Dragon Ball: King Piccolo Box Set 2 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, July 13, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2003
FUNimation continues releasing more episodes of the Dragon Ball TV series that have yet to air on Cartoon Network, picking up right where the last set left off. And once again, these are some of the best episodes in the series, so I don't think anyone would mind waiting a while for the rest of the second and third season episodes to be released.
I have watched these episodes in both Japanese and English audio, and both sound great. As usual, there is no distinction anywhere as to if anything is in mono or stereo, just the Dolby Digital logo. The Japanese audio may very well have been left in its original mono, though it still sounds excellent in any case. The English audio was originally recorded in stereo, and of course sounds very nice.
The video looks amazing. Everything is so clear and bright for such an old series. And there is very little evidence of compression. The switching of video tracks loads very nicely as well, with the opening, ending, and title screens differing depending on whether English or Japanese audio has been selected.
This set is, like the others, two discs in a standard plastic case. One disc has five episodes, the other has six. The cover art continues the same style as the previous sets, with the black and white "kame" symbol, and the gold manga-style "Dragon Ball" logo. The characters featured on the cover are just Shenlong and a very angry Gokuu, and it continues the same purple theme as the first King Piccolo set. And the insert has the case cover art on the front, ads for other FUNimation things on the back, and inside has descriptions of the eleven episodes on these discs.
The menus are once again solid black in the background, with a different character layered on top for each screen. Pieces of background music from the series plays as you browse, and the same nice font is used again. Plain, but nice, and easy to use.
The extras are a bit more disappointing this time. There are profiles of twelve characters, but they're the same twelve as from the first King Piccolo set. The appearing characters aren't quite the same as last time, so it would make sense for the profiles to be different. Also, there is a trailer for Dragon Ball Z and Blue Gender.
As always, the episode previews and Japanese credits are unavailble. But once again, the wrong opening and ending animations are used, which I think is a bit unfortunate. Other than that, everything is all there. And the dub is handled rather well; the voice actors give it their best, and the story is generally preserved. There are a few script changes and name changes which might bug some people, but nothing really terrible. However, I personally still prefer the Japanese version. The subtitle translations for that are pretty good all throughout.
As for the episodes, they pick up right where the last DVD set left off. Kamesennin has lost his life unsuccessfully using Mafuuba, and Tenshinhan has been disabled, so there is no one to stop Piccolo Daimaou from summoning Shenlong. Chaozu tries to make a wish first, but Piccolo kills the little guy, and then makes his own wish. But to top it off, after Piccolo has his youth restored, he kills Shenlong. So it seems like all is lost.
However, Gokuu and Yajirobe reach Karin Tower soon after, and so Yajirobe reluctantly climbs the very tall tower with the weakened Gokuu on his back, after a boost from Bora. Meanwhile, Piccolo has gotten rid of Pilaf, Mai, and Shuu, and now has his sights set on King Castle, where the king of the world resides. With his servant Piano, he storms into the castle and kills off the guards. When Piccolo finally catches up with the king, he tells him that he, Piccolo Daimaou, will be the new king of the world. And the current king has to announce this on television to everyone in the world. After some "persuasion", the king agrees to do just that.
Yajirobe makes it to the top of the tower, and Karin is well aware of the events with Piccolo Daimaou already. Gokuu heals up with one of Karin's Senzu, and then asks Karin if he can receive more training. Karin has nothing left to teach him, however. Karin does tell Gokuu that Kamesennin has died, and before Gokuu can go rushing off to avenge him, Karin mentions that Gokuu could try drinking the Super Divine Water. Unlike the Super Sacred Water, the Super Divine Water really will power you up, if it doesn't kill you first. But to receive this water, Gokuu has to go through an ice labyrinth and overcome the Darkness. And Yajirobe accidentally ends up going with him.
Once Tenshinhan recovers, he begins trying to perfect Mafuuba. And after he finishes, he tells the others of Chaozu and Kamesennin's deaths, and his intentions to use Mafuuba, before he sets off. And, the king appears on TV and regretfully informs the public that Piccolo Daimaou is now in charge. In his inauguration speech, Piccolo announces his dislike of "justice" and "peace", and begins encouraging crime and chaos. Meanwhile, Gokuu has survived the Super Divine Water and greatly powered up, and receives a new Kintoun from Karin, so he sets off.
Piccolo declares that every year, to celebrate his reign as king, he'll destroy one of the forty-three sectors of the world. The sector that he picks to destroy this year is the one with West City, where Capsule Corporation is. But before he can destroy it, Tenshinhan shows up. Piccolo chooses to "create" another warrior, Drum, to fight Tenshinhan. Tenshinhan fails to successfully use Mafuuba, or even put up much of a fight against Drum. However, before Tenshinhan loses completely, Gokuu shows up, and kills Drum in just one hit. Then it's down to a rematch between Son Gokuu and Piccolo Daimaou, which I think is a great fight, but with a somewhat bittersweet ending...
Overall, I think these are some really great episodes, and the final battle is just awesome. The story won't make a whole lot of sense if you haven't seen the episodes on the first "King Piccolo" set already, so this is probably not a great stand alone set. The only bad thing I can think of is the ice labyrinth episodes, but even those aren't so bad if you like Yajirobe. I think anyone who likes Dragon Ball at all, including those inclined towards only DBZ, should at least check this out.
27" Sanyo TV, Aiwa speakers, Panasonic DVD-RV65 player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Ball