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Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge/The Return of Cooler (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

October 9, 2009 by  



“For the ‘Dragon Ball Z’ fans who loved the Frieza saga will enjoy two more films featuring Cooler, the powerful brother of Frieza who wants his revenge against Goku.  Featuring two action-packed films and all the humor and non-stop battles that one would expect from DBZ.”

 

Image courtesy of © 1992 Toei Animation Co., Ltd.  All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: DRAGON BALL Z – COOLER’S REVENGE/THE RETURN OF COOLER

DURATION: 90 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: English Voice Track with Original Japanese Music 5.1 Surround, English Voice track with U.S. Music 5.1 Surround, Japanese Voice Track with Original Music Mono

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

DBZ Movie #5: Cooler’s Revenge

Based on the original manga by Akira Toriyama

Directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto

Screenplay by Takao Koyama

Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi

Art Director: Masazumi Matsumiya

Animation Director: Minoru Maeda

Producer: Chiaki Imada, Rikizou Kayano

Edited by Shinichi Fukumitsu

Photography by Masatoshi Fukui

Planning by Kenji Shimizu, Kozo Morishita

Supervision by Daisuke Nishio

Theme song by Hironobu Kageyama

DBZ Movie #6: The Return of Cooler

Based on the original manga by Akira Toriyama

Directed by Daisuke Nishio

Screenplay byTakao Koyama

Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi

Art Director: Junichi Taniguchi

Animation Director: Minoru Maeda

Producer: Chiaki Imada, Rikizou Kayano

Edited by Shinichi Fukumitsu

Photography by Yukio Katayama

Planning by Kenji Shimizu, Kozo Morishita

Theme Song by Hironobu Kageyama

Featuring the following voice talent:

Masako Nozawa/Sean Schemmel as Son Goku

Masako Nozawa/Stephanie Nadolny as Son Gohan

Hiromi Tsuru/Lalainia Lindbjerg as Bulma

Mayumi Tanaka/Sonny Strait as Kuririn

Toshio Furukawa/Christopher R. Sabat as Piccolo

Ryusei Nakao/Andrew Chandler as Cooler

Kohei Miyauchi as Kamesennin/Master Roshi

Naoki Tatsuta/Brad Jackson as Oolong

Naoko Watanabe/Cynthia Cranz as Chichi

Masako Nozawa/Sonny Strait as Bardock

Production Company: Toei Animation, Bird Studio

Cooler’s Revenge

A quarter of a century after a chance encounter in space, fate looks to reunite two enemies on Earth: Goku, the planet’s staunchest defender, looking forward to the peaceful reprieve of a camping trip, and Cooler, brother to the defeated Frieza, on a quest to avenge his family’s honor.

Backed by the frightful forces of his Armored Squadron, first Gohan and then Piccolo fall victim to the Cooler’s wrath. Satisfied with no less than the death of the Saiyan responsible for Frieza’s demise, he seeks out Goku, prepared to destroy the entire planet to quench his thirst of vengeance. As Cooler taunts Goku with his friend’s destruction, the Saiyan must again accomplish what he has only achieved once before.

This is the story of chance versus fate.

The Return of Cooler

The planet of Namek was destroyed years before, a New Namek having since been located and settled. During the intervening period, the inhabitants have enjoyed a time of peace. But as death approaches and threatens homeland horizons. Goku and the Z Warriors are called upon to save a world not their own.

More surprising than one planet which can devour another is the enemy’s true face behind the evil enterprise. But just as seeing is believing, Goku and the others settle in to fight the once-defeated Cooler and his forces. And yet victory won’t be so easy the second time around! As the Z Warriors are vanquished one after the other, the fate of New Namek hangs in the balance…

This is the story of past versus present.

When it comes to “Dragon Ball Z” films, when it comes to memorable villains, the two that will always come to mine when it come to the fans are Broly and the other is Cooler.  For fans of the Frieza saga, the Cooler films have been fan favorites due to the amount of action involved but also how it relates to the storyline of the original television series.

For the fifth Dragon Ball Z film titled “Cooler’s Revenge”, the film was shown in theaters back in the Summer of 1991 and for the most part, if you haven’t watched the Frieza saga yet, it is best not to watch this film just yet as it does contain spoilers to the Frieza saga and the second Dragon Ball Z special “Bardock the Father of Goku”.  As a matter of fact, if you haven’t watched these two, it’s probably best that you don’t read further, because my synopsis will contain spoilers.

“Cooler’s Revenge” takes place after the battle between Goku and Frieza, which the feared tyrant was defeated by Goku.  Cooler, the brother of Frieza, has always despised his brother from afar.  Always, seeing his brother always getting the upperhand and recognition but when he hears about his brother’s death, he feels that he needs to beat Goku in order to restore his family’s honor.  So, Frieza along with his Armored Squadron – Doure, Naiz and Salza go to Earth to find Goku.

Meanwhile, Goku, Gohan (along with his pet Icarus), Krillin and Oolong go on a camping trip and needless to say, they are attacked by the Armored Squadron. But as quickly as Goku is easy to fight against Cooler’s henchman, Goku is hurt by trying to save Gohan.

With Goku out of commission, Cooler and the Armored Squadron are hunting for Goku and friends who are hiding out inside a cave.  But they need to get some help, will they get it in time?

The sixth “Dragon Ball Z” film is titled “The Return of Cooler” which was released in theaters in Japan back in March of 1992.

In this film, the people of Namek have lived peacefully in their new planet known as “New Namek” for the past three years (since the destruction of their planet by Frieza).  But all of a sudden, an alien force has come to take over their planet and use the Namek’s as a source of energy.  Sensing the danger in his planet, Dende quickly calls out for Goku to help the Nameks.

Immediately, Goku, Piccolo, Gohan, Krillin, Master Roshi, Oolong and Yajirobi use one of the Capsule Corps spacecraft to quickly go to New Namek and help.  But when they arrive, they learn that the Nameks are being held as prisoners by these huge robots and to make things worse, these robots are controlled by Cooler (who everyone thought was killed by Goku back in the fifth DBZ film “Cooler’s Revenge) who has now evolved to Meta-Cooler.

This time, Meta-Cooler has bonded with technology and can easily reproduce himself if he loses any limbs or body parts and to make things worse, the reason why the robots are needing the Nameks is to use their energy to create many Meta-Coolers.  Can Goku and the gang help the Namek’s and beat Meta-Cooler?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

There are two things that I will note in regards to both films.  The first is that both films are from 1991-1992, so it has been nearly 20 years since both films were shown in theaters in Japan.  The second thing I need to note is that I have seen all “Dragon Ball Z” films via High Definition with the exception of these two films which I have seen only on DVD but are digitally remastered, so I can lend you my opinion on the difference between the films on HD and the version on SD.

First, let’s start off with picture quality.  The film has been remastered in High Definition and digitally restored.  The original Japanese film masters were transferred via an industry-standard Spirit DataCine, passing through a Digital Vision DVNR1000 to remove film grain and then receiving a further round of processing using a Teranex VCooo video computer.  These digital noise-reduction units helped to remove thousands of instances of dirt, scratches and debris.

With that being said, the “Dragon Ball Z” films look much more vibrant than its previous DVD counterpart in the past and for those who grew up with their 5th Generation VHS copies of the film, needless to say, for both films nearly 20 years old, these two films look very good.

But is it perfect?  No.  Even with the noise-reduction units to remove dirt and scratches, dirt and scratches and film warping can be seen in the earlier films of “Dragon Ball Z”.  In fact, the later the film, the more vibrant, sharper and clearer the picture quality tends to be.  But one thing that I found with this DVD is that the dirt and scratches are not as pronounced as its HD counterpart but yet, if you are really looking, it is there.  Of course, the Blu-ray version brings out the blacks and the colors more but again, it brings out the imperfections as well.

But I think this is the best we are going to see of the films unless Toei in Japan invests in major restoration (which is very costly) for the films.  So, for now, this is the best release that we are going to see in the US for now.

As for audio, the film is presented with the English voice track with original Japanese music 5.1 surround, English voice track with U.S. Music 5.1 Surround and the original Japanese voice track with original music audio.  For the most part, the 5.1 surround audio track is where you will hear most of the sound effects via the front, center and surround channels but personally, if you have a receiver that can set all channels to stereo, I prefer that setting for a more immersive sound.

Unfortunately, the Japanese audio tracks for “Dragon Ball Z” have never received the 5.1 or HD lossless treatment, so audio is still the original mono soundtrack.  But personally, I’ve gotten used to the DBZ English dub which I think is one of the best anime series to feature right on target voice talent.  The casting was done very well and it’s one of the few anime television series which I have been 100% content with the English dub voice talent.

As for the subtitles, the film offers English subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge/The Return of Cooler” does not come with any special features but FUNimation Entertainment trailers.  It’s important to note that both films are presented in two DVD’s and are included in steel book case.

Overall, the Cooler-related “Dragon Ball Z” films were quite entertaining.  With a lot of the “Dragon Ball Z” films having nothing to really do with the television series in terms of it’s relationship to the TV storyline, the films have been more action-driven than a reliance towards a plot.  And “Dragon Ball Z” is one of those few rare anime series which people don’t really mind, since the action is where a lot of fans tend to zero-in on.

But what matters in the films are the actual opponents of the Z-warriors.  You either get characters that some deem forgettable and then you get characters that stick in your mind.  In the film, there are only two villains that have managed to get more than one film and that is Broly (who’s presence is in three films) and Cooler who is seen on two films which are included on this movie set.

Although Frieza’s storyline took many episodes and shown him nearly unbeatable, you wonder how his brother Cooler would be in battle.  And sure enough, he quickly makes his presence known to the Z-Warriors and as much as I would have loved to see his presence on the television series (especially more episodes dedicated to him), his appearance on both films are quite fine.  Although, one would question in the fifth film of how a blast took out Goku and knowing that he has taken much, much worse than a standard blast in the television series and to see him being taken out of battle and down for the count, didn’t seem right.

But again, these are “Dragon Ball Z” films which are typically created for the fans but also shown in the theater to be shown to those unfamiliar with the TV and manga series and thus, you get certain limitations in terms of its screenplay.  But for the most part, those who expect nothing but action, will definitely find both films enjoyable.

Overall, I expect many hardcore “Dragon Ball Z” fans wanting to add this set to their ongoing collection of DBZ films but if you were only being selective, then definitely pick this set up and also the Broly DBZ films as well.

 






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