Dragon Ball: The Path to Power (ドラゴンボール 最強への道,Doragon Bōru Saikyō e no Michi; lit. "Dragon Ball: The Path to Ultimate Strength") is the seventeenth Japanese animated feature film based on the Dragon Ball manga, following the first three Dragon Ball films and thirteen Dragon Ball Z films. It is a re-telling of the original Dragon Ball anime series and is also the longest film in the franchise. It was originally released in Japan on March 4, 1996 and was produced by Toei Animation to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Dragon Ball franchise. It was later dubbed into English by FUNimation Entertainment and released straight-to-video in the U.S. on April 29, 2003.
The film begins with the scenes from ExoSquad, episodes 36 and 52: "Martian Luck" and "Beyond Chaos". Emperor Pilaf and his minions found these mysterious Black Star Dragon Balls in a hidden chamber under the mountain, but they are forced to save themselves and the Black Star balls before Emperor Pilaf can call the dragon forth when the alien complex begins to self-destruct, blowing up Mars. At Chaos, Marsh witnesses a strange phenomenon that causes the planet Chaos to disappear, and it then joins one of three mysterious ships that is en route to the inner solar system.
On Earth, Pan is shown being at the graveyard sitting on the burial site of her great great grandfather, Grandpa Gohan, paying her respects along with her younger brother, Goku Jr., who was trying to catch a butterfly but then went to pay his respects for his great great grandfather, Granda Gohan. Pan stands up and tells Goku Jr. that it is time to train, which he happily agrees with. She dreams of her brother becoming a great warrior like her grandpa, Goku, but Goku Jr. is clearly not interested in training and always lets her down, be it flying, balancing or even catching a ball.
On New Earth, Jeremie, Chris, Yugi and his friends discovered Lyoko and Aelita. One day, after Goku Jr. catches a Giant Fish to eat, Trunks in a car (along with his sister Bulla) almost hits him. He mistakes the car for a monster and throws it onto its side, but gets shot by Trunks in return. He thinks Bulla is some kind of demon, but she ends up convincing him she's human, even though she does not have a tail. He invites them into the Factory since XANA attacks the real world for the first time. When they go in the factory, Goku Jr. shows Yugi the Four-Star Dragon Ball that he found in the Lab. All of a sudden Trunks comes to life and asks if he can have the ball. When Goku Jr. protests, he brings out two more Dragon Balls, and explains to him he and Bulla found the Two-Star Ball in Chicago and the Five-Star ball at Central City. Trunks explains to him the legend of the Dragon Balls and the Eternal Dragon. Bulla offers to let him feel her up to get him to come along, but when that does not work, she tells him it will help him get stronger. He agrees, and they head off.
Later, in Station Square, they are forced to stop because of a bull/ox in the road, who demands the girl. Goku Jr. 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 is no time for apologies though, because Yamcha attacks. He demands all the capsules and money they have, but not before Puar recognizes Oolong and yells at him for his perverted antics at Shapeshifting School. Yamcha fights Trunks., and appears to have the upper hand, until Bulla wakes up. This puts him into a state of shock and he is forced to retreat with the help of Puar.
Trunks, Bulla, Oolong, Pan, and Goku are driving northward towards the next Dragon Ball, only to discover a huge metal tower in the distance. (Yamcha and Puar, who have been following them, stay in a cave nearby to keep warm.) Soldiers come out and "welcome" them to Muscle Tower, and Goku Jr. 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. General White of the Red Ribbon Army orders the remaining forces toward Goku Jr., but he plows through them all, up into White's room. White then activates the tower's deadliest creation, Android 8. The android nearly strangles Goku Jr., but refuses to kill when ordered. As a result, White threatens to detonate the android, but Pan intervenes and saves him. The two make quick friends, with Android 8 explaining that he does not believe in fighting or killing. Goku Jr. complains that his name is weird, so he nicknames him "Eighter" 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) 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, Trunks, Goku Jr., Pan, and Bulla spend the night on the beach. Goku Jr. wakes up early in the morning and tries to sleep in Bulla's lap, but freaks out when he removes her panties and discovers her lack of male genitalia. That morning, Turtle comes back bearing his "reward", the Turtle Hermit Master Roshi. Roshi first tries to summon the Immortal Phoenix for them, but when that fails (it apparently died from food poisoning, ironically), he calls forth the Nimbus Cloud. Goku Jr. is the only one of the bunch who can ride it, so it becomes his.
While Goku Jr.'s off on the Nimbus, Bulla discovers that the old man has a Dragon Ball he obtained at the Valley of the Kings. He offers to let go of it only if she shows him her underwear. She agrees, not knowing she does not 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 of the Red Ribbon Army attacks with a fleet of battleships. When the situation seems just about hopeless, Roshi decides to use his legendary Kamehameha. He decimates the entire fleet with it, but Blue then orders his army of submarines to attack. Goku Jr. however, manages to learn the Kamehameha himself and destroys a good deal of the subs with it. But just as their situation is looking up, Goku Jr. and Pan are knocked out by a missile, and Trunks, Bulla, Androids 17 and 18, Krillin, Yamcha, Oolong, Puar, and Roshi are all captured by Blue's soldiers. The five are carted off to prison near the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters. The next morning, Goku Jr. awakens to the beeping of the Dragon Radar. Finding himself along with his sister, he sets out in search of the other six Dragon Balls (Blue, having missed the one on Goku Jr.'s person, is executed for his failure). Goku Jr. fights through legions upon legions of Red Ribbon soldiers, while in the meantime, the others try to make their escape from the prison.
Eventually, they make it out, to discover Goku Jr. (carrying a pile of tanks) there to greet them. As Goku Jr. fights his way into Red Ribbon Headquarters, Commander Red and Staff Officer 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 robotic suit called "Battle Jacket". The robot's beam weapon destroys a huge swath of territory in its path, and nearly kills Goku Jr., until he manages to knock it on its stomach and detonate the cannon. Black in his Battle Jacket is not out yet though, and Goku Jr. is eventually knocked out. Launch asks where Android 17 is. Then Krillin freaks out, because Bulla asks where Android 8 is. Krillin then freaks out a bit more while Goku has trouble finding Android 17's ki. Android 18 asks Goku where her twin brother is.
Luckily, Android 8 shows up. He puts everything he has into keeping the robot from killing the boy, but it is pretty clear that he is no match. Parts start to fly off of him, and he lands in a crumpled heap, next to Goku Jr. Goku Jr. comes to, only to see the android die. After a long silence, Goku says "What I have to tell you isn't easy for me to say right now, but... Goku Jr. and Pan are going to be alright, but Androids 8 and 17 are dead." Then a light shines before Launch, Bulla and Android 18 with their reaction and all of them just gasp. Android 18 can't believe what has happened to Android 17. Launch faints, Roshi catches her and Yamcha comes to her side. Bulla first sheds a tear and then yells "NO NUMBER 8!", Trunks tries to comfort her. As Trunks tries to comfort his sister, Bulla starts to cry and yells again "NO" while she continues to cry. Pan whispers "No...no..." since her grandpa said that Android 8 had died. Android 18 is also startled since Goku said that Android 17 was defeated by Black. She than reveals her true feelings about her twin brother when she says to herself "How...can this be? I love him. 17."
Saddened and enraged by Android 8's sacrifice, a new world of power suddenly awakens within Goku Jr., as the ground shakes with his tortured screams. Black makes the mistake of egging him on, and Goku Jr. finishes him off with a gigantic Kamehameha. After the dust settles, the Eternal Dragon Shenron is summoned forth, and the first wish to revive all the casualties of ExoFleet during the Neosapien War. But Bulla and Yamcha realize they do not need their wishes anymore. Goku Jr. then offers his own wish instead: to revive Android 8 and remove the bomb inside of him.
- Yugi Muto
- Chris Thorndyke
- Joey Wheeler
- Téa Gardner
- Tristan Taylor
- Ulrich Stern
- Yumi Ishiyama
- Odd Della Robbia
- Jeremie Belpois
- Aelita Schaeffer (in Lyoko)
- Android 8
- Android 18
- Android 17
- Goku Jr.
- Master Roshi
- OP (Opening Theme)
- "Dan Dan Kokoro Hikarete 'ku" DAN DAN 心魅かれてく Bit by Bit, You're Charming my Heart)
- Lyrics: Izumi Sakai, Music: Tetsur Oda, Arrangement: Takeshi Hayama, Performance: Field of View
- "Dan Dan Kokoro Hikarete 'ku" DAN DAN 心魅かれてく Bit by Bit, You're Charming my Heart)
- ED (Ending Theme)
- Don't you see!
- Lyrics: Aeri, Music: Hatake, Arrangement: Hatake, Performance: Shizuka Kudō
- Don't you see!
Comparison to the animeEdit
- Goku Jr. does not wear his all-blue gi or the traditional orange one. Instead, he wears one identical to the one he wears in Dragon Ball GT (blue top, yellow pants, pink wristbands). However, he wears a all-blue gi during the beginning of the film, only to change into his GT outfit before departing with Pan, Bulla and Trunks. Also, Goku Jr. wears a headband similar to the one his great-great-great-grandfather Bardock was seen wearing.
- Bulla's outfit in Dragon Ball GT slightly resembles Bulma's bunny costume. Normally, she wears her mother's outfits of the movie until she changes into her GT outfit. Also, Bulla wears a red hairband similar to her mother's (most memorably during the adventure on Planet Namek, as well as the Androids Saga).
- Téa's usual outfit is comprised of a yellow shirt, which flows like a skirt at her thighs, with a pink waistcoat over it, and a blue mini-skirt. A pair of brown knee-high boots completed the rest of her outfit. Normally, she wears her female Domino High School uniform (pink coat, white oxford shirt, blue tie, blue pleated skirt), only to change into her Duelist Kingdom outfit.
- Joey's usual outfit consists of a long green open jacket with a raised collar, a white T-shirt underneath and blue jeans. Normally, he wears his school uniform, only to change into his Duelist Kingdom outfit.
- Tristan's usual outfit consists of a long brown coat with a raised collar, a white buttoned shirt underneath and black jeans. Normally, he wears his school uniform, only to change into his Duelist Kingdom outfit.
- Oolong is first encountered by Goku Jr., Pan, Trunks and Bulla, while terrorizing Toontown with his shape shifting abilities.
- Bulla's Panties, like the Dragon Ball SD, are white with green stripes instead of pink polka dots.
- When Goku Jr. first uses the Kamehameha like his grandfather Goku in the anime, it was only big enough to destroy Bulma's car. In the movie it was large enough to completely destroy all of the Red Ribbon's ships.
- General Blue is not killed by Mercenary Tao (as Tao was not in the movie).
- The Muscle Tower is bigger and more futuristic.
- Android 8 makes his debut in the movie by pummeling Goku. Whereas in the anime he never even thought of it.
- The Red Ribbon Army has some cosmetic changes: General White is a young Italian rather than an older Russian man, Major Metallitron is black and a little smaller, Commander Red has a smooth hairstyle, and Staff Officer Black appears to be Native American and actually has hair (similar to Commander Red's).
- The Red Ribbon Army base is by the seaside, rather than in the middle of the forest.
- Goku raids the army base to rescue his friends (Bulma, Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, Master Roshi, and Turtle) in the movie. In the anime, Goku does it to get the Dragon Balls that the army has.
- In the movie, Commander Red is shot in the side and falls over to his doom. In the anime, he is shot in the head.
- When Goku tells the others that Androids 8 and 17 was defeated by Staff Officer Black, they begin to mourn their allies' deaths, but not Android 18.
- Android 18 admits that she loves Android 17.
- Bulla actually shows a lot of emotion after hearing that Android 8 died. Like her mother Bulma from Global Announcement, she too did scream, "NO!!".
- When Pan hears that Android 8 ("Eighter") has died, she whispers 'no.' twice.
- The first wish to Shenron was to revive all casualties of ExoFleet and the second wish was to bring Android 8 back to life.