Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #4: Conviction Uncut - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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: 19.98
  • 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. #4: Conviction Uncut

By Chris Beveridge     December 08, 2004
Release Date: December 14, 2004


Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #4: Conviction Uncut
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Goku seems to have taken to his new, smaller body without a hitch. But trouble soon arises on the merchant planet, Imecka. The residents of this strange world are being persecuted by their tyrannical despot, Lord Don Kee. Goku, Trunks, and Pan vow to lift Don Kee's oppressive grip on the Imeckians, but soon find out how far the Don will go to stay in power. The action heats up as Don Kee sends his number one mercenary to quell the rebellion!

The Review!
It's volumes like these that have things happen in them that I swear will scar me.

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 a powered up Goku and the guy who is behind a lot of what's going on. 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 cartoonish. 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.

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)
While I continue to go against the norm by actually finding a good chunk of the GT series fun and generally amusing to watch, it does on occasion go into areas that I really wish it wouldn't. The series has been fairly decent if formulaic and continues to be now, but some of the things they introduce just make me want to turn it off and pretend it didn't just happen.

The show hits a couple of good marks in this volume, the first of which is bringing to resolution the entire big slug problem that the gang has been dealing with inside the planetoid where they were tricked into chasing the bad guys into. The fight material itself is pretty decent and it's fun to watch them get smacked around a bit, but it's when the three bad guys realize that they have to take them on that it goes into the realm it should not. While their names and speech have been peppered with the term "para" since we first met them, I shrugged it off as just another piece of character trait that was being applied like so many other characters have. I mean, I didn't see any reason to take para at face value. But I should have.

The trio's attack power is using the para para dance moves. Their chest armor actually acts as a pair of lights and a boombox. And when they do the moves and the music kicks in, sentient beings are unable to resist and being to para para themselves. Watching not only them but Pan, Trunks and Goku para para is just not something I thought I'd see in this life nor really wanted to.

The larger plot that moves along after a bit involves things actually happening back at that planet where the mysterious Lord Lood cult is being worked over by people behind the scenes to achieve their goals. Pan inadvertently ends up in their clutches and she finds herself transformed into the small doll form. But instead of being sacrificed as energy for the Lord Lood, she becomes a part of a doll collection that the man behind the scenes has. It's amusing in a lot of areas, particularly when he starts to undress her so he can put on some much cuter clothes. Pan's inability to do anything about it combined with her internal monologue about it is just comical.

This set of episodes, short as it is with just the three here, has a lot of fighting scenes going for it and they are for the most part pretty fun to watch. As powerful as Goku is, he's not as strong as usual due to his form plus he's meeting some decently tough adversaries that give him some trouble before he can power up to the next level and really express his abilities. With him not being in his completely unbeatable mode, combined with the fun of Trunks and Pan fighting alongside him, they're a good trio that I enjoy watching as they go through their adventures.

In Summary:
With only a little bit more to go before the main series, The "Lost Episodes" chunk of the series has been pretty enjoyable and I continue to really hate that FUNimation went through this route to release the entire series. It's just a bad way to do things, even in the Dragon Ball universe, and only makes it more confusing for those not familiar with the property at all. This set of episodes has some scary material on it but it also moves the plot forward that has been running for several episodes now so it's got some good content and fights. Not the best of the Dragon Ball world but not the worst in my mind.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 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 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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