Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #2: Rejection Uncut (of 5) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Thursday, September 09, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, September 07, 2004



What They Say
Episode 4: The Most Wanted List
After finding themselves as public enemy number one on the merchant planet, Imecka, Goku, Pan, and Trunks attempt a daring rescue mission to salvage their ship. Without it they may be stuck on the planet forever! Casting all fear aside, the Saiyans try a direct approach... and find Don Kee's army locked and loaded!

Episode 5: Goku vs. Ledgic
While hiding from the authorities, Goku, Pan, and Trunks become moved by the injustices that the Imeckians suffer under the oppressive Don Kee. They decide to confront The Don, and head straight for a showdown at the Royal Palace. It seems like an easy victory until Ledgic appears from the shadows!

Episode 6: Like Pulling Teeth
Barely escaping Imecka with their lives, Goku, Trunks, and Pan land on a planet where everything is larger than life. As they near the dragon ball their good fortune takes a turn for the worse as a giant nearly consumes the ball and dooms Earth forever! Goku must make a quick decision before having to charge into the belly of the beast... literally!

The Review!
Stranded on a new world and their spaceship taken right under their nose for the slag heap, the heroic trio deals with a strange and unfamiliar situation.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Though listed as stereo, the series has a heavy mono feel with the bulk of all the sounds coming through the center channel. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout it but there's little dynamic to it or even the music. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either track.

Video:
Originally airing in 1996 and 1997, the transfer here comes across well but suffers from seemingly poor source materials considering the recent age of the series. The bulk of the problem comes in the form of the sheer amount of grain, with some episodes heavier on it than others. This causes a number of areas to look less than stable, from anything showing blue skies to the fiery sequences that look like they're macroblocking more than they should. Other issues are pretty minimal to non-existent however, such as cross coloration and aliasing.

Packaging:
Using the same style as the non-lost episodes of the series, the top quarter of the cover is made up of a solid backdrop for just the large logo with the volume title below it. The character shots used this time around has a full color piece of Trunks while Goku is behind him with a green colored filter. Much like the other volumes, I really don't like the layout of these at all since there's so much waste real estate and half the time the character artwork looks too cartoony. The back cover provides a few shots from these episodes as well as an English-dub based summary of the show. The overall layout of the back cover looks somewhat cleaned up over the prior releases with information easier to find. As seems to be the norm for this series, there is no insert included and I don't much mind the lack of one. Like most other FUNimation discs, I continue to take issue with how they calculate run times. The box for this one lists it as 62 minutes. Yet when the DVD player counts it up, it's listing 75 minutes (or 68 if you watch the English language version).

Menu:
Using the same elements as the cover but rearranged with the menu selections in the middle, the static menu has some of the US music playing along to it. With little on the disc and no transitional animations, submenus are quick to load and the layout works well, though I dislike the way episodes are broken down without an actual eye-catch chapter mark.

Extras:
The extras are pretty typical of the series with a brief section of character profiles and the standard textless songs section.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The GT series continues on its merry way and shifts the focus off of the Earth based adventures completely as we now follow Goku, Pan and Trunks as they scour the galaxy for the missing Dragon Balls that they need to gather together within a year to save the Earth from complete and utter destruction.

Due to the problem that Pan created when she ended up causing a part to break, the trio and their spacecraft have crash landed on a strange planet and they find themselves needing to get some parts to fix it before they can get on their way once more. But before they realize what's going on, their ship is essentially stolen and hauled off. The right thing to do at that point would be to run after it and catch up to it, but they instead decide to bicker a bit about things and then try some of their basic moves like Instantaneous Movement to catch up to it. But just as Trunks suspected, Goku's not as powerful as he once was due to the change in his body and he's lost a number of his abilities including this one, which forces them to be amusingly stealthy as they sneak into the strange city where it's kept.

The city, presumably the only place on the planet where there are living creatures, is a fairly advanced but most of the people are just barely surviving in some ways and holding out. As we learn, the man in charge, Don Kia, is pretty ruthless and is only interested in profit and money, which means he works everyone there pretty hard. To make matters worse, he's prohibited all kinds of space travel so that even if you crash on the planet, you're out of luck and you're stuck working for him. With a fairly weak population that's pretty cowed towards him already and only a few bodyguards that he uses as enforcers, the trio from Earth shift between being sneaky and then outright confrontation to try and get themselves back into the hunting game.

The three episodes here are rather fun and they play out pretty fast between all the sneaking around and then the small confrontations when they try to break their spaceship out from the holding area before it gets scrapped. There's a good bit of fun when the battles start to get more serious and we get a powerful person introduced to things but that's all the usual things you find with this series. What I'm enjoying most is the continued interactions between the three lead characters as they go about their search. While Goku has never exactly been the brightest of the characters in the show, I love how Pan has seemingly taken over as de facto leader and tends to think of her grandfather as just a bit of muscle to be used and nothing more. Of course, she does to him what most other people do to her in only seeing her size, a point which she misses but adds a bit of fun to things.

Both Trunks and Goku deal with this in different ways. Trunks tends to sort of accept things just to keep the peace and ends up becoming close to a pack horse and something of just another bit of muscle to have around but he does put his foot down a few times. Goku I think finds it just amusing since he's easily distracted from the greater issue looming of the year long countdown and just plays along with it like it's a gag he's in on. With his diminutive size, I'm still enjoying the way he's having to rethink things and the way his natural comedic expressions play out better on this size than his adult body.

In Summary:
With just the three episodes, this volume goes by very fast but at the same time works out well since it keeps an arc together. While I enjoy the show, there's definitely only so much I can take in one sitting, so about an hours worth of this is my threshold. This release gets everything separated from the Earth based adventures and keeps the focus on just the three characters on the journey, which is good to me but probably annoys those that want to see more of their favorites if they're not included. GT's a series that certainly isn't something that'll win awards but I've found it to be much more enjoyable than the various Z releases I'd seen before.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Textless Songs

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: C
Packaging Rating: C+
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 62
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball GT