FUNimation Entertainment has detailed the Blu-ray release of Dragon Ball Z: Season 1, which features the first 39 episodes of the classic anime series, presented in remastered high definition. The 4-disc Season 1 set arrives on Blu-ray on December 31st.
Synopsis: The Saiyans, the last survivors of a cruel, warrior race, have carved a path of destruction across the galaxy. Now they have set their sights on Earth and will stop at nothing to obtain the wish-granting powers of the seven magic Dragon Balls for their very own. With the fate of his family, friends, and the entire human race hanging in the balance, Goku, the Earths greatest hero, must rise to meet the approaching threat. As he prepares for the fight of his life, Goku embarks on n epic journey that will take him to other worlds, pit him against new and old enemies alike, and force him to confront the dark secrets of his own past. At the end of this path, the most powerful opponent he has ever faced awaits: the evil Saiyan prince, Vegeta.
FUNimation is making the original Dragon Ball Z seasons available on Blu-ray for the first time. Season 1 includes the first thirty-nine episodes, remastered and presented in 1080p at a 16:9 aspect ratio. The set also features Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English broadcast version and English dialogue with Japanese music.
I was thinking of getting this but then I found out it was zoomed to widescreen, so I'll pass. I don't know why anyone would be in favor of losing close to 40% of the image just to fill out the sides. Don't know what Funimation is thinking with this.
I don't know why they'd decide to crop the image again after all the backlash they received from the previous season sets. I too was planning on getting this but now my Kai Blurays and dragon boxes will have to suffice. I guess we all have to wait for the inevitable bluray dragon box releases that are bound to come out in the future.
Is the US broadcast version the one with the Bruce Faulconer soundtrack? If so, I'll probably pick this up...may wait until the full set is released incase Funimation decides to abandon the set though...
The reason for the cropping comes from a poll that was given a while back about the new BD release. One of the question was which aspect ratio was preferred: 4:3 or cropped 16:9. I guess the latter won out.
Yeah, we can blame the general public for voting this to be cropped. And blame those who didn't vote at all.
i'm actually surprised. In the intial news with the poll, I thought majority of people wanted the original aspect ratio. I wonder how many people just said they wanted original ratio but never took the time to actually vote. Actual act of voting is the one that counts, and we lost. Oh well, I will just keep my DVDs.
I am outside the U.S and I voted for original aspect ratio. Have some spine, FUNimation. Jeez. What an awful decision.
I can see how others might disagree, but it isn't uncut if you've cropped the image from 4x3 to 16:9. Yuck. No sale.
*Face palm* Truly, how hard is it to keep OAR? Seems like it would be easier to leave it alone... Orange box DVDs will have to stay. Lets just hope for next years Cowboy Bebop, that OAR is in order, I forgot who is releasing that, fingers crossed.
So we went from 4:3 on Blu-ray to now 16:9. ... wait, 16:9? Oh God, I'm hoping they won't use the earlier (controversial) masters!
... funny, I thought I voted for 4:3, even though my likeness to the show decreased over time (no hate). I thought my vote could help. ... guess it didn't fully help. And to think Funi listened to us when we complained at first during the orange sets. DB and DBGT went to 4:3. Why go forwards and then backwards? The initial blu-rays were great. But then they stopped making future releases. We're getting a re-release... but they're cropping. And on top of that, the msrp is only 44.99 for 39 episodes instead of 34.99 for 17 (which is not bad considering its quality). ... I now have doubts.
I can't believe this...been waiting for this for a long time. But not like this. Not the way the Orange Box Sets looked. Just damn it. Marcus1284 first comment does not make it any better. Just that comment alone is everything wrong with the clueless consumer.
I can't believe people actually voted for cropped video (and since almost every comment on this article is a complaint, I find the results of the voting suspicious). This is full-screen DVD all over again... And TVs these days are 50"+, so I'm baffled as to why people care if the whole damn thing is filled with picture. I'm reluctantly sticking with my preorder ($25 for 39 high-def episodes is a great deal), but hopefully this issue is fixed with the latter releases.
I would have much preferred the original aspect ratio, but I have the orange DVD box sets and for the most part the cropping wasn't too bad. There were definitely scenes where it was a problem, like when half a character's head was cut off, but over all I was okay with the product I bought.
Also, I'd completely forgotten about that poll they did. Seems like such a long time ago. Given the backlash, I'm very surprised the widescreen option won the vote. Oh well. You can alway vote again, only this time with your dollars.
I also bothered to vote, and took quite a bit of time eloquently writing in favor of OAR. When I think about it, since that time I've only heard of OAR votes in most posts related to the poll... And considering how controversial the topic is (I mean the full scope of it [beyond just OAR preferences], which includes cancelling a whole OAR BD set part way through, blatantly wasting customers' money) it shouldn't be okay for them to go forward on this new path without releasing hard data from the results of their poll. Without that, it is difficult to consider the poll to have been anything other than something for them to hide behind and offset blame for a decision they had secretly already made, that and them feeling it isn't enough to waste people's money so they waste our time as well with a rigged poll. And there are a number of other ways which Funi has not been very open about this DBZ about-face, for instance, what masters are they using that will be getting them HD results worth looking at? The Japanese DragonBox remaster was only done in SD, I believe (not that Funi should have actual direct access to those materials), I've not heard of any other big remaster from source elements since then, so is this just them trying to squeeze more yet out of their tired nth generation film used on everything up through the--terrible--Orange Bricks?
Voting again with your dollars is right, if you buy anything other than the DragonBox DVD set (which is OAR, complete and quite nice, almost as good as the Japanese release [Anyone with the Orange Bricks should dump them for cash and put it toward the DragonBox]), you're sending the wrong message to Funi, and telling them it is all right that they did the wrong thing on purpose (are we apparently in an abusive relationship with Funimation?). I'm actually quite shocked at all of you above who say quite clearly that you're upset about this, but still intend to buy it regardless. DON'T DO THAT. Seriously, that is the WRONG MESSAGE. Mathos and Marciano315, I'm looking at you...
I don't quite understand why Funimation would do this. Leaving aside the complete stupidity of cropping the footage, they already had the perfect master in the Dragon Boxes, which were inexpensive to produce (being based on existing Japanese masters) and sold through the roof (it was practically impossible to get a hold of Dragon Box #2 when it came out). It would make more sense for them to re-issue the Dragon Boxes (and perhaps issue US versions of the Dragon Boxes for the original Dragon Ball and GT) and wait for Toei to come up with their own HD Master, which they could then localise at very little additional expense to themselves.
Aspect ratio is something that was already decided by the original producers. I don't understand why changing it can be even considered by the professional company who has a team of video experts. Does FUNimation care about its own reputation?
Apparently FUNimation did not learn their lesson from the "Orange Brick" DVD season sets. No original aspect ratio, no purchase. I'll be sticking with my Dragon Boxes.
Sadly, FUNimation just about had everything PERFECT on those "level" sets that they began releasing and abruptly cancelled. Why is it, every time FUNi gets something right, they either cancel it or take it out of print almost immediately?
FUNi, if you're going to keep milking this cash cow, at least DO IT RIGHT.
I was looking forward to getting Dragon Ball Z on Blu, but not anymore. There's no way I'm buying cropped 16:9. I voted for the OAR back in the poll and just can't believe that cropped 16:9 won. That should never have been an option in the first place.
Level sets were poorly marketed. Nobody knew the quality of this release. Most of the fans weren't aware of it, the rest of them was thinking that this is something like "Orange Bricks on Blu-ray". Now we have tons of comparison shots and video samples on the internet. Today, the sales would be 10x better.
@THGhost - My understanding is that there will be no Kai of the Buu saga, as the Kai saga follows the manga, and the manga apparently ended with the Cell Saga.
As for everyone else - DBZ Level 1.1 was already released on Blu-Ray, in its OAR of 4x3. It sold horribly. Funimation did a poll, and apparently people voted for 16x9, so Funimation is giving it another shot.
Truthfully, I am excited to see these. It's a Day 1 order for me
@gravis778, let me clear things up about Kai and where the manga ends. Toriyama originally considered stopping after Cell, yes, but he ended up wanting to do more and continued the manga through Buu. As far as Kai goes the Japanese broadcast was only planned through Cell, but it has been announced the series will be completed (though strangely not to be broadcast within Japan).
And if Funimation was having difficulties with Level 1.1 sales it is probably because they shot themselves in the foot early on by consistently screwing up their lengthier releases, making a blind purchase of their new sets a huge risk. Case in point, DBZ Level 1.1, haha. If nothing else, they'd be bound to put out cheaper compilation sets eventually (assuming the whole thing wasn't cancelled), and what budget conscious consumer wouldn't hold out for that? Even the name Level 1.1 makes it sounds like they'd go George Lucas on the property eventually...
One more thing, a quick apology, after having purchased the DragonBox as it released, I didn't pay much attention to what Funi was doing with it since. I figured they'd keep selling their best DBZ release ever, never did I expect that it was out of print and difficult/expensive to find, yet those damned OrangeBrick abominations are still widely available. So for my assumption that people were baselessly bitching about being stuck with the 'Bricks, I am sorry. That really sucks for those who want proper DBZ but missed out. Also, I'm sad I didn't see it coming and buy extras when they were new to sell later at an insane profit, LOL.
People always get stuck in their ways. if people voted for 16:9 then that's what Funimation will give us. Lets just be grateful that they're giving it another shot. Yes, it's irritating when they make changes. But they'll still be great to watch. Day 1 purchase for me.