DVD Review: Dragon Ball – Collection 3

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It’s time to once again venture out in search of those mysterious Dragon Balls as we take a look at Manga Entertainment DVD’s release of Dragon Ball – Collection 3, but what can you expect? Well lets find out!

Synopsis:

Goku embarks on a journey to test his strength against the best of the best! Driven by his promise to a heartbroken young boy, Goku completes his training under Master Korin and prepares for a brutal rematch with Mercenary Tao! These two powerful warriors trade blows in a furious flurry of Dodon Rays and Kamehameha Waves, but that’s only the beginning of this adventure.

The Red Ribbon Army continues to cast a dark shadow across the land as they inch ever closer to attaining ultimate power. Only Goku can halt their reign of terror and resurrect a fallen friend, but first he’ll have to fight for possession of the seven Dragon Balls! To complete his quest, Goku must beat a fortune-teller at her own game, slam the door on Demon Land, tame the dread Inoshikacho, and survive a beating from a masked dead man. His journey will be filled with danger, but with each victory, Goku gains the strength needed to emerge victorious from the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament!

Our View:

“I wanna be the very best like no-one ever was….” Ok so that song may be from a completely different anime series but the logic still applies; especially seeing as nearly half of this 26 episode collection is Goku in some form of training for upcoming events. None the less Dragon Ball – Collection 3 is here and it sees two story arcs, or sagas, combined into a four disc DVD set and while it may seem slow, and at some points a bit strange, plenty of action and fist-fights are in-store.

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Continuing from the where the second collection left off we find Goku travelling around the world in order to locate the remaining Dragon Balls and he soon finds himself at the bottom of Korin Tower helping out a local guardian rescue his child from bandits; elsewhere the Red Ribbon Army have hired the notorious mercenary Tao in order to track down Goku and steal his Dragon Balls. It’s a relatively short story arc, as it’s only ten episodes long, but its easily the highlight of this collection; mostly because not only do we see an impressive fist-fight between Goku and Tao but Goku ends up going on a rampage (so to speak) against the Red Ribbon Army in order to retrieve the stolen Dragon Balls.

While this short 10-episode story arc, dubbed the Commander Red Saga, was my highlight of this third collection the remaining 16 episodes, which make up the Fortuneteller Baba Saga, introduce a fair amount of comedic and strange encounters. Upon defeating the Red Ribbon army Goku, along with his new companions Yamcha, Puar and Krillin venture off in search of the final Dragon Ball and ultimately find themselves at Fortuneteller Baba’s place, a place that blends life and death together. It’s revealed that Baba does indeed have the final Dragon Ball, but in order to obtain it the group must defeat five of Baba’s Warriors and as such a mini-tournament takes place.

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This being Dragon Ball the fights aren’t as climatic or as explosive as those seen within Dragon Ball Z but it does introduce a few comical opponents, such as a mummy or a transforming bat, but this aside it’s the final match which brings the most entertainment and of course the biggest surprise. I won’t spoil it but its an interesting twist. Interestingly while these three story elements, the fight with Tao, the Red Ribbon Army and Baba’s Palace, are the main talking points these is also the inclusion of ‘filler-type’ episodes whereby Goku spends three years training for the next world martial arts tournament and thus brings this collection of episodes to its conclusion in preperation for the next instalment.

The third collection of Dragon Ball continues the childish, but immature, charm we’ve come to forget; such asthe simple fights, the basic animation style and the perverse outbursts but combined together it creates a story that swiftly moves along and provides the right amount of retro entertainment in equal amounts.

Extras:

Continuing the trend set by the previous Collection sets the only bonus features are a selection of character profiles and trailers for other Australian DVD Releases; it’s not a lot but considering the age of the series we could have received a lot less.

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As with previous instalments each DVD disc contains a wide selection of character profiles related to that particular saga, for example Disc 1 and 2 of this set, which contain the entire Commander Red Saga, feature character profiles for Goku, Bulma, Roshi, Korin, Tao, Colonel Violet and Commander Red meanwhile discs 3 and 4, which contain the Fortuneteller Baba Saga, feature character profiles for Fortuneteller Baba, Commander Black, Terror Plague, Sky Dragon in addition to regulars Goku, Yamcha and Roshi.

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, Battle of the Planets or Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charact for example, and even then the video quality is relatively poor.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x4
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:01:47 (Disc 1), 2:01:30 (Disc 2), 3:15:07 (Disc 3), 3:14:59 (Disc 4)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Containing 26 episodes and spanning four DVD Discs, Dragon Ball – Collection 3 sees Goku taking the fight directly to his opponents; whether it be a grudge match against Tao, an onslaught against the Red Ribbon army or a mini-tournament against Baba’s minions there is plenty of ‘old-skool anime fighting’ taking place and as such the storyline moves a swift pace to cover two complete story arcs and a build-up to the next instalment.

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Potential spoiler’s aside; as a fair few surprises are in-store during this collection, this DVD release by Manga Entertainment UK is continuing the trend of using the DVD masters authored by Madman Entertainment. As a result the DVD Menus may cause some confusion with the “Collection 5” and “Collection 6” taglines and that a variety of Australian trailers for anime series that have never been released within the UK are included. It might seem “tacky” for MangaUK to do this but at the end of the day it keeps the overall costs down and it makes it easier for viewers to understand which saga they are watching on what discs; as each DVD menu lists the current saga.

Of course it doesn’t matter how MangaUK release the series, either in these Collection Sets, a Complete franchise set or individual saga sets as it still suffers from the same problem of ageing. The visual and audio quality is a slight improvement over past episodes, but that’s mostly due to these episodes being newer, but occasionally it still suffers from heavy graining and some off-colour moments. These type of issues are unavoidable, mostly due to the age of the series, and some hardcore dragon ball fans will be glad that some impurities are included, as the episodes have been digitally remastered, but in this age of high definition quality it’s easy to notice.

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In hindsight not a lot can really be said about Dragon Ball – Collection 3, it continues the story and finishes off the Red Ribbon Arc while at the same time introducing long-standing characters for the first time before setting the stage for the next instalment. The same can be said for the DVD Quality and layout design; everything is the same as the preivous set just a different set of episodes and if you are collecting them then that’s all you can really ask – the complete uncut colleciton in one place.

Score: review-stars-3

Dragon Ball – Collection 3 is now available on DVD within the UK.

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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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