Friday, March 1, 2013
Sub Thoughts - Dragon Ball: Episode 1: Bulma and Son Goku
Original Japanese Airdate: February 26, 1986
Major Cast: Son Goku (Masako Nozawa), Bulma (Hiromi Tsuru), Pilaf (Shigeru Chiba), Shu (Tessho Genda), Mai (Eiko Yamada), Narrator (Joji Yanami)
Synopsis: In West City, Bulma learns from a book in her home of the existence of the Dragon Balls, said to grant any single wish if all seven are gathered. She builds a Dragon Radar that picks up the electric waves emitted by the Dragon Balls, and sets out on a journey to find them. Midway through her journey, she meets the peculiar tailed boy Son Goku! Bulma recognizes that Goku’s keepsake from his adoptive grandfather is the Four-Star Ball, one of the Dragon Balls. She invites him on her journey to collect the Dragon Balls, and the two set out for an adventure!!
Thoughts: For starters, yes, there'll probably be small discrepancies in my Japanese episode title listing compared to what you may see on sites like Kanzenshuu. That's simply because for my own ease, I'm getting these titles directly from what's said as I watch the DVDs.
Anyway, the first thing I took note of was something I already knew sort-of, how much less the narrator talks. Now I love Brice Armstrong's narrations, but there's a few times where I really wish he wouldn't have been required to keep going on and on about the scene and just let me watch it. Fortunately, Jouji Yanami was under no such requirement, and eloquently delivers what needs to be said, then stops.
I can't make any differences comments on the music obviously since the dub used the same track but I will say that it compliments the scenes much better than the goofier scene tracks for Falcouner's score, so I'm glad they never went that route for this in the first place.
Masako Nozawa's Kid Goku definitely sounds different than what I've heard more of her adult Goku for Z, it definitely fits more, and actually, I can't tell it's a woman at all. It sounds like a real little boy to me, though exaggerated a bit to good effect.
Hiromi Tsuru's Bulma sounds about what I would imagine a Japanese Bulma sounding like, especially when she's supposed to sound coy and 'seductive' which obviously fails on Goku. She definitely handles that side better than Vollmer did I think.