‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ is the Live Action Movie That Got Things Right for the DBZ Fandom

Gohan and Trunks in real time never looked better

Youtube has transformed into a wonderful land of creations. That would never have happened were it not for the music video, live streaming, and movie making platforms. Last week we were blessed with the latest gift from the Nerdy Gods when Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope dropped and hit hardcore DBZ fans with a live action tale of Trunks’ history.

If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, Trunks is Vegeta’s son and has a saga where he goes back in time to stop these 2 savage androids from taking over Earth and killing like 98% of the population. Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is the beginning of that story arc and does so much right that you wonder how in the fuck Hollywood can’t do DragonBall correctly.


“It’s amazing, I’m the reason // Everybody fired up this evening”


Let’s get one thing right, Light of Hope looks amazing. Point blank. Trunks is rockin the purple hair proper while goin’ hard in the Capsule Corp tee. Gohan’s gear is so authentic, I could see Goku smiling down from heart virus heaven. The cityscapes are on point. The androids are damn near identical to their cartoon counterparts. Bulma with the good blue hair is out here puttin’ that engineering mind to good use, working on the time machine that Trunks eventually uses. Her Capsule Corp lab contains the last hope for a normal the world, but all will be for naught if Trunks goes and gets himself killed.

Oh, what’s that Gohan? Trunks is off getting himself killed? You can sense the little homie in danger?! Trunks out in them streets being a hero, despite his mother’s best wishes. But uhhh, all he does is kinda get more people killed and forces Gohan’s whereabouts to be known. After saving Trunks in the first glimpse of Super Saiyan glory, the Androids go on the offensive, blasting indiscriminately in the area that Gohan flew toward.

Once they get closer to Capsule Corp HQ, Gohan goes out to “give em hell”. You already know what’s about to go down! Don’t nobody receive that ‘get em cowboy’ speech and live to tell about it. Luckily for us, it brings the most fire live action DBZ battle I’ve ever seen.


“It’s amazing, so amazing”


Super Saiyan Gohan looks amazing in his powered up state. There’s just enough golden-blonde to signify the power surge, but nothing over the top. He and Android 18 go toe to toe in the most insanely accurate, homage-paying fight. Both fighters trade blows at surreal speeds. The filmmakers do a phenomenal job of making the world speed by as the fighters shoot the fair one in their real time. Gohan is beating that Android ass when the villains realize his powers have increased (damn, Saiyans) and need to work together to defeat our young hero.

Now, when I said, this was the greatest live action DBZ fight I’ve ever seen, I did not exaggerate. It’s crystal clear that 90% of their budget was dedicated to this fight and the impressive CGI work that makes this showdown look as authentic as possible.

It shows in the first round of blows. Android 17 and 18 attack simultaneously, Gohan blocks both attacks in amazing slow mo then hits them both with blazing blue energy blasts. AND. EYE. LIVE! That right there set the tone and I would’ve dropped $20 just to watch this all go down. The androids work together to put the beats on our boy. Gohan is knocked through mountains and rocked with mid-air Ki energy waves, destroying entire terrains in one of the most nostalgia encompassing scenes that literally pulled me 15 years into the past.


“I’m exhausted, barely breathing // Holding on to what I believe in”


When the camera closely follows Gohan as his body is drilled through the mountainside, I lost my shit fam! Without giving away the whole damn plot and culminating battle, you all should know how this ends. With the reason Trunks finally goes Super Saiyan; deep personal loss.

Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope first debuted as a 30 minute mini-film back in 2015. They knew they had the juice to make a legit DBZ movie/series so they threw all they had into a pilot to generate interest and revenue… and the fan reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Could they use little guidance in the dramatics department? Absolutely. Some of the dialogue was straight out of Days of Our Lives or some shit.

Most scenes were well done though. Some of the CGI/Special FX were a little cheesy, but like I said, they most certainly poured majority of the budget into that climactic battle so some areas are bound to suffer. These Robot Underdog filmmakers got something special going on and deserve all the money they’re asking for. Just another example of amateurs showing the pros how it should be done. Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is worth the viewing. Hollywood and Netflix, I hope you’re taking notes or ready to cut that check!

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  • Ja-Quan is a NYC teacher and artist holding a B.A. in Sociology and History from SUNY New Paltz. On his journey to become Hokage, the Lord of The Speed Force and Protector of the Recaps can be found North of The Wall, chopping it up on Twitter @OGquankinobi

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