Review by: Brenda Gregson
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: Blu-ray: $54.98 US; DVD: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now
The real battle of the Saiyans begins.
It’s a very good time to be a Dragon Ball Z fans seeing as FUNimation has us covered in terms of box sets, movie releases and now the Dragon Ball Z Kai series that jumps straight to the heart of Akira Toriyama’s story minus the filler of past anime releases. If the Part One of Dragon Ball Z Kai on Blu-ray didn’t knock your socks off then Part Two will certainly do just that.
In Part One, Goku has come to discover the truth about himself and where he comes from as he faced off against the powerful Saiyans that follow a Prince among these super powered beings. He is Vegeta, one of the surviving Saiyans and his target is Goku. What results is a battle between these titans and Goku with the aid of his close friends and his son, Gohan. Sadly, Vegeta proves to be more powerful than anyone could imagine and there are deaths on both sides.
It is in Part Two that Goku finds that he has finally reached his limit and can no longer stand. He put up quite a fight but, badly injured, finds himself defeated. Just about the only ones left is Gohan, Krillin and Yajirobe and all three begin their fight with the mighty Saiyan. Unfortunately, Vegeta has a very familiar ability and that is to transform into a Great Ape. However, Krillin knows a way to stop a rampaging Great Ape from a past incident involving Goku.
Knowing they can’t defeat Vegeta on their own, it is Gohan who discovers his inner Great Ape but, unlike his father, there is still traces of the boy in his powerful giant ape form. It’s actually a very impressive moment to see Goku’s son and his friends finally turn the tables on Vegeta. There’s a truly dramatic moment that occurs between Krillin and Vegeta in the finale of the battle but Goku asks Krillin to back off.
With Vegeta out of the picture, for now, the survivors of the battle are rescued by a worried Chichi, Bulma and Master Roshi. It is in the transport that Krillin and Goku tell them about the demise of their friends. It is Krillin, however, who makes a startling revelation … there is a way to bring their friends back from the dead and it is to find all seven Dragon Balls and wish them back to life. Of course, with the location of Earth’s Dragon Balls a mystery, he suggest searching the very place where they were created … Piccolo’s home world, Planet Namek.
While the Saiyan ships have been destroyed (one by Bulma), the mysterious Mister Popo takes Bulma to a spacecraft that belonged to Piccolo’s father. Despite the fact that they have a ship able to reach Planet Namek, the only likely candidates to travel there and find the Dragon Balls is Gohan and Krillin since Goku is too injured to go. So, along with Bulma, both Gohan and Krillin travel far but when they reach Planet Namek they realize that they are not the only ones looking for the seven Dragon Balls.
A powerful being called Frieza is on the planet and he and his henchmen are slaughtering innocent Namekians to get the Dragon Balls. Unable to stand by and watch these monsters kill women, children and elders, Gohan steps in and saves a child. To top it all off, Vegeta has recovered from his fight and is also on the planet. Vegeta ends up facing off against Frieza and his men in spectacular fights that end in more casualties. Meanwhile, Goku also makes a recover and makes it his top priority to find a way to get to Planet Namek to give his son and old friend a hand.
The chase is on as Goku and Krillin try to take the Dragon Balls the Frieza and Vegeta collected while trying to avoid the battle between these two powerful forces. Vegeta faces some heavy competition in the form of Frieza’s henchman, Dodoria, who tells Vegeta a secret about this home world. It’s clear to the Earth heroes that their quest for the Dragon Balls have know become a mission to save a planet from two of the most dangerous enemies.
Dragon Ball Z Kai continues to be an energetic take-no-prisoners instant classic that Dragon Ball Z fans old and new will certainly appreciate and with Part Two you will see exactly why this is a Blu-ray set you need in your collection. Action takes center stage in this one and, just like its heroes, it packs quite an impressive punch. If you’re not already a Dragon Ball Z Kai fan you will be after Part Two.
BLU-RAY REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The confrontation with Vegeta heats up as Gohan reveals that he really is a lot like his father as he gives Vegeta a sound beating. With the battle over and Vegeta momentarily out of the way, Krillin conceives a plan involving the Dragon Balls to bring their dead friends back to life. Of course, they must travel to Planet Namek where the Dragon Balls originated. Unfortunately, a powerful enemy named Frieza is on the planet as well.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
I still can’t get over the fact that the Dragon Ball Z series is on Blu-ray and yes it looks just as good as you imagine it to be so this format is definitely the absolutely best way to watch the Kai series.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
It’s great to hear the original Japanese voice acting and opening and closing theme songs but the new English dub voices work splendidly thanks to a stellar cast that includes Monica Rial and J. Michael Tatum just to name a few.
Sadly, the set doesn’t include any real extras with the exception of the clean opening and closing theme songs that also include the original broadcast versions. There are also a few trailers as well.
Reworked to perfection, Part Two of Dragon Ball Z Kai keeps the momentum going to the point that you will find yourself falling in love with this series all over again. Really, no matter how many times you’ve seen the Dragon Ball Z series, Kai just reminds us that you can improve on perfection.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment