If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

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If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:08 pm

So as some posters here are aware in 2017 when Jeroome Mazandarani head of Manga UK was asked if Rock the Dragon could get a UK release he expressed enthusiasm saying he'd love to bring it to these shores. In September of the same year Jerome stated he was waiting to meet with TOEI and Funimation to negotiate acquiring the set. All of this took place prior to Jerome deactivating his Twitter.

Ever since Jerome deactivated his Twitter himself and Manga UK have remained silent on whether or not Rock the Dragon is still on the cards, so I took the initiative to ask for an update in April of this year. I won't quote the Facebook message verbatim but what he said to me then was that this request was lost among a myriad of other requests and business concerns he had and this one in particular hadn't been sorted yet.

Fast forward to May and the somewhat unprecedented news that Funimation bought Manga UK. I was waiting to see if this would have any effect. With all the new Super Blu-Rays slated for release and still no sign of Rock the Dragon despite it now being common for Manga UK to put them out alongside other releases like the movies and Kai TFC in late 2017 and 2018 respectively I messaged Jerome once again today to ask if not by the end of this year could it potentially be released on March 6th next year to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Dragon Ball Z airing in the UK. Just today he said Manga UK won't be releasing it and apologized.

While I am disappointed by this news I'm not willing to give up hope as I think its extremely unfortunate that without Rock the Dragon Manga UK remains the only one of the current three distributors of Dragon Ball DVDs and Blu-Rays that has not released the dub that started it all. This is also likely the last chance there will ever be for that dub being re-released.

In addition Jerome has not yet responded to my enquiry about what went wrong. Depending on his response I may suggest Manga UK could consider repackaging Madman's old singles of that dub from the early 2000s. While Madman's singles would be a better choice for having all the recaps and NEPs I was personally hoping for Rock the Dragon as it would mean more episodes per disc and rarities like the TV version of Tree of Might, but Madman would be better than nothing.

My question is for anyone who would still be interested in purchasing a UK version of 'Rock the Dragon'.

Would you mind it being in a standard DVD fatpack? I see Manga have been doing some Collector's Editions for My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan so this would be a great opportunity to do one for Dragon Ball. It wouldn't have to mirror the US set but even something like a sturdy slipcase to hold the DVD case and the booklet beside it would be nice.

Would you import it if you are living outside the UK or Ireland if you were one of those who missed out on it in 2013?

Would it matter to you if its Rock the Dragon or the Madman singles repackaged? As stated above there are advantages to both. Would one or the other be a dealbreaker?

I should also state I told Jerome a lot of fans would rather support Manga UK for their efforts to acquire this set than pay the ridiculous prices that set goes for on the second hand market. I still find it weird he just suddenly says point blank it won't happen, especially now that Manga UK are owned by Funimation releasing Rock the Dragon could be a mutually beneficial business move.

Honestly I may end up tracking down the old singles as this is a niche DVD-only product that Manga UK may be just not willing to take a risk on.
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Rory » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:29 pm

I think about this set a lot. Besides a (proper) Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z, the 'Rock the Dragon' set is one of the few sets I'd love to have sitting on my shelf, it was pretty much my introduction to anime, and it's a real respectful presentation of that era.
Not sure I'd be super into buying singles for it, though.

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:51 am

Rory wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:29 pm
I think about this set a lot. Besides a (proper) Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z, the 'Rock the Dragon' set is one of the few sets I'd love to have sitting on my shelf, it was pretty much my introduction to anime, and it's a real respectful presentation of that era.
Not sure I'd be super into buying singles for it, though.
Yeah me too, there's so many releases of Funimation's remastered dubs Rock the Dragon is quite unique, especially for Manga UK. If they released it it would not only be the first time they've released anything with the Ocean cast other than the BLT dub on DB season 1 and Drummond's cameo on DBS Part 4, but as Rock the Dragon is so hard to come by it may be one of the few chances they will ever have for people in the US (and possibly Australia) to import from them rather than the reverse for a change. It's also such an important milestone in the history of anime because DBZ was a lot of people's introduction and the Saban dub was their introduction to DBZ.

I didn't want to buy the singles myself as they take up a lot of shelf space and if Manga UK released Rock the Dragon or even the Madman singles repackaged it would likely have a lower MSRP brand new than all the singles used, but if they have truly given up on releasing it I'm running out of options. I do proudly own Pioneer's Uncut Movie Trilogy (The Ocean cast's finest work) and the Arrival DVD single but I'd love to own the other 49 episodes of that dub in some format.

It's sad no distributor released this dub way back in the early 2000s in the UK. It likely would have sold decently since the orange bricks sold well years after lots of people imported and there would probably be a few still lying around in CeX stores.
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:12 pm

A proper box set, preferably using Madman's PAL DVD masters for the show, and using the uncut Pioneer movies would be perfect IMO. Anything else is a step down from that.

Honestly, the RTD set itself was a little iffy; video quality was utterly awful, the TV cut versions of movies 1 and 2 were an annoying inclusion, and them excluding the Pioneer version of movie 3 was really annoying.
Only good thing about it was the packaging, and the uncensored audio of episodes 1 and 2. Everything else was far better on the old DVD singles.
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by DBZimran » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:36 am

Manga won't release it. The majority of the UK fan base assume they grew up with the Funimation version. I was very surprised to even see people thinking Sean Schemmel or Chris Sabat were he voices of their childhood. Smh

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Dragon Ball Ireland » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:07 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:12 pm
Honestly, the RTD set itself was a little iffy; video quality was utterly awful, the TV cut versions of movies 1 and 2 were an annoying inclusion, and them excluding the Pioneer version of movie 3 was really annoying.
I thought the quality of RTD was serviceable from what I've seen in screenshots, not as bad as the Season sets but then that's not saying much. Then again much like animation I may change my mind if I ever have the chance to see it in motion.
DBZimran wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:36 am
Manga won't release it. The majority of the UK fan base assume they grew up with the Funimation version. I was very surprised to even see people thinking Sean Schemmel or Chris Sabat were he voices of their childhood. Smh
Well the UK did get the inhouse cast from Freeza to Trunks, the first few airings of the Fusion saga on CNX and the video games. I doubt anyone who grew up during that era has forgotten the Canadian voices unless they were extremely young. I was 8-12 when they were broadcast and I can tell the different voices I heard as a kid apart.

Hard to say what went on but it feels like Manga UK either only considered RTD only to drop the idea or Funimation doesn't want that dub released again, or at least not anytime soon.
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- Madman Level 1.1

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by MasenkoHA » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:50 pm

DBZimran wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:36 am
Manga won't release it. The majority of the UK fan base assume they grew up with the Funimation version. I was very surprised to even see people thinking Sean Schemmel or Chris Sabat were he voices of their childhood. Smh
That’s pretty much how it was in the US and the US still got Rock the Dragon.

If anything isn’t the UK more likely to recognize the Ocean cast since they got the Westwood dub?

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Captain Awesome » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:05 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:12 pm
A proper box set, preferably using Madman's PAL DVD masters for the show, and using the uncut Pioneer movies would be perfect IMO. Anything else is a step down from that.

Honestly, the RTD set itself was a little iffy; video quality was utterly awful, the TV cut versions of movies 1 and 2 were an annoying inclusion, and them excluding the Pioneer version of movie 3 was really annoying.
Only good thing about it was the packaging, and the uncensored audio of episodes 1 and 2. Everything else was far better on the old DVD singles.
Why are the PAL DVD masters considered superior? I still have all of my PAL singles and I just assumed they were a step down from the NTSC releases due to the PAL encoding.
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Danfun64 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:08 pm

The Madman singles had better encoding than the Pioneer singles. Of course, since it's an NTSC to PAL conversion, the NTSC master with good bitrate would probably work just as work...not that this matters in this case.
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by DBZimran » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:45 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:50 pm
DBZimran wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:36 am
Manga won't release it. The majority of the UK fan base assume they grew up with the Funimation version. I was very surprised to even see people thinking Sean Schemmel or Chris Sabat were he voices of their childhood. Smh
That’s pretty much how it was in the US and the US still got Rock the Dragon.

If anything isn’t the UK more likely to recognize the Ocean cast since they got the Westwood dub?
I'm not talking about fans who visit these forums or who have a wide range of Dragon Ball lore knowledge. The vast majority who simply watch the show casually have no idea they grew up with a Canadian voice cast. I think Jerome knows this. What point is there to release the Ocean cast version if only a minority like us who visit sites like this will care. Aside from a minority nobody really kicked Manga UKs door down rioting when the Orange bricks were launched here. Or when the new movies and Super all featured the Funimation voice cast.

I have asked him myself if he has any intentions to release the Westwood dub he said no. I have even made Manga UK aware that I have a Stereo and HiFi collection of the dub. Despite this they don't seem interested. The Westwood dub seems to be stuck in licensing hell. It's a shame for fans like me who grew up with it and have a fond nostalgia for that version.

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Char Aznable » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:58 am

While a release of the set is unlikely, if the UK did come out with it in a standard packaged release, I’d actually probably import it. Reason why is because cardboard sleeve packaging is the worst thing ever especially for fragile DVDs, and I actually ended up buying a few sets, taking the best of each disc and putting it in a 9-disc bundle case, selling off the extras, and setting the book in the closet for now. I’m trying to find a good acrylic stand to display the book that way in the future.

The problem is best of the worst is still not great, inevitably every single Rock the Dragon set is going to have a few discs with some scratches on it. In the 1% chance the UK came out with it in regular packaging, I would import it for that reason alone. If it was somehow the .01% chance it was done as an SD Blu-ray, I would preorder immediately.

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:55 pm

Dragon Ball Ireland wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:07 pm
I thought the quality of RTD was serviceable from what I've seen in screenshots, not as bad as the Season sets but then that's not saying much. Then again much like animation I may change my mind if I ever have the chance to see it in motion.
The main problem is, it's super washed out and blurry.
Naturally, it's not as bad as Funi's season sets, because nothing is, but it's still the worst the Saban dub has ever looked on DVD.
Captain Awesome wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:05 pm
Why are the PAL DVD masters considered superior? I still have all of my PAL singles and I just assumed they were a step down from the NTSC releases due to the PAL encoding.
The PAL conversion does introduce some blending, but the picture is generally very sharp, very clear, and the DVD encoding is great. The original USA release was very poorly encoded, and had the contrast dialled up, and just wasn't as sharp or clear as the PAL release. Then RTD was washed out and blurry.

Then there's the fact the USA release excluded most of the next episode previews (and a friend tells me they also removed every instance of "STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE OF DRAGON BALL Z"; they cut the episodes off just before the narrator says it), and used the wrong title card for episode 1 (it correctly says "Arrival", but it's a basic placeholder font not used on the TV airings or the other DVD releases).
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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by LostTimeLord » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:58 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:55 pm
a friend tells me they also removed every instance of "STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE OF DRAGON BALL Z"; they cut the episodes off just before the narrator says it.
From what I've seen they usually left that in when it was the final episode of the disc. For some of them, it sounds like they removed the narration but kept the music running underneath it because the timing's so off.
The Pioneer discs are in a 'semi-omnibus' format where the between-episode opening/credits/recaps/NEPs are cut: after the cliffhanger there's a slowed-down title card from Rock The Dragon and then the next episode's title card.

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Re: If Manga UK Were To Release 'Rock the Dragon'

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:31 pm

LostTimeLord wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:58 pm
Robo4900 wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:55 pm
a friend tells me they also removed every instance of "STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE OF DRAGON BALL Z"; they cut the episodes off just before the narrator says it.
From what I've seen they usually left that in when it was the final episode of the disc. For some of them, it sounds like they removed the narration but kept the music running underneath it because the timing's so off.
The Pioneer discs are in a 'semi-omnibus' format where the between-episode opening/credits/recaps/NEPs are cut: after the cliffhanger there's a slowed-down title card from Rock The Dragon and then the next episode's title card.
Yeah. Essentially, they're set up like a VHS tape that's meant to be watched all at once, but since it's DVD, you can choose to start at the beginning of a particular episode.

I imagine that's how they authored it too; they readied the masters for VHS, then for the DVD just added menus, chapters, etc.
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