Blu-ray Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai – Season 3
09/11/2015 Leave a comment
New enemies, new forms of Super Sayian and a whole host of High Definition re-mastered entertainment is whats on offer in this third season of Dragon Ball Z Kai; but what are our thoughts? Find out in this review.
The epic showdown between Goku and Frieza reaches its climax as planet Namek crumbles beneath their feet! In the aftermath of battle, neither fighter is anywhere to be found, but Earth’s few remaining heroes have much bigger problems.
A mysterious and powerful stranger known only as Trunks arrives from the future with a warning: the Androids are coming, they take no prisoners, and even Goku – wherever he may be – is no match for their kind!
It can only get better as Dragon Ball Z Kai swiftly moves on to its third collection and while some may say the Frieza saga represented the best Dragon Ball Z had to offer, which in one sense they are correct, the episodes contained within this instalment make it all the sweeter. All action, no filler – a phrase thats thrown around a lot in this ‘Kai’ remix of the original Dragon Ball Z franchise but here it’s taken to heart with a fair amount of filler removed, sequences shortened and fast-paced-fighting from start to finish; and once again it all begins with Frieza!
Frieza’s comeback into the show is a shortlived one but it’s also an excuse for a new character to be introduced into the series; as after being defeated by Goku and restored by his farther Frieza travels to Earth in order to extract his revenge. However before being able to do so encounters a new super saiyan known as Trunks and as such a fierce battle begins. Trunks introduction into the Dragon Ball Z universe has always been my favourite in the franchise and here in Dragon Ball Z Kai the process has been re-mastered and recut to make it that much sweeter; although some small scenes were disappointingly removed – such as the one which sees Frieza ‘back-stabbing’ his own minion; but the story of Trunks defeating Frieza and warning Goku about upcoming events is still told to its completion.
Here lies a three year wait until the Androids arrive; but unlike the original Dragon Ball Z timeline – which saw Z Fighters constantly train – its a short lived experience that jumps straight into the Androids arrival and from here its pretty much fight after fight as things start to heat-up. The premise is that two androids will arrive at South City and begin destroying the area; however upon arriving at the location the two androids detailed by Trunks are different – after some miscalculations it’s revealed that one of the androids is actually Dr.Gero – leader of the Red Ribbon Army. Not trying to be outdone by his Saiyan foes Dr.Gero returns to his liar and activates three new Androids at which point another fist-fight with all the Z Fighters begins.
You could call it a cat-and-mouse tail from here on out; the Androids, after defeating Vegeta, Trunks and the rest of the Z-Fighters, venture off in search for Goku – who is critically ill due to a heart virus – by visiting numerous locations across the globe; elsewhere however a new threat emerges and its one that changes the entire timeline as Trunks knew it. This new opponent is non-other –than Cell a bionic android that was created to absorb Androids 17 and 18 and then use them to turn into a mobile powerful being and in a bid to stop this process the Vegeta and Trunks use the Time Chamber at Kami’s Lookout to reach a new form of Super Saiyan while Piccolo and Tien attempt to slow down Cell’s search for the Androids. Put-short there is little room to breath in this instalment of the franchise and when it does it only stops to allow you process the events that have unfolded. New enemies, a multitude of fights and blistering Saiyan power is whats on offer here and thanks to the re-master of Kai it all unfolds in an energetic and timely manner that will suit all Dragon Ball Z fans.
In terms of extra features then theres not a lot to look forward to; which is expected considering the age of the series. In total only two textless songs and a selection of trailers are offered, all of which appear on the second and fourth discs of this set.
Interestingly enough though additional trailers can be ‘discovered’ on the fourth disc, otherwise known as Season 3 Disc 4 or Part 6 Disc 2, by using the pop-up menu during an episode playback. Upon doing so a menu will be displayed where users can choose the trailer of their desire – as opposed to playing a few trailers from the main menu. It’s obvious that MangaUK have used FUNimation’s disc assets and just locked out the sub-menu for the trailers on the main menu but it’s an interesting feature worth noting. The trailers themselves are relatively old but it does showcase some shows which haven’t had a UK release yet; such as Yu Yu Hakusho.
Media: BD 50 x2, BD 25 x2
Region: A & B
Running Time: 3:37:20 (Disc 1),1:32:19 (Disc 2), 3:04:27 (Disc 3), 1:32:19 (Disc 4)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), LPCM 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
Dragon Ball Z Kai on Blu-ray continues to impress us and this third instalment of the ever-aging-franchise is no exception; the combination of filler removal, re-dubbing and re-mastering brings the best of whats to offer and with majority of the filler now gone, such as the Garlic Jnr and Flashback Episodes, the gap between Frieza’s defeat and the Androids arrival is now ever shorter.
The episodes contained within this set are, for all intense and purposes, progressive and action-packed; starting with Frieza’s defeat on earth the story moves to earth for his revenge before swiftly transcending three years into the future for the Androids expected – and unexpected – arrival to which this collection ends on a cliffhanger with the introduction of a new level of Saiyan and Cells quest for perfection. As you would expect a lot of ground is covered; and yet it never becomes dull or stale.
In regards to this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment UK then once again the distributor have opted to use discs authored by FUNimation. The MangaUK logo may appear at the start of the disc but upon arriving at the disc menu its clear to see the same assets have been used; this isn’t a bad thing mind you as it all works but the only downfall is the combination of relatively hard-to-see-subtitles (as its small, thin, white text) and that the replacement score has been used; but this is unavoidable. Those looking for some bonus features will be disappointed as other than textless songs, and a selection of trailers theres not a lot on offer; ironically though the full selection of disc trailers can be accessed by using the pop-up menu during an episode.
All in all Dragon Ball Z Kai – Season 3 is what you expect it to be; it features 26 action-packed episodes that offer variety, action and suspense that never lets up until the very end and thanks to the process of a new dub and high definition technology the series has never looked, or sounded, as great as this.
Dragon Ball Z Kai – Season 3 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.