Akira Toriyama’s Dragonball Z is one of the biggest staples in Anime as well as in our childhoods from when it was aired in the United States. It’s popularity continues to remain at an exalted status with many fans of Anime as it should as Dragonball and Dragonball Z are two animes that any fan should watch before they leave God’s green Earth. When news broke of a live action edition of the popular franchise, many were met with severe skepticism all thanks to the 2009 box office bomb, Dragonball: Evolution. American fans got a glimpse at just how terrible a live action adaptation of this series could be, so when the pilot episode debuted, many clicked the play button with a cringe on their face.
That cringe would turn into a smile because the pilot for Dragonball Z: Light of Hope, was well done! In this debut episode, Gohan and Trunks have to fight off Android #17 and Android #18 in an effort to stop them from annihilating what remains of the human race.
In this adaptation, Goku and the other Z Warriors are already dead. Robot Underdog, the company behind this series who announced a teaser trailer last year, conveyed the post-apocalyptic world of Dragonball Z nicely. The special effects were also very well done, especially during Gohan’s Super Saiyan transformation, but the acting could use a little work. Some of it felt a bit forced, but it’s not to say it was bad… it was rather enjoyable.
The battles were also well choreographed although the actions scenes didn’t feel liquid smooth. Often times, it seemed a bit jittery which could lead some people trying to discern what was happening on the screen. Perhaps they can clean that up in future episodes, but there is no doubt that if they were trying to capture the notion of super fast action, then they nailed it right on the head.
The episode even stayed true to the anime at its conclusion with a “Next Time on Dragonball Z” preview. If you are wondering about the future of this series, fans don’t need to fear as Robot Underdog are fully committed to completing it. They even released the following statement:
“Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is a non-profit, live-action Dragon Ball Z web series. It’s made by fans, and is not affiliated with or endorsed by the official license holders.
Our goal is to bring the Dragon Ball world to life in a way that’s never been done before, while staying true to the characters and story. We want to use this episode as leverage to make more episodes for this web series and other projects. So please help us out by sharing, commenting and liking! The more support we have, the more likely we are to do more Dragon Ball Z. We want to keep making DBZ content, and that’s only possible with your help!”
If you wish to support this venture, you can help donate to the project with all proceeds going into the creation of Episode 2. You can donate by going to their official page by clicking here
Dragonball Z: Light’s Hope is directed by Donnie and Rita McMillan, written by Derek Padula, and stars Tyler Tackett as Anrdoid #17, Amy Johnston as Android #18, Anton Bex as Gohan, Jack Wald as Trunks, and RuthAnn Thompson as Bulma.
Dragonball Z: Light’s Hope Pilot Epsiode