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Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box One

4.4 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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(Nov 17, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Ultimate for any Dragon Ball Z Collector!

Originally produced in limited quantities in Japan, the incredibly rare Dragon Box has long been the ultimate prize for avid Dragon Ball Z collectors. Now this coveted collection has been reproduced for the first time in the United States, delivering the authentic original Dragon Ball Z experience to hardcore fans.

The battle to harness the power of the seven Dragon Balls explodes in vivid detail like never before. The Dragon Box features over 40 uncut episodes, remastered and restored frame by frame, rendering the legendary action in pristine clarity. Each episode is presented in Japanese with the complete opening and closing credits and includes the original episode previews.

Truly the essential edition for Dragon Ball Z purists, this set isn’t an addition to your archive – it is your archive. Your wish is finally granted. The Dragon Box is here.

The American reissue of the first Dragon Box includes the reference volume "The Dragon Book" and episodes 1 to 42--all of season 1 (the Vegeta saga) and the first three episodes of season 2 (the Namek saga) of the Dragon Ball Z series. (When the original Dragon Box was released in Japan in 2003, it contained episodes 1 to 147 of Dragon Ball Z, a Son Goku action figure, and the "Dragon Book"--all for ¥100,000, or about $1,100.) As the story opens, the adult Goku learns he's not an Earthling, but a Saiyan from the planet Vegeta. Only three other Saiyans survive, all of them extremely powerful and destructive. Goku slays Raditz with the help of Piccolo but dies in the process. He spends much of the season training in the Other World with King Kai. Piccolo takes over training Goku's son Gohan, anticipating he will have to face the remaining Saiyans, Nappa and Vegeta. The first season of Dragon Ball Z set the pattern of martial arts training, fantasy battles, and slapstick comedy that makes the series so popular. The first episodes of season 2 take Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma to the planet Namek to find an even more powerful set of Dragon Balls that can restore the lives of Tenshinhan, Yamucha, Chaozu, and Piccolo, who were killed by Vegeta during season 1. (Their souls are also training with King Kai.) Funimation remastered Dragon Ball Z from the original prints for their nine boxed sets of the individual seasons. Fans who already have those sets may decide that seeing the series in its original aspect ratio (rather than the widescreen version in the earlier sets) and acquiring the "Dragon Book" warrants buying the new box; viewers who are just discovering Dragon Ball Z will find the Dragon Box a handsomely packaged introduction. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, minor incidents of risqué and toilet humor, ethnic stereotyping, and alcohol use) --Charles Solomon

(1. The New Threat, 2. Reunions, 3. Unlikely Alliance, 4. Piccolo's Plan, 5. Gohan's Rage, 6. No Time Like the Present, 7. Day 1, 8. Gohan Goes Bananas, 9. The Strangest Robot, 10. A New Friend, 11. Terror on Arlia, 12. Global Training, 13. Goz and Mez, 14. Princess Snake, 15. Dueling Piccolos, 16. Plight of the Children, 17. Pendulum Room Peril, 18. The End of Snake Way, 19. Defying Gravity, 20. Goku's Ancestors, 21. Counting Down, 22. The Darkest Day, 23. Saibaman Attack! 24. The Power of Nappa, 25. Sacrifice, 26. Nappa's Revenge, 27. Nimbus Speed, 28. Goku's Arrival, 29. Lesson Number One, 30. Goku vs. Vegeta, 31. Saiyan Sized Secret, 32. Spirit Bomb Away, 33. Hero in the Shadows, 34. Krillin's Offensive, 35. Mercy, 36. Picking Up the Pieces, 37. Plans for Departure, 38. Nursing Wounds, 39. Friends or Foes? 40. Held Captive, 41. Friends or Foes? 42. The Search Continues)

Special Features

40 uncut and remastered episodes
English 5.1 voice track with original Japanese music
Japanese mono voice track with original music
Original episode previews
48-page collector's booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Masako Nozawa, Toshio Furukawa, Ryô Horikawa, Mayumi Tanaka, Stephanie Nadolny
  • Format: Subtitled, Box set, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 1000 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KPINF2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,376 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD

Having my hand at watching the Dragon Box and the extra material it offers, I can say this is easily a great quality release from FUNimation. It's a near perfect release. Now let's break down what it has to offer.

Picture: Taken from the original 16mm film preserved in cold storage, the picture was quite perfectly clean, but with most old animation, it will suffer from some damage over time. Pony Canyon, the company that went through the remastering process, had all the new digital technology available to them to clean the footage frame by frame while reducing jitter and removing most of the grain. With FUNimation's Dragon Box Masters, most of this is quite evident. The picture is clean and looks great in motion. As most say, screenshots really don't do it justice. There were times where I did notice some minor inconsistencies with flesh tones. Somewhat pinkish in one frame, not so much in another or another episode. It's a minor problem and I suspect it had something to do with the film damage over the years. Aside from that, everything is crisp and clear. I couldn't ask for more and it's the best quality available for the Dragon Ball Z series.

Audio: The set includes two audio options, Japanese Mono in 96kb/s stream (vs. the original 448 kb/s in the Japanese Dragon Boxes) and the English Dub w/ Japanese music 5.1 surround sound. While FUNi's Dragon Boxes have less kb/s compared to the Japanese release, it's the best audio quality we'll ever get for the Japanese track on a English Dragon Ball release. It sounds clear and more vibrant than the prior releases. There's not much you can do with a mono track either, so it's another minor problem. The English 5.1 track is pretty much the same track that was on the Season Sets.
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I used to be one of those individuals that would criticized the dragon box because of the lack of Bruce Faulconer music and because the price was significantly higher. Since I'm a fan of the series I couldn't help myself and I found my self pre-ordering the first Dragon Box to find out what the big deal was. I knew deep down that I wasn't gonna be to happy with the Japanese music.

Once I received the box I realized how incredibly well packaged everything comes. It had already made the orange bricks look cheap and I had yet to open the box. The dragon box was about the size of two orange bricks (remastered sets) and the smaller boxes inside were beautifully build. The booklet that's included with the set is very handy when watching the episodes and its hardcover and not held together with a single staple like in the orange bricks.

The quality of the video is superb, its near perfect and the colors are beautiful. I found my self looking at all the vivid colors and seeing detail I had not seen before. It was truly like watching a different version of Dragon ball Z. This is the way Dragon ball Z should have been released from the start!

Now on to the music, when I first started watching the series I wanted the American music! Since I couldn't have it, I just stop complaining and decided to watch it and appreciate it. I found my self loving the Japanese music. Before I knew it I just couldn't go back to the American version. It's almost like watching an entirely new show. Try the Japanese music and it will grow on you after each episode.

I also want to mention that I did own the orange Bricks, but now that I own the First dragon box I've sold all the orange bricks on Amazon.
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Format: DVD
Like many, I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z. Unlike most, I grew up watching it through nth generation fansubbed VHS. For years I wanted a box set of DBZ that was presented the way I remember (With a more vibrant picture and clearer sound of course.). Funimation's earlier efforts were foolish to say the least, but it was understandable when you consider and understand Toei gave them very little to work with.

The Orange bricked sets released a few years ago was not how I remembered DBZ. The widescreen presentation was a major turn off. I heard about the Japanese Dragon Box sets but considering it was over $500 to order and it was strictly in Japanese I passed on them. Then the Otakon announcement hit and my mind was blown. After a back and forth email session with a friend with connections to Funimation I quickly preordered it.

Three months later, I received it. THIS is the DBZ I remembered! The picture and audio quality is impeccable to say the least. The packaging is as close to the JP release as possible. I thank those who brought the orange boxes because if it wasn't for them, The Dragon Box would still be a Japan exclusive.

I'll grab all the other volumes and movies. After that I will be content as Kai is an abomination (In a nutshell, it's as if DBZ was restored and remastered by George Lucas). I'm surprised the fanbase isn't hostile towards Toei like the Star Wars fans 10 years ago. But that's neither here nor there.
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Format: DVD
When I first heard the Dragon Box was coming to America, I thought it was some kind of lame joke. But it turns out that it is actually true. For those who don't know. The Dragon Box was released in Japan years ago which featured a true frame by frame restoration of the Dragon Ball Z anime. The original 16mm film was used to create the DVDs that were sold in Japan, so the original colors and frame alignment are being displayed correctly.

One thing about the Japanese Dragon Box release was the price. It actually came in 2 seperate boxes, each containing one half of the series, which retailed for about 100,000 yen, or about $850 USD for each box. So for the Japanese release, you would spend over $1700 USD for the entire series. Also keep in mind there is no subtitles on the Japanese release as well, just Japanese language only. Instead of 2 boxes, FUNimation has decided to split the set in 7 seperate sets. This will make it easier to purchase the entire series at a much lower cost. For all 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z in Dragon Box format, you could probably expect to pay around $400 as opposed to $1700 for the Japanese version.

Now, thanks to FUNimation, the Dragon Boxes are coming to the US with subtitles and English audio options and most importantly, a FULLSCREEN aspect ratio. This definitely makes up for the much reviled "season sets" in which they tried to convince the public that it was in "widescreen" when in reality they actually cropped the footage resulting in substaintial loss of original footage.

This release is not for everybody, if you are already satisfied with the orange brick season sets, then stick with them. But if you want to view Dragon Ball Z "the way it was meant to be seen," I highly recommend tbe Dragon Box sets to see this great series in its original broadcast form.
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