Goku’s journey on Snake Way is sometimes referred to as the training for the Saiyan Saga. As in six episodes or three months in the anime/manga.
Goku is only halfway to the halfway point. Meanwhile, Bulma fixed Raditz’s scouter and modified it to make it easier to use.
But did she find a way to stop the scouter from transmitting everything they say to the Saiyans and the rest of the Frieza Force?
Goku doesn’t skip leg day!
Many refer to the Dragon Ball franchise as the Goku show. And the training for the Saiyans isn’t an exception.
We see him at least once per episode! But these segments are handled well, as Goku is unaware of how much time passes.
He also learns that being dead doesn’t mean he can’t feel hunger. But the clouds surrounding Snake Way are edible, so he has a way to bounce back.
Goku flies runs, jumps, and catches a ride on a maintenance vehicle. Only to fall asleep and fall off the vehicle and straight into Hell!
Which means King Yama won’t be able to help him. But this is Goku, and we know he’ll get out of there eventually.
Gohan meets Piccolo!
Piccolo decides to train Gohan to beat the Saiyans. He doesn’t care about getting permission, and Gohan is kidnapped for the second time!
But Piccolo’s approach to training almost gets him killed on the first day. So first, Piccolo tosses Gohan into a shallow stream to wake him up and explain the situation.
Then he threatened to snap Gohan’s neck if he kept crying twice. Finally, Gohan reluctantly agrees to train, and Piccolo tells him to survive alone for six months.
In case you haven’t seen/read the Saiyan Saga recently, Gohan is four years old! But Piccolo isn’t as heartless as he wants to be.
He flies away but returns to keep an eye on Gohan for the first couple of days without Gohan seeing him. This leads to Gohan getting chased by a dinosaur and teleporting himself to the top of a mountain instinctively.
Gohan has no idea how to climb down and spends the rest of the day crying. Finally, Piccolo drops two apples for him, and Gohan does wonder where they came from as there aren’t any trees nearby.
But he’s too hungry to focus on it, and Gohan sees a full moon for the first time in Episode 8. Piccolo watches him transform and destroys the moon upon remembering what Raditz said about Saiyan power.
He also yanks off Gohan’s tail as an extra precaution and gives him new clothes and a sword. The clothes match Goku’s, but the kanji is Piccolo’s demon kanji.
Thus officially claiming Gohan as his student and vowing to make him a fine member of the demon clan.
Gohan makes friends, and they die!
During the first month, Gohan becomes self-sufficient and less prone to crying. Then, he gets chased by a crocodile, and a mountain lion, gets carried away by a giant bird, almost stolen by a pterodactyl, and finally falls into ruins.
Fortunately, he finds an old robot and turns it on. But, unfortunately, the robot isn’t pleased and tells him to turn him back off and leave.
Gohan complies, but the exit leads to a cliff he’d have to jump to reach the other side. The boy tries to explain this to the robot, but the robot doesn’t care.
So Gohan stays in the ruins and eventually bonds with the robot. Thanks to Chi Chi forcing him to study for eight hours a day and some picture books.
Gohan fixes the robot’s visual receptors and gets a warm meal of cooked mushrooms. But when Gohan tries to dig the robot out, the ruins begin to collapse, and the robot throws Gohan to safety.
A couple of months later, Gohan encountered a brontosaurus with a branch stuck in its stomach. Gohan treated its wound thanks to a flashback of Goku using leaves to make medicine and treating one of Gohan’s scratches.
Gohan begins gathering food but finds the same dinosaur that tried to eat him, attacking his new friend. Unfortunately, the brontosaurus is devoured.
My favorite filler episode!
For some reason, Vegeta and Nappa had different color schemes at the start of the Saiyan Saga. And we get to enjoy it the most in Episode 11!
Vegeta set a timer to wake him once they reached planet Arlia. Vegeta thought it would be an excellent planet to sell once they killed the population.
This is our first time seeing Vegeta use telepathy as he goads Nappa to wake up. However, the planet’s surface is covered in wreckage, and Vegeta decides to let the survivors capture him and Nappa.
We get a heat-felt story of newlyweds separated, a bride captured for a cruel king, and a giant who eats anyone the king tells him to. Anyone would be moved to tears and want to help the people to rise!
Except for Vegeta and Nappa. They don’t care and stick around long enough to get some fighting before leaving to destroy the planet.
I recommend watching the dub and sub in one sitting. The fight between Vegeta, Nappa, and Yedi takes different meanings.
The dub tries to make a joke, as the king orders Yedi to kill the Saiyans because they’re very bad. Nappa turns to Vegeta and asks him if they’re bad.
Vegeta grins and says maybe a little. The sub has the king order Yedi to kill them, and Nappa asks Vegeta if he can fight Yedi by himself.
Vegeta permits him and stays out of it. I love the difference in this episode, and it’s one of the best fillers in anime!