Blu-ray Review: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
24/01/2016 Leave a comment
After a slight-delay Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F comes home on Blu-ray; but was it worth the wait? Find out in our Blu-ray Review.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is the second film personally supervised by the series creator himself, Akira Toriyama. The new movie showcases the return of Frieza – one of the most iconic villains of all time.
Even the complete obliteration of his physical form can’t stop the galaxy’s most evil overlord. After years in spiritual purgatory, Frieza has been resurrected and plans to take his revenge on the Z-Fighters of Earth. Facing off against Frieza’s powerful new form, and his army of 1,000 soldiers, Goku and Vegeta must reach new levels of strength in order to protect Earth from their vengeful nemesis.
By now we should all know what to expect from Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F; a film which depicts the resurrection of Frieza and his undying thirst for revenge on the saiyans which results in new power being obtained and a fight for survival taking place. It’s a story we’ve seen countless times throughout the Dragon Ball timeline and yet even now it still feels refreshingly new. A tale of revenge is what’s on offer here and it’s one that’s been designed with fans specifically in mind; which obviously generates no complaints from me…. well maybe a few.
I’m not entirely joking either; but it’s all down to continuity with rules set in place by the source material and my own observations; so for forgive me if i sound like i am nagging. For instance upon collecting the Dragon Balls at the start of the film Shenron is unable to completely revive Frieza due to his body being in pieces from his confrontation with Trunks; yet this has never once stopped Shenron from resurrecting any other characters within the Dragon Ball timeline – so why now? There is no ‘definitive’ explanation as to why it cannot be done (although one is given it’s not entirely believable). Another continuity error lies within Frieza’s resurrection itself; the dismembered body parts which Shenron creates feature Frieza in his final form with robotic parts still attached; but upon exiting the resurrection chamber in Sorbets ship Frieza has deterred to his normal form. Its these ‘small-minded’ details which, as a fan of the franchise, stand out to me and the absence of characters, such as Buu, Goten, Trunks and other notable Z characters also raise more questions worth asking; although i assume the recent string of Dragon Ball Super episodes can probably explain that one.
Personally it would have been great to see a fight between Buu and Frieza taking place; especially since when Frieza exits the chamber he mentions that Beerus and Majin Buu were two enemies’ his farther said he should never go up against…. it’s like the fight was begging to happen; and yet it did not. Another interesting design choice for this film was the (lack of) introduction of Jako; as he casually appears on screen to give warning about Frieza’s arrival without any prior notice of who he is. Fans of Akira Toriyama will instantly recognize him, as he has his own spin-off manga, but to everyone else its just some random character appearing on screen. His appearance in the film however is an important one – as it provides most of the laughs between Goku and Frieza’s fight – but yet his character background, which turns out to be a space patrolman within the same universe of Dragon Ball, is one that is left relatively unexplained.
Of course you could consider that i am nitpicking at selective events in a film thats, on the whole, exceptionally good from start to finish; but when events do not exactly tally up with what we already know then it’s something worth mentioning. Ironically enough there is more on offer here than a revenge tale between two of the most beloved characters of the Dragon Ball Z universe; as during the build-up to Frieza’s arrival, and throughout the fight with Frieza’s henchmen, we do get a glimpse of the everyday life style of our favourite heroes; including one memorable scene that involves an exceptionally bold move (and cameo reference) to other Toei Animation projects.
Let me be clear; Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is a superb film from start to finish; it’s pacing, its character development and its tactical way of refreshing old ideas in to new ones are to be commended and enjoyed throughout; but i just can’t help shake the feeling that selective scenes could have been improved upon to make it an even better experience. Truth be told however this is Dragon Ball Z as you remember it; a fight that increasingly becomes difficult with some comical banter thrown in to keep you engaged with what’s happening.
Breaking traditions slightly this blu-ray release of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F only features ‘american’ produced content and as such does not include any of the usual bonus content we come to see from most other anime releases. Coincidentally however the bonus content included is more valuable and provides a unique experience that’s not to be missed.
With the extensive amount of promotional trailers being used for this film i expected to be see more bonus content; but that being said what is included is more worthy of your time and provides an extensive viewing experience that can rival the length of the film itself.
The first bonus feature, otherwise known as Voices of Dragon Ball Z, sees a seven minute scene from the film being played from the perspective of the recording booth at FUNimation Studios; so we actually see the voice actors speaking the lines. In this particular scene we see the fight between Frieza and Goku taking place and it’s interesting to see the amount of hand gestures and movements taking place inside the booth. It’s a feature that was previously seen in the Battle of Gods bonus disc; but here it seems much more alive and active.
The second bonus feature however, otherwise known as Return of Dragon Ball Z, is a 40-minute documentary styled event that sees the Japanese premiere of the film in America as well as interviews with both English and Japanese cast. Once again it’s an exceptional piece of content and it’s not something we get treated to that often; so it’s a great addition to an already perfect product.
Media: BD 50
Running Time: 1:34:10
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English & Japanese), LPCM 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English (Grey)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
Whichever way you slice it Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is the best Dragon Ball Z film to date and features a story that fans will instantly recognize; after all it is Frieza. Sure enough the narrow-minded objective of Frieza being resurrected and arriving on earth to defeat Goku is the story being told but this film offers much more than just a fist-fight between two arch-rivals. Of course I am referring to the subliminal jokes found within the film and the build-up to the fight itself.
For instance there are plenty of jokes to be had throughout the film and cameos to be spotted; Whis and Beerus appearance in the film may be minimal but it highlights two important factors – the training of Goku and Vegeta and their love for earth food. The events which lead up to Frieza’s arrival also show significance within the film; as it portrays the everyday life-style of characters within the Dragon Ball Z timeline. Everything else however is one big fight; be it the grunt soldiers taking on the lower-cass Z Warriors (with even Master Roshi getting in on the action) or the finale with God-like powers. Sure enough it’s a simplistic story; but there is a lot happening and it’s worth your full attention; and lets not forget the soundtrack on this film is amazing!
Potential spoiler-fee plot details aside this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment is, as you would expect it to be, of high quality; with both the audio and visual presentation being where you would want it. Interestignly enough however it seems MangaUK opted to author their own release of the film; for starters the main layout seems relatively basic compared to FUNimation authored titles but mostly because the subtitles use that grey tint (similar to Battle of Gods) and that the audio is DTS-HD as opposed to FUNimation’s standard of DolbyTru HD; although for whatever reason an English Stereo soundtrack option is included. My only concern with this release however is the English Subtitles for the Japanese; sure enough they are clearly readable but they seem relatively basic in comparison to the English dialogue being spoken and, at times at least, do not feel like the true translation of dialogue that’s being spoken. Of course i have nothing to compare the subtitle track with so i am merely speaking my thoughts.
In short the release of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is as it should be; a highly produced animated movie featuring two of the most popular characters within the franchise once again battling it out to the death. Power-levels are cranked-up to the max and rules are out to the window; and this is one fight you do not want to us now that it’s here on home-video.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Collectors Edition Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack within the UK.