Dragon Ball Z Saga 3: Into the Wind - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 62
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z Saga 3: Into the Wind

By Chris Beveridge     June 13, 2005
Release Date: June 07, 2005


Dragon Ball Z Saga 3: Into the Wind
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Krillin receives a startling message. He is to gather Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu for special training. With intense sadness, he and Roshi must find a way to tell Chichi what’s happened to Goku and her son. Meanwhile, Gohan begins his first day of Piccolo’s training. Alone in the wilderness, he must quickly learn to take care of himself. But that isn’t easy when he’s tired, hungry – and being chased by vicious dinosaurs!

This is the ultimate uncut special edition dvd not seen before in North America!

The Review!
As Piccolo starts the first phase of Gohan's training, Goku goes into actors exile with his multi-episode journey across the clouds.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Having done the show previously in its (albeit edited) English language release, we've been wanting to see it in its original language for a long time now. The shows mono mix is pretty much what we expected though and it's fairly lackluster and misses a lot of the oomph that's become so common from so many more current fighting shows. Even though it lacks that, it's not something that's really a problem if you've seen any of the show before since you're already used to how it feels. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and it's basically on par of previous Japanese language releases of the show.

Video:
Originally airing in 1989, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The show definitely feels its age in a lot of ways with the way it has its grain and color palette as well as the animation itself. The transfer for these episodes definitely look better than the previous release of the series but the source materials for the franchise has never been particularly strong to begin with and always easy to see where they made their shortcuts in animation. With just three episodes on the disc the quality of the authoring is quite good but there's only so much they can get out of the materials. Colors look good if a bit bland and washed out in a few places, cross coloration is non-existent and the only real noticeable problem is some occasional aliasing.

Packaging:
Using foil paper for the cover, FUNimation has done a nicely stylized cover where it's got the core image of Gohan in his transformation sequence as his clothes tear off and you get all the speed lines and other action elements for it. The background is made up of various characters from the episodes here and with the mixture of blacks against the fiery colors with the character designs it looks appropriately dark and powerful. The foil in particular really makes it all work better than it would otherwise. The back cover plays up a similar feel with Goku running along while there's a halo over his head speed lines behind and around him underneath the summary and shots from the show. The discs extras and basic technical features are relatively easy to find though as usual things are mostly mixed down at the bottom with the production information. As is normal at this point in time, no insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The menu layout is reminiscent of the cover layout as it uses the same shot of Gohan but angles it a bit and covers it up with lots of heavy speed lines, flames and a piece from the show itself set to some of the darker music to the show that's rather atmospheric. The layout is nicely done and it looks good in how it conveys the feel of the show. The navigation is pretty straightforward and things are done the same as most other FUNimation releases with languages selecting the right angle to be played, which is why our players' language presets never work right here. Access times are nice and fast and this is a nicely in-theme menu.

Extras:
While the original releases really had nothing for extras and the franchise in general is fairly weak on them, FUNimation has come up with some good stuff for their release here. The "Goku vs. Vegeta" extra returns here as it goes over things about the show once again with a few of the cast members and staff people, but a lot of it feels like it's repeated from the first one and at times so much so that I wonder if it is the same thing all over again but I just don't remember all of it. It is an interesting extra though and it covers a lot of material about the shows evolution and how they approach it. There's also another of the trivia games on this release.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the events of the second volume, everything is all over the place this time around and nothing is like it was before. With the threat of there being two new Saiyan's arriving in a years time, Goku dead and the fate of the planet at stake, everyone goes off to do what's required of them and just get to it. With that in mind, there's several storylines that run through this volume.

The first one that's interesting to watch revolves around Piccolo and Gohan. With the sense that Gohan really has something to him and the need for all the power they can muster in a years time, Piccolo has taken Gohan under his wing and intends to train him hard. In six months no less. But before he puts him through that six months of training, he needs to harden him up and get him away from the soft life that he's led due to his mother. To do that, he takes him to one of the remote wastelands and tells him that he's simply going to leave him there and he has to survive on his own for six months and try to unlock his potential. If he can survive that, then he's worthy of being trained by Piccolo.

To me, this is the most interesting of the stories that runs through the show until the Saiyan's arrive since it takes a soft and simple kid who does have great potential and runs him through a few rough events. It also shows how Piccolo has grown and changed over the years and especially since the arrival of Raditz. As commented on later on, the fact that those that Piccolo killed such as Raditz and Goku have been able to go to the Other World shows a dramatic shift in how his powers have changed since before they'd just wander the void or elsewhere. The need for a unified front for when the two Saiyan's arrive have changed his perspective on things and is slowly changing him.

For Gohan, he gets to experience life without a doting mother and a father who quickly fixes and covers up his mistakes. Living on his own in the wilds is not an easy thing for him and he's almost quickly eaten, finds himself without food and is cold in the night. Piccolo does take some care of him while keeping his distance but just enough so that he can survive the first night and to provide some simple subtle encouragement. Gohan's life is set on a path now that will irrevocably change him and it's fun to see how he handles things as the time goes on. We get just a few glimpses of that here but it's encouraging.

The least interesting arc is the Goku in exile one where he's pretty much just running down the dragon path for quite a few episodes until he can get to where he needs to be to do so much needed training. Having left instructions to not bringing him back to life until just before the Saiyan's arrive, he intends to get some otherworldly training that might give him an edge when he gets back. But even with this kind of setup, it's endlessly boring watching him either sleep, complain about food or just run, hop or fly across the length of the dragon path.

The amusing storyline for this volume though focuses on poor Chichi. Kuririn heads back to her place in order to tell her that Goku is dead and that he's training off in the Other World but will come back in a year and that Piccolo has Gohan and is training him in order to fight that evil that's coming. But Kuririn, being the boob that he is, is unable to do this at all when he gets there and just sputters about stuff and fails completely at getting his point across. So much so that he sneaks out at night and heads back to Kame House so that he can get his thoughts back in order only to have Chichi and Gyumou follow him there and demand to know what's going on. It's an ugly situation when Chichi is unhappy and her attempts to get to the bottom of things throughout this are fun to watch.

In Summary:
While this release still hurts in the three episode format, it's been fun to rewatch it with the knowledge of the original manga series in my head and simply the overall familiarity with it compared to seven years ago. The show is going off into several arcs that will certainly last awhile and it follows up nicely the short setup done in the first six episodes and other than what must have been a dull series of episodes to record for Goku's voice actor, the show does have an element of fun to it that I didn't have the first time around. Times and tastes certainly can change and I'm glad I'm getting a chance to revisit this.

Features
Japanese 1.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,Spanish 1.0 Language,English Subtitles,Goku Vs. Vegeta Featurette,Trivia Game

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, 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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