Unannounced New Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z Theatrical Film Remasters Hit Japanese Streaming Services
Published by 06 August 2018, 3:33 PM EDT

The original 17 theatrical Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z films hit the Japanese Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services 27 July 2018, and while the addition of the movies themselves was heavily promoted, what remains unannounced is the clearly-new, high definition video remaster that accompanies them.

In addition to the obvious resolution bump, the new remaster (right) sports a sharper, deeper image at the higher resolution over the previous remaster (from 2006’s “Dragon Box: The Movies” DVD set, left). More detail is visible throughout the entire image, and particularly within the darker portions (which tend to be crushed and devoid of granular detail in multi-generation, international prints).

Unfortunately, the audio that accompanies the new streaming versions is the final mix of the film’s optical sound; source audio was re-mixed and included on the Dragon Box set, which remains the highest-quality audio of these films available to consumers.

The newly-remastered entries include the original three Dragon Ball films from 1986-1988, the thirteen Dragon Ball Z films from 1989-1995, and the franchise’s 10th anniversary film from 1996. The 2013 and 2015 theatrical films — Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’, respectively — have also been made available for streaming, but (being recent films) were in no need of and received no further video remastering.

As this new remaster series has yet to even be formally acknowledged by its producers, no home release has been announced or hinted at; a formal home release would feature higher video quality than streaming masters provided to online services.

Following an initial double-feature test with Dragon Ball Z movies 8 and 10 in 2007, FUNimation performed their own internal film remaster and released the 13 Dragon Ball Z films on Blu-ray over the course of 2008 to 2009 (to varying degrees of success and failure).

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