FUNimation is heading back to the Dragon
Ball Z well one more
time, and I for one am not upset. While
I usually don't like double dips, Dragon
Box 2 is definitely worth it. This
is the definitive release of a series
that turned many people on to anime and manga, including many current
artists. A frame-by-frame restoration was
performed on the image (which is presented with its original aspect
the episodes being uncut, this is the version that many DBZ fans have
If you're reading this, chances are good that you already
know the story, but in case you don't, here's a brief recap: After
and the other Saiyans, Goku is in the hospital and several of the Z
are dead. With the Dragon Balls gone,
the only way to wish their friends back is to travel to the planet
the Dragon Balls were originally created.
To do that, Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma borrow the spaceship that
Namekian) originally used to come to Earth and take off into space.
With only a little trouble on the way, the trio arrives on
Namek. They quickly make some friends
who help them look for the Dragon Balls. Meanwhile Vegeta arrives at
destination and receives some much needed medical attention.
For those that are intimately familiar with the series, this
collection contains the rest of the Namek Saga, the Ginyu Saga, and the
beginning of the Frieza Saga.
While Bulma and company start looking for the Dragon Balls
on Namek, they discover that there's another group looking for the
orbs. Frieza has his men scouring the
planet, killing anyone who gets in their way.
Soon he has four of the seven balls, and it looks like no one
To add more trouble to the mix, Vegeta has recovered, discovered that
wants to get the Dragon Balls on Namek, and goes off to stop him. Arriving on Namek Vegeta encounters one of
his old mates, Cui. Cui used to be
stronger than the Saiyan, but after his time on Earth battling the Z
he's surpassed his old friend and easily defeats him in.
There is one ray of hope however. Back on
Earth Son Goku has recovered (thanks
to a Senzu Bean), learns where Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma have gone, and
out after them in a Capsule Corp space ship.
It's a custom design that lets Goku train at extremely high
Back on Namek, Vegeta starts collecting the Dragon Balls
himself and makes quick work of Frieza's henchmen.
He does pretty well, until Gohan steals a
ball that the Saiyan hid. Vegeta starts
hunting for the youngster and his friends with murder on his mind.
Realizing that Vegeta is a force to be reconned with, he
summons the Ginyu Force, a team of five elite fighters with amazing
wonderful battle poses. When they arrive
and go after Vegeta and the Earthlings, it looks like Frieza will win
This set ends with the Earth forces (minus Goku) battling
Frieza and having a hard time of it.
This is one of my favorite parts of Dragon Ball Z.
These three sagas, Namek, Ginyu Force, and
Frieza, tell one big story that's epic in scale and just a lot of fun. Things quickly go from bad to worse to awful
and there are many surprises along the way.
Who doesn't feel scared for little Gohan when he's hiding from
who is looking to kill him, and who isn't relived when Son Goku finally
of the planet?
While the battle against the Ginyu force is exciting and
fun, when everyone teams up to fight Frieza is the highpoint of this
set. The contest against Vegeta on Earth
great, but this battle manages to raise the ante by a significant
amount. Even with Vegeta on their side,
of the Z-Fighters are having a difficult time.
The fact that Frieza reveals a secret to Vegeta makes the battle
This section of the show moves fast and has some great
action along with some nicely timed comic relief. Every
time that the Ginyu force poses when
they introduce themselves creates fits of laughter.
It's a funny show at times, and that meshes
well with the nearly non-stop action.
These 42 episodes arrive on six DVDs that are held in a pair
of 'books', three discs each. Two of the
discs are overlapping (boo!) on one side while the third has a side all
itself. There is also a hardcover book
included with the set (more on this in the extras section.) The three books are stored in a thick
slipcase and the books themselves have a spanning spine.
Altogether it's a very nice looking set.
This is the definitive collection too. All
of the episodes are restored, uncut,
presented with their original aspect ratio, with the original Japanese
openings, original music, and even the original episode previews. What more could you want??
This time the options
are the original Japanese mono audio or a 5.1 English dub (with the
music... the English music is not to be found in this set, which is fine
by me.) I viewed it with the Japanese
though the English dub is good and a much more immersive experience
during the frequent fight scenes) I enjoyed the original track just a
more. Both tracks were clean and free of
hiss and distortion and the show sounded great, even in mono.
The image is in its original full screen aspect ratio this
time, and I couldn't be happier. The
picture has been cleaned up, frame by frame, from the original 16mm
film. I have the original Pioneer releases
is an improvement. There is less grain
and some spots have been removed. The
colors are a bit more even, though not as bright as the original
which I found a little odd. Though this
version does look a little more realistic, I don't think that's what
going for originally. The colors aren't
oversaturated though, as has been reported with the FUNimation season
sets. They also didn't go overboard with
the digital smoothing as happened with the earlier brick collections.
In any case the lines are tight and the colors are even and
solid. The blacks are generally
deep. On the digital side of things the
shows look good too. There is some minor
aliasing and light posterization in a few places but neither is ever a
distraction and other compression artifacts such as blocking are absent. Overall this is the best looking version of
Dragon Ball I have seen, and the set I'd recommend to fans.
There aren't any extras on the discs themselves, which is
fine by me. I'd much rather have the
show presented with the way it was meant to be seen.
I can live without the English dub cast
'party' commentary tracks.
There is a 48 page hardcover book that comes with the set
and it is a real asset. Not only does it
contain a synopsis of every episode in the set, but there's a profile
family and a relationship tree that lets you know who is working with
whom. There are tidbits of trivia
the book as well as character sketches.
It's very nice and a wonderful addition to the set.
I was on cloud none while I was watching this
collection. It's nearly perfect (the
overlapping discs are my only real complaint).
This set is really devoted to the hardcore fan who wants to
the show the way it was first broadcast, and it does everything it sets
do. With the restored image, faithful
reproduction of the original Japanese shows, original aspect ratio, and
packaging, this is the definitive Dragon Ball Z collection. Highly