Dragonball Z: Androids - Invasion (Mania.com)

Review Date: Saturday, December 29, 2001

What They Say
The Androids Appear:
Three years have come and gone, and the day of reckoning has finally arrived! The Androids are here, just as Trunks predicted, and they’re wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting city! Goku and his friends must now put their training to the test, but they ready to face these mechanical monsters?
(Episode 111)

A Handy Trick:
Yamcha is held at the mercy of the ruthless Android 20, and Goku and the others must race to help their friend. Believing their power to be far superior, the Androids tempt Goku’s rage by leveling half the city! But there’s one thing the Androids didn’t count on – Goku’s a Super Saiyan!
(Episode 112)

Double Trouble for Goku:
The battle with the Androids begins in earnest as Goku launches an all out assault against Android 19. The Super Saiyan seems to have the fight well under control, but something is horribly wrong! Goku’s strength is mysteriously draining away! And Android 19 isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
(Episode 113)

Upgrade to Super Saiyan:
Attacked from within by a crippling virus, Goku is helpless against the maniacal Android 19. But just when it looks like the end for Goku, Vegeta appears on the scene! And he’s got a few big surprises in store for the Androids!
(Episode 114)

The Review!
The Androids are coming! The Androids are coming! After getting that message for the last three discs, the Androids appear and the fighting begins on the first DBZ disc released here with four episodes.

Forever sealing this release of the series as low grade in my opinion, the audio is limited to the English dub. Yep, no option for the Japanese track. There are no technical problems with the dub track though, a fairly centered and clear sounding stereo mix.

The video is serviceable, but is rarely superior to TV or VHS quality, thanks to the age of the source materials. It’s a bit soft, but scratches and film damage are minimal, and is at the same general standard as the previous discs, which beggars the question as to why not have 4 episodes on all discs.

After inserting the disc and sitting through the Interpole warning, Madman Entertainment and Funimation title screens, it leads directly onto the US DBZ is next program clip and then the opening titles before you even see the menu. The main menu is the default Madman circular DBZ standard, slightly more cluttered due to the increase in episode count. The menu is easy to navigate with options to play the four episodes in large with scene selection underneath and to head for the Extras page. Clicking on any of the four scene selection options takes you to a single scene selection page with the choice of replaying the US DBZ is next/opening titles, four chapter points per episode and the end credits.

This disc has the same extras as the first volume. The previous saga guide provides two pages of brief description for all the sagas before the present Androids Saga on this disc (i.e. Saiyan, Namek, Captain Ginyu, Frieza, Garlic Jr and Trunks Sagas). The character guide has 10 profiles on some of the major players in DBZ: Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Trunks, Frieza, Garlic Jr, Captain Ginyu and Raditz.

There is also a short 13 second promo for the official Australian Dragonball Z site, dragonballz.com.au.
At least some things remain the same as the US discs, with trailers for the two sagas before this one, Garlic Jr and Trunks. The final option on the Extras menu is the DVD credits, listing the three guys at Madman Interactive to thank for this DVD, after you point out the flawed nature of this disc lacking the Japanese language track.

The front cover is not really an action shot, a screen capture of when we first see Androids 19 and 20. The cover is pretty much identical to the Region 1 version, apart from minor changes like the changed region globes (2 and 4), PAL format tags, Madman Entertainment emblem and the M 15+ rating sticker, which in my opinion is the first disc to earn it.

Like the majority of all Australian R4 discs, the use of a clear case means we have a double-sided cover instead of an insert. On the front side we have an ad for Androids – Dr. Gero, below which are ads for the first three Madman Entertainment released DBZ discs. The Disc side features small shots of Vegeta carrying a dragon ball and Super Saiyan Goku, the seventh dragon ball under the disc’s hub and the URL for the Australian Dragonball Z site. The disc itself is the usual, dull yellow and four stars to mimic a dragon ball.

After all the exposition, training and planing, it’s time for the Androids to arrive. The group form up near the location the future boy/Trunks gave them. Showing the depth of planning, the Z-Fighters only just realize that non-living things such as Androids don’t have power levels, so they have to search for them the old fashioned way. Splitting up, Yamcha is the first to encounter the rather weird looking pair, only to quickly fall prey to their energy absorbing powers and have a fist punched through his chest. Dang, those Senzu beans work wonders.

Arriving to assist their friend, the Z-Fighters size up the Androids. Goku wishes that not so many innocent people were around. Android 20 interprets Goku’s request his own way by killing all the people, much to the horror of the heroes. Giving it a second try, Goku succeeds in convincing the Androids to follow him to a more suitable location for a fight. Sparing off against each other on a desolate island, as the Androids explain about Dr. Gero’s plan and how he monitored Goku’s power level for years and a suprizingly winded Goku explains that they haven’t got a hope. Poor Dr. Gero failed to realize that logical progression has little place in DBZ, as the power level of a Super Saiyan wasn’t accounted for.

Recovering slightly, Android 19 is chosen to defeat Goku. Super Saiyan Goku has no trouble, easily taking control of the fight, at least at first… Goku’s losing more strength than he should, and tries to end the fight early by firing off a kame-ha-hame, which just gives #19 the chance to absorb it. The Z-Fighters finally twig to what’s putting Goku off his game, the heart virus, but before they can intervene, Vegeta steps into the ring. Seems Vegeta has learned an important life lesson, chances are if you look really hard for something, you’ll just stumble over it when you give up, because he shocks everybody when he transforms into a Super Saiyan.

Finally DBZ returns to some fighting, with Goku’s fight against Android 19 being a stand out. 4 episodes worth of Android action, though the lack of Japanese audio is a problem.

English Language,Character guide,Previous Saga guide,Next Saga trailer

Review Equipment
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: C-
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 24.95 AU
Running time: 82
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z