Trying to keep the iron hot and moving into Super Android 13. With this one, I just assumed it would be bad. Even in the video games you can’t play as Android 14 or 15, so if they weren’t mildly interesting as roster padding then there is no way that this one could be good.
I was wrong.
This one was all about bucking tradition. For starters, this is like the second time out of seven movies so far that doesn’t start with some kind of actual camping trip. The camping in this case is Oolong, Roshi, Krillin, and Trunks waiting in line for a beauty pageant.
While Trunks thinks about his choices, we see Goku going shopping with Chi-Chi and Gohan. These are some of my favorite scenes in Dragon Ball Z, I love the moments between the fights with Chi-Chi, the only woman capable of handling him. For some reason the idea of Trunks tagging along with Goku and his extended family (Kame House) instead of his actual blood family he travels back in time to save makes me laugh.
Of course, it would be too simple for things to go off without a hitch. Before the shopping trip, the movie opens with the death of Dr. Gero at the hands of Android 17 (entirely absent from this movie otherwise) in his laboratory. His death alerts his computer to awaken, and the misfit Androids 14 and 15 are released. These are some horrible looking guys, I would honestly be more scared of them than Android 17 and 18. Android 17 and 18 just look like bisexual TikTok 20-somethings, while Android 14 looks like a leftover character from Fist of the North Star and Android 15’s only trait is being indiscernibly racist.
Thinking on his feet, Goku realizes that the city will be destroyed if they keep fighting near the high rise buildings, so he and Trunks come up with the plan to fly to the FUCKING ARCTIC so they can be sure there is no collateral damage during their fight.
Once they get down to business, one thing I will say that broke me was seeing Trunks get dogwalked by these freaks. I love Trunks. Future Trunks has one of the most badass intros of any character, and it seems as a result he gets hoed in almost every appearance after that. These minions mop the floor with him, the only reason he is able to defeat Android 14 is because the movie was running out of time and they needed the chips inside of him for Android 13 to power up.
Speaking of Android 13…
Android 13 has got to be the best DBZ movie villain so far. I cannot imagine being in the writer’s room for this guy. He is the funniest caricature of a country guy and I can only wonder if perhaps this was a Japanese thing that didn’t translate, because it absolutely does not land in the English dub and it actually makes the movie even better.
The icing on the cake is that the voice actor gave it his best shot and still did a terrible job, it sounds like your friend from New York trying to emulate a Georgian accent. Seriously, if you have any knowledge of the Southern US, the things that come out of this guy’s mouth will bewilder you.
At one point, Trunks tries to reason with the Androids by saying they’re puppets, devoid of free will. Android 13’s response: “Free will? Pitiful humans. War, segregation, hatred. Is that what you’ve done with your free will, boy? Don’t lecture me with your 30 dollar haircut, Goku dies!” Bro? Weren’t you born like half an hour ago?
The actual fighting is pretty good, eventually Vegeta joins Goku and Trunks and things begin to even out for the Z-Fighters, who are getting their asses kicked for a surprising amount of time. Like I mentioned earlier, the movie seems to be running out of time so they get rid of Android 14 and 15 very abruptly, my only realm qualm with things before the main villain takes the stage.
When Android 13 absorbs his fallen friends, he loses the charm for sure. His quips disappear, he becomes an unbeatable foe, and he manages to take on Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo all at once. Oh yeah, Piccolo is in this one too. Gohan fires one ki attack at Android 13 and when the android returns fire, Piccolo appears from under the ice to protect his son. Piccolo’s excuse: “I was in the neighborhood.”
Super Android 13, however, appears with limited time left in the movie, so they are quick to finish him off. Future Trunks even says that he is from 20 years in the future and Android 13 isn’t there, so he for sure dies eminently. Goku is knocked underwater and begins gathering energy for the Spirit Bomb, while the remaining fighters have to distract Super Android 13 so he can’t interrupt Goku. This is a bit silly, especially after Super Android 13 explains that he has knowledge of the Spirit Bomb technique but continues to waste time with the other Saiyans.
However, the subversion of the Spirit Bomb was very cool. Instead of launching it like Super Android 13 expects he will, Goku actually takes it into himself and becomes briefly invincible. While the concept is kind of standard fare for DBZ writing, the art really stands out in the climax of the story.
The gang all share their usual celebration in the hospital, where ever beautiful and graceful Future Trunks lauds Krillin for landing “one good shot”, before Oolong says “What’d you do, kick him in the ‘cannon’ and run?” One of my favorite end scenes of any DBZ movie occurs right after, where Vegeta and Piccolo are sitting on opposite ends of a piece of ice.
Super Android 13 may not be the best DBZ movie, but it is absolutely the funniest. I was so surprised by how enjoyable this one was, even if maybe some of it was unintentional on the creator’s end. The humor really exemplifies the way that Toriyama can create such insane worlds and never lose his artist’s touch that makes them so familiar. My only regret is that Super Android 13 really took away from easily the best villain in a DBZ movie thus far, I wish Android 13 was canon after this movie.
Next at bat is the first Broly movie, see you soon!
In this movie, I finally saw the source material for one of my favorite parts of the entire Team Four Star DBZ Abridged series. After watching the actual English dub I realize they are only a few degrees separated from each other.