Anime DVD Review: Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Three

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Three is a release aimed at Dragon Ball Z collectors. This set contains Episodes 85 through 126 of Dragon Ball Z. The episodes are uncut and have been remastered and restored frame by frame. The episodes that are included on this release are presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9 cropping that was done for the nine “orange brick” season sets.

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Three
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 4, 2010

The episodes in this set cover the remainder of the Freiza saga, the Garlic Jr. saga, the Trunks saga, and the early Androids saga. However, it should be noted that in the book that’s included in this set, the Trunks saga and the early Androids saga are lumped together into the Artificial Humans saga.

The set opens with Goku finally being healed, breaking out of the isolation chamber in Frieza’s ship, and engaging in an epic battle with Frieza. During the battle, Goku achieves the Super Saiyan state, and this state becomes a major part of the series after this point. This saga ends with the destruction of Namek, main characters coming back to life, and a question about what has happened to Goku.

After experiencing a time of peace on Earth, Garlic Jr. reappears to cause trouble. After a brief battle with Garlic Jr., another nemesis makes an appearance: Frieza and his father, King Cold. At the same time they appear, a mysterious purple-haired young man comes onto the scene. The young man becomes a Super Saiyan and defeats Frieza and his father with ease. When Goku returns to Earth, the purple-haired young man talks to him privately, and lets him know that he will die of a heart disease in three years and that a new threat will come that even the Z Fighters can’t defeat. The young man says he is from the future and that he has come in order to change the past.

The set ends with some training for the Z Fighters, as well as a “filler” episode where Goku and Piccolo try to get their driver’s license. While I think the driver’s license episode is rather hysterical, it truly is a filler episode because it doesn’t actually add anything to the story. It may be a filler story, but it’s still one of the memorable stories from the Dragon Ball Z series.

When it comes to this release, the default language for viewing is Japanese audio with English subtitles. If you want to hear the English dub, that option is available in the setup menu. However, it should be pointed out that the music score that was created for the English dub is not included. The Japanese titles for the episodes are used on this release instead of the English titles, and the packaging and booklet uses the original Japanese spelling for the characters’ names.

Each disc in this set includes seven episodes, and there are no on-disc extras. However, Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Three comes with a 47-page hardcover book that has a right-to-left orientation. The book begins with character profiles, which is followed by an “Ultimate Character Relationship Chart.” The bulk of the book, however, is a section talking about the episodes that are included in the set. The episode section of the book includes the Japanese titles for the episodes, a description for each episode, the original airdate for each episode, still images from the episodes, trivia, and a brief overview of the story that appears on each disc in the set. There is also a section showing the years that these episodes were released, which includes not only episode milestones, but historical events that took place both in Japan and abroad. There is a “Fashion Check” section, an “Overlooked Moments” section, and line art of some of the Dragon Ball Z characters.

I like the books that have been included in these box sets, and they’re ultimately better than any on-disc extras that could have been included. Personally, I’d rather have more episodes per disc and the hardcover book instead of fewer episodes per disc and on-disc bonuses.

Like the first two boxes, there’s no “Marathon Feature” to watch the episodes back-to-back. However, if you watch the episodes with the Japanese audio, you will be able to see the next episode previews that weren’t available on the nine “orange brick” season sets.

I would recommend Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Three to fans of Dragon Ball Z who want to have a better version of the episodes than what appears on the “orange bricks.”

Unfortunately, the Dragon Boxes were produced as limited edition collector’s releases, so some volumes are already completely gone, and others are getting close to being completely gone. While there are third-party sellers selling used copies of these sets on sites such as Amazon, I’ve seen some rather high prices for these sets. If you want to own the Dragon Boxes and haven’t bought them already, I would recommend looking around at various sites that let third-party sellers sell DVDs legally and see if you can find a good deal for these sets.

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