DVD Review: Dragon Ball – Collection 2

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It’s time once again to venture out in search of those magic Dragon Balls, but while Goku and Bulma do that what did we think of Manga Entertainment’s DVD Release of Dragon Ball – Collection 2? Well lets find out in our Review.

Synopsis:

The search for the seven magic balls continues! After meeting his match in the World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku embarks on a mission to recover the Four Star Dragon Ball that once belonged to his grandfather. His treacherous quest will take him from the terrifying heights of Muscle Tower to the darkest depths of the deep blue sea. But with the Flying Nimbus under his feet and Bulma’s Dragon Radar leading the way, there’s nothing mighty Goku can’t handle.

With a dangerous new adversary out to get him, this will be Goku’s most dangerous adventure yet. The sinister Red Ribbon Army, led by cigar-chomping Commander Red, is determined to seize the seven Dragon Balls and use them to conquer the world! Watch as colonels, generals, ninjas, android pirates, and giant pink monsters use every dirty trick in the book to stop Goku from getting his hands on the magic Dragon Balls!

Our View:

With the main character introductions out of the way it’s time for the Dragon Ball storyline to expand into uncharted areas with familiar characters, new enemies and more importantly a developing storyline. These are just some examples of what viewers can expect from the episodes contained within Dragon Ball – Collection 2, but in reality it’s just a build-up of things to come in future releases.

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Starting fresh off from the previous episode Goku and Bulma once again venture out in search of the mysterious Dragon Balls, with Emperor Pilaf lurking in the shadows ready to pounce. For the most part the first few episodes of this collection are a repeat of what was seen in the first collection, whereby Bulma and Goku would find Dragon Balls and help people in need, at which point Emperor Pilaf will jump in to steal the Dragon Balls away; however on this occasion there is one major difference, the Red Ribbon Army.

The Red Ribbon Army makes its grand debut within this Collection, as they too are after the Dragon Balls, and unlike Emperor Pilaf the army will stop at nothing to get what they want. Because of this the army takes over a village and keeps its chief hostage within Muscle Tower, and when Goku arrives on the scene he decides that the village must be saved before the Dragon Ball can be found. As you’d expect Goku begins his way up Muscle Tower defeating any opponents that cross his path, including a Red Ribbon commander, Murasaki; and despite how powerful Goku has become even he is finding this fight difficult.

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The fun doesn’t stop there either, as after a short-break at KAME House, which yields some interesting (but comical) moments for the perverted Master Roshi, Krillin opts to join Goku and Bulma on their next adventure in search of the Dragon Balls, but in the background the Red Ribbon Army are carefully plotting their revenge on Goku, with General Blue leading the charge.

Dragon Ball – Collection 2 is where the storyline takes a more ‘serious’ tone, it still features the comical antics of Goku and the perverted nature of Master Roshi (including a segment of him spying on Bulma in the toilet) but it sees the strong (long) storyline we’ve come to know from the Dragon Ball Z storyline finally make its appearance, and while the characters and animation are still dated at least we can enjoy the story and the unique journey that it is taking us on.

Extras:

With the first instalment containing an entire movie, albeit highly edited and using a different English dub cast, as part of its extra content line-up the extras within Collection 2 had a lot to live up to, and unfortunately it has failed to reach that standard of content. You see the only extra content included with Dragon Ball – Collection 2 is an extensive collection of Character Profiles and Trailers.

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Each DVD Disc contains character profiles related to that particular saga, for example Disc 1 and 2, which contain the Red Ribbon Army Saga, feature character profiles for Goku, Krillin, Bulma and Emperor Pilaf (as taken from the previous collection) but also feature character profiles for new characters such as Murasaki and Android #8.

The final piece of bonus content is a selection of trailers for other DVD releases, however don’t get too excited as a majority of the products are not available within the UK, Beast Wars: Transformers or Area 88 for example.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x4
Region: 2
Running Time: 3:14:40 (Disc 1), 3:38:51 (Disc 2), 2:26:01 (Disc 3), 2:25:59 (Disc 4)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Featuring 29 episodes over 4 DVD discs, Collection 2 sees Goku and Bulma travel the globe in search of the mysterious Dragon Balls, however along the way they find themselves targeted by a robotic group known as the Red Ribbon Army; a group who are also after the Dragon Balls themselves and as such a fierce battle ensues between the two groups.

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For the first time a proper storyline is introduced into the Dragon Ball saga and as such makes this collection of episodes much more entertaining to watch than the previous collection. For once we get to see ‘who exactly’ the Red Ribbon Army are, a group which have plagued Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT with Android sagas, but we also get to see the friendship between Goku and Krillin develop in battle. Of course it wouldn’t be Dragon Ball without Goku’s “naïve” and Master Roshi’s “perverted” nature and both of these also take up reasonable amount of screen-time. In hindsight this is what Dragon Ball is, a balance between looking for the Dragon Balls, comedy, perverts and fist fights with bad guys, and luckily we’ve got it all here under one set.

It’s not just the series which has started to become interesting, as these DVD discs are also quite interesting in their own right. For starters Disc 1 and 2 are called Collection 3 Disc 1 and 2, while Disc 3 and 4 are called Collection 4 Disc 1 and 2 with each Collection representing a saga, for instance the Red Ribbon Army Saga is collection 3 while Collection 4 is the General Blue Saga. This is because Manga UK are using Madman Entertainment’s authored disc layout and while it might be confusing (on paper) it actually makes it easier to understand what Dragon Ball saga you are watching before you press play. Of course when it comes down to the ‘visual’ and ‘audio’ quality of the series than it still suffers from the same problems from the previous set, with heavy graining and off-colour around the edges on the picture and rather bleak audio in the Japanese language track, but these are unavoidable due to the age of the show.

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Not a lot can really be said with Dragon Ball – Collection 2, as it’s basically a collection of episodes that continue the Dragon Ball storyline; fortunately for us the episodes contained follow a much more liner story progression and finally provide insight into the Red Ribbon Army and its hate for Goku. If you are a Dragon Ball fan than Collection 2 is a no brainer, if not then look elsewhere but what Dragon Ball – Collection 2 offers is classic anime at its near best, with the best still to come.

Score: review-stars-3

Dragon Ball – Collection 2 will be available on DVD from the 7th July 2014.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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