Dragonball Z TV #50: Great Saiyaman: Crash Course - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 62
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dragon Ball Z

Dragonball Z TV #50: Great Saiyaman: Crash Course

By Chris Beveridge     November 14, 2005
Release Date: November 15, 2005


Dragonball Z TV #50: Great Saiyaman: Crash Course
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Contains episodes 192-194:

Take Flight, Videl
With the world martial arts tournament fast approaching, Videl and Goten must learn to fly, and fast! Gohan reveals the secret to flying and struggles to coach his two students into the air. Miles away, Vegeta is holding a training session of his own and gets a big surprise from his young son, Trunks!

Gather for the Tournament
Videl masters the art of flying and Gohan and Goten do some last minute honing of their Super Saiyan skills. The big day soon arrives and the Z fighters reunite! But what do you say to a hero who's been dead for seven years?!

Camera Shy
Crowds of fans and fighters line the tournament streets. Among them: the high school jock, Sharpner, who discovers his crush Videl has set her heart on the mysterious Great Saiyaman! Sharpner vows to ruin the caped fighter by unmasking his true identity and capturing it on film!

The Review!
As the Tenkaichi Tournament approaches, everyone is going through their last rounds of training and preparation.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Though listed as stereo, the series has a heavy mono feel with the bulk of all the sounds coming through the center channel. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout it but there's little dynamic to it or even the music. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either track.

Video:
Originally airing in 1989, the transfer here comes across well but suffers from seemingly poor source materials but is generally reflective of what we've seen of the series in general. The bulk of the problem comes in the form of the sheer amount of grain, with some episodes heavier on it than others. This causes a number of areas to look less than stable, from anything showing blue skies to the fiery sequences that look like they're macroblocking more than they should. Other issues are pretty minimal to non-existent however, such as cross coloration and aliasing.

Packaging:
Continuing to use basically screenshots from the show or other bits of artwork that don't do a lot to really push the show that well, the cover art for this volume is a simple and cartoonish piece of Gohan in his secret identity mode racing headlong towards the viewer with a standard building background behind him. It's not eye-catching or all that appealing but I'll say it fits in with a lot of the other covers I've seen from the series. The back cover provides a few shots from these episodes as well as an English-dub based summary of the show. The overall layout of the back cover looks somewhat cleaned up over the prior releases with information easier to find. As seems to be the norm for this series, there is no insert included and I don't much mind the lack of one.

Menu:
Done in a faux letterbox style with a murky green background, the top bar has the titles while the bottom features the selections. The middle strip is a nicely colored split piece that has a headshot of Gohan with and without his mask on and each side having different colors wave about. It's nicely done and fits in with the show well enough and is certainly more than I expect from a show with this many volumes to it. With little on the disc and no transitional animations, submenus are quick to load and the layout works well.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the Tenkaichi Tournament approaches, the vast cast of characters that this show employs goes through a variety of training methods and techniques to get ready for it. There's a number of reasons that everyone is participating and each have their own agendas to some extent so there is plenty going on here to catch the eye. With it being everything that leads up to the fight though, the action is very minimal but the real treasure is all the really fun character interactions.

A good portion of the show continues to focus on the training that Gohan is putting both Goten and Videl through. This turns out to be fun since one of the first things that both of them want to do is learn to fly but the basics are so far not understood by Videl that Gohan has to take the training there for a bit. Videl's understanding of things is not the same as the others since she doesn't know about the concept of ki and thinks most of what she does are tricks of sorts, so the training starts with going through that which is very difficult for her since she's not used to being relaxed enough to handle it. Goten on the other hand master is fairly quickly and within the first day he's off zooming about like wild while Videl takes a bit longer to master the basics of simply levitating. Even worse for Videl, as strong as she's becoming especially in comparison to her father, Gohan and Goten spend more time training after she leaves.

Other areas of training are just as enjoyable, such as watching Vegeta and Trunks work through things and seeing the surprise in Vegeta's face when Trunks goes into super saiyan mode so easily. Something that was treated once as one of the most difficult things a Saiyan could do is now easily done by those of the next generation. The secret training and growth that Trunks and Goten have been going through is certainly paying off. Piccolo continues his work self training while the other enjoyable one that gets a bit of time is watching Goku go through his. While he's wearing his massive weights on his limbs, one of Kaio's friends from the Southern Galaxy comes by with his own fighter of choice and puts him up for comparison with Goku only to be completely shamed into backing off when Goku goes through some very basic displays of power.

Everyone's arrival at the tournament is a lot of fun as well since it brings back people together that haven't been around with each other for quite a bit in some cases. Everyone has a great mood about them, it's hilarious to see Goku's reactions to not only Kurirun having hair but being involved with No. 18. Goku also gets to meet his son Goten and Goten isn't exactly all that keen on it since he's only heard the legends and stories. All sorts of little character bits come up throughout this that really enhance the show. The only part that's surprising both to the viewer and to the characters is that the Tenkaichi Tournament has instituted a junior league so the kids aren't able to go up against the adults. Not that they really expected to be able to take down someone like Goku or Piccolo but it would have been fun to see them pull off some upsets. Or just to cause even more stares like the adults do during the Punching Machine segment.

In Summary:
The Tenkaichi Tournament is one of my favorite parts of the franchise since it's mostly just a lot of fun and doesn't have that whole saving the world feeling to it, plus it has a lot of history to it for some of these characters. With the focus on the characters and their interactions and not extended fight sequences across strange and bland backgrounds while nobody looks on, the series has more of a life to it and reminds me more of the old Dragon Ball series than anything else. This set of episodes is simple clean fun that serves as the prelude of the big fighting to come when we'll really see how the cast has grown with their powers and abilities.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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