One of the most beloved animated films from Akira Toriyama’s enduringly popular Dragon Ball Z is the anime series’ third movie, Tree of Might. The film saw a group of interstellar marauders led by the villainous Turles plant the eponymous tree on Earth to drain the planet of its natural resources in order to grow the tree and its mysterious, powerful fruit. The imminent destruction of the planet led Goku and the Z Fighters to confront the invading enemies, resulting in an epic brawl to destroy the tree before it completely exhausted the Earth’s energy.
Here’s a quick overview of the film, its sinister principal antagonist and what exactly the tree and its fruit did to make the destruction of an entire planet appear as a worthwhile cost.
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Tree of Might
An ensemble of space pirates wearing uniforms resembling the Frieza Force arrived on Earth, planting a seed deep within a ravine after realizing the planet would be the perfect location to grow the Tree of Might. Quickly draining the Earth of its life force, the resulting tree grows to a height visible from outer space, towering over the entire planet. Goku quickly rallied the Z Fighters to attack the tree in an effort to save the Earth, only to discover it was resistant to their attacks.
As Turles’ men fought the Z Fighters, Goku fought his villainous doppelgänger, who hoped to consume the tree’s fruit and gain enough strength to topple Frieza. Initially outmatched by Goku, Turles succeeded in eating the tree’s first ripe fruit, vastly increasing his combat strength and overpowering the heroes. Goku gathered energy from the tree itself to form a Spirit Bomb and destroy Turles along with the tree to restore the planet from the tree’s devastating effects.
Producer Morishita Kouzou was inspired in creating the film’s premise after learning that ginseng draws nutrients from across the entire field in which it’s planted to grow. Because of the tree’s drastic energy requirements to survive and bear fruit, King Kai reveals to Goku that the tree’s fruit is reserved exclusively for the gods and is not intended for mortals like Turles.
Grown from the Seeds of Might, extracts from the tree itself can revive long dead organisms, as evidenced by Earth’s restoration after being immersed in the tree’s remains following it being completely drained of life force. Turles is revealed to have revived several members of his team with extract from the Tree of Might, spreading the substance across their remains to bring them back as loyal servants.
It takes a breathtakingly short amount of time for the Tree of Might to reach maturity and begin bearing fruit resembling an oversized lychee berry. With the planet completely drained of its natural resources, the fruit becomes ripe, and users gain an immediate power boost after a single bite.
In the film, Turles is the only one seen consuming the fruit from the Tree of Might, though later video games would include the fruit as a support item. After taking a bite from the fruit, Turles instantly increases his entire muscle mass, becoming faster and stronger than Goku, even outpacing the hero as he used his Kaioken technique. Ultimately, the tree proves to be its own undoing, with Goku drawing from its incredible reservoirs to form a powerful Spirit Bomb before anyone else could partake of its fruit in a last-ditch effort to save Earth.
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