Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 3

Manga Entertainment UK’s continues the trend of bringing us a ‘movie collection’ each month and this time we get to explore the storyline of Cooler in the Dragon Ball Z Movies Cooler’s Revenge and Return of Cooler; but do these films deliver the Dragon Ball Z experience we’ve come to love from the franchise? Well let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Cooler’s Revenge: Saving the universe can be tiring business! So after their big battle with Frieza on Namek, Goku, Gohan, Krillin, and Oolong decide to take a little camping trip for some rest and relaxation back on Earth. But their peaceful weekend is soon interrupted by a menacing force. Frieza has a brother: Cooler! And with his powerful Armored Squadron, he has come to Earth seeking revenge.

The Return of Cooler: New Namek is besieged by an enormous evil entity – the Big Gete Star – a “living planet” of metal that sustains itself by devouring entire worlds. Fearing for the existence of his people, Dende, the new guardian of Earth, turns to Goku and his friends for help.The Z-Fighters spring into action in an effort to save the new Namekian home world from this invading menace, but their fight won’t be easy! The Big Gete Star has an army of powerful Cyclopean Guards at its disposal, and what’s more, at the heart of this metal giant lurks an old enemy… Cooler!

Our View:

This third collection of the Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection sets consist of the fifth and sixth films of the Dragon Ball Z Movie franchise, namely Cooler’s Revenge and The Return of Cooler. Who is Cooler you might ask? Well it is the older brother of Frieza and regardless of which film you watch he doesn’t manage to fill the void left off by his younger brother; but they are still good fun to watch in this new (but old) High Definition transfer.

In Cooler’s Revenge Frieza’s older brother Cooler learns of his brothers defeat at the hands of a Saiyan. Outraged by his brothers lack of foresight in destroying the Saiyan space pod that left the planet before its destruction Cooler travels to earth to locate Goku. On earth meanwhile Goku, along with Gohan, Krillien, Puar and Oolong, decide to go on a camping trip during this moment of peace; unfortunately while enjoying this trip Cooler’s minions arrive on the scene and cause life threatening injuries to Goku.

It’s a bit of a ‘cat and mouse’ scenario as now Gohan and Krillin, who are then later mysteriously (as per the norm in these films) joined by Piccolo, attempt to avoid Cooler and his minions while obtaining Senzu beans from Korins tower. As far of Dragon Ball Z Movies go Cooler’s Revenge is easily the weakest as the fights are short lived; with the only highlights being Piccolo’s fights with Cooler’s Minions and the overly short fight between Goku and Cooler at the end. It doesn’t manage to be as entertaining as the Frieza arc of the Dragon Ball Z TV series but it does show us (for the first time since the Dragon Ball Z TV series) the Super Saiyan Goku we have become familiar with and take a closer look at how Cooler fits within the whole Dragon Ball Z timeline.

The second film in this set meanwhile, known as the Return of Cooler, acts as a sequel to Cooler’s Revenge and builds upon the foundations set in the previous film and from the Namekian and Frieza Sagas of the Dragon Ball  TV Series. In this case the New Planet Namek is attacked by a mysterious cyborg planet known as the Big Gete Star and once Goku is made aware of this from Dende he ventures off to help the Namekians. Upon arriving Goku, Piccolo, Krillin, Master Roshi & Gohan take down an onslaught of robotic droids who have enslaved the Namekian people but when all is done a familiar foe arrives; and its non-other than Cooler.

Just like how Frieza became Mecha Frieza in the Trunks Saga of the Dragon Ball Z TV Series Cooler has become a complete cyborb, now known as Meta Cooler (or Metal Cooler if you prefer) and from here a seemingly never ending fight between Super Saiyan Goku and Metal Cooler takes place. Compared to the fifth film it is more action packaged with the fight scenes split between Goku & Cooler with Piccolo, Gohan & Krillin and their fight with the robots. The Return of Cooler is also the first Dragon Ball Z film to feature Vegeta, and in turn his Super Saiyan form, to which we see Goku & Vegeta team up in order to defeat Metal Cooler while the remainder of the Z Fighters infiltrate the Big Gete Star in order to free imprisoned Namekians.

One story driven experience and one action packed experience in a single collection is what this third Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection has to offer; and while the stories may have similarities to events within the Frieza and Trunks Saga of the Dragon Ball Z TV Series they are great fun to watch and provide that sense of nostalgia from the aforementioned sagas; albeit with a different twist and in a lot less time.

Extras:

Just like with the previous ‘Movie Collection’ releases Manga Entertainment UK have opted to use the same disc masters as those used by FUNimation all those years ago; so as a result the only bonus features are a selection of [outdated] trailers for other anime series that FUNimation were releasing at the time.

It is worth noting that just like past Movie Collections three different audio options are available with English 5.1 with Japanese Music, English 5.1 with US Music and Japanese with English Subtitles being the different choices.

The English with Japanese Music provides that ‘authentic’ Dragon Ball Z background music while retaining the English Dialogue where as English with US Music features a remixed background score featuring songs from, at the time, popular American bands to ‘westernize’ the films.  Finally the Japanese audio tracks provides that original Japanese Dragon Ball Z experience that many may be familiar with.

Specs:

Media:  BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 1:13:08
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DolbyTrueHD 5.1 (English) & LPCM 1.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

This third movie collection is by far the shortest collection available (as each film is only double the length of your average anime episode) and manages to combine, from my perspective at least, one of the worst Dragon Ball Z films with, yet again from my perspective, one of the better Dragon Ball Z films to deliver a Dragon Ball Z movie experience that can be watched within one sitting for a complete story. Sure enough both films are stand-a-lone and DO NOT need to be watched together; but as storyline elements from Cooler’s Revenge bleed into The Return of Cooler it is only natural that you would want to watch them both together and, more importantly, have them together in one set.

From a High Definition perspective the films look great and manage to survive the test of time; sure enough it is not the crisp animation quality we come to expect from High Definition (digital animation) films we see today, as some minor grain and scratches on the film can be seen, but the HD transfer brings the films up to date and makes them look better than any previous release.

The only disappointment would be the menu designs which, since Manga UK are using the same masters created by FUNimation all those years ago can’t exactly be helped, can be difficult to read on small screens or from a distance. It’s an issue we have touched upon previously and it is one that will affect all Movie Collection releases.

Those who enjoyed the Frieza Arc of the Dragon Ball Z TV Series, or more recently the Resurrection F film, will enjoy what these films have to offer as it gives a fresh new outlook on a villain we previously knew; but more than that it provides the comical fun and intense (over-the-top) fighting we come to love from the Dragon Ball Z franchise in a single set spread over two films. It’s great to finally see them available in the UK, and on Blu-ray!

Score: review-stars-4

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: