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DRAGON BALL Z – SEASON NINE (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

May 29, 2009 by  



“The final season of ‘DRAGON BALL Z’!  Featuring the Fusion and Kid Buu sagas!  We have watched the Z Warriors fight countless number of enemies who have threatened humanity but now, the Z-Warriors take on their deadliest enemy ever!  Every ‘DRAGON BALL Z’ season box set has been worth the purchase.  Season Nine features 38 episodes all for a great price.  This box set is highly recommended for the ‘DRAGON BALL Z’ fans!”

DVD TITLE: DRAGON BALL Z – SEASON NINE

DURATION: 800 minutes (38 Episodes total, Episodes 254-291)

DVD INFORMATION: Remastered in High-Definition and Digitally Restored, Widescreen Transfer from Original Japanese Film, Newly Revised English Dialogue, English Voice Track with Original Japanese music, Marathon Play Special Feature

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Based on the manga and created by 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/Zoe Slusar as Son Goku

Masako Nozawa/Hyle Herbert 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

Majin Buu’s spree of terror continues, and his ruthlessness knows no bounds!  In his quest to eliminate the remaining Z-Fighters, Buu has cut a path to destruction across the face of the Earth, leaving a trail of devastation so utterly complete that it may even be beyond the power of the Dragon Balls to repair…

With their efforts to stop Majin Buu quickly proving futile, the Z-Fighters have but one remaining hope against this seemingly invincible foe-The Fusion Technique!  But for this desperate plan to succeed, Goku will have to join forces with his oldest rival, Vegeta!  Can the combined efforts of these two mighty Saiyan warriors put a stop to Majin Buu once and for all?  The final battle for the fate of the universe begins!

The ninth and final season of “DRAGON BALL Z” and this final box set does not disappoint as we get 38 awesome episodes featuring the Z-Warriors most evil enemy ever, Majin Buu.

With the last season ending with a cliffhanger, the World’s Champ Mr. Satan has managed to make Majin Buu more compassionate towards life when Buu is given a puppy.  But sure enough, two criminals gun down Buu’s puppy and then all hell erupts.  This new anger that Majin Buu has never felt before has him spawn another form of Buu.  While the current Buu (big version) was able accept humanity and become peaceful, this new Evil Buu (skinner and muscular) is everything that was evil.

This Evil Buu manages to beat the current Majin Buu and convert his power over to his and becoming much more powerful.

As for the Z-Warriors, with Vegeta sacrificing his life in the last volume and Goku no longer with the living (since the Cell Saga) and in another dimension withe the Supreme Kais watching Gohan train, Piccolo is left to train Trunks and Goten and making sure they perfect their fusion technique to become Gotenks, the last opportunity for Planet Earth to destroy Evil Buu.

Included in Season 9 are a total of six discs.  Here is a spoiler free run down of the final 38 episodes:

Disc 1:

  • Episode 254 – The Evil of Men – What happens to Majin Buu after two criminals gun down his puppy?
  • Episode 255 – Buu Against Buu – The battle of the Buu’s as Majin Buu somehow accidentally manifests an Evil Buu.
  • Episode 256 – Empty Planet – The Evil Buu decides to take his challenge directly to Gotenks.
  • Episode 257 – Time Struggle – Piccolo manages to trick Evil Buu to go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with him and Gotenks.
  • Episode 258 – Super Moves of Gotenks – Evil Buu takes on Gotenks.  Who will become the victor?
  • Episode 259 – Trapped in Forever – In a desperate attempt to stop any further destruction, Piccolo destroys the Hyperbolic Time Chamber’s door, trapping the three in the chamber forever.
  • Episode 260 – Feeding Frenzy – As Evil Buu becomes hungry, he finds a way to leave the chamber but now looks towards the Z-Warriors outside of the chamber as food.

DISC 2:

  • Episode 261 – Gotenks is Awesome – Gotenks transforms into Super Saiyan Level 3 but will this extra power be enought to defeat Evil Buu?
  • Episode 262 – Unlucky Break – Gohan continues with his training at the World of Kais and the battle between Gotenks and Evil Buu continues.
  • Episode 263 – A Whole New Gohan – Gotenks fusion is unraveled and Trunks and Goten are in trouble.  Gohan comes to the rescue utilizing his new training.
  • Episode 264 – Search for Survivors – Evil Buu uses a tactic to destroy himself in order to destroy Gohan.  Did Buu’s plan work?
  • Episode 265 – Majin Buu Transforms – Evil Buu’s tactic was a ploy, now his goal is to absorb the powers of Gotenks in order to become Super Buu.
  • Episode 266 – The Old Kai’s Weapon – Evil Buu is now more powerful than ever after absorbing a few Z-Warriors.  Does Gohan have enough power to take him on alone?
  • Episode 267 – Ready to Fuse? – Goku knows that Gohan is getting weak and the Old Kai has a plan to save the day.

Disc 3:

  • Episode 268 – Union of Rivals – Vegeta arrives and both Goku and Vegeta must join forces again in order to defeat Evil Buu.
  • Episode 269 – Meet Vegito – Goku and Vegeta utilize old Kai’s plan to become Vegito.
  • Episode 270 – Rip in the Universe – The battle between Vegito and Evil Bu begins.
  • Episode 271 – Vegito… Downsized – Evil Buu comes up with another tactic to fight Vegito.
  • Episode 272 – The Incredible Fighting Candy– Evil Buu turns Vegito into candy and absorbs them.
  • Episode 273 – The Innards of Buu – Although Goku and Vegito were absorbed, they are able to separate and move around inside Buu’s body.

Disc 4:

  • Episode 274 – Mind Trap – Both Goku and Vegeta discover their friends and children inside Buu.
  • Episode 275 – Deadly Vision – Evil Buu doesn’t like Goku and Vegeta messing with his body and thus finds a way to have himself take on the two in his own body.
  • Episode 276 – Evil Kid Buu! – Both Goku and Vegeta think they have the upper hand against Evil Buu.  But all of a sudden, Evil Buu starts to evolve into another type of Buu.
  • Episode 277 – End of Earth – The plan of freeing Trunks, Goten, Piccolo and Gohan inside of Evil Buu backfires.  And now the new Evil Kid Buu targets the Planet Earth to destroy.
  • Episode 278 – True Saiyans Fight Alone – With last episode’s shocking ending, Evil Kid Buu now has the World of the Kais as his next target.
  • Episode 279 – Battle for the Universe Begins – Instead of fusing, Goku and Vegeta decide they should fight Evil Kid Buu alone to the shock of the Kais.

Disc 5:

  • Episode 280 – Vegeta’s Respect – Goku Super Saiyan 3 fights against Evil Kid Buu.
  • Episode 281 – Minute of Desperation – Goku’s energy is rapidly draining but needs the time to gather energy to stay alive.
  • Episode 282 – Old Buu Emerges – Evil Kid Buu starts to have a major pain in his body and his name is Majin Buu (original version).
  • Episode 283 – Earth Reborn – With Majin Buu and Evil Buu fighting it out once again, Vegeta asks Dende to summon the Dragon from the Planet Namek in order to restore the Earth and the humans back to life.
  • Episode 284 – Call to Action – Goku asks the revived humans of Earth to give him energy but it seems that many are not willing to.
  • Episode 285 – People of Earth Unite – Goku desperately needs more energy but the people of Earth are unwilling, that is until he gets help from someone famous.

Disc 6:

  • Episode 286 – Spirit Bomb Triumphant – The people of Earth lend their energy to Goku to create the Spirit Bomb!  Will it be enough to destroy Evil Kid Buu?
  • Episode 287 –  Celebrations with Majin Buu – With the result of the last episode, Goku and friends return to Earth and try to integrate Majin Buu back into society as a good guy.
  • Episode 288 – He’s Always Late – It’s the big party for the Z-Warriors but Goku is nowhere to be found.
  • Episode 289 – Granddaughter Pan – Ten years have passed since the battle with Evil Kid Buu and everyone has gotten older, Gohan and Vedil now have a young daughter named Pan who has been trained by her parents and Goku.
  • Episode 290 – Buu’s Reincarnation – It’s time for a new World Tournament and Goku gets a feeling someone special may fight in the tournament.
  • Episode 291 – Goku’s Next Journey – The tournament fight between Goku and Uub continues.  Is Uub the reincarnation of Buu?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“DRAGON BALL Z” season nine was aired in Japan during the mid-90’s.  For these episodes to be nearly 15 years old, FUNimation did the picture quality some justice by remastering the series.  By working with Video Post & Transfer, they used the original Japanese film masters and transferred them using a Spirit DataCine and passing through a Digital Vision DVNR1000 to remove film grain and then using a Teranex VC6000 video computer for DNR (digital noise reduction) to remove thousands of instances of dirt, scratches and debris.

The video footage signal was then ran through a da Vinci 2K Plus color system to make sure the color is very close to the original Japanese film prints.  After color correction, the final media was then transferred via Sony’s HDCAM (high definition digital tape) and created in 1080p HD at 24 frames per second.

So, what we get is a very clean transfer (note: A transfer that would make it even much more cleaner and colorful if presented in Blu-ray) on DVD and the best looking transfer of the episodes in the US thus far.  It is important to note that the transfer is not devoid of dust and scratches.  You will see it on occasion but overall, the colors are much sharper and more vibrant.

Audio is presented in three audio tracks.  English voice track with original Japanese music via 5.1 surround, English voice track with TV broadcast music stereo and Japanese voice track with original music and in mono.

As mentioned in my previous reviews, I have watched “Dragon Ball Z” when it was first aired in Japan and have rented every episode and have watched it in Japanese.  But until I started reviewing the FUNimation Entertainment box set releases of the series, I have really enjoyed the English dubwork.  I felt the series was well-cast and truthfully, with the original series in mono and hearing it in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, it’s hard to go back and listen to the series in mono.

But the great news is that you get the three different audio tracks to suit those with different audio preferences.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

You get the original Japanese opening intro without text and the ending Japanese outro without text.  Also, FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

After 250+ episodes, the final 38 episodes are now available in one box set.

I can easily remember when these episodes hit Japan and having friends over to watch the battle with the Z-Warriors and Buu.   Of course, none of us at the time understood Japanese but to watch these final episodes (which went on to continue with “Dragon Ball GT”), what an exciting time to see the Fusion Saga but also to see Goku and Vegeta having to work with each other.  To think how “DRAGON BALL Z” started as Vegeta was a major enemy of Goku and now to find them working together and fighting together was very enjoyable to watch.

Needless to say, this final season is packed with action but also quite a bit of humor as well.  Buu is such an interesting villain.  Whereas Frieza is the destroyer and Cell was just plain evil, Evil Buu was much more powerful than either of them but where the others would go on destruction campaigns, Buu’s motivation was enjoying the fight and eating sweets and chocolates.  Definitely a far cry from Frieza and Cell but overall, Buu was a unique villain.  And to see Hercule (Mr. Satan) take some initiative (and also becoming the series clown), it was so interesting to see how he would be important in these final episodes.

If there was any disappointment, it was that Gohan who had such a buildup throughout all the seasons from his younger age to his younger pre-teenage years, his character received the less amount of attention (battle wise) and more focus on the character of Trunks and Goten as Gotenks.  Afterall, we have seen how powerful Gohan had gotten in his battles versus Frieza and Cell, I was hoping to see some sort of unleash of Gohan that would really show off his character now as an older teenager.

Nevertheless, the series brought everything back home with a storyline that focused on the two Saiyans which are Goku and Vegeta, and the way these two interact is always fun to watch and you’ll always know that when these two are together, there is either a lot of action, or a lot of humorous scenes between the two.  And fortunately, you get both.

“DRAGON BALL Z – SEASON NINE” ends the whole “DRAGON BALL Z” arc and this season like the previous eight are just magnificent.  You literally get more bang for your buck with over 30 episodes included on each DVD box set.  And the series does continue with the two seasons of “DRAGON BALL GT” (now available from FUNimation Entertainment).

I absolutely love this series and after watching it in Japanese way back then, it was great to watch the series remastered and digitally restored but also to enjoy it not just in Japanese but also with the English dub.  The voice acting is so well-done, this series is probably the best cast anime series.  There are a ton of characters and FUNimation Entertainment has done a great job in finding the right voice actors to do the job.

In closing, I highly recommend every season box set of “DRAGON BALL Z”.  I know that because this series has been digitally remastered in High Definition, there are many who are wondering if they should wait until there is an announcement of the Blu-ray release of the anime TV series.  For now, we don’t know if there will be a Blu-ray release but for “DRAGON BALL Z” in the US.

So, for now, the DVD is the only choice available at this time.  Just think that each box set has 30+ episodes for around $30-$35 which is a steal compared to how much collecting “DRAGON BALL Z” several years ago which one DVD with a few episodes would have cost next to $20.   You simply are getting your money’s worth!

If you purchased every season thus far for “DRAGON BALL Z”, you can’t go wrong with this final season nine. Each episode is action-packed, plenty of humor and there are many memorable scenes.  Its simply a must buy!  Every season of “DRAGON BALL Z” is a must buy!

Highly recommended!

 






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