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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dragonball Z
Season Three (Digitally Remastered)


Starring (voice): Masako Nozawa, Ryo Horikawa and Hiromi Tsuru
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Available 01 October 2012

Goku undergoes martial art training, unaware that he is an alien sent to earth to conquer the planet for the Saiyan’s. Having suffered a blow to the head on his arrival the truth only becomes known when he meets his brother, Raditz. Goku turns his back on his own people in his quest for the Dragonballs, mystical objects which together grant any wish, including the raising of the dead. In the conflict between Earth and Saiyan, Goku is killed but revived using the Dragonballs. With Earth safe the search for the remaining Dragon Balls heads out into space where the fight for the Dargonballs becomes a fight against the tyrant Frieza...

Dragonball Z: Season Three (800 min), originally transmitted between 30 January and 11 September 1991 continues the season two story, with the recovery of the Dragonballs and our heroes, Krillin, Gohan and Vegeta, chance to use them to put everything right. However, the intervention of the lipstick wearing crazy Frieza, sets the final climatic battle in motion. Season three is presented as a six disc DVD set, covering all thirty-five episodes.

Being scripted by Akira Toriyama, the same person who created the original manga, the show remains the most faithful transition of a story across differing media. The third season has been digitally remastered and once again as there were various audio versions created for the show, all three have been included on the disc including a 5.1 surround Sound English dub, with the Japanese music, the Stereo American track and the original mono Japanese track, with subtitles.

Much of the third season plays out like an endless boss fight with the evil Frieza, transforming himself into ever more stronger versions of himself, whilst our heroes battle to take him down. One of the novel things about this show is the Toriyama was not afraid of killing off popular characters, which gives the battles a much needed edge. As the story continues, many popular characters are cut down in battle, a battle which increases to a level that it even threatens the very existence of the planet Namek.

Even with this ability to cut a swath of death through his characters, Toriyama wasn’t going to kill off this successful franchise hence the creation of the Dragonballs which can grant any wish, although at the end of the season the story does not end with complete happiness, allowing the creation of another chapter in the continuing story.

The picture has benefited from the remastering, with strong blacks and stable bright colours. The inclusion of a 5.1 track is beneficial; it’s a shame that the only extras, on the whole set are the opening and closing sequences on the sixth disc.

The show was never really about strong storytelling, action being the order of the day and this remains the same in season three, which consists, pretty much, of one long fight for the fate of the universe. It’s what fans of the show loved, this and the distinctive character designs used on the show.


Charles Packer

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