Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #1: Reaction Uncut (also w/box) - Mania.com

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  • 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: 24.98/34.98
  • Running time: 62
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball GT

Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #1: Reaction Uncut (also w/box)

By Chris Beveridge     July 14, 2004
Release Date: July 13, 2004

Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #1: Reaction Uncut (also w/box)
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
Contains the ORIGINAL first 3 episodes of the Dragon Ball GT series:

Episode 1: A Devastating Wish
After decades of persistence, Emperor Pilaf finally steals the dragon balls and summons Shenron! But Pilaf slips up yet again and wishes Goku back to childhood size! As Goku tries to present his new self to his family, King Kai reveals alarming news. If the balls aren't returned to Earth within one year, the entire planet will explode!

Episode 2: Pan Blasts Off
While Bulma, Videl, and Gohan prepare a ship that will be used to gather the Black Star Dragon Balls from space, Pan becomes upset at how the others view her as a child. In the meantime, Goku is kidnapped by two men seeking to gain a ransom from a not-so-worried Bulma and Vegeta.

Episode 3: Terror on Imecka
After suffering damage to their spaceship, Goku, Trunks, and Pan are forced to crash land on Planet Imecka. The festive atmosphere of the city enamors the trio until they realize that the Imeckians are money-hungry swindlers. The voyagers first try to escape with their wallets, but it soon becomes clear that they?ll be lucky to escape with their lives!

The Review!
After finishing out the series, FUNimation returns to the beginning to release the episodes they skipped over. With patterns like this, it's little wonder non-Dragonball fans have a hard time figuring out what's going on.

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.

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.

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 for this release are given to the newly shortened Goku in full color while Pilaf is done up in a purple filter for the background. 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. One change over the other releases is that the volume number is shifted up under the logo itself, making it much easier to read, so they gain some bonus points there. 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. With this release, we had no insert included. Whether this is by design or accident isn't known. And much 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).

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.

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)
Going back to the original fifteen episodes that were probably deemed too slow to be released right away for fear of losing the fanbase, FUNimation has now gone back to release these episodes. Much like their scattershot seeming release pattern for the rest of their Dragonball properties, those standing on the outside and trying to figure out what to get only continue to be confused. How many other series actually really need a guide to what order things belong in as there are so many various releases of the main property in small box sets and arcs. GT at least makes out in only being split into two pieces instead of the single series.

GT, as described to me by a friend, is essentially one big fanfiction story that somehow managed to get animated. A good number of fans seem to dismiss the series for a number of reasons, either as being non-canon or just too silly to deal with. Having seen portions of the middle of the series, I found myself actually liking it probably just for those reasons. The premise of the show has us revisiting the same characters some years forward. Initially we're given to seeing Goku and Uub completing their training/graduation of sorts by having a final battle contained within Dende's floating realm. This fight is going on at the same time as Pilaf and his crew are sneaking up there to get the Dragon Balls and use them to gain world domination. So it's fairly standard material.

What ends up happening though is that the Dragon Balls that Pilaf swipes from deep within the place are actually "ultimate" or "black" Dragon Balls, a series of seven that was hidden away and forgotten about a long time ago. These have the original large strength level of Shen Long and aren't as weakened as the ones we've gotten used to seeing are. Just as Pilaf is about to put in his request, Goku comes strolling through and wonders what's going on. Bad phrasing and a non-discriminating Shen Long combines to have Pilaf's wish of Goku being small enough to handle ends up coming true and we get child-sized Goku. In a way, it's coming full circle from the original Dragon Ball series when he first set out into the world but with a "What I Know Now" mentality.

Not that Goku's gotten any wiser in general over the years. Heading back home, he can't understand why Chichi is so upset about the change. His indifference to it only seems to frustrate her more, especially now that she's older as well and starting to take on some of the looks of the age as well. So Goku's in a good place and ready to enjoy life again but before he knows it, word comes down from on high that if he doesn't find the seven ultimate Dragon Balls within a year, the planet on which they were last used will be instantly destroyed. While this is something the group is used to searching for, it's actually more problematic this time around as the Dragon Balls have been scattered to the stars.

So it's time to get a new spaceship from the Capsule Corporation and get a hunting crew together with Goku to head out into space to find them. This takes up a nice section of the show and it lets us get to know the characters that are going to be more central to this part of the show. A lot of time is spent with Pan, Gohan's daughter, as well as Trunks in the form of the President of Capsule Corporation. This lets us have some small moments with other characters, such as when Vegeta takes him and Goten and says he's sending them into space with Goku to get some serious training or the attempted kidnapping scenes for Pan. Some time is also spent reacquainting us with characters we've known for awhile but who come across differently now, such as the older and more professional Bulma and Vegeta himself. In a sense, it's like Dragonball: Second Generation. Which is why it's easy to see why hardcore fans may not like this. But having not been tied to the previous series all that much, I've been able to have fun and enjoy this one since it's got an actual starting point and I do have some familiarity with the characters.

In Summary:
While I'm very annoyed at the way FUNimation releases their Dragon Ball properties, what I've seen of GT previously ensured that I'd pick up the Lost Episodes so I could actually watch the show in some sort of order. While it may not be considered canon by fans or by Toriyama for all I know, it's a fun and short series that I've actually managed to like and get some enjoyment out of. Part of that comes back to liking Goku when he was little in the original Dragon Ball series and seeing some of that same kind of humor and adventures return with his being shrunk. I wish the source materials looked better though considering how recent the show really is though. GT's a good spot of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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