Dragonball Z: Imperfect Cell: Encounter (Mania.com)

Review Date: Friday, March 01, 2002

What They Say
Seized with Fear:
Trunks and Krillin join Bulma at the crash site of the mysterious time capsule and find an eerie clue – the shell of a large, locust-like creature! Whatever arrived in the time capsule isn’t human, and it’s on the loose! Can our heroes solve this mystery and halt the approaching androids at the same time?
(Episode 125)

The Reunion:
It’s doomsday in Gingertown, a quiet city near the crash site of the time capsule. A monster with the appearance of an insect has unleashed its powers, turning Gingertown into a ghostly grave! In response to this new menace, Kami finally fuses with Piccolo, and the new Super Namek flies to Gingertown for a showdown of epic proportions!
(Episode 126)

Borrowed Powers:
The deserted streets of Gingertown become a battlefield as the powered-up Piccolo confronts this terror from the future. The monster’s name is Cell, and he gains strength from sucking the life out of his victims! But that’s not the only secret the creature reveals. Somehow, he also knows Goku’s special attacks, the Kamehameha!
(Episode 127)

The Review!
Leaving the Android Saga, we now move into the Imperfect Cell branded discs, and for once Region 4 gets it before Region 1. Yeah! The menus system is upgraded to a nice animated style! Double yeah! We’re still just getting the lone option of the English dub! Doh!

The Channel 8 TV reporter pretty much sums it up. “Oh the humanity!” indeed. Audio once again is limited to the horrid English dub, and there seems to be little in the way people can do to get Madman to change this for TV episodes at least. Either you accept it and cringe at the dub, or import and cringe at the bad Aus to US dollar conversion rate.

The video is of the same serviceable quality as always, neither terribly bad, nor extremely good, your basic straight as an arrow NTSC to PAL conversion.

The menu follows recent Madman DBZ trends, now upgrading from the completely static menus on previous volumes to an animated main menu in the style of History of Trunks/Bardock discs. It has options to play the opening, each episode, the end credits, view the extras and “hidden” local authoring credit. On the right we have the images of Cell’s various stages of development taken off the top of the rear cover fading in and out, with the blue toned animated section displaying scenes of Cell walking in shadows and finally emerging in front of Piccolo/The Namek. While nicely animated, it unfortunately seems to be at the cost of a screen selection page. Also instead of directly going into the US “DBZ is next” clip and the opening like the previously used style, it heads straight for the menu, allowing you to avoid the opening entirely if you wish.

There are a reasonable volume of so-so extras, with a promo for the official Australian Dragonball Z web site, character profiles for Cell, Trunks, and Android 16, with trailers for the Cell Saga and History of Trunks. Like the main menu, they’ve been prettied up a bit, but they’re basically the same as on the previous volumes.

The front cover has close-up of Cell about to grapple, an eye catching choice even if it is another cleaned up screen capture. Along the top of the back cover are shots of all Cell’s various stages, from embryo to husk, to Insect guy to Bulky bloke to Perfect Cell, and below which are the usual episode blurbs and screen captures. Based on pervious experience, the Region 1 cover should look much the same, apart from lacking the Australian M15+ rating tag, Region 2 and 4 globes and so on. The inside cover features a full-page advertisement for History of Trunks on the facing side, and an advertisement for the next four Cell Saga discs after this release. The disc itself is setup to look like a dragon ball like all the pervious releases, though now it’s got gloss and shading to make it slightly better looking like the Trunks and Bardock discs.

The first two episodes on this disc serve mostly as exposition for what the mysterious threat named Cell is, the last has the first fight against Cell, as he shows off his borrowed powers and abilities for the first time.

Continuing on the last volume, Trunks, Gohan and Bulma travel to the moss-covered time machine, to confirm that it is really the one that Trunks used and that some strange insect creature arrived in it, 4 years before Trunks first traveled back. As the androids travel to Goku’s house, the Z-Fighters finally finish taking him to Master Roshi’s island.

As the Androids have a run-in with the law, strange things are afoot in Gingertown, fairly close to the crash-site of the crashed time capsule. With the new threat coming to the fore, Kami finally agrees to re-join with Piccolo, the resulting Super Namek flying down to confront the mysterious creature.

After we witness the creatures feeding technique, all the Z-Fighters begin to sense a rapidly rotating series of power levels, from Goku, Vegeta, Frieza and even Piccolo himself. The Super Namek charges up to take on the monster, and seems to have the power to pulp it, until in another mysterious turn, he fires of a one of Piccolo’s attacks and then a Kamehameha!

The first Imperfect Cell disc is shows us more of Cell’s bark, than his actual bite, just setting the mood and tone for the future fights.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles

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: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z