Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock is a short story written and illustrated by Naho Oishi, later adapted into an OVA by Toei Animation based on the Dragon Ball franchise. It is a sequel to Dragon Ball Z: Bardock The Father of Goku, based on the What If? scenarios of Dragon Ball Heroes.
It's revealed that Bardock survived being killed by Frieza and was somehow whisked away to the distant past. There, he finds himself in primitive Planet Plant (future Planet Vegeta), where the locals are being attacked by the forces of Frieza's ancestor, Lord Chilled. Bardock befriends one of the locals, and will defend them out of revenge against Frieza.
The story is mostly known for Bardock obtaining the Super Saiyan transformation.
The special is not considered canonical in any way to the series, being merely a What If? story. Despite this, Bardock's appearance in Dragon Ball Fighter Z takes a lot of cues from this special, and Dragon Ball Xenoverse take a few ideas from this side story. The special was released internationally with the Xbox 360 game Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect.
This work contains examples of:
- Adaptational Heroism: Bardock was a cold-hearted Saiyan in Father of Goku, whose Establishing Character Moment was destroying a planet alongside his comrades as a giant ape, and having a feud against Frieza was out of revenge for the death of his comrades. By all intents, an Anti-Hero. Here, he protects the locals from Chilled, and even befriends one of them.
- Adapted Out: Mira and Towa from Dragon Ball Online saved Bardock from being killed off, yet they aren't adapted in this What If? story.
- Advertised Extra: This is one of the few animated specials where despite appearing on the advertising, Goku doesn't appear at all, not even as a cameo.
- Alien Blood: The Meatians, and several of Freeza's henchmen have purple blood. This isn't uncommon though, as a lot of aliens and monsters in Dragon Ball have purple blood.
- Canon Immigrant: The space police mentioned by Chilled's lieutenant would be identified in the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Arc as the Galactic Police Force, a precursor to the Galactic Patrol.
- Continuity Snarl: The special attempts to be a What If? that explains where the Super Saiyan legend came from. Unfortunately...
- This directly conflicts with the pre-Dragon Ball Super canon of the series, where it was mentioned that the first Super Saiyan became one when transforming into a Great Ape. You could argue Bardock was never the first Super Saiyan in history to begin with, since Episode of Bardock clearly takes place on Planet Plant, before the Saiyans left their home planet Sadala. It certainly makes it easier to just accept it as fanservice and nothing more.
- Likewise, Chilled tells his men on his dying moments to beware of the golden warrior, which supposedly sparks the legend. Thing is, Vegeta never knew what the Super Saiyan looked like during the Namek Saga, and he even thought he became a Super Saiyan despite never changing his appearance.
- Forgot About His Powers: Bardock's psychic powers from the last special simply vanished, and are never mentioned.
- Golden Super Mode: Bardock turns Super Saiyan over his weakness against Chilled. He then proceeds to beat the living crap out of him.
- Revenge by Proxy: Bardock takes all of his anger on Chilled due to him being like Frieza. Can't blame him, Chilled is basically Frieza, but smaller and wearing a leotard.
- Remember the New Guy?: Apparently there was a third race of aliens living on the planet Plant.
- Riddle for the Ages: How Bardock went back in time is anyone's guess. In video games, he was saved by members of the Demon Realm and brainwashed, but that's two different continuities.
- Space Age Stasis: Whatever time in the past this is set, one Frieza's ancestors has a similar space empire and the Galactic Patrol are implied to exist.
- Space Police: Chilled pretends to be one to the Meatians.
- Tranquil Fury: After he transforms into a Super Saiyan, Bardock manages to catch his temper and proceeds to deliberately, calmly, and mercilessly beat Chilled half to death and blast him into orbit. Chilled does not survive the encounter.
- Unstoppable Rage: Bardock gets pissed after a little native boy on Planet Plant was nearly killed by Chilled. It's this that kickstarts his Super Saiyan transformation.
- Walking the Earth: After defeating Chilled, Bardock is seen walking through the wasteland.