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Dragon Ball Z – Dragon Box Z Vol. 6 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

July 7, 2011 by  



My favorite story-arc of the “Dragon Ball Z” series! The Majin Buu Arc begins and Goku reaches Super Saiyan Level 3! Featuring a total of 40-episodes of “Dragon Ball Z” in one box set! Uncut, unedited and presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio with Japanese dialogue and theme music. If you are a DBZ fan, the “Dragon Box Z” DVD box sets are highly recommended!

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

TITLE: Dragon Ball Z – Dragon Box Z Vol. 6

DURATION: Episodes 210-250 (1025 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Japanese Voice track with original music mono, English voice track with original Japanese Music 5.1 surround, 4:3, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Released on July 19, 2011

Based on the manga and created by Akira Toriyama

Directed by Daisuke Nishio

Series Composition: Takao Koyama

Character Design by Yuji Ikeda

Music by Shunsuke Kikuchi

Screenplay: Aya Matsui, Hiroshi Toda, Jun Maekawa, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Keiji Terui, Masashi Kubota, Reiko Yoshida, Satoru Akahori, Sumio Uetaka, Takao Koyama, Toshiki Inoue, Yoshiyuki Suga

Episode director: Atsutoshi Umezawa, Daisuke Nishio, Hidehiko Kadoda, Hiroki Shibata, Johei Matsuura, Junichi Fujise, Kazuhisa Takenouchi, Kazuhito Kikuchi, Masahiro Hosoda, Minoru Okazaki, Mitsuo Hashimoto, Osamu Kasai, Shigeyasu Yamauchi, Takahiro Imamura, Tatsuya Orime, Yoshihiro Ueda

Featuring the following voice talent:

Masako Nozawa/Sean Schemmel as Son Goku

Masako Nozawa/Stephanie Nadolny as Son Gohan

Masako Nozawa/Robert McCollum as Son Goten

Takeshi Kusao/Eric Vale as Trunks

Ryo Horikawa/Christopher R. Sabat as Vegeta

Hiromi Tsuru/Tiffany Volmer as Bulma

Kozo Shioya/Josh Martin as Majin Buu

Naoko Watanabe/Cynthia Cranz as Chichi

Mayumi Tanaka/Sonny Strait as Kuririn

Ryo Horikawa/Christopher R. Sabat as Piccolo

Yuko Minaguchi/Lucy Small as Videl

Hirotaka Suzuoki – Tinshinhan

Tohru Furuya – Yamucha

Miki Itou/Meredith McCoy as Andrid No. 18

Daisuke Gouri/Don Brown as Mr. Satan (Hercule)

Michael Dobson as Supreme Kai

Norio Wakamoto/Dameon Clarke as Cell

The battle to harness the power of the seven Dragon Balls explodes in vivid detail like never before. The Dragon Box features over 40 uncut episodes, remastered and restored frame by frame, rendering the legendary action in pristine clarity. Each episode is presented in Japanese and English with the complete opening and closing credits and includes the original episode previews.

I first discovered “Dragon Ball Z” during the very early 90’s. During the infant stages of Japanese anime conventions in America, there would be “Dragon Ball Z” parties where many people would gather around a hotel room and watch a marathon of episodes. Needless to say, the series which hadn’t been released in America was very popular but of course the only way people could see the show were fan subs with terrible quality on VHS.

I then had the opportunity to discover “Dragon Ball Z” through a Japanese video rental store and although I was taking Japanese at my university at the time, I would rent all that I can but probably miss a lot of the story since my comprehension of Japanese was quite bad at the time.

But then the series came to the US, the videos were released with several episodes per volume and I have to admit, looking back how anime TV episodes were distributed, especially like a long series such as DBZ, if one was able to collect every episode, it would literally cost an arm and a leg.

In 2007, FUNimation Entertainment did something quite wonderful and that was releasing a digitally remastered, digitally restored version of “Dragon Ball Z” in 16×9 widescreen and you would get around 32-36 or so episodes per volume at such a low price. This was such a fantastic deal and for nine seasons (the final volume released was released in 2009), I’ve watched “Dragon Ball Z” completely and have given nothing but positive reviews for them.

But…

I would receive e-mails from the hardcore fans of the Japanese television series who were very upset that the show was not presented in its original aspect ratio (4:3) which is the ratio for standard TV and felt the previous releases featured colors that were saturated, the wrong opening and ending credits, no previews for the next episode. Suffice to say, those hardcore DBZ fans who loved the original Japanese episodes were upset. For me, I just looked it at it price wise and figured, at least we are getting something for a great price and I wasn’t going to complain.

But this goes to show you how FUNimation Entertainment does care for its fans and not sure if they received a lot of mail from hardcore fans but they decided to bring out “Dragon Box Z Volume 1” in the fall of 2009 and here we are now with the latest, action-packed sixth volume of “Dragon Box Z” which focuses on episodes 210-250 which concludes the Cell saga, features the Underworld Martial Arts Tournament and the Super Saiyaman Arc.

In Japan, these episodes were cleaned frame by frame and removing jitter and some grain. Keeping the original colors but most importantly for the fans, keeping everything intact including the 4:3 aspect ratio.

As for the series, aside from the technical differences as mentioned earlier, because the series focuses on the Japanese version of the show, the names of characters are different as the Japanese versions uses “Kamisama-hen” versus “Master Roshi”, Kaio the Genki Dama versus “King Kai”, “Tenshinhan” versus “Tien”, “Vegeta” instead of “Vegita”, etc. The DVD’s come with both Japanese and English dubbing.

In the sixth volume of the “Dragon Ball Z – Dragon Box Z”, the set continues with the new World Martial Arts Tournament is happening and the Z-Fighters intend to take part.

Trunks and Goten intend to take part in the junior tournament, while the Z-Warriors are excited about taking part in the adult tournament.  But unbeknown to the Z-Warriors is that an evil Warlock named Babidi and the evil Demon King Dabura are trying to unseal a monster named Majin Buu.  Meanwhile, Kaoishin, the ruler of the Kaios of the Other World and his bodyguard Kibit have come to Earth in order to recruit the Z-Warriors to fight Majin Buu and Babidi.

But with focus of some of the Z-Warriors are on the tournament and Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and Kaioshin on Babidi, Dabura and Majin Buu…With the power that the Z-Warriors currently have, will it be enough to beat them?

The main characters during this part of the series are:

Goku – Now an adult, married to Chichi and has a son named Gohan. Constantly training in order to become stronger. Still naive and hungry as he was when he was younger. Currently, he is deceased and using his time to train before returning back to the land of the living.

Gohan – Goku’s young son. Goku realizes that Gohan has strong potential but during an unfortunate incident, asks for Piccolo to train his son in fighting to protect people and the planet. Gohan has accompanied Bulma and Kuririn to find the Dragon Balls in the Planet Nemek.

Kuririn – Goku’s childhood friend who accompanies Gohan and Bulma to find the Dragon Balls in the Planet Nemek.

Bulma – A woman still developing products at her father’s company, Capsule Corp. and uses her intelligence to solve the Z Warriors under dire circumstances. With her Dragon Ball scanner, she joins Gohan and Kuririn to find the Dragon Balls in Planet Nemek.

Kaiosama – One of the Kings who trains Goku on how to fight with gravity ten times greater than Earth at Kaio’s world.

Vegeta – The Prince of Saiyan and the most powerful Saiyajin of them all. Comes to Earth in order to destroy it but after being defeated by Goku, rehabilitates himself and now finds himself fighting alongside Gohan and Kuririn.

TrunksThe young son of Bulma and Vegeta who hangs out with Goten

Goten – The second son of Goku and Chichi and hangs out with Trunks.

Kaioshin – The ruler of the Kaios of the Other World, Kaioshin has taken over the position after the previous Kaoshin was killed by the warlock Babidi.  He has come to the Earth realm to recruit the Z-Warriors to fight against Babidi and Majin Buu.

Kibit – The loyal bodyguard of Kaioshin.

The main enemies in this set are:

Babidi – The evil warlock trying to release the seal and revive Majin Buu that was created by Babidi’s father, Bibidi.   

Dabura – The Demon King who is assisting Babidi in trying to unseal Majin Buu.

Majin Buu – Created by Bibidi, Buu was created to destroy worlds and was sealed away by the former Kaoshin, until he was released once again by Babidi.  But is this the same Majin Buu who is known as the destroyer of worlds?

Disc 31:

  • Episode 210 – No Small Matter!! Little Trunks – The junior division of the Tenkaichi Tournament continues!
  • Episode 211 – It’s My Turn! Goten’s Anxious First Fight Trunks vs. Goten in the Junior tournament!
  • Episode 212 – Happiness Times a Million! The Junior Champion is DecidedTrunks vs. Goten in the Junior tournament!  Who wins?
  • Episode 213 – Now What, Satan!? The Greatest Pinch in History – Trunks vs. Mr. Satan in an exhibition match.
  • Episode 214 – Event Match-Ups Decided!! Let’s Hurry and Hold the First Round – The adult division of the tournament begins!
  • Episode 215 – What’s the Matter,  Piccolo?  An Unheard-of No-Fight Forfeit – Piccolo takes on the mysterious Shin!
  • Episode 216 – Undyingly Unpleasant!? The Mystery of Spopovitch – Videl vs. Spopovitch!

Disc 32:

  • Episode 217 – A Tragic Videl!! Are You Coming Out, Angry Super Gohan! – Videl vs. Spopovitch!
  • Episode 218 – Exposed! The Super Saiyaman is Son Gohan! – Gohan’s identity is revealed!
  • Episode 219 – A Slithering Conspiracy!! Gohan’s Power is Stolen – Yamu and Spopvitch attack Gohan.
  • Episode 220 – The Man Behind the Curtain Appears!! The Evil Madoshi Babidi – The Z-fighters search for Babidi’s minions who have managed to capture Gohan’s energy.
  • Episode 221 – The Awaiting Trap!! A Challenge from the Demon Realm – Piccolo and Krillin make their move against Dabura (The King of Demons) who is assisting Babidi.  Meanwhile, Goku, Vegeta, Gohan and Supreme Kai enter Babidi’s spaceship.
  • Episode 222 – Goku’s Power Wide Open!! Blow Away Yakon – Babidi unleashes his first monster to take on Vegeta.
  • Episode 223 – Don’t Toy With Me!! Vegeta’s Breakthrough First Strike of Fury  – Babidi unleashes his second monster to take on Goku.

Disc 33:

  • Episode 224 – A Great Miscalculation!! Satan vs. Three Super-WarriorS!? – As the Z-fighters have their work cutout for them against Babidi, at the World’s Martial Arts tournament, Android No. 18 goes against Mighty Mask and Mr. Satan.
  • Episode 225 – Such Strong Kids!!  No. 18’s Close Fight!? – Android No. 18 finds out the true identities of who is behind Mighty Mask.  Meanwhile, Babidi unleashes his third opponent…Dabura.
  • Episode 226 – Confrontation with the Demon King! It’s Your Turn, Gohan!! – Android No. 18 now advances against the final match against Mr. Satan.  Mr. Satan knows he is no match for No. 18 but the android is willing to cut a deal with him.
  • Episodes 227 – A Wicked Heart Discovered!! Dabura’s Great Idea – Gohan must now go against Dabura
  • Episode 228 – Vegeta, Prince of Destruction, Revived!!  Intrusion at the Tournament – Babidi manages to use Vegeta’s hatred and negative energy against him and turn him into a Majin, fueling his anger against Goku and making him more powerful.
  • Episode 229 – The Super Confrontation of Destiny!! The Clash of Goku vs. Vegeta – Vegeta now a Majin wants a battle against Goku but Supreme Kai says that in order to fight Vegeta, Goku must battle him first.
  • Episode 230 – Just You Wait, Babidi!! Your Aspirations Will Not Be Allowed – The Saiyan battle between Vegeta and Goku.

Disc 34:

  • Episode 231 – The Seal is Broken! Out Comes the Vicious Majin Boo!! – While Vegeta and Goku are fighting each other, Gohan and Supreme Kai must do what they can to stop Babidi.
  • Episode 232 – I Won’t Allow the Revival!! A Kamehame-Ha of Resistance – While Gohan tries to destroy the nesting area of Majin Buu, he ends up making it hatch.
  • Episode 233 – A Straight Line to Despair!? The Grief of Kaioshin – When Buu comes out of his shell, he is revealed to be an overweight pink being that likes to have its share of fun.  Dabura is not thrilled about Buu and thus provokes him.  Gohan then tries to fight Buu.
  • Episode 234 – The Terrifying Majin!! Death’s Dread Draws Near Gohan – Goten and Trunks find out that Piccolo and Krillin have been turned into stone.  Dabura returns to fight Buu!
  • Episode 235 – ‘Gonna Eat’Cha!!’ A Hungry Majin’s Supernatural Power  – Vegeta takes a cheap shot against Goku, knocking him out.  Now Vegeta has his attention on Buu.
  • Episode 236 – A Warrior’s Resolution!! I Will Dispose of the Majin – Vegeta fights Buu with all he can!
  • Episode 237 – For Those Whome He Loves…Vegeta Perishes!! – With Vegeta trying to do all he can to defeat Buu, Buu seems unstoppable.  Vegeta decides the only way to put an end to him is to sacrifice himself.

Disc 35:

  • Episode 238 – The Nightmare Revisited!! Majin Boo Has Survived – The aftermath of Vegeta’s sacrifice
  • Episode 239 – The Struggle of Videl and the Others!  Find the Dragon Balls – Due to the aftermath, Bulma and others decide to go on a search for the Dragon Balls.
  • Episode 240 – Enormous Hope!! A New Finishing Technique for the Little Squirts – Goku knows that the only way to defeat Buu is if he uses the Art of Fusion but with Vegeta gone, the only two capable of possibly fusing are Gotenks and Trunks.
  • Episode 241 – Goten and Trunks — The World’s Most Wanted – Babidi is not thrilled that Piccolo, Goten and Trunks have left the battlefield and because they did, he has threatened the world that Buu will kill everyone until the three come back to face him and Buu.
  • Episode 242 – Gohan Revised — Kaioshin’s Secret Weapon!? – Goku begins his training of Gotenks and Trunks to learn the Art of Fusion.
  • Episode 243 – It Came Ou~t!!  The Legendary Z-Sword – Gohan continues his training from the Supreme Kai to learn the legendary Z-Sword.
  • Episode 244 – Metro West is Targeted! Stop, Majin Boo!! – A mother whose sons lost in the Jr. World’s Martial Arts Tournament gives information to Babidi about Capsule Corp.

Disc 36:

  • Episode 245 – An Astounding, Great Transformation!! Super Saiyan 3 – As Trunks hurries to find the Dragon Ball radar at Capsule Corp., Goku must stall Babidi and Majin Buu and thus begins his transformation to Super Saiyan 3.
  • Episode 246 – Bye Bye Babidi!! Majin Boo Rebels – Super Saiyan 3 Goku goes against Majin Buu.
  • Episode 247 – Absurdly Awful-Looking!? The Special Training Transformation Pose – With Trunks successful in obtaining the Dragon Ball Radar, Goku goes back to train Gotenks and Trunks the Fusion Dance.
  • Episode 248 – See You Later, Everybody!! Goku Returns to the Other World – With Goku now preparing Gotenks and Trunks, Buu decides to build himself a home and cause more destruction and death.
  • Episode 249 – Where is Gohan!? Ferocious Training in the Kaioshin Realm – With Goku’s time on Earth now over, he must go back to Heaven.  Meanwhile Gohan continues his training.
  • Episode 250 – You’re Kidding, Right!? The Z-Sword is Broken – Goku joins the Supreme Kai to observe Gohan’s training.  But while Gohan goes through his final test, something happens to the Z-Sword.

VIDEO:

“Dragon Ball Z” via this “Dragon Box Z Vol. 6” set contains episodes featured in standard definition (4:3 aspect ratio). The colors are much different than the previous box set where colors were deeper and more pronounced, the colors of the series features its original presentation as it was in Japan and of course, restored frame by frame in which the previous season was not. Personally, I don’t have a preference to which is better but if anything, this set is for the hardcore fans who preferred the original Japanese presentation.

But for these episodes which aired in 1991, you have to acknowledge how good the transfer was for this restoration. Granted, there is a “Dragon Ball Kai” currently airing in Japan in High Definition (and will be released in the US this month on Blu-ray and DVD) which will look much better but for this DVD box set release, considering it’s 20-years-later, for the diehard fans who have wanted these episodes in its original presentation for so long, Pony Canyon definitely did a very good job on restoration and again, great to see FUNimation Entertainment bring this box set to the US.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for audio, this is where things are a bit different from the original Japanese audio presentation. Because FUNimation Entertainment had to include the English dubbed audio, instead of using the 448 kb/s audio, they went with 96 kb/s. This may upset fans who wanted a higher bitrate but because its important to attract those who are prefer English dubs and make the set even more marketable, the English dub had to be included. With that being said, I’ve grown up watching the Japanese audio and typically, I prefer to watch anime in Japanese BUT with “Dragon Ball Z”, I have always felt that the English dub was among the best out there and the voices just sound right for the characters.

But the intention for this box set was for those who wanted the Japanese audio. Personally, it’s a preference that I would rather have 5.1 surround versus mono or stereo soundtracks. And when I do, I typically set my receiver to stereo on all channels since I have a 7.2 setup. But fans will be happy that they get the original Japanese audio for the complete episode, previews for the next episode, opening and ending theme and you get Hironobu Kageyama’s “Cha-La, Head-Cha-La” instead of the Falcouner score.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Dragon Box Z Vol. 6” doesn’t come with any special features but it comes with extras such as the cool packaging and an awesome hardbound booklet.

What we have is a yellow slip case box with Piccolo on the front, unlike the season box sets which were gateway folded, the DVD’s are presented in two foil covered DVD cases and are presented in Japanese style with the first disc on the right hand side and the two discs on the left.

Also included is a hardcover 50-page booklet titled “Dragonbook” in Japanese reading style. The book features a profile of the Goku family, ultimate character and relationship chart, perfect guide, Dragon Ball Z Design Works Collection, One-Hit Wonder Grand Prix, Two Great Races – Saiyan and Two Great Races – Namekian.

The overall box set package is definitely a solid presentation for the hardcore fans and I have to admit, looks way cooler than the previous FUnimation Entertainment DBZ orange box sets.

With over 200+ episodes, here with the next volume of “Dragon Box Z” which continues the final chapter of the “Dragon Ball Z” series. What can I say… if you thought the Frieza and Cell sagas were fantastic, the Majin Buu saga and where it will go from here is quite amazing.  Personally, having grown up with the series and watching the Buu series when it aired in Japan, I was hooked and it’s so great to watch it again!

No villain in “Dragon Ball Z” has looked as cute and nonthreatening as Majin Buu but yet has managed to slaughter a millions of people and really put the Z-Warriors in a position that they have never been in before.

The high points of this season is the fact that you get a long awaited battle between Goku vs. Vegeta, you get the Super Saiyan level 3 transformation of Goku but then we get to see the fusion technique.

Each episode has a very good storyline that it’s quite easy to watch episode after episode and find yourself watching a marathon of multiple discs because the episodes were quite enjoyable and action-packed.  I also, have to say that there are no filler episodes and each episode, you’re going to get hardcore battles and just non-stop action.  It’s what you would expect from a series such as “Dragon Ball Z” and nothing less.

Vegeta fans will definitely enjoy his character transformation but most of all his redemption.  The first half is very Vegeta intensive and in Japan, many people wanted more of him and they got it.  So, to see a powerful Vegeta going against Goku was awesome.

The series manages to weave in every character close to the Z-warriors that we have known from the series in this eighth season, which is very cool.   And also, for Hercule/Mr. Satan fans, you will actually get to see him in action as well.

But it’s the instability of Majin Buu’s character which is quite interesting.  Because of the way this being is made, unlike Frieza and Cell, the ability to continually regenerate, makes him nearly an unstoppable character.  His look and demeanor is nothing like we have seen in the first 200-episodes and to see him kill people for the sake of hunger or for enjoyment to hear things go “boom”, makes Majin Buu an interesting but moreso, a deadlier villain than any villain that has appeared on “Dragon Ball Z” thus far.

And so, you are asking yourself? I own the orange box sets of “Dragon Ball Z”, do I really need it?

For the most part, this DVD box set is definitely worth it. That is if you are a diehard fan and want how things were when they first aired on Japanese television. That is these episodes are in standard definition with the aspect ratio of 4:3. A focus on the original Japanese dialogue, music and unchanged, uncut opening and ending themes. While the English dub is still included, these box sets are released for one reason and that is to appease the hardcore “Dragon Ball Z” fans!

And I have to give credit to FUNimation Entertainment for giving those fans what they wanted for so long and I see that as quite admirable because they invested in bringing this release stateside and preparing it for the American consumer with the special box set and booklet.

Do I have a preference on which I like better? Well having watch both…and enjoying the season box sets, I am actually content with both but I will have to say that “Dragon Box Z” has a much cooler packaging presentation and about 6-8 more episodes but you will be paying about $15 more. So, it’s really up to you if it’s worth it. Personally, if you just want to see the episodes and prefer to watch it with the English dubs, the original season box sets can be found for a great price these days and were solid releases to begin with. But for the hardcore fans who have demanded and have wanted the original series and how they were presented, you can’t beat these “Dragon Box” DVD boxsets. They’re awesome!

This box set was created for those who wanted “Dragon Ball Z” to be presented how it was in Japan and they have waited a long, long time for it. So, I look at these box sets as fans are now getting the best of both worlds and now those fans should be happy. Now the only thing is left will be the Blu-ray fans who will be clamoring for “Dragon Ball Z Kai” (“Dragon Ball Z” minus the filler episodes, remastered with new intro and vocals all re-recorded) which will be released this month but if you want the entire series, the Dragon Box Z series is what you want, otherwise if you want on Blu-ray – “Dragon Ball Z Kai” is the way to go. So, whether or not you pick the original orange box release, this Dragon Box Z release or “Dragon Ball Z Kai” release, all three are solid releases.

Overall, hardcore fans get there money’s worth with this DVD boxset. You get 40+ episodes in their original Japanese TV presentation and each episode which were remastered and you also get cool package-based content. For those hardcore DBZ fans who have waited this long for the original Japanese DBZ anime series in its original presentation, this box set is for you!

“Dragon Ball Z – Dragon Box Vol. 6” is highly recommended.






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