Dragon Ball GT Vol. #08: Salvation - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: C+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • 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 Vol. #08: Salvation

By Derek Guder     May 03, 2004
Release Date: October 14, 2003

Dragon Ball GT Vol. #08: Salvation
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
Old Kai's plan to free everyone from Baby's control worked! The vengefully minded Gohan, Trunks, and Goten prepare to take their shot at toppling Baby, but Goku warns that even their combined power will not be enough to stop him. Their only chance is to attempt to recharge Goku's energy. But with Baby attacking at every opportunity and with the Earth set to explode in a matter of days, time is running out!

The Review!
The DragnBall saga just keeps going and going - but we couldn't care less.

I watched the DVD first in English and then again in Japanese. The English voice acting is just about what you would expect ? not particularly well done but I've heard far worse. The outrageous country accent Mr. Satan sports is particularly amusing at times. Of note to fans is that the Japanese background music was replaced with a nu-metal soundtrack, and the opening and closing is different as well. The biggest problem with the English audio, however, is Baby's near-constant growling and the forced screams everyone belts out during virtually everything they do.

Oddly enough, it's a change for the better. The Japanese music is spectacularly bland and un-engaging. The minimum level of excitement that the nu-metal was able to muster was better than nothing. And that's nothing to say of the Japanese voice-acting, which is acceptable ? but there were some very poor choices in casting. Many of the characters sound far too similar and they picked a particularly silly voice for Goku himself.

The Japanese audio was also of lower quality and had at least one instance where it cracked and popped during one of the climactic battles. I'm not sure if it was a problem with the original audio or if it's simply a problem with the release. I only noticed one instance of it, at least, so it doesn't ruin the entire release, it's simply annoying.

While I'm talking about the different audio tracks, I might as well mention that there is both a subtitle and a dubtitle track on the disc as well. This was another thing that had confused me, as when I first watched the show in English, I had turned the subtitles on in the menu and was surprised by how closely they matched the dialogue. Turned out that selecting English with subtitles just turned on the dubtitles. When I tried the real translation, I found out that there were a few name changes, such as Truffle to Tsufarian. I'm not sure why that is, but I doubt it's anything new, so those familiar with the series should already be aware of it, I bet.

Beyond that, both tracks were simple and straightforward, making little use of any directionality. The action is almost always centered on the screen, and so is the sound.

The video in general is a little soft, which may simply be due to its age (1996). There weren't any verifiable outright problems; it just wasn't particularly high quality. This was mainly noticeable during camera pans and in darker colors. Other than that, it seems pretty problem-free.

What did confuse me at first is that while they changed the original opening, closing and eye catches for the English version, they were preserved on the disc in another chapter. Choosing the Japanese or English dialogue option from the language menu will set the DVD to hop to the chapter for the appropriate sequence. That was quite a nice surprise for such a mainstream and popular release; FUNimation hasn't forgotten about the hardcore fans of the show.

The DVD case has quite the "extreme" cover of the audaciously-colored giant gorilla-form Baby preparing to toss an energy attack. A few random images are stuck on the back cover, which includes a description that pretty much summarizes many of the events of the entire volumes.

The whole thing doesn't really appeal to me, but if you're gonna be buying the show anyway, I doubt you'd have any problem with it.

All of the menus are pretty straight-forward: simple lists of options. They share the same kind of graphic design as the cover, including a few random shots from the show serving as backgrounds.

Most importantly, however, the menus are all responsive and quick. Also of note is that, as I mentioned under Video, the audio language selected will determine which opening, closing and eye catch is shown. Changing the audio on the fly didn't seem to alter which one would be displayed.

There are some character profiles, but the only real noticeable extra is the textless opening song, which amuses me to no end with it's full-frontal nudity. Young Goku's jumping around in the buff had me laughing the first time I saw it. While the opening song isn't anything noteworthy, the animation itself is quite fun and very much in Akira Toriyama's playful and imaginative style, even if the show itself isn't.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
From my understanding, DragonBall GT is the series that the original creator Akira Toriyama had no part in, and that's pretty obvious from the get-go. Characters are all off-model, to say nothing of Goku's rather silly ape-man appearance and the ultimate bad-guy Baby look like a giant yellow King Kong.

Also from what I understand, the show was something of an attempt to reset the franchise. The opening seems to show the dragon from the famous dragonballs turning an adult Goku into a kid and judging from the comments of a few characters in the show itself, this seems to be some kind of curse. I'm not sure why, since Goku seems more than capable of just transforming into an adult version or even the weird ape-man hybrid at just about any time he needs to. Unless, of course, he's conveniently run out of energy.

And that's about all the understanding I had when I entered until the first volume. Not that being unfamiliar with previous events really prevented me from understanding what happened in this volume. At most it may have prevented me from really getting engaged in the events or caring about the characters.

So anyway, there are three episodes on the disc. We enter into the story near the end of the climactic battle between a completely exhausted Goku and a Godzilla-sized Baby. Just when we think it might be the end for our dear hero, a series of other characters show up one after another to distract Baby long enough for Goku to recover his wits. Apparently Baby had been using some sort of mind-control and was manipulating a number of our familiar cast members. Newly freed, they show up to give the giant monster a little pay-back and save the day.

Goku, having fought Baby for quite a while know, is aware that even fighting in a group they have no chance of success. His plan is for a final one-on-one showdown after the other super-powered heroes transfer their ki energy to him. Since they announce this right in front of Baby, the monstrous gorilla obviously tries to stop them. The team is saved from destruction by the appearance of MajUub in Baby's intestines. Apparently he had used some sort of technique to turn into a piece of chocolate specifically to get swallowed by the monster and attack him from the inside at just the right moment.

So he manages to buy time for Goku to suck up energy from the other Saiyans and power-up to his Super Saiyan 4 mode again. Then the final-final battle can finally begin, and with a bunch of fireballs of course. They're tossed around like candy and a whole bunch of stuff blows up a whole lot to prove that they're serious and show us just how much power they have. Eventually Baby uses his ultimate technique, which is some unstoppably death-ball. Goku gets absorbed into it and is suppose to succumb to infinite pain, but his love for all our other named characters sees him through it and he takes the entire thing into himself to beat the crap out of Baby.

You have no idea how hard I laughed when Goku shot off Baby's tail and left an angry red-and-brown wound on the monkey's butt. Baby had apparently taken over Vegeta's body and was now about to be ejected with all the energy leaking out. I was desperately hoping for him to be shot out of the monkey's anus, but sadly my dreams were dashed and an amorphous blob just budded out of Vegeta's back. The creature flees and seems to get away scott-free, but of course Goku has calculated his escape and waits for Baby's spaceship to be get in front of the sun ? at which point he launches a gigantic kame-hame-ha and pushes Baby's right into the star to prove he's really, really dead. After all, beating him in a battle just wouldn't be enough.

But just when the day seems saved ? trouble strikes again! Apparently the dragonballs had been brought together before specifically to save the Earth from exploding for some reason, but Baby had been already controlling some people at that point and used them to summon a new planet. His own had been destroyed ages ago by the Saiyans, thus explaining why he was so hell-bent on revenge. So now the dragonballs have been scattered around the universe and there's no way they could be gathered together again in time.

So what do our heroes do? The logical thing ? evacuate everyone to the new planet Truffle. Not only that, but they take all the animals and even pigs too. Using both super-teleportation powers and giant spaceships, everyone is able to escape, except for a few stragglers. Goku teleports around the world to save them all, but when he goes to save the final missing boy, he runs into Piccolo, who'd apparently been missing for quite a while.

Having used so much energy teleporting around the world, Goku is running on empty and Piccolo has to recharge him so he can teleport away and save the child ? but Piccolo remains behind when the Earth explodes. He seems to be tied to the Dragonballs, and when he dies they will lose their power. He decided that they have caused too much trouble and sacrifices himself to make sure that they aren't the source of any further calamities.

It's a noble sacrifice, but then we get a quick voice-over the describes how the dragonballs from another planet are used to restore the Earth to just as it was before and everyone lived happily ever after ? which begs the question of just why the whole "Crap! The Earth's going to blow up!" problem was an issue in the first place. If the dragonballs are that powerful, why worry about something as minor as the destruction of a planet? If they were just sitting on another planet, why bother rescuing everyone? And you'd figure that the destruction of the Earth would be a pretty damn big event, especially when it actually does happen ? so why is it resolved in a quick voice-over? Is there any better way to completely destroy any drama we might have felt than to resolve the situation like it didn't matter, especially when our last shot is of a dragonball? Apparently they weren't destroyed by Piccolo's death, just changed. Imagine that.

In Summary:
Now, I don't like the DragonBall franchise much to begin with, but I have kept up with the manga in Shonen Jump and DragonBall GT doesn't even remotely measure up. In this one volume, I was treated to off-model and often silly character designs (I'll never forget the Godzilla-sized yellow-brown-and-purple gorilla-form Baby) as well as boring and anticlimactic storytelling. There was never any suspense at all during the fights. The only question was what kind of dues ex machina the writers would use next to get them out of the corner they'd gotten themselves into. The whole thing with the Earth being destroyed and remade in a single episode as if it was nothing major was the final straw for me.

Where DragnBall just isn't my thing and I find DragonBall Z a bit boring, DragonBall GT was just flat-out bad. There's nothing here, even for the die-hard fan. I'd recommend just going back and re-watching your favorite episodes and pretending the franchise ended when Akira Toriyama washed his hands of it.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Opening Song

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