Review by Torioda for
Given all the past dramatic turnabouts and FUNimation’s rocky DBZ history, the Dragon Boxes has proven once again its overall superiority of the original DBZ series in DVD format.
PICTURE: Fantastic remastering from the original 16mm film from Toei. The “genuine” copies, so to speak. Not much different from what I’ve said in my previous review. There is one minor gripe, though. I’ve noticed some shaky cam movement in some of the episodes. I don’t know if this has do with dragon ball z extra milk some frame alignment issues that existed in the original films or a remastering error. In any case, it’s a minor issue that doesn’t greatly affect the quality of the picture. When it does happen, it can become quite glaring, but it’s over just as quickly.
AUDIO: The Japanese mono is a great as it could ever be. Shunsuke Kikuchi’s operatic 80s Kung-Fu/Shaw Brothers-like score compliments the age and content of the material. Often offering the same or similar pieces on a loop episode after episode, it can becoming a bit glaring, but it suits the material just fine. There’s enough “breathing space”, so to speak, between each piece that the mood it evokes dragon ball z extra milk in each particular scene is quite effective. Examples being when Vegeta is told by Kiwi/Cui that Freeza is after the Dragon Balls врена in Namek or when Vegeta is closing in on Gohan and Kuririn’s/Krillin’s ki suspecting something’s afoot. The Japanese cast, whether you love or hate Masako Nozawa’s performance as Son Goku, is strongly and consistently supported by a much stronger supporting cast. Nods go to Ryo Horikawa as Vegeta and Ryusei Nakao as Freeza. Their evil characteristics are perfectly portrayed and the interaction between extra them is often snide and tense.
I can’t comment on the English dub, but I’ve heard that there were some lipsynching/ audio issues with alignment of the film on the first dragon ball z extra milk Dragon Box. Not having the US Broadcast track is also a big disadvantage considering the majority of dub fans would want it more so than the original score. I simply can’t understand why FUNimation just didn’t leave the dub as is. Was it to make amends for the show’s treatment? In any case, this leaves a dub that very few people like from what I understand of the community.
CONTENT & PACKAGING: The second Dragon Box includes episodes 43-84. That’s 42 episodes spanning from the Fake Namek filler through Freeza’s final transformation. Watching these episodes were both a delight to rediscover and dreadful to watch reminding me of DBZ’s often stereotypical and infamous pacing. The Freeza arc is the second most gulity of this dragon ball z (the Cell arc being the first). It’s pretty much where the various transformation stages took place dragon ball z extra milk often spanning episodes, in this case five, and sometimes even dragon ball z extra milk taking up half the episode. While телки DBZ’s archaic nature of massively epic and long “power-ups” is mostly true, it doesn’t detriment the quality of the series. It can fun and dreadful at the same time, depending on your outlook of the series. Eventually it all pays off leading dragon ball z extra milk to the both epic and dreadful fight of Son Goku vs. Freeza (which took about 10-15 episodes) in the next Dragon Box set. There’s a payoff, but you must have Zen-like patience…..or the fast forward button. The Ginyu Special Forces episodes are fun and well paced for the most part. Goku coming in beating the crap out of ReaCoom, Jheese, and Butta is probably one of the best moments in the series. Well animated, well acted, and well timed.
Dragon Box 2 also contains Cell arc Vegeta as designed by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, character designer for the TV series, and Dragon Book vol. 2. This set is very Vegeta-centric in its episodes and seeing as how that dragon ball z extra milk was the only Vegeta design available from the original Dragon Box prints, perhaps FUNimation just thought it to be best. The Dragon Book includes more character profiles, relationship charts, episode guide, design dragon ball z extra milk works and new Dragon Column featurettes as “Impressive Words”, phrasing some of the best lines in the series, “Son Gohan’s Animal Adventure”, listing the animals Gohan encountered through out the series, and more. Overall, the slick replication of the original Dragon Box prints and Dragon Book tidbits is a little more than dragon ball z extra milk icing to the cake, often educating newcomers and fans alike of the Dragon World.
OTHER THOUGHTS/CONCLUSIONS: As I feared, the Bardock TV special wasn’t included with this set considering it aired alongside these episodes. Since FUNimation considers both the Bardock and Trunks TV specials dragon ball z extra milk as “features” perhaps they will be included with the Dragon Box The Movies prints they also purchased, but that remains to be seen. Overall, the set is as fantastic as the previous one. Unless you’re really enamoured with the US Broadcast Music, this set is really the highest recommendation for DBZ viewing. It’s just unfortunate these won’t sell well enough due to lack of US Broadcast Music and various prior releases. I also fear for its future considering the acquisition dragon ball z extra milk of Dragon Ball Kai from FUNimation. It might greatly affect the future of the Dragon Boxes. In any case, get them while they’re still around.