Dragon Ball and I go way back. This whole franchise – which means the shows, the movies, the games, the mangas, and even some of the better fan work around it, is such a huge part of me that I wouldn’t even be able to tell how old I was when I first encountered it. The Kamehameha hand gesture is as natural to me as scratching my own butt, I can eat with chopsticks Goku-style, and I may or may not be convinced that I am able to give energy to someone by raising my hands in the air. But I digress.
When new Dragon Ball stuff comes out, I am always ready to give it a shot. I saw the latest movie – which was so much fun that it’s probably completely self-aware at this point. I even tried watching Dragon Ball Evolution not too long ago, after years of pretending that it had not happened. Well, after rage-quitting in the middle of it, I can say this: it happened, it’s even worse than I thought, and we need to erase its bitter taste from our delicate mouths. Preferably with something sweet. Like a fan project. A web series fan project.
(Source: Robot Underdog’s YouTube account)
Hey, look what I found!
It had been a while since I’d heard of this project. I came across it by accident while roaming the internet and got really excited. Then I watched the pilot.
It’s good, guys! Woohoo!
Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is the web series adaptation of History of Trunks. For those of you who are not quite on top of the Dragon Ball lore, History of Trunks is a movie (albeit a short one) related to the Cyborgs/Cell era of the show and recounting Future Trunks’ story as he trains to become a Super Saiyan.
It’s pretty obvious that the writers of the series are also fans, or at least people who care about the show. The original movie was really about, well, Trunks. The problem with that is that Trunks on his own is not that interesting. We mostly care about him when he’s already cool. Watching him become cool is not that cool – mostly because this is Dragon Ball Z, which means that we already know how he becomes cool. Probably as a result of this, the pilot focuses more on Gohan and his struggle as the Earth’s last hero. We also get to see Gohan and Trunks hang out, which is pretty sweet. The only really weird thing is to see them looking their age – because live action actors. It’s weird at first, but it’s also a nice change. Dragon Ball Z: great with the fighting, not so good at making people look their age.
There’s not much else to say about the story right now, but it is accompanied by some really decent acting and nice visuals. Goodbye, DBE! Goodbye, CGI hand farts! Goodbye, Justin Chadwick’s alien forehead vein! Hello, fast editing and energy beams and effort to make this big adventure come to life! Not that I was expecting anything less, to be honest. After all, Robot Underdog produced this with Machinima, the company responsible for redeeming the live-action version of another one of my childhood treasures with Mortal Kombat X.
Folks, I’ll be direct. If you’re not already a fan, this is not going to change your mind about the show (leave that more to Team Four Star and their brilliant Abridged series – History of Trunks is next on their list, by the way). If you are already one of those who know why Super Saiyans are cool, stick around.
Robot Underdog is currently looking to fund the next episodes of their project. If you like the pilot, give ’em a little love! It is completely deserved.