Review by: Edward Zacarias
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Running Time: 565 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Packs a spectacularly entertaining punch.
Much like our own Clive Owen, I’m overwhelmed by the excellent quality of digitally remastered anime classics that are currently being released on DVD. I found myself diving deep into goodness that is Yu Yu Hakusho’s complete Season Three and now I find myself enthralled by Dragon Ball Z, Season Seven. While Season Six of the Dragon Ball Z series is a personal favorite box set, I must say that Season Seven just shot to the very top. Dragon Ball Z fans, you will find more than a lot to love about this collection of 25 episodes that will have you loving this set just as much as I do.
This is high praise, indeed, but Dragon Ball Z fans definitely understand why. You see, it’s an action series that is big on action but doesn’t take itself too series. This is a series with a wide collection of colorful characters and villains that range from cute to zany. There are dark moments in the show that reflect the series’ ability to be delightfully gripping as well. In other words, this series has it all and does it well. So it comes to no surprise that it’s been digitally enhanced from its original source by the folks at FUNimation in its uncut format.
Season Seven features 25 episodes in six discs that cover the Great Saiyaman Saga and the World Tournament Saga as it picks up directly after the surprising events of Episode 194 after the defeat of the evil monster Cell and the sacrifice that is made to keep the world safe. The season begins with Goku in the Other World as he’s starting to adjust to the afterlife. His demise after the battle that helped save the world doesn’t seem to bother him but having heard that a dead master known only as the Grand Kai he just has to get a lesson from him. Unfortunately, the only way the Grand Kai will give out lessons is if he won the Other World Tournament against fallen fighters from the East, South and West. The result is an action-packed tournament with plenty of surprises.
Back in the world of the living, seven years have passed since the events of Season Six and young Gohan is now a teenager just about to enter high school. On his way to his first day of school, a group of unruly bank robbers attempt their heist when Gohan goes Super Saiyan on them and puts a stop to their plans. Of course, the media zeroes in on this new hero but it’s actually Mr. Satan’s daughter, Videl, that has an inkling of the identity of the hero (dubbed the Gold Fighter) that foiled the bank robbery. On top of that, a pretty girl discovers Gohan’s new hero identity and threatens to reveal it to the world if he doesn’t take her out on a date. Man, it’s tough being a teenaged superhero.
It’s great to see Gohan take the spotlight and his episodes makes up for Season Seven’s most entertaining and amusing moments. With standout moments such as the unlikely team-up between Gohan and Videl to save the major from a gang or Gohan (or should I say his alter ego, The Great Saiyaman) turn as an action movie star, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the show’s humor. Still, there’s plenty of action in this season as well as the World Martial Arts Tournament is announced. It is here that returning favorites gather once again. The reunited Z-Fighters feel the sting of the loss of Goku but there is much at stake apart from taking the championship title away from Mr. Satan.
The World Tournament Saga isn’t short on surprises or humor either as interesting match-ups take place such as the match against Trunks and Goten and later Trunks versus Mr. Satan. There’s a hidden threat that rears it ugly head later in the competition and things really begin to heat up. In short, The World Tournament Saga is one of the most exciting piece of entertainment Dragon Ball Z fans will remember fondly.
I was particularly impressed with the way the transfer was handled with the last season but there’s something about Season Seven that kicked up the quality up a notch. Aside from a crisper, sharper video quality, the uncut episodes flesh out a lot of what North American viewers probably missed … among them the original Japanese language track and the accompanying Japanese tunes. I like the English dub in this as well so there are plenty of options in that department.
Few anime series manage to remain as involving or as fun as the Dragon Ball Z series that even in its seventh season it does not fail to show you a good time. Dragon Ball Z, Season Seven, is a no-holds bar action-packed package worth your every hard-earned dollars. It doesn’t disappoint in the very least and – thanks to its remastered uncut format – this one far exceeds my expectations and makes this Dragon Ball Z fan very happy.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Two complete sagas on six discs makes this a treat for Dragon Ball Z fans and the fact that the 25 episodes are fun to watch make Season Seven a true fan favorite. Best yet is the fact that great lengths were made to bring the episodes uncut so North American audiences can see the episodes the way they were meant to be seen.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
This is the closest to high-definition you’ll get on DVD so expect to see sharper colors and smooth animation that this series deserves. It looked even better when I played the discs on my Blu-ray player.
AUDIO QUALITY: A+
If you have a good sound system hooked up you’ll get high-quality surround sound that does justice to the English dub but also the Japanese voice work. The Japanese and English option also includes the music so you’ll find the TV broadcast music as well as the original Japanese opening and closing theme music as well. I wish all anime box sets had all these sound options.
Aside from the killer sound options and gorgeous remastered video quality, there’s Marathon Play that fans will like when they’re in the mood to throw a Dragon Ball Z anime festival at home. The set also comes with a nifty character profile booklet.
Season Seven of Dragon Ball Z is, bar none, one of the best seasons of this highly-enjoyable anime series and this collection certainly proves this by bringing everything a fan can ask for in six DVDs. With a number of memorable moments and standout episodes, this is the one Dragon Ball Z set fans should definitely not be without.