Anime DVD Review: Dragon Ball Season Four Box Set

The Dragon Ball Season Four DVD box set includes five DVDs that contain 30 episodes. The first four discs contain seven episodes, and the fifth disc contains two episodes and the DVD extras.

Dragon Ball Season Four Box Set
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 4, 2010

This set continues with the Tenkaichi Tournament that began right near the end of the Dragon Ball Season Three DVD box. The competitors who advance to the top eight are: Goku, Kuririn, Yamcha, Jackie Chun, Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu, Man Wolf, and Pomput. This story arc not only provides the excitement and fights that are expected from the Tenkaichi Tournaments, it also provides important character development for Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu.

Unfortunately, tragedy strikes at the end of the Tenkaichi Tournament. This tragedy causes Goku to go off on another search for the Dragon Balls in the hopes of setting things right again. This portion of the Dragon Ball storyline also introduces a new villain named King Piccolo. The audience also meets his henchmen, who are named after musical instruments.

This portion of the story also introduces a character named Yajirobe, a skilled and tough fighter until he witnesses the power of Goku and his friends as they fight the villains. After seeing that, Yajirobe basically does everything he can to stay out of the fights. Since I’ve seen all three of the Dragon Ball series, I can genuinely question why Yajirobe was ever introduced into the storyline in the first place. In the long run, all Yajirobe seemed to truly add was some comic relief. However, there were already previously existing characters that could have fulfilled the comic relief role. In Dragon Ball Z, Yajirobe only made occasional appearances in the series. By the time you reach the Dragon Ball GT series, Yajirobe is almost all but nonexistent. Yajirobe occasionally gets an amusing line, but in the end, he ultimately didn’t add much to the Dragon Ball franchise.

This set ends at the climax of this story arc, when Goku has a confrontation with King Piccolo. Right at the end of the battle, King Piccolo creates an egg that he sends flying. The contents of the egg aren’t revealed until the episodes that appear in the Dragon Ball Season Five DVD box set.

There’s a good mix of Tenkaichi Tournament episodes and episodes that feature fighting enemies and searching for Dragon Balls. One of the best things about the episodes in this set is the fact that both Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu go through major changes as characters, and the viewer comes to appreciate the two of them more. And the King Piccolo storyline is very important. Without this storyline and what happens at the end of that arc, there are some elements of Dragon Ball Z that simply wouldn’t exist.

When it comes to the actual DVD box set, you can watch the episodes with either the English dub or with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles. This 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.

Like the previous three Dragon Ball DVD box sets, the only special features that are included are textless versions of the opening and ending credits, as well as trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this DVD box set was released. Like I’ve said in the reviews for the previous three box sets, I really can’t blame FUNimation for the relative lack of bonus features, since it’s more than likely not entirely their fault. Also, I think the episodes included in the set are strong enough that they make up for the fact that there’s not much in the way of bonus features.

The Dragon Ball Season Four box set is a “must get” for any North American Dragon Ball fans that want to own the series on DVD, since this is the best and most economical way to currently acquire the original Dragon Ball anime series in this region.

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