Dragonball Z: Great Saiyaman: Opening Ceremony (Mania.com)

Review Date: Friday, March 01, 2002

What They Say
Warriors of the Dead:
When Goku hears about a martial arts master known as the Grand Kai, he rushes to meet him for a lesson! But before the Grand Kai will agree to anything, Goku must solve a problem! Cell, Frieza, King Cold and the Ginyu Force have all teamed up in the Other World and are trying to take control! (Episode 180)

Other World Tournament:
Goku learns he’ll have to train for 10,000 years before he can learn from the Grand Kai! But when the West, South and East Kai’s decide to hold an Other World Tournament, Goku gets his chance! All he has to do is earn a lesson from the Grand Kai is defeat the greatest fighters of all time!! (Episode 181)

Water Fight:
The Other World Tournament advances to the Quarter-Finals, and the battles are out of this world! Goku’s opponent Arqua appears to be a wimp, but that changes when he transforms the entire ring into water! Can Goku win in the underwater fight?! And then, it’s the most anticipated fight of the tournament! Olibu versus Pikkon! (Episode 182)

The Review!
Isn’t it always the way. Just as the Cell Saga begins to heat up on DVD, Madman once again decide to jump ahead to start releasing episodes not seen on TV here. Sadly the hopes that with such a jump Madman would make TV episodes discs with both English and Japanese tracks proved untrue…

GAH! English dub only AGAIN! Technically solid, but what can be said for a show that uses high paced action music for completely action-less flashback sequences.

The video keeps to the same standard as the pervious DBZ discs, mild grain in places but good, and I assume that when these episodes are shown on TV here in Australia they’ll be identical in quality.

The menu is yellow animated number based on the model adopted for the Imperfect and Perfect Cell discs, right down to the “hidden” authoring credit. Now the animation has be shifted to inside the dragonball, and that’s been moved to the extreme left and is just half on the screen, with a large shot of Caterpy grappling with Goku to the right. Speedy access, and holds the promise that each disc will have enough changes to keep the interest.

Wow, Madman have actually included totally new extras on a DBZ disc. Profiles on the Grand Kai and Pikkon, with trailers for the Great Saiyaman Saga, Dead Zone and World Strongest movies. Some things never change though, we also get the 30 sec promo clip for the Australian DBZ site.

Stock double-sided cover in clear wing keep-case. The front cover features a shot of Pikkon ready to defend against Olibu homing fireball. While the majority of the zoomed screen capture covers have looked reasonably good, this is a poor choice as Pikkon looks like he’s been zoomed too much. He’s too simplistic looking and harkens back to low budget companies releasing tapes with badly traced art book images. The rear cover is the same format as always, just changing the images used such as the Opening titles group shot replacing the one of Cell or the Androids.

Inside Goku in the center going Kaio-Ken/Fake Super Saiyan from Movie 4, with plugs for Movies 2, 3 and 4 on the right side, and plugs the final two Great Saiyaman discs and the first World Tournament disc.
Following the trend introduced with the Cell releases, the actual disc itself has a combination of gloss and shading to make it appear much more like a dragonball.

Comedy! That best sums the three introduction episodes to the Great Saiyaman Saga, lightening the mood massively after the doom and gloom of the climactic battle against Cell.

After learning of a supreme martial arts master called the Grand Kai, Goku insists on King Kai taking him too him. After a rather uneventful journey in which him races back and forward constantly on Snake way before boarding a rickety plane at King Yama’s castle, Goku learns of the hireachy of the Other World. He also runs into the rather annoying West Kai, who takes great pleasure in the death of King Kai aka the North Kai, and his prize student the Piccolo look-alike Pikkon. Bad things are afoot down in hell, as Cell, Frieza, King Cold and the Ginyu Force proceed to…raise hell. Pikkon has been tasked with putting a stop to this, and Goku tags along to give him assistance. Not that he needs it, dispatching Cell and co with shocking ease. Poor Cell, at least Frieza got a complete saga between being the strongest there is and being beaten in a less than a single episode.

Back at Grand Kai’s place Goku meets King Kai’s other students and learns that you have to train upwards of 10,000 years before Grand Kai will train with you. Luckily for Goku, the other three Kai arrive to mock his lack of life, and Grand Kai announces a tournament to decide which of the Kai’s is a better trainer, with a lesson with him as the prize. After the rules have been explained, the tournament begins, the fights split between the no-names who serve as comedy relief, and the no-names who serve as cannon-fodder against the likes of Goku and Pikkon. After Goku defeats an underwater fighter, Pikkon and fellow King Kai fighter Olibu go at it in a actual fight, opposed to a comedy interlude. The fight never appears to be in doubt though…

Setting the tone for the Great Saiyaman Saga, this disc plays up the comedy and provides some exposition for the upcoming proceedings. Apart from the Olibu and Pikkon fight, those looking for high-level DBZ battles will find little to interest them.

English language track,Character profiles,Web promo,3 trailers

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: A-
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