Published by VegettoEX
07 February 2002, 12:00 PM ESTComments Off

(Editor’s Note: This review was originally published on Daizenshuu EX, one of the two sites later incorporated into Kanzenshuu. The review was later picked up by Anime on DVD, itself later merged into Mania, where the review can still be found. The author was a mere 19 years old at the time. Again, please be kind in retrospect.)

Let me tell you that it took me nearly one month and two states to actually find a place with this disc in stock. Everywhere I went was either “sold out” or “hadn’t gotten it yet.” I finally ended up picking it up on the sixth of January (2001) in Suncoast at my local mall. Argh.

The first thing you’ll notice about this particular DVD is the cover. For the first time, FUNimation used an image that was not simply a screen shot from the contained video footage for their cover. The image used is a classic picture of Mirai no Gohan and Trunks, overlapping a backdrop of a destroyed city, presumably by the Jinzoningen. FUNimation’s new “logo” (so to speak) for the contents is the one used on the two “Trunks” volumes of TV episodes, which specifies, “Includes 2 Versions / English Uncut Version / & Original Japanese Version / Subtitled in English”. Basically, it’s the exact same as the dub VHS release, but with the language logo, and the DVD video logo in the bottom right hand corner.

The back cover is exactly the same as the dub VHS version, as well, with the added addition of the now standard black bar towards the bottom which explains some basic facts about the contents of the DVD (English/Japanese dialogue – 48 Min. – Not Rated – Color – Stereo/Mono).

FUNimation once more loses a point or two for not including any kind of insert what-so-ever. I mean, the least they could do is put in some kind of black-and-white “Add me to your mailing list!” kinda thing. Most companies are kind enough to include a nice color image insert that lists the different chapters included on the disc, and sometimes even more (“Gundam Wing” and their trading cards, “Cardcaptor Sakura” and their postcards, etc). FUNimation and the DBZ DVDs? Zilch.

>From here on out, all comments will refer to the Japanese version watched / listened to, unless otherwise noted.

With a DVD, you’d expect perfect video quality. Once more, we’re not let down. In fact, I’d say this DVD has the best quality video FUNimation has put out, so far. There’s absolutely NO trace of flickering or rainbows what-so-ever in ANY portion of the video. This is impressive, seeing as how even some more popular titles (“Trigun” for example) have had a problem with this, in the past. However, the video does show its age, and just simply LOOKS old, I guess. Other than that, it’s wonderful. My fansub is pretty good quality (well, it was when I first got it a few years ago.. heh..), but it can’t even begin to compare to the commercial release. The colors are bright when they need to be bright, and more often, dark when they need to be dark.

The audio shows no flaws at all, either. Even in the original mono sound, the Japanese audio track is booming, and sounds wonderful. Even on my 270 watt, 7 speaker, Sony system set-up.. if I wasn’t paying that much attention, I’d have thought it was in stereo. There are no crackling noises no break-up, or anything. Superb.

Now for the fun stuff. The nit-picks.

A problem similar to the original release of the first volume of “Rurouni Kenshin” discs pops up in this one: there’s no timer on the DVD player when the video track is playing. I’m not quite sure, but I attribute this to the fact that there is a lot of switching back and forth between different video tracks. Yes, folks. Remember how on the first “Ginyu” disc, there were separate video tracks (one for the dub, and one for the Japanese version)? Well, something sorta similar is done here. There is one video track for the English dub which covers from the opening theme up through the intro into the title card, and there’s one of the same for the Japanese version (each version has a different title card.. the dub is the “History of Trunks” in English one, and the Japanese is the original, in-Japanese, one). From there, you switch to a video track that is used for both the dub AND the Japanese version. This takes you to the end of the feature, right before the ending theme. In THIS video track, you CAN switch languages at will with the “Audio” button. >From there, it switches over to ANOTHER one of two video tracks used for the ending theme. One is the dub one, containing all English text (which plays if the dub is playing right before this), and the other is the original Japanese one (yes, with the credits still in Japanese, un-translated) which will play if the Japanese audio track is playing right before the switch. With all of these video switches, there is a very brief (one second) stall, which really ruins the flow of things.

People buying the DVDs aren’t looking for the English stuff. Just keep one big video track, like all other DVDs, and keep the original Japanese stuff on there. Another option is to put the original Japanese closing as an “extra” on the disc, such as in one of the latest “Rurouni Kenshin” volumes. This will allow for none of the problematic stalls in the video. Why FUNimation (or probably more specifically, the DVD mastering studio) continues to be so unprofessional about it will continue to mystify me.

Another nitpick is the lack of eye-catches, once more. And again in this disc, you can hear the very last half-second of the eye-catch music in the audio track when the video begins right where the commercial and eye-catch have left off. Solution? PUT THE EYE-CATCHES BACK IN. THEY’RE CUTE. WE LIKE THEM.

There’s also just one minor video edit on the disc, which was also present in the dub VHS release. Right where the second commercial and eye-catch would have been (directly after Trunks’ Super Saiya-jin explosion) there is an odd sort of circular fade-in to the next part. I didn’t care for it, but it did manage to tune out that little eye-catch music that would have been there. Plus or minus, you decide.

Next comes Steven J. Simmons and his incredible translations. Never have I seen such insanely accurate subtitles in any release, fansub or commercial. For example, take the word “itadakimasu,” which is the word said at the dinner table before eating. Most translators use something like “Thank you!” or “Let’s dig in!” for their translation, but this doesn’t quite capture the meaning. Along comes Steve with his translation of “I humbly accept!” which is probably the closest you’re going to get to the word in English. More cute perks include the word “Gi” in the dialogue, “Jinzoningen” translated correctly as “Artificial Humans” and not “Androids,” and fun with Gyuu-Maou’s accent (“Sounds as though he’s partnerin’ up with Trunks an’ fightin’ the Artificial Humans”). And then there’s the subtitles, themselves. At first, I wasn’t so sure if I liked FUNimation’s choice of a font. However, after watching a few dozen DVDs, lately, I’ve decided that FUNimation has actually come up with the best choice for subtitles. They’re kinda small, but they’re white, and have a very thick black background. Why is this great? No matter what the backdrop, there’s absolutely NO problem reading the subtitles. DVD releases such as “Trigun” have a moderate yellow subtitle with a very thin black border. At points in the show where the background animation is bright, the subtitles are nearly impossible to read. With FUNimation’s subtitles, you’ll never find yourself wondering what in the heck was just on the screen. Also, the positioning of the subtitles has been corrected from the previous two discs. The two “Trunks” volumes had the subtitles move up on the screen a half-inch, which was not only annoying to look at, but resulted in at least one major problem. The subs on this disc have been moved back down to their proper position, and look great, at the same time.

Oh, and there’s an English dubbed audio track on here, as well. Uhh.. I don’t like it. The music used definitely has no place in DBZ, and the narrator once more leaves much to be desired. The only good stuff about the dub is probably Eric Johnson’s impressive voicing of Trunks, and Dameon Clark’s decent performance of Mirai no Gohan. The dialogue is alright, but takes quite a few liberties. If only you could pick an option of the dub voices with the Japanese soundtrack…

The extras on the disc are rather boring, and quite limited. The same “World of DragonBall” feature that was on the driving episodes’ VHS release and both “Trunks” DVD volumes is present here, again. Commercials for Trunks, Androids, and Cell dub VHS releases are included, as well as the DBZ store commercial (note that all of these are included on all dub VHS releases). A credit-less opening would have been a nice addition. Speaking of the opening, it includes the lyrics (writtin in hiragana) on the bottom of the screen, just like as shown on television. And yes, this opening IS the specific one from the TV special, made obvious by the crediting of the song “Aoi Kaze no HOPE,” which is the ending theme song, performed by Kageyama Hironobu.

For a DBZ release, it’s extremely nice. Everything you could want is here, minus the eye-catches, but that was to be expected. For an over-all anime DVD release.. ehh… there’s quite a bit to be desired. Let’s start slapping some inserts and promotions in the cases, get rid of those damn stalls, and find some decent extras (there’s gotta be SOMETHING cool that could be included; I’d really like to see some liner notes by Steve).

Final decision:
DBZ fan? Purchase.
Anime fan? Steal from a friend for a while.

Review Equipment
Emerson DVD player, Radio Shack gold-plated audio cables, Sony MHC-BX6AV stereo system with additional two Scott speakers, Zenith TV model # A27A11D

Published by VegettoEX
31 July 2001, 2:15 PM EDTComments Off

Friend of the website “Zenkai Power” (who also goes by “Cocomox”) has finished a dance remix of Tapion’s theme from DragonBall Z movie 13. It can be grabbed over on his page, or from our “Music” section.

Published by VegettoEX
17 July 2001, 10:54 PM EDTComments Off

(Editor’s Note: This review was originally published on Daizenshuu EX, one of the two sites later incorporated into Kanzenshuu, back in 2001. It has been reprinted verbatim. The author was only 18 years old at the time. Please be kind in retrospect.)

I’ve waited years upon years upon years… upon years… and the day has finally come. I’m watching a commercially subtitled, in Japanese, “DragonBall Z” episode in my own room… and to top it off, it’s on DVD.

I’m going to say what’s on my mind. I’m not “kissing FUNi’s ass,” nor am I “bashing FUNi.” I’m gonna tell you what I think about the DVD. Which DVD is this, might you ask? Well, in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, it’s “Captain Ginyu: Assault” on DVD, which includes not only the “uncut” [insert laughing sound here] English dubbed audio, but also a fully translated and subtitled Japanese language audio track, voices and music complete.

And FUNimation Productions, Inc. produced it.

Well I’ll be damned.

To start off, I’ll simply tell you how it’s presented. The cover art is exactly the same (disturbingly ridiculous) cover art as found on the corresponding English dubbed videos (you can click on the small image to the left to view a larger scan of it and the back). I was actually talking to the nice people at Suncoast about how much FUNi’s box art is utterly stupid. Both folks agreed with me that Pioneer’s art was the better of the two.

I was very pleased to see the bottom of the cover say, “Includes….” blah blah blah, “Original Japanese Version Subtitled in English.”

The main menu, while very “dubbish,” is clean and easy to use. However, it gives you a false sense that there’s more to the DVD than there actually is. There are seven options; one links you into the opening sequence, three link you into the separate episodes, one links you into the closing sequence, and one lets you select either the English or Japanese version. All the while, the stupid 3rd season guitar thingie that every single damn dubbed thing is based around plays.

What is interesting (and could only be done in such a way) is that there are actually two separate video tracks on this disc. Most hybrid DVDs simply use one video track, and allow you to switch back and forth between audio tracks. However, as I’m sure you know, the episodes in the third season don’t get in sync with the Japanese episodes for quite a while, so there would be some differences in the video stream which would really mess up with the switches. To fix this, as stated, there are two separate video tracks. In addition to this, when switching to the Japanese track, you get “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” and “Detekoi Tobikiri ZENKAI Power!” linked as the openings and closings, and “Rock the Dragon” and the “Rock the Dragon” instrumental linked as the opening and closing sequences, respectively, if you choose the English version. Very good idea. One thing that seemed odd is that the animation for “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” used is the early Saiya-jin saga version (the one where we don’t see the shadows of Nappa and Vegeta walking in the fire). This is odd because, obviously, the second animation for the song was used at this point in the series when played in Japan. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s there. Also, there are no subtitles for the songs. Again, not a big deal, but they’re not there.

While on the subject on subtitles… like MrE and I have been telling you for months upon months, they’re absolutely perfect subtitles. There are absolutely *no* “dubtitles” on this disc. Every single line of dialogue in Japanese was fully and greatly translated into English by Steven J. Simmons, better known to most of you as “Daimao” of Also, like we try and tell you, there is no real cursing in “DragonBall Z.” “Chikusho,” “kuso,” and the like are translated as “heck,” “crud,” and such, which is how they’re *supposed* to be translated in such a program. Don’t believe everything your handy little pocket dictionary tells you, or what your “claims – to – be – fluent – in – Japanese” friend tells you. The characters simply *do not* say “shit” and “fuck” in “DragonBall Z.”

Then there’s the video. My god, there’s not a single fansub in existence that can beat this. It’s absolutely perfect. I got the same feeling I did when I first got the “Dead Zone” DVD. With such superb picture quality, I was unconsciously waiting to hear dubbed voices and dubbed music. Trust me, you expect to hear good voices and good music when you’re used to watching shitty quality videos for years upon years.. heh (not that my fansubs are bad quality; just compared to the new generation of DVD and LaserDisc mastered fansubs, the TV mastered fansubs for DBZ just don’t look that great).

And then there’s the audio. It’s mono, just as it was aired originally in Japanese. You really don’t even notice this unless you’re hooked up with a nice stereo system, so unless you are, don’t even let that bother you. However, it would be *really* nice if FUNimation would take the time and re-master the Japanese audio track into a stereo sound. It just has such a richer sound when it’s coming from two channels instead of just one. And when you’ve got surround sound… oh my…… just a suggestion, guys ^^;;

Now it’s on to the nitpicks.

The first one is FUNi’s fault, and cannot be blamed on anyone else. When you first boot up the disc, FUNi’s little animated logo plays. However, you can see, paused for a split second, the last frame of animation from the “Rock the Dragon” instrumental closing animation before FUNi’s animated logo. That’s just sloppy editing, if you ask me.

Another nitpick is actually no-one’s fault but TOEI’s for being sloppy, themselves. When the title screen (the Japanese one, mind you) pops up, you can hear the last split second of sound from the recap music playing before the announcer kicks in and reads the title of the episode. The same thing occurs when the episode goes over where the commercial break would have been; you can hear the last split second of the little jingle playing before the episode’s regular audio starts.

Speaking of episode recaps, as I’m sure you’ve heard, there aren’t any. I mean, they’re not really *needed* but they were always really nice. The music played during them always set the mood for the episode perfectly, and it was kinda disappointing not to see them. But again, with everything else that there is, it’s just a nitpick.

The dub is on this disc, but with the Japanese version available, again, it’s just a nitpick.

No on to some of the things I was really impressed with.

First off, Daimao’s translations. Damn man… great job. While the dub names are still used (“King Kai,” “Burter,” “Frieza,” etc), everything else is exactly how I would have done it, had I been in charge and had a degree in Japanese 😛

Like I said before, there are two separate video tracks on the disc. I don’t know how FUNimation plans to handle it in the future when the episodes are exactly in sync with each other, but on *this* disc, each version had its own separate episode title card. Yep, the fully Japanese, “written – in – kanji – and – kana” titles, read by the announcer, and subbed at the bottom by FUNi, are here. And the stupid dub ones with their stupid music are there, too, if you really want to watch that garbage.

Freezer’s voice in Japanese. ‘Nuff said.

The transition time between stuff is very nice. I’ve heard conflicting reports on this, but I don’t exactly have the highest quality DVD player, and the load time on this disc was much nicer than what I’ve experienced on some other stuff.

While I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I felt stupid and embarrassed when I was checking out the English dubbed track. I mean, when put right next to the Japanese version, it’s just *terrible*. You don’t even realize how much of the dialogue was simply made up until you’re watching them side by side, one after the other. Sure, we have our subbed DBZ, but what about a dub? Don’t think that just because you’ve given us a perfect JAPANESE product that we don’t want to see a *better* *English* product. Even if you keep the boring, monotonous, and insulting dub music, at least have an option to play the dub with the original Japanese score, too. This’ll be much easier in future discs when the episodes are in sync, so there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t be done. While we’re at it, let’s actually use somewhat of a translated script with the dub, huh?

“I eat really healthy foods!”

[smacks himself in the face]

In the end, I can’t recommend this disc any more than I already am. It can only get better, from here… the Japanese part of it, that is. I dunno about the dub. That’s probably a lost cause, by now.

Damn, man… it’s subtitled DBZ on DVD. The pros way outweigh the cons. Buy this fucking DVD this instant.

Published by VegettoEX
04 July 2001, 2:15 PM EDTComments Off

Thanks goes out to reader WuFEi, who got the chance to e-mail Kristie from FUNimation’s online DBZ store regarding shifting release dates for “Lord Slug” (the fourth DragonBall Z movie), and got the following response:

This release date is true. The August 7th release date is only for our uncut version. The edited release date is set for September 4th.

So there you have it — the regular DVD will be out on 07 August 2001, with edited DVD following on 04 September 2001.

Published by VegettoEX
17 June 2001, 3:05 AM EDTComments Off

As confirmed by user Super Saiya-jin Jedi on (in the thread “Early DVD Review: World Tournament – Junior Division“), the eyecatches make their return to FUNimation’s production of Dragon Ball Z on the upcoming “World Tournament – Junior Division” DVD (which is due out later this month, but has already made its way to select retailer shelves). This will be the first time eyecatches have made their way back into the home release since dubbed/edited season two in 1997-1998.

Published by VegettoEX
06 June 2001, 1:42 PM EDTComments Off

Suncoast has a new listing which confirms FUNimation’s simultaneous VHS & DVD release plan: DBZ movie 4, “Lord Slug,” will be released on 07 August 2001. An edited DVD release is listed along with the uncut version.

Published by VegettoEX
18 May 2001, 9:28 PM EDTComments Off

Friend of the website Kuririn321 wrote us in with another heads-up on a strange Suncoast listing: something called “DragonBall Z: Our Hero Awakes” (sic).

As Kuririn321 says, this is the title of a FUNimation English dub episode, and the listing says it is a short 20 minutes long. What is most odd is that not only is the listing for a price of $11.13, but there is also an option for “VHS Spanish”. We are not quite sure what this mystery listing is, but when we find out, we will let you know!

Published by VegettoEX
11 May 2001, 10:34 PM EDTComments Off

Thanks go out to visitor WuFEi for pointing us to FUNimation’s website that contains a few tidbits about upcoming releases:

The “Z Warriors Prepare” DVD will contain all three episodes found on the previously-released “Trunks: Prelude to Terror” disc. However, the episodes on the “Z Warriors Prepare” disc will be corrected versions — the previous release had several defects (a subtitle at the top of the screen in one scene, repeated dialog in certain subtitles, and a few instances of timing being off in subtitles). This means the disc will contain five episodes in total; the last two of these five episodes were previously available on the Burger King exclusive “Z Warriors Prepare” VHS release.

The “Garlic Jr: Black Water Mist” DVD has been delayed.

17 July 2001 brings us the beginning of simultaneous VHS/DVD releases with both “World Tournament: Blackout” and “World Tournament: The Draw” hitting store shelves.

Finally, the second release of the original DragonBall TV series has been announced (“Tournament – Turtle Hermit”), and will be released on VHS on 19 June 2001.

Published by VegettoEX
04 April 2001, 9:18 PM EDTComments Off

FUNimation’s official DragonBall Z site has updated the FAQ once again with incredible information: their continued dub of the original DragonBall TV series will use the original Japanese musical score!

Q: What are future plans for Dragon Ball?
A: Dragon Ball will begin airing on Cartoon Network June 4. Dragon Ball will run in time slot immediately after Dragon Ball Z, at 5:30pm Eastern Standard Time. The first 28 episodes of DB will air through the month of June. These episodes will contain the original music from the Japanese series. This is going to be a blast, so be sure to tune in.

This has somewhat been hinted at throughout the past with FUNimation, as they have used the original Japanese score in both DB movies two and three (“Sleeping Princess in Devil’s Castle” and “Mystical Adventure,” respectively). This is a wonderful step up for FUNimation. What is even greater is that the DB and DBZ scores were both composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi, so we will finally hear the composer’s work in North America for the DB TV series!

Published by VegettoEX
26 March 2001, 10:02 PM ESTComments Off

According to Suncoast’s latest listings, the “Frieza: The Summoning” disc is due out on 10 April 2001, but we also have another three discs announced! The last two in the series of four “Androids” DVDs (“Assassins” and “Invincible”) are due out on 03 April 2001, and the first Garlic Jr. disc (“Black Water Mist”) is due out on 06 April 2001. Additionally, as we all know by now, FUNimation has announced that starting with the “World Tournament: Junior Division” release, we will see simultaneous VHS/DVD releases. Excellent!

On a related note, on’s top selling DVD list, the DBZ discs have been moving up since we last checked. “Androids – Invasion” is up to #5, with “Androids – Dr. Gero” following at #8. The only anime disc above DBZ in the top list is the third “Outlaw Star” collection (which is number one). Way to go!