Monday, January 25, 2016

Carol (2015)

Rating: 3.5/4 Stars

Directed by: Todd Haynes
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, and Kyle Chandler.
Released: November 20th, 2015

Oscar Nominations: Best Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, and Costume Design. 

When attending this film I was apprehensive to sit for two hours to watch a lesbian love story because quite frankly I could careless about a lesbian drama love story. It has nothing to being against lesbians but since I am attracted to men it is quite difficult to watch a film featuring two women falling in love and witnessing all that nakedness and find it appealing. The end result that force me to head on to the theaters and observe this film is because of Cate Blanchett. Ms. Blanchett is one of the best Actresses currently in Hollywood and no matter what the film is about, if she is featured in the movie then it has to be a captivating film. My encounter with Cate Blanchett began with the Queen Elizabeth's films and she has grown to this magnificent actress since that occasion

While the film is focused on Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), the main narrator is Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara). We see these lovely women at a table in the lounge of the Ritz Hotel. At first there is no dialogue because we are distracted by this random man who heads to the bar to buy a drink. After he finishes his chit-chat with the bartender and snooping around, he sees Therese and interrupts the lovely couple. Automatically based on the clothes and the form of dialogue, the audience should be able to detect that this story takes place in the 1950s. The man who interrupts is one of Therese's colleagues, Jack, and wonders if Therese is heading to the party.

Clearly these two women were having a heavy conversation and Therese wanted to finish the discussion but Carol got up and said her goodbyes and touches Therese in the shoulder. I do not know about you or the audience but I felt  heartbroken and pain when I capture that scene and it leaves me to believe these women had a sad breakup and a passionate romance. It dawned on me that I may actually enjoy this film and for the most part I was thoroughly entertain. As Therese and her colleagues head to the party, she stares at the moving cars passes her by and immediately we are shifted back into a flashback as to how Therese and Carol met.

Therese Belivet is an aspiring photographer, who works at Frankenberg's department story during the Christmas season. She has a boyfriend, Richard, who wants to marry her and she's indifferent about the whole experience and it seems by their interaction that Therese is clueless with what she wants to do with her life since her photography career is nonexistent. Then one day on the job, she encounters this beautiful blonde woman whose mysterious and brings out this sexual aura  that draws Therese's attention. Her name is Carol and she wants to purchase a doll for her daughter and unfortunately it is sold out. Therese persuades Carol to buy a train set that can be shipped to her house and seals the deal. Whether on purpose or not, Carol left her gloves at the counter and as an act of kindness or wanting to get to know more about Carol, Therese sends Carol's gloves through the mail and the interaction begins.

As this relationship is slowly developing, we get an inside peek into Carol's life. She has a beautiful daughter, Rindy, who is the light of her world and rich husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler) who she is currently divorcing. It is fascinating to watch Carol relations with Harge because it is a deeply complicated matter. Homosexuality wasn't a normal household topic in the 1950s and my preconceived notions was that Carol was going to cheat on her husband, fall in love with Therese, and live happily ever after. That clearly didn't happen. The husband has known for years that she has had relations with other woman but in his mind it seems as though this type of "behavior" can be treated by medical experts and he still wants a happy family; at least for Rindy to grow up with both of her parents and he is keen on using Rindy as a threat to make Carol stay in this awful marriage.

I wished I had read the book before entering this film because the acting was superb in this film except for Rooney Mara's character. I do not know Carol and Therese's age and would like to know because based on their looks and their relationship it felt as though Carol could be Therese's mother. I disliked tremendously that Therese's behavior towards life, relationships, and sex was indifferent and says yes to everything without accepting the consequences which she admits during the film but I wished they had another actress to play this role. I highly doubt she is going to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress because it wasn't believable. But do you know who stole the show?... Cate Blanchett and Kyle Chandler. 

The fights that they had through the film was uncomfortable and realistic that I found myself closer to the edge of the seat captivated by this couples quarrels. Those scenes are what makes me regret that I failed to read the novel because I guarantee you it goes into depth about this marriage and how Carol wants to escape and yet still be a mother and have joint custody. In the end I do not believe Carol is not an Oscar worthy film and in light of that I will admit that Cate Blanchett is the light of the out tunnel for this film and her performance and would not be surprised if she wins the Oscar come February 28th. Now I need to see the rest of the nominees to prepare an accurate judgment. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Danish Girl (2015)

Rating: 3/4 Stars

Directed by: Tom Hooper
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, and Amber Heard.
Released: November 27th, 2015

Oscar Nominations: Best Actor, Production Design, and Costume Design

Won: Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander

Before I begin my review, I always love this time of year because it is the time for all the award seasons especially the Oscars. Every year I tend to watch about 50% of what is nominated and while I guess accurately on the different categories I don't pick the winner based on my opinion and for once I want to make different choices on who should really deserve the Oscar. 

When it comes to this film, I was fascinated about this topic and curious enough to see what this film is about and wondering how Eddie Redmayne was going to transform into a woman. I haven't seen "The Theory of Everything" so I am entering into this film blindly when it comes to his performance and not watching it filtered as an Oscar winner. The critics have praised this film especially for Redmayne and some believe he could be winner come Oscar night. I do not know about that yet but in all honesty this film was not about him it was about Alicia Vikander. I entered into this film blindly when it comes Lile Elbe / Einar Wegener and I highly suggest the audience to follow suit because most of this film is utterly fiction inspired by these famous individuals. 

We enter Copenhagen in the 1920s and my attention is pulled in as we witness the sea port and the richness of colors that stands out with all the iconic buildings and homes that make Copenhagen. Gerda and Einar Wegener (Alicia Vikander, Eddie Redmayne) who are wife and husband in this film are painters who both are struggling to succeed in the art world and in their personal lives. They have been married for 6 years and while they are painters clearly Einar is the bread winner whether it be because he is a man or is a better painter. Einar loves his wife and tries to help his wife in the art world and for the most part she is being turned down everywhere leaving little hope of success.

Ulla (Amber Heard) is a dancer and a close friend who is volunteering her services for Gerda paintings. One day Gerda gets turned down by this art-seller and comes home furious and wants to focus on her painting. Unfortunately Ulla cancels at the last minute and Gerda decides that her husband will be her muse to finish the painting. Einar wants to make his wife satisfied and have a strong sense of accomplishment so he reluctantly helps her by putting on some leggings and women shoes.

As the audience member, instantly we feel a stirring is happening with Einar and in an almost hypnotic state, Einar is having these mixed emotions between being afraid that he is enjoying wearing women's clothing and wanting to explore more, and curious why these emotions have brought forth into the surface. While Einar doesn't wear a dress we know that a major change is going to happen soon.

After that first moment we see this journey how Einar becomes Lile through the course of the two hours. I was impressed that Gerda wasn't shocked at first about Einar wearing women's clothes and even encouraged that lifestyle as a form of a "game" when in actual reality whether she was in denial or not these moments become the defining moment that Einar is no longer a man and more of a woman.

It is crazy to even imagine what Lile had to go through in the 1920s because that was never heard of for a man wanting to convert into a woman. If you had that discussion with your loved ones, friends, or your doctor most individuals would find these thoughts to be disturbing and signs of mental illness and we get a glimpse of that in this film. I believe this film is quite an important film in this day and age especially since the Transgender movement is brought to the forefront and still a heated discussion to talk about and I believe this film sheds light that transgenders are perfectly normal and how difficult it is to accept yourself, and for others to accept your authentic self.

I believe at the end of the day you have to live with yourself and if that is difficult to accept then you need to look in the mirror and figure out what is wrong or missing in your life and what you need to do in order to be happy and at peace. People need to careless about the opinions of others and accept yourself. If becoming a man or woman makes you feel your authentic self then you need to do you and get the help you need to get the surgeries and resources you need. 

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film I still had issues with certain aspects of the film. Eddie Redmayne performance was captivating especially the difficult moments where Lile is debating if she is going insane with these surgeries and transformations but there was no depth. I understand that this takes place in the 1920-1930s and not the 21st century but I was expecting better Lile. What I mean by a better Lile is I wanted Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hooper to make bold decisions and improve the characters appearance because she looks exactly the same from the beginning to the end. I didn't feel like I saw a woman finally meeting herself instead I felt like Redmayne was just touching the surface.

There are limits to what Eddie Redmayne can do in portraying a transgender but with all the technology, costumes, and make up we have in 2015 it could have made Lile's appearance more believable. Alicia Vikander's performance was out of this world. I was immediately drawn in by her superb acting and felt everything that she experienced as Gerda was real and honest. I saw a few weeks back Ex-Machina and was shocked that she didn't get nominated for that performance but I understand why she was chosen for this performance. The scenes that showcases that Gerda is losing the man that she loves or who she married and that ending almost brought me to tears and I can't say that I experience that with anyone else in this film. While this film was about Lile / Einar, I believe the main focus is Gerda and how she deals with her husband becoming a woman. I applaud Alicia Vikander and cannot wait to see her future performances. 

I wanted the director to make bold moves and after the movie was over, I started doing research and realized that there was plenty of facts that wasn't showcase in this film since this is adapted from a fictional book about Lile and Gerda but I believe the director played it safe and I noticed that through the film and the lack of depth with these characters. I believe if they incorporated more factual elements into the story it would have made the film flow better. Plus the moments that showcase Lile experiencing moments of what being a woman was about it was cut short to show any further progress like when she works in a Perfume store and I thought we were going to see her make new friends and working out in public but we instead we got a 2 minute clip of her spraying perfume to a customer and her saying goodbye to her fellow co-workers. If they went that route I would love to see her co-workers inviting her to dinner or hang out outside of work and her showcasing her true self as a woman.

At the moment I want Alicia Vikander to win the Oscar whether that happens or not I will not know until I see the other nominees films. Out of the other four I have only seen Jennifer Jason Leigh from the Hateful Eight and Alicia outweighs Hateful Eight. Would I highly recommend going to the theaters to watch this film? No but I believe it is important that everyone should watch this film and learn the struggles of what transgender people are currently going through and how it isn't a mental illness.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans


When I was a little boy I remember vividly watching the animate cartoon called Madeline. When my grandparents had to babysit me sometimes they were busy and put on cartoons and leave the channel for me and I remember watching this on Disney Channel in the morning/early afternoon and being mesmerized by the story. Typically Madeline is for "girls" but I have gotten to a point in my life that looking back on the programs that I watched shows should be universal especially when this particular character is the leading protagonist of this marvelous story.

If I remember correctly I do not know if I ever finished Madeline but it was always generalized that Madeline was French, who lived in an Orphanage with other girls, and Miss Clavel is a nun. I think on the universal level this is what everyone believes to be true! WELL YOU ARE WRONG! I started reading Madeline because I discover the complete collection at my library and since this was during the Holidays, I saw that it included a Christmas book and decided to check it out. I rated on Goodreads that I had previously read this book and that may be true but in all honesty I do not remember if I simply looked at the artwork or actually read Madeline.

In this first book alone you learn that Madeline has at least real Father because he is mentioned as "Papa", and because she has a father it means she does not live in an orphanage instead it is a boarding school. Doing some research, the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans who has written more Madeline books in the past decades, he mentions that Miss Clavel is not a nun instead she is a nurse and Madeline is American. I can understand the Miss Clavel mixed up but in this first book alone it is not implied that Madeline is American because there is no dialogue that illustrates that she is either French or American so we will see the next book.

This book alone deserves high ratings solely on the illustrations. Clearly this series isn't supposed to show much dialogue and instead illustrate and illuminate the beauty of Paris by showcasing famous places like Notre Dame, Opera House, Jardin du Luxembourg, and other iconic locations that give Paris its beauty and charm. I was in Paris over a year ago and these drawings brought wonderful memories of my experience and I cherished the line in the story where the girls are walking in the rain at Notre Dame and I experience a similar fate on my last day in Paris it was raining one afternoon and I was near Notre Dame trying to find a place to eat in the rain and in the end decided to take the Subway back to the Hotel.

In Madeline we get to learn that all these girls live together and perform everything together. They brush their teeth, eat their breakfast, and travel together whether rain or sunshine. Then one night Miss Clavel feels a disturbance in the Force (Sorry I'm still high on my Star Wars experience) and checks up on the girls and immediately Madeline is screaming and in tears. Miss Clavel calls the doctor and tells her that Madeline needs to attend to the Hospital.

At the hospital, Madeline discovers her appendix ruptured and they perform surgery and everything is perfect. Her room is surrounded by flowers and toys by Papa and the girls visit her and are amazed when they see her scar and they cannot wait to see Madeline back at the Boarding School. That is the end for the 1st book. They made a live-action of Madeline and I saw it a couple of times as a child but I do not know if I enjoyed the film or simply watched it because it was Madeline. 

Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet


When I read about the description of this book I thought it was merely impossible that the library would possess this book because it has less than an 1,000 ratings on Goodreads but one day as I was at my usual library, I was looking at the autobiography/biography section and saw this book sticking out a bit and my brain automatically registered that it was merely impossible what I have in front of me and sure enough as I was checking the online catalogue they owned this book and it was available to check out.

Now it has been a few months that I have had this book in my room and decided on New Years Eve to read a few pages and while the beginning didn't automatically pull me in I figured since it has Disney related information I should stagger on. Luckily between the beautiful illustrations and the fast storytelling you can read it within a few hours. Mentioning that I love this book is an understatement in of itself and I highly recommend everyone to read it. 

Bill Peet wrote this book with illustrations to give the impression that this is a children's book but honestly anyone can read this book whether young or old because his life story is easy to understand the illustrations capture you into the story. Bill Peet if you do not know name (which I didn't until I came across this book) is a famous children's author/illustrator but he is more famous with working on Disney Classic Film such as Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred Dalmatians, Cinderella, The Sword in the Stone and countless other classics 

His name may not sound familiar because he was charged in the animation and making the storyboard which essentially is putting the animated together by illustrating scene-by-scene sequence of the film. It is not an easy job and clearly we discover that throughout his time working at the Disney Studios. I have to admit that because I accidentally flip to a wrong page and discover he wrote ton of pages on Walt Disney that for me the beginning of life from Childhood to Adulthood was boring. It felt slow pace and like it was never going to end but honestly probably I wanted to skim through that era quickly because while I didn't grow up as troubled as Bill Peet, I can relate to him in many ways in my upbringing and family life.

I find it interesting how the transition between making art for fun to an actual job was a simple transition for him in America because I've learned from countless books and movies in particular for a man majoring in art was either taboo or was discourage upon because of the notion that Art is full of naked people and that it wouldn't make any stable income. While Bill Peet experience some troubled times especially starting from High-School and College, we get to see that he persevere and always found a silver lining whenever he wanted to pursue new passion.

Part of the reason why I finally read this book is because I just watched an 4-Hour Documentary PBS special on Walt Disney and it was fascinating to learn new details about him, his career, and the choices he made which weren't always so perfect. I got to learn that he is human just like everyone else and that humbles me because people portray him as though he is the God Almighty and he had no faults of any kind. 

Since I am still high on the Disney bang wagon train I felt like this was a fun little snippet of what it was like working for the Disney company and having to present your countless hours of work to the boss himself and having him either applaud your work or rip it to shreds because it didn't work in the story or they don't have the money to include that much animation.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton


If you have no clue as to what is Humans of New York aka HONY so let me enlighten you. Years ago, Brandon Stanton quit his day job and focus on photography and during his travels during New York, he absolutely loved the city and decided to move to the Big Apple. With no job he focus on his photography and began this project. He pursued this project like a personal hobby and through Facebook and social media, it became wildfire and now millions of individuals around the earth tune in to HONY and Brandon Stanton has published two majors books of the thousands if not millions of photographs he has taken so far for the HONY project.

I remember vividly that I discover HONY on Tumblr which lead to following them on Facebook and it was still in the early phases. Originally it didn't have quotes, it was just pictures that in of itself explained the emotions the individual was experiencing at that moment. When it became famous, Brandon Stanton decided to make it more personal and provide a little background into these individuals lives by adding any comments that the person wanted in their photo. 

Between the first book which is Humans of New York and this new brand new book, we truly get to see the concept of being human and Brandon Stanton is magnificent at how to put the different photos together and made an occurring theme that showcase the highs and lows of Humanity. Both books are wonderful and if I have to be honest I believe this book surpasses the first one and worth the read. Even though I may never met these individuals in my life, I felt that their story and their photo left a major impact.

What was brilliant about this book is we get to experience the different emotions that we as humans are able to feel so some pages will bring us total laughter and happiness, some would make us think about what are we doing in our lives, some will disgust us, and finally some make you cry and either be grateful that you have a better life than these people or finally be able to find someone that we can relate. Nowadays we are so busy within our private lives between school, job, relationships, family, friends and paying bills that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves and those around us who need help.

This book is not meant to be read in an hour and be done with it, this book enables the reader to be present in the moment and really absorb in the photographs and what the person is going through whether it be depressing or hilarious. We as humans are automatically designed to be imperfect and this book is terrific at showcasing that ones self of reality differs from others between the unique moments we experience in our upbringing or how we manage the day-to-day struggles in our life.

I find the Humans of the New York to be a phenomenal project and I love all these photographs. In my understanding of this series, we learn that we are not alone in this world. I highly recommend everyone to pick up a copy of this book and read it because it is so worth the experience. I cannot wait for more HONY books. Plus if you don't check out HONY daily, you are in for some major surprises with certain famous people.

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 26: Goodbye Dragon World!" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on


(I) A new evil has arrived in the Dragon Ball Z Universe and its name is Super Boo.

(II) Goten and Trunks have successfully transformed into Gotenks, except that Super Boo tricked them and absorbed them including Gohan.

(III) Goku is luckily alive now that the original Lord of Lords sacrificed his life to resurrect Goku who now is Earth's last hope. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

We have finally arrived at the final volume of this manga series and I couldn't be anymore excited and proud. In total I have read 42 volumes of Goku's live and I cannot believe this is the end but the journey was worthwhile. I have never read 42 volumes of mangas which is excruciating because I have been editing all the Goodreads information from the titles, the descriptions, and the images to make it authentic and perfect. It is exhausting editing for 42 volumes but it is worth it because I love this series and highly recommend it for all readers.

Dragon Ball Z is overrated for many because it impacted our mainstream animation for decades now. The mangas were already popular, then came the animation which lasted for over 100 episodes each series (Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z) and then you have the video games and all other merchandises. Just writing it alone it is tiring but nonetheless I love and cherish this series. I believe it is one of the all-time greatest with Sailor Moon and other famous Mangas.

In a way I felt as though you grow up with these characters. You witness Goku from as a child and you get to see him as full adult with children and hopefully grandchildren in the future. While Goku is the main protagonist, you get to witness that he is already accepted that the new era of fighters is approaching and he needs to retire but not without a fight! 

Goku witness Gotenks and Gohan getting absorbed by Super Boo and now needs to fuse with another strong fighter in order to beat Super Boo. At first you believe it is going to be the pathetic Hercules but luckily at the last minute Vegeta is able to come back to Earth like how Goku did in the previous volumes and fuse with Goku. It is interesting how Vegeta was able to put his pride aside because never in a millions years you would think that Vegeta would bond with Goku in order to become a stronger fighter and help humanity. 

They become essentially Super Vegerot and beat the living shit out of Boo. I know every volume there is always fighting and I am writing constantly how badly these fights out but its true worth the read to witness these different fighting sequences. Super Boo tries to pull the same stunts to Vegerot but it doesn't work since they are not idiots. In the moment that the blob is going to absorb Vegerot, they enable a force field that is able to protect them and they are able to enter Super Boo is cellular form.

Now that they are inside Super Boo, they witness that everyone is still alive inside of Super Boo's organs, they are simply tied to him in a cocoon. Vegerot finally reverts back to their original selves and Vegeta destroys the earrings never again to fuse again with Goku. They help released their friends and escape except Super Boo notices what they are doing and enters inside his body. He tells them not to cut the original Boo out of his body because at that point he will lose that tiny shred of humanity and become a spawn of pure evil. They don't listen to him and immediately he is transformed into Kid Boo.


The difference between Super Boo and Kid Boo is that Kid Boo has no moral compass and works with pure evil and anger as fuel and has no limit in his abilities. The gang escape to Kaio-Shin's planet and Kid Boo follows them. Vegeta is already dead so they fight will Goku finds a way to save his strength and destroy Kid Boo. Meanwhile Dende reach the planet where the Namekians live and ask them to summon the Dragon Balls to help his friends and the Earth. He is able to restore the Earth back before Boo destroyed it and summon everyone who is not evil and have been killed by Boo which they are all granted. 

Goku makes the connection that the only way to destroy Kid Boo is by summoning Genki-Dama which is a chi-ball that worked in the previous volumes with destroying Freeza and other people. He receives a bit of chi from his family and friends, the planet but not enough to kill Kid Boo. The clock is ticking and now the Original Boo decides to fight Kid Boo to help the gang. Vegeta at that instant finally accepts that Goku is the ultimate fighter. Vegeta makes the connection that Goku never became a stronger fighter because of pride or simply being the best, Goku essentially was humble about the whole experience and simply wanted to protect those who he loves, and the Earth that he lives in.

Vegeta at that instant I believe completely changes and I absolutely love this moment. I felt like at this moment Vegeta is redeemed by his past and accepts Goku as a friend. Vegeta makes the connection that this time Goku has saved the Earth too many times and for once he needs a break. Goku alone cannot destroy Kid Boo and Vegeta tells him that Earth should be the one to help Goku and destroy Kid Boo because if they don't then in all honesty they really don't deserve their planet to be saved.

Vegeta with Lord of the Worlds help, he announces to all humans to give their chi to Goku to help destroy Boo. Goku receives like about 10% which is pathetic and you can hear the thoughts of people who believe this message is Bobbidi and refuse to help. Vegeta is losing his patience with screaming and not apologizing for his language and forces them to help. Kid Boo beats Boo and witness Goku and is trying to stop him so Vegeta is trying to fight Kid Boo with no success. Humans keep arguing until finally Goku speaks and ask for their help.

In that instant I wanted to cry because that scene in the manga is what makes this entire series come into full circle. We witness every single individual that Goku has encounter since he was a little boy and we see them after all these years/volumes and they give their all to Goku. We witness Android #17, Upa & Bora, Frankenstein, and the entire snow village from Dragon Ball. They provide now 50% power-up which is extremely powerful but still not enough and humans are still being a pain in the a@$. 

Finally Hercules yells from the top of his lungs saying that give their chi to him to destroy Kid Boo and sure enough in 1 second, the chi-ball reaches 100% and Kid Boo attacks. The chi-ball is the size of the moon and nothing can stop this attacks but still it is hard to release this attack since Goku is powerless. So Dende ask for his 3rd wish to restore Goku's normal levels of power and it is granted. Goku has reached his peak and devours Kid Boo within the chi-ball. As he wishes Boo farewell, he admires that Boo fought all by himself and practically killed everyone and hopes one day he could be resurrected as a good guy so that way Goku can fight him.

Kid Boo is destroyed and the Earth is saved. I cannot believe it is finally over. No one more evil, danger, and peace to the galaxy. Vegeta wants to kill the original Boo but Hercules doesn't allow him and in order to protect him on Earth, they erase everyone's memories of Boo in order for him to be safe. The gang meet back up at Kami-Sama's palace and it is the best feeling in the world to be reunited with your family again. 

Everyone forgets about Boo but they know that somehow Hercules saved them from something and once you believe the story is over it is not quite. We are shifted 10 years into the future which would put Goku is in mid-30s or late 30s and everyone is living the wonderful life. Gohan quit fighting, got married to Videl, and has a kid name Pan who is a mini-Videl excited to compete. Goten and Trunks are teenagers now and Goten looks horrible with that messy hair but Trunks looks marvelous. Goku is hanging out with Vegeta, Bulma, and the rest of the gang as they are getting ready for the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament. 

No one understands why Goku is competing but apparently this new fighter has shown up and is quite powerful to Goku estimates. Goku makes sure that this contestant fights him and as the match begins we learn it is a little boy named Oob. I didn't make the connection at first and felt like an idiot but Oob is the reincarnation of Boo! Duh! Well Oob doesn't want to fight and Goku teases him until Oob strikes back and he is powerful and never knew about his abilities and strength. 

So in the end Goku becomes Oob's master and they fly far away so they can begin their training and help the next generation of fighters. I really loved this ending because it went back to the roots of Dragon Ball especially how Oob is the new kid Goku. I love endings of the stories that leave it wipe open in case Akira Toriyama decides to continue the series in manga form or anime. After Dragon Ball Z ended, it makes you wonder about what new evil will come to Earth now that Oob is this powerful fighter and wanting more Goku adventures to come.

Knowing how impactful the anime is for both Western and Japanese Cultures, you would think they would continue the anime after the conclusion of Boo. Nope. They focus on the video games more and made a few movies that take place a few years after the ending with this God of Destroyer who looks like an Egyptian cat. Then they did re-edits of the original anime and it is now that in Japan they have started the new Dragon Ball Z sequel called Dragon Ball Super that takes place 18 years later after the defeat of Kid Boo. I don't know any details since I haven't seen the anime yet. 

I cannot believe I am saying Goodbye to Goku and all these hilarious unique characters but I know they will always be a part of my memories and my childhood. I loved every second of this magnificent journey and for now I believe it is a temporary farewell. Who knows what will happen in the future and it would fantastic if Akira Toriyama continues the manga after all these years as a tribute to the fans. Thank You Akira Toriyama for this enchanting story and all the handwork you have put into Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. Goodbye.


"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 25: Last Hero Standing!" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) A new evil has arrived in the Dragon Ball Z Universe and its name is Boo.

(II) Goten and Trunks have been training nonstop in order to perform a fusion and become Gotenks. If they are successful they will have the ability to become a powerful fighter.

(III) Boo for a period now was a thoughtless blob when a desire to kill everyone until he became friends with Hercules. But unfortunately his anger brought out a new evil Boo who is stronger and powerful and devours the original Boo. It looks like the Earth is doomed without Goku. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

This whole storyline with Boo is interesting and whimsical at the same given moment. It is crazy that we have discover a villain who essentially 100x stronger compare to Freeza, Cell and the countless villains we have encountered and yet Boo is simply a blob monster with no conscience. I understand Boo is evil and whatnot but I absolutely love the big blob and his jolly fatness until this new evil Boo devours him.

This volume is one of the longest mangas of the series and it is worth it because the last volume is going to be short sweet and simple. Having the 25th volume as the second to last book to conclude this series I wouldn't want it any other way and hopefully enjoy this journey as it finally concludes itself. This new Boo has awaken and immediately was going to kill Hercules but because a part of the original Boo lives within him, this new Boo has the memories and feelings and runs away without hurting Hercules (For now on I am going to name the new Boo as Super Boo).

Super Boo is able to detect Chi to a whole other level and finds everyone in Kami-Sama chambers ready to begin a fight. Piccolo tells him that they will only fight if he destroys every living creature on Earth. It is a horrible task but enough to give Gotenks enough training and they can resurrect everyone with the Dragon Balls later on. Yet in 1 minute, Super Boo kills everyone except Hercules in 3.2 second with a wave of his arm. He shoots out this chi balls that look like a million bullets are targeting the Earth and at that point you know he is force that the gang has never witness in their lifetime.

Piccolo tells Super Boo that he will go wake up the kids and that will take an hour and displays an hourglass to showcase that he means it. Immediately Goten and Trunks are shoved into the time chamber to train because within an hour of waiting, it will have been a few weeks for the boys to train and enough time to kick butt. 

Super Boo grows impatient and heads to the chamber to fight and it becomes a total warfare between these two fighters and it makes you wonder if Gotenks can defeat Super Boo. It is fascinating how they fight because since Gotenks is a child, their moves are quite inventive and not your typical Saiyan martial arts. There is a possibility that it is possible for them to defeat Super Boo but in the end I believe it feels right that someone else show be the one to defeat Super Boo and Akira Toriyama is brilliant at displaying that with having the children behave like a bunch of toddlers and ruin the opportunity to strike.

As this is happening, Goku and Gohan make the connection that everyone on Earth is dead and that enrages Gohan and notices that the Lord of Lords ritual actually works and heads off to Earth to battle Super Boo. Everyone at the moment discovers that Gohan is still alive and is a battle to watch and immediately ended since Super Boo is kicking the daylights out of Gotenks and Gohan. Gotenks in the middle of an ultimate fighting move, they run out of time and revert back to their original selves and Super Boo makes the connection and manipulates them.

He waits until they are able to recharge and fuse back together and creates this blob that absorbs Gotenks and he devours them making him able to have their abilities, their strength, and their ridiculous outfit. Goku cannot handle what is happening on Earth and for a while feels useless because he cannot fight since he is still dead so the original Lord of Lords sacrifice his remaining time alive which apparently is 1,000 years left and Goku is alive.

Goku heads to Earth and teams up with Gohan. Since Goku was able to witness Gotenks transformation, he is wondering if he can do the same now that the Lord of Lords provided these earrings that perform Fusion without the ridiculous dance and it last for a longer period of time. Goku was apprehensive about fusion with Gohan and as usual, Super Boo devours Gohan and at the moment Hercules was the only fighter in the area. I knew already who Goku is going to fuse with but for a split second I was going to get outraged if Goku fused with Hercules.

This manga has major fighting sequences that felt like I was watching the anime instead of reading it and I couldn't believe the craziness of this manga. At the time when I was reading this I didn't know if I was able to finish this series because I love Goku and the gang and I am not ready to say goodbye yet. I never saw the ending of the anime, I played all the video games when I was younger, and still I get emotional when I am saying Goodbye to the Characters that I discover and cherish regardless if it is book, television, or movie and now we reached the final chapter. Stay tuned for the Final Dragon Ball Z!...

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 24: Hercule to the Rescue" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku is able to come back to Earth for one full day and the entire gang participate at Tenkaichi Budokai tournament.

(II) Gohan fights to avenge Videl after the opponent beats the living daylights out of her. Unfortunately when Gohan turn Saiyan the opponent used a lamp and suck his chi.

(III) Goku and the gang are now racing the clock to destroy these bad guys because a new villain is almost to be awaken and sadly they failed. Vegeta died in the process and now this new evil called Boo will seek to destroy this Earth. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

Where we left off in the previous volume practically everything has gone to shit. Vegeta is dead for his ignorance, Boo is awaken and wants to kill everything in sight, and Goku cannot defeat Boo because he has only just a few hours left on Earth. He was able to resurrected for 24 hours and most of that time was wasted both on the tournament and fighting Bobbidi and Vegeta. Now Goku has to train and teach Goten and Trunks this new power called Fusion which allows two powerful fighters uniting in one body with the ability to have superior strength.

Now this volume consists the same plot point in which Goten and Trunks are training nonstop in Kami-Sama's place in order to perform this fusion correctly and become stronger Saiyans. Meanwhile Boo and Bobbidi want to kill Goten, Trunks, and every fighter on the planet and are destroying countless cities, killing millions of individuals just to torture Goku and the gang. Goku makes a deal with Boo to stop fighting for a little while in order for them to get stronger and have an ultimate fight among the greatest which Boo agrees. Bobbidi argues and commands Boo to kill and Boo makes the connection that Bobbidi is not his master and kills him.

When time runs out for Goku, he travels back to "Heaven" and discovers that Gohan is in fact still alive and teleports to where he feels his son chi and learn that Gohan is with Kaio-Shin aka Lord of Lords. He helps his son train to become a better fighter and they discover that the original Lord of Lords is still in fact alive and has the ability to provide hidden inner strength and begins the ritual to make Gohan stronger. 

As this drama develops we are shifted back to Goten and Trunks as they successfully accomplished the task of fusion. They call themselves now Gotenks and they look like a miniature version of Vegeta with an attention span of a five year old. Immediately Gotenks are stubborn ignorant kids who believe they are invincible and try to fight Boo but each time they epically fail because they still need more training. 

Finally, we see Hercules on Earth trying to avoid Boo's wrath and unfortunately entangles himself when everyone decides he must kill Boo. They believe he is this powerful fighter (which is a lie) and send him to Boo's house. He plans on killing him but immediately becomes like his royal servant. Even though he is following Boo's commands, Boo makes the connection that Hercules treats him with respect and as a friend. Hercules completely makes a 360 for Boo that he stops killing people. 

Sadly that doesn't last long because these groups of evil men come and try to kill Boo and Hercules. Obviously they failed miserably but when Boo reaches a level of enrage over this situation, his body starts making this transformation and out of his body comes this evil skinny replica of Boo. They have this weird battle and Boo turns into chocolate bar and this evil Boo eats him up.

Apparently for this new Boo, if he devours you, he gains your strength and your abilities and because he ate the original Boo, he has transformed from being sickly thin to a normal buff fighter. Now the Earth is doomed with this new Boo. Will the gang be able to destroy him? Stay tuned until next time on Dragon Ball Z...

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 23: Boo Unleashed!" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku is on Earth for 1 full day to compete in the Tenkaichi Budokai Tournament.

(II) Gohan fights to avenge Videl after the opponent beats the living daylights out of her. Unfortunately when Gohan turn Saiyan the opponent used a lamp and suck his chi.

(III) Goku and the gang are now racing the clock to destroy these villains because a new evil may awaken and destroy this Earth as we know it. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

The Title of this Manga, "Boo Unleashed" fits perfectly to what happens in this fabulous volume of Dragon Ball Z! Boo comes to life thanks to Vegeta and Goku and is fully formed in the sky into this big fat jelly blob. Boo isn't your typical villain of DBZ because everyone from Freeza to Cell are all obnoxious, over the top individuals who make more conversations than actual fighting. With Boo, he is created with such simplicity that the blob doesn't really make conversation because its mind frame is that of a toddler.

Boo follows Bobbidi orders because Bobbidi's father is the one who created Boo and Kaio-Shin is trying to warn everyone that it is useless to fight Boo and that we must all flee including Bobbidi. He makes the connection that when Boo realizes his true potential no one can govern him and all hell will break loose. Ofcourse when you witness this such nonsense what does the gang do? THEY FIGHT!

Gohan is the only one who can fight at the current moment and he is no match for Boo and instantly it looks as though Boo crushed into pieces but luckily he is knocked out from the impact and falls from the sky and lands miles away from the action. Everyone believes he is dead and during that struggle we jump back to Vegeta and Goku fighting. They notice the whole action based on Gohan's and Boo's chi and Vegeta knocks out Goku because he wants to destroy Boo. 

When Vegeta shows up to fight Boo everyone realizes there is no hope and evacuate. Vegeta understands this but decides that he will die without a fight and we get to witness this extraordinary event and Vegeta blows up like the Atomic Bomb and sadly Boo survives the event since he is blob that can regenerate and is whole again. Piccolo and the gang decided to runaway asap. 

When Goku wakes up, he teleports himself to Kami-Sama's place where everyone he knows has evacuated to avoid Boo for the time being. Goku knows he cannot destroy Boo because he can only be on Earth for 24 hrs and time is running up so Piccolo plants the idea to help train the others. Goku learned this technique while he was dead that if you can fuse two powerful fighters into one being whose strength is multiplied exponentially. The major flaws of this fusion is it only last for 30 minutes, the two fighters have to be equal in strength, and they have make this funny dance move correctly and if they mess up it either doesn't work or the fusion isn't at its full power.

So Goku is trying to teach Goten and Trunks how to perform this fusion correctly before he leaves and it is tedious. Meanwhile that is going on, the gang used the Dragon Balls to resurrect everyone who has died today that aren't bad guys and Kaio-Shin's partner comes back to live (I forgot he got killed earlier) and they both go searching for Gohan and luckily they find him and is able to save him and take them to their planet.

It is never been heard of a human to enter Kaio-Shin's land and when Gohan wakes up, they decide to train him to become powerful in order to destroy Boo and they believe he fits the myth of the Sword in the Stone (A.K.A. King Arthur). Kaio-Shin shows Gohan of this sword that will possess great strength to the beholder and no one has ever been able to take it out of the ground until Gohan gives it a try and is lucky enough to succeed. It is extremely heavy and difficult to possess but nonetheless he begins his training to become a better warrior.

Boo and Bobbidi want to fight Goku and the rest of the gang and will not stop at nothing in order to achieve it. Bobbidi can communicate telepathically to anyone he desires and to torture Goten and Trunks, Boo destroys countless cities with a blink of an eye and that is when it settles in for them that Boo is one the strongest if not superior creatures they have ever witness and quite possibly it could be the end of Humanity if they are not able to destroy him. Stay tuned until next time for more Dragon Ball Z...

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 22: Mark of the Warlock" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku is on Earth for 1 full day to compete in the Tenkaichi Budokai Tournament.

(II) Gohan fights to avenge Videl after this opponent beats the living daylights out of her. Unfortunately when Gohan turn Saiyan the opponent used a lamp and suck his chi.

(III) Goku and the gang are now racing the clock to capture these villains because a new evil may awaken and destroy this Earth as we know it. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

Previously on Dragon Ball Z, we witness the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament in full swing until these two bad guys suck Gohan's chi into a lamp and escape to give it to their master Bobbidi who is a powerful alien wizard who wants to awaken this djinn aka genie called Boo who will destroy the Earth and the galaxy.

Kaio-Shin believed he could retrieve this lamp before Bobbidi but sadly it was too late. Now the gang has to defeat Bobbidi and his henchmen. Immediately Bobbidi realizes that Goku and this group of fighters are not ordinarily human and decides to trap them in his ship where each floor involves a stronger fighter. If his henchmen beat Goku and everyone it will accept their chi and help awaken Boo at full power. 

Goku and his team are able to beat every opponent quite quickly but as always Vegeta comes along and f@%ks everything up because he wants to be the greatest fighter of all time. So Vegeta technically join forces with Bobbidi to gain his full potential power which usually means that Bobbidi has full control of Vegeta but Vegeta is far superior in mental power that Bobbidi cannot control him but it doesn't matter because Vegeta is essentially accomplishing his wishes by fighting Goku and using chi that can power up Boo and sure enough the ending is left with Boo's egg cracked.

While all that drama is going on we get some side-action with at the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament because Goten and Trunks are still competing and I don't want to get into details because it is extremely short and simple and not majorly important. I enjoyed this volume very much and I believe it set the tone for what is to come in this series as we are approaching the grand finale. I remember this story arc vividly and didn't realize until reading this manga that when we meet Boo it will be the end of Dragon Ball Z...

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 21: Tournament of the Heavens" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku died in the process of destroying Cell but sadly it was all in vain.

(II) Gohan on the other hand found a new level of power and was able to destroy Cell and rid him permanently.

(III) Years have past and everyone is trying to move on and luckily Goku is going to come back to Earth for one full day to compete in the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

After that long break of comedic relief with Gohan and Videl, the real action is about to begin. Goku is finally back which I am excited to see him back in action and the tournament is in the early stages. The entire gang have participated in this tournament because they want to have the pleasure to be in the presence of greatness since Goku sacrificed himself and has been training for years now since there is nothing to do when you are dead. 

The difference with this tournament is they have included new rules and regulations and one of them which is disappointing is children are not allowed to fight with the adults. Since humans have forgotten about kid Goku and all it is unsafe for children to fight adults and that becomes annoying for Trunks and Goten but they decided that they will disguise themselves and fight against the adults.

It's extremely difficult for two people to be in one costume with flying and attacking but nonetheless they are successful at this disguise and hopefully they make it far. Piccolo notices something strange is going on this tournament especially with these two contestants who work side by side. At first Piccolo is unable to figure it out but makes the connection that this person is Kaio-Shin which is the supreme deity in this universe. 

Piccolo cannot believe that Kaio-Shin is in this tournament and quickly learns that Kaio-Shin is here to witness Goku fight but that someone evil is lurking around and will attack Gohan. Goku wants to protect his son and all but Kaio-Shin tells him to leave it up to him by allowing the evil person to escape they can track their location to their base and help prevent the doom of this planet. 

Sure enough Videl is attacking her opponent and he does awful tricks that almost kills her and immediately we see that Gohan is in love with her and goes full Saiyan. Gohan essentially gets played by these two evil men named Yamu and Spopovich and they drain all his power to this lamp and escapes.

Goku and the gang must quickly track them down before all hell breaks loose. Will Goku and the gang be successful? Find out until next time on Dragon Ball Z...

I enjoyed this volume except for the mediocre nonsense like the kids not being able to compete because I believe they are worthy opponents to compete but I understand that the tournament wasn't really important just a segment to lead into the next major storyline that will conclude this series.

"Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 20: The New Generation" by Akira Toriyama


Previously on Dragon Ball Z

(I) Goku died in the process of destroying Cell but sadly it was all in vain.

(II) Gohan on the other hand found a new level of power and was able to destroy Cell and rid him permanently.

(III) Trunks goes back to the future and is able to destroy the androids, kill Cell and restore peace to the galaxy. 

That is what you missed on Dragon Ball Z!

For some who read this volume could be pretty upset how this was just pure comedic chapter of Dragon Ball Z without any deadly battles and action except for Gohan's life. Goku is dead so now the family and the rest of the gang are trying to move on. Since there hasn't been an attack on Earth, Gohan has been lacking in his training and now wants to attend high school as a normal teenager.

No one on Earth knows who killed Cell but they believe it is Hercules who is absolutely pathetic. What I disliked immediately was how the humans of this fictional world could careless about how these evil villain have attacked their world which showcases that there are species that are outside of humankind. 

I understand how this may be one of the weakest storylines but for me this felt like a mini break from the average fighting in this series. I love every story arc that Akira Toriyama has done for Dragon Ball Z but I believe if we don't take a pause of the fighting it becomes overrated and not very original when it comes to the villains and the whole world is about to end every time. 

I love Gohan and how he has in many ways grown up and I thought that by being a Saiyan doing incredible things would be suffice and showcase high self-esteem. Apparently I was wrong and I didn't want Gohan to try to fit in with humans because it makes me feel like this characters become ordinary and lose the specialness of their abilities. I read stories to escape into a fantasy world and for me it felt like this because an episode of every teenage show where one outsider tries to fight in with the average teenager. 

We get to meet Hercules daughter and she is trying to follow her father's footstep and become the world's greatest hero but I could actually careless about her. I love her interaction with Gohan and clearly I see that they will definitely become a love interest later. The great thing about this volume is for the first half we get an ordinary storyline and then the last half is when the action starts.

Word gets around that Goku is going to fight in the Tenkaichi Budokai tournament and immediately all hell is going to break loose. Vegeta finally wants to kick Goku ass after all these years of waiting and because Goku is going to come back for a day everyone starts training including Goten who is Goku's second son who was born after he dies. 

The ending of the volume is the gang fighting the different rounds to secure a spot in the finals and I love how they are all back together even though a lot of the adults are way older now. My favorite part is at the tournament, the man who is the announcer of the event is always the same guy and when he sees Goku and everyone he is happy and grateful that they have come back and will showcase one of the best moments of the tournament.

Will Goku beat Vegeta? Will Gohan showcase his true talent? Or Will a new evil come to the forefront? Stay tune for another episode of Dragon Ball Z...