Dragon Ball GT Vol. #09: Calculations - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball GT

Dragon Ball GT Vol. #09: Calculations

By Chris Beveridge     January 08, 2004
Release Date: December 30, 2003


Dragon Ball GT Vol. #09: Calculations
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Episode 41: Curtain Call
Following the noble death of Piccolo, all of humanity was returned safely to Earth with a final wish. As things return to normal, it’s time to start up the next World Martial Arts Tournament. But this contest proves to be a test for all as Goku and Pan fight in the wrong divisions, a plan to fix the fight is unearthed, and an old ally returns to battle Goku for the final time!

Episode 42: A Dangerous Union
In the depths of HFIL, an evil union between Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu takes place. Soon after, Trunks is ambushed by Android 17 as a warning to Goku... Come to HFIL or the earth will be attacked! As Goku travels to HFIL to meet an uncertain fate, a fleet of ancient enemies flood the earth on a mad rampage!

Episode 43: The Resurrection of Cell and Frieza
Cell and Frieza are back! After getting trapped in HFIL, Goku must confront and defeat the villains if he is to return to Earth. But things get sticky when he falls into the deepest, darkest realm of HFIL, where he must endure tests that would drive an ordinary person to madness!

Episode 44: 17 times 2
With Goku fighting for his life in HFIL, the heroes of Earth are having troubles of their own... the two No.17s have merged! Super 17 is the ultimate artificial killing machine... something that Goku’s closest friend tragically learns firsthand!

The Review!
Open up a direct connection to Hell on Earth and you have a who’s who of past villains coming out to play.

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.

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:
Continuing with the same design as earlier in the series, the top third of the cover is made up of a solid backdrop for just the large logo with the volume title below it. The super powered up Android 17 takes the character artwork slot for this cover and is done in full color, looking much like he does in the show, but with a black and white image of Freeza and Cell behind him. Much like the past 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. The lack of volume numbers anywhere as well as episode numbers is another major issue with these covers since it’s impossible otherwise to tell what volume is in what order. The back cover provides a few shots from these episodes as well as an English-dub based summary of the show. The insert has the same piece of artwork from the front cover and opens to a two panel spread that has numerous shots from the episodes on this volume but with individual dub-centric episode summaries included. 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 82 minutes. Yet when the DVD player counts it up, it’s listing 98 minutes.

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 only extra included is five character bio summary pages that are barely even a half a paragraph in length.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this volume of Dragonball GT, it serves as something of a bridge volume with the four episodes by setting aside the story arc that finished out and getting the new one rolling. The opening episode recaps the past events nicely and has most everyone simply getting back with each other and having a spot of fun, nothing too serious or noteworthy. But it does do one of the other things that Dragonball has gotten known for and that’s letting the large cast of characters simply have fun with each other.

While there are celebrations going on since the Earth has been saved, evil plans are still afoot in the world. With Dr. Mu sent off to Hell (no HFIL for us here!), we see him hooking up with Dr. Gero and opting to work together to finish off some plans that have been in motion down in the underworld. Dr. Gero shows Dr. Mu his plans to have his version of Android 17 there with him link up with the Android 17 in the “real” world and open a portal between the two worlds. Once the portal is open, the two artificial humans will get together and merge properly, bringing the culmination of all of Dr. Gero’s works to reality.

When the plan is set into motion, cloud-like dark portals begin to appear over a number of cities across the world and soon all the enemies Goku has sent into Hell in the past begin to pour through, all bent on vengeance and mayhem. Through a message given to Trunks from this worlds Android 17, Goku learns that he’s been invited to come to Hell to face off against Gero and Mu alone, allowing him a chance to settle things quickly before the outpouring of villains does too much damage. It’s of course a trap, but Goku being how he is doesn’t really care and simply wants to go have some fun, so he heads off and leaves the defense of the world to everyone else.

This basically leaves the Earth side battle turning into something of a free for all of many different kinds of “hero” characters from past episodes to show up and help defend their respective areas. From seeing Android 18 and her husband Kiririn, who has changed much since I last saw him, to a number of other characters leaping all over the place, this set of episodes turns into a fans dream where everyone gets a moment to shine and show off. And for those longing for some battles of the past, Goku provides that in spades after Gero and Mu set their trap in motion and Freeza and Cell begin to apply some serious damage to him while taking all he gives in stride. They are, after all, already dead. What more can Goku do?

In Summary:
This volume in particular is my first exposure to the GT series and it was surprisingly easy to get into after taking a few minutes to read the minor but concise profile pages for the leads. While there are many characters that show up that I simply don’t know about, I’ve seen enough over the years to piece things together and follow the groove of the show without feeling completely lost. I was surprised at enjoying this as much as I did at a base level once we got past the first episode. The biggest adjustment comes in trying to get used to the difference in character designs, never mind having Goku being young and little again.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles

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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