Dragonball Z: Androids - Assassins (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, December 29, 2001
What They Say
Nightmare comes true:
The race is on, as the Z-Fighters engage in a frantic search for Dr. Gero’s hidden laboratory! But rather than stop the androids before they’re activated, Vegeta wants a challenge! And against Trunk’s sage advice, he’s bent on fighting the androids alone! Can Trunks dissuade Vegeta’s suicidal course of action?
The demented Dr. Gero escapes to his mountain hideout and brings his killer androids to life. Without the help of Goku, who’s bedridden with a deadly virus, all hope seems lost. It looks like Dr. Gero will finally get his revenge against Goku. But wait! His evil creations have a vendetta of their own!
Vegeta faces off with Android 18 for a showdown on the highway. Even though Trunks and the others are there to help, the Saiyan prince insists on battling his opponent single-handed! Will Vegeta’s overconfidence against this android of unlimited power be his undoing?
Madman’s 6th TV series Dragon ball Z disc sees the defeat of the second string Androids and the appearance of the mechanical monsters Trunks fears so much.
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.
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 DBZ standard, circular in nature with the cover art as the main background on this disc, and then the group shot of Androids 16, 17, 18 and 20 inside the circle section. The menu is easy to navigate with options to play the three episodes in large with scene selection underneath and to head for the Extras page. Clicking on any of the three 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 Garlic Jr. Saga and upcoming Cell saga both on VHS. 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 has an image of Androids 17 and 18, with Android 16’s arm just making it in on the left side. 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. I don’t find these ‘Uncut’ versions, at least on this disc, any more bloody or violent than the G TV version or the PG VHS version. The M 15+ rating means that only older fans can buy these, and that might scare off parents from buying the DVD versions for little Jimmy, heading for the ‘safer’ VHS version.
Inside on front side an ad for History of Trunks has pride of place, below which is plugs for the next two releases after this one, Bardock and Imperfect Cell – Encounter. Finally at the bottom is a list of all Madman’s presently released DBZ discs. On the disc side we have an ad yet again for DBZ themed Crazy Bones. Joy.
“These are not the droids your looking for” appears to be the order of the day as the Z-Fighters learn that they’ve being pulping the wrong Androids. If you think that they’ll have no trouble with these new ones, then you haven’t watched much Dragonball Z.
Dr. Gero realizes the flaw with the classic mad scientist trait of boasting of your evil scheme, as the Z-Fighters attempt to beat him to his hidden lab. Unfortunately the conflicting goals of the Z-Fighters allows him to reach it first, even with interference from Krillin.
Once there instead of being happy, Gero is rather worried about activating his ultimate creations, who proceed to turn on him just as the Z-Fighters prepare to break into the lab. Rather rebellious, Androids 17 and 18 destroy their creator and activate yet another Android, the rather emotionally dead behemoth known as Android 16.
More interested in fun and testing themselves against Goku, the trio just fly away from the Z-Fighters without fighting. This is an affront to the honor of Vegeta who quickly follows and challenges the Androids, with the female Android 18 being chosen. Super Saiyan Vegeta should have no trouble defeating them right? But the pair’s battle extends all over the countryside, as neither seems to have the upper hand. Returning to where they started, the other Z-Fighters arrive and Android 17 requests that they don’t interrupt the fight or he’ll have to step in. Vegeta has no problems with that at first, until 18 moves up a gear as he begins to slow down, and Trunks can’t stand by as his father nears death.
Once again switching from good guys to bad guys ascendant, this DBZ disc is a good buy for the Vegeta/Android 18 battle alone.
English Language,Character guide,Previous Saga guide,Next Saga trailer
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: 62
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z