We have fought a prideful Saiyan prince looking to become immortal. Took down a tyrant looking to rule the universe with an iron fist. Faced threats from the past that look to destroy the present. Finally, the Earth was saved from a warrior who strieved for perfection. The Z Fighters could finally rest…for a little bit. After a time of peace, our heroes find themselves up against the most dangerous threat ever: A piece of a damned bubblegum.
What They Say:
The battle to harness the power of the seven Dragon Balls explodes in vivid detail like never before. The Dragon Box features over 40 uncut episodes, remastered and restored frame by frame, rendering the legendary action in pristine clarity. Each episode is presented in Japanese and English with the complete opening and closing credits and includes the original episode previews.
Unchanged from the previous boxes, Dragon Box Vol. 6 features two audio tracks. The original Japanese mono track (48 kHz, 96 kbps) and the popular English dub set against the original Japanese soundtrack in a 5.1 mix (48kHz, 384kbps). The Japanese track is still great and for the purpose of this review, the vast majority of my time was spent with the Japanese audio.
The colors are vibrant and accurate with no loss in film grain or detail. All presented in its original aspect ratio of 4:3. Any flaws you see in the video at this point are in the source itself. With the noticeable bump in animation quality and character design, I still couldn’t be happier.
Packed in a sturdy cardboard box, this volume features Piccolo on the cover. Inside, the six DVDs are kept within two solid “book” type cases that open up and lie flat. These house three DVDs each. These are black with an etched drawing of Shen-Long on the covers. On the spines are little bits of a bigger picture that will become complete as you collect these box sets. The disc art is very nice as each one features a different character with a clean Toriyama illustration set against a white background. The disc art features an assortment of characters on each disc.
The menus remain unchanged. Simple, fast and get the job done. Each disc features a different action shot from the show in the background with an eye scouter overlay that has the different disc options in it. Basically, you’re looking at the action shot through the eye scouter. Navigating the menu is very quick which is always a plus in my eyes.
Another hardcover booklet is included with this volume. Each page is made from a nice quality glossy paper and is filled with information about the series, show, characters and more. There is a guide for each episode, a look at the designs of the show, a section on the visual gags hidden in the episodes and the character relationship chart has been expanded to include the developments up to this point.
Content (Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This set of episodes begins with a time skip. Seven years have passed since Gohan defeated Cell and peace has returned to the planet. The various Z Fighters have gone on with their lives in different ways such as Kururin and No. 18 getting married and having a child, Chi Chi giving birth to her second child Goten, Trunks growing up into a spoiled seven year old, Vegeta and Bulma live together and Gohan is a seventeen year old on his way to a public high school (and discovering girls!).
After some episodes which see Gohan adjusting to his new life in high school as he juggles a new super-hero persona (Great Saiyaman), things kick off with an announcement from Goku that he will be granted a 24 hour pass to the world of the living so he can fight in the upcoming World Martial Arts Tournament. This gets everyone pumped up as they all begin to train in their own separate ways.
As Goku arrives to greet his friends and family, everything is not as it seems with this tournament. A mysterious entrant named Shin (who is actually the Supreme Kai, rulers of all Kais) makes himself known to the group. He is tracking down a wizard named Babidi and has pinpointed his subordinates to the tournament. Babidi is planning on resurrecting a stupidly powerful villain named Majin Buu and needs Gohan’s power to help do it. So, he lets them steal Gohan’s power in order to track them back to Babidi’s ship in an attempt to stop him!
Shin, Goku, Gohan, and Vegeta give chase and fight Babidi and his minions in an attempt to stop Majin Buu’s resurrection. Sadly, all of their efforts are for naught as Vegeta is turned against his comrades and Majin Buu is reborn making short work of Gohan. In the face of an indestructible piece of talking taffy, how can the heroes fight back? Power ups of course!
Dragon Ball Z is not known for being the most intelligent of shows and it definitely goofs up on some of its finer details. It has always kept it simple and, for the most part, it worked. That being said, I could not believe some of the idiocy on display here by several of the characters in this story arc. The main culprit here is the Supreme Kai.
Before he was sealed, Babidi’s father and Majin Buu killed billions across the universe including many of the other Supreme Kais. With Buu’s resurrection near, the remaining Supreme Kai sought to stop Babidi. Knowing that Babidi needed a great source of power, he traced him down to Earth and determined that his target was Son Gohan. So, he came up with a wonderful plan.
Instead of capturing the wizard’s minions (who are dead giveaways with the big “M” on their foreheads) and using his powers to extract Babidi’s location from them, he lets them take Gohan’s energy and simply follows them. In the process, Kururin and Piccolo are turned to stone while Goku, Gohan and Vegeta are sucked into fights where their energy is given to Majin Buu! Oh, it gets better. Vegeta is then turned into Majin Vegeta, kills thousands of people, and fights with Goku which ends up being the key to Buu’s rebirth. Kai also nearly gets Gohan killed. Is it possible to have a more inept Supreme God? Did he come up with this plan on a napkin?
Putting Supreme Kai’s stupidity aside for a moment, I have one more major problem with this arc: Majin Buu. Unlike the villains before him, he lacks any sort of real personality as he acts like a spoiled child the majority of the time and a psychopath in spurts. A sort of cruel innocence. He is absurdly powerful and practically indestructible as any attacks against him are either completely absorbed or instantly healed. Blown to dust? He reforms. Face punched in? He blows it back to normal. Giant hole in his chest? Filled in. No sweat. It is boring and undermines the efforts of our heroes.
There are some fun highlights throughout this set that are of note. Finding out what characters have been up to since the time skip such as the married couple of Kururin and No 18, Gohan’s relationship with Mr. Satan’s daughter Videl, and the friendship of Goten and Trunks. Goten and Trunk’s friendly fight and shenanigans at the World’s Strongest Tournament was also entertaining. The real highlights in terms of action are Goku vs Vegeta and Goku demonstrating the depths of his power by taking on Buu in his new Super Saiyan 3 form. An honorable mention goes out to Vegeta’s real change in attitude as he has come to terms with his new life on Earth and actually fights to defend it and his family.
In Summary: Man, one has to put up with some extreme stupidity in order to find any enjoyment in this set of episodes. While there are still your favorite characters to enjoy and some fights to savor (Super Saiyan 2 Goku vs. Super Saiya 2 Vegeta is awesome), everything is dragged down by two terrible characters. Supreme Kai starts out mysterious and ends up a whiny fool. Majin Buu is just…awful. That’s the only way I can put it. He ruins not only Vegeta’s redeeming moment but also Goku’s exhibition of one of the coolest transformations in the show. How? Because all they end up doing is beating on an indestructible piece of pink snot.
Toriyama should be ashamed.
Updated tally of the most memorable moments. These are not in order of most to least, but rather in order of appearance.
1. Goku’s Kamehameha vs. Vegeta’s Galick-Ho beam battle.
2. Freeza reveals his final transformation.
3. Vegeta’s final speech on Namek before his death.
4. Goku’s transformation into a Super Saiyan.
5. Freeza is cut in half by Trunks
6. Vegeta’s “Final Flash” attack on Cell.
7. Goku’s Instant Kamehameha on Cell
8. Gohan’s Japanese transformation to Super Saiyan 2 (w/ Spirit vs. Spirit song).
9. Entire Goku vs. Vegeta II Fight
10. Goku transforming into Super Saiyan 3
Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: D+
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Running Time: 1025 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Vizio E470VL 42” LCD HDTV, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver, Yamaha 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers, PlayStation 3 Slim via HDMI @1080p