Dragon Ball Kai Season 1 Episode 04 Review: Son Goku's dead...

This episode is the first in a few set up episodes for the next big fight, though they've condensed a bit of material and Goku's well on his way to Kaio.... er, King Kai's already. It's pretty outstanding, because even though I know they've cut material, I can't tell what, because of the smooth transitions between scenes. Everything has become very natural.

I used to think that maybe Goku disappearing after his death was something Funimation did for some reason that had to do with censoring dead bodies. You know, sort of the way that bodies disappeared when you killed enemies in the Goldeneye video game. That always bothered the shit out of me. I guess it really did have to do with Goku keeping his body so he could go train it. I figured that he just took the same form in the afterlife because he was so strong. The scene in which Kami presents Goku to King Yemma is something I've taken a new look at, because really, it's the first time you get that element in the Dragon Ball world, aside from some of the fooling around Baba did in the original series. Maybe Goku should have asked to visit his "grandpa" Gohan while he was there.

I love the scene where Piccolo wakes Gohan up by tossing him into the water, then promptly telling him that his father is dead and he'll be training with him. It's brutal, but to the point. Gohan says that he wants to be a scholar and Piccolo tells him that he can, but only if they can defeat the Saiyans. I mean, it's true. Piccolo doesn't mess around, but his assurance that Gohan can go back to his own desires after the threat has passed sort of gives him this sense of fairness. Another good line is him telling Gohan that Goku wouldn't be a good teacher for fighting, because he's too soft to teach well. That's also very true. You can't expect Goku to teach martial arts in the same way he was taught, especially to his own son. Goku is too carefree, he needed all sorts of intense, harsh training. Can you imagine Gohan even going through the training Roshi put Goku through? Of course we know that Piccolo is going to put him through worse.

Not a lot of action in the episode. There won't be for a while, even with Kai's pacing. But it was a decent episode, regardless.

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