Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest is the second film released for the Dragon Ball Z franchise. The film was released in Japan on March 10, 1990, between episodes 39 and 40 of Dragon Ball Z. FUNimation Entertainment, the U.S. rights holder for Dragon Ball Z, has released the film several times in several different formats.
At the start of the film, Oolong and Gohan have used Bulma's Dragon Ball detector. They discover that the seven Dragon Balls are gathering in one location, and they go to a frozen area called the Tsumisumbri Mountains. It turns out that Piccolo is also there, training.
Before Oolong and Gohan can reach the Dragon Balls, the dragon Shenron is summoned by Dr. Kochin. He makes a wish that his mentor, Dr. Wheelo and his lab be released from the frozen ground below. Shenron grants his wish, and Oolong and Gohan are attacked by Kochin's bio-men. Piccolo comes to the rescue, but ends up being captured by three Bio-Warriors.
Later, the bio-men and Dr. Kochin make a visit to Master Roshi, believing he is the strongest person on Earth. Master Roshi and Bulma end up being captured by Dr. Kochin and his bio-men. While in captivity, Bulma ends up letting it slip that Goku is now the strongest person in the world. At that moment, Goku arrives on a mission to save Master Roshi and Bulma. Will Goku be able to save the day?
The film itself runs for 60 minutes. The pacing isn't as slow as the usual Dragon Ball Z episodes, but it's a little slower than the pace in Dead Zone. However, there was one section in the film that I thought was "time kill," and that the film would have been stronger without it. Personally, I thought Gohan's musical number about how much he admires Piccolo was rather unnecessary, because this information comes out at least a couple of times in the dialogue during the film.
The World's Strongest is not considered to be a "canon" film, due to several continuity errors. At the point this was released in the series, Piccolo was dead and had not been resurrected with the Dragon Balls yet. Also, when this film is supposed to be taking place in the series, Goku is still recovering from injuries he sustained after fighting Vegeta, and Gohan, Kuririn, and Bulma left to Planet Namek to find the Namekian Dragon Balls to bring Piccolo and some other characters back to life.
If you're a fan of Dragon Ball Z and want to own every series and film in the franchise, then this movie is worth adding to your collection. However, if you're a more casual Dragon Ball Z viewer, then this film really isn't necessary to watch or own.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of the videocassette through the King County Library System.