Dragon Ball Z: Return My Gohan!!
Kanji ドラゴンボールZ オラの悟飯をかえせッ!!
Rōmaji Doragon Bōru Zetto Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!
FUNimation Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
Movie Info
Previous Movie 3
Next Movie 5
Japanese July 15, 1989
English March 17, 1997 (original dub)
May 31, 2005 (remastered dub)
Character debut(s)
Technique debut(s)
Tool debut(s)
None in this movie

Dragon Ball Z: Return My Gohan!! (ドラゴンボールZ オラの悟飯をかえせッ!!, Doragon Bōru Zetto Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!), originally known as Dragon Ball Z during its initial theatrical release, and known in America as Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, is first movie to be branded under the title of Dragon Ball Z and the fourth overall Dragon Ball movie. Originally released in Japan on July 15, 1989 at the "Toei Manga Matsuri" film festival, it's an alternate retelling of the beginning of the Dragon Ball Z series, acting as a prelude.

Production & Release

Akira Toriyama is credited as the original series author. The film was directed by Daisuke Nishio and the screenplay was written by Takao Koyama, and Minoru Maeda[1]. The film was originally released in America on March 17, 1997 to VHS, Laserdisc and DVD by Pioneer in conjunction with FUNimation. Once their sub-license expired, Funimation re-released the film on DVD on November 14, 2006[2]. It was later remastered and released in a Double Feature set with The World's Strongest on Blu-ray and DVD on May 27, 2008[3]. The film was released to DVD again on November 1, 2011 in a remastered box set containing the first five Dragon Ball Z movies[4].


Attack of the Mysterious Threat


The group of shadowed warriors who've attacked Piccolo.

Piccolo is displayed training at an obscure wasteland demonstrating his Ki's strength destroying a barren mountain with Kiai. Piccolo tired begins to catch his breath, where in his words promises to get his revenge in a future conflict, with Son Gokū. While the debris subsides through the air Piccolo senses danger in the horizon. Nervously staring as inching towards him in slow motion a mysterious warrior incoming towards him, attempting to attack him head-on. Behind him another attacker also comes toward him attempting to blindside him. When suddenly beneath him an attacker begins the attack. Piccolo is violently attacked by an unknown group of assailants. The group outnumbers him and outmatches him in their exchange — unable to respond to their aggressive onslaught.

During Piccolo's fall he notices a final member on top of a mountain, Piccolo promises to find him tumbling on a rock formation. The mysterious assailants assemble in a collective to wage a final attack of firing Kikōha, presumably killing him in the blast. The mysterious leader gloats, in delight about defeating the mighty Piccolo. Having finally completed his task in killing God. Since they are the same in spirit and mind God is now dead. Elsewhere, in heaven God in great pain senses that Piccolo has been killed. Suspecting the culprit to be the Son Gokū — but then, God comes realization that it was another, a threat that even he fears.

Gohan DeadZone Ap01

Gyūmaō arrives to visit his grandson.

Meanwhile, at Mount Paozu, Son Gohan is studying in a nearby forest study by his home. In the nearby distance Chi-Chi calls Gohan into eat. Returning back to his home Son Gohan hears his grandfather approaching in the distance. Happy to see his grandfather Gohan greets his grandfather Gyūmaō. Gyūmaō greets them and is there to visit his grandson along with a delivery of gifts for his grandson. While handing over the books to Gohan Gyūmaō begins to feel discomfort and drops the books falling inexplicably to ground defeated by an attacker. A cloaked attacker emerges above Gyūmaō requesting Chi-Chi to that he's come for the Dragon Ball on Gohan's hat. Chi-Chi orders Gohan to hide inside the house and prepares to fight the attacker preparing her Kenpo.In a split second as Gohan tries to enter the house he tells Chi-Chi that there is another two attacker surrounding them. One above the rooftop and another one emerging from the shadows of the home.


Chi-Chi easily defeated by the mysterious attacker.

Now surrounded Chi-Chi begins to worry and lunges at one of the attackers, attempting to land an attack but is defeated quickly by the attacker with only lifting his hand. Elsewhere, in the area nearby Son Gokū was out fishing and senses danger. Chi-Chi now defeated the attackers aim to take Gohan. While Gokū begins to rush to his home in a hurry. Gohan's mother and grandfather plead with him to run from the attackers. But is easily grabbed by one of the attackers and the attackers escape. Son Gokū returns shortly and begins to tend to his injured wife, only to find out that their son has been kidnapped by an unknown group. The only clue being that the enemy was after the Dragon Balls.


The group of assailants report to their leader.

Elsewhere on a distant Palace, Gohan is heard crying as the group responsible return to their leader's headquarters reporting to their leader Garlic Junior. Whose already gathered five Dragon Balls, and is looking to gather all seven. His henchmen report to their leader that they've already spotted the last two locations. The nefarious Garlic Junior unveils his wish of being granted immortality. In order to take the first step of his plan to exterminating the people of Earth — scaring his fellow followers. Gohan requests to be taken back and laments that his father is the strongest fighter in the world Son Gokū. Garlic Junior begins to worry pondering over the retaliation of the man who defeated Piccolo, Son Gokū. Ginger scoffs Gohan and berates him. Suddenly Garlic Junior begins to sense a sharp, mysterious dormant power within Gohan. Enough to perturb him and requests to take Gohan as his disciple.


Garlic Junior and the Three Patrons.

Son Gokū worried about the attackers heads over to Kame House to request for the Dragon Radar to assist his search for his kidnapped son. Son Gokū and co. quickly realize that the attackers did not come for his son, rather are collecting the Dragon Balls. Finding out the location of the headquarters coordinates are beyond Southern Continent, Red Sea. Son Gokū then departs taking the Dragon Radar to find the attackers. Muten Rōshi warns Gokū to be careful noting their power was enough to make light work of Chi-Chi and Gyūmaō. Whilst Gokū departs to find his son on the Kintoun. Back at Garlic Junior's palace Sansho and Ginger return to with the remaining Dragon Balls . Now with all the Dragon Balls gathered Garlic Junior calls forth Shenron and asks for his wish for immortality. Shenron grants him his wish calling it a 'simple task' beaming Garlic Junior with his wish-granting capability making Garlic Junior immortal.

Battle Against the Three Patrons


God arrives alongside Son Gokū.

The newly immortal Garlic Junior declares his goal to avenge his defeated father to exterminate those who've been touched by the light of God. Promising to take his role as God and exterminating mankind. Garlic Junior's henchmen praise Garlic's new reign. A furious Son Gokū descends from the sky requesting to be given his son back. Promising to the attackers to punish them for attacking his family. From heaven God descends from the skies as a body of light to battle alongside Gokū — surprising Garlic Junior, having thought he killed him from his earlier assassination attempt on Piccolo. Son Gokū angry tells God to leave the matter to himself. God describes a brief history about his ascension to take the role as god. Where he and Garlic's Junior's father competed him him for the throne of God 300 years prior. A decision where he was picked leading him to rebel against previous god. As a result was sealed away by the previous god. Gokū not interested in their affair demands to know where is his son. Nikki tells Gokū that's Gohan is dead. Not convinced Gokū plans on getting passed them to search in the palace. Gokū manages to cunningly passes through Garlic Junior and his attendants, whilst God and Garlic Junior continue to face off. Preparing to begin their battle.


Son Gokū Battles against the Three Patrons.

In the Palace Gokū looks for Gohan calling out to him. As he's about to search the throne room he is stopped by the Three Patrons. Alerting him that he must defeat them in order to go any further. The Patrons formally introduce themselves. Outnumbered Gokū attempts to flee from his aggressors but is quickly apprehended. Gokū reverses their attack and then accepts their challenge. The three grin preparing to fight Gokū each of them undergoing a transformation that increases their muscle mass dramatically. The three patrons begin their flurry of combination attacks begin to overwhelm Son Gokū.


Nikki and Sansho use a Kikōha on Son Gokū.

In the exchange Gokū is swatted away with a blow against a statue. Gokū regroups and notes the attributes of their transformation has increased their raw power, and also to increased their speed. Gokū prepares another strategy and engages the three in battle again. The three use a conjunction of the Zanzōken and their number advantage against Gokū. In the exchange Gokū figures out their technique and timely defeats all three of them with a three-blow combination ending their battle. Gokū orders them to tell him where his son. Nikki and Sansho attempt to blindside Gokū from behind shooting a combination of two Kikōha. At the brink of a second the incoming Kikōha are deflected by Kuririn's Kikōha. Kuririn and Piccolo (although not for anything but his own ulterior motives of revenge) arrive to help Gokū. Elsewhere, God and Garlic Junior have begun their fight. God although fiercely retaliating it is short-lived, as Garlic Junior begins to quickly outmatch him and begins to brutally assault God.

Piccolo Vs. Sansho


Piccolo battles against Sansho.

Back in the palace, Gokū spots Gohan and is quickly encountered by Ginger and Nikki. Kuririn is given the task to get Gohan, but is quickly encountered by Sansho. Kuririn prepares his Kenpo stance against Sansho. But is stopped by Piccolo, who intends on taking his revenge, dominating over Sansho, in a one-sided battle. Piccolo beats him with a barrage of blows and sends him flying with a single punch sending distances away. After pinning him through a floor of the palace, Piccolo in disgust kills him with a single Kikōha.

Son Gokū Vs. Ginger & Nikki


Gokū's battle against Ginger and Nikki.

Gokū continues his battle against Nikki and Ginger. As the two uses peculiar powers to release weapons from their body. In an uphill handicap using his Nyoibō to battle against the two swordsman on the balcony. In some instances Gokū becomes overwhelmed in combat, resorts to Gokū using the Nyoibō's to pin Nikki down, with its ability to extend. While Gokū continues to fight Ginger in Hand-to-Hand combat gaining the advantage after a few exchanges. Ginger in a desperate counterattack attempts to strike him. The attempt is easily dodged by Gokū's front-flip kicking him to knock him off the balcony. Gokū retracts his Nyoibō and prepares his Kamehameha. Ginger in mid-air attempts a ki-based counterattack but is easily overpowered by Gokū's attack, killing both Ginger and Nikki.

Final Battle Against Garlic Junior


Garlic Junior unveiling his true power.

Elsewhere, God in the brink of defeat and at the mercy of Garlic Junior. He attempts to muster strength but falls on his enemy's shoulder. As a last resort God clutches onto Garlic Junior and intends on sacrificing himself to protect the people of Earth. Garlic Junior patronizes God reminding him that he's immortal making his sacrifice in vain. From the depths of the palace as the powers of Piccolo and Gokū unite to confront Garlic Junior. Garlic turns to them and stares at them face-to-face. Gokū tells Kuririn to grab Gohan and to escape as the final battle with Garlic Junior is underway. Kuririn carries Gohan and wishes Gokū luck in his battle. While Garlic Junior expresses his disappointment in having to kill two high-caliber combatants. Backed into a corner Garlic Junior's power begins to dramatically increase until he undergoes a transformation. Without any hesitation Garlic Junior launches his attack, quickly overpowering the alliance of Piccolo and Gokū. Garlic Junior uses a one-handed powerful Kikōha. Gokū saves God in the nick of time and joins the counterattack with Piccolo, until Garlic Junior releases a powerful Kikōha that destroys the palace.
Goku Piccolo Garlic JR

Son Gokū and Piccolo unite as one to Battle Garlic Junior.

Gokū and Piccolo hide in the shadows awaiting a perfect time to strike Garlic Junior. But both are quickly discovered and grabbed one-by-one and slammed to the ground. After regrouping the Gokū and Piccolo create a temporary alliance and take off their weighted clothing. Piccolo reminds him that they're still enemies and after they defeat Garlic they'll fight against one another. The two manage to make a powerful comeback, outclassing Garlic Junior. Defeating him with a combined Kikōha defeating Garlic Junior.

Final Onslaught and the Dead Zone


The Final Showdown : Gohan vs. Garlic Junior.

Now defeated Gokū and Piccolo celebrate, God arrives to congratulate their joint effort. But the celebration is short-lived as the two rekindle their old feud. The two prepare to fight each other. Garlic Junior emerges from the depths of the debris. Garlic Junior unleashes his ultimate attack known as the Dead Zone, opening up a portal that even light cannot escape from. While Gokū and Piccolo begin their battle the portal begins to suck them into the void. The portal begins to suck in the debris and the remaining parts of Garlic Junior's palace. Just as he almost sucks in Piccolo, Gokū saves him. Kuririn who was knocked unconscious by debris falling on top of him earlier, regains consciousness just to notice that he's now tugging on the brink of death. As the palace continues to be sucked into the void. Gokū begins to worry about his son. Garlic Junior having no qualms intends to suck his enemies, into the void, as it seemed that victory would be his, Gokū's son, Gohan becomes enraged witnessing his father and friends in danger and releases his latent energy. Garlic on the verge of victory becomes worried about Gohan's power, confirming his earlier suspicions, about him. Garlic Junior attempts to put a quick end to him but is battled by Gohan's inner power. In fear desperation Garlic Junior attempts one final attack. But instead is blasted by Gohan's latent energy. The Blast sends Garlic Junior into his own vortex to be trapped for all eternity. Once sealed inside the Dead Zone, Garlic's technique ceases as Gohan faints. The Dead Zone begins to crack and shatters akin to glass.



Garlic Junior sealed for all eternity.

Garlic Junior now defeated, The Dragon Team regroups while Gohan wakes up. In the end of it all, Son Gohan doesn't remember a thing of what happened, instead believing that his father defeated Garlic Junior. The heroes make their leave, in the background Piccolo is seen from above a ledge looking down on Gokū and his friends and vows that one day, he will defeat Gokū. In the ending scenes Gokū realizes how special his son is and promises to tell him the events that occured when he's older. They continue drifting to the sun, but beneath the ocean, Garlic Junior is seen encased in his own technique in the bottom of the ocean.


Original Score

The opening theme for the movie was Cha-La Head-Cha-La by Hironobu Kageyama, while the ending was Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Power! (でてこい とびきりZENKAIパワー!, Come On Out, Incredible ZENKAI Power!) by MANNA. The only insert song, Tenka-ichi Gohan (天下一ゴハン, The World's Greatest Gohan), was performed by Masako Nozawa, the seiyū of Gohan.

FUNimation Soundtrack


The film holds a rating of 7.4/10 on IMDb, based on 3,276 votes.[5] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 85% based on 5,969 votes, with an average rating of 3.6/5.[6] Anime News Network grades the movie an overall C+. The film was an immense success, generating a total of ¥800 million at the box office. It also had 2.2 million in attendance[1].


Role Seiyū FUNimation dub Voice Actor
English Japanese Rōmaji English Japanese Rōmaji English
Son Gokū
Son Gokū
Masako Nozawa
Nozawa Masako
Sean Schemmel
Son Gohan
Son Gohan
Masako Nozawa
Nozawa Masako
Stephanie Nadolny
Toshio Furukawa
Furukawa Toshio
Christopher Sabat
Hiromi Tsuru
鶴 ひろみ
Tsuru Hiromi
Tiffany Vollmer
Mayumi Tanaka
Tanaka Mayumi
Sonny Strait
Daisuke Gōri
Gōri Daisuke
Kyle Hebert
Mayumi Shō
荘 真由美
Shō Mayumi
Cynthia Cranz
Kame Sennin
Kōhei Miyauchi
Miyauchi Kōhei
Mike McFarland
Takeshi Aono
青野 武
Aono Takeshi
Christopher Sabat
Kenji Utsumi
Utsumi Kenji
Christopher Sabat
Garlic Junior
Gārikku Junia
Akira Kamiya
神谷 明
Kamiya Akira
Chuck Huber
Kōji Totani
Totani Kōji
Troy Baker
Yukitoshi Hori
堀 之紀
Hori Yukitoshi
Eric Dillow
Shigeru Chiba
千葉 繁
Chiba Shigeru
Doug Burks


  • This movie takes place in an alternate dimension[7], between the end of Dragon Ball and Raditz's arrival at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Movie Guide: Dragon Ball Z Movie 01
  5. Doragon bôru Z (1989) on IMDb
  6. DRAGON BALL Z: DEAD ZONE (1989) at Rotten Tomatoes
  7. Akira Toriyama Super Interview
  8. Daizenshuu 6, page 44


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