Dragonball Z TV #20: Frieza - The Summoning (Mania.com)

Review Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2001

What They Say
Now that Goku has finished Captain Ginyu, his henchman, the evil Frieza is left alone to fight the earthlings. Piccolo, Nail, Gohan, Krillin, and even Vegeta join forces to battle Frieza as an injured Goku recuperates.

Password is Porunga
A defeated Nail reveals to Frieza his subtle plot, to stall him long enough for the Earthlings to summon Porunga, the Namekian Dragon! Finding his confidence in the Ginyu Force misguided, a frustrated Frieza races to stop Krillin and Gohan from executing their wishes. But with Dende revealing the password, can Frieza stop the Earthling?

Piccolo's Return
Gohan and Krillin summon Porunga, the Namekian Dragon, to make their wishes. But to their disappointment they discover only one person can be returned for each wish. Without sufficient wishes to return all four Krillin and Gohan resort to the next best thing - restore Piccolo, thereby reinstating Kame and the Dragon Balls on Earth! But an enraged Vegeta arrives before the last wish is cast. Will his arrival ruin their plans?

The Fusion
Frieza is furious when he discovers the Namekian Dragon Balls are gone, and launches into battle with Vegeta. Elsewhere, with Porunga's help, Piccolo arrives on the planet Namek only to discover a badly injured Nail. Even though Nail can't continue to fight in his own body, he can continue to fight by combining with Piccolo in a Namekian fusion technique! Will Piccolo, now united with Nail, arrive on the battlefield in time to stop Frieza's diabolical plans to destroy all the inhabitants of Namek?

The Review!
FUNimation’s first Frieza DVD, after countless months, has finally been released. This DVD includes episodes 61-63 (Japanese eps: 75-77). This DVD contains the episodes which Kuririn and Gohan summon the Namekian dragon, Polunga in order to wish their deceased friend’s back to life. And at the same time, Vegeta wants a wish from the dragon to become immortal.

Video: The video transfer is amazing. The masters of these episodes must be kept in very good condition compared to the recently released “Androids” episodes because unlike those, the video isn’t flooded in grain. Very minor artifacts present with minor shaking in some areas, which, even I had trouble detecting. Unless you literally sit directly in front of the screen and take a magnifying glass, you won’t notice anything wrong with the video in this disc.

Audio: The “uncut” dub track is in stereo which sounds lively as ever while the Japanese track stays in its original mono form. Although the dub is in stereo, you wouldn’t want to listen to the techno crap Faulconer produces. A stereo track would be nice, but the mono is just fine. And though it is in mono, the Japanese track sure as hell beats the audio of a fansub into the ground.

Packaging: As usual, FUNimation continues to not include any sort of insert whatsoever for their DVDs. Not a big problem but a picture of the dragon would be nice. I still don’t see any reason not to have an insert. I mean, just by looking at the case it looks empty without them. The cover art is the same as the VHS cover except it has blue splashes on the back of the screencaps.

Menus: Now this is something I, and many other people, were quite pleased with. Quite possibly one of the best menus out there on any anime DVD. The menu starts off inside of the same ship Goku used to travel to Planet Namek and on the upper left is a little TV screen, which has highlights of scenes from DBZ. The loading can get a bit annoying sometimes but that’s due to how it was originated. When you click on an option, the menu goes over to the TV screen and shows you the rest of the options.

Extras: Well what can I say about the extras? BORING! Come on FUNimation! You are giving us the SAME EXTRAS since the Trunks DVDs which are just a bunch of VHS commercials. And not that there is anything wrong with commercials but when you are advertising “uncut” VHS tapes on a DVD, its downright unpleasant. No one wants to see these commercials again; we have them on about 10 other discs. Instead, how about an art gallery or something else other than commercials.

Content: Well, it is Dragonball Z, a series people have become attached to. How do the episodes on this DVD stand? Well unfortunately, I found these episodes to be rather boring unless you want to see a bunch of chat or see Piccolo fuse with Nail (spoiler). This is the beginning of the Frieza saga so if you want to own it all you might as well pick up this one as well. The remaining Frieza episodes are very fun to watch. This basically gives you an idea of what is coming up and at the same time, have a little fight scene here and there, but other than that, it’s boring.

In the end, if you are a DBZ fan, you might want to check this disc out. If you are an anime fan, I suggest you rent it or borrow it from a friend. The episodes on this disc aren’t exactly to die for and will bore you rather quickly.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony DVP S530D with Monster S-Video and audio cables. Sony Complete Dolby Digital Home Theater sound package with receiver and speakers. 27’ WEGA Sony TV

Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: D
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 65
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z