Goku Meets His Kid Self in This Forgotten Dragon Ball Z Special

May 05, 2023
In the 1992 OVA Goku's World, the Z Fighters traveled through time, reliving previous Dragon Ball conflicts and then quizzing viewers on them.
Goku Meets His Kid Self in This Forgotten Dragon Ball Z Special

Dragon Ball has become a cultural phenomenon since its debut in the 1980s. It has spawned numerous anime adaptations, movies, and video games. However, some of its content has been lost to time, including the direct-to-VHS animated special Dragon Ball Z: Gather Together! Goku's World was released in 1992. This obscure special featured the Z Fighters traveling through time and witnessing various Dragon Ball battles, all while quizzing the viewer on their knowledge of the series.

Adult Goku encounters Kid Goku, nearly destroying the Space-Time Continuum

Goku, Gohan, Krillin, Trunks, and Bulma journey through time in Trunks' time machine to witness various moments from Dragon Ball history. Their first stop is at the beginning of the series, where Goku encounters his child-self. However, Trunks intervenes, warning that touching his past self would create a devastating time paradox. This contradicts Dragon Ball's pre-established time travel rules, which state that altering the past creates alternate timelines. Nonetheless, the group continues their journey, making their way to the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament to watch the climactic battle between Goku and Jackie Chun. This fight is reanimated in Dragon Ball's contemporary style of the time, serving as one of the special highlights. As they watch the fight, Krillin reveals to the group that Jackie Chun is actually Master Roshi, a fact never revealed in the original story.

In Goku's World, the Heroes Summon the Audience to Answer Trivia Questions

As the special progress, the gang witnesses more battles, such as Master Roshi vs. King Piccolo, Goku vs. Vegeta, and the Z Fighters vs. Frieza. Intermittently, Goku, Krillin, and Master Roshi call the viewer up and ask them trivia questions about the events unfolding. The viewer can answer these questions using the Terebikko, an interactive remote shaped like a telephone that plugs directly into the viewer's VHS player. However, getting a right or wrong answer has little effect on the story's progression. The special also features some rewarding moments for longtime fans, such as Gohan meeting Demon King Piccolo for the first time and being surprised at his mentor's former villainy. The special ends with a tease of Perfect Cell, who was the current villain at the time of its release, and the Z Fighters briefly battling the android. When Cell uses the Afterimage Technique, the viewer can "help" Goku by answering which is the real Cell, although once more, this has no effect on the special events.

Does Goku's World Have Any Meaning?

Dragon Ball Z: Gather Together! Goku's World may have been a marketing ploy to sell Terebikkos and promote the anime's latest arc. It has never been released in another format since its initial VHS release, making it a difficult-to-find piece of Dragon Ball content. Despite this, the special offers an interesting look at what could have been had Dragon Ball started in the '90s. It also provides a unique opportunity to examine the series' legacy, as Dragon Ball's original run was defined by constantly moving forward and rarely looking back. Dragon Ball Super, the series' latest anime adaptation, frequently invokes nostalgia for its predecessors. However, most franchise retrospectives only happen after the story has ended. In contrast, Dragon Ball Z: Gather Together! Goku's World offers a unique opportunity to look back at the series' history while it was still ongoing, providing fans with a meaningful endeavor.

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