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Anime / Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon

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Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon (known in Japan as Doragon Bōru Zetto: Ryū-Ken Bakuhatsu!! Gokū ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru; lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Gokū Can't Do It, Who Will") is the 13th Dragon Ball Z movie. It was originally released in Japan on July 15, 1995 between episodes 270 and 271, with it premiering at the 1995 the Toei Anime Fair. It was dubbed in English by Funimation Entertainment and was released in the United States on September 12, 2006.

Set after the events of the final battle with Majin Buu, the film focuses on the efforts of an evil magician, Hoi, to release the deadly monster Hirudegarn onto the Earth, forcing Goku and the Z Fighters to enlist the aid of a warrior named Tapion, who may be the only one capable of defeating the monster.

This work contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: It's stated not to be as hard to fight Hirudegarn if you can rid yourself of your fear of it, but this is difficult given the approach Hirudegarn takes, not to mention its massive size.
    • Intense emotions also drain its energy, greatly weakening it. Goku manages to use it to his advantage by taunting Hirudegarn constantly throughout their battle, and is able to weaken it enough to destroy it.
    • Cutting off its tail (only possible with the blessed sword Tapion carries) causes it to lose some of its Intangible Man ability.
  • Aliens are Bastards: Hoi is a huge bastard.
  • Badass Boast: Two of them, both directed towards Hirudegarn.
    Vegeta: You're gonna regret this, freak. All the way to the grave!
    SSJ3 Goku: Fight me, if you're ready to die.
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  • Badass Pacifist: Tapion drops the pacifist part when he starts appearing in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi games. (He doesn't seem to be able to even fly on his own in the movie.)
  • Bash Brothers: With his little brother Minosha. It's less 'bash' and more 'Guile Hero', though.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Hoi. While he claims to be the "master" of Hirudegarn, he ultimately has no control over the beast, as shown when Hirudegarn crushes him underfoot.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Until Goku is able to figure out a more permanent solution, Tapion's the only means of keeping Hirudegarn under control, and the first few fights last only until he's able to do something about it.
  • But Now I Must Go: Bulma gives Tapion the Time Machine to go back to his time at the end of the movie.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Despite taking place after the Buu Saga, this film's events are never brought up elsewhere, aside Trunks' sword which appears in Dragon Ball GT. It's even ignored in Dragon Ball Super, as Bulma had no idea how her future self built the time machine, and Kid Trunks views his older future self as a surrogate big brother.
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    • The movie has some minor holes and an odd character list due to having been released during the Buu Arc. The nature of that arc means that the movie is highly prescient and surprisingly accurate.
  • Captain Ersatz: Tapion is probably is this to the likes of Link and Crono.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: When it seems as though Hirudegarn has been destroyed by SSJ3 Gotenks, it reveals that Hirudegarn is not only not dead but actually transforms into a incredibly stronger and quicker form.
  • Cool Big Bro: Trunks would very much like him to be this, and Tapion seems to warm up to it towards the end of the movie.
  • Cool Sword: Tapion's, which is given to (main timeline) Trunks at the end of the movie, and he'd go on to use it in the opening for GT. May or may not be the sword that future Trunks used, depending on if Tapion came to Earth or not in that timeline. For however much it's worth, Dragon Ball Xenoverse labels Future Trunks's sword as Tapion's.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Judging from how the movie is advertised, you'd be forgiven if you thought Goku would be a central character, but in reality, it's Trunks and Tapion that get the most screen time.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Tapion opens up more once Trunks befriends him.
  • Deus ex Machina: Hirudegan is defeated when Goku whips out a new mega-powerful technique that was never mentioned before.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Goku vs Hirudegarn, full stop. The other characters also count but Goku stands out since he quite literally used a specialised ki-charged punch to kill the Eldritch Abomination.
  • Doomed by Canon: Tapion's home planet, Konats is in the South Galaxy. Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan says that Broly destroyed most of the planet's in this galaxy so Konats is probably gone.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Hirudegarn is less a character than a force of nature.
  • Enemy Within: Seems to give Tapion nightmares.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Hoi is a wicked mage who wants to resurrect a monster and conquer the universe.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Hirudegarn. He's basically an evil kaiju in Dragon Ball Z, with all the characterization one would expect of a rampaging monster, which is to say, none.
  • God of Evil: Hirudegarn is a deity of apocalyptic destruction given life through his animated idol.
  • Expy:
    • Tapion seems to look a lot like Crono from Chrono Trigger which makes sense considering that Akira Toriyama designed the characters in that game also. In-universe, he plays the role of both Future Trunks and the time machine that brought Cell to the past - Bulma's softer moments with him cement this.
    • Hoi is one of Babidi. In the American version, Bulma even lampshades this by saying how his whiskers are a dead giveaway that he's up to no good.
    • Hildegarn is essentially a Dragon Quest Big Bad cranked Up to Eleven.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Tapion is legitimately a hero and the savior of his race, but there's a very good reason his first action on being released is to chew everyone out for it, then get as far away from the city as is feasible.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Hirudegarn is a weird case of this. The two halves are either separate, or on opposite sides of a mobile portal. It's like a really weird form of Detachment Combat, though we only see either the lower half or the combined form.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Tapion suffers from this due to Hirudegarn inside him, which is also the main reason he would want to self-terminate.
  • The Insomniac: Hildegarn will escape if Tapion sleeps outside of suspended animation. Though he's shown to have terrible nightmares when he does actually sleep, it seems to be linked to Hildegarn.
  • Intangible Man: Unless you cut off its tail, Hirudegarn can turn into mist to avoid attacks. Worse, he doesn't seem to give off any Ki, so it's difficult to get a bead on him.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Tapion and Trunks is this in a nutshell.
  • The Juggernaut: Hirudegarn's second form. The entire cast fights him, and even Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks and Ultimate Gohan, whom are stronger than Goku (though the film doesn't acknowledge it) can't stop him. Aside from exploiting his Achilles' Heel, he's unstoppable.
  • Kaiju: Wrath of the Dragon is basically what happens when the animators get drunk and agree to "wouldn't it be cool if Goku gets to fight Godzilla?" (There's even a couple of shots of the military attempting to stop him, to no avail.)
  • Karmic Death: Hoi is killed by the monster he unleashed.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Whether or not it was an accident, after being freed from Tapion three times, Hirudegarn proceeds to crush its "master" Hoi. No one cares since the guy killed Tapion's brother, tricked the Z-Fighters into helping him, and his actions killed a majority of people in West City.
  • Leitmotif: Tapion's theme song is actually important to the plot, no less.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Hirudegarn's Intangible Man trick means he can strike from unexpected angles, a bit like Janenba did in the previous movie. Unlike Janenba, he strikes from completely unexpected angles and hits like a meteorite - the effect is that he's extremely good at knocking out the post-Buu Z Warriors with a couple of hits, even knocking Gotenks apart at one point.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Hoi.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Hoi's race harnessed Hirudegarn to attempt to exterminate all sapient life except themselves out of pure racism.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Unusually for the franchise, because it's set some unspecified time after the Buu Arc it doesn't conflict with the (pre-Super) timeline at all.
  • Older Than They Look: Of the suspended animation variety - Tapion was born 1000 years and change ago.
  • One-Winged Angel: Hirudegarn shedding its outer layer like a monstrous cicada to reveal an even more powerful, nightmarishly insectoid form beneath.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In a franchise that frequently relies on this trope, Hildegarn stands out for his sheer power and size as well as the fact that he has actual, exploitable weaknesses that aren't weaksauce.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As Tapion has nothing to look forward to except the likelihood of Hildegarn fully emerging, and everything he ever knew 1000 years back in the past. He's a bit happier at the end of the movie.
  • Pointy Ears: Tapion's race, the Konatsians, all share this trait.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Vegeta spends what little screentime he gets on one of these. Subverted when it's followed by a Curb-Stomp Battle in Hirudegarn's favor.
    Vegeta: HEY! You, over here! I was enjoying my first day off in over a month... until some flat-footed mutated behemoth stepped on my house! You're gonna regret this, you freak... ALL THE WAY TO THE GRAVE!!!
  • The Quiet One: Tapion at first.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Up to Eleven. Hirudegarn, the evil monster, is cut in half and sealed inside of two separate people-shaped cans, Tapion and Minotia, who are themselves sealed inside impenetrable music boxes and banished to the opposite sides of the universe. It still isn't enough, proving these tropes are doomed from the start.
  • Shout-Out: Hirudegarn can transform from this to this.
  • Snark Knight: Videl as the Great Saiyaman 2, especially in contrast to Gohan's genuine but over-the-top enthusiasm. Her total indifference and constant snark when dealing with Hoi's Wounded Gazelle Gambit makes the scene increasingly hilarious, with her mocking him when he's pretending he'll jump from a skyscraper, flying while in annoyed poses and "attempting" to fix the music box (read: glancing at it for two seconds) before simply tossing it away like garbage.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Spelling doesn't change, but the Japanese version pronounces Tapion's name with a short "a" sound while the Funimation dub pronounces it with a long "a" sound.
    • Hirudegarn or Hildegarn?
    • Minotia, Minosha, Minoshia, Minosza…
  • Super Mode: Hirudegarn second, winged mode doesn't make him any stronger, though it lets him fly.
  • Theme Naming: Tapion's name is apparently a play on the word tapioca, which fits with the food-naming theme.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Any attack that is used on Hirudegarn is simply shrugged and makes the monster even angrier. The only thing that puts him down is being impaled with an attack that is meant to kill stronger opponents by disintegrating them down to absolutely nothing.
  • Voodoo Shark: The end credits imply that Future Trunks got his sword from his timeline's version of Tapion... except Tapion's sword is indestructible, and Future Trunks's sword isn't, and there's no possible way Future Trunks could have survived against Hirudegarn.note 
  • Weak, but Skilled: Hoi is not strong enough to take on any of the main characters, but he does have ninja skills which gives him a slight edge.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: Hoi. More of a 'priest', though, in the classic D&D sense.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Downplayed. After his arrival on Earth, Hoi tries to jump out of a building while knowing that Gohan and Videl (as the two Great Saiyamen) would come to his rescue, enabling him to trick the Z-Fighters into helping him release Tapion. Prior to this, he apparently went on TV to request help more conventionally.

Alternative Title(s): Wrath Of The Dragon


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