Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Bal Z Season 2 (1990 - 1991)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, August 7, 2014 0 comments

"Dragon Ball Z Season Two" is the second collection of the Blu-Ray re-release line and contains both "Namek Saga" and "Captain Ginyu Saga". Picking up right where the first season ended we have Krillin, Gohan, and Bulma held captive on a space ship ran by children. Turns out to be all a simple misunderstanding as the children thought our heroes were minions to an evil alien overlord known as "Frieza". Our heroes then head to the planet Namek to where they hope to find their Dragon Balls so they can wish back their friends from the dead. Our heroes space trip hits another detour when they hit a "Fake Planet Namek" with aliens trying to hijack their ship. Our heroes foil the aliens plan and finally reach the planet called Namek. They are not alone as a terrifying face of their recent past turns up with that person being none other than Vegeta. Our heroes soon learn that Vegeta is the least of their worries as the evil Frieza and his personal army are also on Namek and already have five of the Dragon Balls. Meanwhile on Earth we have Goku coming out of hospital and not even five minutes out of bed we see Goku hopping into a spaceship and on his way to Namek to help out his friends from pending doom. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story in this season wasn't bad but it's mainly designed to be a huge teaser for what's to come in the third season and it was a little annoying. I would say that this is some of the weaker story-arcs of Dragon Ball Z as a whole but was still very watchable and enjoyable. This season is where you'll begin to notice all of the filler episodes and I did enjoy over half of them (how dare I like filler so says you all) as they were interesting. The filler that I didn't like was a bit boring although not so bad as I would skip over it although there were some scenes that did get in the way of the story and did ultimately feel useless.

I liked the mixture of drama and action as the fights do get exciting and the drama does help add a very intense feeling. I wouldn't say that it is perfect as there were times where the two elements didn't blend in so well to where they were trying way too hard to create an intense moment and just ends up being laughable and forced. This volume does have a marathon feature to where you can watch the episodes with all of the credits cut out and it works really well as the show runs very smoothly with this feature. This show flies-by really fast with this feature on and I like this feature as a whole and am glad this release has this feature as it was oddly omitted from the Australian release of the "Orange Brick" DVD release from a little while ago.

This is the season where we see a good chunk of the characters grow personality wise and it was done well. I was especially a fan of Gohan's and Vegeta's character progression as Gohan is getting more mature and Vegeta is just a pure bad-ass in this season. This is the season where we are introduced to some very classic villains like Frieza and Captain Ginyu and also not to mention that we are introduced to classic heroes as well including: Nail, Guru, and Dende. I really did enjoy all of the new characters introduced in this season as the bad guys were charming yet terrifying and the new heroes were very likable. 

Artwork in this show looks pretty decent and even still to this day with some very lovely looking backgrounds and great but not perfect character designs. The problems I have with the character designs are that their eyes can look really wonky during some scenes and that made the characters look like that they are suffering from lazy-eye. My other problem is that there are some weird consistency problems with Vegeta's head as it changes sizes depending on the episode and it looks very weird as his hair stays the same size so one minute he can look like an old "Troll Doll" and another he can look like a shrunken head used for voodoo rituals. Animation is pretty good throughout most of the show but you will sometimes get a very roughly animated shot but nothing that majorly bad. There isn't much that has been done to the picture quality of this release other than the title cards have been cleaned up and that the show is now in "16:9 ratio" rather than "4:3 ratio".

I really enjoyed the English dub in this show as the voices sounded good with voices that matched well with all of the main characters. The acting was also decent but there were some very goofy lines that felt forced. Some voices for some of the minor characters sounded a little lazy and while they don't appear much during the show they still could've put in a bit more effort into those said characters. Just like the prior volume you also have the English dub from the "broadcast version" of the show if you want to re-live the days of watching this show from when it was airing on TV although I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

The soundtrack is pretty good with a nice catchy heroic sound. The thing I found weird about the English dub was that it had all of the original Japanese music minus the main theme "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" and in order to hear that theme you need to switch the audio track to the "Japanese dub". The music on "Broadcast Version" English dub track hasn't aged all that well and sounds very generic and lifeless with none of the charm found in the original Japanese soundtrack. 

What is new to this set are the special features as you get an interview with "Christopher R. Sabat" (voice of Vegeta) and an interview with "Sean Schemmel" (voice of Goku). The interviews were very basic but entertaining nonetheless and you do get some interesting answers. The editing was a little weird as every few minutes we have convention footage where fans and Funimation staff members were interviewed. The convention footage wasn't bad but it does get in the way of the interview and would've been best put as it's own feature.

The next feature is a weird one but also a very interesting feature and that feature is "Justin Cook's Head-shot Collection". In this feature we have Justin Cook show off his collection of autographed head-shot photos from some of the voice actors who have worked on Funimation shows and the story behind them. I ended up liking this feature as it had an unique charm to it and it was interesting to hear the stories but it's still a very weird special feature to have on this set.

You also get text-less versions of the opening and closing credit sequences. These are the exact same versions found on season one and my likes and dislikes are the same (find out what they were in my review for season one right here). Lastly you get a trailer promoting season two and it did give me some nostalgic feelings of me watching Toonami from back in 2001 but other than that the trailer was alright.

Overall this was one of the weaker seasons of Dragon Ball Z but it is far from being unwatchable. While I did enjoy this season I'm a bit unsure who to recommend this set too as if you own the "Orange Brick" sets you really have no reason to upgrade to this set other than if you want the new special features. I will recommend this set to those who have yet to own this series in a season set yet and to the hardcore fans who want every single release of this show. Looking forward to the next season. 
Title: Dragon Ball Z Season 2
Animation/Production Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
Running Time: 875 minutes (35 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Rating: PG (Mild animated violence)
Price: $59.95
Recommended: Yes (to those who don't own the "Orange Brick" sets)


Post a Comment