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

November 14, 2009 by  



Another awesome, action-packed season of the classic “Dragon Ball” series as Goku takes on the Red Ribbon Army and his first battle with Mercenary Tao.

 

Image courtesy of © 1986 STUDIO/SHUEISHA, TOEI ANIMATION.  All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Dragon Ball – Season Two

DURATION: 30 Episodes, 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: November 10, 2009

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

With the World Martial Arts Tournament behind him, Goku embarks on a mission to recover the Four Star Dragon Ball that once belonged to his grandfather.  His search takes him from the heights of Muscle Tower to the deepest depths of the ocean, but with the Flying Nimbus under his feet and Bulma’s Dragon Radar leading the way – there’s nothing mighty Goku can’t handle!

But this adventure won’t be all fun and games.  The sinister Red Ribbon Army, led by cigar-chomping Commander Red, is determined to seize the seven Dragon Balls and use them to conquer the world!  One after another, colonels, generals, ninjas, androids and giant pink monsters will use every dirty track in teh book to stop Goku from getting his hands on the magic Dragon Balls!

Enjoy the next chapter in the saga of this legendary warrior with Dragon Ball Season Two.

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 with the awesome first season of “Dragon Ball” and now the second season is now released for the first time uncut, remastered and digitally restored.

“Dragon Ball” focuses on Son Goku, a boy who is not familiar with any humans but begins to make new friends and fight for them. As the first volume featured the adventures of Goku, Bulma, Krilin, Oolong, Yamcha, Pilar looking for the dragon balls, the second season of “Dragon Ball” are more focused on Goku.

Goku is now looking for his grandfather’s dragon balls (and others if he comes across them) but as Emperor Pilaf and his group are searching for them, the evil Red Ribbon Army is also pursuing them and unlike Emperor Pilaf and his crew, the Red Ribbon Army will not hesitate to kill anyone.

So, in this latest season, young Goku is in the fight of his life as he encounters Colonel Silver, more Red Ribbon Army generals who are intent in destroying anything and anyone that gets in their way, androids and the biggest nemesis Goku has faced so far….Mercenary Tao!

“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 Ballas 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 devasting 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.

The Ox-King – Many fear the Ox-King who rules Fire Mountain and is the father of Chi Chi.  Aside from his brute strength, this huge man is a goodhearted guy who just hated people for trying to steal from him.  He also cares deeply about his daughter and does everything to make her happy.

Chi Chi – A girl who is smitten with Goku and wants to marry him.  The daughter of the Ox-King.

Suno – A kindhearted girl who helps Goku after his plane crashes in the Jingle Vilage.

Android 8 – Ninja Murasaki wants Android 8 to destroy Goku but since he is against violence, he ends up helping Goku find the missing Dragon Ball.  Known for his super-strength and his Frankenstein appearance.

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.

Colonel Silver – The ruthless high-ranking official of the Red Ribbon Army who will squash anyone in his way in order to find the Dragon Balls.

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 Two” features a total of 30 episodes on five DVD’s.  Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 32 – The Flying Fortress – Vanished! – Emperor Pilaf escapes with a dragon ball and Goku tries to get it back.
  • EPISODE 33 – The Legend of a Dragon – Colonel Silver tracks a dragon ball to Pilaf, meanwhile Master Roshi tells Krillin and Launch about the origin of the dragon balls.
  • EPISODE 34 – Cruel General Red – Goku vs. Colonel Silver.
  • EPISODE 35 – Cold Reception – Goku takes on the Red Ribbon Army.
  • EPISODE 36 – Major Metallitron – Goku vs. Major Metallitron.
  • EPISODE 37 – Ninja Murasaki is Coming! – Goku is now on the fourth level of muscle tower and encounters Murasaki.
  • EPISODE 38 – Five Murasakis – Goku vs. five Murasaki’s.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 39 – Mysterious Android No. 8 – Goku meets an android that is against violence.
  • EPISODE 40 – Horrifying Buyon – Goku vs. a monster that is impervious to Goku’s punches.  How can Goku beat him?
  • EPISODE 41 – The Fall of Muscle Tower – Goku vs. General White
  • EPISODE 42 – The Secret of Dr. Flappe – Android 8 has a bomb inside him and only Dr. Flappe can remove it.
  • EPISODE 43 – A Trip to the City – A friend of Goku makes a return.
  • EPISODE 44 – Master Thief, Hasky – The Red Army hires a master thief to track down the dragon balls.
  • EPISODE 45 – Danger in the Air – Master thief Hasky tries to steal Goku’s dragon balls.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 46 – Bulma’s Bad Day – Bulma and Goku try to find a dragon ball hidden underneath the waves near Turtle Island.
  • EPISODE 47 – Kame House – Found! – Genral Blue tries to find Master Roshi’s house in Turtle Island.
  • EPISODE 48 – Deep Blue Sea – The Red Ribbon Army try to invade Turtle Island.
  • EPISODE 49 – Roshi Surprise – The Red Ribbon Army try to take on Master Roshi.
  • EPISODE 50 – The Trap is Sprung – Goku and his friends get caught in booby traps.
  • EPISODE 51 – Beware of Robot – Goku and Krillin fight against a pirate android.
  • EPISODE 52 – The Pirate Treasure – General Blue vs. Krillin.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 53 – Blue, Black and Blue – Goku vs. General Blue
  • EPISODE 54 – Escape from Pirate Cave – Goku uses a trick to help him and his friends escape the Pirate Cave.
  • EPISODE 55 – Penguin Village – Goku and General Blue compete for the dragon balls.
  • EPISODE 56 – Strange Visitor – Goku chases after General Blue and crashes into the Penguin Village and meets a girl named Arale.
  • EPISODE 57 – Arale vs. Blue – General Blue kidnaps Arale.
  • EPISODE 58 – The Land of Korin – Goku saves a boy from Captain Yellow and returns him back to his father and learns about the tower of Korin.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 59 – The Notorious Mercenary – Commander Red hires services of Mercenary Tao to kill Goku.
  • EPISODE 60 – Tao Attacks! – Goku vs. Mercenary Tao
  • EPISODE 61 – Korin Tower – Goku makes an attempt to climb the Korin Tower

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 with only a hint of dust particles and scratches but for the most part, this remastered version definitely looked very good on DVD.

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 Two” comes with the textless opening and closing theme songs and FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

Another action packed volume of “Dragon Ball” and this time around, the battles become more prevalent as Goku takes on the Red Ribbon Army and Mercenary Tao.  But my favorite episodes feature characters such as Android 8 and Arale but things are definitely getting more interesting with the arrival of Mercenary Tao and an opponent that actually is much more powerful than Goku (at that moment).  Also, to watch this series once again, not only was it a nostalgic time for me, it was just great to see the episodes and watching how fun, humorous and action-packed they were.   Although, “Dragon Ball” is not as intense as “Dragon Ball Z”, the series still manages to capture a lot of action.  Bare in mind that Goku is a young boy in this series but even so,  he still has enormous power including his recently learned “kamehameha”.

For parents wondering about the TV 14 rating, although the first volume featured some risque situations (ie. Goku putting his hand on crotches to see if they are male or female), if anything, there’s nothing like that in this second volume although there is much more violence in this volume and characters are getting killed off.

As for the DVD, as mentioned, this is the best I have seen “Dragon Ball” look and 3o episodes for the first volume is pretty much a bargain for what it’s sold for.  Granted, I wish there were some special features included outside of textless theme songs but overall, you’re getting your money’s worth with these box set releases.

Granted, if I had to find a negative and wanted to be nitpicky, I can easily complain that the fifth disc only contains three episodes and that the Japanese audio track was not in Dolby Digital 5.1 but truthfully, 30 episodes is still plentiful and for purists, you do get the Japanese audio track in its original mono format and its in 4:3 and not made to be widescreen.  Really, there is nothing I can really complain about this release.  It’s a very solid release that is affordable and just worth it!

Overall, “Dragon Ball – Season Two” is another wonderful release from FUNimation Entertainment.  Fans of any of the “Dragon Ball” series will definitely want to make sure this one is in their collection.  Definitely recommended!

 

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