Posts Tagged ‘Nimbus’

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Episode 3 – The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi

The third episode continues the riveting plot of the lost turtle, whom Goku and Bulma agree to help back to the sea. The strange tangent pays off, with a Dragon Ball at the end of the journey. However, while the little side-quest seems straightforward, the show’s strangeness rears its head again.

On the way to the sea, the trio encounter a giant soldier bear with an Austrian accent that wants to eat the poor turtle. The first combat sequence of the show happens quickly, as Goku dodges sword slashes and then bops the bear in the nose, making blood spurt out and knocking the ursine foe unconscious.

Upon reaching the sea, the turtle floats off to bring Goku back a gift for helping him. He returns with Master Roshi, a “turtle hermit” (a term that isn’t explained, but seems to be referencing the turtle shell Roshi wears on his back).

The old man, dressed in a garish shirt with letters randomly placed on it and reflective sunglasses, offers Goku his flying nimbus. The cloud allows those who are pure of heart to ride upon it, which Goku does for five minutes of the episode.

The most surprising sequence comes when Bulma realizes that Roshi is wearing a Dragon Ball around his neck. In order to pry it from his grasp, she offers to show him her underwear. While the manga explicitly shows Goku removing Bulma’s underwear the night before, the anime doesn’t.

This leads to a surprise for Roshi and the viewer when Bulma flashes the old man (multiple times). It’s not until the duo part ways with Roshi and the turtle and return home that Bulma realizes she wasn’t wearing underwear (because Goku removed them in the dark). She pulls out a submachine gun and peppers Goku with bullets, all of which harmlessly bounce off him.

The constant sexualization strikes me as odd, given that by all accounts Dragon Ball seems like a show for children. Later parts of the franchise run on youth-oriented networks, so I can only assume that the sexualization gets dialed way back later. This could explain why most Americans know Goku as an adult and not the monkey child first introduced in the series.

Emperor Pilaf (the blue farting guy) and his pals Shu (the ninja dog) and Mai (the female soldier) show up again. They are too late to get Roshi’s Dragon Ball, which he has already given to Bulma. The names are food references, of course. Shumai is a kind of dumpling. Pilaf is a rice dish.

In this episode, Goku eats: Nothing, though the turtle is understandably afraid when the bear suggests he is going to chow down on it.

Notable differences from the manga: Missing: Emperor Pilaf, Shu, Mai. Present: Bulma’s bare ass.