DVD Review: Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s – Season 2
10/10/2016 Leave a comment
Manga Entertainment UK once again returns with some more nostalgia with their DVD release of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s – Season 2; but what do we think to this particular release that features ‘endless hours’ of entertainment? Well let’s take a look!
With the defeat of Director Goodwin and the Dark Signers, New Domino City’s barriers have been torn down. City and Satellite are now one – united in the hope of building a brighter tomorrow. Yet in this time of renaissance and rebuilding, a new enemy emerges, and Yusei and his friends must rev it up in order to save the world – one duel at a time. But it won’t be easy for our hero and his pals as they will be pushed to their limits, having to duel harder and faster than ever before.
Manga Entertainment UK continues to provide nostalgia on an industrial scale, especially after the recent release of Digimon – Season 1, and with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s – Season 2 it’s no different. Sure enough Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s may not be as popular as the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Franchise, or it’s sequel Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, but it does hold a special place in our hearts for those that managed to watch it on UK TV all those years ago. Nostalgia of course is the all important word in this paragraph as while the storyline within Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s – Season 2 manages to rev it up it to the next level the fact that this collection, which consists of fifty-nine episodes, is the last instalment means that we will never know how the series truly ends.
It’s a sour note; but it has to be said. For whatever reason 4Kids Entertainment, who were dubbing the series at the time, neglected to finish off the franchise and as such once the last episode ends – which in this case is episode 123 – there will be no more English Dubbed episodes available on DVD. It gets even more frustrating when you look at Wikipedia and discover that a dozen episodes from this ‘segment’ of storyline weren’t even dubbed at all and were most likely incorporated into the series through editing and flashback scenarios; which of course we see quite a lot of within this instalment due to events that happened in the previous Season 1 collection.
Despite my complaints – or warnings if you prefer- this ‘should not’ have any effect on this overall product; as what we get here is two more complete (so-to-speak) story arc’s that see our group of favourite duel-runners, namely Yuusei, Jack, Crow, Luna and Leo accompanied by some new friends, such as the mechanic Bruno, in brand new adventures that see them fighting for their freedom. So what exactly happens?
Well I’m not going to say; but it’s been six months since the events of the previous season and now both New Domino City and the Satellite are working together to create a new peaceful way of living. That is until a new organisation appears that uses synchro summoned monsters to empower themselves and as a result our group of protagonists, who soon become accompanied with a new selection of friends in New Domino City, find themselves attempting to defeat this group through a series of duels.
Unlike the past storyline arc’s this segment, which mostly takes up the first four DVD Discs, see Yusei and the group travel across varying lands, including a wild-west-theme. Of course as interesting as this is it is all a prelude to the main event of this season; a new duelling tournament that sees the ‘5DS’ , which consist of Yuusei, Jack and so forth, attempt to win it in order to beat a new group of duelists that not only have highly advanced set of cards but an alternate agenda for the fate of New Domino City and the satellite.
As mentioned Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s takes the duelling up another level and while each episode may introduce a new character, and a new selection of cards, it does nothing to hamper the story being told; in some aspects it only re-enforces it.
Unfortunately this DVD release features no bonus materials; it is just fifty-nine episodes spread across eight DVD discs.
The DVD Menu for each disc however features a list of each episode as well as a ‘Play All’ button at the button. As expected the Play All button will play all of the episodes back-to-back whereas selecting a single episode will only play that single episode. If you do chose a single episode then once it has finished you will be returned to this menu main.
Media: DVD 9 x8
Running Time: 2:53:02 (Disc 1), 2:53:08 (Disc 2), 2:55:15 (Disc 3), 2:26:53 (Disc 4), 2:34:39 (Disc 5), 2:54:13 (Disc 6), 2:11:20 (Disc 7), 2:33:43 (Disc 8)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps
The adrenaline-fuelled action of turbo duelling continues in this second instalment of the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s franchise and while this DVD set may be entitled ‘Season 2’ it actually contains two separate story arcs. These are the ‘Road to Destiny’ and ‘World Racing Grand Prix’ arcs with the first arc situated on the first four discs, which see Yuusei and the group take on a new set of turbo dueliest in varying different locations while preparing for the upcoming tournament. This, coincidentally, moves on to the second arc of this season which is the ‘World Racing Grand Prix’ and once again sees Yuusei, Jack and co team-up under the name ‘5DS’ in order to win the competition and save the world from a pre-determined disaster with thanks to the crimson dragon and their unique set of duel monster cards.
In hindsight this DVD release of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s – Season 2 offers a lot to talk about, especially in episodic terms; but I’m not going to bother as it provides around twenty-hours worth of entertainment for the same price as a standard Blu-ray release – it’s just exceptionally good value for money even if the content itself can become slightly tedious and repetitive if watched in long viewings. Yu-Gi-Oh!, as a franchise, is best of watching in small chunks as binge-watching, from my perspective at least, offers a very repetitive vibe; especially when the notable characters constantly use the same moves and same monsters in each episode; but of course this is just one very small gripe in a series.
When comes to this DVD release however then Manga Entertainment UK have opted to use the disc masters created by the Flatrion Film Company (Cinedigm) in America and as a result we experience the same problems as the previous Season 1 release. For starters the chapter markings are all over the place; so those intending to skip the opening song (Hyper Drive) will be taken several minutes into the episode; additionally some scenes still suffer from a slight stutter or jarring effect and some scenes can look pixelated on larger displays. Futhermore as it uses the disc masters provided by Flatrion Film company the Volume number on the disc menu will not match up with those printed on the disc artwork.
This is simply due to how the set was released in America compared to its UK release; as the American release was separated into 2 Disc Volume sets as well as a complete season. As this is an English Dub only release you won’t find any subtitle or audio options; furthermore as this uses the 4Kids Edit some scenes have been altered to make it appeal to a more ‘younger’ audience then potentially intended. This aside however the English Dub is strong and holds up quite well; especially the voice actor for Yuusei whose voice matches seamlessly with the character on screen.
Despite the complaints about the menu presentation and its questionable chapter placements, all of which the blame falls on the original disc masters created by the Flatrion Film Company, this release manages to hold up well and considering the amount of content offered it is definitely value for money. It’s just a shame that we will never truly know how Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s manages to end thanks to 4Kids Entertainment not being able to dub the entire series; but for nostalgia’s sake its good value for money and fun to watch on Saturday mornings.