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Dragon Ball Z Kai Part 5 Blu-ray and RideBack- The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Reviews

 

“Dragon Ball Z Kai Part 5” contains the best DBZ episodes.

“RideBack” soars when it comes to action and animation, but crashes and burns when it comes to plot.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Part 5

In episodes 53-65 of “Dragon Ball Z Kai,” viewers can expect to see episode plots about Frieza (and Cyborg Frieza), character resurrections via dragon balls, future Trunks, Goku’s return, the villainous Androids, deadly battles with the Androids, Goku contracting a virus, and the secrets behind Dr. Gero and his Android creations.

As I’ve stated before in my Dragon Box 3 review, this batch of episodes are DBZ at its best. Now that the episodes have been edited and trimmed down for pacing purposes for ‘Kai,’ it’s even better. To me, these episodes have some of the best moments in all of DBZ. From future Trunks appearing and introducing a satisfying time travel element to Vegeta going nuts on Android #19, there’s a great balance of both high-flying action and riveting character moments. In other words, there’s something for every fan here.

Summary: When it comes to anime, it doesn’t get much better than “Dragon Ball Z Kai Part 5.” A must buy Blu-ray set.

Video/Audio:

The series is presented in fullscreen 1080p. I noticed more dirt specs and jerky frame issues this time around, but thankfully, the colors are so much sharper than in previous DBZ releases.

English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 audio tracks are included on this set. The English track packs a Super Saiyan esque punch in terms of both voice acting and action. The Japanese track is superb as well. The voice work is clear and the action sounds good (albeit not up to 5.1 quality naturally).

Extras:
* Trailers for “Yu Yu Hakusho,” “Soul Eater,” “Blue Gender,” “Kiddy Grade,” “Fruits Basket,” “Last Exile,” “Gungrave,” “RideBack,” “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” and Funimation.com.
* Textless opening and closing songs.

RideBack

The plot: Set in a period in which the Global Government Plan (GGP) has taken over, the story focuses on a former ballet dancer (Rin) who finds a new calling after discovering a robo RideBack motorcycle named Fuego. Soon thereafter, Rin becomes part of the RideBack club which engages in races and so forth. The bulk of the series involves the GGP mistaking Rin to be a part of the Borderless Military Alliance (BMA) “terrorist” group that is fighting against the GGP. As you can imagine, things get hectic for Rin after that. Other episode plots include races, white riders, Rin rescuing Shoko, a criminal RideBack gang, Rin’s friend Tamayo, a revolution, etc. The series is comprised of 12 episodes.

“RideBack” is your average ballet dancer turned robo motorcycle rider turned rebel anime series. Naturally, that isn’t an average plot, but it is (quite frankly) a ridiculous story that takes itself a little too seriously for my taste. The tone of the series is just awkward. When the story alternates between Rin doing cheesy ballet dance moves with Fuego to a Government overthrow, it’s hard to take anything in this series seriously.

Now, I’m not saying this series is a total misfire. The high speed action with the RideBacks is flat-out intense and exciting and it will definitely please action anime junkies. Equally impressive here is the animation which is gorgeous. Everything from the lighting and cityscapes to the vehicles and explosions look fantastic. The Madhouse studio deserves much praise for their work here.

Summary: Action and animation aside, “RideBack” suffers from an over-the-top story.

Video/Audio:

The widescreen picture quality on the DVD is impressive, but let’s face it, the show looks even better on 1080p on Blu-ray. The hi-def presentation simply gives the show more scope and the colors look crisp and clear.

The DVD includes English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo tracks. The English track contains lots of overacting whereas the Japanese Stereo track contains stand-out voice acting. Granted, the action doesn’t sound as good on the Japanese track, but it’s still the better track. As for the Blu-ray set, the tracks included here are the English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 tracks. The English track has more depth when it comes to the action, but like the DVD set, the Japanese track has better voice acting which is more important.

Extras are identical on the DVD and Blu-ray:
* Keychain.
* Trailers for “Full Metal Panic,” “FLCL,” “Trigun,” “TO,” “Evangelion,” “Soul Eater,” “Noir,” “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” “Eden Of The East,” “Last Exile,” and Funimation.com.
* Episode 4 commentary by English dub voice director and two English voice actresses. They don’t have much to say.
* Textless opening and closing songs.

* Episode 10 commentary by the voice director, a voice actress, and a voice actor.

July 24, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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