This entry into Funimation’s Dragon Ball Z double feature series brings together the seventh and ninth DBZ movies. As always, only DBZ fans need apply.
What They Say
Contains two classic Dragon Ball Z movies: Android Assault and Bojack Unbound.
Android Assault: When the quiet peace of a routine day is interrupted by violent explosions it seems like the entire world is under siege! But Goku quickly realizes that he is the target of the sudden attack! Who are these strange assassins? When Goku discovers that despite their great power, the culprits are not emitting an energy signal, it can only mean one thing: Androids! With Doctor Gero dead, just who is responsible for master-minding this new wave of Androids that are stronger, faster, and ten times more deadly than before?
Bojack Unbound: The infamous millionaire X.S. Cash is funding the most amazing martial arts tournament the Universe has ever seen! The four finalists must do battle with warriors representing the four corners of the galaxy in a decisive battle to see who gains the right to challenge The Champ for the ultimate championship! But a ragged band of criminals have a scheme of their own: take over the tournament and conquer the Universe in the process! Their leader is the incredibly powerful Bojack, an evil menace who has broken free of his stellar confines! With Goku incapable of helping eradicate the planet’s latest threat and Earth’s greatest heroes falling one by one, the young Gohan must look deep within himself to find the power to destroy the wicked invaders.
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 <i>Dragon Ball Z</i>, 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 “Super Android 13” being from 1992 and “Bojack Unbound” from 1993, 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 an insert depicting the movie posters and information about the remastering process on the left. The front has a picture of Super Seiyan Vegeta with monochromatic shots of Goku, Krillin and Vegeta (again) behind him. The back has an image of Android 13, with screen shots, summaries, and technical details listed. On the interior, able to be seen through the plastic, is a close-up of Trunks destroying Android 14 with his sword. 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 contains the seventh and ninth movies in the Dragon Ball Z movie series: “Super Android 13” and “Bojack Unbound”. Like other feature-length entries, these movies focus on fairly typical Dragon Ball Z-type action and little else. Little plot or character development is present anywhere. As such, these movies cater more to longtime fans rather than any potential new viewers.
“Super Android 13” sees a new group of androids surface from the lab of Dr. Gero. As is the case with many DBZ villains, they are programmed with one purpose in mind: kill Goku. At first, only two androids, numbers 14 and 15, show up, and Goku and Trunks have little problem keeping them at bay. But soon, number 13 arrives to turn the tide of the battle, and timely arrivals by Vegeta and Piccolo are only just enough to make sure that Goku and Trunks are not annihilated, but when 13 shows the ability to absorb 14 and 15 to created a Super 13, the four working together are not even enough to contain him.
“Bojack Unbound” comes later in the DBZ timeline: after the Cell Games, but prior to the threat from Majin Buu. The gang, minus the still-dead-from-the-Cell-Games Goku and retired Vegeta, enter a fighting tournament being promoted by pro wrestling champion/blowhard, Mr. Satan, who managed to get credit for defeating Cell. The tournament is single elimination, one-on-one battles, with the ultimate victor to take on Mr. Satan in a winner-take-all final contest. Of course, when Mr. Satan realizes that Gohan, Krillin, Trunks, and Piccolo are part of the tournament field, he does everything he can to duck out of his responsibility. Soon, though, a group of aliens led by the demon Bojack, who had been imprisoned until an inadvertent attack by Goku on Cell released him, come to interrupt the proceedings. And now, without Goku to step up and save the Earth, it falls on Gohan to take up the mantle of protector.
Each movie is fairly standard for a DBZ feature. They clock in at around 45 minutes, and just like previous DBZ movies, they do little in terms of plot development. In fact, “Super Android 13” takes all of about five minutes to set up the premise before letting everybody have at it. “Bojack Unbound” has a little more setup, but still spends the majority of its time in battle situations.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with this, except that it does not allow for anybody not already familiar with the Dragon Ball universe to truly immerse themselves in the story. The movies take it for granted that the viewer has a good idea who character is and what they are capable of. Only the villains get any kind of setup, and that is cursory at best. While this was not as much of an issue with the earlier movies, since they are set early in the timeline, these movies require a bit more knowledge as there are more characters, such as Trunks and Dr. Gero at play. Because of this, as always, these movies remain in the province of established fans and not anybody else.
I have never been one to truly enjoy Dragon Ball Z, but the movies hold even less appeal for me than the TV series. The lack of any development of the characters or the cookie-cutter plots just does not do it for me. However, DBZ has always been about the fighting, and the movies have them in spades. These two in particular waste no time in getting at it, so fans of the franchise might find them enjoyable, but I would advise all others to stay away.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Memorex MVD2042 Progressive Scan w/ DD/DTS (Component Connection), Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System