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Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Six Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Running Time: 290 Mins.
  • Discs: 2
  • Studio: Funimation
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • List Price: $34.98

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BestBuy.com:
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One Part Six (2 Disc) -

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Dragon Ball franchise is one of the most popular anime series to hit in the past couple of decades. It has spawned television series, feature films, and numerous merchandising products from trading cards to video games. The franchise is so ubiquitous is hard to believe that it has been around for 25-years.

Dragon Ball Z Kai arrives in celebration of that 25th Anniversary. It is not a new series, but rather a rebuilding of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z anime. The Toei Animation Co. has gone back to the original drawings and animation cels to redo the series, being that most of the cels were destroyed when the series originally ended in 1996. New frames were added and the original series was shortened from over 200 episodes to just 100 episodes, to create a more compact, action-packed version of Dragon Ball Z.  The original English voice cast was also brought back to re-record their parts for this revitalized version of the Dragon Ball saga.

For those unfamiliar with the tale, Dragon Ball follows a boy named Goku who arrives on Earth mysteriously and grows up to become a great warrior. He befriends a girl named Bulma and together they go on a quest to seek out seven mystical Dragon Balls, powerful charms that when brought together have the power to summon a magical dragon that can grant wishes, such as bringing people back from the dead.

Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Z Kai pick up when Goku is an adult and he meets his older brother Raditz. Raditz tells Goku that they are from a powerful alien race known as the Saiyans and they are meant to destroy everyone on Earth. Goku and his one-time nemesis Piccolo fight off Raditz with aid of Goku’s son Gohan, but Goku dies in the process, going to the afterlife where he must seek the aid of King Kai to train him.

Part Six of this continuing series of volumes is really nothing groundbreaking. It finds Goku once again incapacitated as a group of androids attack the planet. Meanwhile his friends must hold down the fort, doing battle while he recovers. Once you’ve seen a few Dragon Ball episodes, you’ve pretty much seen them all and they all begin to blend together. Tweens and early-teens seem to love the series, however, and older folks who grew up with it still have an affinity towards it, but the farther along I get, the more I wonder what the fuss was really all about.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Just like all the previous releases in this series, Part Six is a native HD transfer (sourced from film). The image is soft and colors are inconsistent at best. Source damage is pretty rampant as well. One could make excuses that this is an aged but of animation done on film and that is to be expected, but given what a fuss was made over how there was a major restoration undertaken on this and how Disney can manage to bring its far older animated classics back to life looking much cleaner than this, I cannot give DBZK a pass. The original 1.33:1 aspect ratio is maintained in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding of Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Six. Still, Toei Animation Co’s. hard work in going back to the original drawings and restoring Dragon Ball Z shows in the few instances where the color does come through nicely and line art is crisp.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Both the re-recorded English soundtrack in 5.1 and Japanese soundtrack in 2.0 are provided in lossless Dolby TrueHD. The English soundtrack is a good one with smooth high frequencies and deeply extended lows. The recording levels are still pushed a bit, requiring me to listen a full 5db lower than normal, but dynamic range is still good. There is some use of the surrounds for discrete sound effects and dialogue is clear, especially the narrator’s voice in the center channel.

The Japanese 2.0 mix will still be the go-to program for the true enthusiast, however, and it does deliver with a wide soundstage across the stereo field and clean dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

Only clean opening and closing songs are offered as the supplements on this barebones release.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

This will be worth it for DBZ enthusiasts looking to complete their collections, but over the course of the series, Dragon Ball Z Kai never really grows beyond one violent clash after the next with the outcome always being rather predictable. Still, it has its audience, mainly that of 9 to 13 year-old boys.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0053O8AZU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One Part Six (2 Disc) -

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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