real world as it says "Mexico '86", referencing the 1986 FIFA World Cup hosted by Mexico.
  • When Pilaf and Mai are carried in the airship, Goku is not wearing his wrist bands. When he chases after the ship, he has them back on.
  • In the opening scene, as Goku is exploring the world around him, the song Dragon Ball Densetsu can be heard. The English dub did not include it.
  • After killing the shop owner, Silver says "Boring conversation, anyway.", a line said by Han Solo in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.


Site Navigation[]

v  e
Red Ribbon Army Saga
Tournament Saga
Dragon Ball
General Blue Saga