Horror Out of Context: Dragon Ball Z/Kai

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I’ve been watching Dragon Ball Kai of late – I had started it back when it was first airing in Japan, and then I kind of let it fall to the wayside because, goddam if it isn’t boring sometimes. Dragon Ball Z was my first step into anime, as it was for many of the younger generation. We have Cartoon Network’s Toonami to thank for that – Tenchi Muyo, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, and G Gundam were all a big part of my childhood.

But I don’t think I realized as a kid how freaking long and outrageous Dragon Ball Z really was; this thing is stretched out to such lengths that the entire show starts to double back on itself by using the same plot devices over and over again. It’s over 300 episodes, and half of those are filler.

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That’s where Dragon Ball Kai came in – it was meant to cut out all of the fat so that people could watch the show how it was actually meant to be. So, being a sucker, I started watching it even though I’d seen the original, and now as a critic I see how flawed the premise really is.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m in the Cell Saga right now, and it struck me that Cell is actually sort of horror-monster-ish in its own way.

Cell’s an android built by the evil Dr. Gero who comes from the future to devour two other androids, commonly known as Number 17 and 18. He’s a genetic mutation of all of the most powerful warriors in the universe, taken unknowingly by a gene-stealing robot.

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He also has a long tail capable of sucking the lifeforce out of anything. Humans, warriors, androids, you name it – he’ll steal their energy. At this point I’m wondering what else that tail has sucked.

Cell needs to absorb the androids to complete his Perfect Form. For what purpose, you ask? To blow up the universe. All power-hungry monsters are the same – they want to destroy, even if it means ending all life.

Cell has multiple forms, like all Dragon Ball enemies, but I think his first form looks the coolest. That’s because it reminds me the most of an actual monster, rather than some powered-up dude who has a weird hate on like Perfect Cell.

Still, the concept of Cell sounds right out of a B-movie about mad scientists, which is why he gets a mention in Horror Out of Context.

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  • Not This Time, Nayland Smith

    Cell’s first form sure was creepy! Definitely much better than his pussy second form, who got the living Daltons kicked out of him thirty times over!

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