Dragon Ball Z is probably in my top three anime of all time, yet my favorite season is the one that departs the most drastically from the rest of the show. Yes, to all of you DBZ fans out there, my favorite is season 7 where Gohan’s in high school, finds love, and becomes a badass super hero. Because I felt the need to rewatch this, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and write down all my random thoughts while watching. Let’s begin with episode 200 (we’re skipping over Goku in the dead man tournament) entitled Gohan Goes to High School!
The episode starts with a recap of the end of the Cell Saga where ghost dad helps Gohan fire the last Kamehameha.
One thing that I’ve always loved about DBZ is that they always make the final moments of the bad guy’s life are completely ridiculous. It’s a way of conveying the depths to which the bad guy has sunk due to his defeat. They were the epitome of power and had used it to hurt others. All that strength, all that ambition, and it all ends with them looking like a clown.
The story actually begins several years later (unspecified in the narration, but wiki says seven) where Gohan is going to his first day of school. Unfortunately he’s almost an adult by this point, so starting at kindergarten would be a bit awkward.
So why exactly does he need Nimbus if he can fly? Is the cloud any less conspicuous than flying without it? So he’s been homeschooled by Chi Chi since killing Cell. Apparently all the super villains in this universe found out that Goku died and figured it wasn’t worth taking over Earth if the paragon of goodness wasn’t around. Still, I’m surprised it took Gohan this long to realize he’d probably start trying that whole “human interaction” thing. It also turns out that the closest high school is in “Satan City” (awesome), which is also the home of Hercule Satan.
Unfortuantely for Gohan, he’s inherited his dad’s ability to attract assholes because not five minutes inside the city for the first time, he runs into a bunch of bank robbers.
Before you can say “Holy Bank Robbers Batman!” he goes Super Saiyan and cripples a bunch of mere mortals who will probably have to eat through a tube for the rest of their lives whether or not they get found guilty by a jury of their peers.
Not only that, but he force pushes the getaway car and most assuredly killed everyone inside! Damn Gohan! That’s just cold blooded!
Gohan manages to change back to normal before anyone else notices, but he’s not off the hook just yet.
A teenage girl appears out of nowhere and starts demanding answers from Gohan about what the hell just happened. Gohan plays dumb and tries to sneak away before that frosty stare turns his blood to ice.
In case you don’t know, this character is Videl, the daughter of Hercule Satan. She’s probably my favorite character in the entire god damn anime, but there will be plenty of time to discuss why in future recaps. For now, she’s basically a teenaged vigilante that everyone’s cool with because her dad’s the badass who (supposedly) killed Cell. She doesn’t notice Gohan slinking away, but she does find out what happened by some guy with a Hitler mustache. He tells Videl that a golden fighter kicked the bank robber’s asses, and then proceeds to say probably the best line in all of anime. “I saw him knock down a truck by yelling at it.”
He also informs Videl that the mysterious fighter was wearing a badge that indicated he was a student at her high school. Coincidentally, when she gets to class, there’s a new student there!
Quick question: They make it clear that this is a public school, but wouldn’t you think that the daughter of humanity’s savior would be going to a private school? Gohan finds a seat that’s just one away from Videl who continues to stare daggers at him.
Actually, she seems perfectly aware that this guy has to be the gold fighter. She tells him that the gold fighter was said to be wearing a white shirt, a black vest, and red pants. The thing is, in none of the previous scenes did we see her get that information. This leads me to think that she didn’t actually hear that, but was trying to trap Gohan into confessing. The teacher’s yell that them for talking which gives Gohan a reason to shut the fuck up. Videl still has some doubts considering he isn’t blonde, but she’s heard stories about the Cell Games where fighters there were able to go blonde. Class continues, and eventually the buff asshole pulls a fiendish prank on Gohan by… volunteering him to read a paragraph? Okay…
After the embarrassingly simple reading he has to do, they go to gym class which is taught by FREDDY MERCURY!!! AWESOME!!!!
Gohan ends up on Videl’s team for baseball and gets stuck in right field. The jock asshole from earlier knocks the ball clean outta the park, except the other team has a god damn Super Saiyan!
Not only that, but Gohan sees a chance to make a double play, and therefore condemns one of his classmates to death by speeding baseball.
Everyone else is stunned silent except for Coach Mercury who has a huge sports boner for his now favorite student. The double play led to an inning switch which means that Gohan is up to bat.
Wait, wasn’t Yamcha a major league player? How is this Gohan’s first time playing? It somehow IS his first time because despite knowing the rules about catching a ball before it hits the ground (a base runner has to return to their starting base if the ball is caught), he doesn’t know the difference between the left and right batter’s boxes. He stands in the wrong one, and the jock is pitching for the other team. Of course, he wants to fuck with Gohan for some reason, so he throws one right at his head. Gohan ain’t afraid of no ball, so he takes the hit to the head like a champ which surprises the hell out of everyone else.
Gohan is fine (naturally) and takes his base while everyone looks at him thinking he’s a terminator or something. All but one, who’s convinced more than ever that this guy has to be the golden fighter.
Videl ends up following him after school to see where he goes. She’s truly a master of stealth, employing techniques such as… crouching.
Of course, with Gohan’s super powers he’s able to give her the slip pretty easily which probably wasn’t the best idea considering it makes him seem even more suspicious. The episode ends with Gohan riding the Nimbus home contemplating how he’s going to fit in at school considering the fact that he’s a half-alien super-man.
This episode was just plain fun with Gohan getting into wacky hijinks, and the collision of what we’ve seen from the show with the world that the regular humans live in. What really draws me to this season above the others is how much of a departure it is from what we’ve seen before. Sure, someone can save the world with their super powers, but what about every day challenges that most people face? Gohan having to take part in the real world where all his magic power training does little to help him is a breath of fresh air that this series really needed after the non-stop fighting that the show has been engaged in since it started. I also like that they took a chance and set it several years in the future so as to make a much cleaner break from what came before. New setting, new challenges, and the introduction of one of my favorite characters in anime (Videl) is what makes this season special and my favorite of the entire series. Tune in next time for episode 201!