why i love the garlic jr filler arc:
1. Foreshadowing the cell saga-
Gohan is the surprise hero of the cell saga/cell games. we’ve seen hints of his power before but he never really does anything against vegeta or frieza. seeing him as the hero of this minor story foreshadows his fight against cell. in terms of artistic symmetry, it balances the story.
2. vegeta in space/ end of planet trade-
I love vegeta so seeing him in his natural element is awesome for me. this is the closest we come to seeing planet trade vegeta, not z fighter vegeta. also, it closes some very important loopholes. planet trade was, as far as we know, the biggest and most important political body in the entire universe. after its sole head, frieza, as well as his most important underlings, zarbon, dodoria, and the ginyus are killed on namek, what happens to the organization? it seems to big and important to just crumble. too big to fail you know. vegeta’s methodical annihilation of the remnants in his search for goku explains what happens to planet trade.
3. tying the movies and series together-
this is the only saga, if you can even call it that, that references a movie. movie no. 2 The Dead Zone. Incidentally, Dead Zone was one of my favorites. This saga means those events actually happened. Not only is this interesting in a postmodern sense, it also makes goku and piccolo’s quick alliance against radditz more plausible as they’ve allied before against a greater enemy.
4. no goku-
I love goku, but his presence tends to devalue the other characters. unlike say yu yu hakusho where each character has a unique skill set, everyone in dbz has essentially the same powers. so, whoever has the most brute strength is really the only one who matters. goku is always the strongest so his absence in this saga opens up a lot of possibilities and we get to see a lot of under utilized characters, specifically piccolo and krillin, shine.
Kami and the gods in general are a very interesting and extremely unexplained part of dbz. seeing a bit of kami’s history and some info on the role of the guardian was very cool