Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 Part 2 - Mania.com



DVD Review

Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 49.98
  • Running time: 325
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Kai

Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 Part 2

Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 Part 2 Anime DVD Review

By Bryce Coulter     December 24, 2010
Release Date: September 14, 2010

The fast paced action continues at a feverish pace.

What They Say:

Goku lies battered and nearly beaten, the Dragon Balls have been destroyed, and a new breed of evil looms on the horizon! Frieza, a violent galactic overlord, has discovered the source of the original Dragon Balls, and he'll eagerly destroy anything to harness their wish-granting power.
 
Meanwhile, Vegeta - fully recovered from his humiliating defeat - travels to planet Namek on a mission to intercept Frieza and seize the Dragon Balls for own devious desires. With Goku out of commission, courageous young Gohan must journey to the far reaches of space to defeat a foe far more fearsome than anything his father ever encountered. The future depends on it!
 
Contains episodes 14-26.
 
The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is spot-on as both language tracks get an updated stereo mix. The English 5.1 mix was very solid and we noticed no distortions or issues. The soundstage does a pretty decent job of using the soundstage effectively. However, do not expect the rears to get much of a workout. Obviously, you are going to have some new voice talent with this remake. Overall, they did a pretty good job, but I got tickled a few times with how some of the voices were so similar to the cast in One Piece. Perhaps I have a more sensitive ear and pick up each voice actor to easily. 
 
Video:
Originally airing from 1986, Dragon Ball Z Kai is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Remastered in 2009, Dragon Ball Kai looks as good as it is ever going to be. The remastering is on the same level as Robotech and  much better than what was done with Voltron. The colors look good and the detail is much better than what I can ever remember with this series. Granted, this is my first in-depth exposure to the franchise, but I did get to see television broadcasts in the past. Of course, you will see some blemishes. Overall, this is a very clean and solid look for the series. One thing that you will notice is that there several kinds of animation pieces that are grafted into the footage. This is noticeable at the first several viewings, but soon becomes less noticeable as you move on through the episodes. The different video segments are hard not to notice, but can easily be forgotten.
 
Packaging:
The Dragon Ball Z Kai packaging looks a little less beefy than its predecessors. This release features two thin DVD cases with case with a cardboard slipcover. The front cover is features Vegeta. This is set against a white background with a blue vertical bar on the right side. The logo is featured on the lower left corner. The back cover is oriented horizontally with another action shot of Vegeta. A dark grey background with white and blue text provides a summary for the collection. A few clips from the episodes in the collection is displayed on the back along with the technical specifications. The DVD cases feature Lord Frieza’s lackeys, Zarbon and Dodoria respectively. Both images appear primarily on the back panel while an blue colored cover filled with blue stars is on the front panel. Also on the front is the title for the series and the disc number. Overall, a nicely assembled thinpack that will please anyone who is collecting the series.
 
Menu:
The menus for this release are a bit disappointing in that there is nothing more than a static image of the famous dragon from Dragon Ball and a horizontal navigation menu. Some clips from the series scrolling on the screen would do this menu well. Of course, packing seven episodes per disc might limit what can be put on the menus, but it still would be nice. The menus were easy to navigate and worked with absolutely no issues. 
 
Extras:
The extras included in the collection are found on the second disc. The extras include the textless songs for the series and a handful of the latest FUNimation trailers.
 
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers). 
The first Dragon Ball Kai collection really peaked my interest as I really was not interested in investing the time to watch the full blown series. The vastness of episodes seemed overwhelming. With this new incarnation, I felt like I could take the plunge. For me, the series’ attempt to retell the story in a shorter, more action packed fashion, in line closer with the manga seemed to be the ticket. I enjoyed the first collection, however some purists did not. My perspective for this review is based on someone who has not seen the original.
The pace for the previous collection and for this one seems to be a bit choppy but not so much that you can’t enjoy it. Keeping up with what is taking place is not too difficult and the action never seizes to stop, which is a good thing.
 
The thirteen episodes that accompany this collection follow the same kind of pacing and format that was set forth by the previous collection. The showcase fight between Goku and Vegeta is action packed and brutal. Taking up a few episodes, I can only imagine how drawn out this fight is in the original. In this fight, we see Vegeta use his powers to transform himself into a giant beast, which pretty much spells the end for Goku. This doesn’t go as planned as Gohan helps turn the tide with some unpredictable actions that literally causes Vegeta to flee with his tail between his legs.
 
Chivalry is one thing that is often exhibited in anime characters, even to the point where it tips on the edge of stupidity. Goku ultimately decides to spare Vegeta even when it is apparent that he is an egomaniacal freak hell-bent on destroying everything. Goku wants to fight him again on an even playing level, geesh! The law of archival villains dictates that they will always crawl back to a place of safety to ultimately return to fight another day with a vengeance. Vegeta follows this law to the letter as he manages to flee back into space to the base of his master, Lord Frieza. If you thought Vegeta was nuts, you got another thing coming with Frieza. Frieza wants nothing less than to rule the galaxy. Now, we have two crazy maniacal villains, I wonder where this will go?
 
Vegeta’s escape makes for great lead into the Namek saga. Recovering from his battle, Vegeta learns that Frieza is planning to collect the Dragon Balls on Planet Namek. Vegeta believes that if he can collect them all he will be able to overthrow Frieza. Thus begins, a hunt for the Dragon Balls. Another twist is thrown into the plot as Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan are also on their way to Namek. Their plan is to gather the Dragon Balls in order to revive the friends that they lost. This is a tall order for three meekly humans who are clueless to the fact that the Saiyans are also on their way to do the same thing.
 
A three-way race to gather the Dragon Balls ensues on Namek and the Namekians are caught up in the middle of it. The Saiyans all but slaughter every village they come across in their quest to claim the Dragon Balls. Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan are at a huge disadvantage, but have won the favor of the Elder who possesses one of the Dragon Balls himself. It’s only a matter of time before the Saiyans catch on to the fact that there is one Dragon Ball missing. In fact, Vegeta is doing a pretty good job of mixing up things while he tries to gather the Dragon Balls for himself.
 
As I mentioned before, the pacing for this collection of episodes feels just about right and I have not experienced any real problems with keeping up with all that is going on. Quite a bit of time is spent with Bulma, Krillan, and Gohan which helps a first time viewer identify with the supporting cast. Of course, we know that Goku is going to come save the day as he is on his way to help out the overmatched threesome. The only thing that feels a bit unconnected is the band of brothers who are with Piccolo in the afterlife. Heck, there is more fleshed out with the Frieza and his lackeys. I just hope their back stories will be fleshed out when Goku and the gang recover the Dragon Ball’s on Namek. You know it’s gonna happen!
 
Summary
The first release left me wondering if this new incarnation was going to hold true as compared to the original. Fans were conflicted, but I think they may be abit more receptive after viewing this collection. The pacing is fast, straight to the point, and little time is wasted with monologues and long backstories. As a first time viewer of Dragon Ball Z (I can hear you fans who are snickering) I am pleasantly surprised with a highly entertaining series of which I am anxiously awaiting the next collection.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles , Staff Commentary

 

Review Equipment
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p
 

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
tovuk 12/24/2010 10:17:10 AM

Man this is really condensed series, The animation is pretty good too!

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