Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3

Get comfy as the third and final instalment into Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters arrives and this time it’s a never-ending-fight between new destruction powers and one pink candy eating monster. What can one expect to receive from Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 on Blu-Ray? Well let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

With their efforts to stop Majin Buu quickly proving futile, the Z Fighters have only one hope against this seemingly invincible foe the Fusion technique. Will the combined power of two Saiyan warriors be enough to stop Majin Buu once and for all? The final battle for the fate of the universe begins!

Our View:

The seemingly never-ending-battle with Buu concludes in this third and final instalment of Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters and as anyone who has watched Dragon Ball Z will understand it’s not an easy fight to win nor is it a boring one to watch. Digitally remastered from the original anime material, and trimmed down to match the pacing of the original manga by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Z Kai delivers that ‘no filler’ approach to Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 immediately returns to the action with Gotenks battling against Super Buu in the hyperbolic time chamber. It’s a childish fight with Gotenks performing childish attacks and pranks in an attempt to beat Super Buu; but when it seems like Gotenks is losing Piccolo takes matters into his own hands and destroys the only way to escape the facility. Enraged by this action Super Buu once again goes on an all-out attack and manages to escape from this distorted world of a universe and upon arriving at the lookout decides to turn everyone into chocolate and eat them.

Gotenks and Piccolo meanwhile remain trapped in the world of the hyperbolic time chamber; but after screaming loud enough to escape the duo learn that Super Buu has eaten all of their friends and family. Angered by this action Gotenks reveals his Super Saiyan 3 trump card and the fight to stop Super Buu resumes. With Gotenks motivated the fight is more one-sided; but when Gotenks runs out of power it’s a fight that leads Super Buu to easily win.

Fortunately just before this victory from Buu, Gohan arrives and with the help of his new found ‘mystic’ abilities causes great damage to Super Buu. This is a major turning point for the Dragon Ball Z fandom; as it’s the first time since the Cell Games Saga that we really see Gohan stand-out and out-class his opponent. Being beaten at every turn causes Super Buu to self-destruct in hopes of destroying both Gohan and himself at the same time; but sadly this does not happen and Gohan is left as the apparent victor… or so it seems.

A brief moment of relaxation leads Super Buu, with his questionable regeneration abilities, to return and challenge Gotenks to a fight. This fight is nothing but a ploy for Super Buu to absorb Gotenks and use his abilities for himself. The combined power of Gotenks and Super Buu quickly outmatches Gohan; but fortunately Goku arrives on the scene to deliver a new type of Fusion – Portra fusion. This fusion combines two people together using the earrings from Kais to create a unified power and is considered the only answer to stopping Super Buu.

This fight radically changes again when Gotenks fusion runs out and Super Buu decides to absorb Gohan, much to the dismay of Goku, but luckily Goku’s fated rival Vegeta returns from the grave and they both portra fuse together to become Vegito. This fight not only introduces a new type of Super Saiyan but also a new type of fusion and it’s easily one of the many highlight of this release – although it does feature some questionable animation choices which differ slightly per episode. Regardless Vegito quickly overpowers Supper Buu and through a set of hilarious circumstances (including one which sees Vegito transformed into Candy) Goku and Vegeta separate the fusion and find themselves inside of Super Buu and looking for their friends.

This is where Dragon Ball Z starts to get a little bit strange – as Goku and Vegeta are inside Super Buu’s body defeating miniature variations of the pink monster while saving their friends. Watching it in action is fun and entertaining; but looking back on it now it is a completely bizarre situation. Regardless the loss of these powers transforms Buu into his ‘Kid Buu’ which some might say is the ‘real form’ of Buu.

The arrival of Kid Buu sparks the final confrontation – whereby Goku, Vegeta and Mr Satan all team up to defeat Kid Buu on the planet of the kai’s – with a little bit of help from everyone on earth. Mr Satan also becomes a true hero (finally); but before that we get to see a spectacular battle with detailed animation (even by early nineties standards) that is beautifully presented in this High Definition variation of Dragon Ball Z. This is the ending which leaves itself open to the beginning of Dragon Ball Super.

Extras:

Just like previous release of Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters Manga Entertainment UK have opted to use disc masters authored by FUNimation and as such we continue to receive the same presentation, layout and supplementary contents as those in past volumes.

In this case all of the bonus features are relegated to the third Blu-Ray disc and we receive an English Cast video commentary for Episode 157 as well as Textless opening and closing animations for the series. In addition this release also contains some trailers for other FUNimation related products.

In terms of ‘actual’ content then it’s not much; but it does remain consistent of that of previous releases and the English Cast video commentary for Episode 157 can provide some enlightening moments if you can sit through some of the boring moments.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50 x3
Region: B
Running Time: 3:28:15 (Disc 1 & 2), 1:55:16 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

If the previous part of Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters was the wind-up then Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 is the pitch; as from the moment you press play the episodic content continues to roll-on with fist fights between notable characters and alternate characters training elsewhere. For instance throughout Gotenks and Super Buu’s fight Gohan is training with the Kais and when Gohan arrives to take on Buu the portra fusion technique is explained to Goku. Everything is happening at once and there never seems to be a dull or distracting moment other than when it needs to be. It’s simply one fight after another until the destruction of Buu has been achieved.

As a result of this Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 is ideal for binge watching in large chunks as each fight can last a handful of episodes. The story here is to simply defeat Buu by any means necessary and as such we don’t see any plot developments or Dragon Ball gathering; it’s simply the next strategy to defeat Buu. This being said character development does occur through Gohan, Vegeta, Goku and Mr Satan – as they all go above and beyond their own limitations in order to deliver the result that is desired. A feat which is not always noticeable within the Dragon Ball universe; especially from Vegeta and Mr Satan.

If you’ve ever wanted to watch Super Saiyans and Monsters do battle in a rather continuous fashion then the episodes within Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters will have you covered; but this aside the contents and presentation of this release are the same as those from past instalments; such as the newly produced English Dub for Dragon Ball Z Kai when compared to Dragon Ball Z. It’s something I have mentioned before but as the focus is back on Goku, Vegeta and Gohan  old-school Dragon Ball Z fans will not notice any difference; which easily makes this instalment more approachable. The Japanese audio meanwhile remains consistent with previous releases and is presented in its original sound format with white English subtitles – yet again the same as past releases.

Featuring twenty-three episodes, as well as some mediocre bonus material, across three Blu-Ray discs Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 brings an end to the Buu saga, and in turn Dragon Ball Z, in fresh new perspective with re-mastered visuals and audio tracks. Naturally this release is for those wishing to complete their collection and the story of Dragon Ball Z Kai; but that aside this release is consistent and presented to the best of its ability. Super Saiyan destruction on a global scale is entailed and its definitely fun to watch from start to finish.

Score: review-stars-4

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters – Part 3 is available on Blu-ray and DVD within the UK via Manga Entertainment UK.

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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