Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #5: Activation - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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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: 82
  • 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. #5: Activation

By Chris Beveridge     February 10, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005


Dragon Ball GT Lost Episodes Vol. #5: Activation
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Luud has awakened! After being fed his faithful followers, the monstrosity slowly comes out of his slumber with one goal in mind... crush Goku and Trunks! As if things couldn’t get any worse, Dr. Myuu feeds Pan to Luud, giving the idol enough strength to be more than the Saiyans can handle alone!

The Review!
Wrapping up the Lood storyline and moving things forward enough so that we finish out the last of the lost episode, GT finally gets itself finished with the Lost Episodes.

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 a rather unhappy Lord Lood who looks ready to fight. 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)
With this set of episodes, the Lost Episodes "saga" finally comes to a close and it gets up to the point where the broadcast version is about to start, which has a recap-style catch-up episode to explain why Goku is small. That episode isn't on here thankfully so we get pretty much the original episodes and can just slot them in before the other releases to keep things nicely in order.

With the four episodes that are here, we thankfully at long last complete the Lood saga. Things had been getting increasingly worse, especially when Lood itself was brought to life after absorbing all of the followers and gaining enough energy for stage 2 fighting, which was thought to be more than enough to deal with Trunks and Goku. While they fight on the outside against a seemingly unstoppable opponent, Pan and those who were collected into Lood are floating around in an empty space inside of him. Along with Dolltacki, they're able to beat a solution out of him for being able to defeat Lood and free everyone. Being that this is Dragon Ball, it takes a couple of episodes to deal with this and with some amusement in how it has to be dealt but otherwise it progresses fairly standard. The fight sequences are a good bit of fun though, particularly on the Trunks/Goku side of things.

Continuing on with their journey, the head back into space to chase after the other Dragon Balls now that they've learned that some named Dr. Mu is after them as well now and is intent on conquering the universe with them. All the para para material and all the doll stuff along with Lood was just designed so that they could introduce a layer above all of it that created it all. The bad doctor, something of a genius, is good at utilizing things around him though and keeps a clean shop so while the Lood initiative has failed, he's learned some new things and sets his own plans into motion to deal with those that are competing with him now for the Dragon Balls.

The disc finishes out with a fairly good filler episode that has the crew landing on a desert planet where Pan has to work out the problem she has in continually being called a child by Trunks and Goku and then moves on to Gill's homeworld where things have been set up in anticipation of their arrival by those working for Dr. Mu. This world is actually interesting since it seems like it's a robot homeworld and they're surrounded by dozens of Gill-like robots, but the place seems deserted and without any residents or activity. Things are set up for where the show takes over in the broadcast start by finishing out this storyline and moving into the bigger Bebi action material.

Having seen all of the Lost Episode material now, I can understand why they skipped over it to some extent, at least on broadcast, but I absolutely hate that they broke it up for the home video release. I would have been far happier if they had simply skipped these episodes for the time being and left the volume numbering properly intact, sort of like they did with Case Closed, or release the "lost" episodes at the same time as the later material so both sides could be happy. Watching all of this after the series is over hasn't been the best way to watch it since once you get to this volume, you know there's no real conclusion and you know where it all goes from here on out that it's very anti-climactic and you end up just waiting for the clock countdown to finish so you can be finished with the property.

In Summary:
Bringing it all to a close for the Lost Episode saga, this volume finishes out one of the storylines we've actually followed for a bit and even provides us with some new para para action. The Lood storyline finishes well enough but things sort of fall apart after that, especially if you've already seen the first volume of the non-lost episodes and already know where it's all going to go. There's some good material scattered throughout here in the fight sequences and a fun bit of growth for Pan and the others in dealing with how she's really trying her best but overall this is just the last bridge to the next big arc.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Textless Song

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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