Anime DVD Review: Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection Three

The Dragon Ball Z Collection Three movie box set was released by FUNimation on January 3, 2012. This three-disc set includes four movies: Broly – Second Coming and Bio-Broly are on the first disc, Fusion Reborn is on the second disc, and Wrath of the Dragon is on the third disc. There were two slimline boxes packaged in the set; the first contained the disc with Broly – Second Coming and Bio-Broly, while the second contained the discs for Fusion Reborn and Wrath of the Dragon. The two slimline cases are housed in a cardboard slipcover.

Dragon Ball Z Movie Collection Three
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming was the 10th film released for Dragon Ball Z. At the opening of the film, a Saiyan spacecraft crash-lands on Earth; a wounded Broly crawls out, calling out for Kakarrot (aka Goku). Broly falls into a deep sleep and reverts back to his original form as the crater freezes over him. After seeing the end of Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, I have to question how Broly managed to get into a spacecraft and escape; unfortunately, by the end of this film, this question is never answered. I had a hard time using my “willing suspension of disbelief,” which made it harder for me to be able to enjoy this movie.

The main part of the film takes place seven years after Broly’s arrival on Earth; at this point, Goku is deceased after sacrificing his life to save the Earth from Cell. The main focus of the story is on Goku’s younger son Goten, Vegeta’s son, Trunks, and Gohan’s friend, Videl. These three are out looking for the Dragon Balls, because Videl wants to be able to see Shen Long. Their voyage takes them to a cursed village, where they save a young girl from being sacrificed to appease a supposed monster.

Unfortunately, as they wait for the monster, Videl makes Goten angry, which causes him to cry loudly. The cry awakens Broly, who thinks he is hearing Kakarrot. After the three heroes defeat the “monster” that’s bothering the village, Broly arrives and causes mischief. The rest of the film focuses on our heroes facing off against Broly.

At this point in the Dragon Ball Z movies, Goten and Trunks have become more of the central focus of the stories. While Gohan does make an appearance in this film and makes a significant contribution, the story is ultimately focusing on the Goten and Trunks. And sadly, between Bojack Unbound and Broly – Second Coming, Goku became a kind of “deus ex machina”; it’s amazing how much he can do for someone who’s supposed to be dead. And I have to say that of the three Broly films, this one was the weakest.

Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly was the 11th film released for Dragon Ball Z. At the beginning of the film, humanoids with strange colors emerge from tanks inside a laboratory. These humanoids were created by scientists hired by Mr. Jaguar, who is trying to create the strongest fighters on Earth in order to get revenge against Mister Satan (known as Hercule in the English dub).

Meanwhile, Android 18 is at Mr. Satan’s place, demanding the money she was promised in order to let Mr. Satan beat her in the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament. Kuririn, Marron, Goten and Trunks are outside, waiting for Android 18 to finish.

They are interrupted by the arrival of a man named Men-Men, who claims to be Jaguar’s cousin; Men-Men presents Mr. Satan with a blackmail challenge from Jaguar. Mr. Satan ends up agreeing to the challenge, and Android 18 insists on going along to ensure that she is not cheated out of her money. Goten and Trunks manage to sneak into the trunk of Mr. Satan’s vehicle unnoticed, and hitch a ride.

When they reach Jagaur’s laboratory, they encounter the bio-fighters. When it’s obvious that Mr. Satan is no match for these warriors, Android 18, Goten, and Trunks intervene. After these bio-fighters are defeated, Jaguar presents his greatest weapon, a Super Bio-Fighter. It turns out this is a clone of Broly, and the rest of the film focuses on battling with Bio-Broly.

Unlike Broly – Second Coming, I was able to buy the explanation of how the clone of Broly was created. I also appreciated that this film didn’t rely on Goku as a “deus ex machina.” However, I did feel that the battle with Broly went on a little longer than it really needed to. There were times I nearly nodded off during this battle, due to being a little tired and getting bored with the battle.

While the movie itself wasn’t too terribly bad, it ties in very closely with the previous film, Broly – Second Coming. This fact made it a little difficult for me to try to enjoy this film as a stand-alone story, especially since I really wasn’t too impressed with Broly – Second Coming.

Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn was the 12th film released for Dragon Ball Z. The film begins with Goku fighting against Pikkon in an Other World Tournament. As this is going on, the teenage “psyche ogre” who is supposed to be watching over the evil-purification machine in Other World is distracted by his music. Because he’s inattentive, one of the tanks gets full and explodes, releasing all of the collected evil energy. The energy is observed by the teenage ogre, and he turns into a big, goofy yellow creature that has a lot of power.

The accident also destroys the barrier that keeps the dead confined to Other World, and many dead souls are now wreaking havoc on Earth. Among these souls are previous villains from the Dragon Ball Z anime series, as well as real villains like Hitler. Bulma, Gohan, Videl, Goten, and Trunks gather the Dragon Balls and summon Shen Long. They ask for him to send the dead back to Other World; unfortunately, because of the problems in Other World, only King Yama can call them back.

The Grand Kai sends Goku and Pikkon to find out what is going on and to take care of the situation. The rest of the film follows Goku and Pikkon battling at King Yama’s location, while Goten and Trunks go up against Hitler and his army.

As I watched this movie, my husband and I were trying to figure out where it would fall in the timeline for the Dragon Ball Z anime series. We narrowed it down to a small time frame, but quickly realized that details in this film did not match details in the anime during that window; we ultimately came to the determination that Fusion Reborn is an “alternate timeline” story. I was a little disappointed by this, because it had seemed that the Dragon Ball Z films had become stand-alone stories that could fit into the timeline of the anime series.

When it comes to the animation, it definitely was not up to par with the previous Dragon Ball Z films. Some of the worst animation was utilized in the scenes where Goten and Trunks are fighting with Hitler. There’s little to no detail in the drawings, there are very noticeable thick black outlines around the characters, and the overall look of these scenes is much more “cartoony” when compared to the animation in other Dragon Ball Z films. Perhaps the director was going for some kind of effect, but these scenes just stood out from the rest of the film in a very bad way. In the end, I thought this wasn’t one of the better films released for Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon was the 13th film released for Dragon Ball Z. At the beginning of the film, a young boy is searching his location, with his sword at the ready. A loud noise alerts him to what he was searching for, but it’s too late for him to react. The boy is smashed by a giant creature.

The film moves to Earth, where Gohan (as the Great Saiyaman), along with Videl (as Great Saiyaman II) are foiling a bank robbery. Later, they are summoned to rescue an old man threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a high structure. After saving the man, he asks them to help free a legendary hero named Taipon that is sealed inside an old music box.

After Goku and the others attempt to open the box without success, the Dragon Balls are gathered to make a wish to Shen Long. After the seal is released, Taipon comes out of the music box; the box breaks. Instead of being grateful for being released, Taipon angrily tells the group that they have done a bad thing. Taipon wanders off to be by himself. Trunks, who wishes he had a big brother, tries to make friends with Taipon. A monster also starts attacking Metro West, and the rest of the film focuses on Taipon, Trunks and the monster.

This film definitely has a bit more of a plot and a structure than some of the other Dragon Ball Z films. Of the later Dragon Ball Z films, this one is probably the best. The only drawback for me is the fact that it heavily features Gohan’s Great Saiyaman alter ego, which is one element of the Dragon Ball Z anime that I personally don’t care for. I think that in the section where Gohan is a teenager and takes on that alter ego, he comes across as such a dork. He was much cooler when he was a little boy in the earlier part of the Dragon Ball Z anime series.

This film also sees Goku utilizing a new move, the Dragon Fist. However, this is the first time it’s ever used, and it’s treated as if it’s a move he’s used before. It would have been nice to see him learning the move somewhere in the film.

When it comes to the actual box set release, it seems that the discs included in this set are the exact same discs that FUNimation released when they released the movies in the steelbook “double feature” sets. This is especially evident by the fact that the remaining two Broly films appear on one disc, because the three Broly films were originally release as a three movie set in the “steelbook” releases. The only special features on the four discs are trailers.

One of the things that FUNimation plays up on the cardboard slipcover is the fact that the films have been digitally remastered. When it comes to the video quality, I can definitely say that the films don’t look nearly as grainy as the Dragon Ball films did after they were remastered. When it comes to the audio, all I can comment on is the Japanese language tracks, since I watched the films with the Japanese audio and English subtitles. The Japanese audio was on the quieter side, but this may be due to the fact that the Japanese audio is in mono, while the English audio is in Surround Sound.

Personally, I can only truly recommend this box set for the die-hard Dragon Ball Z fans that must own everything on DVD, and want to purchase this set as an easy way to acquire the final four Dragon Ball Z films for their collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Dragon Ball Z Collection Three movie box set that my husband and I purchased.

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