Dragonball Z Vegeta Saga I: Saiyan Showdown Preview
Funimation is sure to delight English-speaking audiences with this upcoming uncut release. Prior releases of the DragonBall Z series have been the edited for television versions or for content, which forces editors to cut more than they would like. This upcoming release, Dragon Ball Z Vegeta Saga I: Saiyan Showdown, will answer the prayers of many DBZ fans, and just might change the minds of any who weren’t convinced the first time. This DVD contains the first three episodes of the DragonBall Z series, dubbed in English, but otherwise in their original complete forms.
Episode 1: The New Threat
A serene landscape opens the episode, while the narrator explains what has happened since the defeat of the evil Piccolo. Goku now has a son named Gohan. Gohan has a bit of a curious streak, maybe too much so. The landscape’s serenity is spoiled when an invader crashes into Earth. This invader is a Saiyan, who looks much like Goku in the face, and he is searching for a man named Kakarot.
Episode 2: Reunions
As Goku, Gohan, and friends settle in at Kame house for a festive reunion, the invading Saiyan is tracking Goku’s movements with a high tech energy homing device. The happy reunion is spoiled by the arrival of the invader, who reveals shocking information about Goku’s past. Goku is in fact the Kakarot that this invader is searching for, and his mission was to destroy all life on Earth. The invader is Raditz, Goku’s big brother, and he is here to make sure that the job gets finished.
Episode 3: Unlikely Alliance
Goku prepares to chase down Raditz to get his son back, when Piccolo suddenly arrives causing everyone a scare. Much to their surprise, however, Piccolo is offering a truce to ‘cooperate and take down Raditz, to prevent him taking over the world, since Piccolo insists that right is his. Goku and Piccolo head off to bring down the Saiyan invasion. The battle looks grim as our unlikely team face off against their toughest foe.
This is the beginning of the DragonBall Z saga, that means the sounds and the graphics are the original sounds and graphics. Throughout any series, the artists always develop more style for the series, the voice actors always develop more complex interactions and sounds. This is where it all starts though, the first 3 episodes that set the stage for the rest of the series in art, music, and voice. So overall, the sounds and graphics aren’t quite as nice, or clean as they are in later episodes, but this tiny setback is more than offset by the value of getting to feel the original DBZ.
Let’s talk about extras! There is a pre-order available for the DBZ Starter kit, which has the DVD and an exclusive Goku action figure. It’s a great way to start a collection, especially if Funimation extends this special through later releases. Imagine a collection of all the character’s and all the uncut DBZ episodes. I could drool.
Technical: The sounds and graphics are of the original DBZ style, being the first 3 episodes of the series of course. This has it’s bonuses and detriments, it’s great to feel the way the series started, but the graphics and sounds at the beginning are invariable a little crude. These balance each other mostly, giving a great overall technical feel.
Entertainment: It’s the start of the series, and it starts off strong. There isn’t much fighting, which hurts the score ever so slightly, but the story development is great, and it’s a fine set up for the next DVD when the action will be getting intense. A good score, but the lack of action brought it down a hair.
[Overall: The episodes were great, if not terribly eventful, they prepare you well for the epic story to come with the important background story. It sets the stage very well for the coming series, and the animetography(yes I just made that word up) is well done. The opening scene caught my attention, the serenity of life for several minutes, the peaceful world, the farmers and the lakes, then the invader from outer space! Kudos on that guys, and an 8.5 overall for continuing that well planned footage throughout the DVD
DVD Features: Original Uncut Japanese Footage, 5.1 Surround Sound, Goku Vs Vegeta Featurette, Follow the Nimbus Cloud, DBZ Trivia
Box Contents: DragonBall Z Vegeta Saga I: Saiyan Showdown DVD, Exclusive Goku Action Figure.
Note: This is a preview and may not reflect the final release version.