Dragonball Z TV #35: Androids - Invasion - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: F
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 82
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragonball Z TV #35: Androids - Invasion

    December 24, 2003
Release Date: March 20, 2001


Dragonball Z TV #35: Androids - Invasion
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Episode 111: The Androids Appear
Three years have come and gone, and the day of reckoning has finally arrived! The Androids are here, just as Trunks predicted, and they are wrecking havoc on an unsuspecting city! Goku and his friends must now put their training to the test, but are they ready to face these mechanical monsters?

Episode 112: A Handy Trick
Yamcha is held at the mercy of the ruthless Android 20, and Goku and the others must race to help their friend. Believing their power to be bar superior, the Androids temp Goku’s rage by leveling half the city! But there’s one thing the Android’s didn’t count on – Goku’s a Super Saiyan!

Episode 113: Double Trouble for Goku
The battle with the Androids begins in earnest as Goku launches an all out assault against Android 19. The Super Saiyan seems to have the fight well under control, but something is horribly wrong! Goku’s strength is mysteriously fading away! And Android 19 isn’t slowing down!

Episode 114: Upgrade to Super Saiyan
Attacked from within from a crippling virus, Goku is helpless against the maniacal Android 19. But just when it looks like the end for Goku, Vegeta appears on the scene! And he’s got a few big surprises in store for the Androids!

The Review!
FUNimation makes a new DBZ VCD (err, DVD, more on that later…)

Audio:
Another dual-language audio track with a solid Japanese mono and English stereo. The stereo mix, however, comes mostly out of the center channel, and the English dubbed version is so inanely hideously horrible I couldn't stand listening to more than one minute, although I did set episode 111 (J-episode 125) on English w/ English subtitles. FUNimation scored 0% accuracy, meaning that not one line of the dub matched the translations provided by Steve Simmons. This idea of an "uncut" dub is both laughable and ridiculous. As always, the dubbed version replaces the original orchestral Japanese score with a terrible wannabe techno/heavy metal remix. Also, the Japanese track at the end of the disc actually becomes (not switches to) English dubbed for the ONE next episode preview.

Video:
Either Toei keeps their analog masters of Dragon Ball Z TV in the Sahara Desert, or it purposely gives FUNimation substandard tapes in hopes of boosting their unannounced Region 2 DVD boxset sales. The video has many nicks and scratches, not Uresei Yatsura-bad, but noticeable. More so, the picture seems drowned in a heavy layer of grain, and the viewer can easily detect much softness and pixellation. That said, this disc still beats fansub quality. Still, with only a single-layer encoding and the massive amounts of technical flaws on the disc, the video itself looks more like a VCD than a DVD.

Bonus: the episode title screens have 2 angles, one for the Japanese and one for the English.

Packaging:
A decent screen-capture of Artificial Humans No. 19 and No. 20, (Note I did not state "androids;" I think FUNimation has taken too many translation notes from Anime Labs) but still, a screen-capture. I can forgive because there is not a Region 2 DBZ release that FUNimation could have used. Still no insert, and the episode descriptions use the dubbed version's titles.

Menus:
Straightforward menus, but slow access time, compared to other non-FUNimation releases. These menus are identical to the other Androids discs menus, which just goes to show how cheap and lazy FUNimation is. One may switch audio or subtitle tracks during play, but switching chapters makes the language and subtitle selection return to default, suggesting that two separate video segments were used, and further suggesting a conspiracy of editing. A terrible delay occurs when changing between episodes and title credits.

Extras:
Note to FUNimation - previews for dubbed VHS videos are not "extras." Grrrr…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When watching this single-layered disc, I discovered that the uncut and unedited Dragon Ball Z on DVD is still, indeed, cut and edited. As with the previous discs, we still lack next episode previews. FUNimation claims that the tapes Toei sent it had the previews but no audio. If these were true, FUNimation should have just made a deal with the I-channel to acquire the previews. Only one preview exists on the DVD, the one for episode 115 (to calculate the correct Japanese episode past the first two dubbed seasons add 14 to the English number. Thus episode 115 is really episode 129) but it is the dubbed preview. Only one textless opening and ending sequence is shown, which I consider a flaw because every single episode of DBZ had different credits. The eyecatchers are also senselessly left to die on the cutting room floor, despite fan protest. FUNimation just really needs to release a DVD boxset of DBZ TV. While it is currently releasing an average of one volume every two weeks, it will still take until 2007 to release all the episodes of DVD. Also, one would spend about $2,300 to collect all the discs, as they alternate having four and three episodes per DVD.

As for the show itself? Come on, it's DBZ, the greatest anime series of all time.

OK, the sense the shoujo fans are transforming their magical wands into guns and loading them with bullets to fire at me, but the Artificial Humans arc is my favorite part of DBZ. Sadly, we only get about 23 episodes of the fantastic cyborg action. This arc starts out in the typical DBZ fashion: a take simple goal (kill two Artificial Humans before they wipe out everybody on Earth) and watch as it becomes much, MUCH more complicated, leading to events that nobody could have predicted. The first episode is mysterious; the Z warriors have taken Trunks' advice and have prepared for the upcoming battle. They go to the place where their enemies are supposed to appear. They spot the AH, who quickly disappear into a huge city, and guess what? - since they are not human, they give off no detectable "ki." A tense game of cat and mouse begins. The next episode is technically "filler," as Master Roshi explains to the incompetent girl Marron the history of Goku and the Red Ribbon Army. Of course, this is good filler, as it is designed to remind viewer of events that happened in Dragon Ball, which to Japanese viewers was five years ago at that time. For Americans it's a first. In the final two episodes, we learn more about the AH, and Goku, in one of the series' shortest fights, battles No. 19 for only TWO episodes. Episode 114 leads up to Vegeta's transformation (sorry to blow the surprise, but it was on the back cover), and the subsequent fight on the next episode where Vegeta absolutely manhandles No. 19. All in all, nothing short of excellent … if you go for science-fi martial arts soap operas. BONUS: In episode 111 (125) can you spot two people wearing T-shirts that say "Bird?" It is, of course, a reference to Bird Studios, which animated DBZ.

Does the content have any flaws? Well, No. 17 and No. 18 don't show up until Vol. 36, but other than that, these four episodes are an indepensible treasure of the DBZ Universe.Could this have been a better disc?


Yes.
Did FUNimation only get the license to DBZ because its president's uncle is a producer at Toei Animation?
Yes.
Will FUNimation EVER release better quality DVDs?
I pray for the Yuu Yuu Hakusho that it does.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony DVP-650D DVD players with Audioquest and s-video cables on a Trinitron XBR 27 inch color TV.

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