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Anime / Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest

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Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest (Japanese title: Kono Yo de Ichiban Tsuyoi Yatsu, "The World's Strongest Guy") is the second Dragon Ball Z movie. It was originally released in Japan on March 10, 1990, between episodes 39 and 40, with it premiering at the 1990 Toei Cartoon Festival (along with movies from the Akuma-kun and Sally the Witch series).

Two evil scientists, Doctor Uiro (spelled "Wheelo" or "Willow" in translations) and Doctor Kochin, were trapped in an icy mountain range fifty years ago. Kochin somehow managed to escape and gathered the Dragon Balls, ordering Shen Long to reveal their sunken laboratory once again, so that they might continue their plot to take over the world. However, the accident left Uiro without a body, and he plots to steal the one belonging to the strongest man in the world.

This work contains examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Wheelo could not care less about his minions. When Goku beats his three biomechanical warriors, Wheelo is actually happy because it means Goku is as strong as Wheelo desires. Later, when Wheelo finally detaches from the wall to fight the heroes in his mech armor, he casually causes Kochin to fall down the chasm underneath the control room without even a second thought.
  • Beam-O-War: Goku and Wheelo have two of these. The first time, Goku uses a four-fold Kaioken to best Wheelo's exosuit beam. The second time is remarkably brief, as Goku's Spirit Bomb rips straight through Wheelo's final attack and destroys him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gohan and Krillin show up just in time to save Goku from being completely frozen by one of the bio warriors.
  • Brain in a Jar: Doctor Wheelo. Later in the film does the jar itself start moving.
  • Brain Theft: The plot of the movie is that Doctor Wheelo is trying to replace Master Roshi's brain with his own, so that he can have the body of the world's strongest warrior and escape his status of being a Brain in a Jar. He changes his target to Goku when he learns he's the actual world's strongest warrior. It's not quite clear how he's expected to fit inside Goku's cranium though, since his brain is huge.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Piccolo, briefly.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Kochin mocks Gohan over him getting upset at the brainwashed Piccolo against Wheelo’s demands he stop. The energy shockwaves that Gohan produces in his subsequent rage shatters the mind control device on Piccolo’s head and sets a chain of events that leads to both villains dying.
  • Butt-Monkey: Krillin laments the fact that he's the only warrior not to get a solid hit in on Uiro/Wheelo during the closing moments of the fight. This begins a Running Gag that continues in later DBZ movies whenever he, Gohan, and Piccolo triple team an enemy, where the same thing continues to happen to him.
  • Combat Tentacles: One of the bio-warriors has these, and he can channel electricity through them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Goku easily defeats all of the bio-warriors. Dr. Wheelo delivers these himself to the rest of the Z-Warriors.
  • Cyborg: Dr. Wheelo. The only organic thing about him is his brain.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kochin's Bio-Men can't take Master Roshi to Wheelo's fortress by force, so they take Bulma hostage to get him to comply.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Until Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' came along, this was the only Dragon Ball Z film to feature Roshi as one of the main characters, letting him fight against Dr. Wheelo and his minions alongside Goku and the others.
  • Dub Name Change: The English releases of this film tend to translate Doctor Uiro's name as "Wheelo". While the AB Groupe and Pioneer dubs pronounce it "Willow," the Funimation dub goes with "Wheelo."
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Once Roshi claims Wheelo was right about him being the world's greatest and Bulma jokingly refutes that as the "world's greatest pervert," the film ends on one of these.
  • Edible Theme Naming: After "uiro", a gelatinous sweet from Akira Toriyama's home prefecture of Aichi, Nagoya. All his mooks are also named after foods from the area (Misokattsun -> miso-katsu, Ebifuryā -> ebi-furai, Kishīme -> kishimen soba).
  • Evil Is Hammy: Kochin fully embraces all the hamminess that comes with being a Mad Scientist.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Wheelo is, despite having advanced technology, running on information from 50 years ago when he was frozen. As a result, he believes Master Roshi is still the strongest fighter in the world when he’s now a senior citizen and has no idea who Goku is until Bulma tells him.
  • Genius Bruiser: Dr. Wheelo's goal is to have the world's mightiest body, since he believes himself to have the world's greatest intellect. It also creates the question of why he needs Goku's body when it's pretty obvious his giant body is stronger than all of the Z fighters combined, Goku included. The most probable reason was that he wanted to feel himself in a living body again.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Dr. Wheelo is the first of many of the movie villains. He's an evil scientist who wants to take over the world, just because. The Japanese version attempted to make it clear that this was out of spite for society deeming him mad.
  • Grand Theft Me: Dr. Wheelo wanted to steal the strongest body on Earth, which he initially believed was Muten Roshi's, but later learned it was Goku...because Bulma couldn't keep her mouth shut.
  • An Ice Person: One of the bio warriors is engineered to be able to fire freezing blasts. It's effective enough to put Goku on the ropes.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In the original, Bulma's reaction to seein Wheelo is to shout "Oh no!" because "no" in Japanese means brain. Kochin bluntly tell her it was a bad joke.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Wheelo and Kochin again.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Wheelo and Kochin are both doctors, and are both very evil.
  • My Brain Is Big: Although its not explained why, Doctor Wheelo's brain is gigantic. Even without the exosuit, it dwarfs half the cast in sheer size. It’s possibly the result of whatever Wheelo has done to keep his brain alive without his body.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Goku knows the Kaio-ken, but Piccolo is still alive. For this to fit into the timeline of the series, Goku would have to be back from Namek, despite being unable to transform and without Vegeta in sight. It appears to take place in an Alternate Continuity where Piccolo survived his encounter with Nappa.
  • Old Master: For the first time since the early days of Dragon Ball, Master Roshi gets a surprisingly good showing in this film. Despite taking on all three of Kochin's Bio-Warriors at once, Roshi has no problem keeping pace with them in hand-to-hand combat, only running into trouble once they begin using their special abilities.
  • Robotic Reveal: Doctor Kochin.
  • Rubber Man: The bio-warrior Misokattsun is essentially a huge balloon that's exceedingly difficult to pop. Goku has to unleash Kaio-ken to blast a hole in him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Being buried by an avalanche in the Tsurumai-Tsuburi mountains rendered Wheelo this. Kochin eventually busted him out with the Dragon Balls.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The bulk of the movie takes place in the Tsurumai-Tsuburi mountains, an arctic region of the Dragon World that's so cold that not even the sun can melt the ice there.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Uiro/Willow/Wheelo.
  • Take Over the World: Dr Wheelo's grand scheme. He abandons this plan during his Villainous Breakdown in favor of blowing up the planet.
  • They Called Me Mad!: In the dub, Wheelo had often been called a "lunatic" by his colleges, which he hated.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Piccolo's sacrifice to protect Gohan against Nappa retroactively becomes this in the context of this movie as Gohan flashes back to that moment during his imagination montage. In the anime and manga proper, Piccolo's death forces the surviving Z-Fighters to go to Planet Namek for the Namekian Dragon Balls as Earth's Dragon Balls have been deactivated. This movie doesn't bother explaining how he's still living after Nappa's attack.
  • You're Insane!: Bulma says this verbatim in response to Kochin ham it up while gleefully explaining Wheelo's plans.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Ball Z The Worlds Strongest Guy