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Dragon Ball Z Season 1 Blu-ray Review

Dragon Ball Z Season 1 Blu-ray

The first and arguably best season of “Dragon Ball Z” comes to Blu-ray.

I know you are probably thinking to yourself, “ANOTHER Dragon Ball Z release from Funimation?” Excessive as it may be, this is the first time the ORIGINAL versions of the first 39 episodes have been released on Blu-ray in the U.S. As you may recall, season 1 was previously released in edited form in the successful “Dragon Ball Z Kai” series.

While most DBZ fans likely don’t need a reminder, season 1 of the beloved sci-fi action anime series primarily involves Goku, Gohan, Krillin, Bulma, and company facing annihilation from the invading alien beings Vegeta, Nappa and Raditz. Other key subplots include Goku training, Gohan going ape (literally), King Kai, and Gohan being kidnapped. Mostly, however, the show is comprised of many, many earth shattering fights.

Before “Dragon Ball Z” devolved into a series filled with repetitious fights, overdone plots, and lousy villains, it started out as a fresh, exciting, and highly influential anime series (not to mention insanely popular). For many folks, this was the gateway series into the anime world and, in my opinion, still stands as one of the very best. As flawed as it may be at times, the series effortlessly draws you into this fully realized universe filled with brave heroes, nasty villains, bad-ass characters (Piccolo-Saaaan), wacky characters (like Master Roshi), mindblowing powers (Kamehameha!), and some of THE very best action sequences ever animated (take your pick). Sure, it may be more appealing to folks at a younger age, but if you ever happen to watch an episode or put one on randomly, it’s easy to get sucked back into the show again.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? While some fans may object to the fact that the episodes are not presented in the original aspect ratio, I have to say the new 1.78:1 presentation still looks beautiful. The frame-by-frame restoration work is quite evident here as the colors appear very striking. The widescreen format really works for this series since it’s such an epic action show.

Audio Tracks: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Broadcast Version Dolby TrueHD 2.0, and Japanese Mono. The 5.1 track is obviously the most pleasing from an audio perspective since it adds more depth to the action. The English Broadcast version works well too since many grew up with that version. The Japanese Mono track is a bit rough as the quality has clearly aged, but purists will likely choose this one

Extras:
* Trailers for “One Piece,” “Fairy Tail,” “Wolf Children,” “Eureka Seven AO,” “Akira,” “Aquarion EVOL,” “Last Exile- Fam, The Silver Wing-,” “Serial Experiments Lain,” Anime Classics and Funimation.com.
* A U.S. trailer for “Dragon Ball Z.”
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* “Upcoming Special Feature Sneak Peek”- An ad for future Blu-ray extra features on upcoming season sets. Judging by this extra, it looks to be a fun collection of interviews about DBZ.

Overall Thoughts: DBZ fans should be pleased that a proper Blu-ray release has finally come to fruition. Now, bring on season 2!

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January 28, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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