A lot of geek things are happening this weekend! Aside from the very obvious massive video gaming event in the country, ESGS 2018, the 2nd batch of the highly sought-after Adidas collab collectible dropped last Oct 26, 2018.
Yup, we’re talking about the Adidas x Dragon Ball Z pack — where Adidas takes inspiration from iconic characters and iconic moments from the beloved series. The pack takes 6 famous characters and pits them against one another reliving the epic battle in the series. Pack 1 starts with Goku vs Frieza, pack 2 (the current one that dropped) focuses on Gohan vs Perfect Cell while pack 3 highlights the epic clash between Vegeta vs Majin Buu! There’s also a last release for the mighty Shenron, granter of wishes and whatnot.
Each shoe also has a special box and an assigned numbered Dragon Ball, so, hopefully, if you’re able to collect all 7 — well, you get your wish granted (can I have more money in my bank account Shenron? ktnxbye).
Right now we were lucky enough to get a hold of both the Gohan and the Perfect Cell sneakers from Commonwealth. If you’re new to the sneaker game, Commonwealth is the place you need to hit up first. They have a bunch of specially-curated sneakers and they’re mostly part of limited-edition releases like the Dragon Ball Z pack. They also just opened a massive store in Powerplant Mall, Rockwell.
Perfect Cell – Adidas x Dragonball Z number 3
For the Perfect Cell collaboration, Adidas opted to use a slightly polarizing silhouette (shape/ style of shoe) from their wide collection — the Adidas Prophere. Chunky, heavy and has this funky midsole action going for it, the Prophere is a love it or hate it kind of shoe. A lot of people are turned off by the massively big midsole (even though chunky shoes are in) so it was a bit odd that Adidas would opt for this. In fact, the silhouettes that they chose for almost the entire Dragonball Z pack consists of second or third-tier silhouettes from the three-striped company.
Still, people went crazy for this during opening day.
Let’s look at the box first and foremost.
The boxes alone, regardless of the actual shoe, makes one want to try and collect all 7 shoes in the collection. The Collection logo, brands and character design surround the premium-looking box. On the sides you will find Perfect Cell’s profile image and an action-shot art that seems like it has been cut on the top and bottom — that’s because it is and I’ll explain why later.
Moving inside, you’re greeted with a specially printed shoe wrapper that can double as a poster if you were to frame it. For this pack, specifically, the image is of a young Gohan rendering the famous uppercut to Perfect Cell just like in the manga/ anime.
If you remove the wrapper, the inside of the box is adorned with various Dragonball images and the crazy chi/ aura that is prevelent in the show.
Then we have the shoe itself.
Truth be told, the Perfect Cell Prophere is the most boring of the entire collection and brought nothing new to the table. The Perfect Cell Prophere takes the exact same design style of the other Propheres and just changed the color to match that of the character. No additional elements, no new use of materials, nada.
A bunch of green and black spots flow through the upper while streaks of violet are seen overlapping half the toe box. The same violet streaks can be seen at the back.
The shoe does come with extra laces — which I feel is more cell-like than the original lace that was included. This is a nice touch, but still not big enough to wow me.
As for the fit, you can go True-to-Size (what your actual feet size is) but it quite a challenge to put the shoe in. Once you get it on, though, the upper is pretty roomy so if you have wide-feet, this is pretty much for you. You can opt to go for a half-size up but I find that just breaking in your true-to-size Prophere should give you a perfect fit.
Gohan – Adidas x Dragonball Z number 4
One of the most underrated sneakers in the entire collection and yet one of the most, if not the most, creatively inspired shoe in the pack, the Gohan Deerupt is just fire in my opinion. While the initial launch of the Deerupt was met with, well, a bit of disdain from the community (due to the very funky colorway, the weird net wrapping your feet and the non-boost midsole), the Gohan version is a perfect example of how real creative design can save a problematic silhouette.
Before we jump right to my analysis, let’s admire the box art once again. Similar to the P. Cell above (and the rest of the Dragonball x Adidas pack), the Gohan Deerupt showcases the “premiumness” of the collective with its construction as well as the design.
On the side panel, you’ll find young Gohan’s profile image (Super Saiyan level 2) as well as a numbered Dragonball (number 4) while on the other side you’ll see him (non SS 2) flying around. If you stack the P.Cell box on top of this one, you’ll see that image open up.
And this is why people would want to collect the entire thing. If you stack them all up, they form one giant poster image. So with Gohan and Frieza, you’ll get this:
Hyped yet? Okay, back to the Deerupt! Inside the box we are greeted with the printed wrapper once again — similar to that of P. Cell box and the Dragonball montage print inside the box. As for the shoe itself, well, here it is in all its simplified glory.
Pursuing a more linear design approach, Gohan Deerupt employs one color for the upper, the mesh and the midsole. This violet is a nod to Gohan’s outfit during the Cell Saga arc where he undergoes extreme training by best-dad Piccolo. In fact the Ma (or Majin) symbol used by King Piccolo and the same one used by Gohan during his training can be seen at the heel tab towards the back of the shoe.
With that alone, the design is 10x better than Cell’s Prophere! tsk. But there’s more to this Deerupt that meets the eye. Coming down to the midsole, there’s a bright yellow section alluding to Gohan’s ascendancy to Super Saiyan level 2. In fact beneath the purple net of the shoe, the entire upper is covered with subtle 3M prints of what seems like lightning streaks — a defining aura add-on when Gohan turned SS2 and turned the tide against Perfect Cell and his cohorts. This pattern “lights up” once hit by a strong direct light — like a flash.
Gohan, as a character, has always been defined by his innate possibilities. In manga and in the anime, Gohan is one of the most powerful Saiyan’s out there — supposedly can go beyond that of Goku as well on sheer potential alone. The difference between him and his father is his desire to have a life and not make training the center of everything that he is. But as far as potentials could go, Gohan was one of the first to reach Super Saiyan level 2 without training, a feat that’s considerably hard to do, and it has been discussed time and time again that if only Gohan would let go of his potential he could gain immense power–arguably more than that of Goku or any other Saiyan.
So given this nature, it’s only fitting that the designs of Gohan Deerupt would go beyond skin deep. In fact, if you take a look inside, the designers left one last surprise which is a rubberized print of Gohan’s name in Kanji running along the heel. It’s these small details alluding to Gohan’s character that swings my vote to the Gohan Deerupt for best realized design of the pack.
Fit-wise, the Deerput runs a wee bit narrow. If you have wide-feet, we suggest going half a size up, as staying true-to-size can get a little bit too tight for comfort. Speaking of comfort, while the Deerupt doesn’t have the softest mid-sole, it does come with the best Ortholite insoles making this one comfortable sneaker. That Ortholite cushions your feet like crazy and the best part is you can easily remove it, so you can use it on your other shoes for a more satisfyingly comfortable experience.
The Adidas x Dragon Ball Perfect Cell Prophere and Gohan is now available in various sneaker stores namely Adidas NBHD, Sole Academy and CommonwealthPH. The Perfect Cell Prophere costs Php 9,300 ( a bit too steep for a Prophere if you ask me) while the Gohan Deerupt is priced competitively at Php 6,500 (and currently cheapest among the collection) making it a solid choice! Last time I checked at Commonwealth Greenbelt, there were still a couple of stocks left so best head there soonest if you want to score one at retail prices!