Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 4

Manga Entertainment UK’s continues the trend of bringing us a ‘movie collection’ each month and in Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 4 we get to explore deeper into the world of Dr Gero’s androids in Super Android 13 and experience a brand new story in Bojack Unbound. So what can you expect from these two films? Well let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Super Android 13: A mysterious fiend is creating Androids that are faster, stronger, and far more deadly than anything ever devised by the deceased Doctor Gero. Goku and the rest of the Z-Fighters must find the identity of the murderous mastermind if they are to halt the onslaught of his lethal inventions.

Bojack Unbound: Warriors from every corner of the galaxy are gathering to compete in the most incredible martial arts tournament ever conceived. Many will test their strength and skill, but few will live to see the end. Before a victor can be crowned, Bojack – a powerfully evil intergalactic villain – turns the tournament into a fight for survival!

Our View:

Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 4 brings Dragon Ball Z Movie 7: Super Android 13 and Dragon Ball Z Movie 9: Bojack Unbound to UK Audiences for the first time, with digitally remastered picture quality and improved 5.1 Surround Sound audio for the English Audio tracks of each film. But wait; where is Dragon Ball Z Movie 8?

Well Dragon Ball Z Movie 8, which is Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, is being included with Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 5 – a Triple Feature – which contains all of the Broly movies within a single collection. Sure enough it breaks up the continuity a little bit, as Gohan goes from Non Super Saiyan to Super Saiyan 2 within these two films, but it is for the best as it means we have all three Broly films inside of a single collection.

Filler information aside what exactly happens within these two films? Well in Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 the story acts as an ‘extension’ to the events of the Android and Cell Saga whereas in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound we see a stand-a-lone story that sees a group of aliens wanting to take control of the Universe. Two different stories; but plenty of action.

Firstly let’s start with Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13; as after Dr Gero is killed by Android 17 and Android 18 his computer unleashes Androids 13, Android 14 and Android 15 in order to destroy Goku. At first Android 14 and Android 15 find Goku within the city, to which a fight breaks out between the Androids and Goku, with Trunks, Gohan and Krillin being left on the sidelines.

Not wanting to cause damage to the city Goku leads the Androids to an ice wasteland and it is here in this frozen hell where the fight gets interesting. Initially the fight is just between Goku, Trunks and the Androids, but soon enough Android 13, the star of this film, shows up – with Vegeta not far behind.

It’s now become a battle of Saiyans (or Super Saiyans if you prefer) against Androids and upon destruction of Android 14 and Android 15 the real battle begins with Android 13 absorbing their parts  – albeit in a different fashion to how Cell absorbed Android 17 and Android 18 within the TV Series.

In a nutshell Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13 is one long fight dragged out over a 45 minute period and the film starts as quickly as it ends; with some witty banter. The storyline is simple and the objective is clear and it is nice contained story set within the Dragon Ball Z timeline – but more importantly it displays team-work between the three Super Saiyans; something which we rarely see in the main TV anime.

Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound meanwhile offers a completely different type of experience and distances itself from the usual Dragon Ball Z setup. In this particular film a Martial Arts Tournament has been organised whereby the winners will not only have the chance to battle amongst aliens from another planet but the opportunity to fight against Hercule Satan. Unfortunately things don’t go to plan as Bojack and his group of ‘pirates’ hijack the tournament in hopes of destroying any who oppose their plans of conquest.

Just like with the previous film ‘Bojack Unbound’ is another Dragon Ball Z movie that focuses on the fights; but more importantly it returns to the ‘Dragon Ball’ roots by allowing support characters, such as Tien, Krillin and Yamcha a chance at the spotlight. Every notable character from the Dragon Ball Z franchise, with the exception of Vegeta and Goku, have entered the tournament so we each see of these characters fight in ‘battle royale’ styled matches; some of which deliver comical results (i.e. Yamcha and Krillin).

It’s not until the later portions of the film where the intentions of Bojack and his crew become apparent; at which Vegeta arrives on the scene to help Trunks and Gohan – both of which go Super Saiyan in order to stand a chance of fighting back against these powerful enemies. The beauty of Bojack Unbound comes towards the end; as when all hope seems lost Gohan has to power-up to Super Saiyan 2; a rarity within the Dragon Ball Z franchise – as other than the fight with Cell, Super Saiyan 2 has never been seen.

Although Bojack Unbound is another film that quickly shifts from ‘fight to fight’ it doesn’t focus on the usual selection of characters and as such makes a nice change of pace from the other films, and in turn, anime series. Gohan is the focus of this film and it is the only film in the franchise that makes him stand out from the rest. That’s not the only notable thing either; as Bojack Unbound also features some ‘violent’ scenes with characters being blown apart, sliced in half or punched through the stomach; yet again something we don’t see much in the TV Anime.

In short two action-packed-films, with some rather bloody moments in them, and small waves of comical banter are whats offered within Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 4.

Extras:

As per the norm 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 this set was released within America, with trailers including Drgaon Ball GT – Season 2 and the next Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection.

It is once again 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 westernized music.

Finally the Japanese audio tracks provide that original Japanese Dragon Ball Z experience that many may be familiar with; however this does come at a price as the audio is only in Mono, so the volume, when compared to the other English options, is incredibly low volume.

Specs:

Media:  BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 1:36:45
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 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 fourth movie collection is another collection of two relatively short Dragon Ball Z movie experiences, with each film lasting around forty-five-minutes in length, that offer fast-paced stand-a-lone narratives that can be enjoyed by fans of Dragon Ball Z and newcomers alike. Both films offer a simplistic goal of ‘protection’ whether it be from androids or aliens; but how this goal is portrayed is vastly different.

For instance In Super Android 13 the story sees Goku, Trunks and Vegeta team-up to destroy Doctor Gero’s latest Android creations while in Bojack Unbound the Z-Fighters rally together to fight a group of alien bandits wanting to take over the universe; with Gohan left to rise to challenge in his newly acquired Super Saiyan 2 form. Both films are great to watch and offer something unique when compared to the experiences from within the Dragon Ball Z TV Series.

From a High Definition perspective the films do hold up exceptionally well but when Super Android 13 is compared with previous ‘High Definition’ movie collection releases the grain is more noticable and the High Definition quality does not stand out as much. Although grain can be seen in Super Android 13, which is unavoidable due to the age of the film and the white backdrops used throughout the film, the HD remastered picture does brings the film, and in turn Bojack Unbound, up to date and makes them look better than any previous DVD or VHS release.

Audio quality has also been improved with the English Audio tracks featuring a 5.1 Surround Sound option, be it with original Japanese background music or Americanised music, while Japanese audio is only available in its original Mono Sound. Mono sound for the films is not the ‘only’ disappointment as the menu designs which, as Manga UK are once again using the same masters created by FUNimation, 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 continue to affect all of the Movie Collection releases.

Overall Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection 4 is another great instalment into the ‘Movie Collection’ timeline of Dragon Ball Z, with two great films in one collection and a constant quality throughout. If you enjoyed the Android and Cell Games Saga of Dragon Ball Z then the two films contained within this collection are definitely worth checking out.

Score: review-stars-4

Dragon Ball Z – Movie Collection 4 will be available as a Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack from the 15th January 2018.

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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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