Dragonball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, March 01, 2002
What They Say
When a low-class Saiyan soldier named Bardock unexpectedly inherits the ability to see into the future, his life takes a dramatic turn for the worse! Haunted by visions of his own end as well as the destruction of his entire planet, Bardock sets off on a nightmarish race with fate to avert the impending disaster.
But Bardock seems to be stumbling along in a maze of hopeless despair until a vision of his baby son, Kakarot, as a grown man inspires him to make a change and confront his destiny head on!
This is the story of Bardock, the father of Goku!
One of two specials for Dragonball Z, this heads for the past and details the final days of Saiyan race and Goku’s father Bardock at hands of Frieza. Like it’s History of Trunk’s stable mate, this is the second DBZ disc produced by Madman to feature both English and Japanese audio tracks.
Yeah! We get both Japanese and English tracks, even if they both have their share of problems. The Japanese track is superior but has aged poorly, often not that clear and is mono. The English track is of course newer, clearer and in stereo, but the voice acting and music verge on torture to listen to. Thanks to the separate branches for the opening and closing, you only have access to that branch’s audio, though you can switch between them at will in the shared main section of video.
To accommodate the different Japanese and US opening titles and end credits sees the use of branching. Plus: you don’t have to watch Funimation’s hamfisted editing attempts to make a ‘modern’ opening. Minus: branching means you have a noticeable delay when moving between branch sections. But this is small price to pay in my opinion. Two sets of easily read yellow subtitles are offered, an accurate English translation of Japanese track and Hard of hearing subtitles for the English track.
Like History of Trunks, we get an animated main menu. A short video piece of scenes from the special plays before we see the main menu, which has nice line in music playing in the background. Short clips play before each option, before freezing to become that page’s background. While they are short, they tend to get on your nerves, especially in the Extras area, where returning to the main Extras menu causes the footage of Chibi-Vegeta blasting away to play every time.
We get a moderately interesting array of extras, with synoptic-style character profiles for Bardock, Frieza and Goku, the promo clip for the official Australian DBZ site, and trailers for the History of Trunks and Cell Saga.
A side on group shot of Bardock’s team, the hero in pride of place, on top of a planetary background.
The rear side provides short overview of the contents along with various screen captures, basically the same as the Region 1 cover apart from the Australian rating, changed regional code globes (2 and 4) and PAL Format tag. Like all Madman DBZ releases this has a M15+ rating, which of course this title really earns with Bardock coughing up blood and baby Kakarot/Goku’s blatant full frontal nudity.
Bardock is a pretty good story, but it suffers from a major problem. Unlike History of Trunk where we didn’t see much of the background, we already knew what was going to happen to Bardock, and have even seen some of the scenes in flashback, which does then to take some of the mystery away.
Set within days of the destruction of Planet Vegeta, a son, the future Goku, is born to the leader of a low-level team of Sayian warriors, the fearsome Bardock. Out on a mission for the tyrant Frieza, Bardock’s team wipes out a planet’s defenders with ease, only for him to be struck in a final effort of revenge. Now cursed with visions of the future, Bardock is tortured by images of his son’s future, his own death and the destruction of planet Vegeta by Frieza, but nobody believes his claims that Frieza will betray them.
Frieza is interested by the increasing effectiveness of even the Saiyan’s low-level teams like Bardock’s. He realizes that eventually, given time, that may come to threaten even him, so the logical course of action is to nip the problem in the bud. Attacked by some of Frieza’s minions on a routine mission, Bardock finds his team dead and swears vengeance.
Badly injured, Bardock returns to his planet just as his son is launched for Earth and Frieza draws ever closer. As he falls in and out of consciousness, a vision of an adult Goku against Frieza causes Bardock to make one final effort…
In many ways, this disc can be summed up by Bardock’s final attack, we all hope it’ll work but it’s just a tiny drop against the inevitability of Frieza and continuity. At least we can make that call while listening to the Japanese track, and hopefully Madman will eventually offer us that option on the TV episode discs.
English 2.0 track,Japanese 2.0 track,English subtitles,Hard of hearing subtitles,Character guide,DBZ.com.au web promo,2 trailers
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 24.95 AU
Running time: 48
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z