[DVD REVIEW] Dragon Ball Z Season three and four
March 21, 2008 by Dennis Amith
DVD: Dragon Ball Z Season Three and Season Four
DURATION: 780 minutes (Season 3, total of 33 episodes, Episodes 75-107), 755 minutes (Season 4, total of 32 episodes, Episodes 108-139) on 6 discs
DVD INFO: 16:9
COMPANY: FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT
What can I say about “Dragon Ball Z”, for me, this anime is just a classic that I’ve loved when I was younger and love it today over a decade later.
I would drive over an hour away to visit my local Japanese video rental store and pick up the latest four episodes to come from Japan and would be all giddy about the latest episode and giddy of what would come out via the video games for the Sony PlayStation.
So, here I am with a DVD review for Seasons 3 and 4 after spending my holiday weekend, chilling out and just watching each episode and surprisingly this time around watching them dubbed and not in Japanese this time around.
First, let me just say that I have never watched the series in the US only when it came out in Japan. I realized they were out on DVD but seriously, what you are getting now for the price of less than two DVD’s for one season box set, you are saving a lot of of money because back several years ago, these DVD’s were released to the US with I believe only four episodes and I can’t fathom those who spent thousands of dollars buying them, to find out they are now being released for under $35 per season.
Of course, there have been controversy surrounding the DVD release, mainly with the 16:9 as hardcore fans say that the animation was just cut off and not a true anamorphic widescreen. These are among the hardcore who compared their original releases or possibly their old video tapes and hey, I can understand them being upset but for me, didn’t bother me one bit.
First of all, the animation is restored. The animation looks clean and the colors look brilliant. Not only are you getting a lot of episodes but you can enjoy it in Japanese (2.0 soundtrack), English 5.1 dubbed and English 2.0 (which has the added digital music which I presume was used for the television series).
I figured that I enjoyed the series in Japanese, let’s try it dubbed. I tend to prefer watching my animation via Japanese with English subtitles but I have to admit that I enjoyed the dubbing of the series. I felt the acting was really well done with Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Bulma and the whole cast.
But watching the anime all over again, with season 3, the whole season literally focuses on the battle against Frieza. Season 1 dealt with the battle against Vegeta and Raditz. Season 2 features Gohan, Krillin and Bulma searching for the Dragon Balls in the Planet Namek but Frieza and his gang also pursuing them. As with Vegeta who wants them as well.
Of course, Season 3 is very action packed as everyone risks their life to go against Frieza but I found myself realizing something that I never realized back then was how impatient I was getting for them to tie things up. They really dragged the battles so very long and what I felt could of lasted 10-15 episodes, really went on for 30+ episodes.
But yet, I was still enjoying the battle and to see Son Goku reach Super Saiyajin or Super Saiyan which is the widely used term for the dubbed version.
Season one and two were awesome. Season three though is just a great season because of the hardcore battle against Frieza which results in a few major deaths.
Season four is actually a season filled with filler episodes in the first three discs. You get the return of Garlic Jr. which was just average as he uses the dark mist to turn the Planet Earth to violent zombie like people. Piccolo, Gohan and Krillin must save the day. Well, add in Kame and Mr. Popo as well. Plus the Krillin and his girlfriend Mellon storyline.
Then things start to pick up as Frieza and his father King Cold go to Earth to blow up the planet. Yes, Frieza is still alive and wants his revenge on Goku. That is until a Super Saiyajin from the future pays a visit to give a warning to Goku. The Super Saiyajin known as Trunks goes to battle against Frieza, King Cold and their goons. This leads to the next major battle against the Super Androids and from disc four through six, things start to pick up action-wise again and building up to next major season which introduces the Cell storyline.
Personally, I would have skipped all those episodes if not for the English dubs. I guess to hear it in English and in some ways, adds to the enjoyabilty for me. For example, Mellon sounds just like a total braindead tease, Mr. Popo is just a character that is either stereotypically just wrong or just comic relief, I don’t know. But the interaction between Bulma and Vegeta and the banter against each other is just fun. So, the English dubbing worked for me, I really enjoyed the voice acting.
The box sets come with a booklet featuring hero and enemy profiles and episode summaries. Also, information on the remastering process of “Dragon Ball Z” which was a special feature on the first season.
As for special features, mainly the trailers but nothing major!
I have to give full props to FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT for actually selling the season box sets for such a spectacular price! I’m sure previous buyers are a bit ticked that they spent so much money just to acquire the seasons when they were released years ago but for me, for a series that had so many episodes, there would be know way for me to buy them on DVD without breaking the bank.
Personally, you can’t go wrong with the release as you get a digitally remastered version of the animated series with the original Japanese and English dub tracks and again, I’m not a big English dub fan but this is probably one of the best dubs that I really enjoyed in a while.
If you are a fan of DBZ or even interested, you can’t go wrong. Over 30 episodes per season for under $35, that’s a steal!
As for season three, very awesome! Season 4, many filler episodes but then again, if you loved seasons 1-3, more than likely you are going to get season four.
So, all in all….you get my highest recommendation for these box sets. It may not be perfect for the hardcore but for those of us who want things on a budget especially during these crazy economic times, the cost of each box set and for what FUNIMATION has presented is just worth it!
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