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Dragon Ball – Season Three (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

February 20, 2010 by  



Season Three of “Dragon Ball” is an action-packed, all out fight fest!  An awesome volume featuring Goku vs. Mercenary Tao, the Red Ribbon Army, the mysterious fighter and a new World Martial Arts Tournament.

Image courtesy of © BIRD STUDIO/SHUEISHA, TOEI ANIMATION. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Dragon Ball – Season Three

DURATION: Episodes 62-92, 5 DVD’s (745 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 4:3, English Voice Track with Original Japanese music 5.1 Surround, Japanese Voice Track with Original Music Mono

COMPANY: Toei Animation/FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: February 2, 2010

Originally created by Akira Toriyama

Directed by Daisuke Nisho and Minoru Okazaki

Music by Shusuke Kikuchi

Character Designs by Minoru Maeda, Yuki Ikeda

Anime Production by Toei Anime

Featuring the following voice talent:

Masao Nozawa/Stephanie Nadolny as Son Goku

Hiromi Tsuru/Tiffany Vollmer as Bulma

Daisuke Gouri as Umigame

Eiko Yamada/Julie Franklin as Mai

Kenji Utsumi/Christopher R. Sabat as Shen Long

Kohei Miyauchi/Mike McFarland as Kame Sennin (Master Roshi)

Mayumi Shou/Laura Bailey as Chi Chi

Mayumi Tanaka as Krillin

Naoki Tatsuta/Brad Jackson as Oolong

Naoko Watanabe/Monika Antonelli as Pu’erh (Puar)

Christopher R. Sabat as Grandpa Gohan and Turtle

Shigeru Chiba/Chuck Huber as Pilaf

Tohru Furuya as Yamcha

Goku embarks on a journey to test his strength against the best of the best!

Driven by his promise to a heartbroken young boy, Goku completes his training under Master Korin and prepares for a brutal rematch with Mercenary Tao! These two powerful warriors trade blows in a furious flurry of Dodon Rays and Kamehameha Waves, but that’s only the beginning of this adventure.

The Red Ribbon Army continues to cast a dark shadow across the land as they inch ever closer to attaining ultimate power. Only Goku can halt their reign of terror and resurrect a fallen friend, but first he’ll have to fight for possession of the seven Dragon Balls!

To complete his quest, Goku must beat a fortune-teller at her own game, slam the door on Demon Land, tame the dread Inoshikacho, and survive a beating from a masked dead man. His journey will be filled with danger, but with each victory, Goku gains the strength needed to emerge victorious from the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament!

Contains episodes 62-92.

It’s the series that started it all… “Dragon Ball”. Originally, a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama for “Shonen Jump”, the manga series lasted from 1984 through 1995 and since the manga series has produced several anime series which include “Dragon Ball”, “Dragon Ball Z”, “Dragon Ball GT” and currently in Japan, a new HD broadcasting of “Dragon Ball Kai” and in 2009, an American live action film titled “Dragonball Evolution” was released worldwide.

“Dragon Ball” is the first arc of the series which aired in Japan from 1986 through 1989 and lasted for 153 episodes. The series was released by Harmony Gold USA in the late 80’s and then by FUNimation Entertainment in 1995 and uncut episodes were released on DVD in 2003.

And now the episodes have been released in the USA uncut, remastered and digitally restored.  In Feb. 2010, the third season of “Dragon Ball” was released with 31 episodes on five discs.

“Dragon Ball” focuses on the adventures of Son Goku during his younger years.  In this latest volume, Goku finally meets Korin and confronts the Red Ribbon army and Mercenary Tao.  The second storyline arc features Goku making good on his promise to bring Upu’s father back and retrieve the seventh Dragon Ball.  But in order to do that, he, Krilllin, Yamacha and friends must take on Fortuneteller Baba’s five fighters.  The final arc on this volume features the latest Worlds Martial Arts Tournament where the gang must confront their new rivals Tien and Chiaotzu.

“Dragon Ball” focuses on the following characters:

Son Goku – Not much is known about Goku’s past. He was found by a man he calls Grandpa Gohan and trained to be a boy who loves nature and people. And has incredible strength and fighting ability. He was warned by his grandfather to never look at the moon but one day he did and turned into a giant ape and accidentally killed his grandfather. Although not too familiar with humans, he meets a female named Bulma for the first time who is trying to look for Dragon Balls. Having own the #4 Dragon Ball which his grandfather gave him, he decides to join her on a quest to find the remaining Dragon Balls (seven total).

Bulma – A teenager who’s father is a scientist and owner of the Capsule Corporation. A technology that people can store vehicles, homes and storage into a tiny capsule. When thrown, the capsule turns into the actual object that was stored. She’s rather impulsive and outspoken. Her dream is to find the Dragon Balls and make a wish in order to get a perfect boyfriend.

Oolong – A pig who has a fascination with women’s panties. A perverted pig who once terrorized a village. Has the ability to transform to anything for five minutes. Attended a class with Puar in transforming but failed and never learned to stay in a object for more than five minutes. He joins Bulma and Goku in their mission to find the Dragon Balls.

Yamcha – A banded who is accompanied by his shape-shifting animal Puar. With his Wolf’s Fang Fist fighting ability, it was not strong enough to beat Goku and thus he ends up assisting both Goku and Bulma along the way in order to get the Dragon Balls.

Krillin – A former monk who has been bullied by his other monks. He goes to Master Roshi for training and trains alongside Goku and becomes a rival but also good friends with him.

Master Roshi (Kamisama-sen) – An old lecherous man who trained Grandpa Gohan and the Ox King to fight. Despite looking like an old man, he has a tremendous fighting ability and is known for his devastating attack known as the Kamehameha. He then takes Goku and Krillin as his students.

Other Characters:

Puar – A shape shifting animal who can shape-shift for a long period of time and hangs around Yamcha.

Launch – A shy and attractive maid of Master Roshi who has a dissociative identity disorder.  When she sneezes, she goes from the shy/beautiful blue haired woman to a blonde, attractive and dangerous weapon-toting, foul-mouth woman.

Upu – A young Indian friend of Goku.  His father was killed by Mercenary Tao and now he goes with Goku to find the seventh ball.

Korin – The guardian of Korin Tower who has the sacred water which Goku needs.

Fortuneteller Baba – Master Roshi’s oldest sister who uses her psychic abilities for financial gain.

Master Shen – An old rival/friend of Master Roshi who trained under the same master but went towards a darker path.  Also, the brother of Mercenary Tao.

Tien – A stuent of Master Shen and a dangerous martial arts fighter with three eyes.

Chiaotzu – A student of Master Shen and Tien’s best friend.

The Villains:

Emperor Pilaf – The main antagonist of Bulma and Goku who is trying to collect all the Dragon Balls. He calls himself the emperor and expects Shu and Mai to find the Dragon Balls.

Shu – A ninja fox who works for Emperor Pilaf. Tends to be a bit misunderstood and clumsy.

Mai – The gun-toting henchman for Emperor Pilaf.

Red Ribbon Army – Not much is known about the Red Ribbon Army but they are ruthless and will do anything to obtain the Dragon Balls. The Red Ribbon Army is led by Commander Red who sends out this generals to go after the Dragon Balls.

Officer Black – Commander Red’s right hand man.

General White – The leader of the Red Ribbon Army’s northern forces and threatens the peaceful Jingle Village.

General Blue – The strongest general of the Red Ribbon Army and very arrogant.

Mercenary Tao – The powerful mercenary who charges an exuberant fee to his clients but because he’s known for his strength and ability that surpasses anyone the Red Army has seen, he is a major force to be reckon with.

“Dragon Ball – Season Three” features a total of 31 episodes on five DVD’s. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 62 – Sacred Water – Goku tries to get the magic water from Korin.
  • EPISODE 63 – The Return of Goku – Goku goes to find Mercenary Tao.
  • EPISODE 64 – The Last of Mercenary Tao – Mercenary Tao tries to climb the Tower of Korin.
  • EPISODE 65 – Confront the Red Army – Goku goes to confront the Red Ribbon Army.
  • EPISODE 66 – A Real Bind – Goku goes to take on Commander Red.
  • EPISODE 67 – The End of Commander Red – Goku vs. Officer Black
  • EPISODE 68 – The Last Dragon Ball – Goku vs. Commander Black
  • EPISODE 69 – Who is Fortuneteller Baba? – Goku and friends go to meet Fortuneteller Baba in order to find the seventh Dragon Ball.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 70 – We Are the Five Warriors – Fortuneteller Baba sets the rules in order for her to help Goku.  Her five vs. Gokyu, Krillin, Yamcha, Puar and Upu.
  • EPISODE 71 – Deadly Battle – Yamcha fights the next battle after Krillins fight with Fangs.
  • EPISODE 72 – Goku’s Turn – Yamacha takes on Bandages the mummy.
  • EPISODE 73 – The Devilmite Beam – Goku vs. Bandages the mummy.
  • EPISODE 74 – The Mysterious Fifth Man – Goku vs. Spike the Devil Man
  • EPISODE 75 – The Strong Ones – Goku takes on the mysterious fifth warrior.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 76 – True Colors of the Masked Man – Who is the mysterious fifth warrior?
  • EPISODE 77 – Pilaf’s Tactics – Pilaf has the final Dragon Ball but wants to make a wager against Goku in order to get all six Dragon Balls.
  • EPISODE 78 – The Eternal Dragon Rises – Goku and Upu call the Eternal Dragon.
  • EPISODE 79 – Terror and Plague – Goku begins his solo adventures.  The first helping Chao save her village.
  • EPISODE 80 – Goku vs. Sky Dragon – Goku goes to another village to help another person in need.
  • EPISODE 81 – Goku Goes to Demon Land – When Goku goes to a village, a girl was kidnapped by a demon.  Now Goku goes to save her.
  • EPISODE 82 – The Rampage of InoShikaCho – The beast InaShikaCho is causing damage and destruction and Goku goes to help the villagers who fear the monster.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 83 – Which Way to Papaya Island? – Two years have passed and now it’s time for the World Martial Arts Tournament and a slightly taller Goku goes to join his friends.
  • EPISODE 84 – Rivals and Arrivals – With the World Martial Arts Tournament beginning, Yamcha and Krillin wonder where Goku could be.
  • EPISODE 85 – Preliminary Peril – Yamcha and Krillin take on their first match against their challengers.
  • EPISODE 86 – Then There Were Eight – Goku takes on King Chapa
  • EPISODE 87 – Yamcha vs. Tien – Yamcha takes on Tien
  • EPISODE 88 – Yamcha’s Big Break – Yamcha and Tien continue their battle.
  • EPISODE 89 – Full-Moon Vengeance – Jackie Chun vs. the Man Wolf

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 90 – The Dodon Wave – Krillin vs. Chiaotzu
  • EPISODE 91 – Counting Controversy! – Continuing the battle between Krillin vs. Chiatozu.
  • EPISODE 92 – Goku Enters the Ring – Goku takes on the movie star challenger Pamput.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

When I first saw “Dragon Ball”, it was probably back in 1992 and the quality of this raw Japanese video was so rough and hard to watch, it was just bad. Several years later, I was able to catch the first few episodes that aired on television but the problem was that the schedule was inconsistent and our television network was quite bad.

So, it is great to see this uncut, remastered and digitally restored version on DVD. Presented in its original format of 4:3, one thing I noticed is how good this anime series looked on DVD. The series is nearly 25 years old and just watching it, FUNimation Entertainment did a great job in bringing this series out and making it look very good.  Granted, it is not free of blemishes, there is some dust, you will see a bit of compression but for the most part, compared to what we had available years ago or over a decade ago, I’m quite content with this remastered version of the series.

As for the audio, similar to the recent FUNimation Entertainment “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball GT” releases, the English voice track with original Japanese music comes in 5.1 Surround, while the Japanese voice track is in its original Japanese mono. I watched both English and Japanese and of course, there are some changes in the English dialogue (ie. Master Roshi and in the Japanese track, Kamesama Sennen) and grew up watching the original Japanese version but for the most part, I have enjoyed the “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball GT” dubwork and similar to those two series, I found th English dubwork for “Dragon Ball” to be quite solid. Dialogue is clear and understandable and for audio settings, for both audio tracks, I found the best setting for me was to select on my receiver “Stereo on all Channels”.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Dragon Ball – Season Three” comes with the textless opening and closing theme songs and FUNimation Entertainment trailers plus a 24-page booklet with character information and episode synopsis.

So, far this latest volume of “Dragon Ball” is my favorite yet.  For “Dragon Ball Z” fans who enjoyed more action-oriented storylines, this volume is definitely action-driven.

Also, we get a glimpse of situations that become important in the “Dragon Ball Z” storyline such as Goku getting acquainted with Korin and Goku having his first sensu bean.  Also, plenty of battles with Goku taking on Mercenary Tao, the Red Ribbon Army and also the World Martial Arts Tournament where we get to see future Z-warriors Tien and Chiaotzu.

There really is nothing negative that can be said about this latest volume.  If you are a “Dragon Ball” fan, it’s simply a must buy.  This is the best release I have seen of the anime series thus far in the US and the fact that you are getting over 30 episodes in one set is an amazing deal.

And if you have collected the first two seasons, it just gets better from there and expect about two more volumes of “Dragon Ball”, just in time as FUNimation Entertainment prepares its HD release of “Dragon Ball Z Kai” (note: “Dragon Ball Z” is currently available, also in its uncut Japanese version featured in the “Dragon Box” DVD sets from FUNimation Entertainment”.  Hopefully, we will see a re-release or maybe a Blu-ray release of the “Dragon Ball” films.

Overall, “Dragon Ball – Season Three” is another awesome volume for the series and its literally a series that gets better and better.  Definitely recommended!

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