Dragonball Z TV #01: Arrival - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 80
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragonball Z TV #01: Arrival

By Chris Beveridge     April 13, 1999
Release Date: April 13, 1999

Dragonball Z TV #01: Arrival
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
The Saiyans are a race of alien warriors who crave destruction. They have sent their mighty warrior, Raditz, to the Earth to search for his younger brother, Kakarot, and to finish the job his brother neglected - to destroy all traces of human life on the planet!
Raditz confronts Goku, one of the Earth's greatest defenders, and shocks everyone by revealing that Goku is really Kakarot with amnesia! Raditz commands Goku to accept his heritage and attack the earth. When Goku refuses, Raditz kidnaps Goku's son Gohan and commands Goku to destroy 100 earthlings by the next morning to save his son's life. Still reeling from the shock, Goku suddenly finds help from an unlikely source - his arch-enemy Piccolo! Despite their differences, they both realize that they must team up if they want to have a chance against Raditz. However, once their battle against the Saiyan has begun, it becomes obvious that, even together, they are not powerful enough to challenge Raditz! How will they make up the difference? What sacrifices will have to be made to protect the Earth?

The Review!
Born long ago of a primeval force on a faraway planet, the Saiyans developed into a warrior race so devastating and relentless that their own planet did not survive their centuries of destruction. Now, one of them is coming to earth to find his younger brother Goku!
The first of 17 planned volumes, Dragonball Z TV 01 should give a fairly good indication of what to expect from the upcoming 16 volumes. To my mind, there will be two distinct camps and a 3rd outside minority camp. Camp 1 is the large number of fans who've seen only the U.S. version on broadcast TV and now on cable. These fans, much like Sailor Moon or Pokemon fans, have not seen much other anime and enjoy the show for what they see. This is not a bad thing. Camp 2 is the large number of fans who've seen fansubs and "pure" versions of the series and movies for a number of years, and cringe more than most at what they consider the travesty that has been bestowed on what many call one of the best and longest running anime series of all time. Camp 3 is made up of people who've not seen the original version or the U.S. version, but know that the Japanese language rights are simply not going to happen for the foreseeable future, and will try to get the most out of what is available to them. This is the camp I'm in. If you've been reading my reviews and this site for any length of time, you'll know that I'm very much a pro-sub/purist person, and that extends to live action movies as well from other countries.

But I'm also a realist, when it comes to shows like this and Pokemon and Sailor Moon. The "big bad companies" snagged the rights, butchered them as they saw fit, and now that's all that the majority of people have. So my reviews tend to be tempered towards that, as my favorable review of Pokemon will attest.

The audio on this disc is pretty good, considering both the age of the show and it's being dubbed. I couldn't detect any sound sent to the rear channels, but I don't normally find much during most TV series, especially older ones.

The video makes me wonder what was up. I know Pioneer can only work with the materials given, and it may have to do largely with that, but there was considerable grain on the print. It's most noticeable during the first episode and during blue sky backgrounds throughout the others. It may just be the only print that Funimation was able to get, which leaves Pioneer little to do with. That's the main reason for the lower grade on the video portion. It's almost to a distracting point at times, especially when there are older shows that have no grain at all.

Pioneer uses the keepcase again for this release, but curiously they did not use a white keepcase as they did for Pokemon. I had thought they were going with white to signify the family/children's shows, but with this and now that Battle Athletes TV series being done in white, I have no idea what kind of keepcase coloring policy that they might have. This is something that's just going to get weird, much like the earlier VHS anime days when tapes were blue, white, red, gray and other colors.

The menu is pretty standard. You can select the opening, any of the four episodes, the ending and then the three previews for the next volume. The episodes are not separated with op/eds as most TV series are, but this is pretty much the VHS ported over to DVD.

So now, after seeing the first four episodes of the series, I'm still pretty ambivalent about it. I know it's a big fan favorite, but I'm not sure I really see the appeal yet. I do like that fight sequences aren't neat and tidy in one episode, and that they are spread across several, but I'm not sure that it's enough to sustain a series for a length of time. Of course, the number of episodes that this show ran in total proves me wrong, but will it keep me interested in it for that long? I'm not sure. I'll pick up the next couple of volumes and see from there.

English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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