You may recall that about a month ago we reported that information had surfaced confirming that the upcoming Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray “Season” sets would indeed be in a 16:9 widescreen format. This confirmation came via online retailer product listings for the “Dragon Ball Z: Season 1” Blu-ray release, most notably from Amazon and RightStuf. In both cases the product descriptions, which appear to be the official promotional descriptions from FUNimation, clearly state that:
This epic collection presents the first thirty-nine episodes in remastered, high-definition quality and 16:9 aspect ratio using frame by frame, pan and scan technology, and features two English tracks (U.S. English broadcast version, English dialogue with Japanese music).
While that description makes it seem pretty cut and dry, it now appears that FUNimation is selling a slightly different story. Earlier this morning at their industry panel at New York Comic Con, hosted by FUNimation representatives Adam Sheehan and Justin Rojas, a fan inquired about why the upcoming Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray “Season” sets were being released in widescreen. In response, Sheehan made it clear that the matter of the aspect ratio is “still up in the air” and that nothing read online about it should be trusted at the moment.
The latter is quite an odd statement, considering the official product description contradicts it. It also poses the question: why was an official product description even released if the aspect ratio had not already been ironed out? So, it now appears that FUNimation themselves aren’t even quite sure what we’ll see on this release.
This all being said, fans may remember advertising material during the timeframe of the orange bricks subtly shifting language over time. While the entire nine “season sets” were indeed cropped/widescreen the entire way through, print advertisements in places like Viz’s Shonen Jump magazine stopped mentioning “widescreen” all together somewhere around the third release.
Thanks to Todd DuBois (@GWOtaku) for the heads up about this!
I’ve got my fingers crossed that they turn heel and release it full screen so that I can consider buying DBZ for a third time, but if not I’ll be a little annoyed, but I’ve still got my Dragon Boxes.
What’s puzzling is FUNi doesn’t do this for ANY other title they have. When they started putting Yu Yu Hakusho out on BD there was never a question of aspect ratio. It is what it is and it’ll be released as such.
Since it’s still up in the air, everyone should tweet @FUNimation letting them know what we want.