Dragonball Z Ultimate Uncut Special Edition Episodes 19 – 21

Old Man Kangaroo

imageThe buildup continues in Dragonball Z. As the two Saiyans grow ever nearer to planet Earth, the Earth warriors are entering into their last stages of training. It won’t be long now till things start to blow up real good.

Of course, before that happens, we’re going to have to sit through some story development. Is it wrong to not really care about the story episodes? Well regardless, now is the time to weather the calm before the storm.

In order to beef up this dvd a little, Funimation has included another “Mr. Stain on Junk Alley” short. The short has a somewhat interesting style. As with the short on the last Ultimate Uncut Dragonball Z dvd, the story is told entirely without dialogue. This time around, the main character “Mr. Stain” makes a bust of himself out of clay. The bust comes to life, attaches itself to his cat, and basically subsumes the cat in a kind of pod-people way. “Mr. Stain” seems to be a lot less disturbed than I would be over this.

imageWhile the short is reasonably entertaining I am a bit confused with its presence on the dvd. Funimation apparently wants to build interest in the Mr. Stain series and so they are including the shorts on their most popular dvd release. However, I’m not really sure Mr. Stain appeals to Dragonball Z fans. The stories are weird but rather saccharine and childish. One would assume that Dragonball fans are most interested in action but the Mr. Stain on Junk Alley series seems to be essentially action free.

Episode 19: Defying Gravity

Goku has finally arrived on King Kai’s planet. After mistakenly following King Kai’s monkey Bubbles around for a while Goku meets the real King Kai. Since the gravity on King Kai’s planet is so severe, Goku must begin his training by chasing Bubbles around. That’s the thing about Goku, even though he is pretty stupid, he somehow manages to do the right thing every time.

Meanwhile, Tien, Yamcha, Chaiotzu, and Krillin train at Kami’s lookout. Gohan, on the other hand is getting the living crap beaten out of him by Piccolo. Man, that eye doesn’t look good at all.

This is a pretty light episode. Goku chases Bubbles and eventually becomes fast enough to catch him. There is some action as he zips around the planet trying to cut Bubbles off but this episode mainly just serves to introduce King Kai.

imageEpisode 20: Goku’s Ancestors

Now that Goku has caught Bubbles, his next task is to hit King Kai’s student Gregory with a very heavy hammer. Gregory is sort of like a big firefly. Since he is much faster than Bubbles, Goku’s training again amounts to trying to develop greater speed.

King Kai also decides to tell Goku the history of the Saiyan race. Basically once upon a time, the Saiyans and the Tuffles lived together on planet Vegeta. After some this and that, the Saiyans lived together on planet Vegeta and the Tuffles didn’t do much any living at all. This will become important sometime down the road. Then the Saiyans hooked up with some planet brokers which leaves us where we are today.

Learning about Saiyan history makes this episode at the very least interesting. The action isn’t much to speak of but the rest of the episode is relatively entertaining. Overall this one is pretty average.

imageEpisode 21: Counting Down

Goku’s training with King Kai is reaching completion. Now able to easily catch Bubbles and Gregory, Goku has only to master the Spirit Bomb. However, as King Kai puts the final touches on his pupil, he realizes he has miscalculated and the Saiyans are going to arrive on Earth before Goku can get there.

Goku gets wished back to life and begins the trip back down snake way. After training with King Kai, he is able to traverse the distance much faster but with Goku still about a day out, the Saiyan space pods finally arrive on Earth.
Well this episode leaves the stage set for the action that is coming next episode and that is about all there is to say for it. Now that the Saiyans have reached Earth we can look forward to some more entertaining episodes on the next dvd.

Technical/Extras: 9
The Ultimate Uncut series is just packed with everything you could want in a Dragonball release. Multiple language formats with the original Japanese dialogue as well as dolby 5.1 surround sound for the English track really set this release apart from your average anime dvd. In addition, this volume contains a “Mr. Stain on Junk Alley” short. It might really be every Dragonball fan’s cup of tea but it’s a nice little bonus.

Entertainment: 7
These are a trio of episodes which may have been necessary for telling the Dragonball story but are hardly ones you’d go back to again and again. That said, even the less entertaining of the Dragonball episodes are still pretty good. At least the don’t do any of those annoying recap episodes you see in other series.

Overall: 8

If you are planning on just buying a few single volumes, then you might skip this dvd. If you’re in for the series though, then this one is a must.

Extras:
Language tracks (English, Japanese, and Spanish)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English only)
Dragonball Trivia
“Mr. Stain on Junk Alley” computer animated short
Trailers(Dragonball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kodocha, Dragonball GT, Z Store)

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