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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » DragonBall Z: Super Android 13/Bojack Unbound
DragonBall Z: Super Android 13/Bojack Unbound
FUNimation // Unrated // February 10, 2009
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted February 7, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Movies:

For a while now FUNimation has been revamping their Dragon Ball license with a multitude of different releases. Eight uncut seasons of the show have been released as of this writing and they have all been reworked with widescreen and a high definition re-master. The same can be said for the movies somewhat since each has received a nice bit of attention regarding the video and audio quality. It's also worth noting that most all of these films have been previously available on DVD, but FUNimation has packed them together for a series of one-two punches. Presented in steelbook cases, FUNimation's latest line of DBZ releases come in pairs with two movies included in each release.

If you're familiar with the show and would consider yourself a fan then chances are very good you already have one or some of these two-packs in your collection. If you're new to the franchise or just haven't seen any of the films, however, then all you really need to know is that the DBZ movies are basically extended episodes. There's nothing grandiose about them aside from a higher production value, and generally speaking the story in each is about as barebones as something the series itself would have presented. This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it does mean that the films are only going to be appreciated by those who already love DBZ and know what they're getting into. Then again, I suppose you could say that about pretty much any anime film. If you're a fan you're golden and if not, well, the movies aren't going to convert you.

The latest FUNimation dual movie release features the seventh and ninth Dragon Ball Z movies. The first movie presented here is Super Android 13, which was originally released in 1992 but wasn't brought to the States until 2003. As you'd expect, this film brings back the Androids to unleash some more terror on the populace as they attempt to take down Goku and the Z Fighters.

It all starts with Doctor Gero since he's dead, but not really deceased enough to no longer be a threat. He has created more Androids, 13, 14, and 15, and guess what? They want to destroy everything and be all powerful, but in order to do that they have to defeat our heroes. The film basically follows one big fight as Goku and company battles 14 and 15 only to have them die off and introduce a super-powered 13. From there the movie kind of falls apart as things go from bad to worse and the mystery about Gero's existence lurks beneath the surface. None of it is very compelling and the story is painfully weak all around. Still, there are some nice fights here so I guess that counts for something.

The second film is Bojack: Unbound, and it's every bit as light in terms of plot as Super Android 13. Bojack is basically a movie about another fighting tournament to determine the universe's strongest warrior. The catch here is that a bad guy named Bojack (surprise!) has been released and he wants to bring hell upon Earth (again, shocking). All that stands before him is the Z Fighters and Gohan and naturally there's a ton of fighting in the meantime.

The Dragon Ball Z film franchise doesn't exactly feature the series' shining moments. Each movie is an extended episode and the ones included here do not break from that stigma. All you're going to find in Android 13 and Bojack is a whole lot of mindless fighting and very little in terms of actual storytelling. Each plot sets up the bad guy, introduces them to our heroes, and fighting ensues. It's a simply formula, but it's one that has served the DBZ franchise since it's first episode. Fans will get a kick out of these films, but everyone else can pass.

The DVD:

Video:

Both Super Android 13 and Bojack: Unbound are presented on DVD in much the same way the remastered show is. The original Japanese material has been brought through one filter after another to clean up the picture, and it definitely shows. While both films maintain a certain worn look with grain, dirt, and some faded colors there's no denying that the transfer contains an overall vibrancy and is much sharper than you'd imagine a twenty year old image would look like. The aspect ratio for both films is presented in anamorphic widescreen to give a somewhat more theatrical appearance.

Audio:

Both films feature original Japanese language tracks with mono output and English 5.1 offerings with selections for original Japanese music and updated English tunes. When it comes to this series I have always been a fan of the original Japanese content and though the mono track is definitely more subdued I found the dub to be much more palatable. With that being said the English offerings are much better in the technical department with a greater sense of immersion. Unfortunately even that 5.1 selection isn't quite as robust as it could have been.

Extras:

Sadly, all you're going to get for both films here is a collection of trailers for bonus features. At least the release's packaging is nice!

Final Thoughts:

These Dragon Ball Z two-packs are a nice way for fans to get more bang for their buck. Due to the fact that each "film" is only about 40 minutes, having two of them definitely cushions the blow. Unfortunately that doesn't change the fact that neither movie really stands alone, has an interesting story, or is anything other than one series of fights after another. I guess if you're coming to DBZ at this point then you already know what you're getting yourself into, so fans will most likely eat this release up. Don't bother if you're uninitiated into the world of Goku and Dragon Balls.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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