Anime DVD Review: Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Four

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Four is a release aimed at Dragon Ball Z collectors. This set contains Episodes 127 through 168 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 Four
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 21, 2010

The episodes in this set cover the remainder of the Androids saga, the Imperfect Cell saga, the Perfect Cell Saga, and the early episodes of the Cell Games saga. However, it should be noted that in the book that comes with this set, the Imperfect Cell, Perfect Cell, and Cell Games sagas have been lumped together into the Cell saga.

The androids that the Z Fighters were warned about make an appearance, and a fight begins. Goku also comes down with the illness he was told about. Fortunately, the purple-haired youth had given him a way to fight it. It’s also revealed that the situation with the Androids is different than what the youth expected. Apparently, by coming back to the past, he changed what would happen in the future.

Another new foe is also introduced: a creature called Cell. The storylines of the Androids and Cell come together in the episodes that appear near the end of this set. Right at the end, Cell challenges the Z Fighters to a fighting tournament that he calls the Cell Games.

Overall, the episodes in this set are rather decent. While there’s some stretching out that’s been done to make the story last longer, it’s not as noticeable as in the Namek saga. The purple-haired youth, who is revealed to be Vegeta and Bulma’s son, gets to play a major part in this storyline. With the episode breakdown, it works out that the last episode on the disc is when Cell challenges the Earth’s fighters to the Cell Games. This works as a good stopping point for the set.

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 Four 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. Mixed in with the episode descriptions are sections labeled as “Impressive Words” (which has memorable quotes from the episodes in this set) and “Overlooked Moments” (which has a piece of trivia about something that appears in one of the episodes). The book concludes with line art featuring some of the Dragon Ball Z characters and vehicles.

The books that have been included in the Dragon Boxes are really nice, and I think they’re a lot better than any on-disc extras that could have potentially 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 three 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 Four 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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