Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: C
- Packaging Rating: C
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 70
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Dragon Ball Z
Dragonball Z TV #18: Captain Ginyu - Assault
By Chris Beveridge
December 24, 2003
Release Date: June 20, 2000
What They Say
Burter and Jeice of the fearsome Ginyu Force launch an attack on Goku. But the tables turn as Goku's harnesses his new power But can their collective force match up to the new Goku?
An angry Captain Ginyu initiates a battle with the fearless Goku, as the ruthless mercenary attempts to uncover Goku's true strength. But Goku cleverly conceals his power level from the militant monster. Finally, at the insistence of the captain, Goku astounds both Jeice and Ginyu by revealing his true power... A power unlike anything they had anticipated.
Captain Ginyu and Jeice face up to Goku only to discover the truth about what they're up against. Elsewhere, Guru bestows a special gift upon the young Namek, Dende. And Nail returns to defend Guru from the villainous Frieza. But will Nail's special training be enough? The Review!
The first of the Funimation released DVD's have arrived and there's definitely cause for rejoicing. Provided you don't look too deeply.
The folks who authored these discs had a slightly daunting task. Take two versions of a show and squeeze it onto one single layered disc. With the English uncut and the Japanese uncut editions still being quite different, it was necessary to provide both as separate selections.
When you choose your language, you choose the path unto which you will watch. Selecting Japanese will queue up the original Japanese opening sequence and then launch into the Japanese uncut episodes, complete with subtitles (though the opening isn't subtitled). When it finishes, it plays the original ending as well, which is also not subtitled (nor are the credits translated anywhere fully).
Selecting the English audio does pretty much the same thing, except it plays the US broadcast openings and endings around the uncut dubbed version, which is still different than the Japanese cut. We only briefly looked at the English side of things, since we've seen it on TV often enough and we were much more interested in the Japanese version.
The audio is pretty much what you'd expect from a show this old though a few areas of it do start sounding a bit tinny and scratchy. The video side of things don't fare up all that well either. For the most part, the character animation looks decent, though there are enough instances of artifacting and pixellation. The backgrounds in general look very soft and some of them almost look alive in how they move. What gets unfortunate is that with so much of the series so far, it takes place with the same kind of backgrounds so it's almost constant.
There's one sequence in a darkened chamber that's filled with blues and blacks, and you could see the blockiness everywhere in it. Thankfully it was a short scene, but you could notice other bits throughout with more ease after that.
The menus are pretty similar to what Pioneer was doing with the exception of having a language selection now. One edge that Pioneer did have over this release though is in terms of packaging. The 17 volumes they released for the most part have much more dynamic and eye-grabbing covers. This one is more muted and simply a pose of Goku, fists upturned.
Even with these flaws, there's something alluring about this disc. Having seen 50+ episodes in cut up broadcast English and the first three movies subtitled, my experience with the show has been a little... colored to say the least. I'm not a huge fan of dubs and even less so of anime that's been cut. To finally see mostly uncut subtitled Japanese Dragonball Z though is something I've been looking forward to.
And I could really feel a change pretty quick. The overall feel of the show is very different. The music, though dated, is played a lot less. There are many more moments of silence as the camera pans around the characters. The dialogue is also yelled out quite a bit less, and there feels like there's more threats within some of the dialogue than in the dubbed editions.
The primary focus of the three episodes on this disc are the battles between Goku and the Ginyu forces, including the Captain. They're pretty similar to things we'd seen before, but with Goku taking the lead and being rather confident about everything yet not terribly cocky. The fight sequences were pretty much as you'd expect and the bits of minor character development were fairly decent for the minute or two that they exist.
But at least characters that are being beaten to a pulp actually have blood and wounds on them now.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster gold plated component cables and Sony speakers.