Customer Review

108 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied long time adult fan of DBZ, August 27, 2007
This review is from: Dragon Ball Z: Season 1 (Vegeta Saga) (DVD)
Quick Facts: I'm 27, been a fan of Dragon Ball Z since 1999, and a fan of anime since 1992. I'm very picky about uncut anime, and I always prefer the original aspect ratio. I dislike English dubs as most any anime fan does. This is my first review of a DVD.

Video: FUNimations claims this is a widescreen transfer from the original video. Dragonball Z fans are screaming the original video was cropped to make it widescreen. I've spent the last 2 days with WinDVD and Photoshop to confirm or disprove this. Anyone who does image editing knows that cropping a 4:3 image to 16:9 can be really dramatic. After watching 67 episodes of this new release from FUNimation, I wasn't completely convinced about the transfer being cropped from it's original 4:3 aspect ratio. Dragonball Z fans are correct to say the widescreen transfer is cropped, but they also would need to admit to that the 4:3 broadcast we fans know and love was also cropped! The widescreen transfer has extended video on the left and right that was cropped for the original 4:3 TV broadcast some 18 years ago. A time when 4:3 televisions were standard. In recent times, 16:9 televisions have taken over, and we're much more widescreen oriented. The original animation aspect ration I got when I was done sizing and layering the images over each other from the 4:3 and 16:9 gave me a 16:11 aspect ratio. This my Dragon Ball Z fans... Seems to be the ORIGINAL size. 16:11 though won't look all that great on any TV set. Also makes sense though since animators make the original larger so when transferring the animation to video, there's room to play with so you don't have random spots missing on the sides, top and bottom. So if you have to ask yourself if this is a legitmate 16:9 transfer or some 4:3 cropped (cut/edited) video, the real answer is... It's a legimate 16:9 transfer. Both the 4:3 and the 16:9 are cropped from the original... In the end, it depends on personal preference.

The video was supposedly cleaned up, and the colors remastered. Personally, For the most part, I see an increased brightness on the video, which actually does look better. They did clean up the video and removed grain and video noise. All in all, the remastered picture looks better compared to the original DVDs that FUNimation released.

Audio: I can't say much about the sound quality since I'm using my computer for the time being. Just moved, and have yet to hook up my home theater again. FUNimation is releasing this with 3 settings. The original Japanese language and music. Nothing seems to have changed between the original DVDs and this release. For those who watch DBZ subbed only, I see no change at all. The second option is the English dub with the Japanese music. This is actually quite interesting, and I give credit for this addition! In this rare instance, I have always like the dubs for Dragon Ball Z, so having the option to watch it with the original music is great. If that isn't enough though, this new way to watch the series is in Dolby Digital 5.1. Then there's the third option which is the English dub with the US music done by Bruce Faulconer in stereo. I guess doing this in 5.1 would have taken too much time.

The dub was also redone for whatever reason. After comparing the original DVDs vs the new ones, the older ones sometimes seem a bit more consistent with what was originally being said. One quick example would be this...

Japanese Audio: Vegeta "I suppose"
Original English Dub: Vegeta "I guess so"
New English Dub: Vegeta "Shut up!"

Why FUNimation went out of the way to do a whole new dub, I have no idea... This seems to be wasteful of production time, or maybe they can't use the original dub anymore. Why FUNimation does anything at times is beyond my understanding. They have time to redub the series, but they can't make the English dub with the US music in 5.1...

The menus on these discs are light years ahead of the original DVDs FUNimation released, with much more chapter points, and the MARATHON option which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc straight through without the opening/closing between the episodes. More like watching a movie than episode after episode, having to skip after each one.

The packaging of the discs in the case is rather nice. Seems upon collection the series, you can line them up for a large "DRAGONBALL Z" title! Each season comes with a small booklet with character information, episode information, etc.

Also want to note that according to FUNimation, this video was remastered on HD 1080/24p. This doesn't mean the discs are HD and can optimize the new HDMI 1.3, but it does show that 1080/24p mastering is being done, and we're probably not far off from seeing this much more commonly done and seeing HDDVDs with actual 1080/24p video as TVs are now coming out with HDMI 1.3.

I hope this information helps people looking to possibly buy this series or in the case I'm in, buy it again for the remastered video and widescreen version. Also much more compact compared to dozens of standard DVD cases!

Giving this 4 stars. Why not 5? Because there is still room for improvement. The new dub doesn't always seem to fit, and in comparison to the actual translation of what was being said, it's like comparing black and white. FUNimation was always lousy about the dub translation, and there's little excuse for rebubbing the series and making it just as poor as the first time around. Making the English Dub with Japanese music 5.1, but the US music in 2.0 is another point away from me. While this doesn't change anything for me, if they had the time to redub and upscale to 5.1 for the Japanese music, it seems to me they should have taken the time to upscale the US music track too. Lazy? Additionally, they should have some slight explanation of the widescreen transfer included. The extras on the discs are meaningless.

For the price these new box sets go for... It's an unbeatable deal for the series and Dragon Ball Z fans.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2007 12:07:22 AM PST
Hi, I have to comment on your review, as I actually worked on the show as an actor. Funimation did not "redub" the show from it's original dub, nor did they change the voices since the Texas cast took over from the Ocean group. They simply corrected some dialogue and remixed the audio from 5.1 as far as I know. The reason I know this, is I voiced Goku, King Kai, and Nail for the English dub and I did not "redub" anything I had previously recorded for Funimation.
-Sean Schemmel

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2009 12:22:22 AM PST
Drome says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2009 5:32:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2014 7:56:49 PM PDT
I believe Sean Schemmel's post is true. The voice actors on the Dragonball series did a fantastic job, lets not say anything bad about what they have done.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009 9:52:33 PM PST
H. Tague says:
Sean has a point. Only certain characters were redubbed after Funimation caught up to themselves. Vegeta, Krillin, Freeza, and Dende are the only ones as I recall. Of course that also begs the question as to why some of your review is about the season 2 box set when this is the season 1.

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 2:41:57 PM PST
E. Peters says:
great review just purchased. also Sean, i am a big fan of your work, you are an amazing voice actor thank you a lot

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2010 10:56:24 AM PDT
Oh neat! I strictly watch the japanese version...but I admire the work you do and am a bit envious. Congratulations man and very informative!

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 10:47:43 PM PST
Nicole Taft says:
So I take it this DVD set is the version that has Chris Sabat as Vegeta and not Brian Drummond, is that correct? I ask because I'm trying to find (if it exists) the version with Drummond since I've always liked him better (crucify me all you want, people, but I loved Drummond).

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 12:23:30 PM PDT
Paul Jutras says:
I find your comment that most people prefer the original Japanese over the English dubbed. While I do find Dragonball and Dragonball Z interesting in Japanese I'd rather watch it in English Mainly because I find the slight line changes especially around Goku to be funnier. I recently watch Dragonball season 5 episode Annonymous Proposal in Japanese and much prefer Goku using the line in English "I know what my heart tells me" over what he originally said in Japanese version as an example.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 12:29:36 PM PDT
You can like any variation you want....that's why it's available to you.

Posted on Oct 4, 2012 2:00:16 PM PDT
EpsilonX says:
so, how much of the dub is changed from the original version? is it a big enough difference that it changes the nature of some of the characters, or is it mostly superficial changes?
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