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Anime / Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge

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Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (known as Doragon Bōru Zetto: Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō in Japan; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: The Incredible Mightiest vs. Mightiest") is the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie, originally released in Japan on July 20, 1991, between episodes 99 and 100. It was translated in America by Funimation Entertainment in 2002, and released on VHS and DVD on January 22. The movie was re-released with its sequel, Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, in November 2008 alongside the remastered Season 7 of the anime series.

After destroying Frieza on Namek, Goku returns to a peaceful life on Earth. When informed his brother has been killed by a Saiyan, Cooler is hell bent on killing Goku, and making him pay for his brother's disgrace. Goku has to find the power within him to defeat a warrior even more powerful than the horrible Frieza.

This work contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Like the Turles Crusher Corps from The Tree of Might, the backstories of Cooler's Armored Squadron aren't revealed in the film itself — instead, Daizenshu 6 does the explaining, which reveals that Cooler's subordinate Salza is a member of the same race as the Ginyu Force's Jeicenote , explaining their similar appearances. Dore is explained to be a wrestler from a Lethal Lava Land planet who won 300 matches straight and killed all his opponents, while Neiz is an evolved amphibian from a planet covered with water.
  • Always Someone Better: Cooler says that his brother was always trying to best him, but Cooler himself is basically Frieza +1. In addition to being much more powerful, he also possesses many abilities that Frieza notably lacked; he appears to be able to sense ki, he can control himself in his true form all the time, and he's higher in the hierarchy of the empire.
  • Avenging the Villain: The whole of premise of the movie is this. However, Cooler does this to restore honor to his family, and for that reason only. He and Frieza would probably have fought it out themselves sooner or later.
  • Badass Boast: While it's not as mighty as his speech when he throws his Supernova, Cooler gets a good one before Super Saiyan Goku starts whaling on him:
    Cooler (in response to Goku chewing him out for killing innocent people): What are you talking about? I kill when I want. The weak die and the strong survive!
  • Big Damn Heroes: As usual for the movies, Piccolo makes his entrance rescuing Gohan from a tight spot.
    Doore: (blasted in the back) Who did that?!
    Piccolo: That would be me.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Cooler has a particularly egotistical one as his Supernova appears to kill Goku:
    Cooler: HAHAHAHA! Yes! It is I who decides who lives and who dies! All living beings are mere playthings to me! No one can comprehend my power and cunning!
  • Breaking Old Trends: This movie was the first in which Shenron isn't summoned. It wouldn't be until Fusion Reborn that Shenron would show up again.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Cooler is implied to feel this way about blowing up/conquering planets.
    Cooler: Frieza's the one in charge of this quadrant. Let him clean up his own mess! I've got seven planets to destroy by the end of the day! Why should I allow myself to get behind schedule just to cover his mistake?
  • Cain and Abel: Cooler has no love for his brother. In fact, if Goku hadn't killed him, Cooler would've gladly done the job for him. note  The only reason he even goes to Earth to avenge Frieza in the first place was because, in his opinion, Frieza disgraced their family name by losing to Goku and felt it was up to him to redeem it.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Cooler describes himself as more cruel than his brother. Seeing his actually less monstrous personality though, he probably just considers his power alone to be more terrifying than all of his brother's sadism.
  • Chair Reveal: Cooler is introduced this way as he monologues.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Yajirobe gives Gohan a bagful of Senzu beans, Korin is shown to have saved one for himself selfishly, only for Yajirobe to catch it and toss it to Gohan, who puts it in his belt. When Gohan reaches the injured Goku and is about to hand the bag of senzus to him, Salza blows it up. Suddenly Gohan remembers he still has one bean in his belt and feeds it to Goku when Krillin lashes out at Salza and distracts him.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: Cooler is similar to General Blue in this regard. Not only is he much stronger than his father and brother, but he also has more self control: he doesn't execute henchmen for nothing, doesn't go berserk when it looks like he's outmatched, doesn't underestimate opponents, and can control his power enough to be in his final form all the time (contrast Frieza, who had his first three forms specifically to limit his power, because he couldn't properly control and sustain it). He could easily overthrow them, yet he doesn't.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After Goku manages to blast him off of Earth, Cooler considers just blowing up the sun and letting Earth freeze to death instead before realizing he's headed right for it. Once again, this is in contrast to his brother. Goku notes that if Frieza wanted to blow up the planet and let Goku suffocate, he couldn't really have done anything to stop him, yet Frieza prolongs the destruction of the planet to test Goku's abilities.
  • Continuity Snarl: Not as much as the others, but still. While the majority of the film's elements suggest it takes place sometime after Future Trunks returns to his home time and before Androids 19 and 20 arrivenote , the presence of Icarusnote , and the cast bearing their mid-Namek Saga appearancesnote  make this one hard to reconcile with the timeline.
  • Convenient Decoy Cat: When the heroes are hiding because Goku is too injured to fight anyone, Oolong nearly gets crushed by a boulder that Krillin blows up using a ki attack, and his energy is sensed by Cooler’s squadron’s scouters. Fortunately, a huge Pterodactyl flies past them, making them believed the scouters sensed said beast’s Power Level.
  • Cool Mask: Outside of the first few seconds of transforming into it, Cooler's Fourth Form always has one.
  • Create Your Own Hero: In the end, as Goku sends him straight into the sun, Cooler remembers that when Planet Vegeta blew up, he saw baby Goku's pod, but ignored it since it was Frieza's fault. His reaction when he realizes this?
    Cooler (seconds before he's incinerated by the sun): I don't believe it... I could have killed him. I let him go! I let him go!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Goku doesn't stand a chance against the transformed Cooler in his base form, and even at Kaio-Ken X 20 Cooler flies through his Kamehameha. Once Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, however, Super Saiyan Goku does a No-Sell on Cooler's punch and even a point-blank energy blast only causes some superficial wounds, while Goku needs all of two blows to make Cooler keel over in pain. Once Cooler uses the Supernova, however, he very nearly kills Goku (and the Earth) and leaves him extremely exhausted afterwards, even after Goku counters with his own Kamehameha, to the point where Goku gets knocked out of Super Saiyan and is completely helpless when an injured Salza comes back to finish him off. This, along with the fact that Cooler didn't actually seem to suffer any noticeable damage from Goku's blows, suggests the gap in power between the two isn't as great as what was implied by Goku tanking the gut punch.
  • Digital Destruction: The 2008 Remastered Edition’s US music track is not properly synced/edited the way it was in the original VHS and DVD release. This includes the music volume NOT decreasing when Goku and Cooler fight underwater.
  • Dragon Their Feet: After Cooler's defeat, just as Goku and friends are about to relax, Salza emerges from the rubble, beat up seven ways to hell but still very much a threat. Fortunately for Goku, Piccolo manages to kill him before he can attack the weakened heroes.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The Armored Squadron member Neiz is an evolved amphibian from a water planet who uses electrical attacks. When Piccolo reflects his own technique back on him, the attack completely fries him.
  • Expy Coexistence: Cooler is obviously based on Frieza, and his Quirky Mini Boss Squad is inspired by the Ginyu Force. Then again, he is Frieza's brother, so..
  • Evil Is Bigger: Cooler in his final form is much bigger than Goku.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Cooler. Like his brother, but in a different way. Frieza was smug and calm when he was winning and absolutely berserk when outmatched. Cooler is the opposite; after he beats down a Kaio-ken empowered Goku, he yells a dramatic speech and starts cackling.
  • Evil Overlord: Like his brother Frieza, Cooler is one. Cooler seems to outrank Frieza, however.
  • Family Honor: Cooler's motivation for attacking Goku. Cooler has no real love for Frieza, he only cares that Frieza has pretty much shamed their family for letting Goku kill him.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Cooler's fighters only wear one shoulder pad (the left).
  • Forgot About His Powers: Goku doesn't transform into a Super Saiyan until the last quarter of the movie and only out of rage like when he first transformed, ignoring the rule that Saiyans can transform at will after achieving it for the first time. As the movie was made before this rule was established in the manga, the movie makers assumed Goku can only transform into a Super Saiyan out of rage like with Pseudo Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Armored Squad first shows up and Dore is interrogating Gohan, Salza can be seen in the background chowing down on the stew that was just cooking over the campfire.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Goku doesn't transform into a Super Saiyan until nearly the very end. Slightly justified by the Super Saiyan transformation still being very new at this point, and the writers thinking he still needed to be triggered into the transformation rather than being able to control it at will.
  • Honor Before Reason: Cooler stands to gain nothing from attacking planet Earth, especially because the Trade Empire is in decline, but does it anyway to restore his family's honor.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Cooler gets tossed into the sun, thanks to Goku's Kamehameha pushing his own Supernova back at him. Going by the sequel, which unlike the first film doesn't fit the Canon timeline, he survived.
  • Irony: For all Cooler's criticism regarding Frieza's inability to destroy all the Saiyans, the one Saiyan Cooler decided to let go turned out to be the one who would come back to defeat them both.
  • It's Personal: Averted here, where Cooler just has beef with Goku because the latter besmirched his family's honor by killing Frieza. His defeat does escalate to this come the sequel though.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • After beating Goku senseless, Cooler laughs as he mourns over an injured bird.
    • Earlier before that, he blasts an injured Piccolo in front of Goku just to spite him.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: When Goku takes a direct hit from his Cooler's Eye Beams and falls into a river, he orders his Armored Squadron to hunt him down. Even after they raze an entire landscape with Beam Spams, Cooler isn't convinced that Goku isn't dead and orders them to search every last inch of the area until they find him.
  • Mind over Matter: Just like his father and brother, Cooler possesses telekinetic powers. He shatters the ground with his mind while bragging about his strength.
  • Mugging the Monster: The Armored Squadron see Piccolo as little more than a nuisance when he shows up. He hands them their respective asses in short order.
    Salza: "Who are you?!" *gets kicked in the face*
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cooler had the chance to kill Goku long before he even made it to Earth. He didn't, and he and his brother lived to regret it. Once he realizes it, he doesn't take it well.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Cooler gives a brutal one to Goku upon transforming into his Fourth Form.
  • Non-Serial Movie: One of the few that can almost be slotted into the canon timeline. In theory, the movie can be slotted in during the three years while the characters are training for the Androids. There are a few oddities that don't make sense (Gohan having a tail and his bowl cut from Namek, Goku not going Super Saiyan right away and using great rage to go Super Saiyan), but these are relatively minor. This isn't the case for the sequel, which doesn't fit in the narrative at all.
  • No-Sell: Cooler is on both ends of this.
    • On the dealing end, once he transforms into his Fourth Form, Cooler can easily take anything Goku throws at him, including a Kaio-ken empowered Kamehameha.
    • On the receiving end, Cooler can't touch Goku once he transforms into a Super Saiyan - Cooler gets no reaction from Goku after punching the latter in the abdomen, and even a point-blank energy blast only causes superficial wounds. Downplayed in that Cooler's Supernova attack is powerful enough to make Super Saiyan Goku have an incredible amount of trouble with it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Throughout the movie, Cooler comments that Frieza was 'too soft'. As he's blasted into the sun by Goku, he realizes that he was the one to let Goku go - and by not destroying Goku's space pod all those years ago, he's no better than his brother.
  • Offhand Backhand: Piccolo uses a variant of this to take down Dore. He's fighting Neiz, and casually fires off a blast that proves to be too much for Dore to handle. No long charging period, no pitched battle; just a single blast.
  • Oh, Crap!: Cooler's reaction to getting blasted into the sun.
    Cooler: It's the star of this solar system. Maybe I'll blow that up instead and let them all freeze to death in darkness. Wait a second - I'm heading right for it!
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Cooler comes very close to destroying Earth, and then considers blowing up the sun shortly therafter.
  • One-Winged Angel: Cooler starts the battle in the form his brother ended his in, and reveals he has an extra transformation that Frieza didn't have.
  • Pride Before a Fall: See the Blasphemous Boast above? Cooler says that literally seconds before his defeat.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Once Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan, Cooler responds by punching Goku in the gut. It doesn't work, much to Cooler's dismay.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Cooler dons this quite often.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Downplayed with the Armored Squadron. They have a posing scene like the Ginyu Force, but they don't go overboard with it, and in general come across as a more credible threat than the Ginyu Force. Shonen Jump #25 reveals that even the weakest of the trio is stronger than a fully-powered Captain Ginyu.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Were it not for the fact Frieza's father King Cold was able to keep his existence hidden, it would have been fairly ridiculous that Frieza had a brother who was stronger than him.
  • Remembered Too Late: Mere seconds before he hits the sun, Cooler curses Goku, wondering how he escaped the destruction of Planets Vegeta... then he realizes exactly why, mere seconds before he gets incinerated by the sun.
  • Retractable Appendages: Neiz can retract his head into his body like a turtle.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Cooler's father is a King, thus making Cooler a Prince who steps into the role of the film's Big Bad.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The song Revelation by American Pearl (the one that plays when Cooler tosses the Supernova attack and Goku forced it back to him in the end in the Funimation dub) is spelled as “Relevation” in the end credits.
  • Running Gag: Just as all the members of the Ginyu Force were killed by Vegeta, all the members of the Armored Squadron are killed by Piccolo.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Gohan somehow still has his tail, even though it was permanently removed by Vegeta back in the Saiyan Saga and has not reappeared in any of the movies after this one. It's only there so Cooler's mooks can identity him as a Saiyan and easily take him out.
    • The final act of the movie seems to operate on the idea that Cooler and Frieza transform to increase their power beyond normal. Not true. Frieza's separate forms were to keep him from exhausting himself constantly because his true self is just so powerful. It makes no sense that Cooler could just discover another "final form".
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Cooler. Especially in the Latin dub.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Cooler is faced sometime during the three-year wait for the Androids, and he is much more formidable than his brother, the previous Big Bad. He may very well be more powerful than Androids 19 and 20, the villains immediately after him, but he is a clear cut below the likes of 17 and 18. It's worth noting that 19 and 20 were considered very underwhelming by the protagonists as well.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Cooler's Supernova, which he can charge much faster than Frieza. It's also the only thing that gives him a remote chance to defeat Goku as a Super Saiyan.
  • Shoot the Dog: Cooler nearly kills Gohan and forces Goku to take the attack for him, taking him out of commission for most of the film.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Cooler, Coola, Coora, Koola? Let's just chalk this one up to personal preference.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Cooler has this as part of the design of his Fourth Form.
  • The Stoic: For most of the film, Cooler tends to be calm and somewhat expressionless. until he transforms into his Fourth Form, fighting him with a Psychotic Smirk and Evil Laugh, and suffering ironic Sanity Slippage.
  • Theme Naming: A borderline case with Cooler. While its generally accepted that he's named to fit with the cold-theme naming of the rest of his clan, Cooler's name actually derives from the Japanese expression "Meshi demo kura" (meaning "Let's chow down",) a phrase from director Kozo Morishita's hometown of Shizuoka. This also explains why Cooler's name is written in Japanese as "クウラ" ("Coola", short vowel) rather than "クーラ", as Morishita felt calling him "Cooler" outright would have been too direct as well. Given the Japanese Rs and Ls situation as well as the fact that his name can be (and was) written in English dubs as a cold-based word and/or appliance like Frieza's is practically a case of Incidental Multilingual Wordplay.
  • This Cannot Be!: Cooler gets one before being hit by his own Supernova, courtesy of Goku pushing it back with a Kamehameha.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Cooler does this twice with Goku. First when he was a child and let him go, believing he was not a threat because he was Just a Kid. The second time was in the present where he considered him a weakling who only got lucky against his brother. Realizing his mistake both times added to his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Undignified Death: None of the Armored Squadron members get a particularly dignified death. Neiz is killed by his own attack, Dore is killed almost nonchalantly by Piccolo's Tsuibidan (Pursuing Bullet) a move Piccolo hasn't used since Dragonball that Goku turned against him easily, and Salza is thrown backwards by Goku powering up and doesn't emerge from the rubble until the very end, when he's shot in the back.
  • Villain Respect: Cooler isn't quite as heavy on the racism as Frieza (although he does call Goku a monkey at one point) and actually tells Goku that he can see why Frieza lost to him. Averted in the sequel, where Cooler ramps up both the Fantastic Racism and the lack of respect for his foes.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cooler has one in his final moments when he realizes that he could have - and should have, from his own perspective - killed Goku back when he saw his space pod escaping Planet Vegeta's destruction.
    Cooler: I don't believe it... I could have killed him. I let him go...! I let him go!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: This film marks the final movie appearance of Icarus the Haiya Dragon. He is shown to survive being blasted by Salza, and while he never again appears in any of the movies he does get a token cameo in the filler episode where Goku and Piccolo learn to drive.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Armored Squad have no problems with targeting Gohan. In fact, he seems to be their favorite target.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Coolers Revenge


Cooler shows he's serious.

Cooler in his final form about to ruin everyone's day.

How well does it match the trope?

4.73 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilOverlord

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