Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3(TV) (2009-2010)
The nonstop action continues with a furious flurry of flying fists that will leave heads spinning! Krillin and Gohan test our their new and improved powers in a throwdown with Vegeta, Frieza struggles to unlock the magic of the Dragon Balls, and Goku races through space on a collision course with the Ginyu Force! This installment of Kai has it all: 7 Dragon Balls, 4 epic heroes, and 3 horrifying villains bent on universal domination!
For more about Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 and the Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray release, see Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray Review published by Dustin Somner on December 22, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Yasuhiro Nowatari
» See full cast & crew
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray Review
Goku takes a back seat to Vegeta's crusade against Frieza in the third installment of the series.
Reviewed by Dustin Somner, December 22, 2010
Despite the prominence of the Dragon Ball franchise among Japanese anime enthusiasts since its inception in 1984, the series received little exposure on western shores during the 80's and early 90's. Thankfully, as the new millennium approached, television entertainment aimed at younger viewers began to undergo a profound transition thanks to the Pokemon craze, leaving the door wide open for the proliferation of anime entertainment in the Saturday morning cartoon block. Plenty of card-trading clones emerged to anxiously gobble up a piece of the pie, but other production studios recognized the potential for success in anime series that fit a different mold. With this in mind, the aging Dragon Ball franchise was introduced to America's youth, offering a violent-but-campy storyline, and all manner of outlandish characters. Unfortunately, the first series never gained much traction with the younger viewing audience and was soon replaced by the action-heavy Dragon Ball Z incarnation. When the second series met the same fate during its trial run, FUNimation made the wise decision to rethink the target market of the series, and re-release it during the adult-oriented Toonami slot on Cartoon Network. As a result of that move, Dragon Ball Z became a breakaway success on television and home video, earning its designation at the top of the most recognizable anime series in history.
Dragon Ball Z Kai (Kai translates to "revised") is a project undertaken by Toei Animation Studio to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the show's initial broadcast. It offers a condensed 100-episode version of the original 291-episode story arch, with any resulting plot-holes addressed in brief narrative segments. Aside from the shortened runtime, the new series also includes remastered high-definition video and sound, with a completely new recording by the original voice cast. Unlike other remasters before it, this is not merely a clean-up project to remove dirt and grime - it's also a complete reevaluation of source elements with entire segments discarded and replaced (if deemed overly-compromised for high-definition viewing).
When we last visited our cast of heroes, Goku was hurtling through space toward planet Namek, while Krillen and Gohan struggled to undermine the individual attempts by Frieza and Vegeta to collect the complete set of Dragon Balls. Following a battle to the death with Zarbon, Vegeta convinces Krillin to turn over the final Dragon Ball in exchange for the life of Bulma. Little does he know, Gohan has secretly stolen one of the other balls in Vegeta's collection, in an attempt to delay the summoning of the Namekian Dragon. Biding his time during this game of cat and mouse, Frieza enlists the aid of the Ginyu Force, which consists of five eccentric warriors with a thirst for blood. Upon their arrival, Krillin and Gohan sense the immense power headed their way, and reluctantly join forces with Vegeta against them. Unfortunately, the Ginyu Force proves to be more than they can handle, requiring the arrival of Goku to turn the tide in their favor. Meanwhile, Frieza has come into possession of the seven Dragon Balls, yet fails in his efforts to summon the wish-granting dragon. As it turns out, the password to summon the dragon is only known by the Grand Elder of Planet Namek, forcing Frieza to leave his precious Dragon Balls in search of the final key to immortality. This offers Krillin and Gohan a perfect opportunity to secretly summon the dragon with the help of their Namekian friend Dende, and bring back one of their fallen friends from King Kai's realm. Their use of the ancient dragon enrages the returning Frieza, who quickly transforms into an immensely powerful being, hell-bent on the destruction of anything in his way.
If you're familiar with the structure of the original Dragon Ball Z series, this box set ends around episode 83, which falls in the third season story arch titled the "Frieza Saga". Every Dragon Ball Z fan has their favorite section of the lengthy original series, so opinions will undoubtedly vary on which box set in the Kai incarnation provides the most entertainment bang for your buck. I may be in the minority on this, but I personally love the entire section involving Frieza, and can point to two particular elements that elevate this story arch above the rest. First and foremost, we have a steady transition beginning to emerge in the character of Vegeta, who opened the Dragon Ball Z series as the main antagonist. During the course of this 13-episode run, you become aware of mutual respect developing between him and Goku, and his decision to take Krillin and Gohan under his wing in the fight against Frieza's henchmen shows a departure from the Vegeta we normally love to hate. This is partially borne out of necessity and a desire for self-preservation, but there's still no denying the subtle change of heart that begins to develop. The second enjoyable aspect of this box set in comparison with prior episodes is the introduction of the Ginyu Force. These five buffoons are some of the goofiest villains we've seen thus far, adding a welcomed layer of comedy to the mix. It's sad that their moment of fame is so short-lived (they appear in a total of seven episodes), but while they're around, it's truly a breath of fresh air.
Despite my positive reaction to this segment of the Kai series, the usual pitfalls of the Dragon Ball Z formula still emerge from time to time. Anyone with even a subtle exposure to the phenomenon is already aware of the reliance on ramped up showdowns that often incorporate at least one transformation we never saw coming (rightů). Adding to that nuance, this stretch of the series never places our heroes in much danger (one of the strengths of prior box sets), sucking a layer of tension out of the viewing experience. This shouldn't serve as a significant black eye if you're deciding whether a purchase is warranted, but merely a warning that this box set isn't anime at its finest.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in 1080p utilizing the AVC codec (at an average bitrate of 26Mbps), Dragon Ball Z Kai looks as good as I anticipated in the transition to Blu-ray. As mentioned earlier in the review, this isn't simply a remastered version of the series (as offered on prior DVD editions), it's a full-blown frame by frame digital clean-up, with newly created animation replacing entire segments. Identifying these new scenes is easy given the subtle stylistic differences (mainly in shadowing and the consistency of lines), but they blend well enough to avoid causing any major distractions. Aside from the new animation, the major difference in this newly-minted version is a complete lack of print flaws found in the original elements. Gone are the large burn-marks, dust blobs, and nicks that we've grown accustomed to finding throughout most episodes. In their place, we're given a clean image that accurately reflects the core intentions of the simplistic animation, but doesn't artificially enhance aspects of the hand-drawn style. You'll still notice byproducts of limitations in the source material, such as line breaks, slight image shift (from one frame to another), and a marginal level of detail, but considering the age and budget of the series, this is likely the best it will ever look.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
To accompany the upgraded visuals, the Japanese and English audio tracks have been reworked from the ground up to include newly recorded dialog from the original voice-actors. The Japanese version offered on the disc is a lossless 2.0 mix, which presents a clean, full sound despite the lack of true surround separation. On the English side, we've been treated to a lossless 5.1 mix, which quickly earned its designation as my track of choice. I typically prefer the Japanese language track on most anime series, but given my extensive introduction to the dubbed version of Dragon Ball Z on Cartoon Network, I associate the voice-work of the English cast with the nuances of each character in the show. Switching back and forth between the two tracks, it's clear the English offering incorporates a greater sense of immersion, separating sound effects across the surround spectrum to accompany the onscreen action. However, the differences in volume balance, clarity, and overall richness are negligible, allowing fans of either track ample reason to rejoice.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
As with prior box sets of the series this release is a bit light on supplements, though it's nice to have at least one value-added element.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
If you're a Dragon Ball Z fan and you own the prior two box sets of the Kai series, a purchase decision on the third release should be a no-brainer. We're stepping into one of the best segments in the series as our heroes enter a showdown with Frieza, and the slow emergence of Vegeta as an unlikely ally more than makes up for the lack of Goku during this 13-episode story arch. From a topical analysis, Dragon Ball Z will always have its fair share of weaknesses due to the redundant nature of the programming, but the restructuring on Kai is shaping up to be a major step in the right direction, delivering a final product that should stand the test of time.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Other Seasons
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Dragon Ball Z Kai. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Dragon Ball Z Kai in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray yet.
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part 3 Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.