- This article is about the episode. For the soundtrack, see The Arrival of Raditz (soundtrack).
The Arrival of Raditz is the first episode of the Raditz Saga and the first episode in the original Saban dub of the Dragon Ball Z series. Its original American air date was September 13, 1996. It features a reunion of the Dragon Ball Gang after five years at Kame House, as well as the debut of Goku's son Gohan and his brother Raditz in the anime.
The episode begins with a Farmer working in a field, putting a stack of hay into his truck, when he hears a strange noise. He looks up to see a meteorite fall and crash into the fields. The farmer asks himself "why me?" and gets in his truck to check it out. The farmer takes his pea shooter with his for protection. He gets to the crater and sees that it was not a meteorite at all, but a steel ball of some sort. The ship opens up and a man steps out of it and realizes that everything on Earth is not destroyed. The man floats out of the crater, the farmer loads his gun and tells the alien (nervously) that he is on his property. The alien presses the button on his scouter and reads his Power Level, which is 5. The farmer shoots his gun, but the mysterious invader catches the bullet in his hand and flings it back at him, seemingly killing the farmer. His scouter then picks up a high power level and he takes off after it, calling "Prepare yourself, Kakarot!".
Meanwhile, Chi-Chi is calling for her son, Gohan. The scene then goes to Goku, hopping through the forest behind his house looking for some firewood. After finding and knocking down one of the largest trees in the forest with one punch, he picks it up and heads for home. When he gets there, Chi-Chi asks his to go out into the woods and look for Gohan, so they can go to Kame House. Goku agrees, and Chi-Chi tells him to take the Flying Nimbus so they are not late.
The scene then goes to the evil Piccolo in a wasteland, when he feels a huge power coming toward him. The alien lands and says he thought Piccolo was this "Kakarot". He reads Piccolo's Power Level (which is 322) and says he would be a fool to attack him. Piccolo says he has no intention of starting a fight, but the alien says he does. Piccolo gets mad and fires an Explosive Demon Wave at him, thinking he has destroyed him. However, when the dust clears, the mysterious alien is not even hurt at all. He is about to attack Piccolo with a Double Sunday, when his scouter goes off. He flies off, saying it is Kakarot for sure. Piccolo gets down, saying how this guy could be a problem.
The mysterious Saiyan is flying towards the Power Level on his scouter and talks about how he still remembers the day they sent Kakarot to Earth.
The scene then goes to Goku looking for Gohan using the Flying Nimbus and sees his son crying on top of a tree branch hanging over a cliff, above a waterfall. Goku flies up with the Flying Nimbus.
After being away for five years, Bulma arrives at Kame House, where Master Roshi and Krillin have been living. Goku arrives shortly, and introduces Gohan to everyone. Master Roshi points out that Goku named him after his Grandpa Gohan. Bulma is impressed with how proper Gohan's speech is, in light of who his parents are. Goku tells her Chi-Chi is quite strict about the education Gohan receives, and how she does not let him train Gohan.
Everyone then realizes that Gohan has a tail, and collectively worries, but after a delicately-worded question to Goku, they are relived to hear that his family goes to bed early, not giving Gohan a chance to ever see a full moon. Master Roshi is surprised at how Goku still has a lot of strength, especially considering his having settled down with a wife and child. Bulma also sees that there is a four-star Dragon Ball on his hat and reminds Goku about their quest finding the Dragon Balls. Krillin asks Goku what he should wish for if he collects all seven Dragon Balls while throwing some stones at the ocean and Goku says that he doesn't know and throws a stone at the ocean.
Before they go inside, however, Goku senses a strong presence headed their way. They think it's Piccolo, but it's not. The alien soon appears. Krillin, unaware of the strength the alien possesses, attempts to show him off the island. The alien knocks Krillin trough the side of Kame House with his tail. The alien identifies Goku as Kakarot and berates him for not completing his "mission". Further complicating matters, the alien also claims that Goku is a Saiyan warrior, and that he is in fact Goku's brother, Raditz.
Goku and Krillin understandably think Raditz is insane, but Master Roshi reveals that there may be some truth to the evil Saiyan's words.
Master Roshi reveals that Goku's adopted grandfather, Gohan found a strange space capsule in the woods containing a baby Goku. He explains that, as a baby, Goku was violent and ill-tempered. Nevertheless, an accident caused him to fall into a ravine and hit his head, causing a case of amnesia in which Goku forgot all about his original Saiyan programming which, in turn, changed Goku into the happy child that everyone came to know and love.
This new revelation shocks Goku, who refuses to believe its validity. Raditz then goes on to state that Goku's original purpose was to destroy all life on Earth, which he should have done in a matter of years after his arrival. Raditz also reveals that the Saiyans' original home planet, Planet Vegeta was destroyed by an asteroid sometime after Goku's departure to earth and that there all only four Saiyans left, including himself and Goku.
Finally, Raditz mentions that he needs his brother's help in destroying all life on a distant planet. Goku refuses, which prompts Raditz to notice Gohan, who has a Saiyan tail, which leads Raditz to threaten the fate of the child. Goku tries to stop him, but is dealt a powerful knee strike to the stomach, which sends him to the ground. Raditz then kidnaps Gohan, ending the episode.
- Raditz arrives on Earth.
- Raditz reveals that Goku is his brother, and that both are Saiyans from the planet Vegeta.
- Raditz kidnaps Gohan.
- Pioneer's DVD/VHS release for this episode uses an alternate title card.
- Raditz says that Planet Vegeta was destroyed three years ago. However, flashbacks imply that Vegeta was a kid back then, and during the episode Another Transformation?, Frieza says "I'm sure I eliminated all the Saiyans except for Vegeta, Nappa, and Raditz 20 years ago." It is likely that this was an error, both on the dub and Raditz's part, as the original dub was known for continuity errors.
- The farmer appears to be killed, but is heard mumbling after Raditz hits him with the bullet. On the other hand, his head is never shown after the mortal blow, and it is possible that he was mortally wounded. It is also possible this inconsistency is an act of censorship in the similar vein of "another dimension".
- Raditz hints on the existence of Frieza in this episode, explaining that the Saiyans sell planets to "clients".
- Gohan states that he is five and a half, this would require him to have been conceived roughly 6 years and 3 months before this episode, yet this episode takes place only five years after the last episode of Dragon Ball, but they had not seen each other in years before these last few episodes. This does not make sense.
- This episode and The World's Strongest Team contain Shuki Levy music cues which were not used in any other episodes.