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Dragon Ball GT: Season 2 UK Anime DVD Review

11 min read
Dragon Ball GT: Season 2
Dragon Ball GT: Season 2

They certainly got the DRAG part in Dragon Ball GT, because this finale definitely dragged on so to speak…

What They Say :
Goku’s final tale. Dragon Ball GT Season 2 includes the Super 17 and Shadow Dragon Sagas, as a bonus A Hero’s Legacy movie. The destiny of a legendary warrior, his long path wrought with peril, reaches its apex. The fate of Goku is now tied to that of the world and the most epic toil ever rested on the shoulders of one man has come to be. As one apocalypse is thwarted, another looms! Gokus heroic friends fall around him and the warrior must steel his nerve, for two evil scientists have created the perfect killing machine. Android 17. As the abomination deals out terror with mechanical precision, horrible villains from battles past rise again. Yet even more chaos awaits. The most dangerous power of all time is stirring. The people of Earth have relied upon the power of the Dragon Balls to maintain peace and order, but the mystical relics are cracking and from their creeping chasms, seven Shadow Dragons are unleashed. Each more deadly than the last. Also includes the epic season finale movie.

Audio/Video
As per the DBZ releases, the audio tracks have a 5.1 Surround Sound, US Broadcast Version Stereo and the original Japanese Mono, making it the first release in the UK for GT with a Japanese release. The English track is good as most 5.1 releases are, which is always recommended for a remastered track as well – no probs with the sound being in sync with the subtitles, plus you have 3 options which are all definitely listenable. Video quality is excellent (no issues compared to some of the DBZ releases where there was slowdown on a couple of the episodes) as this new remastered set ends well visually and sound wise, especially as had it on widescreen format so the aspect ratio isn’t affected by how you watch it.

Menu
The menus are mostly identical in each of the 6 discs, with a horizontal image of Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta on an orange background with the menu selections on a black bar at the bottoms, with discs 1-5 having the choice of Play All (with opening and endings on each episode), Marathon Feature (op and end only on the first and last episode respectively), Episode List and Set Up, with Disc 5 also having an Extras feature. Very basic, but easy to navigate both from the menu and from the show itself.

Extras:
The only extras were the creditless opening/ending to the series. However, they do include the DBGT movie ‘A Hero’s Legacy’ which can be selected on Disc 5 when it is loaded or return to by ‘going to top’ on the main menu screen. Set in the same time frame as the final episode, we see Goku Jr, Goku’s great great great grandson basically suffer from bullies not knowing about his powers or bloodline despite his grandmother Pan teaching him all he knows. It actually turns out to be a road trip as Goku Jr finds friends, both animal wise and in a former bully, before managing to get a vision of his great grandfather as he was looking for the Dragonballs to save a sick Pan. Finding one and thinking that was all he needed, Goku tells his descendant about his lineage and to not be concerned as his bravery is all that is needed. It is 43 minutes long, rather silly and is just a side story after the main story finished – wasn’t that interesting and Goku’s vision is only a few minutes, so it felt different, but then again GT in general was quite different so it is still a nice extra in terms of the length.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dragonball Z has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Silly, over the top, full of clichés, but it is so hard not to like. Whilst some arcs of DBZ were definitely weaker, they had interesting villains mostly, some funny moments, touching moments, and some surprisingly good character development. Dragonball GT on the other hand sadly doesn’t do that, and whilst there is one brief moment where the cheesy glory of DBZ was restored in this series, it was all too brief, and not only did it get silly but not in a fun way, but then it really started to become a chore to watch when the final arc happened.

We basically go through 3 arcs in this box set, starting with the finale of the Baby arc. Super Saiyan 4 is too strong for Baby so thanks to him mind controlling Bulma, Baby gets the alien waves inside him allowing him to transform into a Great Ape, but cannot control himself. It leads to him nearly destroying the earth, but Goku is able to hold him off enough before it is completely destroyed. The two knock each other out, and deus ex machine number one appears, with the elder Kai from DBZ remembering about the Sacred Water back during the terrible Garlic Jr arc, to get the Saiyans affected by Baby back to normal. With Bulma managing to revive Baby back to full strength and Goku not as fortunate, but the cavalry of Gohan, Goten and Trunks now back to normal, and they give him their energy so Goku can return to Super Saiyan 4 to fight Baby. Thanks to Uub actually fighting Baby in his body, they get enough time to do so Goku has the advantage, and even seperates Baby from Vegeta before finally finishing him off, however thanks to the wishes on the Black Star Dragon Balls, the earth is about to explode as it has been a year since the wishes were made. With the help from Vegeta, Mr. Satan and a surprising touching sacrifice by Piccolo, they manage to transport the entire population of Earth to the Tuffle planet, and using deus ex machine number two, they use the Namekian Dragon Balls later to restore the planet.

The Baby arc certainly had some potential especially with the parasitic baby controlling various Saiyans, but it did feel like a retread with both elements of the Cell and Maijin Buu arcs. The main issue here is that in all three arcs, the focus is mostly on Goku and whilst in his Saiyan 4 form it isn’t so bad, it just feels like everyone else is pure filler. This happened to an extent in DBZ as well but it was more varied with the other characters (Picollo in the Vegeta arc, Gohan in the Cell arc for example) getting way more involved. They basically showcase in all the eyecatches that the focus is on Goku, Pan and Trunks, yet Trunks is barely in this release and Pan is usually just there to be beat up so Goku can save her. The Picollo sacrifice to Hell was a genuine touching moment for fans of the DBZ series, but it seemed that it relied too much on previous ideas to get this sorted.

The second arc is a tad better, but mostly for nostalgia reasons. After a fun martial arts tournament ep where Goku loses because he’s being a moron in the kids division, it turns more serious when Trunks shows up at Goku’s house badly beaten, and a black hole has suddenly appeared in the sky. When he recovers, he explains that Android 17 attacked him, and said that Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu have demanded that Goku come to hell through the black hole and fight them, or else they will resurrect Cell and Frieza and send them to Earth. Goku basically accepts, descends into hell where he meets Cell and Frieza, whilst on Earth, we get a million cameos from everyone from Nappa to the Ginyu Force returning to take over the Earth.

The nostalgia factor goes quickly sadly when most of the guys are now no match for Vegeta and company on Earth, whilst Goku is far stronger than Frieza and Cell now, and despite some new tricks, the only problem is the fact because they are in Hell, they can’t actually die. However, the original Android 17 seems to be in a different universe, as two 17s basically appear, including a meeting with his sister…

It leads to the two 17s merging together to become Super Android 17 and basically be the latest damn near invincible guy who the others haven’t got a chance to fight against Goku. Trapped in hell, with some assistance from Picollo, Goku manages to escape and leads to their fight. Because Goku’s energy attacks 17 absorbs like in the Android Saga, Super Android 17 is far stronger, but thanks to a distraction from a recovered Android 18, Goku saves the day but the portals of Hell are unstable due to the rift they created. They gather the Dragon Balls to stop this, but something goes wrong, which leads to the final, and most painful arc.

The Super Android 17 arc was interesting for a bit, in terms of seeing some of the most iconic villains in Cell and Frieza again, and some blink and miss it cameos. The problem is that 17 was practically forgot about after the Android saga (in fact, whilst 18 was spat out of Cell, 17 was never seen even when Cell was destroyed) so his return, whilst a surprise, really came out of nowhere as a super villain, and the explanation for two 17s was weird at best. There were some decent moments (Krillin’s death here was quite upsetting and 18 getting in the spotlight at least) but Goku’s victory was actually quite simple in the end, and it felt very anticlimactic. Again, the fact that it was all up to Goku made it feel really fillerish (you can argue the entire GT season is to be honest) but at least there was a few moments of bringing back the original DBZ in this arc. The final arc sadly wouldn’t only really have a couple of moments…and a lot of stupidity, and not the good kind.

We now get to the Dragon arc – where the dragon created is evil due to the overuse of the Dragon Balls and the cracks in them, overloading them with negative energy. 7 Dragons are created and spat over the world, so it is up to Goku as he feels responsible for using the balls so much to destroy him. Pan tags along which basically leads to a mostly predictable arc, where they discover a dragon causing havoc somewhere, they fight the dragon, (usually Pan getting defeated leading to Goku having to save the day) whether it is fighting poisonous gas, electric slime or energy shields, they managed to overcome it. To say at least with the first few dragons it is rather silly and anti-climatic is an understatement, and again, just further showcases the fact it is just about kid Goku saving the day, but without the interest from any other characters, as poor Pan really suffers as a damsel in distress character throughout this arc.

It isn’t until they get to the 4 star dragon, Nuova Shenron where the arc does have a bit of interest. Up until now the dragons were either stupid, arrogant or annoying. Nuova actually seems to hold respect for Goku and classifies him a worthy man, and vice versa as he could have killed Pan easily when they first fight, but he doesn’t kill the innocent so Goku also surprisingly respects him. However, his brother also comes and uses deceit and trickery to attack Goku, Nuova basically turns good and they take him out, but when the final dragon comes, it later absorbs the dragonballs energy to become Omega Shenron, who is the final FINAL boss of the series.

And to say this battle drags on (no pun intended) is an understatement. We all joke about the 5 minutes battle with Frieza, but at least Frieza was an interesting villain. Shenron has no motive outside of very briefly mentioning the dragon balls energy and their overuse, and the only real plus of this battle is we get a Vegeta episode where he flashbacks to his memories and battles with Goku, where thanks to Bulma, he manages to get the energy to become Super Saiyan 4, and later fuses with Goku for their ultimate form. However, they have to drag it out more so we can see Goku use the ultimate Spirit Bomb from energies from the universe, which whilst a nice way to end it as a return to the first ultimate move he learned from King Kai, it really felt so long this battle with little interest at all which despite Vegeta’s efforts and a few little arguments there, it certainly didn’t help. The only major plus of this arc was the ending, which was genuinely touching when Shenron is finally defeated, and the original wishing Shenron basically decides to lock all the Dragonballs away, and Goku returns with him, he flies and says his goodbyes including to Krillian in Kame House and Picollo in hell, before a flash forward to the future and Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr as descendants with only an elderly Pan still alive from the Z fighters, as the more things change the more things stay the same…

Unfortunately, the few good moments in this final arc to the Dragonball collection is a downer. It really didn’t capture the charm of the original or the enjoyment of DBZ, it basically felt like a real filler season of Dragonball, with only a few moments here and there which made you recapture the moments of the series. The focus was purely on Goku and whilst that was the case in DBZ, at least the supporting cart were developed and interesting along with the villains. Here, his granddaughter basically is either showcased as a tagalong, annoying or in the way, Trunks barely does anything in this release, practically none of the other Saiyans bar Vegeta of any use, hell Picollo and Mr. Satan probably did more than any of them! There were some fun moments, some genuine nostalgic moments, and even some sad moments and it did actually end quite well, but there was so much to get through which felt pointless that it was a chore to get to that end. I really don’t recommend this even to DB or DBZ fans unless you really have to finish the saga to get to that final ending, otherwise you can just finish it at DBZ.

Summary:
Dragon Ball GT really doesn’t have much of a way of plot, but also in enjoyment. They try to recapture some nostalgia with the 17 arc, but the fact the villain was a character most people forgot about combined with brief cameos and an anti-climatic ending made it feel rushed, and the Baby arc whilst ending quite well really was just about Goku, as was everything else basically made to showcase Goku as the only character worth anything in this series…and when it has plenty of memorable characters and they all fall by the wayside, that isn’t a good thing. Add to that a very dragging final arc, and this saga is definitely going to DRAG ON. Only recommended if you really want to see how the Dragon Ball franchise finishes.

Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade:A
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C+

Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Release Date: Running Time: 800 minutes
Price: £29.99

Review Equipment: Playstation3, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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