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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dragonball Z
Season Four (Digitally Remastered)


Starring (voice): Masako Nozawa, Ryo Horikawa and Hiromi Tsuru
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Available 05 November 2012

For the Dragonball Z team there is no such thing as downtime. Having pretty much saved the universe in season three, except for Goku, the team are back on Earth when one of their old foes, Garlic Jr escapes from captivity and starts to seek revenge. With their hands full, the last thing they need is another attempted invasion from space...

Dragonball Z: Complete Season Four (1991. Episodes 108-136) is one of the most successful anime franchises, spawning itself, from the original Dragonball manga into films, soundtracks, a live and anime show, even educational material was produced.

Following quickly on the heels of season three, season four is now available in a six disc DVD set and given the number of episodes it’s a pretty good value package, if a little under whelming on the extras side, which consist of only the opening and closing textless songs, to be found on the last disc.

From the menu, you can choose to watch either single episodes, or the marathon option will play the whole disc in one go. 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.

Like most of these long running kids shows, nuance, character development and subplots are not strongly represented, but what you do get is a lot of action. The show is looking a bit dated stylistically, but then season four harkens back to 1991, and the twenty plus years have not been kind to the show. Fans will still enjoy their favourite characters in this current, thirty-one episode story arc, entitled Garlic Jr., Trunks and Androids Sagas, the story of which was taken from the remaining twenty-six issues of the manga.

The presentation of the discs is the same as the previous box sets with a digitally remastered picture, which has been cropped to give it a more cinematic feel. This generally works well, but there are some instances where it is obvious that part of the picture has been cut away. Purists, would, I’m sure, have preferred just for the original print to have been remastered without the extra faffing around. Although the remastering has made for a much brighter picture, with strong colours, I can’t understand why they didn’t try and fix the slight judder that is noticeable, especially when there is little movement on the screen.

You basically get two stories this season; the first involves Garlic Jr, which inevitably involves a lot of fighting and training. Starting with episode 117 the focus switches to the return of Goku, who was presumed lost when he was stuck on the destroyed planet of Namek's. Goku is not the only one to return to Earth and a mysterious new boy tells the team the Goku will be dead within three years, of heart failure severely diminishing the team’s ability to fight off an android invasion.

Working on the premise of, if it isn’t broke; don’t fix it, the fourth season of Dragonball Z serves up the same diet of colourful fight action which made the show so popular.


Charles Packer

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