FUNimation DBZ Blu-ray Info & Call For Community Questions!
Published by 07 November 2013, 2:17 PM EST

FUNimation has issued a new press release — and familiar trailer — promoting their upcoming Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray sets, their second go at the original version of the series in high definition following the suspended “Level” sets.

While the company has also released the “refreshed” Dragon Ball Kai TV series on DVD and Blu-ray, this new batch of “season” sets mirrors their original nine bricks for the full 291-episode Dragon Ball Z TV series.

“Dragon Ball Z” Season Sets Blasting onto Blu-ray This Winter


Flower Mound, TX (November 7, 2013) – FUNimation® Entertainment has announced that it is giving the Blu-ray release of the anime phenomenon Dragon Ball Z another go.

Originally attempted with the Level Sets in 2011, production was suspended due to technical challenges of the frame by frame restoration from the original film. After careful evaluation of the process, FUNimation is glad to announce that restoration has recommenced and releases will be available before years end.

Different from the Level Sets before it, the episode count on the Blu-ray Season Sets will be identical to their extremely popular DVD counterparts. Also different, is the restoration and re-mastering process being used. A bolder, more vibrant color palette is being used to produce a picture current, and future, televisions can take advantage of. The Blu-ray Season Sets will also come in a widescreen format. Precise shot-by-shot reframing of each scene has used to ensure the optimal picture when converting from its native, full screen format.

“We want Dragon Ball Z to be a part of the modern, HD experience,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and president at FUNimation Entertainment. “We want people to see it and know that the time and care has been taken to give them something similar to what they’d see being created today.”

Each set of three releases will feature never-before-seen triptych cover art, showcasing the major heroes and villains from Dragon Ball Z’s three major sagas.

Included in the Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray Season Sets will be a nine-part extra features special that spans the entirety of the releases. Each Season Set will include brand new cast interviews, retrospectives, and fan submissions.

Dragon Ball Z: Season One (Blu-ray) will be available online and at retail stores on December 31, 2013.

To celebrate the announcement of this release, FUNimation is having a 4-day only, pre-order special on their website. From November 7 – November 11, fans can pre-order Dragon Ball Z: Season One (Blu-ray) for $24.74 (45% off). Click this link to view the sale.


Dragon Ball Z: Season One (Blu-ray) Summary

The Saiyans are coming! These ruthless, intergalactic villains carved a path of destruction across the galaxy, and now they’re headed for Earth! The evil Saiyan warlord Vegeta will not rest until he’s seized the wish-granting powers of the Dragon Balls for himself! Goku vs. Vegeta! The battle of all battles begins now!

Make room on your shelves because the Dragon Ball Z Season Sets are finally on Blu-ray! We embarked on a frame-by-frame restoration process to remove any blemishes, tape marks, and foreign bodies that might have tarnished your viewing experience. All three audio tracks have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality. The bolder, more vibrant color of this ultimate Dragon Ball Z release closely mirrors the visual aesthetics of today’s entertainment. Lastly, we undertook a precise shot-by-shot reframing of the entire series to create a modern HD widescreen presentation of this legendary fan favorite! It’s time to experience Dragon Ball Z like you’ve never experienced it before!

We Want Your Questions!

Leading up to this release, FUNimation has asked the Kanzenshuu readership/listenership/community to submit questions about the Blu-rays to be published in an exclusive future article.

Do you have questions, concerns, or thoughts about the remastering process? Cropping? Color palette? Episode count? Compression? Audio? Pass your questions along, and we will get to the bottom of it! Registered members can simply respond here on the news post, but anyone at all can hit us up with an e-mail via our contact form, or submit questions via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

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  • Lance Freeman says:

    I don’t think Funimation will be willing to publicly answer the kind of questions I have for them.

  • Taku128 says:

    Questions from the community huh? FUNimation does know what kind of community this is and how we’ve responded to these Blu-rays right? Oh well, this should be fun to watch regardless. Anyways, my question for FUNi, hopefully it’s not too long but when talking to the company actually creating these sets I feel the need to elaborate on my thoughts to make them as clear as possible:

    With both the 2007 season set DVDs and these new Blu-rays, you at FUNimation have attempted to mask the shows age and make it look like modern animation through re-framing the series to a 16:9 aspect ratio, filtering out grain, brightening the colors, and various other tweaks. My question is simply this: why? What’s wrong with just presenting the show as it is?

    Plenty of people watched it back in the day and have nostalgia for the show, and no matter how much you do to the footage people still know it’s an old action cartoon from the 90s. Why can’t you just present the show for what it is, rather than trying to disguise it as something it’s not, especially when you already have Dragon Ball Z Kai to fill that “modernized DBZ” role?

  • nessmudkip says:

    Oooh this is going to be fun. Alright, I’ll shoot:

    What were the results of the recent survey about DBZ Blu-Rays? Did they affect the decision to crop the series into 16:9?

    And while I’m at it…

    Aaaaaany news at all on further Dragon Boxes?

  • Let’s see, I have a question:

    The original press release mentioned that the audio (including the Japanese audio) was being adjusted/cleaned up for this Blu-Ray release. In the past, fans of the original Japanese audio have had to deal with low-quality mono audio, even though this is most likely what FUNimation was given.

    1) Will the original Japanese audio track have superior sound-quality over the Season Sets & Movie Collections?

    2) Also, will sales of this lead to any future Dragon Box releases for DB, GT, or the Movies?

  • SaiyanZ says:

    Can we expect any releases of future Dragon Boxes, and if so, will an option to listen to the Bruce Faulconer soundtrack be available while watching an episode? And if so, will sound be in mono or stereo (for either Faulconer or Kikuchi score)?

  • sangofe says:

    Here’s what I want to tell FUNimation:
    Hello FUNimation. Why did you decide on dropping the level sets in favor for these new wide screen sets? A large majorty of the Kanzenshuu fanbase wants DBZ on BluRay, but are not interested in widescreen a widescreen edition when it’s possible to make a product shown in 4:3 to 16:9 using a remote controller?

    The original broadcast audio, which is much clearer, is also a popular topic. Would this be a possible future release? Broadcast audio will be provided by fans in Japan and will be sent directly to one of your voice actors. Thank you for answering these questions, and I hope for DBZ on HD in full screen!

  • ashura says:

    In an age where Blu-Ray is the ultimate preservation of films old and new, why go the route of significantly altering the show like this? Very few releases in this age will alter a show so significantly (cutting off the picture, completely removing the grain) when it goes to Blu-Ray. Usually it’s the opposite; trying to present the best version, as close as it was when it originally aired on television or ran theatrically.

    If this is marketed toward other individuals who are seeing the show for the first time, will there be another Blu-Ray similar to the level sets and Dragon Boxes which are more focused toward the hardcore fans? If it’s a matter of film damage and cleanup, it seems like the community would rather see a release with the full picture, film damage, grain, and all.

  • sintzu says:

    if these new sets sell well will dragon ball-dragon ball gt be released on blu ray also ?

  • shadowdude112 says:

    Why release ANOTHER cropped version of DBZ instead of more Dragon Boxes? The cropped remaster didn’t have a good reception the first time, so why do it again?

  • Flamzeron says:

    Is FUNimation going to do anything with the dub, like redoing any lines, or are they just using the same dub they’ve been putting on the DVDs?

  • rukura says:

    Why not focus on getting a better quality release (i.e. Dragon Boxes) of another Dragon Ball series, such as the original Dragon Ball, GT or the Movies, instead of continuously saturating the market with Z releases?

    As a follow-up to that, if you wanna put more Z on shelves, why not the Z-era material that still hasn’t seen a proper western release? (That refers to “Heya! Son Goku and Friends return!!”, “Plan to Erradicate the Saiyans”, “Plan to Erradicate the Super Saiyans”, “Episode of Bardock” and “Battle of Gods”.)

  • gaffertape says:

    Why do I feel compelled to break out my best Admiral Ackbar “IT’S A TRAP!” impression, and that FUNimation is going to try and use this to paint a picture of us as obsessive nuts for having the radical idea of not chopping off 20% of the picture? That’s not my question, though. I actually have a feeling most of these will be the same question (as it should be), and I’m no exception, but I’ll try my best interpretation of it:

    1. Why, in both your 2007 season set release and your upcoming Blu-ray Disc do you seem insistent on taking a remastering method that flies in the face of legitimate film restoration? I admit your tactics greatly confuse me. On the one hand, you present a veneer of being genuinely interested in presenting the best possible picture quality for the show and of taking “time and care” to use the best technology at your disposal to treat Dragon Ball Z with the respect you claim it deserves. But on the other hand, you then take those technical decisions and put them in the hands of the consumers who don’t understand them and would never have noticed the difference one way or the other while alienating the fans who do know the difference. Do these decisions exist solely to be able to use buzzwords like “widescreen” and “digitally remastered” in your marketing? I personally think simply putting raw 1080p masters to disc without any clean-up of any kind would be preferable, would require much less time, effort, and money on your part, and still allow you to hype up the “high definition” angle.

    2. Are there any plans for alternatives for those of us who would love to spend money on new Dragon Ball items but are, to diplomatically put it, unwilling to support your current Blu-ray remastering methods? Specifically, are there any plans to continue the Dragon Box lines for Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball GT, and the movies, so that those of us who diligently collected the Z Boxes can complete our collections? Or any way of reprinting, even in a limited run, the Z Boxes, for those people who want to collect the series in its original aspect ratio and picture quality and who have no other alternatives to doing so?

  • dinochow says:

    Dear Funimation,

    In the modern film restoration world, the emphasis on restoring or remastering footage in need of ‘clean up’ is almost always on respecting the source, and being as accurate to the original presentation as possible. Think, for example, of the Criterion Collection and the restoration and release of classic, foreign, and significant films on home video. They are a successful and celebrated company, and yet they have never ‘modernized’ an older title; the emphasis is instead on making the image look (and audio sound) as good as possible within the specific aesthetic context of the work as it was originally created. On the flip side, we may consider the ‘colorization’ debate of the 1980s and 90s, in which films shot in black-and-white were ‘modernized’ by artificially adding color to the image. This is not a commonly used practice anymore, precisely because consumers – in addition to scholars and critics – rejected the practice on the grounds of aesthetic integrity.

    Now, by your own admission in the press release – by using terms like “bolder, more vibrant color palette” and “converted from the native, full screen format” – the notion of ‘truth to the source’ is obviously not the philosophy being used on the Dragon Ball Z Blu-Ray releases. My question, then, is why? What specific benefits does FUNimation see from going against the modern film restoration consensus, and what about Dragon Ball Z demands a full-scale aesthetic overhaul even more extreme than what was done back in 2007 for the season sets? I am genuinely curious, especially because, in making such drastic changes (as seen in the trailer) to the image, color balance, grain structure, line-work, and more, can it be said you are actually presenting the show fans – of both the original Japanese version and the American dub – are used to seeing, or want to see going forward? If the show needs such drastic reworking, why did people love it (and buy it) in the first place? And what benefits will fans of the show as it has almost always (outside of the Season Sets) existed – in 4×3, with a rich and textured color palette and fine grain structure – see from this dramatic overhaul?

  • kojirosasaki says:

    I have one short question: Why the “remastering process” goes against its purpose?

  • gaffertape says:

    Dear Mike,

    If there can be only one “why did FUNimation crop the Blu-rays?” question submitted, I hereby nominate dinochow’s version. I applaud him for presenting a clear, concise argument, backing that up with facts, and presenting it all without snark or malice.

  • majinboogc says:

    I feel that asking about the aspect ratio issue would be like beating a dead horse so, I’ll ask something different.

    Does FUNimation control all Dragon Ball properties throughout North America? It seems like most anime now have to go through a USA company and then picked up by a dubbing company in Latin America. If there is a mutual agreement between companies, why is it not possible to include the Latin American dub of Dragon Ball Z with these Blu-ray sets if anime companies now use FUNimation scripts and video for their releases? The Latin American dub that I am talking about is the one recorded in Mexico and was partially released with the Ultimate Uncut DVD sets and it was also included with the Cooler’s Revenge DVD.

    If FUNimation wants my hard earned money, they need to offer me something that I do not already have or something superior to what I already own. Right now my Dragon Box Z sets, while lacking the Latin American dub and are in standard definition, are my definitive version.

  • JacobYBM says:

    1. Which person suggested cropping the Dragon Ball Z Blu-rays?

    2. Is it possible to please advertise these Blu-rays with “Edited version” on the box? I do believe cropping (not to mention not including the original credits, title cards, and next episode previews) falls under the category of ‘edited version only release’.

  • Daimakku says:

    When are you going to release the original Dragonball, Dragonball GT, all 16 movies and 3 specials in Dragonbox format? I own all seven Dragonboxes and I hate knowing I only own Z in this format, without the movies, specials, original Dragonball or GT. If anything, I’ll just settle for the movies and specials in Dragonbox format. Especially the two Z specials, since they are really actually part of the series’ canon. They MUST be watched to fully enjoy the show.

    No questions about this new Blu-ray release since I am not really interested. If I’m getting anything in BD, it’ll be Kai since that one actually has something new and significant to offer to the table: new japanese audio in 5.1 and new english dub (which I actually love), also in 5.1. And let’s not forget that Kai was actually re-mastered with new drawings and kinks so it could be real HD and widescreen, instead of just this cropping stuff FUNimation is trying to do.

    I guess this is more of a general comment, as I don’t expect to be answered. I just hope FUNimation is reading so they can know there’s an actual subgroup of Dragonball fans who are still interested in the Dragonboxes and who are willing to spend money to get the rest of the franchise in this format.

  • bkev says:

    I think I’ll try and weigh in here with a question:

    Do you plan to attempt this grain-free, “modern” aesthetic consistently throughout the series? Or will the DNR be toned down in later seasons the way it appeared to have been in the original season sets?

  • Daimakku says:

    Also, I agree with majinboogc. FUNimation needs something new to entice me to spend money on the series again, and the latin american dub by Intertrack alongside the english dub and original japanese audio would actually make me get the series again. I love the latin american dub. Why FUNimation stopped including it after the Ultimate Uncuts got cancelled is beyond me.

  • rukura says:

    Regardless of my questions being sent forward or not, DINOCHOW’s post needs to be answered by FUNimation.

  • BlazingFiddlesticks says:

    After being reminded again of how closely Level 1.1 was released after Dragon Box 7, I’ll be the one to phrase something about Funimation’s though process at the time. I don’t think Funimation can answer without making themselves look silly, since the Levels are a moot point now, but I will give it a shot.

    “The official statement for cancelling the Level Sets was to reevaluate the remastering process; but had you considered the timing? The first Level Blu-Ray was released roughly a month after the final Dragon Box set had released. Even though the Dragon Boxes were meant to appeal to a certain portion of the consumer base, what did you hope to accomplish by releasing the Blu-Rays so soon after? Could the Levels had sold more effectively if there was a little breathing room?

    Beyond that, any lessons learned from the Levels?”

    I think most of us have wondered this, and it’s a moot point now, but no one has asked.

  • superrayman3 says:

    Alright I’ll bite with some questions.

    #1. Why does FUNimation continue to disrespect what AR the Japanese directors wanted and continue to SPIT in the face’s of the animators and all of the hard work they put into the series by cropping DBZ to 16:9 without a care in the world?

    #2. Who does your DNR process? (I want to know because I believe that they are highly inexperienced and do not know how to do DNR properly)

    #3. How did FUNimation manage to make these upcoming season sets look even WORSE than the 2007 season sets?

  • Back in 2010, Dragon Ball Kai had received a new and improved dub and caused some excitement across the fandom. Many fans were satisfied with their voice works because of their years of experience in voice acting, especially Chris Ayres as Freeza. So, the question is, will there be any plans to make another new dub for 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z with an accurate script and excellent direction?

  • theawesomepossum777 says:

    2 main questions:

    1. Will this new Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball Z be the definitive version of the show for many years to come in FUNimation’s eyes? With the US Dragon Boxes, they could be seen as the definitive standard definition release of the Dragon Ball Z television series. The only flaw in my opinion being the low fidelity audio for the Japanese audio track. That is not FUNimation’s fault, though. However, with the advent of Blu-Ray, many have wondered if there would be a high definition remaster of the series. So in short, what is the future of Dragon Ball (Z,GT) home releases in North America? Will Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT be released in the same way Dragon Ball Z is going to be in Blu-Ray?

    2. Will the Dragon Box Z Volumes be reprinted? It is quite disheartening to know that the only way to own half of the Saiyan Arc and the Namek Arc uncut, uncensored, and in 4:3 aspect ratio is a collector’s item.

  • Chuquita says:

    Most of the big questions have already been asked, so here’s what I’ve got:

    Will any of the proceeds from this Blu-ray release go towards the funding of Funimation licensing “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”? There have been theories that Toei has placed the licensing cost for the film higher for the U.S. than for other countries (which would explain why it has already been licensed and even dubbed in other countries) and that it might be out of Funimation’s current purchasing range or the price Toei has set the movie at would exceed the amount of profit Funimation would make back off it. Has Toei placed stipulations on the purchase of the license that Funimation in its present state could not achieve like a wide set of movie theater showings?

  • JacobYBM says:

    2. FUNimation mentioned previously that ‘a’ or ‘the’ director of Dragon Ball Z was involved in the remastering of the series. Was This Nishio Daisuke himself? How was he contacted and to what degree was he involved?

  • coola says:

    My question would be: Will there be a new English dub?

  • kei17 says:

    My questions:

    1. To what do you refer when you “color-correct” the footage in your remastering processes?
    2. Are you interested in a superior audio source of the original Japanese version?

  • kei17 says:

    3. Would you include two music-only audio tracks on all episodes? I’d like to listen to the U.S. replacement score and the original Japanese score without any voices or sound effects.

  • Sin says:

    Why does the Dragon Ball franchise receive such a different treatment to say, Yu Yu Hakusho? The DBZ footage has been altered to the point that detail is lost and content is actually cut from the screen, now on multiple releases. YYH however, had an extremely well polished, definitive Blu-Ray release which kept the original aspect ratio and was well received by fans.

  • solidus says:

    My questions are as follows:

    1. Is there any possibility that these releases will include the AB Groupe English dub (AKA Westwood Ocean dub), when it gets to that point in the series, as an additional audio track?

    2. How did the Rock the Dragon Edition set do in sales and did they have any affect on the approach taken to this new remastered release?

  • Kakarot88 says:

    Given the various desires of fans, what home release products can the Kanzenshuu fan base hope to see in the future?

    The commercial makes a point of discussing this as the future of the franchise. Is there any possibility Funimation will release the box set of the Z series in 4:3 again or are we limited to the discontinued single DVD releases, discontinued Dragon Boxes, and discontinued level sets to see the show in the original aspect ratio?

    Currently the only way to see the Namek arc in 4:3 is the edited Ocean dub or the discontinued Dragon Box 2, I know many here would enjoy a re-realease or special order purchasing option of the dragon boxes of at the very least just dragon box 2. Is there any possibility such a special order release will be offered?

    Will all other anime releases be distributed from Funimation in 16:9 even of they were created in 4:3 or is this unique to Dragon Ball Z?

  • KingofWisdom says:

    If this release is aiming for a modern presentation, why is there not also a release that preserves Dragon Ball Z’s age? If completely remastering it frame by frame is too costly, then why isn’t a minimal touch-up sort of remastering viable?

  • jrdemr says:

    So FUNimation decides to move away from the original in nearly every aspect… and then asks the *Kanzenshuu* community to ask questions about the release?

    They just opened a major can of worms.

    Either they don’t really know what kind of community this is (likely) or they’re just plain masochistic.

  • Will it be the same dub for both the orange season sets and original broadcasting or will the Kai actors be going in to redub DBZ?

    How many sets can we expect to see and are you guys doing the whole vol 1-1; 1-2 thing?

    I’m ok with sets going 16:9 but can we see comparisons to the orange DVD sets and the 4:3 dragonbox sets.

  • kuwabara says:

    Why have you opted to re-release the Orange Bricks in complete sets a month before this new Blu-ray release is supposed to hit? Won’t this draw attention away from the new Blu-rays? Feel free to disenfranchise me of this notion, but I believe there to be reasonable precedent for this happening, what with the Level sets not meeting sales expectations right after having been released almost as soon as the Dragon Boxes concluded their run.

  • krakabeast says:

    How, in this day in age when you have the community’s voice at your disposal, did you guys manage to ruin another Z release? Give me the U.S. broadcast audio and the original BGM over a 4:3 ratio in a real remastered collection.

  • batistabus says:

    Although extremely disappointed by the modifications to the picture, many of us would still like to own the entirety of Dragon Ball on blu-ray. Are there any bonus features that might sweeten the deal and appeal to the Kanzenshuu audience?

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