King Gurumes was once peaceful and wise, until he began to search for the mysterious Blood Rubies. Their curse transformed him in a ferocious monster that can’t satisfy his hunger; and thus, in the present, he has sent his goons to look for the legendary Dragon Balls. He doesn’t know, however, that somewhere else in the world a young boy named Goku and a girl named Bulma also have started to search for the mystical balls. Along the way the duo meets the young girl Penny, whose entire village has been enslaved by Gurumes’ soldiers in search of the Blood Rubies. Goku and his friends will not let this tragedy continue!
Anime in 200 Words: Dragon Ball Movie 1: Curse of the Blood Rubies Premise: This movie is a combination of the plot from the first few episodes of Dragon Ball and a little bit of original content. The mixture reminds me of a Naruto OVA. Required Watching: The first 20 episodes of Dragon Ball would give you the plot that is being ruined in the movie, but then again, it might be best NOT to watch Dragon Ball first. Canon Issues: The introduction of Goku, Bulma, Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, etc. was apparently not exciting enough in the original series, or something, so they redid it. The final product is the love child of a filler arc and the first arc of the story. It’s ugly. Filler Content: The plot elements that were added were mildly entertaining, but not enough to balance out the annoyance caused by the mutilation of the opening arc and the first attempt to gather the dragon balls. Overall: It’s hard to judge this because I watched Dragon Ball before this movie, and it really bothered me to see the story trashed like this. On the other hand, someone who sees this first might enjoy it more.
Man I forgot how charming early Dragon Ball was. Curse of the Blood Rubies was basically a condensed retelling of the first arc in Dragon Ball but taking out other elements and putting made-up filler in its place. Seriously why did they get rid of Goku turning into a monkey?? The made-up stuff is pretty lame. The villain is hilariously uninteresting and the whole military vibe doesn't do anything for me. But the stuff they revisited from the first arc was still really awesome. I specifically really like the way they condensed these scenes. They arrive at Roshi's house and have the Nimbus moment, the Kamehameha moment, the puff-puff moment, and add in Yamcha scenes without the scene feeling bloated at all and maintaining a great flow. It was a sight to behold. Definitely my favorite scene in the movie. Random Stuff I Noticed:- When I was reading the manga I always thought Oolong was a kid but now from hearing his voice in this one and learning he was an adult at the time, it really makes a lot of the stuff he did worse. But I really love his voice so Even Steven.- Remember when Yamcha was cool? Yamcha was awesome in this movie and in the original Dragon Ball. I wish later Dragon Ball would treat him better.- I actually WAY prefer Colleen Clinkenbeard as Goku over his dub voice in the original series. She actually fits this character better than she does Luffy in my opinion. I wish they redubbed it with the voices from this movie instead because it's pretty much perfect. So all in all, if you want a nostalgic trip down memory lane then this movie is pretty fun. But all the filler material really weighs it down.
So, I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, And i didn't want to get carried away with too many reviews of the same series, but I felt like the reviews I read for this movie were a touch too critical, so I decided to offer my own two cents. STORY: The story for Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies (which, according to the subbed version I watched should have actually been called, Curse of the Rich Stones) appears to be an amalgamation of the very first Arc (or the Pilaf Arc) of the original Dragon Ball series and the 3rd Arc (Red Ribbon Army Arc), roughly focusing on episodes 33-41. Unfortunately, but not suprisingly, the story feels incredibly rushed since they tried to cram roughly 20 episodes worth of info into a 50 minute film. I feel like if they had maybe gone for a 90 minute length, they could have told the story much more efficiently. They do get credit in my books for maintaining a much more adult theme then the series. From the original Pilaf Arc we get the introductions to the main cast of characters, complete with most of the more memorable scenes from the original series, for example Bulma and Goku meeting after she hits him with her car, or Bulma hanging over a cliff peeing herself. From the Red Ribbon Army Arc we get the main plot which is an army forcing a small village to mine and search for Rich Stones in order for the King to feed his insatiable appetite (as opposed to the Dragon Balls that the RRA wanted), and the main casts efforts in helping one little girl to save her friends and families. They're are aspects that differ from the original stories they were inspired by, for example, the introduction of Master Roshi and the army that enslaves its village are completely different from the series, but that seems to be the Dragon Ball way when it comes to movies. ANIMATION: The Animation is right in line with the original series, with a couple above average moments, and no real faults. Granted it is from the mid 80's so it looks like it is about 30 years old. Also the character designs of the few new characters in this movie are a little too lame. SOUND: Personally Iv never been a fan of the original intro to Dragon Ball, or any intro aside from the English Dubbed Intro i grew up with in Canada, but the closing credits song is alright and the rest of the show is solid. CHARACTERS: The returning characters are all written true to form from the original series. The new characters are hit or miss. You get a good sence of feels from this movies version of Suno, however you don't really get an explanation of the new Antagonists background.
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