Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (ドラゴンボールZ 龍拳爆発!!悟空がやらねば誰がやる, Doragon Bōru Zetto: Ryū-Ken Bakuhatsu!! Gokū ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Gokū Can't Do It, Who Will") is the sixteenth film based on the Dragon Ball manga and the thirteenth Dragon Ball Z movie. It was originally released in Japan on July 15, 1995 between episodes 270 and 271, with it premiering at the 1995 the Toei Anime Fair. It was dubbed in English by FUNimation Entertainment and was released in the United States on September 12, 2006.
The return of Hirudegarn
The movie begins with a young boy, Minotia, on a distant planet frantically searching his current area, sword at the ready. Suddenly a loud noise alerts him that the thing he was searching for is behind him. However, it is too late to react as the young boy is smashed under the foot of a giant creature. Off in the distance, a villainous laugh can be heard.
The movie then cuts to Earth as a bank robbery is taking place. The bank robbers are getting away when Great Saiyaman, Gohan’s superhero alter ego, stops the car with his foot and smashes the front end flinging the felons out the car to confront Great Saiyaman II ("Great Saiyawoman" in the FUNimation dub), Videl's superhero alias. They apprehend the felons and turn them into the police, all the while being spied on by some strange old man in the shadows. A short while later, they are summoned again from their school to rescue an old man who wants to commit suicide. When Gohan and Videl arrive on the scene, they discover that he is the same man who had been spying on them. After rescuing him, the old man introduces himself as Hoi and tells the two about the legendary warrior Tapion and that he needs their help in releasing him from the music box he is being held in, as the Earth would be endangered if he were not released. Gohan tries to open the box with his massive strength but to no avail. The old man tells them he knows of the Dragon Balls and advises the couple to use them to open the box. They agree to bring the box to Bulma's home first to see if there was another way to open the mysterious box, not knowing that Hoi had other plans on his mind.
They arrive at Bulma’s house with Goku, Goten, and Krillin. After analyzing the box, Goku tries his hand at opening the box but he cannot open it either. So it was decided to gather the Dragon Balls and summon Shenron to see if he can open it. After summoning Shenron, Tapion is released and the music box shatters into pieces. Angry at the fact that he was released, Tapion demands that he be resealed in the box, impossible due to the damage done by his emergence. A furious Tapion storms off, determined to stay alone in order to hide the fact he was holding the upper half of the creature called the Hirudegarn in his body. He isolates himself in a dilapidated building. The warrior is visited regularly by Trunks, who has taken a liking to him and brings him food, but Tapion refuses to eat and rebuffs Trunks' attempts to bond with him. Trunks only becomes more determined to crack the loner's icy exterior, as he sees in Tapion what Goten has in Gohan, something he never had: an older brother.
Shortly after Tapion is released, Hirudegarn's lower half starts to wreck West City. Gohan and Videl arrive at the scene to investigate, but shortly after they arrive, they are almost swept away by the monster's tail. They execute their Great Saiyaman poses, however Hirudegarn's legs are not impressed; he throws the two heroes to opposite sides of the street, causing Videl to lose her helmet, and Gohan losing his turban and sunglasses. Gohan, with Videl's support, immediately counter-attacks. After Gohan powers up to his Ultimate form, Videl thinks Gohan has won, but Gohan says it isn't over yet. Tapion comes to aid Gohan and Videl by playing a magical tune on his Hero's Flute, weakening Hirudegarn's bottom half, causing it to vanish. Leaving the battlefield, Tapion comes to believe that Hoi has already killed Minotia, Tapion’s younger brother.
Later on, while Trunks is again visiting Tapion, Hoi attempts to steal the Hero's Flute from Tapion. Hoi is confronted by Trunks. The devious Hoi tells Trunks that Tapion is the true monster. The young Saiyan doesn't believe him and instead gives the instrument back to Tapion. Tapion then befriends Trunks and asks him to dine with him. Tapion is invited by Trunks to stay at Capsule Corporation. While there, Tapion explains the whole story to Bulma.
Main article: Hirudegarn war
Tapion starts his story beginning thousands of years ago. On planet Konats, a planet in the southern galaxy of the universe, a group of black magicians, the Kashvar, use a spell on a statue to bring the monster it depicted to life, thus sparking a war on the planet. The monster, Hirudegarn, goes on a rampage and kills everyone who tries to get in his way, devastating the planet. Two young heroes, Tapion and his brother Minotia, manage to freeze the monster in his tracks by each playing their divine ocarinas, giving a wizard the opportunity to cut the monster in half with a divine sword. Since Hirudegarn can't be killed at the time, his upper-half is sealed in Tapion and the other half in Minotia. However, fearing that the monster might reappear someday, the brothers are separated, each sealed in a music box and shot into opposite ends of the galaxy. The music box holding Tapion lands on Earth. Soon after, Hoi becomes determined to resurrect the monster to rule the universe. He releases Hirudegarn's lower half on a distant planet and easily disposes of Minotia, with the monster crushing the young warrior underfoot. Now on Earth, Hoi plans to unite the Hirudegarn’s body and release the creature on Earth.
After hearing Tapion's story, Bulma decides to create a room based on the broken music box design and the music the Hero's Flute produces so that Tapion can finally rest.
Z Fighters vs. Hirudegarn
Tapion tries sleeping inside the new chamber, but he has a terrible nightmare that causes him to destroy the chamber. At the same time, Hirudegarn's lower half is once again wreaking havoc, as he draws many men and women into his tail to devour their life energy. The next morning Goku, his sons, and Videl arrive at Bulma’s house to inspect the destroyed chamber. Tapion appears suddenly, warning everyone the lower half of the creature is on the loose. To stop the creature from uniting its body, he asks the group to kill him, in turn killing the creature’s upper half. Then however Hoi and the lower half of the Hirudegarn appear to stop anyone from killing Tapion. When Tapion is about to play the tone from the Hero's Flute, the power of the lower half being so close to Tapion causes the upper half in Tapion’s body to react and release itself. Hoi succeeds in his plans, and with the monster back together, he believes nothing can stop him. A battle begins. Goku transforms into his Super Saiyan 2 form, Goten transforms into his Super Saiyan form, and Gohan powers up his maximum potential, thanks to Old Kai's ritual, to do battle.
They launch their counterattack, but are quickly beaten since the monster can easily dodge by teleporting and countering their attacks. Gohan is grabbed and just before he is about to be squeezed into a pulp by Hirudegarn, Vegeta saves him by firing a ki blast at Hirudegarn's arm and proceeds to fight. He transforms into a Super Saiyan 2, angry at Hirudegarn for wrecking his house in Capsule Corporation. After a brief fight Vegeta is thrown into a nearby building but is knocked out after he saves the people in the building from Hirudegarn's flame attack by using all his powers to create a barrier strong enough to withstand the assault. Goku comes in to help but still is unable to beat the monster, squeezed very badly and is knocked out. Goten and Trunks become Gotenks with the Fusion Dance. Gotenks, now a Super Saiyan 3, seems to be enough to fight the monster and fires his Continuous Die Die Missile at the monster. Hirudegarn is believed to be dead or at least neutralized, but the attack only causes him to evolve into his second, more powerful form. Now in his new insect-like form, Hirudegarn mows Gotenks down to the ground and splits Gotenks back into Goten and Trunks. Gohan and Videl are then thrown into a building and Goku into some rubble. However, Goku isn't out and keeps on fighting with all his might.
Just then, Tapion plays the Hero's Flute again and manages to seal Hirudegarn inside himself. He then asks Trunks to kill him with his own sword, which will destroy the trapped monster. Trunks hesitates at first, but is about to do as requested when Hirudegarn breaks free. His Hero's Flute is destroyed in the process. Hoi (who's been watching the whole fight) mocks Tapion for being so foolish, but is killed as Hirudegarn steps on and crushes him. Just then Goku reappears in his powerful Super Saiyan 3 form and a battle begins between Goku and the Hirudegarn. Nevertheless, Trunks tries to fight Hirudegarn too with Tapion's sword and manages to cut off the monster's tail, but Goku stops Trunks. Gohan yells at Goku about the weakness of the Hirudegarn which Goku has already seen (the weakness is that Hirudegarn becomes solid when he attacks). He uses his Dragon Fist to pierce through Hirudegarn, obliterating the monster.
This film is set a few months after Kid Buu's defeat, possibly during the six-month wait Mr. Buu was kept hidden from the people of the planet in episode 287, "Celebrations with Majin Buu", or before or after episode 288, "He's Always Late". According to Daizenshuu 7, it takes place in approximately Age 774.
Wrath of the Dragon was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan. In 2006, Toei Animation released Fusion Reborn as part of the final Dragon Box DVD set, which included all four Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. These were presented in a new widescreen transfer from the original negatives with a 16:9 aspect ratio that was matted from the original 4:3 aspect ratio. Wrath of the Dragon is the only film in the set that features a stereo mix.
There was a VCD of the film released in Malaysia by Speedy Video which is considered very rare.
FUNimation released Wrath of the Dragon for DVD on September 12, 2006 in uncut form. As was the case with all previous releases, the movie was released in an unmatted 4:3 aspect ratio. The DVD featured an English dub with an original score done by Nathan M. Johnson (miscredited to Mark Menza for the remastered releases). Johnson learned to play the ocarina as he was composing Tapion's theme.
FUNimation re-released Fusion Reborn and Wrath of the Dragon on DVD and Blu-ray on May 19, 2009 as part of their "Double Feature" line. This new set featured a brand-new widescreen transfer from Video Post & Transfer and a new audio mix for the English dub featuring the original Japanese score done by Shunsuke Kikuchi in addition to the old mix featuring the Johnson score.
FUNimation repackaged the Double Feature DVDs into three new thinpak sets, the third of which was released on January 3, 2012 and included Broly - Second Coming, Bio-Broly, Fusion Reborn, and Wrath of the Dragon. These three sets were also released together in the Canada-only Dragon Ball Z: Complete Movie Collection featuring reversioned artwork of Goten and Trunks from Bio-Broly on the cover.
|Character Name||Voice Actor (Japanese)||Voice Actor (English)|
|Goku||Masako Nozawa||Sean Schemmel|
|Gohan||Masako Nozawa||Kyle Hebert|
|Goten||Masako Nozawa||Kara Edwards|
|Vegeta||Ryō Horikawa||Christopher Sabat|
|Trunks||Takeshi Kusao||Laura Bailey|
|Bulma||Hiromi Tsuru||Tiffany Vollmer|
|Krillin||Mayumi Tanaka||Sonny Strait|
|Videl||Yūko Minaguchi||Kara Edwards|
|Master Roshi||Masaharu Satō||Mike McFarland|
|Oolong||Naoki Tatsuta||Brad Jackson|
|Shenron||Masaharu Satō||Christopher Sabat|
|Hoi||Shigeharu Matsuda||Troy Baker|
|Tapion||Hiro Yūki||Jason Liebrecht|
|Minotia||Sachi Matsumoto||Aaron Dismuke|
|Hirudegarn||Shin Aomori||Robert McCollum|
|Narrator||Joji Yanami||Kyle Hebert|
A second English version produced and released exclusively in Malaysia by Speedy features an unknown voice cast.
- Gohan and Videl vs. Hirudegarn (First Form)
- Tapion vs. Hirudegarn (First Form)
- Goku (Super Saiyan 2), Goten (Super Saiyan), and Gohan vs. Hirudegarn (First Form)
- Vegeta (Super Saiyan 2) vs. Hirudegarn (First Form)
- Gotenks (Super Saiyan 3) vs. Hirudegarn (First/Second From)
- Goku (Super Saiyan 3) and Trunks vs. Hirudegarn (Second Form)
IGN gave the movie a 7/10. When Wrath of the Dragon was released on DVD in North America, it sold more than 50,000 copies in the first week of its release and more than 59,000 copies the following week. Wrath of the Dragon sold 331,604 DVD copies during the entire original DVD run in North America, generating $4,751,416 in profit for FUNimation Entertainment. This makes Wrath of the Dragon one of the best selling and most profitable anime movies ever released on DVD by FUNimation Entertainment.
- Unlike the other movies, this one does not have an opening credits sequence. Instead, the credits are played over the first part of the movie following the "teaser" scene at the beginning.
- In the English dub, when Shenron is summoned, he states that he will grant one wish. This is a mistake since this movie takes place after the fight with Majin Buu, whereas the dragon should be able to grant three wishes like Porunga.
- The moon appears in the sky in one scene, despite being destroyed by Piccolo over a decade earlier. It is possible that Dende, after becoming Guardian of Earth, restored the moon when it was clear that there would no longer be threats from evil Saiyans/Great Apes.
- King Nikochan makes a cameo appearance as one of Trunks' toys.
- This movie shows that a fusion can be ended if the fused character takes too much damage.
- At the end of the Japanese version of this movie, as the Z Fighters bid their final farewell to Tapion, they mention that they will gather the Dragon Balls and wish everyone back to life who was caught in the crossfire during their battle. The English version features no such dialogue.
- At the beginning of the ending credits, Future Trunks is shown fighting Mecha Frieza, slicing him with his sword which is a strong hint that the sword that Tapion gave to Kid Trunks somehow got to the hands of his alternate self. Alternatively, this could be showing that the main timeline's Trunks now has a sword like in the alternate timeline, which he will go on to use in Dragon Ball GT.
- The 23rd Shunsuke Kikuchi music package for the franchise starts here. The cues were designated "M21XX" codes, and this package would make its series debut in Granddaughter Pan. This was the final package of music he composed for the franchise.
- ↑ "Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon", amazon.com
- ↑ "Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn / Wrath of the Dragon (Double Feature)", amazon.com
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon DVD Review
- ↑ United States DVD Sales Chart for Week Ending September 17, 2006
- ↑ United States DVD Sales Chart for Week Ending September 24, 2006
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z - Movie 13: Wrath of the Dragon - DVD Sales