Dragon Ball Z Kai, Part Four – Blu-ray Review

Review by: Eduardo Zacarias

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: Blu-ray: $59.98 US; DVD: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes|
Genre: Action
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now

One of the longest battles begins and it’s one hell of a battle you will not forget anytime soon.

Some fights are just inevitable events that really need to happen whether it is Mohammad Ali going toe-to-toe with Joe Frazier, Luke Skywalker locking lightsabers with Darth Vader or yes, Dragon Ball Z fans, Goku versus Frieza. In Part Four of Dragon Ball Z Kai, we get exactly that as the series directs its attention to this battle between two powerful forces as the fate of an entire planet plus the lives of Planet Namek’s survivors hangs on the balance.

With Frieza’s minions taken out of the picture and a Piccolo resurrected from the dead thanks to some quick thinking by Gohan and Krillin, the attention is now on Frieza who shows them all his true power. Part Four picks up after the monster’s transformation as Frieza displays a new level of power that makes him faster and stronger. In fact, Frieza quickly makes short work of Piccolo and thus forces Gohan to step into the battlefield.

In the middle of the battle, Vegeta – who has surprisingly joined forces with the others – comes up with a plan to turn up his power but finds no cooperation from the Namekian boy named Dende. Because of this, Frieza is not only able defeats Vegeta but he also slaughters the Saiyan and then aims his powerful blast at Piccolo and Krillin who are too horrified to act. The end result isn’t very pretty.

Thankfully, Goku is finally fully healed thanks to the revitalizing tank he put himself in after his first few battles in Planet Namek. With renewed strength, he heads straight towards Frieza only to be in time to watch another tragedy unfold right before his eyes. Sure, Goku is more powerful now that he’s healed but that’s nothing compared to what happens when he witnesses the fall of one of his closest friends. On top of that, Frieza seems to recognize Goku’s face and tells him that it’s the face of the Saiyan he killed a long time ago and this person has a connection to Goku.

The anger of such a sight transforms Goku into a Super Saiyan but not of the giant ape variety. His transformation is impressive and pushes his power to the maximum as he momentarily frightens even a being such as Frieza. However, the fight slowly starts to turn in Frieza’s favor. It’s clear that this monster is indeed one of the most dangerous villains in the galaxy. He’s also one of the more heartless as he destroys the environment around him as well as attacks the planet’s core.

With the planet now in danger, Gohan finds himself dealing with his own problems that are mainly centered on Bulma who encounter what she thought was an intelligent frog but was actually one of Frieza’s henchmen in a frog form (if you saw Part Three you’ll know who I’m talking about). Once that problem is remedied, however, the unstable planet is making it difficult to keep the ship from being torn apart. Despite his father’s orders to take the battle’s only survivor as well as Bulma out of the planet, Gohan decides to join his dad in combat.

Meanwhile, King Kai and the others watch in horror as Frieza appears to be winning the fight. Good news reaches King Kai and all of Goku’s fallen comrades that comes in the form of Kami and Mister Popo who have managed to locate and obtain all the Dragon Balls. They come up with a risky plan that might just work if Shen Long agrees to it but when it does work it is Goku who refuses to leave the dying planet to continue fighting Frieza. Goku is determined to make Frieza pay for all the damage he has done and the people he had killed to obtain the Dragon Balls. His crimes are unforgivable and Goku means to make him pay even if it means he might die in the process.

You might think that devoting an entire volume to one fight might seem like a bad idea and that might have been the case if this weren’t Dragon Ball Z or re-written to eliminate the filler. What we have here is one of those battles of cinematic proportions that will have you on the edge of your seat. In other words, this is one intense volume.

That said, then, Part Four of Dragon Ball Z Kai packs an overwhelmingly powerful punch that will make you feel it all throughout these 13-episodes. Just as exciting as the first three releases, it is clear that Kai is not only an action-packed tour de force but also one of the best ways to introduce the Dragon Ball Z series to a new generation of viewers. Believe me when I say that you will be hooked on this series with this fourth release.

BLU-RAY REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A
Finally revealing his true power and a more hideous form, Frieza takes on Gohan, Krillin and even Piccolo only to take them all down including Vegeta. However, a newly revitalized and fully healed Goku arrives in time to finally face-off against the villain who reveals the shocking truth about Goku’s father. With Planet Namek on the line as well as the lives of the survivors, Goku’s battle with Frieza is nothing short of colossal.

VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The series has always looked good even back in the day but on Blu-ray you can’t help but drool over the vibrant and crystal clear picture that will make any Dragon Ball Z fan glad they went HD. This is a series that deserves to be watched on Blu-ray.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
I still love watching this series in its original Japanese language track but then again you have to hand it to the English dub voice cast that manage to give us some great performances. The score in these 13-episodes is actually exciting and makes the big Goku-Frieza fight even more intense.

EXTRAS: D
Sadly, there are no interviews or even an audio commentary track in this fourth edition so all you will find are the textless opening and closing theme songs as well as a few trailers as well on the second disc.

OVERALL: A
Calling the battle between Goku and Frieza epic would not be the best way to describe this fight of the century and there are a very few series that could pull off an entire set devoted to said fight but Part Four of Dragon Ball Z Kai pulls it off with flying colors. Count this as yet another reason your wallet will get thinner.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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