The Garlic Jr. Arc is an anime-only Filler Arc in Dragon Ball Z set between the Namek and Android Arcs. It also serves as a sequel to the movie Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone.
As Goku's friends and family wait for word on his return, a star drifts into position near the Earth and opens a rift in space allowing Garlic Jr. to break free from his imprisonment. He invades Kami's lookout and traps Kami and Mr. Popo before using the Black Mist Water to spread over Earth which will turn all who touch into raving vampire-like beings bent only on chaos. Krillin, Gohan, Krillin's then girlfriend Maron (not to be confused with Marron
, his future daughter) and Piccolo are the only ones unaffected and set out to stop Garlic Jr and restore the Earth. A task easier said than done as Garlic Jr. has immortality and is next to impossible to kill.
The Garlic Jr. Arc includes the following tropes:
- A Day in the Spotlight: One for Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo, as well as for Kami and Mr. Popo.
- Bishōnen: Vinegar of the Spice Boys.
- Brainless Beauty: Maron, Krillin's girlfriend.
- Canon Discontinuity: This arc treats the events of the Non-Serial Movie Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone as if they actually happened. This introduces a number of Continuity Snarls as those events conflict heavily with the anime's adaptation of the Saiyan Saga. Thankfully, the Garlic Jr. arc is never referred to or mentioned again (save for Maron in Dragon Ball Super).
- Complete Immortality: The heroes learn the hard way that Garlic Jr. has this: Gohan outright plows through him, and fires a Masenko at him to finish him off...but Garlic Jr. just shrugs it off and even heals the wound.
- Determinator: Kami and Popo who have to go through a lot before managing to administer the sacred water and cure those affected by the Black Water Mist.
- Deus Exit Machina:
- This arc was set before Goku returned to Earth, ergo, though mentioned he doesn't show up. Otherwise, much of the plot would be resolved far too quickly, now that Goku can turn into a Super Saiyan.
- Vegeta is not on Earth during the entire arc and is instead looking for Goku. While he is not a Super Saiyan yet, he is still much stronger than even Piccolo is and the plot would end just as quickly.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Kami does it to the former guardians after Popo and he succeed into spreading the Sacred Water to Earth.
- Faux Affably Evil: Garlic Jr., and to an extent, Vinegar of the Spice Boys. Especially in the English dub.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Garlic Jr. is once more knocked into the Dead Zone after he opens it in blind rage in order to kill the heroes. This time, with no way to escape as the planet that freed him is destroyed by Gohan.
- Jerkass: For some odd reason, the former guardians hamper Kami and Popo's efforts to stop the Black Water Mist.
- Mr. Exposition: Mr. Popo assumes this role to tell the viewers who might not have seen Dead Zone or remember it, to give a recap on who Garlic Jr. was, his history and motivations and why he's appeared on Kami's Lookout.
- Not Brainwashed: Piccolo seems to have been converted into a vampire and attacks Gohan and Krillin, but he was just pretending to get close to Garlic Jr. and free Kami and Mr. Popo. Krillin, likewise, does this once Piccolo gets close to him, and reveals his plan. Bonus points for Piccolo correctly noting that Garlic Jr's obsession with revenge will give him the chance to steal the bottles Kami and Mr. Popo were sealed in.
- Off-Model: There are a few close-up shots where Krillin (sans shirt) looks enormously muscular, or at least having a tiny head.
- Our Demons Are Different: Garlic Jr., and the Spice Boys.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Who the Black Water Mist affects. They gain fangs and glowing eyes and do as Garlic Jr commands.
- No-Sell: Piccolo seems to have fallen victim to the Black Water Mist and turned into a vampire like everyone else. ...Until it's revealed he's faking it to get close to where Kami is imprisoned and free him.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Spice Boys: Spice, Vinegar, Salt and Mustard.
- Race Against the Clock: The effects of the Black Water Mist become permanent after a day, so Gohan, Krillin, Kami and Mr. Popo have that long to stop Garlic Jr., and reverse it.
- Sequel Episode: Or arc in this case, to the Dead Zone movie.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once the Sacred Water is released into the seven winds of the Earth, Garlic Jr. loses it and opens the portal to the Dead Zone again to swallow Piccolo, Krillin, Kami, Mr. Popo and Gohan.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: One is shown after Garlic Jr.'s final defeat: The Dragon Ball Gang resume life at the Kame House, Gohan gets back to studying under his mother's (strict) supervision, Krillin gets a Cool Car and continues dating Maron, and Piccolo resumes training again. Curiously, this isn't the last episode of the arc.
- Worf Had the Flu: In the latter half of the fight, Piccolo is hampered as Kami is getting hurt by the former Kami and their connection brings pain to Piccolo.
- Written-In Absence: Goku, who hasn't returned to Earth yet. In fact, the arc's sideplot focuses on Vegeta trying to discover his whereabouts in outer space (naturally, by getting into more fights in the process) so that he can find out how to become a Super Saiyan.