Dragonball Evolution


November 7, 2017
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(2017 title sequence plays; cut to shots of a desert-like region. Everything is narrated by Kyle Hebert)

Hebert: (narrating) Last time on Nostalgia Critic Z...

(NC, dressed as Krillin, is seen confronting a DVD of an anime movie: Death Note)

Hebert: (narrating) ...Critic was confronting the worst anime adaptation of all time. (sees the Death Note DVD) No, the other one. (the DVD turns into another, Dragonball Evolution) There ya go.

(NC starts speaking at this point, but as a parody of anime, his mouth just opens and shuts repeatedly, not matching the words heard)

NC: Some shitty movie. You think you can piss off the legion of fans with your misunderstanding of source material? (DVD does not answer, of course) Your silence only enables your guiltiness! Now I will show you the meaning of pain!

Offscreen voice: You can't fight this evil alone!

(MasakoX of Team Four Star appears, dressed as Goku. His "appearance explosion" destroys part of the Earth)

Hebert: (narrating) MasakoX of Team Four Star joins Nostalgia Critic's fight!

NC: MasakoX from Team Four Star, you come to join my fight?

Hebert: (narrating) I totally just said that.

MasakoX: (his mouth moving up and down, not matching what he says either) You need a true Dragon Ball fan to understand this outrage!

(Cut to a long shot of the two)

NC: What do you know about Dragon Ball that I don't?

MX: Plenty, like how we cut to the extreme long shot to save on lip animation, and your anger over this will be represented by zoom-out, combined with grunting and clenching your teeth with your eye twitching.

(Sure enough, NC is seen doing just that)

NC: Grunt, grunt!

MX: Now I will fight you by doing the same move repeatedly, and you doing the same dodge repeatedly!

(They do just that, until...)

Offscreen voice: You fools are missing the real enemy!

(LittleKuriboh suddenly appears, dressed as Vegeta, also destroying part of the Earth after showing up)

Hebert: (narrating) LittleKuriboh comes to talk sense into the feuding heroes!

MX: So, LittleKuriboh, you've come to talk sense to us, the feuding heroes?

Hebert: (narrating) Am I just not here or...

NC: Get out of here, Yu-Gi-Blow! You're not even from the right anime!

LK: (nope, his mouth movements don't match his words either) Maybe, but I'm smart enough to know that while you two are bitching like pansies, your opponent is building his power!

(To an explosion, the Dragonball Evolution DVD is seen charging up)

NC: My God! He's going Stupid Saiyan!

MX: It's okay. This usually lasts ten minutes. There's surprisingly little fighting in the show. It's mostly off-screen, while rocks rise up.

LK: But he's using his Stupid Saiyan power to make stupid people say his movie is good!

MX: What?!


LK: Just check out its critical score!

(LittleKuriboh holds up a smart phone, whose screen has the Rotten Tomatoes site on it; it shows that Dragonball Evolution has a 14% rating from critics)

LK: (growls, then smashes phone in his clenched fist) It's over nine perceeeent!!

NC: What?! Nine percent?! There's no way that could be right, can iiiiit?!

LK: People who don't know the show are being duped into thinking it's good!

MX: We can't let it get away with that!

LK: Agreed! Let dueling sides join forces just this once!

MX: And by "once", we mean "probably many times"!


(They all unleash their powers on the DVD, which causes an explosion that destroys the whole Earth... or rather, transitions to the title of the movie)

NC (vo): In a long line of botched live-action anime adaptations...

(Footage of the movie is shown)

NC (vo): ...Dragonball Evolution is arguably the most infamous. For years, I've gotten fan requests to talk about this cinematic ball-buster, but sadly, even though I'm a fan of some anime shows and films, Dragon Ball is not one I know a great deal about.

(Cut to NC sitting in his room; to his right and left are LittleKuriboh and MasakoX. All are in their normal getup)

LK and MX: (in unison) That's where we come in!

MX: MasakoX from Dragon Ball Z Abridged...

LK: ...and LittleKuriboh from Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged.

NC: That's right, a Japanese anime dubbed by Americans, now analyzed by two Brits!

LK: It makes as much sense as anything else in this movie.

(The images relating to Dragon Ball anime are shown)

MX (vo): The Dragon Ball franchise is one of the most popular animes ever made. Taking place in a parallel dimension, it follows the adventures of Goku and his friends defending Earth against intergalactic aliens, androids and other various evils who really like to yell.

LK (vo): With spinoffs including Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super, there's over 700 episodes of this franchise, and it's still going. So, naturally, it makes sense for Hollywood to try and capitalize on it, and make a movie for Americans. How did it go?

NC: Did (poster of 2017's...) Ghost in the Shell do bad?

LK: Yes.

NC: Then this did really bad!

MX (vo): Fans of the show and newcomers hated this adaptation, claiming it missed not only what Dragon Ball was about, but dumbed it down so much that no average moviegoer would be able to enjoy it.

LK (vo): It's said by many to be the worst anime adaptation of all time. Don't believe me?

LK: How many people thought the low-budget sketch we just did was more faithful?

(Suddenly a bunch of hands go up, filling the screen)

NC: That sounds about right.

MX: So let's not put it off any longer.

NC: Let's take a look at this Dragon Ball Suck with Dragonball Evolution.

(The movie opens in space. The colorful constellations are forming people and objects Grandpa Gohan (Randall Duk Kim) narrates about))

MX (vo): I hope you're ready for an intro that's from Load of the Shit!

NC (vo): I think I am.

MX (vo): No, you're not.

Gohan: (narrating) A warlord named Piccolo came from beyond the stars. A group of brave warriors created the Ma Fu Ba, a powerful enchantment that imprisoned...

NC: (hand on cheek) Wow, I'm both lost and bored.

LK and MX: Get used to that. (NC's eyes widen in surprise and shock)

Gohan: (narrating) Aided by his disciple Oozaru, the evil pair brought the human race to the brink of annihilation.

NC: Okay... Shot in the dark. A great evil tried to take over, is defeated, and now is trying to come back.

MX: Wow, it's almost like you've seen the movie at some point in your life.

NC: (takes out the remote) Enough to know when to fast-forward.

(NC presses the button, and the intro is skipped as a voice says "Who gives a shit?!". We're first shown Son Goku (Justin Chatwin!))

NC (vo): We see our main character, played by Justin Chatwin, named... (The character's name appears, and NC is confused) Goku?

NC: Um... I don't know a ton about the anime, but that really doesn't look like a Goku.

LK: Well, as a white man, I am offended!

NC: You are?

LK: Yes, of stereotyping like that!

MX: I, for one, embrace culturally diverse names that in no way raise any questions or seem distracting.

NC: Wow. I really didn't think this with the angle you guys would lean.

LK: Of course!

LK (vo): John Shaft would be so much better if he was called Akio Hashimoto.

MX (vo): James Bond would be more culturally sensitive if he was named Bubba Grady.

LK (vo): And Ariel from The Little Mermaid would be light years ahead of her time if she was called Bob.

NC: Oh, I see what you're saying. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

MX: But if you name that rose...

MX (vo): ...shitty-shitty-ass-piss...

LK: ...you might want to change something.

(Goku is sweating, and it's shown in super slow-motion. Yes, even a drop of sweat falling to the sand from his nose)

NC (vo): Goku is trying his hardest to master his epic nose sweat...

MX (vo): This movie clearly understands what to shoot in slow-mo.

NC (vo): ...as his grandpa states what we know this adaptation took to heart...

(Goku is being trained to fight, with him and Gohan balancing on two ropes)

Gohan: First rule is, there are no rules.

LK: Well, we've given an excuse not to follow these.

(MX takes out four Dragon Ball DVDs and throws it on the floor. NC takes out a handgun and shoots down three times)

Gohan: First one to touch the ground loses.

NC (vo; as Gohan): That's the second rule after the first rule of there being no rules!

(We then cut to a fight scene between Goku and Grandpa Gohan. It's boring and you can easily tell it's all green screen. We cut back to the three looking disinterested)

MX: Crouching Tiger, not-so-hidden green screen.

(The two are now fighting upside down)

LK (vo): And now, a brief recreation of the audience reaction to these first two minutes.

(Cut to three empty chairs. In the film, a fly comes up, and Goku slaps it into Gohan's mouth)

NC: This movie does know the difference between an anime and a Donald Duck cartoon, right?

(The scene is repeated)

NC (vo; channeling Pumbaa): Slimy, yet seething with anger-filled disappointment!

(Goku is knocked on the ground, sliding into a watermelon bed)

MX (vo; as Gohan): Next, we'll fight without the wires!

Hebert: (narrating, as the fake title appears) Next time, on Dragon Ball Marionet...

(The images relating to Goku from the anime are shown)

LK (vo): So in the original show, Goku was a young, naive fighter obsessed with perfecting his gift and honoring the art of combat, fighting when he needs to. (Back to movie) Here, he's a whiny little pissant who just wants to be cool and get laid.

(Goku goes inside Gohan's greenhouse)

Goku: Everybody at school treats me like I'm nothing, Grandpa. Teach me how to get the girl.

NC: To be fair, though, that is a lot of episodes of a character's life to fill into one movie.

MX: Don't worry. That's why there is the Slumming-It Fairy.

NC: A what?

LK: The Slumming-It Fairy. She magically provides stock lines when you don't want to put real work into a character.

(MX takes out a bell and rings it. After a flash, the said Slumming-It Fairy (Tamara) pops up, not giving a fuck about anything happening)

Fairy: Yeah, what?

MX: Well, we don't want to put any effort into one of Japan's most beloved characters.

LK: But we still want a paycheck for it.

MX: Can you supply with some dated angst?

Fairy: Yeah, sure.

(She waves her wand, and a small box with the word "Schlock" on it appears on the table. Excited, NC opens it, taking a note)

NC: Ooh! Here's a tired classic! "I'm different".

Goku: I'm different.

LK: Here's one with no effort: "I wanna explode".

Goku: I wanna explode.

MX: And who can forget the popular "Teach me to be normal"?

Goku: Teach me to be normal.

NC: Ooh! And don't forget... "What friends?"

Goku: What friends?

NC: We did it! We reduced someone so special to so many to someone not the least bit special in any way!

Fairy: Yeah, don't forget, you get stock parental advice for no additional charge.

NC: Ooh, she's right! (takes another note) Including "You're special".

Gohan: You're special.

LK: "Normal is overrated".

Gohan: Normal is overrated.

MX: And "Have faith in who you are"!

Gohan: Have faith in who you are.

NC: Thanks, Slumming-It Fairy! You took from other source material, even though we have plenty of source material to already take from.

Fairy: Whatever. Can I get high on your couch?

NC: Sure.

Fairy: See ya. (leaves)

NC: This is only gonna get worse, isn't it?

LK: Yes, it is.

NC: (to Fairy) Save some room on that couch.

(Gohan gives Goku his 18-birthday present: the four-star Dragon Ball)

MX (vo): Goku's grandpa gives him a present for his birthday: a Dragon Ball, which, when combined with the other six, will grant a perfect wish.

NC: Well, we know they never found because this film is still here.

Gohan: In all the world, there are only six others. "Susinchu" means "four stars".

LK (vo; as Gohan): You know, something this film will never see.

Goku: Thanks, Grandpa.

(The images showing off the variety of memorable locations in the anime are shown)

MX (vo): So the Dragon Ball universe that seemed to magically take place in the past, present and future, expanding the worldbuilding possibilities of the imagination, is now just the future.

NC: Apocalyptic? Utopian? Techno?

MX: Bland.

NC (vo): Again, having not seen much of the anime, I can still pick up that the movie's environment looks practically nothing like the show's environment.

LK (vo): Even the environment in the film is not very well-defined. It would take a while to even realize we were in the future unless we were told. This could be the set to any random film, where with the show, just one image could tell you immediately you're watching Dragon Ball.

NC: Yeah, but at least, the film's bullies...

(Goku is confronted by the school's bullies)

Carey Fuller (Texas Battle): Make me pay, Geeko.

NC: ...are generic, too.

Fuller: Come on, Geeko. Show me what you got.

(Goku makes an angry face, which makes the bullies laugh at him)

MX: Yes, you'll realize very quickly that the facial expressions...

MX (vo): ...that Goku has range from "violent farting" to "try-to-project-himself-off-the-ground farting".

NC: Don't a lot of people do fart jokes when talking about this movie?

LK: Didn't you hear rule #1? There are no rules.

(Grinning, LK, NC and MX rub their hands with glee. What follows is a montage of Goku making angry faces or half-smiling, accompanied by various kinds of farting, ending with a short fart)

Hebert: (narrating) Next time, on Dragon Ball Metamucil...

(We are shown a flying ship, which belongs to Lord Piccolo (James Marsters))

NC (vo): Oh! Um...meanwhile, on Bowser's airship, a villain named Piccolo is wondering why being hundreds of feet in the air gets him surprisingly little wind resistance.

(Images of Piccolo Jr. in the anime are followed)

MX (vo): In the show, Piccolo is complex and had interesting reasons for why he wanted ultimate power. He was so interesting that even his offspring would eventually become friends with our main hero.

NC: Here?

MX: Just a colossal twat.

NC: Right.

LK (vo): He wants to take over the world, because...you know, evil and stuff....and sends out his minions to find the Dragon Balls to achieve his goal.

(Piccolo's ninja henchwoman Mai, played by Eriko Tamura, comes out of the smoke, wearing a suit that shows off her body)

NC (vo; as Mai): Do you like my assassin uniform? It'll make sure you know that I have breasts.

(A woman looks at Piccolo as Mai waits for him to say the word for execution...until we come back to high school)

MX (vo): Enough of that shit! We've got to cut to horny Goku!

(A scene proceeds with Goku envisioning Chi-Chi (played by Jamie Chung) relaxing in a field of flowers while eating a strawberry seductively)

LK: To be fair, Goku in the show was awkwardly horny, too. (As he says that, we get a scene where Kid Goku is lifting up Bulma's skirt to see her panties)

MX: Yeah, but he never seen a girl before, so he didn't know he was horny.

LK: Does that make it better?

(The three pause for a brief thought)

NC: Better than this.

MX: I'll agree to that.

LK: Yeah.

Mr. Kingery (Julian Sedgwick): What might our ancestors say about the upcoming solar eclipse?

Goku: Well, my grandfather would say, "Beware of the Nameks."

Kingery: Nameks?

Goku: Yeah. They're an alien race that nearly destroyed Earth over...2,000 years ago.

NC: Well, we have no idea how this future works, so we have no idea how crazy this is supposed to sound.

Kingery: Well, let's hope it doesn't happen again, hmm? (Everyone at class laughs)

LK (vo; as Kingery): Keep it at Scientology.

(Chi-Chi can't open her locker, so Goku tries to secretly help her using his power (ki), but accidentally opens all the lockers in the hall, revealing himself)

NC (vo): But it looks like Goku's help with the lockers might have earned him some tail. Not...actual tail, that'd be like the show.

Chi-Chi: Hey! Goku, right?

NC (vo; as Goku): (under his breath) Pfft! Like anyone would cast me as a Goku... (out loud) Oh, I mean, uh...yes! That's my character.

Chi-Chi: You used your ki.

Goku: You know about ki?

Chi-Chi: Just because my name is Chi-Chi doesn't make me a complete idiot.

Goku: (chuckles) Right.

LK, NC and MX: (also chuckling) Yeah! (They stop, looking puzzled) What?

Chi-Chi: I'm having a party tonight at my house.

Goku: I'll be there.

(Cut to actually pretty filmed pond at sunset)

LK (vo): Oh, that's a pretty shot. (And we're shown Goku at home preparing to go to party) Well, back to shit.

(Goku looks at himself in the mirror, dressed up as a typical "cool guy", with hair sprayed, toothpick in mouth, all that stuff)

Goku: Beauty awaits.

(The hairspray doesn't work for long and is splattered on the mirror. Goku drops a toothpick)

NC: Is there a film theory that he's just the pain in the ass...

(Screenshot of Robbie Ferrier (Chatwin) from War of the Worlds (2005) is shown)

NC (vo): ...he played in War of the Worlds after the aliens invaded?

MX: Nobody wasted any theories on this film.

MX (vo): Goku sneaks out of his house to go to Chi-Chi's party, where the bullies, who literally have no reason to mock him, mock him.

(The bullies approach Goku again)

Goku: I was invited. I'm not looking for any trouble.

Agundes (Richard Blake): Trouble found you, freak. So listen. Why don't you turn around, walk away. No one will even know you were here.

LK: (as a bully) Yeah, you freak with your good looks, and your...your nice hair, and your fancy clothing... What are we doing?

NC: (whispers) I don't know.

Goku: I'm not doing that anymore.

NC, LK and MX (vo; singing): The dorks are gonna rumble toniiiight!

(The bullies attack Goku, but the latter successfully dodges their hits)

NC (vo; as a bully): Thank God we all know really bad kung fu!

LK (vo): Especially this guy. (A green arrow points at a bully swinging his fist on Goku, but missing) How far away was that punch?

(Goku kicks Agundes in the fountain, and his falling and splashing is slowed down)

NC: (as Agundes, speaking in "slow-motion" and gesturing) I've been Snydered!

(Another bully tries to hit Goku with a crowbar, and Goku avoits the hit by sliding across a car roof on his head)

LK: Did he just slide across the car with his head?!

(The scene is replayed)

MX: Oh, come on, even Krillin wouldn't do that! (to LK) By the way, is he even in this?

LK: No.

MX: (under his breath) Piece-of-shit film.

NC: Should I be angry at that?

LK: Yeah.

NC: (shakes fist) I'm really angry!

MX (vo): So the original Goku who hated fighting and only did it when he had to is now tossing one-liners like and unfunny James Bond.

NC (vo): And fart faces, too.

(The scene is repeated again, but with the farting sound added. Cut to Goku chatting with Chi-Chi at the party)

MX (vo): Nevertheless, he defeats the bullies and gets friendly with Chi-Chi.

Chi-Chi: What happened to your parents?

Goku: Uh, I don't know. But my grandpa said everything will be explained to me when I turn 18.

LK: (as Goku) My grandpa's kind of a dick.

(At home, Gohan is attacked by Piccolo and Mai)

MX (vo): But he might not get his wish, as grandpa is attacked by Piccolo, who is literally dressed like a piccolo. (A photo of clarinet appears. Yes, not a piccolo, but still close enough)

(Piccolo breaks the house into small pieces)

LK (vo): He destroys the house because, apparently, Piccolo can do that now, and Goku comes home to his dying mentor.

(Goku rushes to find Gohan dying)

Gohan: Find Master Roshi in Paozu. Tell him Piccolo has returned.

NC: (as Gohan) Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a dead mentor poker game with...

NC (vo): ...Obi-Wan Kenobi, Uncle Ben, Dumbledore and Mickey (from Rocky movies) I need to attend.

NC: And I'd better hurry. I hear Gandalf drop by briefly.

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