Dragonball Z TV #21: Frieza - Transformation (Mania.com)

By:Jonathan Hertzog
Review Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001



The Review!
If you liked Frieza: The Summoning...

Audio:

Audio is identical to the other DBZ TV discs, English stereo, Japanese mono. The Japanese track was solid as usual. My only experience with the horribly-dubbed English track occurred by accident, as after the last episode the disc plays the dubbed-preview for the next episode.

Video:

Expected print damage excluded, this is a fine-looking disc with vibrant colors and very little pixellation. The picture jitters a bit around the edges occasionally, but just a couple of flaws present themselves here. This was my fourth time watching the these episodes in Japanese (yes, I'm a freak) and the story still absorbed me so much I had to go out of my way to scan for disc errors. As with the previous Frieza volume, the subtitles are larger and in a different font than the majority of most DBZ discs.

Packaging:

Dramatic Piccolo-fighting-Freiza picture, but yawn, recycled VHS screenshot... with dubbed episodes descriptions on back. YOU CALL THIS ARTKWORK!? No insert for you! That "INCLUDED 2 VERSIONS..." text is REALLY starting to annoy me now. FUNi, you have established that the DVDs are bilingual, congratulations. Now stop it! All the logos on the front cover take up fifty percent of the space on the cover, and they just look unsightly. I would appreciate a picture from a DBZ art book over this cover.

Menus:

Menus here are identical to Frieza: The Summoning. To date, these are the only anime DVDs I know of where no "play" option exists and you must select the spoken language track and subtitles after each episode. It's awkward, it's horrible, and I dislike this because after experiencing a wonderful DBZ episode I'm suddenly ripped from the experience into a needless "choose your language" screen. Bleh.

Extras:
I don't care how many times FUNimation lists previews for edited, dubbed VHS tapes as "extras;" it will not make them so.

Content:

Extras:
I don't care how many times FUNimation lists previews for edited, dubbed VHS tapes as "extras;" it will not make them so.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When watching this single-layered disc, I discovered that the uncut and unedited Dragon Ball Z on DVD is still, indeed, cut and edited. As with the previous discs, we still lack next episode previews. FUNimation claims that the tapes Toei sent it had the previews but no audio. If these were true, FUNimation should have just made a deal with the I-channel to acquire the previews. Only one preview exists on the DVD, the one for episode 115 but it is the dubbed preview. Only one textless opening and ending sequence is shown, which I consider a flaw because every single episode of DBZ had different credits, AND FUNIMATION HAS ALL THE ORIGINAL CREDITS!!! The eyecatches are also senselessly left to die on the cutting room floor, despite fan protest. FUNimation just really needs to release a DVD boxset of DBZ TV. While it is currently releasing an average of one volume every two weeks, it will still take until 2007 to release all the episodes of DVD. Also, one would spend about $2,300 to collect all the discs, as they alternate having four and three episodes per DVD.

Since this is the fifth or so time I've plagiarized myself, have you realized that FUNimation is totally indifferent to fan protest or improving the quality of its product? I'm starting to think if FUNimation thought it could make even more profit by doing so, it would have reanimated DBZ into a NuTech-caliber hentai title.

As for the show itself? Come on, it's DBZ, the greatest anime series of all time.

As suggested by the title of the disc, Frieza transforms and greatly increases his power, much to the horror of Vegeta, Gohan, and Kuririn. After retelling the story of how he killed Vegeta's father and all Saiyans, Freiza begins to battle the three other warriors. It is clear, however, that he is just toying with them and will brutally slaughter them when he becomes bored of fighting. Having merged with Nail, Piccolo finally reaches the battlefield and attacks Freiza by himself. Piccolo manages to keep on par with the alien, but does he really have a chance of winning?

This disc presents the stylistic, dramatic fighting that makes DBZ world-renown. Fans will just gobble up these four episodes and become enchanted in the unmatched martial-arts action glory that is DBZ. Shoujo fans will likely pass this disc over without giving it a second glance. Their loss.



Review Equipment
Sony DVP-650D DVD players with Audioquest and s-video cables on a Trinitron XBR 37 inch color TV



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: C
Menus Rating: D+
Extras Rating: F
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 24.98
Running time: 78
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball Z