DVD Review: Dragon Ball – Collection 4

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Prepare for martial arts action with some Kamehameha Waves thrown in as we take a look at what Manga Entertainment’s DVD release of Dragon Ball – Collection 4 has is store for you in our latest DVD Review.

Synopsis:

Goku’s headed for a showdown with a sinister green fiend! A new breed of evil – more powerful than anything ever experienced – is taking the world’s greatest martial artists down for the count. Goku is quick to join the fight, but he’s about to meet his match in the form of King Piccolo. This menacing monster has the power to pulverize the planet, and his murderous rampage will not stop until he controls the power of the seven magic Dragon Balls.

When Krillin is the first hero cut down by the monster’s minion, the stage is set for a brutal grudge match between Goku and Piccolo. Earth’s greatest champion vows to avenge the loss of his best friend, but first, he must journey to Korin Tower on a quest for the Ultra Divine Water: a magical elixir that could give him the strength to save humanity – or send him straight to the grave!

Our View:

For me this is the set that the previous episodes of Dragon Ball were building up to; the introduction of King Piccolo and Tien; two iconic characters within the Dragon Ball series that ultimately lay the foundations down of what’s to come from the rest of the franchise; Impressive over-the-top fights, last-ditch efforts, bloody violence and aliens, all of which are awaiting for your viewing pleasure – this is Dragon Ball at its best.

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The fourth Collection of the Dragon Ball DVD releases sees the complete Tien Shinhan Saga and King Piccolo Sagas within a Six Disc DVD Set, with each episode being ‘digitally’ restored; although you’d be forgiven if you didn’t notice it as the quality is still a bit off compared to other releases, but this is most likely down to the age of the series. As with all previous Dragon Ball Sets the visual (and Japanese audio) quality remain questionable; but it’s a major improvement when compared to the previous releases.

Anyway; the first two DVD discs within this set contain the entire Tien Shinhan Saga, which is consists of eighteen episodes and sees Goku, Krillin, Yamcha and Jackie Chun enter the World Martial Arts Tournament on Papaya Island, however shortly after arriving they discover that Master Shen, the brother of Mercenary Tao, has also entered the tournament so that he can have his revenge on Goku. While this ‘revenge’ story is apparent the real-story is Goku (and his friends) making it through all of the stages of the tournament until only one fighter is left standing, and as a result each passing episode is just another fight within the tournament which each character getting their own screen-time. Unlike previous fights however these are actually pretty decent as they offer ‘high-speed-fists’ flying around and energy beam attacks; all of which haven’t really made an appearence in past episodes of the series.

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With the tournament coming to it’s conclusion we then move onto the bulk of this collection; the King Piccolo Saga. Here King Piccolo, along with his henchmen, use Emperor Pilaf and his gang to track down the dragon balls so that King Piccolo can wish for a younger bod. At first King Piccolo doesn’t make much of an appearence but that changes when he declares his intentions to the world, as a result Goku decides to step-in and take him down, but first he must defeat King Piccolo’s henchmen. Majority of these episodes are some sort of drawn-out-fight, but when a fight isn’t taking place it usually involves Goku attempting to get stronger. Like i mentioned earlier this fourth collection of episodes is pretty-actioned-packed with a heavy focus on defeating enemies in combat; by any means necessary.

Extras:

Seeing as Dragon Ball is a relatively old series (these episodes were original broadcast on Japanese TV channels during 1988) we can’t expect much in terms of bonus materials; but interestingly enough we have a variety of Character Profiles and Trailers for other anime related shows.

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Depending on which saga (or disc) you are watching depends on the amount of content you shall receive; for instance Discs 1 and 2 are the Tien Shinhan Saga and as a result you’ll get character profiles related to that particular saga (such as Goku, Yamcha, Tien and Jackie Chun). Discs 3 to 6 on the other hand is the King Piccolo saga and as a result viewers are treated to character profiles for King Piccolo, Cymbal and Tamborine in addition to all of the regular characters.

Some trailers are also included; but unfortunately all of these are related to shows that are either out of print or not coming out within the UK, so I doubt we will be seeing them anytime soon. Another perfect example that MangaUK are using the same ‘disc masters’ as those sets within Australia.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x6
Region: 2
Running Time: 3:39:21 (Disc 1 & 2), 2:01:52 (Disc 3 & 4), 2:01:55 (Disc 5), 2:26:17 (Disc 6)
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:

The fourth Dragon Ball Collection marks the beginning of the end for the Dragon Ball series as we see the show start to evolve into the franchise we are more familiar with; over-the-top destructive battles with in-human creatures whereby giving-up is not an option. The episodes contained within both the Tien Shinhan Saga and King Piccolo sagas are easily the most memorable, not because they introduce everyones favourite green-coloured-alien but the show looses it’s childish aroma and opts for more seriousness.

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When it comes to this DVD release by Manga Entertainment UK, which has been authored by Madman Entertainment, there really isn’t that much to say, as not a lot is included other than episode content. The visual quality is ‘better’ than previous collection sets, but this is probably due to the series being ‘newer’ than the previous sets; although it still does suffer from the occasional visual issues – such as green line occurring around character edges and off-colour images during some shots. Furthermore in most episodes an odd, slightly pale, line can be seen down the edge of the screen but you may not notice this depending on how you watch the show (windowed or stretched).

Of course all of these issues can be ‘chalked’ up to the age of the series, but when compared to the visual quality seen within MangaUK’s Release of One Piece – Movie Collection 1 this Dragon Ball set looks like it was mastered in High Definition. Audio wise it’s pretty much the same as previous sets, with the English Audio being far superior (quality-wise) than the Japanese audio, but yet again that’ s most likely down to an age issue as the English Dub was produced years later and with better audio dubbing technology.

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Be it a revenge tale merged within a tournament or an alien trying to take over the world; Dragon Ball – Collection 4 has got you covered; it’s pretty much fight after fight with some training and exploration in the middle and this is the kind of Dragon Ball I prefer. If you’ve been following the Dragon Ball franchise then getting this is a no-brainer, but if you are familiar with Dragon Ball (As a franchise) and are looking for when it gets ‘really good’ then I’d recommend taking a dip into this set.

Score: review-stars-4

Dragon Ball – Collection 4 will be available on DVD from the 13th October 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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