The English dub/Funimation that is.
Instead of using the original Japanese tunes and dialogue, a number of the Dragon Ball Z films instead included licensed songs for Goku and the Z Fighters to duke it out to when it came to the extraterrestrial enemies that threatened the earth. The Cooler’s Revenge movie has an incredible soundtrack of licensed songs from bands such as Deftones (my favourite band), Disturbed, Breaking Point, Drowning Pool and the like. If you read my exercise playlist post and have watched the DBZ movies, you’ll notice that my playlist includes most of the songs from the films and that’s no accident. While I have heard of some songs and bands already, others were unknown to me and it’s difficult to say if I would have ever discovered them if it weren’t for the movies. I’m sure that can be said for other fans as well.
To give an example of what I mean…
Drowning Pool’s “Reminded” does not appear in the original Japanese version, obviously. Released on home video in North America by Funimation in 2002, Cooler’s Revenge is the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie and is set shortly after the events of the Namek/Frieza saga. Unfortunately, Cooler is not canon (hopefully one day) even though he’s cooler than his brother. After learning his younger brother Frieza was killed by a Saiyan, Cooler tracks Goku down to earth to get his revenge. It’s a bit odd because in the movie Cooler admits that he would have eventually killed his brother if Goku hadn’t beat him to the punch. So what’s the point of getting revenge?
Anyway, being that this was 2002, rap music wasn’t the most popular genre of music yet. This movie came at a time when the bands I’ve mentioned were arguably at their peak in popularity. I don’t remember many of the previous Z movies having rock music (there’s Lord Slug) so it’s pretty impressive too that they would have twelve songs playing throughout the movie. I loved it, I felt the tracks complemented the scenes and made them more intense. If nothing else, they sure do make my work outs more enjoyable and I like playing the songs when I’m playing Smash Bros.
I don’t know whose idea was it to include licensed music, but I’m glad they did. Thanks to the success of Cooler’s Revenge, Funimation would include hard rock and metal music in future movies such as Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. The Funimation soundtrack for that one included nineteen songs, but this time it was from obscure bands such as Gravity Pool, Haji’s Kitchen, and Slow Roosevelt.
The last Funimation DBZ movie to have licensed music was the tenth film, Broly – Second Coming, which included five songs by the band I.O.N. With most of DBZ’s audience in America being composed of teenagers and kids, and with rock and metal still commercially viable and popular forms of music at the time, it made sense in hindsight to have that kind of music playing. Like I said before, it’s probable for some fans it was their first time hearing these bands and music. If you’re like me, and you enjoy that kind of music, then you’ll want to dig deeper into their discography and learn more about them. Sometimes, you learn some sad things like the former vocalist for Gravity Pool and Haji’s Kitchen, Vincent Mullins passed away back in 2016. Thanks for the music, mayne!
You won’t hear any rock or metal music in Dragon Ball movies these days. Not only because they’re not popular any more, but perhaps because some Americans are trying hard to be more “international” by wearing shirts with Japanese text on them despite the fact they can’t speak, read or write Japanese. The Dragon Ball Super movie retained the original Japanese soundtrack for its Funimation release and I expect that to continue with its sequel next year. In some ways, I’m glad they don’t include licensed music in Dragon Ball movies any more. Can you imagine if they did these days? It would be nothing but trap music! Yuck!
With all that said, I’m still glad and grateful for the rocking tunes that were implemented as Goku and the Z fighters battled some of the more formidable and memorable foes in the franchise.
That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!