The most famous anime series in the world gets a definitive
FUNimation's Dragon Box series, and box five is no exception. Covering the series high point, the Cell
Games, this is collection has some of the best episodes from the show's
run. There's drama, excitement, a
world-shaking battle, and more than a little comic relief thanks to
Satan and (later in the set) the Great Saiyaman.
As this set starts, the artificial creation of Dr. Gero, the
seemingly unstoppable Cell, has announced that he'll be holding a
contest: the Cell Games.
With the fate of the entire world in the balance,
the Z-fighters go off to train.
Surprisingly Goku cuts his training short to spend time relaxing
home, something that raises more than a few eyebrows.
Once the games start Cell, as expected, turns out to be a
very formidable opponent. The first real
opponent to face the monstrous creature is Goku, who goes after Cell at
power. The battle is fierce, with some
incredible fighting and powerful attacks, but just as the contest is
Goku concedes! This shocks the other
Z-Fighters (and most viewers the first time they see it) but Goku, far
defeated, cheerfully announces that he can't beat Cell and resigns. Instead, he declares that his young son,
will not only be the next challenger, but that he is the more powerful
Things heat up after that, with mini-Cells attacking and
some of the fiercest fighting in the series.
The whole of the Cell Games is a high point for the show, and
tells a great story but sets things up for the next chapter in the
After the games conclude, there's a short four-episode story
that nicely wraps up the fate of one of the main characters and then
narrative jumps forward 7 years. Young
Gohan has been studying hard with his mother at home and now is a
teenager. He may have traveled across
the universe and saved the Earth, but there is one great challenge he
yet faced: high school. With no schools
near his mountain home, Gohan travels to Satan City,
named after the person that the world thinks was responsible for
to attend formal school for the first time.
On his way to Orange
School, Gohan encounters a police stand off. Thieves are robbing a bank and are in a
battle with the police. Gohan decides to
put a stop to things so he turns into Super Saiyan mode and easily
them. Of course his exploits are the
talk of the town and by the time he gets to school, everyone is talking
the 'Golden Fighter' who stopped the bank robbery.
One of his new classmates is Videl, the daughter of Mr.
Satan, and she's determined to find out who this new hero is. Gohan, on the other hand wants to be just a
normal kid and is trying to fit in without revealing his true strength. When he gets to PE though, he doesn't do such
a good job of acting normal.
This was a great collection.
The Cell Games is my favorite DBZ story arc, and the follow-up
are a nice change of pace. The
four-episode Anoyoichi Saga was a touching and fun way to wrap up a
character's story and works especially well after the dynamic Cell
That's followed by the beginning of the High School Saga,
and the first episode of that story is one of the funniest episodes of
DBZ ever. My two sons and I were laughing
through the entire show. Just the set
up, that high school could be a bigger challenge for Gohan than Frieza
is amusing and they really played this episode for laughs.
When one of the bank robbers aims a machine
gun at Gohan and fires at point blank range, the young Saiyan catches
the bullets (with one hand.) The look on
the robber's face as he drops the slugs onto the ground is priceless.
Things become even more hilarious when he gets to
school. Since he made perfect scores on
his entrance exams, the jock of the class starts picking on poor Gohan. Little does he realize that Gohan has no clue
that he's being mean, and that this kid is much harder to hurt than he
These 42 episodes arrive on six DVDs that are held in a pair of
discs each. Two of the discs are overlapping (boo!) on one side
third has a side all to itself. There is also a hardcover book
with the set (more on this in the extras section.) The three
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
uncut, presented with their original aspect ratio, with the original
openings, original music, and even the original episode previews.
more could you want??
This time the options are the original Japanese mono audio or a 5.1
(with the Japanese music... the English music is not to be found in this
which is fine by me.) I viewed it with the Japanese track, and
English dub is good and a much more immersive experience (especially
frequent fight scenes) I enjoyed the original track just a bit
tracks were clean and free of hiss and distortion and the show sounded
even in mono.
The image is in its original full screen aspect ratio this time, and I
be happier. The picture has been cleaned up, frame by frame, from
original 16mm film. I have the original Pioneer releases and this
improvement. There is less grain and some spots have been
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
realistic, I don't think that's what they were going for
colors aren't oversaturated though, as has been reported with the
season sets. They also didn't go overboard with the digital
happened with the earlier brick collections.
In any case the lines are tight and the colors are even and
blacks are generally deep. On the digital side of things the
good too. There is some minor aliasing and light posterization in
places but neither is ever a distraction and other compression
as blocking are absent. Overall this is the best looking version
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
much rather have the show presented with the way it was meant to be
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
asset. Not only does it contain a synopsis of every episode in
but there's a profile of Goku's family and a relationship tree that
know who is working with whom. There are tidbits of trivia
through the book as well as character sketches. It's very nice
wonderful addition to the set.
This is a must-buy collection. Not only
does this set nicely illustrate just why Dragon Ball Z is one of the
animated titles in the world, but the show is presented with love and
a definitive set. The stories included
in this box are some of the best in the history of the show, running
from surprising, to tragic, to laugh-out-loud funny.
This is easily a DVD Talk