Dragonball Z: Great Saiyaman Saga Episodes 203-205

Old Man Kangaroo?

imageGohan has barely donned his costume and already the Great Saiyaman saga is nearing its end. Funimation actually includes Gohan’s adventures in Other World with the Other World tournament in this saga. So it isn’t all that short, it just doesn’t have all that much of Gohan being Saiyaman.

With all the focus on the ‘Ulitmate Uncut’ edition of Dragonball Z funimation is releasing, Dragonball fans should still pay a little attension to the standard edition which is steadily moving towards the final episodes. The ‘Ultimate Uncut’ series is going to take a long long time to get to the end of the Dragonball Z series. I won’t deny that the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ edition is the better. It is ultimate after all. However, if you want to get any of the later episodes while you’re still young you might want to look at the standard release.

The standard release is lacking in some of the bells and whistles of the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ release. However, the real selling points are the original uncut footage and Japanese dialogue track. It may be bare bones compared to the deluxe version but the most important features are still included in the standard release. On a note personal preference; the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ version has a new opening sequence that really does nothing for me while the standard release has the old American beginning with the electric guitar soundtrack, which I’ve always liked.

imageEpisode 203: Blackmail Pop quiz hot shot; a baby dinosaur has been captured by a greedy circus owner. The dinosaur is now the property of the circus but you steal it anyway knowing that sooner or later its’ parents will come looking and wreak havoc on the city. Now the police are chasing you and soon Videl shows up and tries to take you down by force. Any moment the dinosaur’s parents could show up. What to you do? What do you do!?

That’s the situation Gohan finds himself in in this episode. Eventually the parents do show up. At this point pretty much everyone but the circus owner realizes kidnapping baby dinosaurs is not a good idea. Gohan knocks one of the parents out to protect Videl but gets a small scratch on his cheek. The next day the jig is up when the Green Goblin, er that is Videl notices the wound when Gohan is out of costume. Videl uses Gohan’s secret to force him to enter the World Martial Arts Tournament so they’ll get a chance to fight again. She also makes him promise to teach her how to fly but that shouldn’t be any big deal. Gohan certainly seems to get blackmailed an unusual amount.

The fights in this episode are pretty restrained since Gohan doesn’t want to actually hurt any of the people or giant monsters he has to fight. There is something a little racy about Gohan fighting against Videl. I guess I like ’em spunky. On a broader note this episode offers a slightly more complex moral situation than normally faces earth’s heros. Not that it isn’t pretty obvious who is right and wrong but it is still a little more gray than ‘that guy wants to destroy the planet so we’d better stop him.’

imageEpisode 204: I’ll Fight Too Gohan is off to Bulma’s to tell her he has agreed to fight in the World Martial Arts Tournament. Vegeta overhears and, having had little chance to test his strength recently, decides he will join the tournament too. Goku then chimes in from Otherworld and says he’ll get a day pass and come to the tournament. What, does Goku just sit in Otherworld all day waiting for times to enter the conversation?

Gohan leaves to tell all his friends that Goku is coming back. Pretty soon everyone seems to be entering the tournament. During his traveling, Gohan happens into a movie set where they are making a Great Saiyaman picture. Considering he’s only been Saiyaman for a short time, I doubt the script could be very good. It’s just another Hollywood money grab put through production as quickly as possible. And theater chains wonder why their revenues are down when they show mostly crap like this and expect me to pay ten bucks for it. They’ll probably make it totally PG-13 too.

This espisode is mostly setup. We do have to sit through the setup episodes so we can pretend we actually care if there’s a plot between explosions but it’s not a episode I would ever consider a favorite. It is nice to see what Krillin and Piccolo are up to now and the scenes at the film set offer some variety.

Episode 205: The Newest Super Saiyan Spurred by her desire for the prize, Chi Chi has allowed Gohan to take some time off from school to train for the World Martial Arts Tournament. I’m not sure how much a ‘zeni’ is actually worth but I guess when you get into the millions they become quite persuasive. If you’re really curious about the Dragonball currency exchange rate, I’m sure some fan somewhere has calculated it and put it up on the web.

imageGoten comes along to help Gohan train. Though initially Gohan is worried he wil be a burden, he soon finds Goten is much stronger than he was at that age. While Chi Chi always forced Gohan to study for school, apparently she has been training Goten in the martial arts. Eventually Goten reveals that he has already achieved the level of Super Saiyan. At the end of the episode Videl shows up to force Gohan to make good on his promise to teach her how to fly. Chi Chi doesn’t seem to think Videl behaves properly for a young lady. I guess she doesn’t remember the way she dressed as a kid.

Nothing that major happens in this episode. It is entertaining though seeing Goten dragging a dinosaur around by the tail. The training provides a little interesting action though certainly not a lot. Overall this is a pretty average episode.

Technical/Extras: 8
This release does not have all the extras the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ release has. However, the most important points are the Japanese dialogue track and the original, uncut footage. If you’re not concerned about having Dolby 5.1 surround sound or other little perks, you should be satisfied with this release.

Entertainment: 8.5
The episodes on this dvd are all pretty average. Average Dragonball Z is still pretty good but if you were only buying some dvd’s out of the series this might be one you passed over. The first out of the three episodes is probably the most entertaining, with Gohan being chased around the city and eventually fighting Videl. Ah the dance of seduction.

Overall: 8.5

Overall, the episodes fit the tone of the Great Saiyaman saga with no big fights and a little more injection of the humorous. If you are collecting the series, or thinking about starting, the normal edition might be a good choice for you. You can probably find the earlier episodes more cheaply with the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ edition coming out. Meanwhile, you will have a complete collection long before someone who is only buying the ‘Ultimate Uncut’ release.

Extras: Japanese and English dialogue
Uncut footage
Stereo
Previews: (Next Episode Preview, Kiddy Grade, Blue Gender, Galaxy Railways, Kodocha, Dragonball Z: Great Saiyaman Saga, Z Store)

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