The big news of the day is clearly the Dragon Ball Kai Blu-ray and DVD sets and their listed details. The first Blu-ray set is due out 23 October 2009; keep in mind that the first disc (with the first three episodes) is due out 18 September 2009. That first disc is important because this first set appears to contain only episodes 4-15, rather than the entire 1-15. Amazon Japan has it with a list price of ¥15,960 (~$163) but with a decent pre-order price of ¥11,810 (~$120).
Furthermore, the description for the box specifically details it as being 4:3 with a description of now seeing the full image from the broadcast 16:9 version and how we will now finally be able to see everything in full detail. While we are excited to see someone take the lead with a high-def release of the series in its intended aspect ratio, this goes against everything we have seen and heard so far with regards to Kai and its production. Extras with this first set will include a promotional video for the upcoming Raging Blast PS3/360 game, creditless versions of the opening and ending, and more.
Amazon Japan actually has release dates for the first three Blu-ray sets:
- 23 October 2009 – Dragon Ball Kai Box 1 (episodes 004-015)
- 19 February 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Box 2 (episodes 016-027)
- 23 April 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Box 3 (episodes 029-040)
Episode 028 appears to have vanished — if we had to guess, we would say the last box set actually contains episodes 028-039. From these details, it seems that the Blu-ray version of the release will start with the single disc, and then move on to box sets only.
The DVD release on the other hand appears to be single discs only with no box sets at all. Amazon Japan has updated with release dates for the first ten volumes on DVD:
- 18 September 2009 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 01 (episodes 001-003)
- 23 October 2009 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 02 (episodes 004-006)
- 20 November 2009 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 03 (episodes 007-009)
- 18 December 2009 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 04 (episodes 010-012)
- 29 January 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 05 (episodes 013-015)
- 19 February 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 06 (episodes 016-018)
- 19 March 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 07 (episodes 019-021)
- 19 March 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 08 (episodes 022-024)
- 23 April 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 09 (episodes 025-027)
- 23 April 2010 – Dragon Ball Kai Volume 10 (episodes 029-031)
Although the first volume is retailing for ¥1,995 (~$20), volumes 02-10 are retailing for ¥2,940 (~$30). Much like the Blu-ray release, you can pick up the first few episodes on the cheap to see if you are into the series. Once again, episode 028 is not listed for some reason.
All of the case artwork will be drawn by Naoyoshi Yamamuro, a veteran animator involved with all three series and one of the animators responsible for the opening and ending animations in Dragon Ball Kai. You may not know it, but you’ve seen his work before — he is responsible for all of the artwork for the Dragon Box individual discs, Dragon Box The Movies, and the recent Jump Super Anime Tour DVD. Some of his new art is also being used as a place holder on Amazon Japan and the official release site.
We will continue to keep you updated as more information about these sets leaks its way to us.