Monday, 11 February 2013

Dragon Ball Z Complete Season One
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: PG
Running Time: 900 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: Out Now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
Peace is to be shattered on Earth when a huge fire ball lands on a nearby town, causing disruption and terror. The ball, it seems is a capsule containing one man, but he is unlike all the others on Earth, he is from another race called the Saiyans, and their path to Earth has them search for the seven magic Dragon Balls. These balls are able to grant wishes to whoever holds them, and Prince Vegeta desires them all. The people of Earth had better not despair though, as Son Goku, a plucky kid who comes from a family of fighters who wants to give this prince a piece of his mind.

To get to Prince Vegeta, he has to go on a long journey to fight old and new enemies alike. Well known for his design on Blue Dragon and Dragon Quest, Akira Toriyama is best known for his work on Dragon Ball. He created Dragon Ball back in 1984 thinking it would be another manga series to be featured in popular magazine Shonen Jump, but he had no idea of the impact its look would have on millions of readers.
When Dragon Ball's readers kept up with it, it became one of the most popular series, and with a kid called Goku who rides a cloud and has a monkey with him, it is not hard to tell where Akira got his inspiration from; the old Chinese story of Monkey, yet this one is trained in martial arts and he has to find the seven Dragon Balls before his enemy does.

It was later in 1986 that the manga was good enough to be transferred to anime in Japan.  As it had got such a great reception, Dragon Ball Z followed it, and got dubbed into English once it was brought to the UK market. Fans couldn't get enough of it and were not accepting that this was the end of the series. Akira had to pen Dragon Ball GT to keep his fans happy, but you can imagine that he will be glad he did.

It is interesting to think that Dragon Ball Z might not have been such a success, and if not, as a result it would never have been shown in the UK and much of Europe, and we would never have seen such anime series as Bleach and Naruto either.

Though by modern standards the series looks to be dated, and without the usual trademark computer rendered backgrounds, it is without doubt the one that introduced adventure style anime into the UK, and without it we would not be able to enjoy the variety we do now.

Bonus Material: Dragon Ball Z Rebirth Featurette, A New Look Featurette, Text Less Opening and Closing Animations and Trailers for other anime series in the Manga Entertainment range.

Verdict: Dragon Ball Z started off anime fever in the UK - it is a must have for any die hard anime fan.

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