Fixing Dragon Ball Z’s Buu Saga (Part 5)

The Final Battle

When we left off, our heroes were at our lowest point. Kid Buu has destroyed the Earth, leaving them without the Dragon Balls. The still-dead Goku managed to save Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Piccolo, Dende, Videl, Mr. Satan, and even the comatose Fat Buu, but hope seems lost. However, realizing the gravity of the threat, Goku has decided to step in once again. This time, he has a plan. So, using Instant Transmission, he heads off to grab one last fighter to help them in their battle.

While he’s gone, Gohan, Goten, and Trunks all express their frustrations over their loss. Gohan is furious with himself for making the mistake he did, while Goten and Trunks are mad that they couldn’t stop Buu when they had the chance. They find some small comfort from Dende and Videl (though Videl is a bit busy trying to calm her dad down), but they still can’t get over their anger. Their Saiyan pride won’t let them. It only motivates them further.

Meanwhile, down in Hell, Goku has a chat with a very familiar face: Vegeta. He asks for his help, telling him about all that had happened since he died. But Vegeta is too furious with him to care; after learning about Goku’s Super Saiyan 3, he can’t get over the fact that he only intended to use it against Gohan, holding back during their fight. However, when Goku tells him that Bulma is dead and Trunks is alone, he swallows his pride and decides to at least help for his son’s sake.

When the two return to the Land of the Kai’s, Vegeta has a heartfelt reunion with Trunks. After that, Goku announces the plan: all five of the Saiyans are going to fight Buu at once with all they have. In order to give them the best fighting chance they have, two pairs of them will use the Fusion technique. Trunks and Goten are one pair, Goku and Vegeta are the other. However, after seeing the boys demonstrate the technique, Vegeta immediately refuses to even learn it out of sheer embarrassment. Luckily, the Old Kai has a solution: Potara Fusion.

Now, this is where I make another big change. In the original, the rules about this particular fusion were loosely defined at best. The Old Kai said that the fusion was permanent, but Vegito immediately split in two when they entered Buu. Then, in Super, it was changed so that Potara fusion had a time limit for mortals. I hope I don’t need to explain why this is a problem. If the audience doesn’t understand the rules, how are they supposed to become invested?

In this version, the Old Kai sets the rules straight quickly. The Potara fusion is a timeless fusion, one that could theoretically last forever. On top of that, the power granted by it is much greater than that of the Fusion dance. However, there is one major weakness in it: the Potara earrings themselves. Should either one be damaged, the fusion will end.

Not only does this clear up any potential confusion for the audience, but it also creates tension. Suddenly, the seemingly unstoppable Vegito has a glaring weakness! It creates intrigue. Will it happen in the fight? After it? What will they do if it fails? These questions get the audience interested!

Upon hearing this compromise, Vegeta agrees to fuse with Goku, albeit reluctantly. Being on a time limit, they immediately perform the fusion. Thus, Vegito is born. Upon feeling his massive power, everyone feels confident that Buu can be defeated. However, Vegito immediately goes against the original plan that Goku set out. He is so confident that he tells the others to stand down; he will kill Buu alone.

This only further frustrates the younger Saiyans. After all their efforts, being sidelined like this is a huge blow to their pride. All of them feel useless.

Which will only further drive them when things get truly desperate.

With everyone prepared, the Kais take Dende, Piccolo, and Videl away to a safe planet. However, they forget about Mr. Satan and the still-sleeping Fat Buu. But by the time they realize it, it’s already too late. Vegito powers up, drawing Kid Buu to their location. The fight has already started.

With his insane power, Vegito quickly puts Buu against the wall. However, when Buu powers up to maximum, he evens the playing field. Both warriors go back and forth in an intense bout, which leaves the three younger Saiyans stunned and frustrated all at once.

Then, just as Vegito seems to be getting the upper hand, one of the Potara breaks. Goku and Vegeta separate, leaving them defenseless against the rampaging Kid Buu. Vegeta is quickly knocked away, but Goku manages to power up to Super Saiyan 3 just in time to keep up. This way, we can still get the excellent Goku VS Kid Buu fight that we got in the original.

Also like the original, this is where Vegeta’s character arc ends. He acknowledges Goku, realizing what it is that separates the two of them. With a knowing, content smile, he drops his iconic “Kakarot, you are number one” line. Then, having finally put his pride behind him, he goes to prepare his plan to finally put Buu down for good. But first, he needs to give a quick pep-talk to the boys.

In proud, Vegeta-like fashion, he encourages Gohan, Goten, and Trunks to embrace their frustration. To let it compel them and push them forward. He tells them that Kakarot, powerful as he is, can’t keep up with Buu forever. If they want to put him down for good, they’ll all need to work together. He admits that Gohan and Gotenks, should they work together, are the only ones powerful enough to hold Buu back. While they do that, Goku can prepare the killing blow.

Goten and Trunks don’t understand. But Gohan immediately figures out what Vegeta means: he wants to prepare a Spirit Bomb. Upon realizing this, he charges in to take over for his father, drawing Buu’s attention away from him. Then, after Goten and Trunks fuse, Gotenks charges in to help. While the three of them have their rematch, Vegeta briefs Goku on the plan.

From here, things go as they did in the original. Dende (with Piccolo in this version) goes to Namek to use the Namekian Dragon Balls. They use the first two wishes to restore the Earth and all the good people who lived there (which also brings Vegeta back to life). Then, with help from King Kai, Vegeta asks for everyone on Earth to raise their hands into the sky and give Goku their energy to defeat Buu. Unfortunately, his lack of charisma only earns them the strength of the other heroes.

Meanwhile, Gohan and Gotenks are starting to lose ground. While the two of them together are still strong enough to fight Buu back, they lack the stamina to put him down. When they finally get tired, Buu quickly knocks them both out of the fight. Luckily, they have one last savior.

Around this time, Fat Buu finally awakens. Luckily, Mr. Satan is there to help him in the right direction. He quickly explains that Kid Buu is super bad and that they need his help to stop him. Being as gullible as he is, on top of loving Mr. Satan to death, Buu charges in to help. Thus, just as Gohan and Gotenks go down, Fat Buu charges in to fight Kid Buu to save the day.

With this extra time, Goku pleads for everyone to give him power. This earns him a few more hands, but it still isn’t anywhere near enough. Luckily, they have one person who can help them out: Mr. Satan. So, just like in the original, our champ manages to earn the aide of the entire Earth. With their help, the Spirit Bomb is complete.

Everyone scrambles to get away from Kid Buu. Gohan manages to pull the good Buu away, while Gotenks manages to buy them enough time to get to safety. Goku hurls the Spirit Bomb, quickly pushing Kid Buu against the wall. However, Goku is far too exhausted to push it hard enough and kill Buu. Seeing this, Gohan immediately flies to his father’s aide. Shortly after him comes Gotenks, then Vegeta. All of our exhausted heroes push the Spirit Bomb with all their might. Even then, they don’t have the power to put Buu down for good.

Luckily, back on Namek, Piccolo has an idea. He uses the final wish to restore power to the Saiyans, restoring their strength. He quickly informs them of this, which gives our heroes the necessary spark. Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and Gotenks all go Super Saiyan. Then, with one final scream, they push the Spirit Bomb and put Kid Buu down for good.

Now, I would make another change here. Another iconic moment in the original Buu saga is Goku’s “You’re pretty good!” speech. It’s a great moment, one that leads to the ending of DBZ very well. However, it does have one problem in our version: Goku isn’t the main character anymore. That’s still Gohan. So I’m giving the speech to his son.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t only just to put Gohan back in the spotlight. It’s also to capitalize on his character arc. Remember: Gohan’s development in this saga revolved around him embracing his Saiyan heritage. So, having him admit that he had fun fighting someone and wants to fight them again in a non-life-or-death battle would be a great way to show just how much he’s grown.

And so, the battle against Buu comes to an end. Vegeta wants to kill the injured Fat Buu, much to Mr. Satan’s dispair, but Gohan dissuades him from it, explaining how the plump pink monster saved them in the critical moment. Reluctantly, Vegeta stands down. Then, after reuniting with Videl, Piccolo, and Dende, Gohan prepares to say his final goodbye to his father.

However, Goku immediately cuts him off. He tells him that the Tenkaichi Budokai never technically ended, so he has little doubt that they’ll pick up where they left off soon enough. He tells Gohan to save his goodbye until later; he still needs to test him. They only managed to beat Buu because they all worked together. Goku still needs to know if Gohan can handle it on his own.

Thus, the stage is set for the true final battle of Dragon Ball Z. But that will have to wait until next week when we cover how I’d change the ending of DBZ. Please bear with me for just one more week; I’m almost done.

Then I’ll leave Dragon Ball alone for a while, I promise.

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