Dragon Ball Z: How to Watch the Best Battles

Gotenks vs Majin Buu

Runtime: A little under 2 hours
Best Place to Stream: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll’s Season and Episode: Season 1, Episodes 258-262

Between facing off against Frieza and Cell, Goku and company have had their hands full with a ton of seriously bad people. But when a wizard from outer space shows up pretty much entirely at random, the tone backslides toward the sillier days of Goku’s adventures. Back at the start, the show was as much of a comedy as it was an action series. This horrific Majin Buu entity was the first antagonist in a long time that wasn’t only dead-set on destroying the world. With a childlike disposition, Buu would transform folks into candy just to eat them. Worse yet, he seemed completely immune to damage and significantly stronger than the Earth’s best. 

So it’s a funny detour when Hercule accidentally becomes Buu’s friend and easily sways him to give up his evil ways. Unfortunately for the world, Buu physically splits into a good and evil version and the evil one wins out. It’s this maniacal Super Buu that Trunks and Goten face off against as the final defenders of the world. Buu is so bad that he doesn’t even wait to win the final battle to kill everyone on the planet, he just does it on a whim. Even with this ultra-evil character turn, his battle against the two youngest fighters in the docket is a lighthearted delight full of gags and dumb jokes. The two kids are the Earth’s last hope, but they are extremely very dumb. It’s the perfect synthesis of the high-powered high-stakes battles of DBZ and the goofy anything-goes style of Goku’s adventures as a kid in Dragon Ball.

Goku and Vegeta vs Kid Buu

Runtime: A little under 3 hours
Best Place to Stream: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll’s Season and Episode: Season 1, Episodes 279-286

In Dragon Ball Z, no matter how bad things looked, good always beat out evil. But it’s not just one fight that happened to result in the series’ happy ending, it is truly the fight to end all fights. Goku manages to defeat Buu, the single worst entity in the entire universe. With Frieza defeated, the Androids at home managed, the arrival of Buu’s ancient evil was the last true threat to a peace happily ever after. 

Beyond the sentimentality, it’s a thrilling fight to watch. It’s got all the hallmarks of a classic DBZ fight, but cranked up to 11. Goku makes his millionth return from retirement to defeat the big bad, but this time Buu is the literal incarnation of evil, not just a seriously bad dude. Vegeta has a huge character moment when he finally acknowledges that Goku is the stronger of the two, not because of his strength, but because of his pure heart, his kindness. The Dragon Balls make a clutch assist to set up for and execute the fan-favorite attack in the entire series, the Spirit Bomb. 


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