Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: C
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Dragon Ball Z
Dragonball Z TV #33: Trunks - Mysterious Youth
By Christopher H. Smith
February 07, 2002
Release Date: October 03, 2000
The first thing that caught my attention with this particular DVD was the fact that this particular release marks the first ever commercially available Japanese TV episodes (the movies were released subtitled some time ago). This came as quite a surprise, especially given the fact that all of the DVD releases before now contained only the english dialogue version. For those of you wondering, the original japanese opening of Cha-La and the original ending whose name still escapes me. As well, for those who prefer the English side, a condensed American opening of sorts is there, though not the previously used 'Rock the Dragon Opening' and containing no vocals.
As for episode content...
Episode 103 -
The first episode on the DVD is the first in the new 3rd season, the events taking place 6 months following Goku's defeat of Freeza at the end of the second episode. This episode also marks the beginning of the Future Trunks / Android / Cell Saga.
Goku, still missing after the destruction of Namek, does not appear in this or any other of the three episodes on the disk and therefore as normal, the plot focuses in on Gohan, Goku's only son at this point in the series. It would seem that Gohan, in his desire to have his father home again, has fallen short on his studies somewhat so in order to catch him up, ChiChi hires a new special tutor. Also, following Vegeta's return to Earth and subsequent moving into Capsule Corps'. headquarters, the various warriors begin to sense a new and evil ki coming toward the Earth. It would seem that Freeza, thought to be dead, has in fact survived through cybernetic augmentation by his father King Cold, who found his body among the planet's wreckage. Bent on revenge, they approach the Earth in order to outrun Goku's homecoming and challenge him again, replacing the prestige and title of strongest in the universe.
Episode 104 -
Freeza and his father arrive on the planet, an army in tow. As the warriors gather and prepare to battle Freeza, a mysterious young man wearing a capsule corp. jacket appears to challenge them, claiming that Goku was not the only Super Saiya-jin. A short battle ensues, most of the episode consuming the reactions of the other cast members to Trunks and tossed threats back and forth.
Episode 105 -
The battle continues as Trunks shows his true Saiyan lineage with the advent of his golden haired status, which sends terror into Freeza's cold heart, reminding him of his past defeat at Goku's hand. Freeza and Trunks proceed to do battle and the outcome I'll leave to your own viewings of the DVD
Technical Specs -
The first thing I noticed with this DVD is the overall low quality of the video. Given its age I wasn't overly surprised but I did expect some extent of cleaning up the video for the DVD release. Colors seemed somewhat subdued, there was a good deal of overall quality loss as with older cartoons from the 80's and the like. Also, the japanese title appearing in the subbed version, though nice to see as an extra, jumps to the episode track with a video skip/stutter on my DVD rom though on
other players it didn't seem to. The sound as well was rather low quality in the Japanese track, no effort really made to distinguish any stereo or special effects. Standard TV quality japanese audio. The English audio was as well only to TV quality standards, quite a disappointment considering the hype behind the series right now. Also, though the subtitles included all of the Japanese name prefixes (a real rarity in anime these days), and all the names were converted back to their traditional spellings/versions (Kuririn, Yamucha, etc.), the designers apparently could not agree on a spelling of anything either as they used two different spellings of Freeza/Frieza during the episodes as well as the infamous Saiya-jin/Saiyan mix up on multiple occasions. Lastly, the subtitle placement was a bit too high on the screen and was spaced out unusually, often-times single word lines proceeded by full lines of text. The font of these as well was rather plain when compared to other releases.
Again, the inclusion of both style opening and endings was nice, as well as the addition of a monologue covering the events of Dragonball all the way to the Cell Saga. The DVD also contains a copy of all of the U.S. Dragonball Z commercials from Irwin's cheesy toy commercials to Cartoon Network's ads for the various sagas.
If you are a large DBZ fan, then this disk is a godsend to the many of us waiting months and years for a domestic release of the series. However, I believe that in order to get the best quality of this series, we will have to be a bit more patient as Funimation improves upon their technique. Lastly, I appreciate the non-credit opening and endings on the Japanese version and the Japanese episode title screen, and think with more experience Funimation may prove to yet be more reliable with their japanese releases, and a great asset to fans of the show after
Creative Encore 8x DVD-Rom on a custom-built AMD K6-2 500 w/ 128 megabytes of Ram