Anime DVD Review: Dragon Ball Season Three Box Set

The Dragon Ball Season Three DVD box set includes five DVDs that contain 31 episodes. The first four discs contain seven episodes, and the fifth disc contains three episodes and the DVD extras.

Dragon Ball Season Three Box Set
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: February 2, 2010

The set opens with Goku at the summit of Karin Tower trying to get Karin’s sacred water. After finishing at Karin Tower, Goku returns to where Oopa is and has a battle with the assassin Tao Pai Pai. After this, Goku heads to the Red Ribbon Army’s base to launch an assault and to get the Dragon Balls they have collected. After Goku’s friends learn what he’s up to, they head to the base to help him out.

After the battle at the Red Ribbon Army Base, Goku has six of the Dragon Balls. They have trouble locating the final Dragon Ball, so Roshi suggests visiting Fortuneteller Baba so she can use her clairvoyance to find it. When Goku and the others are unable to pay Baba’s high fee, they have to go the alternative route of fighting five of Baba’s warriors. The final warrior that Goku has to battle with is a big surprise to both Goku and the audience watching the series.

After finding the final Dragon Ball and making the wish, Goku heads out on a training journey that lasts him for three years. Fortunately, only four episodes take place during that three year period. During his training, Goku fights against two men terrorizing a village with their gourd that traps people, a man called Sky Dragon, the demon Shula, and a monster called InoShikaCho. However, it turns out there’s more to InoShikaCho than is initially revealed in a later episode in the set.

The remaining 10 episodes on the disc are part of the next Tenkaichi Tournament arc. During this arc, three new characters are introduced: Master Shen (the Crane Hermit), Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu. Master Shen is a former friend of Master Roshi, so a rivalry quickly develops between Roshi’s students and Shen’s students. Unfortunately, the Tenkaichi Tournament doesn’t conclude in this set. In order to find out what happens, you have to watch the Dragon Ball Season Four DVD box set.

Overall, the episodes that appeared in this box set are better than what was included on the Dragon Ball Season Two DVD box set. I was glad to see the beginning of another Tenkaichi Tournament, because the episodes that take place during these tournaments are always fun to watch. While it’s nice to see the stories where the characters are out looking for the Dragon Balls (since the Dragon Balls are the title item of the series), it’s also nice to have portions of the story that don’t focus on finding the Dragon Balls. I also appreciated the fact that there were only four episodes to cover the three year training period, instead of padding this section out to make it last longer.

I also think that the addition of Master Shen, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu really added something to this Tenkaichi Tournament arc, so it didn’t simply feel like a retread of the previous Tenkaichi Tournament.

When it comes to the actual DVD set, you can watch the episodes with either the English dub or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. The set also has a marathon feature. This allows you to watch all of the episodes back-to-back. However, with the marathon feature, you only see the opening credits once, and the ending credits are not shown. This feature is very helpful when you’re trying to watch all of the episodes on a disc in a single sitting.

The menu on the fifth DVD adds in a link for the special features, which is essentially the same as the bonus features on the previous two sets: textless versions of the opening and ending credits, as well as trailers for the properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD box set was released. Even though there may not be much in the way of special features, I think that the quality of many of the episodes included on this disc help to make up for that.

I believe that this set is a “must get” for any Dragon Ball fans that want to own the series on DVD, especially since these box sets are the best and most economical way to obtain the episodes of the original Dragon Ball anime series in North America.

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