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Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest

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Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest
Film poster
Directed by Daisuke Nishio
Produced by Chiaki Imada
Kōzō Morishita
Written by Takao Koyama (screenplay)
Akira Toriyama (original series author)
Starring Masako Nozawa
Koji Nakata
Toshio Furukawa
Hiromi Tsuru
Naoki Tatsuta
Mayumi Tanaka
Kouhei Miyauchi
Mayumi Shō
Kōji Yada
Kenji Utsumi
Joji Yanami
Art director(s) Yuji Ikeda
Animation director Minoru Maeda
Chara design Minoru Maeda
Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi
Cinematography Motoaki Ikegami
Editing by Shinichi Fukumitsu
Release date(s) March 10, 1990
Running time 58 min.
Language(s) Japanese / English
Gross revenue ¥1 billion[1]

Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest (ドラゴンボールZ この世で一番強いヤツ, Doragon Bōru Zetto: Kono yo de Ichiban Tsuyoi Yatsu; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest Guy") is the fifth Dragon Ball film and the second under the Dragon Ball Z banner. It was originally released in Japan on March 10, 1990, between episodes 39 and 40, with it premiering at the 1990 Toei Cartoon Festival (along with movies from the Akuma-kun and Sally the Witch series). It was translated in America by FUNimation Entertainment; FUNimation and Bridge Entertainments' title is The Strongest Guy in the World.


The movie begins with Gohan and Oolong searching for the Dragon Balls that have all been gathered in the frozen Tsumisumbri Mountains (with the latter obviously wanting to wish for underwear). Before they reach them, Shenron is summoned by Dr. Kochin, who wishes for Dr. Wheelo and their laboratory to be thawed from an unbreakable ice. Later, Piccolo is ambushed by three mysterious warriors and knocked out cold while trying to defend Gohan and Oolong from. Later on, Gohan has a weird dream about him and Piccolo.

Gohan's Weird Dream (World's Strongest)

Gohan's dream

Kochin then kidnaps Master Roshi and Bulma, thinking that Roshi is the world's strongest and a suitable body for Wheelo, whose own body was destroyed, leaving him only as a brain. Roshi is tested by Kochin's Bio-Warriors, and despite putting up a decent fight while being outnumbered three to one, is ultimately defeated. Bulma then reveals to Wheelo and Kochin that Goku is the world's strongest, just as the Saiyan hero approaches Wheelo's fortress to save his friends (having been informed by Oolong as to what happened).

Krillin Enters (World's Strongest)

Krillin's arrival in Wheelo's fortress

Upon reaching the fortress, Goku is attacked by the Bio-Warriors, but easily defeats them with the Kaio-ken, and is also joined by Gohan and Krillin. They then arrive at Wheelo's lab where Bulma is being held, but run into Piccolo, who was brainwashed into returning to his old ways when he was captured earlier. Goku and Piccolo then fight each other, but Gohan's anger causes the mind-controlling device on Piccolo to break. Kochin tries to shoot Krillin and Bulma with his machine gun-arm, but is disarmed by Roshi.

Goku & Piccolo (World's Strongest)

Piccolo holding Gohan and Goku with the Power Pole

Wheelo then breaks out of the wall, revealing his brain to be inside a huge robot; Dr. Kochin accidentally dies in the resulting reveal. Realizing that he was being controlled, Piccolo attacks Dr. Wheelo, only to be brushed aside. As Wheelo jumps into the air, Goku, Krillin, and Roshi fire the Master-Student Kamehameha, which does nothing to Wheelo. Gohan attempts to attack Wheelo with the Power Pole, but is knocked out before he can. Goku then blasts Wheelo with the Kaio-ken Kamehameha (x4) and shoots Wheelo into space. Wheelo decides to destroy the Earth with his Planet Geyser energy wave, but Piccolo and Gohan (Krillin comedically tries) are able to stop him for a while. Goku uses the previously collected energy for a Spirit Bomb; and launches it at Wheelo, destroying the mad scientist.





Major battles

Timeline placement

From Goku’s dōgi having a "Kame" mark on the breast and a "Kai" mark on the back, it seems this is an event from between the battle with Vegeta and Goku's arrival on Planet Namek. However, there are also inconsistencies such as Gohan being on Earth when he should be in the middle of fighting on Planet Namek.[2]

The events of this movie clearly happen after the Vegeta Saga, as Gohan has already trained with Piccolo (he knows him and wears his clothes) and Goku has already trained with King Kai (he wears his emblem on the back of his clothes, and uses both the Kaio-ken and Spirit Bomb). Gohan has a flashback that shows when Piccolo died saving his life from Nappa's Bomber DX. However, Piccolo is alive in the movie, which does not happen until the Frieza Saga, and Goku is back on Earth, which does not happen until the Trunks Saga. Therefore, the movie should take place in the three years the Z Fighters are training to prepare for the Androids (right after the events of the episode "Goku's Special Technique"). It could alternatively happen during the time leading up to the Cell Games.


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Pioneer VHS release

The movie was originally released on both VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. They were in a 16:9 format, cropped from its original 4:3 format. It was then released later in Japan as part of the well-known Dragon Box sets, remastered from its original film masters and in a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format. There was much controversy from fans over the decision to crop the movies from its original 4:3 format. The controversy died down when Toei announced that the films were originally animated for widescreen viewing. The boxed set was released (containing all four Dragon Ball and all original thirteen Dragon Ball Z movies) with great critical and audience reception.

Dragon Ball Z The World's Strongest the Movie


In the United States, it was released in May 27, 1998, after the release of the first movie, Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, and shortly after the release of the third movie, Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, by FUNimation Entertainment and Pioneer, in VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD. These three movies were uncut, and contained both the Ocean Group dub and the original Japanese dub. They were also released for the first time in a 4:3 format.[3] The three movies were re-released together by Pioneer on October 9, 2001, in a three-movie boxset, called "Dragon Ball Z - Movie Boxed Set".[4]


DVD boxset

After Funimation acquired the exclusive DVD rights for the first three movies from Pioneer in 2004, it released The World's Strongest again in November 14, 2006, along with Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone and The Tree of Might movies, in a "First Strike" DVD boxset.[5] It contained a brand-new in-house dub and the original Japanese dub.

Funimation re-released this film in May 27, 2008, alongside Dead Zone, digitally remastered and in a 16:9 format, as a "Double Feature" DVD.[6]

Dragonball Z Movie 5 Pack

Movie 5 Pack

This movie was also re-released by FUNimation in a movie five pack on November 1, 2011, along with Dead Zone, The Tree of Might, Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, and Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge. However, these are the same disks found on the double features.

The World's Strongest along with Dead Zone and The Tree of Might have been re-released yet again by FUNimation on August 13th, 2013, this time exactly the way they were when they were aired on Toonami, as a part of the Dragon Ball Z: Rock the Dragon Edition.

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Dragon Ball Z Complete Movie Collection

In 2015, The World Strongest will once again be re-released along with DBZ Movies 1-13 in the Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection in DVD and Blu-ray format. No release date has been made yet.


Character Name Voice Actor (Japanese / Toei Animation) Voice Actor (English / Ocean Group) Voice Actor (English / FUNimation)
Goku Masako Nozawa Peter Kelamis Sean Schemmel
Gohan Masako Nozawa Saffron Henderson Stephanie Nadolny
Piccolo Toshio Furukawa Scott McNeil Christopher Sabat
Krillin Mayumi Tanaka Terry Klassen Sonny Strait
Bulma Hiromi Tsuru Lalainia Lindbjerg Tiffany Vollmer
Oolong Naoki Tatsuta Alec Willows Brad Jackson
Chi-Chi Mayumi Shō Lisa Ann Beley Cynthia Cranz
Master Roshi Kōhei Miyauchi Don Brown Mike McFarland
Turtle Daisuke Gōri Scott McNeil Christopher Sabat
Shenron Kenji Utsumi Don Brown Christopher Sabat
Bio-Men Alec Willows Chris Cason
John Burgmeier
Dr. Kochin Kōji Yada Paul Dobson Troy Baker
Kishime Yukimasa Kishino Paul Dobson Chris Rager
Ebifurya Ken Yamaguchi Don Brown Matthew Tompkins
Misokatsun Daisuke Gōri Ward Perry Robert McCollum
Dr. Wheelo Kōji Nakata Ward Perry R. Bruce Elliott
Narrator Jōji Yanami Doc Harris Kyle Hebert


  • Opening Theme (OP)
    1. "Cha-La Head-Cha-La"
      • Lyrics: Yukinojō Mori, Music: Chiho Kiyooka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama
Gohans Dream

Gohan's dream during "Pikkoro-san Da~isuki♡"

  • Insertion Song (IN)
    1. "Pikkoro-san Da~isuki♡"; ピッコロさん だ~いすき♡ (I Lo~ve Mr. Piccolo♡)
      • Lyrics: Chiroru Taniho, Music: Takeshi Ike, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Masako Nozawa (Son Gohan)
  • Ending Theme (ED)
    1. "Ikusa (I-KU-SA)"; 戦(I・KU・SA) (The Battle (I-KU-SA))
      • Lyrics: Dai Satō, Music: Takeshi Ike, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama


Like with Dead Zone, Anime News Network grades with a C+.


  • This is the second Dragon Ball Z movie, and its name is similar to the original second episode of the anime, "The World's Strongest Team". Also in the AB Group release of the movie had a cover featuring Goku and Piccolo as they went off to fight Raditz in that episode.
  • The wish Oolong wants to make with the Dragon Balls in this movie is exactly the same wish he made in the Dragon Ball anime (specifically the episode "A Wish to the Eternal Dragon"). However, Shenron will not grant the same wish more than once, though it is likely Oolong does not realize this.
  • A scene that takes place during the anime, Piccolo sacrificing himself to save Gohan from being killed by Nappa, is shown when Gohan falls asleep during studying.
  • Bulma's appearance in this movie is nearly identical to her appearance while a spectator during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Master Roshi's clothes are also very similar to the ones he wore when he, Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu were collecting the Dragon Balls in the King Piccolo Saga.
  • The villains in this movie are named after food from Nagoya, the city Akira Toriyama is from.
  • In the Ocean dub, Dr. Wheelo's name is pronounced Dr. "Willow" while in the FUNimation dub it is pronounced as Dr. "WHEE-LO" as it is spelled.
  • This movie is known for using the correct Japanese pronunciation of "Kaio-ken" in the Ocean dub. Although in FUNimation's redubbing of the movie, it is still pronounced "KEI-O-KEN".
  • Goku did not turn Super Saiyan when it was needed, showing strain at the use of a Kaio-ken x4 and still wearing King Kai's symbol. During the film, Goku mentions that the cold makes him unable to focus his energy, which would be a logical explanation as to why he has trouble with the Kaioken and is presumably unable to go Super Saiyan. His ease of going Super Saiyan during the Trunks saga despite having trouble with it here can be attributed to the fair weather in which the Trunks saga took place. Though Goku does go Super Saiyan in freezing cold weather in the film Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, that film takes place much later in the timeline. By that point in time Goku would have had considerably more practice with the transformation.
  • This movie starts the three-movie chain for main villains killed by Goku using a Spirit Bomb. Dr. Wheelo, Turles (from The Tree of Might) and Lord Slug (from Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug) are all killed by Goku's Spirit Bomb.
  • Scenes from this movie are shown in the Dragon Ball Z Original English anime opening, "Rock the Dragon".
  • Even though Frieza does not appear in the movie, his theme is played when Dr. Wheelo attempts to transfer his mind into Goku's body.
  • The 11th Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M9XX" codes, and this package would makes its series debut in Namek's Defense.



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