"Zarbon's Surprise" (ほとんど鳥肌! 美戦士ザーボンの悪魔の変身 Hotondo Torihada! Bisenshi Zabon no Akuma no Henshin, lit. "Nothing but Goosebumps! The Handsome Warrior Zarbon's Devilish Transformation") is the eighteenth episode of the Namek Saga and the fifty-third overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. This episode first aired in Japan on June 27, 1990. Its original American airdate was September 14, 2005.
Zarbon begins to raise himself from the ground and he is wearing a wicked smile. Zarbon and Vegeta are seen staring at each other after their initial scuffle. The overconfident Vegeta begins boasting about Zarbon's statement that he was holding back his true strength. Zarbon tells him he has figured it out and Vegeta begins to laugh wildly. Zarbon simply chuckles and responds by telling Vegeta he will wipe the silly smile off his face. He then begins talking about how he was holding back his true power as Vegeta decides to insult him. He says that it is time he shows Vegeta his true power, although it is not something he likes to do very often. Zarbon tells Vegeta that beauty is only skin deep and that he has only seen his beauty thus far. He says that he'd much rather not transform but will do so if it is necessary. The handsome Zarbon elegantly flicks his long hair as the wind hits his face.
This triggers Vegeta's curiosity, who dares Zarbon to transform. After issuing one more warning Zarbon stated that with great pleasure, he would introduce Vegeta to the beast. Zarbon transforms into a musclebound and beastly reptilian state, completely shocking Vegeta. Vegeta is left in utter and complete shock at the sight of the gruesome new form. Zarbon begins a furious assault on Vegeta, beating him down with multiple powerful attacks. Zarbon knees Vegeta in the stomach and kicks Vegeta's face into the air, before grabbing him by the leg, and nailing him to the ground. Zarbon then raises him up to brutally and relentlessly headbutt him repeatedly countless times.
Meanwhile, Krillin and Dende are flying towards the eldest Namek's home as Krillin begins speaking to Dende about why it is always daytime. Dende explains that there is more than one sun in Namek's skies, which not only makes the planet extremely hot, but also is a contributing factor as to why there is no nighttime on the planet. As they talk, Zarbon continues beating the life out of Vegeta, throwing him into the sky and tossing him around like a rag doll. Zarbon collides with Vegeta in midair with countless swift punches and kicks, until finally giving him the chance to fight back, although Vegeta does not land a single hit.
In space, Goku is seen inside his spaceship training under fifty times Earth's normal gravity. He is seen practicing many high-speed techniques until deciding to take a break. Goku lays on the floor thinking about Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, Piccolo, and Chiaotzu's training on King Kai's Planet. He remembers when King Kai used his telepathy to speak to him and warning him to avoid Frieza at all costs, claiming that he was an unbeatable opponent and the most powerful being in the universe. As a result, knowing that such a powerful opponent exists, Goku is suddenly fueled with energy and continues training. On King Kai's planet, Piccolo is meditating while Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu go after King Kai's pet monkey, Bubbles. The chase is a humiliating failure. As King Kai tries to eat lunch, he eventually laughs as a result of their failing to catch the monkey.
On Namek, Vegeta continues to battle Zarbon, who is still making sport of the Saiyan and giving him a serious beating. Vegeta tries to blast, only to have it knocked away and receive a flurry of Elegant Blasters from Zarbon, which he barely dodges and is toppled on the ground as a result. Zarbon knocks him through an entire mountain and mocks him, telling him that he should not have been so cocky and reminds him of the futility of his attempts. Krillin and Dende stop flying, shocked by the amount of power they detect from Zarbon. Zarbon performs a few more relentless attacks, including bashing Vegeta's stomach and propelling himself into the sky with back-flip kicks, with Vegeta's jaw on the receiving end.
Zarbon gets Vegeta in a choke hold and states that he is tired of toying with the arrogant Saiyan. As he is preparing to finish him, Vegeta struggles to get free from Zarbon's deadly grip. He barely and briefly manages to escape Zarbon's onslaught. Zarbon quickly recovers and grabs him by the hair before slapping his face around. He then pummels him by the head, sending him plummeting below at high velocity. Zarbon appears behind Vegeta in midair and grabs him, performing a headfirst pile-driver and tossing him into the ground, creating a massive crater using Vegeta's body. He then bids sweet dreams to the battered prince.
The crater is suddenly filled with water, causing Zarbon to assume that Vegeta would drown if he had managed to somehow survive the beating. Zarbon notes that this is perfect since Vegeta will not be breathing for long in the water. Zarbon regresses to his normal form and says that it serves Vegeta right for making him go through all the trouble of transforming. He declares that he must report this victory to Frieza, who would want to hear this news. As Zarbon leaves the devastated area behind, he believes he has successfully finished off the arrogant Saiyan. Meanwhile, Bulma is seen in her Capsule House complaining while Gohan ignores her and meditates. Gohan says his dad will fix all the problems they are having when he gets there.
Krillin and Dende sense that the fight is over and resume their flight to the eldest Namek's house. As Krillin and Dende finally arrive at the outside of the elder's house, they both fly in front and Krillin is shocked at how none of Frieza's men were able to discover such a place out in the open. They see a Namekian warrior named Nail, who emerges from the house. Dende quickly recognizes Nail and says hello. Krillin notes to himself that Nail looks almost exactly like Piccolo.
Nail says hello to Dende and tells him that he and his friend are most welcome. He tells them that Guru, the eldest Namek, has been expecting their arrival and tells them that Guru knows all about the events that are occurring on Namek. Nail tells them to follow him into the house as he will lead them to Guru. Dende asks if Guru truly knows all of the events that have been taking place on Namek, would not it be wiser for him to move to a safer place and Nail responds that Guru is very old and he knows his death is drawing near, stating that it is his duty to stay by him and guard him closely at this time. Dende becomes saddened, saying that he knew Guru was old, but never believed that he would be leaving so soon. As all three rise one level upward into the house, Krillin becomes surprised when he sees Guru, who happens to be a very large Namekian. Guru thanks Krillin for taking care of the young Dende. Krillin, Dende, and Nail all bow when seeing Guru.
Meanwhile, a winged creature is seen flying around the place where Vegeta and Zarbon fought. As the creature decides to rest atop the water, Vegeta's hand comes out from underneath, trying to grab into the air, and yanks the creature under, suffocating it. As feathers float on the water, the bruised and battered Vegeta emerges, and declares that he has survived from a near-death experience, swearing to collect the Dragon Balls and angrily promises to acquire vengeance against Zarbon and Frieza before fainting from exhaustion.
- Zarbon defeats Vegeta and leaves him for dead.
- Krillin and Dende arrive at Guru's House.
- Vegeta vs. Zarbon (Monster form)
Differences from the manga
- The order of certain scenes is changed compared to the manga. In the manga, Zarbon defeats Vegeta, Zarbon recovers Vegeta after speaking with Frieza, Goku masters 50G and then Krillin and Dende arrive at Guru's House. In the anime however, Goku masters 50G, Zarbon defeats Vegeta, Krillin and Dende arrive at Guru's House and then Zarbon recovers Vegeta after speaking with Frieza.
- Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu attempting to catch Bubbles on King Kai's Planet is exclusive to the anime.
- In the anime, before Vegeta emerges from the water he grabs an alien creature and rags it under the water. He doesn't do that that in the manga.
- This episode's Ocean Group dubs counterpart would be "Zarbon Transformed".
- After transforming, Zarbon referred to his original form as "the beauty side" and introduced the new form as "the beast". This is a reference to the fairy tale .
- Some versions of the episode cut out Zarbon's headbutting Vegeta repeatedly due to the excessive violence.
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