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Dragon Ball Z: Level 1.1 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 1.0
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Run Time: 410 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • List Price: $34.98

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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]

Yes, here is again, folks, another home video release of Dragon Ball Z. Of course, this is the first time that the original broadcast series will be making its way to Blu-ray. Unlike Dragon Ball Z Kai, there’s no reworking of the series, the voice cast hasn’t been brought back to rerecord their parts and there are no new segments. This is the same old series restored, that’s all.

Fans will already know the basics of the series, Goku battles Raditz and others from his home planet, is killed and must be wished back to life by his friends with the seven dragon balls. Meanwhile his young son Gohan is discovering his own inner strength.

The appeal of this series has always been perplexing to me considering nearly every episode and iteration follows the same arc with hardly any character development, but the success of it is impossible to deny. It has carried on from one generation to the next, as I now have the chance to watch the eleven and twelve-year-olds in my family become Dragon Ball Z fans. It is certainly a show filled with with an enticing mix of martial arts and science fiction that hits at a rapid pace in every episode, and I guess that’s what the kids enjoy.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

This series has of course been restored, frame by frame, for release in high definition and it shows. A lot of the source damage has been removed and color timings have been fixed and come across rather vibrant. Grain in the original image remain, however, and is rather coarse, although it does look film-like. There’s no noise apparent and detail is quite strong.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There is an unusual mixture of audio option offered on this release, all provided in the lossless Dolby TrueHD format. The default selection is English Dialogue with the original Japanese Music in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Additionally, there is a U.S. English Broadcast Version in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo that contains a different musical score. Finally there is the original Japanese language version in Dolby TrueHD 1.0. This latter mix sounds the least compelling of the three, being really claustrophobic and somewhat muffled in sound. Between the two English mixes, there are differences in the musical score that become increasingly obvious as you switch between the two. Some segments in the Japanese score have long stretches of silence where the U.S. Score is more active, the Japanese score is more acoustically inclined where the U.S. Score sounds more electronic, and so on. Either one offers up clean dynamics and good dynamic range. The 5.1 mix does not really fully utilize the surround channels, really only using them for reverberation. It also beefs up the low end with the LFE.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

There’s not much offered here besides the usual clean opening and closing animation and a brief featurette on the series’ restoration for Blu-ray.

The supplements:

  • Dragon Ball Z: Film to Blu-ray (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:48)
  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

If you really need to get this seventeen episode “level 1.1” release, then go for it, but this may just be for serious fans of DBZ, given the fact the series has been released so many times before.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005E2YL4U[/amazon-product]

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:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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