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YMMV / Dragon Ball Z: Bardock The Father of Goku

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  • Awesome Music: Solid State Scouter, which is used as Bardock's Japanese theme.
  • Broken Base:
    • The reason for this is not because of the story itself, it's more Bardock and Goku's history. In the TV special, Bardock displays his traditional Saiyan personality, but eventually regrets not able to hold his young son Kakarot (at least in the English dub). In Dragon Ball Minus, Bardock does in fact loves his sons, and sends Goku to Earth out of concern for his safety before Frieza kills the Saiyans. However, people finally do get to see Goku's mother Gine, who'd never gotten a mention until Minus. However, the fact that the special is more popular Origin Story of the two that it's often adapted in video games than Minus version.
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    • With the revelation that Dragon Ball Super: Broly adapts the Minus version, fans were not happy about it, considering Goku's Origin Story makes him similar to Superman. This is at least somewhat mediated by the movie itself, which makes Bardock's last stand canonical.
  • Complete Monster: Frieza. See Monster.Dragon Ball.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Despite not having that much screentime nor background, Seripa/Fasha has quite a fan following, due to being the only named full-blooded female Saiyan in the franchise for two decades. She's featured in a lot of fanart and fanfiction, at the time there was speculation she was Goku's mother, and even managed to be popular enough to be featured as a playable fighter in the 3rd Budokai Tenkaichi game with an original moveset.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of people tend to disregard Bardock's power levels in this special, as not only they break the theme of Bardock being a nobody in the grand scheme of things, it also makes him stronger than Nappa at the time of the Saiyan saga. The fact those random numbers add nothing to the overall story is a reason to ignore them.
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  • Heartwarming Moments: A mix of heartwarming and tearjerking, Bardock and Goku's meeting during Bardock's vision. Goku (in the English dub anyway; the whole scene is silent in Japanese) tells him it's not to late for him to prove himself different from Frieza. Not only is this moment significant in that for the first time Bardock is reaching out to his son, but Goku in turn cares about his father enough to try redeem him.
    Goku: You know who I am, don't you Bardock?
    Bardock: Yes, you're my son.
    Goku: It's not too late father. To be different, (turns to face Bardock, then morphs into Frieza) than him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: As satisfying as Bardock's final vision of Goku confronting Frieza is, it's hard not to imagine how he'd react to seeing the two of them working together to defeat Jiren (which also leads to Frieza coming back from the dead) in the final episode of Dragon Ball Super.
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  • Jerkass Woobie: Bardock, heavy emphasis on the Jerkass and the Woobie. He's a Saiyan warrior who fought and exterminated entire planets for Frieza. And he receives a vision of his home planet and entire race being wiped out by Frieza, tries to warn them of it, and nobody believes him. Following this, he learns that Frieza had his team killed, despite having taken on dangerous missions that even Frieza's elites were too afraid to take. Before dying, he finds that Toolo gave him the power see the future just to so he would see his race being destroyed and have no power to prevent as revenge for the death of his own race.
  • Macekre: Aside from Bardock's voice, the rest of the dub is one of the strongest examples in the franchise. The English dub is infamous for its heavy alterations to the story and characters. It's bad enough that the rumor that Funimation didn't have access to the Japanese version, only the Latin American Spanish dub, seems credible.
  • Moment of Awesome: Bardock against Dodoria's elites. Bardock, unlike most Saiyans, is very clever. He doesn't charge them mindlessly, instead he manipulates them, uses misdirection and otherwise avoids a straight fight. He manages to deal out a Curb-Stomp Battle even though this same group managed to defeat his whole team effortlessly. Even though he loses directly to Dodoria, this scene illustrates that he's just like Goku; he knows how to fight clever when he's pushed.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Thanks to his visions, Bardock finds himself on Namek and sees his son all grown up but facing away. As he calls and reaches out to him, Goku remains silent and slowly turns around, revealing a look of utter contempt (framed more as stoicism in the dub) before transforming into a smiling Frieza.
  • Superlative Dubbing: A character-specific example. In the original Japanese and Latin American Spanish version, Bardock shares the same voice with Goku. The voice acting for Bardock in the English dubs scrap that and casted Krillin's voice actor, however, and gave him a more unique voice that fit his character. The choice is actually quite popular, even among haters of the English dub.
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