Review by: Edward Zacharias
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 780 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now
Christmas has arrived early this year.
Thank you, FUNimation, you have lovingly restored and packaged season after season of the Dragon Ball series in a way fans of the action anime series can really sink their teeth into while remembering how good it felt to see each episode once again. With the release of Dragon Ball GT, Season One, I was brought back to a time when a straight-out-of High School gaijin lived in Japan watching the first episode of this series for the first time. That was a great memory, indeed. Those Dragon Ball fans who have been waiting for this one for a long while, Season One of Dragon Ball GT (featuring 34 uncut episodes on five DVDs) is here and it’s every good as we remember it.
Dragon Ball GT follows the further adventures of Goku who is now a full-grown adult doing what he does best … kicking the tail of any bad guy that gets in his way. In the opening episode of Season One, we find Goku even more powerful than before as he takes on a now elderly Emperor Pilaf after he trained with Uub who he as picked as his successor. While he does make short work of Pilaf’s henchmen, the diminutive Emperor makes a wish using a collection of Black Star Dragon Balls that transform Goku back into a child.
Living as a kid isn’t so bad to Goku despite the fact that it freaks out his wife as well as his children. It certainly doesn’t cramp his fighting style or power, though, as he helps foil a bank robbery with a tough girl that turns out to be Goku’s granddaughter, Pan. It doesn’t take too long before King Kai tells Goku that without the Black Star Dragon Balls the planet will meet its untimely demise. The bad news is that the objects have scattered across the various planets beyond the Earth so it will take a spacecraft to take them on their search for the Black Star Dragon Balls.
With the aid of his old friend Trunks and his company’s spaceship, they head out into space with Pan as a stowaway. The trip takes an unexpected detour when a sensor on the ship breaks and they are stranded on a planet controlled by a man called Don Kee who rules with an iron fist. The three comes to defy Don Kee and become wanted criminals and it is here that they meet their other companion – a robot they come to call Giru. Together, the four not only search for the Black Star Dragon Balls but also help the inhabitants of each planet they visit.
Of course, it isn’t a Dragon Ball series without fights and there are plenty of them in the first season. Hell, there are fights in the first episode down to the last one on the fifth disc. Early in the Black Star saga, they become the target of a powerful enemy known as Dr. Myuu and his fierce General Rilldo. A subordinate of Dr. Myuu, a doll-loving bad guy named Dolltaki, attempts to resurrect a dangerous being known as Lord Luud but Goku and his friends take them on at force. There are even moments when things look grim for all four of the travelers as Dr. Myuu attempts to extract the power of the Saiyans from Goku, Pan and Trunks.
There are loads of exciting moments in the Black Star saga, including Goku’s brutal battle with a fully armored General Rilldo but there are also plenty of fun moments as well such as the time Trunks dresses up as a girl to be the sacrificial bride of an alien. As great as this saga is the real drama and action comes in the form of the Baby saga. Having put an end to Dr. Myuu’s evil plan, the Saiyans encounter a being known as Baby who is destined to dominate planets and enslave the inhabitants of all worlds including Earth. Seeing the Saiyans as a threat, Baby takes a trip to Earth only to encounter powerful foes such as Goten and a now more powerful Uub who has unlocked the power to become a powerful being known as Majuub.
With Goku and his friends reaching Earth in time to confront Baby, the true test of the power of Saiyans is tested and it is clear that Baby is definitely a force to be reckoned with and not an easy opponent to defeat either. While not as humorous as the Black Star saga, the Baby saga contains more than enough battles and exciting turn of events that make up the exciting half of the first season. By the final episode of the last disc, you’ll find yourself definitely awaiting the arrival of Season Two. Yeah, that’s just how good the Dragon Ball GT episodes are, Dragon Ball fans.
The video quality has been digitally restored to meet today’s HD standards and I have to say that Dragon Ball GT never looked better. Even better is the fact that the episodes are uncut and presented the way they looked back when it first came out. There’s even the option to watch the entire series with the original Japanese voices and music.
One of the more exciting chapters in the Dragon Ball saga, Season One of Dragon Ball GT packs quite a powerful punch when it comes to action and storytelling that makes this an adventure fans of the series will love. Those loyal Dragon Ball fans should rejoice because this digitally remastered collection makes Dragon Ball GT 2009’s real Must Have DVD collection.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The search for the Black Star Dragon Balls takes a shrunk-back-to-a-child version of Goku, his granddaughter Pan and his friend Trunks to the farthest reaches of space. The trio (plus a robot) get into a number of dangerous and interesting situations along the way. Things get even more interesting during the Baby Saga story arc. There’s no shortage of action in any of the 34 episodes.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
Digitally remastered, the episodes look in top form on DVD with sharper clarity and more vibrant colors. In short, the episodes are looking even better than they did when they first came out.
AUDIO QUALITY: A-
The option to watch the episodes in its original Japanese language track is awesome even though its mono. There’s a great English dub cast for those that prefer the English track and the opening and closing theme songs sound good in both languages.
Marathon Play is a good feature for those who like hold their own Dragon Ball GT marathon and there are a nice number of sound options so you can watch the series with the English voice track AND mix it in with the original Japanese music.
Dragon Ball GT, Season One, has everything a Dragon Ball fan can ask for in a collection and the first season of this series certainly starts off and ends with a bang. With 34 digitally enhanced episodes on five discs, you’ll find it hard to keep watching this collection without smiling.