Things are looking grim for our heroes as they face their toughest challenge yet in Dragonball Z season 9. Just as Majin Buu begins to show a gentle and more docile side to his personality his true, evil form is released, and what we get is the meanest, baddest villain of the entire DBZ saga. Like the previous Dragonball Z season sets, this ninth and final release once again turns things up a notch. The action is even more over the top with some serious power levels being reached. When compared to the first season, DBZ has certainly come a long way, and the fact that it has reached a ninth season and is still able to get bigger and better is a testament to the franchises increasingly growing popularity. Season 9 contains the fusion and kid buu sagas over the course of a whopping 38 episodes. The first saga of the set primarily focuses on the fused form of Goten and Trunks (Gotenks) and his efforts to defeat the rubbery, villainous Buu. The final saga of DBZ sees the Z fighters pitted against the evilest, most powerful form of Majin Buu and goes about giving us a brilliant look into his history.
This six disc collection is contained inside the familiar orange boxset, with the usual information booklet which gives us episode and character summaries. Once again, we also get the choice of 3 audio tracks which are: English language with Japanese music, American broadcast version and full Japanese version. Furthermore, the marathon feature is also included, which allows the viewer to watch several episodes in one go with all the opening and ending credits removed. There are also some trailers for other funimation DVDs on the sixth disc.
As per usual the plot is very addictive and easy to watch. Each episode ends with some kind of cliff hanger that makes the viewer want to watch several episodes in one sitting. Furthermore, like previous seasons, this final outing also manages to pull off some surprising twists and turns in the story. Just when you think the Z-fighters are done for, something happens to suddenly turn the tables. It is this aspect of DBZ that has allowed it to run as long as it did. With many long running series' it is fair to say that the quality deteriorates as it goes along. However, the same cannot be said for DBZ, which remained consistently entertaining throughout it's 291 episode run. So if you're expecting the final episodes of this long running epic series to lack in comparison then you may be pleasantly surprised.
The animation of the series may look dated compared to todays newer, CGI filed animes, however it is still very good for it's time and just goes to show how beautiful traditional, hand drawn artwork can look. The action sequences are classic with explosions and energy beams a-plenty, giving DBZ a distinctive and instantly recognisable look. For many people, DBZ defined an era for Japanese animation. The sheer imagination of the storylines, mixed with the originality of the characters makes DBZ a winner, and definetly a series that will be enjoyed for many years to come. Season 9 marks some of the greatest episodes of the shows entire run and proves that not all long running series' get weaker as they go along.