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Red Ribbon Army Saga

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The Red Ribbon Army Saga is the third saga from the fictional anime Dragon Ball. The manga volumes that it is made up of are "The Red Ribbon Army" and "Bulma Returns".


Spoiler Warning: Spoiler details may follow.

Goku vs. Colonel Silver


Emperor Pilaf still wants to obtain the Dragon Balls

Goku goes on a journey to find his Grandpa Gohan's four-star Dragon Ball. First, he helps Nam (the skilled fighter who went to the tournament to use the prize money to buy water for his village but was defeated by Goku in the Semi-Final rounds). He finds out what has happened to the roaming lake. They eventually find an oasis that the villagers can use to resolve the issue. After that episode, the action kicks in as Emperor Pilaf and his two cronies Shu and Mai are now searching for the Dragon Balls once again (and are now using a Pilaf's Flying Fortress as their new base, since Goku has destroyed Pilaf's Castle when he transformed into a Great Ape). However, a mysterious military force known as the Red Ribbon Army is also looking for the Dragon Balls.


Colonel Silver reports

As a coincidence (and unbeknownst to each other) Goku, Emperor Pilaf, and the mystery force are all in the same location, which seems to be modeled after a Mexican town. They locate the six star ball in a bird's nest near a store that sells fake Dragon Balls. The bird flies away, carrying the ball, and is eaten by a pterodactyl. The chase then leads them to a village where Ox-King and Chi-Chi are now living. It is here that Goku and Chi-Chi are engaged to be married (though Goku is unaware of the true meaning of marriage). The wedding does not go as planned because Emperor Pilaf has Shu impersonate Goku in order to retrieve a Dragon Ball; he is successfully able to get the Dragon Ball inside the pterodactyl that Ox-King captured as food for the wedding.


Colonel Silver prepares to fight Goku

At this point, the mysterious army also invades the village. Goku then gets involved in the fight between Emperor Pilaf and the mystery force. Eventually, Emperor Pilaf falls prey to the Red Ribbon Army after parachuting out of his aerial base in order to avoid Goku. He is forced to hand over the Dragon Ball to the army, led by none other than Colonel Silver. Colonel Silver's reputation as a boxing expert exceeds him as well as his ruthlessness to anyone who stands in his way. It seems the Red Ribbon Army wants to find the Dragon Balls as a quick means of gaining world domination.


Goku defeats Colonel Silver

Goku, who does not know about the Red Ribbon Army, leaves, promising to marry Chi-Chi (he still thinks that words like marriage, wedding and bride all have to do with food.) He goes to the jungle, and hangs out with some monkeys. Colonel Silver and his men arrive and start tearing down the jungle, but Goku beats them. The next day, he quickly acquires a second Dragon Ball and rides on his Flying Nimbus only to have it blown to smithereens by a bazooka wielded by Colonel Silver, the leader of the Red Ribbon Army detachment. Goku becomes frustrated and angry as Colonel Silver tries to grab his Dragon Ball. He beats up the unprepared Colonel Silver. Silver is later "taken care of" by Commander Red, the leader of the Red Ribbon Army, for his failure when he returns to Red Ribbon Army headquarters. Once he returns to base to report, Commander Red tells the guards to restrain him. Colonel Silver calmly walks out the door, shutting it behind him, and is chased by the guards (who had at some point fired the weapons at Silver after he left). The viewers never find out if he lives or not. However, it is implied that Silver is gunned down because of his failure.

Assault on Muscle Tower


Goku stands up to the hulking Major Metallitron

After that, Goku, using transportation that he looted from Colonel Silver's capsule box, crash-lands near a snowy village called Jingle Village. There, a girl named Suno brings him to her house and defrosts him. It seems that Suno only lives with her mother, but then we learn that her father and the other men were forced to help the Red Ribbon Army find the Dragon Ball known to exist in that area - the Red Ribbon Army had too few a number of soldiers in that district. Just then, two Red Ribbon Army soldiers bust in and begin to ransack the house. Goku eliminates them both, surprising both Suno and her mother. To complicate matters, the Jingle Village Chief has been kidnapped and is now being held hostage in Muscle Tower, a large castle in the middle of the icy tundra.


Major Metallitron holds Goku in a tight grip

Goku volunteers to rescue the village chief and pummels a few soldiers before using his Power Pole to climb his way up to the entrance of the tower. The head of Muscle Tower is General White and he has some big defenses Goku will have to go through. Goku swiftly and easily gets through the first defense (a few Red Ribbon soldiers armed with knives and what not) but the third floor guard is another story. An enormous, hulking brute named Major Metallitron (who appears to be drawn to resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger) sits waiting for his target. As Goku climbs to face him, he soon learns that this is no ordinary opponent and even remarks that he should have participated in the World Martial Arts Tournament because of his tremendous strength to withstand Goku's attacks. However, after being pummeled, the hulking Major unleashes a huge missile from his mouth. And after homing in on Goku with his target-locking mechanism, we find out that he is a mechanized robot. He proceeds to try and crush Goku in a tight grip, although Goku manages to free himself and fight back with numerous attacks. Even after Goku blasts him with an enormous Kamehameha, shredding off his head and leaving him for dead, the deadly robotic behemoth fights back with a decapitated body. He gives Goku a lot of trouble and what actually saves Goku is the robot's own programming and batteries, which die out after a while. This leaves Major Metallitron malfunctioning and immobile. Goku proceeds to the next floor, further enraging the already angered General White.


Murasaki unleashes Android 8

Next, Goku faces the deadly Ninja Murasaki, who carries the full rank and title of Sergeant Major Purple. Murasaki proceeds to whisper to him but doesn't reveal his location, throwing deadly shards and shuriken at Goku. He even tries to sink underwater and hold his breath to throw Goku off of his location, but Goku manages to locate him no matter what he does. Goku also manages to match his speed in order to prove to him that he is beaten. After Goku continues to make a fool out of Murasaki, the ninja splits, summoning his four brothers from within to aid him in his battle. All with different weapons, ranging from katanas and blades, the combination still failed to conquer the mighty Goku. As a last resort, Ninja Murasaki decided to unleash Android 8 from his cage (who is modeled to look like Frankenstein's Monster).


Buyon tries to make a meal of Goku and Android 8

We then find out that Android 8 hates violence and will not obey his orders; after Goku disposes of Ninja Murasaki, Goku and Eighter (the nickname Goku gives Android 8) get to the top of Muscle Tower but General White opens up a trap door, sending them falling back down into a dungeon. However, Goku and Android 8 are not alone in the dark room. The Monster Buyon shows himself. After Goku tries numerous maneuvers against the monster, he finds it impenetrable to normal attack. Any blasts he sends at the monster also bounce right off his gelatinous skin. Goku think of another plan in order to overcome the beast. Buyon tries to swallow Android 8, but Goku stops him. He then cracks the wall and lets the icy air rush in. Goku hides in Android 8's jacket as Buyon freezes. Goku then jumps out and gives him a kick. Buyon begins to crack and eventually shatters.

Goku vs. General White


Buyon cracks after being exposed to extreme freezing weather and a kick from Goku shatters him completely

The threat was not over when Goku and Android 8 walk back up. General White shows his muscles before being knocked away by Goku. However, White takes advantage of Goku's weakness by grabbing his tail and rendering him helpless. He then proceeds to spin him around the room before tossing him aside like a ragdoll. Goku gets back up, angrier than ever, and pummels General White. As a last resort, General White grabs the village chief as a prisoner and pulls a gun to his head, threatening to execute him. He then requests that Goku turn around. Goku, as naive as he is, listens. After Goku turns his back, General White shoots him in the head.


General White takes advantage of Goku's weakness: his tail

After a direct bullet to the head, Goku falls over. Android 8 now becomes enraged and walks towards General White, who proceeds to empty his weapon into Android 8. Android 8 then musters up enough courage and punches the fearful General White so hard that he is painfully smashed straight out of Muscle Tower's brick wall and into the sky, never to be seen again. Goku, Android 8, and the village chief get out of Muscle Tower before Android 8 completely smashes the tower to the ground.



General White threatens to execute the Village Chief

Android 8 gives Goku a Dragon Ball that he had found and had kept with him. He is welcomed to stay in the village but says there's a bomb inside him which may explode and doesn't want to pose a threat. It is then decided that he should go see Dr. Flappe, a scientist who could help him. Goku also decides to go in order to fix his newly busted Dragon Radar, which will help him find the remainder of the Dragon Balls. Suno also joins them as they walk through the cold environment to Dr. Flappe's cabin. However, they are unaware that they are being pursued by Ninja Murasaki, who has survived the fall of Muscle Tower. We later learn that Dr. Flappe helped create Android 8 for the Red Ribbon Army. As Ninja Murasaki makes his presence known, he tries to steal Goku's Dragon Balls and runs off on a turbo jet ski. Goku chases him up an icy mountain and shoots a Kamehameha wave, starting an avalanche which Ninja Murasaki gets trapped in. Dr. Flappe removes the bomb from Android 8 but says he can't fix Goku's Dragon Radar.


Hasky, with guns blazing

Goku tosses the bomb into the sky and it accidentally lands right on an unsuspecting Ninja Murasaki, killing him. Then, with a bit of luck, Goku learns that his Flying Nimbus has not been destroyed and calls it back. Goku then leaves for the West City to find Bulma, who should be able to fix the broken Dragon Radar. At first Goku does not know his way around but then a police officer helps him find Capsule Corporation, which is Bulma's current residence. Bulma has found a way to ride the Flying Nimbus by shrinking herself with a device she invented and having Goku put her in his shirt.

After fixing the radar, they fly around on the Nimbus and go to Dream Land, a new amusement park where Yamcha, Oolong and Puar can also be found. But trouble arrives in the form of Hasky, a thief who has been hired by the Red Ribbon Army to steal Goku's Dragon Balls. Hasky tries to trick Yamcha in order to steal the Dragon Balls and almost succeeds before being tracked down by Goku. She places a bomb in the amusement park but Goku defuses it and foils Hasky's plan. After that, Goku and Bulma ride on the Flying Nimbus into the sunset to find the remaining Dragon Balls.

Anime and Manga Differences

  • In the manga, the fight between Goku and Major Metallitron ends after Goku uses his Kamehameha to knock the head off of the Android and then his batteries run out. In the anime, the fight continues on for a while longer.
  • In the manga, Hasky and the events surrounding her do not appear.


Major characters

Supporting characters

Battles featured

  • Goku vs. Colonel Silver
  • Goku vs. Major Metallitron
  • Goku vs. Ninja Murasaki and his five brothers
  • Goku vs. Buyon
  • Goku vs. General White
  • Android 8 vs. General White


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FUNimation VHS Volumes

  • Red Ribbon Army Saga - The Hunt Is On (29-31) [Uncut and Edited]
  • Red Ribbon Army Saga - Silver (32-34) [Uncut and Edited]
  • Red Ribbon Army Saga - Assault On Muscle Tower (35-38) [Uncut and Edited]
  • Red Ribbon Army Saga - White's Last Stand (39-42) [Uncut and Edited]
  • Red Ribbon Army Saga - West City Chase (43-45) [Uncut and Edited]

Funimation Saga Sets

  • Red Ribbon Army Saga (29-45)

FUNimation Remastered DVD Sets

Manga chapters

Chapter # Title
55 "The Red Ribbon"
56 "The Dragon Ball Scramble"
57 "The Storming of Muscle Tower"
58 "The Flexing of Muscle Tower"
59 "Devil on the Third Floor"
60 "Purple People Beater"
61 "The 4½ Tatami Mat Flip"
62 "The Ninja Split!"
63 "Mechanical Man No. 8"
64 "The Horrible...Jiggler!"
65 "How to Unjiggle a Jiggler"
66 "Muscle Tower's Final Hour"
67 "Go West, Young Goku"
68 "Monkey in the City"
69 "Bulma and Goku"

Episode guide

Ep# Title
29 "The Roaming Lake"
Goku begins a search for his grandfather's Four-Star Dragon Ball and finds the adventure of a lifetime. The fate of an entire village rests on his shoulders as he braves the perilous desert to discover the secret of the mysterious Roaming Lake.
30 "Pilaf and the Mystery Force"
The race for the Dragon Balls continues, as Goku must battle Emperor Pilaf and his cohorts for control of the Four-Star ball. Amid the chaos rises a new enemy, a mysterious horde of villains who will stop at nothing to realize their lethal agenda.
31 "Wedding Plans?"
There's an imposter in the Ox-King's village, and he works for Emperor Pilaf! Pilaf is back to his sneaky tricks to get his hands on a Dragon Ball, but he isn't the only one looking! The Red Ribbon Army is also on the hunt, and they'll destroy everything in their path to get what they want, even Goku'!
32 "The Flying Fortress – Vanished!"
The Ox-King's been had! Now, Goku is here to straighten it out. Emperor Pilaf made an imposter of Goku in order to steal the prized Dragon Ball. But it won't be that easy this time. Goku and an entire army are out to stop him! Who will ultimately hold the Dragon Ball? Or more importantly, who can hang on to it in this desert battle!
33 "The Legend of a Dragon"
Goku explores a jungle paradise in search of the Four-Star Dragon Ball. Little does he know, the diabolical Colonel Silver is hot on his tail! And when the Red Ribbon Army carves a path of destruction through the jungle, it's clear they didn't come to monkey around!
34 "Cruel General Red"
Colonel Silver's troops scour land, sea, and air in search of the elusive Dragon Ball, but what they find is Goku! With the help of his Dragon Radar, Goku pinpoints the location of the ball and plucks it from under the noses of the Red Ribbon Army. But he doesn't get far. Goku's escape attempt brings him face to face with Colonel Silver himself!
35 "Cold Reception"
Goku is dragged into his most exciting adventure yet, literally. The treacherous Red Ribbon Army threatens a peaceful village. Soldiers ravage the land in search of another Dragon Ball, destroying anything that gets in their way. And a dark secret looms in a mysterious tower, which holds the source of the villagers' woes. But forget all of that, Goku discovers snow!
36 "Major Metallitron"
In an effort to repay the kindness of Suno and her mother, Goku vows to rescue their kidnapped Village Chief from the Red Ribbon Army's heavily fortified Muscle Tower. Goku storms the tower, but the hulking third floor guard, Major Metallitron, is determined to halt his ascent - permanently!
37 "Ninja Murasaki is Coming!"
Goku's quest to save the Village Chief from Muscle Tower is in danger of coming to an untimely end when he confronts the fourth-floor guard, Ninja Murasaki. Known as the "Messenger of Death," this villain has an arsenal of lethal techniques at his disposal, and he plans to use every one of them as he leads Goku through a treacherous obstacle course where nothing is as it seems!
38 "Five Murasakis"
Fighting a ninja is difficult. Fighting five? Impossible! Those are the odds Goku must face when Murasaki unveils his deadly trick of Separation! And with five sword-wielding Murasakis on his tail, he'll be lucky to stay in one piece!
39 "Mysterious Android No. 8"
Proving to be no match for Goku's skills on his own, Murasaki makes a desperate call for reinforcements. He summons the Red Ribbon Army's secret weapon, the monstrous Android Number 8! But there seems to be a flaw in the Android's design. He hates violence! Number 8 defies his creators by teaming up with Goku. Together, they must work to survive General White's impossible tower maze.
40 "Horrifying Buyon"
Goku and Android Number 8 confront General White at the top of Muscle Tower. But the wily General sends the duo tumbling through a trap door into the darkness of floor number five. There they must face the blubbery monster Buyon, a hideous beast with only one thing on his mind, turning Goku into his next meal!
41 "The Fall of Muscle Tower"
Having bested all of White's tower guards, only one obstacle stands between Goku and his goal, the General himself. In order to save the Village Chief, Goku must match strength and wits against General White. It's winner-take-all in this showdown atop Muscle Tower, and only one of them will make it out alive!
42 "The Secret of Dr. Flappe"
The gentle Android Number 8 is carrying a deadly secret inside of him, and a mysterious hermit, Dr. Flappe, may be his only chance at survival. Can Goku and Suno persuade the Doctor to save their friend's life? And old enemy has emerged from the rubble of Muscle Tower to make sure that they don't - Ninja Murasaki!
43 "A Trip to the City"
Goku's Dragon Radar is broken, and Bulma is the only one who knows how to fix it. He needs her help, but how will he ever find her in the sprawling urban maze of West City? It's a new kind of adventure for Goku, as he discovers the hazards of city life!
44 "Master Thief, Hasky"
Goku arrives at Capsule Corporation, Bulma's home in West City. He's hoping to have the Dragon Radar repaired, but the broken device will soon be the least of his worries! The Red Ribbon Army and their hired thief, Hasky, are hot on his tail!
45 "Danger in the Air"
When Goku is reunited with Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong, and Puar, the friends celebrate by going to a spectacular amusement park. But the beautiful bounty hunter, Hasky, has Goku and his two Dragon Balls in her sights, and she intends to turn their day at Dream Land into a tragic nightmare!

Video games

This saga was adapted in the video games Dragon Ball: Origins 2 and Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo.

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