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Published by Hujio
21 April 2011, 1:53 PM EDTComments Off

After months of waiting, Happinet’s official release website has finally updated their Dragon Ball Kai listings with the remaining home releases. The 15th DVD volume and 4th Blu-ray box of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc”, which will be the final home releases for the series, are set to be released 02 August 2011. The prices for both releases have not changed, with the DVD still being marked at a reduced price of ¥1,995 (~$25) and the Blu-ray marked at ¥14,679 (~$180).

The biggest question still remains: will the unaired 98th episode of the series be included on either release as originally planned? Unfortunately, we still do not know yet. Surprisingly, the listings note that the contents of each release are still “to be determined”, indicating that Toei Animation has not quite yet decided what they are going to do. However, since they are clearly planning on releasing a 15th DVD and not simply including the 97th episode on the 14th DVD, I can not imagine they would release the 15th DVD at that price with only a single episode. In addition, most online retailers are listing the 4th Blu-ray box as having the same running time (253 minutes) as all the previous Blu-ray boxes. Based on all this, it does seem more than likely that the 98th episode will be released, but this is pure speculation as we have no confirmation that this is in fact what will happen.

Published by VegettoEX
18 April 2011, 7:41 PM EDTComments Off

This week on our show, Scott Melzer and Rich Jarrett from NoN.D.E. Films join us to talk about their new fan parody, Fanboy Soze. While Mr. Satan was used as a major character in their prior fan parody (S.T.E.A.M.), Dragon Ball footage is kept to a minimum in the new film, despite it being a DBZ parody through and through! What exactly does that mean? You’ll have to listen it for the full scoop. Beyond that, our buddy Hujio (with his new microphone!) joins us to talk a little bit more about “Toriyama’s Intended Endings” which we covered over the last couple episodes. Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0255! VegettoEX and Hujio discuss a little bit of international licensing news and tons of feedback on our “Toriyama’s Intended Endings” two-part feature. Scott Melzer and Rich Jarrett from NoN.D.E. Films also stop by to talk about their new fan parody, “Fanboy Soze”, a DBZ fan parody that is not a DBZ fan parody!

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by VegettoEX
18 April 2011, 1:17 PM EDTComments Off

Spain and Andorra are about to get a slew of new merchandise courtesy of Giochi Preziosi. Items set for release include plushies, scooters, “surprise bags”, figures for phone straps, confectionery, and “back to school”.

Published by VegettoEX
10 April 2011, 10:08 PM EDTComments Off

This week, Herms joins us for part two of our look at the “intended endings” to the series. The Freeza arc takes the brunt of fan pontification in this area, but the Cell and Majin Boo arcs have their own fair share of illogical fan speculation and half-truths. What evidence exists pointing to specific points that could have served as the ending to the entire series? Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0254! VegettoEX and Julian discuss the announced sale of FUNimation, a new “DragonBall SD” chapter on the horizon, and all the international “DragonBall Kai” delays. Herms joins us for part two of our discussion about Toriyama’s intended endings to the series, this time from the Cell arc through the end of the Majin Boo arc. Did the author ever actually say he wanted to end the series during any point within these two story arcs?

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by VegettoEX
06 April 2011, 2:32 PM EDTComments Off

Just about two months ago, FUNimation dropped the MSRP on their first “season” of the Dragon Ball TV series from $49.98 to $34.98. Today it was announced that the second “season” is getting the exact same price chop. The set will now run you $25.99 on Amazon, and $26.24 on RightStuf.

The most recent North American release of the franchise’s first TV series spanned five “season” bricks that trickled out from 2009 to 2010 (it is worth noting that the series never followed any “seasons” in Japan, running straight through on a weekly basis).

At least once a week we receive an e-mail asking if folks should purchase these sets, or hold out hope for a Dragon Box release a la the Dragon Ball Z TV series. There is no universal answer to that question — if you want to watch it right now and do not care about a few missing items (Japanese title cards, all opening and ending sequences, etc.), this is a pretty cheap buy-in, particularly with the rolling price drops.

Published by VegettoEX
05 April 2011, 12:35 PM EDTComments Off

Two years ago today, Dragon Ball Kai exploded onto Fuji TV at 9:00 am in Japan in what would go on to become the closing chapter to the franchise’s second wind. It continues to whimper to a close this year with several delays across the world.

Dragon Ball Kai Home Releases in Japan
Over in Japan, individual DVD Volumes 7 and 8 of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” have been delayed from their original release date of 02 April 2011 just a month over to 03 May 2011. Interestingly, Volumes 9 and 10 are still listed for that same date, bringing the total to four whopping volumes at once next month. Volumes 11 and 12 are now due on 02 June 2011, with Volumes 13 and 14 due on 02 July 2011.

As of right now, Volume 14 is still set to contain episodes 94-96, which leaves a previously-scheduled Volume 15 hanging out in the air to wrap things up with episodes 97 and 98. However, with episode 98 being canceled from TV broadcast at the last minute, it remains to be seen if episode 97 will be considered the “final” episode for the home release (as it had been for the TV broadcast), or if episode 98 will make an appearance on the home release.

The third “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” Blu-ray set (which would compile the first part of the episodes listed above, up through episode 87) has also been delayed one month from 03 May 2011 to 03 June 2011.

Dragon Ball Kai Home Releases in Australia
Madman Entertainment, who distributes FUNimation’s production of the series in Australia, has announced that the fourth set of Dragon Ball Kai (which mirrors the American release, covering episodes 40-52) has been delayed from 18 May 2011 to some time in September, due to “a change to planned content for the title within Japan”. The fifth set is planned for release in October this year, as well.

Dragon Ball Kai Home Releases in North America
As previously announced, FUNimation has delayed their release of the fifth set of Dragon Ball Kai approximately one month to 07 June 2011. Interestingly, some of the previously-released sets (both on DVD and Blu-ray) have been drastically reduced in price across a variety of retailers. For those looking to pick up what has already been released (and still has the Kenji Yamamoto score), here are a couple Amazon links to get your day off to a cost-efficient start:

It is likely that, in all of the cases described above, the replacement of Kenji Yamamoto’s musical score for the series is the main culprit (which is even hinted at in Madman’s delay announcement). As it stands, the most recent (and likely last) episode to be released to home format with the original broadcast score was episode 72, contained on DVD Volume 6 and second Blu-ray set of the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” in Japan.

Published by VegettoEX
04 April 2011, 6:57 PM EDTComments Off

In May 2010, parent company Navarre announced they were investigating the sale of FUNimation. Navarre stated that they were, “concentrating all efforts on our distribution and software publishing businesses where we have significant expertise and considerable systems and physical assets that can be leveraged”; with FUNimation in the content creation (which includes licensing, etc.) business, it simply did not line up with where their parent company was heading.

As of November 2010, Navarre had still not come to any agreements with interested parties, though they had received several offers, some of which had even come back with additional re-bids. It was noted at the time that a decision regarding the sale of FUNimation was expected by the end of the calendar year, but nothing was announced in the following months until February, when it was stated that if a buyer was not found within the next quarter, they may consider not selling FUNimation at all.

This afternoon, Navarre announced that FUNimation has finally been sold for $24 million in cash. The catch? They have been sold to a private investor group, and a minority stakeholder in the new group / transaction is none other than Gen Fukunaga himself, Chief Executive Officer (and original co-founder) of FUNimation.

It is not uncommon for growing businesses to buy themselves back out after being acquired. One tidbit to toss out there, however, is that Navarre entered into an “Amended and Restated Executive Employment Agreement” with Fukunaga (standard practice for a situation like this), whereby the FUNimation CEO was entitled to “a transaction success fee in an amount equal to the greater of (i) $250,000, and (ii) 5% of certain transaction proceeds”. The ending of the phrasing there is a bit too vague for us to speculate on, but suffice it to say, there was at least a quarter of a million dollars in terms of a bonus just for not getting in the way of selling the company… to himself (well, partially, anyway).

Interestingly, and what we could probably see coming a mile away, is that Navarre will continue to act as distributor for FUNimation and their products — that is exactly what Navarre does; they do it well, they have been making huge advances in just how well they do it, and if they are on such good terms with FUNimation, why not continue to benefit from and off of each other for the foreseeable future?

The big question for our audience is (of course): what does this mean for the Dragon Ball franchise? Well, FUNimation recently renegotiated the license for another five years, presumably taking them from 2010-2015, so it probably does not mean much in the short term. While a couple products have been delayed in the past couple months (Dragon Box five, Kai volume five), those delays could easily be attributed to general production woes and (likely) the Kenji Yamamoto music scandal.

In all likelihood, things will charge forward as-is for FUNimation and our favorite series.

Published by VegettoEX
29 March 2011, 3:37 PM EDTComments Off

Last November we learned about a new quarterly magazine from Shueisha called Saikyō Jump, which would contain spin-off chapters from their various popular series. For their first issue, a special chapter called Dragon Ball SD was drawn by Naho Ooishi, who had previously drawn the two-part manga adaptation of the 2008 Jump Super Anime Tour Special. It was a retelling of Goku’s early adventures with Kuririn while training under Kame-Sen’nin.

No second chapter was listed in the debut issue (despite other series having announced second chapters), but it was revealed yesterday that Dragon Ball SD would return for another chapter, again by Naho Ooishi, in the next issue of Saikyō Jump. This chapter will retell Super Saiyan Goku’s fight against Freeza.

Unfortunately, due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the 01 April 2011 release date of the issue has been pushed back to a new release date of 11 April 2011. As with the last issue, this one will come with an exclusive Dragon Ball Heroes card, but will also include an exclusive “Strongest Hero Grand Collection DVD”. The DVD will include “movie manga” versions of the twelve stories from the first issue.

We reviewed the first chapter back on Episode #0241 of our podcast if you want to learn more!

Published by VegettoEX
28 March 2011, 9:23 AM EDTComments Off

Dragon Ball Kai may have come to a close, but that does not have a whole lot of impact on the plethora of discussions yet to come! This week, Herms joins us for part one of our look at the “intended endings” to the series. Fans often claim that the author absolutely intended to end the manga with the Freeza story arc, but is this actually true? What evidence exists pointing to specific story arcs that could have served as the ending? Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0253! VegettoEX and Meri discuss a few news tidbits (such as the end of the “DragonBall Kai” TV broadcast in Japan) before turning it over to Herms for part one of our look at the “intended endings” to the series. Fans often claim that the author absolutely intended to end the manga with the Freeza story arc, but is this actually true? What evidence exists pointing to specific story arcs that could have served as the ending?

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by VegettoEX
27 March 2011, 3:29 PM EDTComments Off

This morning in Japan, Fuji TV broadcast the 97th episode of Dragon Ball Kai. While the “Artificial Humans & Cell arc” had been previously announced by Happinet as ending with episode 98 of the series (which even had an episode title set to go), the TV broadcast was shortened by one week due to delays associated with coverage of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Fuji TV has since updated their schedule to list episode 97 as the new “final episode” (最終回) of the series.

Toriko is still set to debut next week in the 9:00 am time slot previously held by Dragon Ball Kai (and was previewed at the end of this week’s Dragon Ball Kai episode), leaving the 98th episode lost to the ether. There is no word on whether the episode will eventually be broadcast in repeats or possibly included on the home Blu-ray/DVD release. The way in which the episode was re-classified as the final episode and how it used the series’ opening theme (“Dragon Soul”) as an insert song to wrap things up certainly point toward episode 98 being tossed aside for good.

Episode 98 would have likely covered Dragon Ball Z episode 194, where Trunks returns to his future timeline to defeat its own respective #17, #18, and Cell. While this material is indeed canonical to the original manga, episode 97 wrapped things up in a way that it is not necessarily essential to toss into the mix.