ect5150, in diligent ever-scanning-Amazon-Japan fashion, has discovered the full release schedule for the upcoming Dragon Ball GT R2 DVDs. As with DB & DBZ, these are individual discs based off of the previous Dragon Box sets (non-faux-remastered, nice sound, progressive, full-screen, etc.). Remember, these are from Japan, and while they are NTSC, they are encoded as Region 2 and have no subtitles.
- 06 February 2008: Volumes 1 & 2
- 05 March 2008: Volumes 3 & 4
- 02 April 2008: Volumes 5 & 6
- 09 May 2008: Volumes 7 & 8
- 04 June 2008: Volumes 9, 10, & 11
So there you have it. After this, all that is left will be the movies for single-disc releases… and those TV specials…
SuperHeroHype is sourcing “The Hollywood Reporter” on this one — apparently Eriko Tamura will be joining the cast as Mai (Pilaf’s female lackey), and Joon Park will be playing Yamcha (I guess James Kyson Lee did not get the role?). We also have Emmy Rossum joining the cast in some unknown role. If we know we have James Marsters as Piccolo, and we’ also have Mai in here now, it sounds like we can definitely expect some sort of adaptation of the Piccolo-Daimaō arc.
(Of course, the real question is: who is going to play Pilaf?!)
Thanks to the original ero-sennin for the heads-up.
With the Will News has put up some information listing a whole bunch of interesting Dragon Ball-related releases coming from FUNimation later this year:
- DBZ movies 1 & 2 Blu-ray May 27th – Remastered
- DBZ movies 1 & 2 DVD May 27th – Remastered
- DBZ Season 5 box set May 27th
- DBGT Season 1 box set June 10th
New box sets, huh? There is no information on whether or not this DBGT box set is “remastered” in the same way that the DBZ season box sets are “remastered” — it seems a little strange to be coming so soon, since a “Lost Episodes” box set just recently came out 13 November 2007 (covering episodes 1-16), and there is already been a box set of their so-called first “season” released back in October 2005 (or rather, their volumes one through five).
So what about this Movie 1 & 2 double feature news? It looks like the upcoming Bardock/Trunks disc (which will be coming out in a special tin case, by the way) was only the tip of the iceberg, and DBZ movies 1 & 2 will come out on both standard DVD & Blu-ray. Interestingly, this somewhat contradicts what ToonZone reports was stated at the recent FUNimation panel at NYC Anime Festival:
FUNimation was one of the few anime companies at the New York Anime Festival that is releasing high-definition material on Blu-ray DVD. Sheehan started with the Dragon Ball Z: Broly on Blu-ray, which puts 2 Broly features on 1 disc. Sheehan asked the rhetorical question of, “Why buy a Blu-ray edition of a 20-year old show?” and answered himself by saying that the show looked, “Beyond pure…like a cel animation framed on my TV.” However, during the Q&A, Sheehan said that they had no plans for more Blu-ray or HD DVD at this time, but that they were satisfied with their results for Dragon Ball Z. He also said that they were settled on the Blu-ray format for now.
You can never completely trust what is said about the future at panels, since they are only saying what they are allowed to say at that particular point in time about upcoming plans and releases.
Our buddy Timo wrote in to let us know that there are some new releases on the way over in Germany. Carlsen Comics (who released the manga over there) announced that they will be putting out the “Film Anime Comics” versions (or “animanga”) for the Dragon Ball Z TV series. There is a little bit of information (and now cover art) up over on their website:
The “Saiyajin Saga” will be released in five volumes in paperback format (mirroring the Japanese original). In addition to this, the Carddass trading card game has actually been coming out since around July this year. The artwork and layout are similar to the French release, and the rules are the original Japanese. So far two editions have been released and a third is on its way.
“Sparking! METEOR” (released internationally as “Budokai Tenkaichi 3″) is still the new-hotness for the franchise, but Namco-Bandai is already heading into “next-gen” territory with a “new battle for Goku and friends” on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 entitled “Burst Limit”:
The preliminary info and images come from next week’s Jump (by way of NeoGAF). No specific developer beyond Namco-Bandai has been listed for this 2008 game. More info will be available in the February 2008 issue of “V-Jump”, so look forward to that.
Mark Bozon over at IGN has finally put up a review of “Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ focusing on the Wii version, though mentioning the PS2 version where appropriate:
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is far from being a failure of a game. When looking at the core gameplay, and ignoring the titles before it, BT3 is a fast, fun, and amazingly deep experience for fans of the award-winning anime. There are more characters here than in any other fighter out there (161 total), with a huge story, impressive library of information and extras for each of the fighters in the game, and as much fan service as there is actual gameplay throughout. After so many iterations of the same design, however, we’ll admit the series is starting to lose steam, and while newcomers to DBZ fighters or loyal fans may swear the contrary, we couldn’t shake the overwhelming “been there, done that” feel. The main story mode is thinner, the modes gained from PS2 disc fusion could have simply been included on both PS2 and Wii without the need for previous purchases, and the online for Wii is currently broken. Yes, the core fighting experience is better, and with nearly 200 fighters there’s a ton to see and do in BT3.
With such a mix of positives and negatives overall though, it is hard to recommend Tenkaichi 3 for purchase when you could just as easily pick up BT2 for a fraction of the price, or skip a year and wait for the inevitable sequel to come along. Should online play be fixed, however, or if you’re looking for the single largest roster of fighters out there in an experience that’s astonishingly true to the anime, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is still a great choice. A word to the wise though: There’s always another DBZ game on the way.
Honestly, I could not agree more with the review. If you check out what we have been saying on the podcast (just this week with our final thoughts, and back on Episode #0099 with our initial thoughts), you will pretty much hear a mirror of what was written up here, concluded with a very fair score of 8.0
Right now, the metacritic.com score is hovering at 75/100, while the user score is 9.8/10…
According to Atari’s latest press release, all disputes with FUNimation have been settled and they will continue onwards as the exclusive US rights holder — all it did was cost them another $3.5 million:
Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), an interactive entertainment company, announced today that it settled its previously reported dispute with FUNimation Productions Ltd. with respect to an audit of amounts due to FUNimation under certain sublicense agreements and other matters.
Under the terms of the settlement, Atari, Inc. paid to FUNimation $3.5 million, comprised of a cash payment of approximately $2.7 million and a reduction of $0.8 million in the amount of the recoupable royalty advance made to FUNimation. Atari, Inc. originally paid FUNimation $10 million in January 2004 to secure the exclusive interactive U.S. rights for the Dragon Ball Z franchise through January 2010. As previously disclosed in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2007, the Company reserved the settlement as of September 30, 2007.
“With this dispute behind Atari, Inc. we look forward to continuing our relationship with FUNimation and continuing to deliver to our consumers exciting products from the Dragon Ball Z franchise,” said Curtis G. Solsvig III, Chief Restructuring Officer of Atari, Inc.
Long story short, as we have seen with Atari in the past, their ability to count money has not exactly been top-notch. Looks like FUNimation called them out on it, and demanded the rest of the money they were owed. They collected, everyone is on friendly terms again, and unless Atari goes out of business they are going to keep distributing DBZ games until 2010. On a somewhat related note, it looks like the other of the “two” license disputes FUNimation had with Atari was with “Yu Yu Hakusho”.
Atari also announced some additional restructuring today, but nothing seems to affect the DB license all that much.
Episode #0106 of the podcast is available for download! It’s everything you’ve been waiting for, and so much more. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to have it done in time to say it actually came out on Sunday… but it looks like I pulled it off. I’ll just require extra coffee in the morning, I think. So here’s your “final thoughts” (well, our “final thoughts”) on Sparking! METEOR, which you’re perhaps playing as Budokai Tenkaichi 3. I think we’ll go both directions from what you would expect us to say, so certainly tune in for that. In addition, we had all sorts of other great discussions pop up during the recording. A fun time for all! Definitely check it out.
Episode #0106! VegettoEX, Meri, and Julian discuss this week’s news, which clearly makes up for the lack of news in the previous week. Live action casting, FUNimation releases, and an IGN list top the news. We then dive into our final thoughts on “Sparking! METEOR” which you may be playing as “Budokai Tenkaichi 3″. How does the third installment compare, and where is it heading? Meri’s own Top 5 plot twists, December’s releases, and some great e-mails round out the episode.
- Live Action Movie Open Casting Call @ IESB.net
- Bardock / Trunks Double Feature DVD @ AAA Anime
- Bardock / Trunks Double Feature DVD @ RightStuf
- DBZ’s Top 10 Plot Twists @ IGN
- “Sparking! METEOR” (JP PS2) @ Play-Asia
- “Sparking! METEOR” (JP Wii) @ Play-Asia
- “DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ (US PS2) @ Amazon
- “DragonBall Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3″ (US Wii) @ Amazon
- Meri’s Top 5 Plot Twists @ Daizenshuu EX
- DBZ “Remastered” Vol. 17 (Spain) @ zonadvd.com
- DBZ Ongakushu Vol. 1 Re-Re-Release @ CDJapan
- DBZ BGM Collection” (3 CD Set) @ CDJapan
IESB.net is reporting that the upcoming live action Dragon Ball movie will begin filming on January 7th. However, as you read through the news, you will notice that the tip is just coming in via an e-mail from someone in the area. They may trust the person, but to me it is not quite as official as I would expect from such a legitimate source. Regardless, it makes a bunch of sense.
It is getting really hard to deny this movie will ever get made, now…
IGN has been showing some Dragon Ball minor bits of love lately. This time around, their “Anime” section (which I never knew existed) has a “DragonBall Z: Top 10 Plot Twists” feature.
Thanks to The S for the heads-up on that list. It is extremely English-version-centric, but the author (David Smith) has a pretty good grasp on things.