The Case of Dragon Ball Room – (Part 1)

28 02 2010

There was once a Japanese Dragon Ball cel gallery on the internet that was truly stunning.  The man who ran it had some of the most rare and incredible cels from the most pivotal and memorable scenes from throughout the entire series.  Including the original Dragon Ball and GT.  In a case of misunderstanding, he translated an american forum who were in awe of his cels and thought that they were talking poorly of him.  He became offended and made a single post on the forum saying how he felt.  Of course, none of the collectors actually meant any harm, but these pages don’t translate perfectly when using an online translator like Babel Fish.  I am not sure if this led to the shutting down of his gallery or not, but a few months after the incident it disappeared off the internet.  It could have been a mixture of that and him getting offers for the cels even though he had no intention of selling them.  Well, luckily I happened to save a lot of the images from the site before it disappeared.  I don’t know of anyone else having them so I thought I’d share.  I’ll post some more of them in the coming days.  But by no means is this all of them.  Unfortunately, I don’t have even a fraction of what was on that site.  The man literally had some of the best I have ever seen.  Including SSJ2 Gohan doing the One-Handed KameHameHa with his father against Perfect Cell.  Yeah.  Really.  So, below are a few of the amazing cels that were in what was, in my opinion, the best Dragon Ball Cel Gallery on the internet.  But do not worry.  As Yoda might say, “There is another.”

I don’t have all of the images, so if anyone out there has some more from this gallery they’d like to share please contact me!  Go to the About section for information on how to do that.  I’d love to see some of the other ones again!  There’s more to come so stay tuned!  Click the images below to see them larger!

Goku stopping Vegeta as he sense Buu's power!

Letting Babidi transform him into Majin Vegeta.

Cyborg 17 swipes the controller from Dr. Gero

Probably the best SSJ Gohan cel ever from Movie 10.

SSJ2 Gohan is coming for Cell!

This was the site's title card.


Cel of the Day – Broly Attacks!

27 02 2010

I am not an active collector anymore.  Well, at least not right now.  But I have been around the web and I know a few tips and tricks to anyone considering collecting anime cels.  I’ve even got some Dragon Ball specific ones that I’ll be divulging with-in this blog.  Among them are where to find some of the best cels, how to make sure what you’re looking at is the real deal and not a fan made cel and other such things.

But right now, I’m not gonna do that!  Next post I will!  What can I give you though for now?  How about the “Cel of the day” which is what I’m going to start posting.  Let’s start with one I used to own!  The one below of Broly charging towards Goku with an energy blast!

Such a bad ass pose.

Oh Broly/Brolly/Broli... how I miss you!

I bought this cel while I was still in High School.  It was probably my first “high caliber”  cel I owned.  I got a ridiculously good deal on it in the most unlikely of places.  Okay, I’ll divulge one Collector tip today, eBay is NOT a good place to find great shots like this or rare cels.  But I got lucky.  I think I bought this at the very beginning of my collecting!  Around Christmas time too!  It was my present to meeee!  Not all collector’s are like me though.  A lot have money haha.  Back then I had even less so then I do now, so in order to continue collecting I would often sell or trade to acquire new ones.  Sometimes I had to do it for school, which was the case with this one.  I held onto it for 3 or 4 years before selling it.  But I feel good knowing that one of the biggest American Dragon Ball Collectors, and one of my good friends, now owns it.  So it’s being taken care of.  I don’t think I have to mention that this is from Dragon Ball Z movie 8 do I?  Well it is.  In any case here is the sketch below that went with it.

I'm too lazy to remove the old watermark. Sorry.

Incidentally, I remember when I first bought Movie 8 on a fan subbed VHS cassette in 2000 or 2001.  I watched it around the same time the Cell Games or Android saga was airing for the very first time on Cartoon Network.  I seem to recall that it blew me away.  You have to understand, to my young teenage mind Dragon Ball Z was already freaking everything  you could want.  Epic battles, explosions and the like.  Each saga kept topping the last one in scale.  It’s like a God of War game, where every boss keeps getting bigger and bigger.  Well, I remember watching Broly (the spelling of his name is varied so if you don’t like that one, whatever) pick Gohan up by the head and drag him through a building and just completely own (pwn?) all of the “Z fighters” … gah that feels like such a dub term … and it just was ridiculous.  Broly was such an unrelenting, unforgiving villain!  I particularly loved a line in the fan sub that they kind of messed up in the dub.  I think it was something along the lines of, well, one character says that he is like a devil and Broly retorts “No, I AM the devil.”  Something like that.  I can’t remember exactly.  Of course, now the movie doesn’t seem as good, you have to kind of see DBZ in order and be invested in the characters for it to properly have one-upped all you have already seen.  But in any case, this cel exemplifies all those qualities I remembered in one awesome pose with an evil smile attached.

Starting things off with a bang!

27 02 2010

In the summer of 2003, I began collecting anime cels.  In particular my favorite series was Dragon Ball Z.  I spent many years buying and selling, and through all of that time I have seen many many cels.  Some I tried to get through private collectors, some I tried to bid on through Yahoo! Japan and others I actually managed to get! haha.  But through that entire time I happened to save nearly every cel I came across that was worthwhile.  At least worth a passing glance, that is.  I have a fascination with animation and the entire process, so I have all kinds of images from 2003 to now saved on my computer.  Thousands!  So why keep them all to myself?  Some of these cels may never be posted online again, the one below in particular hasn’t been seen since July 2003.  So what to do with all these images?  Well I thought I’d just start posting them online for whoever is interested to check out!  Some have a story, some don’t.  When applicable I guess I’ll talk about it.

Gohan transforming into SSJ2 for the first time and in tears!

This cel went for around $3,400 US or 403,000 yen!

The one above is a biggie though.  So let’s start things off with a bang shall we?  The one above popped up on Yahoo! Japan a few months after I started collecting.  It, as you may know, is from a very famous scene where Gohan transforms into Super Saiyan 2 for the very first time.  It is missing the tears layer, the vide of course features Gohan crying, but otherwise it’s in very fine condition.  If you’re not familiar with how cels are created, they usually sketch them out on pieces of paper called Genga and then use a process similar to Xerox to transfer the image to clear acetate.  Then they are painted from behind so that the color/paint appears smooth from the front.  Unfortunately, this is a process that makes it cheaper to animate the shows and TOEI Animation who created Dragon Ball Z was one of the many studios who used it.  This causes the black lines, if exposed to too much UV light to fade into an orage color.  If not taken care of they can completely disappear.  I think I have an image of one like that.

This is what happens when you don't take care of a cel.

As you can see, this cel in particular has faded to a point where almost no lines are present.  Unfortunately.  It appears lighter colors affect this too.  I’m not sure why this is, maybe it has something to do with how lighter colors reflect light or who knows.  But I’ve noticed, white and yellow in particular faded more than lines surrounded by black.  Even though I believe black absorbs light, but then maybe that’s why.  Anyway that’s not the cel we want to focus on.

The SSJ2 Gohan is!  And boy what a cel too.  To date, I think it has sold for more than any other DB/Z/GT cel I’ve come across in the past 7 years.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 403,000 yen or $3,400 at the time (based on the exchange rate back then).

I placed a bid on it, but I won’t say how much!  It was dwarfed by the final price!  As you can see it’s still in good shape even though it has a little line fading!  Still has pretty much all the layers!  And if you pay attention, it is marked as an “END cel” which if you don’t know, means it was drawn by a key animator.  Key cels are usually of better quality than the others who are done by “inbetweeners.”  The very first, last and “key” frames of an animation are usually done this way.  This is the last or end cel.  This makes it’s value go up even more.

Not to mention the pivotal scene this is from, check it out in this video.


(English Dub).

For those interested there’s actually a version somewhere out there that combines the music from the Japanese with the English dub version.   After discovering that Gohan has a hidden power in him that can only come out when provoked, Cell pushes him as far as he can to try and bring it out.   At first Gohan isn’t sure of why his dad would let him take his place in the fight against Cell, after all Gohan sees his dad as the most powerful warrior in the entire universe.  And at that point he is, but Goku saw the dormant power lying inside of Gohan while they trained for the Cell Games and when Gohan figures out Goku’s plan he explains it to Cell.  Big mistake.  Cell tortures his friends and kills Android 16 by stepping on his head and smashing it.  For the Dragon Ball enthusiasts you already know that in Japan he is really a cyborg so that’s why there is blood present in the Japanese clip.  Anyway, this cyborg’s death pushes him to the limit and in a huge explosion of anger and tears Gohan transforms, being the first to pass the SSJ2 mark.

Gohan is pissed!

The cel was not won by an American bidder, it was won by someone who was native to Japan.  Fun fact, a lot of auctions on Yahoo! Japan will not ship outside of Japan because they don’t want these cels going to anyone else.  This isn’t always the case, of course, but some collectors there believe it’s supposed to stay in the hands of the Japanese since it’s a Japanese anime.  Which is fine.  A lot of collector’s have to bid through a sort of middle-man service like  Anyway, it stays in Japan and I haven’t seen this pop up in any fan gallery since.  So I saved the image and for those interested, here it is!  There’s the story behind it!  And so begins my silly Dragon Ball Cel Collecting blog!

Maybe next time I’ll show you a cel from another famous SSJ2 Gohan related scene!