This entry into FUNimation’s double pack line combines “Tree of Might” with “Lord Slug”, which are fine Dragon Ball Z movies, but will do nothing to convince non-fans to feel otherwise.
What They Say
The Tree of Might
The Earth's destruction lies dormant within a single, solitary seed. Brought forth from the darkest reaches of space, the Tree of Might has been sown with the vilest of intentions. Once it takes root, nothing else can survive. A plant designed to drain the energy of a planet, it steals the very essence of life only to blossom in death and desolation.
Unable to fell this mighty threat, Goku and the Z Warriors must instead confront the harbinger of the evil, a Saiyan bearing an uncanny resemblance to our hero: Turles. This new enemy kidnaps Gohan and sets the son against the father, a tragedy which only delays the inevitable fight. As Goku finally faces off against his deplorable double, Turles turns to the thieving tree...
This is the story of hope untapped.
Once again called upon to save their planet from disaster, Goku and Krillin race to head off a giant asteroid on a collision course with Earth. The threat deflected, their home is saved...Or is it?
A greater menace looms in the shadows; a being so evil that he was banished from his old world and now seeks to create a new one of his own. Lord Slug, prepared to dominate by freezing all opposition, seeks out the seven Dragon Balls. Fully restored to youth and more powerful than ever, the Z Warriors soon prove no match for this ancient enemy, a Namekian with abilities from lore and legend. As Goku falls, another must step up before all is lost.
This is the story of legend and loss.
For this viewing, I listened to the English Dub with original Japanese music, which is offered in 5.1 surround. There are also options for the English Dub with US music, also in 5.1, and the original Japanese track, which is only offered in mono. This mix is pretty nice, and I liked that Funimation gave us the option between the Japanese and US music. The dialogue is clear with no dropout, the sound effects are nice, and there is some pretty nice directionality during the fight scenes. And since this is Dragon Ball Z, there are plenty of those.
Both titles are shown in their original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and have been digitally remastered in high definition. This transfer is pretty clean, with no real technical problems, but with “Tree of Might” being from 1990 and “Lord Slug” from 1991, they are still both titles that show their age. Flaws in the originals have been cleaned up and the colors redone, but they still are not as clean as newer titles. That said, they look about as good as any DBZ title, so fans of the series should not notice any difference.
This is a really nice set. The main case is a full color, sturdy DVD Tin with a clear plastic insert to hold the discs. Both discs are held on the right side, with room for a non-existent booklet or insert on the left. The front has a picture of Goku in a fighting pose with monochromatic shots of Turles and Lord Slug behind him. The back has another image of Goku, with screen shots, summaries, and technical details listed. On the interior, able to be seen through the plastic, is an image of Lord Slug sitting on his throne with his henchmen flanking him. Overall, it looks really nice and is well put together.
The menus for this release are pretty basic. Each have a still image of Goku set against a black background. The DVD options are underneath in yellow, making them easy to see and follow. Options for Play, Scene Selection, and Setup are available. Pretty basic, but functional.
Aside from some trailers, there were no extras on this set.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This collection brings together the third and forth Dragon Ball Z movies: “Tree of Might” and “Lord Slug.” Both movies feature plots and action typical of the Dragon Ball universe, and will probably be enjoyable to any DBZ fan, but non-fans would be advised to stay away.
Both movies feature fairly standard DBZ stories, and since they both come in at under an hour, there is not a lot of meat to them. “Tree of Might” sees a group of Seiyans under the rule of Turles come to Earth to take over using the power of their Tree of Might. A Tree of Might grows so large that it absorbs all of the nutrients the planet can produce, and the fruit that it bears can make anybody more powerful. They have chosen Earth as they wish to check up on Goku (Kakkarot) and find out why he has not completed his mission to destroy Earth yet. “Lord Slug” also features beings coming to Earth to take over, this time led by the aptly named Namekian, Lord Slug. Lord Slug has chosen Earth, it seems, for the simple reason that everybody else is doing it. Lord Slug does have the distinction, though, of having what is possibly the stupidest weakness ever.
As is typically the case, in both titles, Goku’s various friends and acquaintances have a go at the forces of evil, only to get smacked down fairly easily, opening the door for Goku to come in and slap the beejeezus out of the villains. Of course, he has to struggle at first against the leader, until he achieves a higher knowledge, which he is then able to use to defeat his foe. He allows for a little more help in “Lord Slug,” in particular from Piccolo and Gohan, but he is still big man on campus when all is said and done.
I am not exactly the biggest DBZ fan, but having seen a few of the movies now, they are definitely inferior to the TV series. With the series allowing for plot arcs to develop over many episodes, there is typically plenty of time to develop the characters and storylines well. The movies do not have that luxury, however, as they are fairly short. The plots are typically basic, and they rely on knowledge of the TV series for all character familiarity. What they do have is plenty of typical DBZ action, and that should be more than enough for DBZ fans. They will not be good introductions to the series, though.
“Tree of Might” and “Lord Slug” are pretty standard as far as DBZ titles go, though I think a step down from some other offerings out there. Like the other movies and movie packs, I would say that DBZ fans would probably be happy with these, but casual fans/non-fans will not find anything here to pique their interest. Thumbs firmly in the middle.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 (US Music) Language, English 5.1 Language (Japanese Music), English Subtitles
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Memorex MVD2042 Progressive Scan w/ DD/DTS (Component Connection), Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System