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Dragon Ball Z (Buu Saga, Seasons 8 & 9)

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Not the best way to end a landmark anime series...

The Buu Saga is a story arc from Dragon Ball Z that focuses on Goku and his friends' efforts to stop a powerful wizard named Babidi from unleashing a mystical monster called Majin Buu. It takes place seven years after the events of the Cell Saga and is the fifth and final story arc of the Dragon Ball Z anime.

When compared to the previous story arcs (not counting the anime-only Garlic Jr. Saga), the Buu Saga is considered by many to be one of the weakest entries in the Dragon Ball franchise.

Summary

Seven years after the battle against Cell, the now-teenaged Gohan begins attending high school and even befriends Mr. Satan's daughter Videl. However, when an evil wizard named Babidi plans on unleashing a sinister monster named Majin Buu, the Z-Fighters are forced to temporarily revive the deceased Goku in order to stop him and save the world.

Bad Qualities

  1. Unlike the previous sagas, the Buu Saga relies heavily on comedy (at least until Super Buu arrives), which can turn some fans of the previous sagas' action-heavy style off.
    • While there is nothing wrong with making a season/show a lot more light-hearted and comedy-like when compared to the previous installments/seasons, those that do this (e.g., Ultraman Taro, Transformers: Beast Wars and Power Rangers: Wild Force) are from shows that are more action-packed and are preceded by an installment with an incredibly dark tone. Dragon Ball Z, while it too is an action-packed show, is already known for its comedy and even some light-hearted moments, so having the Buu Saga be more comedic is too much.
  2. Many characters either get their characterizations de-railed or are barely involved in the plot:
    • Gohan goes from being a kind and good-hearted kid to an arrogant teenager with anger issues.
    • Vegeta willingly betrays the Z-Fighters in order to fight Goku again... despite having given up fighting, settling down with Bulma and even becoming a father to Trunks after the Cell Saga.
    • Krillin and Piccolo barely appear in the saga, and are both killed by Buu in humiliating fashion.
  3. It introduces Gohan's younger brother Goten, who is basically a more annoying rehash of Kid Goku from the original Dragon Ball.
  4. Very poor pacing, as there are many moments where the show trundles along before suddenly going at a break-neck pace. One of the worst examples is the Gotenks vs. Super Buu battle.
  5. Many missed opportunities.
    • Babidi kills off Spopovich by making him explode, even though it would've been more appropriate to have Gohan kill him after what he did to Videl, which is just disappointing.
    • When Goku only has one hour left before he has to go back to the otherworld, he teaches Goten and Trunks how to fuse so that they can fight Super Buu. Goku could've also taught other fighters like Tien and Yamcha how to fuse, which would've made them relevant again, but that doesn't happen.
  6. Babidi is a bland, weak and uninteresting villain who's a poor follow-up to Cell and gets killed off mid-way through.
  7. While he is a very intimidating villain, Super Buu is a blatant rip-off of Frieza and Perfect Cell.
  8. In the original Japanese version, during the battle between Gohan and Super Buu, there's an infamous scene where Gohan calls Super Buu "retarded".
    • This was thankfully removed in the English dub, where Gohan instead calls Super Buu "dumb".
  9. This saga has tons of frustrating and confusing moments.
    • The Z-Fighters (with the exception of Gohan) just stand there and watch as Spopovich beats Videl to within an inch of her life.
    • Supreme Kai has Gohan act as bait so that Spopovich and Yamu can steal his energy.
    • Right after Mr. Satan befriends Good Buu and has him swear to never kill anyone ever again, two crazed gunmen appear from out of nowhere and shoot Mr. Satan, causing Good Buu to get mad and release Evil Buu.
    • When Gotenks is about to finish off Super Buu, he decides to show off and pretend that he can't defeat Buu, which results in Piccolo panicking and destroying the exit to the Room of Spirit and Time.
    • Gohan dropping one of the Potara earrings and being unable to find it before Super Buu absorbs him.
    • Super Buu's transformation into Kid Buu somehow makes him even stronger than before, despite Goku and Vegeta removing everyone he'd absorbed from his body.
  10. The show introduces a new fusion called Gotenks, who manages to be both incredibly annoying and unbelievably stupid.
  11. Many plot-holes, such as Goku achieving Super Saiyan 3 off-screen and Super Buu having the ability to absorb people and steal their powers.
  12. By this point in the series, Dragon Ball Z has embraced the concept of death being cheap, resulting in almost the entire cast (the only exceptions being Mr. Satan and Dende) being dead for at least point during this entire saga.
  13. Overall, because of the overall pacing, as well as both its frustrating/confusion moments and plot holes, the Buu Saga feels very rushed. This is most likely due to the fact that Akira Toriyama was burned out and wanted to end the series as soon as possible.

Good Qualities

  1. "We Gotta Power" is an awesome and epic opening theme that is a worthy successor to "Cha-La Head Cha-La".
  2. The animation and backgrounds are still incredible, just like in the previous sagas.
  3. It introduces some new characters like Videl, Dabura, Kibito and Majin Buu.
  4. Some funny moments, such as Gohan's "Great Saiyaman" alter-ego and the innuendo joke with Chi-Chi and Videl.
  5. Despite its comedic tone, this saga has its emotional and heartfelt moments, such as Majin Vegeta's "Final Atonement" and Mr. Satan and Good Buu's friendship.
  6. Mr. Satan gets a lot of character development in this saga, as he gradually becomes a true hero who ultimately helps Goku defeat Kid Buu.
  7. The final battle between Goku and Kid Buu is incredibly epic and an excellent conclusion to the Dragon Ball Z anime.
  8. It's at least no NEARLY as bad as Dragon Ball GT.

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