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  Daizenshuu EX - Guides - Movie Guide - DragonBall Movie # 4  

DragonBall Movie # 4 / 10th Anniversary Movie

"Saikyô e no Michi"
("The Path to Ultimate Strength")

"The Path to Power"


Basic Synopsis

Yet another retelling of the Dragon Ball story. Son Goku is a kid living all alone on Mount Pao-tzu. One day, after he catches a fish to eat, a girl in a car (being Bulma) almost hits him. He mistakes the car for a monster and throws it onto its side, and gets shot by Bulma in return. He thinks she's some kind of demon, but she ends up convincing him she's human, even though she doesn't have a tail. He invites her into his house since his dead grandpa always told him to be nice to a girl, and there she goes straight for his only keepsake. When he protests, she brings out two more "grandpas," and explains to him the legend of the Dragon Balls and Shenlong. She offers to let him feel her up to get him to come along, but when that doesn't work, she tells him it'll help him get stronger. He agrees, and off they go.

Later, in the forest, they are forced to stop because of a bull/ox in the road, who demands the girl. Goku ends up fighting the creature, which turns into a robot, and then a bat. Unfortunately, by then, his five minutes are up, and he turns back into Oolong, the pig. There's no time for apologies, though, because Yamcha attacks! He demands all the capsules and money they have, but not before Pu'er recognizes Oolong and yells at him for his perverted antics at Shapeshifting School. Yamcha fights Goku, and appears to have the upper hand, until Bulma wakes up. This puts him into a state of shock and he is forced to retreat with the help of Pu'er.

Bulma, Oolong, and Goku are driving northward towards the next Dragon Ball, only to discover a huge metal tower in the distance. (Yamcha and Pu'er, who have been following them, stay in a cave nearby to keep warm.) Soldiers come out and "welcome" them to Muscle Tower, and Goku takes them all head on. He manages to enter the tower, only to face Sergeant Metallic. He finishes him off quickly though, and discovers (to his shock) that Metallic was a robot.

White orders the remaining forces toward Goku, but he plows through them all, up into General White's room. White then activates the tower's deadliest creation -- Artificial Human #8! #8 nearly strangles Goku, but refuses to kill him when ordered. As a result, White threatens to kill the Android, but Goku intervenes and saves him. The two make quick friends, with #8 explaining that he doesn't believe in fighting or killing. Goku complains that his name is weird, so he calls him "Hat-chan" for short. This ends in a snowball fight between the two while the tied-up forces (including White) look on.

Some time later, while driving in Oolong's house-wagon, they almost run over (and then almost fall off a cliff because of) a sea turtle. He explains that he is quite lost, and needs help getting back to the sea. After they bring him there, he says he has a reward which he will bring back with him the next day. So, Oolong, Goku and Bulma spend the night on the beach. Goku wakes up early in the morning and tries to sleep in Bulma's lap, but freaks out when he removes her panties and discovers her lack of the male genetalia. That morning, the turtle comes back bearing his "reward" -- Kame-Sen'nin, the Turtle Hermit! He first tries to summon the Immortal Phoenix for them, but when that fails (it apparently died), he calls forth Kinto-Un, the somersault cloud. Goku is the only one of the bunch who can ride it, so it becomes his.

While Goku's off on Kinto-Un, Bulma discovers that the old man has a Dragon Ball. He offers to let go of it only if she shows him her underwear. She agrees, not knowing she doesn't have any on, and both Roshi and Oolong are pleasantly surprised. She is horrified after she goes in to change and finds her underwear still inside. There is no time for an explanation, though, because General Blue attacks with the entire Red Ribbon Fleet. When the situation seems just about hopeless, Kame-Sen'nin decides to do something about it: he's going to use his legendary Kamehame-Ha (Yamcha is amazed that he'll actually get to see it). He decimates the fleet, but the forces keep on attacking. So Goku does the same! But just as their situation is looking up, Goku is knocked out by a missile, Blue washes up on shore, and Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong, Pu'er, and Kame-Sen'nin are all captured!

The five are carted off to prison near Red Ribbon Headquarters. The next morning, Goku awakens to the bleeping of the Dragon Radar. Finding himself alone, he sets out in search of the other six Dragon Balls (Blue, having missed the one on Goku's person, is executed for his failure). Goku fights through legions upon legions of Red Ribbon soldiers, while in the meantime, the others try to make their escape (Oolong tries to turn into a key, and repeatedly fails; nobody thinks to ask Pu'er, who actually graduated shapeshifting school).

Eventually, the others make it out, to discover Goku (carrying a pile of tanks) there to greet them. As Goku fights his way into Red Ribbon HQ, Red and Black retreat with their six Dragon Balls to their last refuge. But when Black hears about Red's true wish -- to become taller, Black shoots him and swears to make the Black Ribbon Army ruler of the world. He brings out the Army's greatest weapon, a giant robot! The robot's beam weapon destroys a huge swath of territory in its path, and nearly kills Goku, until he manages to knock it on its stomach and detonate the cannon. Black and his robot aren't out yet, though, and Goku is eventually knocked out. Luckily, none other than 8-chan comes to the rescue! He puts everything he has into keeping the robot from killing the boy, but it's pretty clear that he's no match. Parts start to fly off of him, and he lands in a crumpled heap, next to Goku.

Goku comes to, only to see the Artificial Human die. Saddened and enraged by #8's sacrifice, a new world of power suddenly awakens within him, as the ground shakes with his tortured screams. Black makes the mistake of egging him on, and Goku finishes him off with a gigantic Kamehame-Ha. After the dust settles, the Dragon Shenlong is summoned forth, but Bulma and Yamcha realize they don't need their wishes anymore. Goku offers his own wish instead: to revive #8 and remove the bomb inside him.

Goku smiles as the end credits roll!

[ synopsis written by Julian Grybowski ]


Release / General Information

Japanese Premiere Date: 4 March 1996
Japanese Premiere Location: Toei Anime Fair
Japanese Availability: VHS
Domestic Release Date: 29 April 2003
Domestic Availability: VHS (English Dubbed, Uncut)
VHS (English Dubbed, Edited)
DVD (English Dubbed, Edited)
DVD (Hybrid English / Japanese, Uncut)
Opening Theme : [no opening theme]
Ending Theme: "DAN DAN Kokoro Hikarete 'ku"
("Bit by Bit, You're Charming my Heart")
[ Lyrics ]


Main Staff

Production: Tan Takaiwa
Yoshio Anzai (Shueisha)
Tsutomu Tomari
Original Story: Akira Toriyama (Published by Shueisha/Jump Comics)
Planning: Kôzô Morishita
Seiichi Hiruta
Kenji Shimizu (Fuji TV)
Kôji Kaneda (Fuji TV)
Weekly Shônen Jump
Production Supervisor: Ryûichi Sugimoto
Screenplay: Aya Matsui
Background Music: Akito Tokunaga
Art Design: Tadanao Tsuji
Art Director: Jun'ichi Azuma
Animation Director: Tadayoshi Yamamuro
Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi


Principal Cast

Son Goku: Masako Nozawa Stephanie Nadolny
Bulma: Hiromi Tsuru Tiffany Vollmer
Oolong: Naoki Tatsuta Bradford Jackson
Yamcha: Tôru Furuya Christopher Sabat
Pu'er: Naoko Watanabe Monika Antonelli
Sea Turtle: Daisuke Gôri Christopher Sabat
Kame-Sen'nin: Kin'ya Aikawa Mike McFarland
Commander Red: Kenji Utsumi Josh Martin
Adjutant Black: Masaharu Satô Christopher Sabat
General Blue: Bin Shimada Sonny Strait
General White: Hirohiko Kakegawa Kyle Hebert
Sergeant Metallic: Hisao Egawa Chris Rager
Artificial Human #8 (8-chan): Shôzô Îzuka Mike McFarland
Shenlong: Kenji Utsumi Christopher Sabat
Narration: Jôji Yanami Brice Armstrong