Clutching at the Remnants of My Childhood!,
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This review is from: Dragon Ball Z Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
So, I'm a little late to the party, but I'm so glad that I'm finally able to get DBZ on DVD! I personally opted for the 'Orange Brick' over the 'Dragon Boxes', mostly due to the nostalgia of hearing the US/UK release soundtrack (so many people would disagree with me here - SO many), as this was what I grew up on, and the warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia was indeed brought about by hearing it once again. That's not to discount the original soundtrack. Simply that the US/UK version holds so many more memories of sitting up until all hours of the morning, re-watching sagas that I'd mercilessly insisted my dad tape for me, possibly half asleep by the end - but that was the beauty of it. Nothing can quite compare to being tucked up in bed and hearing 'Hell's Bells' playing from the TV set.
That said, the added advantage of being able to watch the English dub with the original score, as well as in Japanese with English subtitles is fantastic, and certainly not to be sniffed at! Well worth a watch if you enjoy comparing across dubs/version etc.
On to the release itself. My ONLY concern is that I've read in numerous places that these releases come complete with a booklet - a booklet which I admittedly didn't get, but I'm not going to spit feather over this one because I'm really just glad to finally have all my episodes of DBZ in one place (or will do, once I've finished buying these DVDs). A point that enthralls me greatly is that yes, these episodes ARE all UNCUT. A fact that didn't much bother me when I was eight, but it's interesting, now, to make the comparison, and at 21, some added blood and such doesn't detract from anything. There's debate about which dub we really did receive over here, and for years, my first (and only) guess was 'FUNimation' - I'm only about 85% sure about that, now, as there are certain differences (Androids #19 and #16, as well as Cell being the most notable), but again, this doesn't really detract from anything, but it's something I'd like to get straightened out, as most of the voices ARE just as I remember from the 1999/2000 broadcasts on Cartoon Network/Toonami. Maybe my memory just isn't up to scratch.
The 'Orange Brick' format is convenient, although as others may have mentioned, the discs being stacked on top of each other could potentially be annoying. It's fine by me as I'm very territorial and won't let anyone else handle my DVDs, but some extra caution is advised when trying to change the DVD over.
I'm not sure what else I can say here without being horribly out of my depth, but what I can say is that this is a must-have if you grew up watching the series on TV, potentially with little or no experience of Dragon Ball Z prior to that. Others might be more comfortable investing in the Dragon Boxes, but it really depends on what's more your speed, and that isn't for me to say. What I WILL say, however, is I'm one happy big girl who is currently being reminded of what it was like to be a little girl.
And here was me thinking I couldn't still be a child at heart.
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Initial post: 9 Dec 2013 16:22:00 GMT
Barry Stuart says:
Hi Vicky, basically from correspondences with an Amazon seller and research online I can offer an explanation, I was very annoyed, I love reading and having booklets, game manuals etc and it was wrong of Funimation to mislead. First of, RareWaves who I bought one of the seasons from on Amazon.co.uk. explained to me that according to them it is common for companies to stop printing material, leave things out etc even though I had never experienced this before. Naturally I assumed it was a manafacturing error. So I did some research, I found a few forums, question sites etc and basically Funimation stopped printing the episode guides (I am assuming for American releases only, but given UK releases have only just been released they may never of had them from the beginning) either for printing costs or for the environment or both. So since then I have unfortunately been very wary when buying the US sets, trying to gather from comments if people were receiving booklets and asking sellers how long they have had the stock for, so as to track down all the old stock before it gets replaced. Unfortunately I received season 4 today in the post without a booklet, so I have the odd and difficult task of seeing if anyone is selling them individually. RareWaves refunded me fine as Funimation never made this clear and Rarewaves agreed they should of done. It seems rather petty to stop printing a few pages, I think they were just getting lazy. Incase you did not know, these Dragonball Z sets (And Dragonball and Dragonball GT) have been out in America for years and all are region free (The dragonball ones are not but GT are, and VLC plays region free anyway) so I have just been buying the "NTSC" sets when I can as it is irrelevant, and no doubt the english sets are repackaged with different licensing bodies for Europe and any other details as the features all seem the same. It confused me when people were saying UK fans can now get Dbz boxsets, aside from money (In some cases the US sets might be cheaper than in UK shops, when I started they were around £25 now some are at £15) you have always been able to get the sets, the NTSC is very misleading but unfortunately not everyone realises it. I have stayed away from the UK releases because I doubt whether the booklets are printed in the UK releases, being later just like later US releases now no longer have them but my quest to buy all the boxsets with the booklets in continues. Oh and yes we did have both versions on cartoon network, you were right, I have a really vague memory of a early Dragonball Z movie dub and now they were different. It is commonly understood that there is simply Funimation voice cast and Ocean voice cast, there were many inbetweens, alterations and so on, the Dragonball wikia has a wealth of information of the voice acting timeline and reassured me my memories were not false. Remember when Cartoon network did their days of showing movies? It was so funny to hear Piccolo be called "Big green" and I forget the date but it always surprised me at the time how old DBZ was before I knew it's full history. I think it might of been Harmony dub, if I have the name right. Oh one more thing, I saw you talking about voices and mentioning Cell jogged my memory. Take a look at the back of your boxset and you should see "Revised dialogue" (Unless left out on UK versions but I'm sure they are exactly the same just repackaged as they all are region free deceptively). When I first watched this, before I had the DVDs people were uploading full episodes on youtube before a major crackdown, literally every episode was there around 2010 which was what lead me to discovering the US boxsets as they had burned the episodes from disc, I was listening to Cell and so shocked! He did not sound how I remembered him...however later on he did. Basically Funimation DID revise dialogue and for early episodes it established continuity with voices when there was none before or even at times with the same voice actor but more settled as some were still trying out different voices like Christopher Sabat, but on the other hand some bits they caused problems! If I remember correctly Cell is one of them, not majorly but there are different things going on for him. So basically DBZ is an amazingly complicated tangled web of a production in that for just the DBZ series alone there are over 5 different versions to watch, such as Ocean dub (I prefer ocean dub in the kid buu saga which is rare to find as most think they never dubbed it but they did, it's on youtube), funimation, revised funimation (Early 2000s, to get rid of some cencorship), late 2000s revision and remastered physically- what is on the UK/US boxsets (Different dialogue, voice acting etc), the abonimation that is Dragonball Kai which is being launched into outer space as we speak to never be spoken of again, and a few other versions.
So there are some episodes where basically in just english alone you can actually watch 3 or more different versions, (A lot of comparison videos exist on Youtube). Happy shopping.
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