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Reviews


Our “Reviews” section grew out of our continuous coverage of international products over the years by way of our various “Features” and our weekly podcast. In conjunction with those areas, we aim to have the most comprehensive list and continued coverage of everything from music to home video to manga to collectible figures. We appreciate the support from all of our community members and industry partners — if you are interested in contributing a product for review (or in offsetting the cost of any particular item), please contact us.

Manga Reviews

Viz Dragon Ball Full Color Saiyan Arc Vol. 1

North America | Premium Manga Release
Released: 04 February 2014
Retail: $19.99
Reviewed: 24 February 2014
Viz brings the “Full Color” release to print in a premium release with (mostly) unedited artwork, including sound effects, starting with the Saiyan Arc.

Viz Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1

North America | Omnibus Manga Release
Released: 04 June 2013
Retail: $14.99
Reviewed: 08 July 2013
Viz begins another re-release of the Dragon Ball manga with another 3-in-1 edition on cheaper paper that is touted to be an “uncut” release, but…

Episode of Bardock

Japan | Three Monthly Manga Chapters
Released: Summer/Fall 2011
Retail: ¥500 (each)
Reviewed: 22 November 2011
Tying in with a larger media assault (including a re-release of his respective TV special, and inclusion in the latest arcade game), Bardock received a three-chapter spin-off manga by Naho Ooishi in Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine.

Home Video Reviews

Saikyō Jump March 2012 Bonus DVD

Japan | DVD (1 disc; Region 2)
Released: 03 February 2012
Retail: ¥480
Reviewed: 15 February 2012
Packed in with the March 2012 issue of Shueisha’s spin-off compilation magazine “Saikyō Jump” was a bonus DVD that included the animated adaptation of “Episode of Bardock” as well as the “Raging Blast 2″ special remake feature “Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans”.

Dragon Ball Z Special Selection DVD

Japan | DVD (1 disc; Region 2)
Released: 05 August 2011
Retail: ¥1,000
Reviewed: 06 September 2011
Previously only available as extras within the two Dragon Ball Z TV “Dragon Box” sets released in Japan back in 2003, the Bardock and Trunks TV specials received a ¥1,000 budget release to help promote the spin-off “Episode of Bardock” manga and “Dragon Ball Heroes” game updates.

Dragon Ball Kai Volume 33

Japan | DVD (1 disc; Region 2)
Released: 08 August 2011
Retail: ¥1,995
Reviewed: 25 August 2011
Dragon Ball Kai is the “refreshed” version of the series produced in Japan for the 20th anniversary of the Dragon Ball Z TV series. The final DVD volume contains the last two episodes of the series: “97″ and “98″ (the latter of which was reclassified as a “bonus” episode and never aired on TV).

Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies

North America | DVD (1 disc; Regions 1 & 4)
Released: 28 December 2010
Retail: $14.98
Reviewed: 18 January 2011
FUNimation’s re-release of the first Dragon Ball movie (originally named “The Legend of Shenlong”) marks its uncut and original Japanese debut in North America nearly 15 years after its original release.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Volume 1

North America | Blu-ray/DVD (2 discs)
Released: 18 May 2010
Retail: $49.98 (DVD), $54.98 (Blu-ray)
Reviewed: 26 May 2010
FUNimation’s “Dragon Ball Z Kai” Volume 1 is the first North American release of the “Dragon Ball Kai” TV series (a “refreshed” version created in celebration of its 20th anniversary in Japan) which features an all-new English dub meant to be significantly more accurate than before.

Dragon Box Z (Dragon Ball Z TV Series) Volume 2

North America | DVD (6 discs; Regions 1 & 4)
Released: 16 February 2010
Retail: $59.98
Reviewed: 29 March 2010
FUNimation’s “Dragon Box Z” Volume 2 is the second of seven boxes containing the entirety of the Dragon Ball Z TV series, complete with the original Japanese video and audio remastering from Toei and Pony Canyon, available for the first time in North America.

Dragon Box Z (Dragon Ball Z TV Series) Volume 1

North America | DVD (6 discs; Regions 1 & 4)
Released: 17 November 2009
Retail: $59.98
Reviewed: 22 November 2009
FUNimation’s “Dragon Box Z” Volume 1 is the first of seven boxes containing the entirety of the Dragon Ball Z TV series, complete with the original Japanese video and audio remastering from Toei and Pony Canyon, available for the first time in North America.

Dragon Ball Kai Volume 1

Japan | Blu-ray (1 disc; Region A)
Released: 18 September 2009
Retail: ¥3,045
Reviewed: 20 November 2009
Dragon Ball Kai is the “refreshed” version of the series produced in Japan for the 20th anniversary of the Dragon Ball Z TV series. The first Blu-ray volume contains the first three episodes in an exclusive 4:3 high-definition format.

Video Game Reviews

Dragon Ball Z for Kinect

North America | Xbox 360
Released: 09 October 2012
Retail: $39.99
Reviewed: 16 October 2012
“Dragon Ball Z for Kinect” is the first console-based, completely hands-free, motion-controlled game for the franchise courtesy of the Kinect on the Xbox 360.

Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden

Japan | Nintendo DS
Released: 03 February 2011
Retail: ¥5,980
Reviewed: 09 October 2012
“Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden” is the Japan-only fighting game — and final Dragon Ball game — for the Nintendo DS developed by Game Republic.

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi

North America | Sony PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Released: 25 October 2011
Retail: $59.99
Reviewed: 03 May 2012
“Ultimate Tenkaichi” is the latest fighting game from Spike, and includes a graphical overhaul, giant boss battles, and new combat system focusing on Quick-Time-Events.

Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2

North America | Sony PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Released: 02 November 2010
Retail: $59.99
Reviewed: 06 December 2010
“Raging Blast 2″ is a free-roam fighting game from Spike which includes new characters and the re-made “Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans” feature presentation.

Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team

North America | Sony PSP
Released: 19 October 2010
Retail: $39.99
Reviewed: 05 November 2010
“Tenkaichi Tag Team” is an off-shoot of the “Sparking! / Raging Blast” style of fighting games developed by Spike, now featuring two-on-two tag battles. It spans the near-entirety of the Dragon Ball Z story line from Raditz to Buu, with a few extra “What If?” scenarios spread throughout.

Dragon Ball Origins 2

North America | Nintendo DS
Released: 22 June 2010
Retail: $29.99
Reviewed: 17 July 2010
“Origins 2″ is a sequel game based around the Red Ribbon Army story arc of the series featuring “beat-’em-up” game play and light puzzles.

Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans

North America | Nintendo DS
Released: 04 November 2009
Retail: $29.99
Reviewed: 20 December 2009
“Attack of the Saiyans” is a traditional, Japanese-developed, turn-based role-playing game that spans the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai up through the battle with Vegeta.

Dragon Ball: Raging Blast

North America | Sony PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Released: 10 November 2009
Retail: $59.99
Reviewed: 15 November 2009
“Raging Blast” is the new 3D fighting game from Spike, developers of the prior “Sparking!” series. It covers the entirety of the Dragon Ball Z series, including several “What If?” stories and unique characters.

Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo

North America | Nintendo Wii
Released: 20 October 2009
Retail: $39.99
Reviewed: 28 October 2009
“Revenge of King Piccolo” is the domestic release of “Tenka’ichi Dai-Bōken” for the Nintendo Wii, an action-platformer that follows Goku’s quest and battles against the Red Ribbon Army up through his defeat of Piccolo Daimaō.

Music Reviews

FLOW – Hero ~Song of Hope~ / CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA

Released: 20 March 2013
Retail: ¥1,350
Reviewed: 20 June 2013
FLOW contributed two songs to the new film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods: a cover of “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” and a new song, “Hero ~Song of Hope~”, which were released as a CD single with an English version and instrumentals.

Dragon Ball Z 20th Century-SONGS BEST

Released: 27 February 2013
Retail: ¥2,800
Reviewed: 23 March 2013
20th Century-SONGS BEST celebrates a good portion of the Dragon Ball Z TV and film musical catalog with a slightly remastered sound.

Team Dragon (from AKB48) – Kokoro no Hane

Released: 21 July 2010
Retail: ¥1,260 (Regular), ¥1,600 (Limited Edition)
Reviewed: 23 January 2011
The “Team Dragon (Limited Edition)” version of the second closing theme to Dragon Ball Kai contains a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes footage from a recording session, a performance of the song, and more.

Hironobu Kageyama – Battle of Omega

Released: 22 December 2010
Retail: ¥1,200
Reviewed: 05 January 2011
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 fighting video game “Raging Blast 2″ received an all-new vocal theme song by veteran Hironobu Kageyama.

Shoko Nakagawa – Shoko-tan Cover 3

Released: 10 March 2010
Retail: ¥2,800 (Regular), ¥3,500 (Special Edition)
Reviewed: 10 June 2010
The cat-crazy idol released her third anime theme song cover album containing versions of a Dragon Ball Z ending and Dragon Ball GT opening.

Hironobu Kageyama – Progression

Released: 25 November 2009
Retail: ¥1,200
Reviewed: 03 March 2010
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 fighting video game “Raging Blast” received an all-new vocal theme song by veteran Hironobu Kageyama.

Hiroki Takahashi – POWER OF DREAMER

Released: 26 August 2009
Retail: ¥1,200
Reviewed: 04 October 2009
The Nintendo Wii video game “Tenka’ichi Dai-Bōken” received an all-new vocal theme song by veteran Hiroki Takahashi.

Dragon Soul – Yeah! Break! Care! Break!

Released: 24 June 2009
Retail: ¥1,260 (Regular), ¥1,365 (Limited Edition)
Reviewed: 16 August 2009
The “refreshed” Dragon Ball Kai TV series features an all-new closing theme song performed by series-newcomers “Dragon Soul” (Takayoshi Tanimoto & Takafumi Iwasaki).

Dragon Soul – Dragon Soul

Released: 20 May 2009
Retail: ¥1,260 (Regular), ¥1,365 (Limited Edition)
Reviewed: 05 July 2009
The “refreshed” Dragon Ball Kai TV series features an all-new opening theme song performed by series-newcomers “Dragon Soul” (Takayoshi Tanimoto & Takafumi Iwasaki).

Sherry – Romantikku Ageru yo

Released: 22 April 2009
Retail: ¥1,200
Reviewed: 17 May 2009
The debut CD single from a new all-female idol group is yet another cover of the ending theme to the original Dragon Ball TV series.

Maximum the Hormone – Tsume Tsume Tsume / F

Released: 09 July 2008
Retail: ¥1,157
Reviewed: 17 May 2009
A special “double-A-side” CD single featuring a song dedicated to the biggest badass in the Dragon Ball series, Freeza.

Ayumi Hamasaki – Rule / Sparkle

Released: 25 February 2009
Retail: ¥1,050 (CD Single), ¥1,800 (Full Album)
Reviewed: 29 March 2009
“Rule” is the international theme song for the live-action movie “Dragon Ball Evolution”.

Figure/Toy Reviews

“Legend of Saiyan” Series

Released: Early 2011
Maker: Banpresto
Reviewed: 25 April 2011
The “Legend of Saiyan” series features a plethora of three-inch figures spanning a huge range of Saiyan characters from the series and movies.

“Assembly Style DX Dragon Ball Creatures” Series

Released: Early 2009
Maker: Banpresto
Reviewed: 10 September 2010
The “Creatures” series features exaggerated molds of characters from the series at a lower/mid-range price point.

“Freeza’s Force” Series

Released: Early 2010
Maker: Banpresto
Reviewed: 26 July 2010
The “Freeza’s Force” series features twenty ~3 inch figures plus two variations on Freeza’s spaceship to form a near-complete army.

“Dragon Hero” Series

Released: October 2007
Maker: Bandai
Reviewed: 19 June 2010
The seemingly-canceled “Dragon Hero” series featured ~6 inch figures for a cheap price, but with a surprising build quality.