FUNimation Entertainment Announces February 2022 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced their releases for January 2022.

  • Adachi and Shimamura – The Complete Season (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 2/1/22
    Special Features: Short Anime, Character Videos, Promo Videos, Textless Opening Song and Textless Closing Song
  • Katana Maidens ~ Toji No Miko – The Complete Series – Essentials (Blu-ray + Digital) – 600 minutes – $34.98 – 2/1/22
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song “Save you Save me,” Textless Closing Song “Kokoro no Memoria,” and Trailers
  • Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 2/1/22
    Special Features: Cast Comments, Promo Videos, Textless Opening Song
  • Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle – The Complete Season (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 2/1/22
    Special Features: Let’s master it! The path to sound sleep!, Promo Videos, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
  • Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU – Season 1 Part 2 (Blu-ray + Digital) – 275 minutes – $64.98 – 2/8/22
    Special Features: Commercials, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital) – 98 minutes – $39.98 – 2/8/22
    Special Features: Special Interview with Director Tamura Kotaro, Scotland Loves Anime Interview with the Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Production Staff, Unrevealed Special Pilot Footage, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Closing Song
  • Berserk (2016) – The Complete Series – Essentials (Blu-ray + Digital) – 600 minutes – $69.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Textless Opening Songs “Inferno” and “Sacrifice,” Closing Songs “Meimoku no Kanata” and “Everything is a Story,” Episode 12.5, Commercials, Trailers
  • By the Grace of the Gods – Season 1 – Limited Edition (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital) – 300 minutes – $84.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Ryoma & Tabuchi’s 4-Panel Video, Textless Opening and Ending Songs, Next Episode Previews, Commercials, Voice Actor Q&A
  • By the Grace of the Gods – Season 1 (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Voice Actor Q&A, Pre-reincarnation Ryoma & Tabuchi’s 4-Panel Video, “Slimes’ Idle Conversation” – By the Grace of the Gods Introduction, Home Video Original – “Slimes’ Idle Conversation: Ryoma Is on Trial for Doing Too Much”, Next Episode Previews, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Dr. Stone – Season 1 – SteelBook (Blu-ray + Digital) – 600 minutes – $64.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Episodes 2, 10, and 24 Commentary, Textless Opening Songs (Version 1 and 2) and Closing Songs (Version 1 and 2), Dr. STONE: The Science Guys
  • Dragon Ball Z – Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray) – Wal-Mart Exclusive – 2/15/22
  • Dragon Ball Z – Seasons 4-6 (Blu-ray) – Wal-Mart Exclusive – 2/15/22
  • Dragon Ball Z – Seasons 7-9 (Blu-ray) – Wal-Mart Exclusive – 2/15/22
  • KING’s RAID: Successors of the Will – Part 1 (Blu-ray + Digital) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Commercials, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • My Hero Academia – Season 4 Complete (Blu-ray + Digital) – 635 minutes – $69.98 – 2/15/22
    Special Features: Justin and Kellen Talk Season 4, Inside the Episode: Episodes 64, 67, 70, 86, 79 and 82, Promotional Videos, Interview with Kaori Nazuka at Anime Expo 2019, FanExpo 2019 Live Dub Panel, FunimationCon 2020: My Hero Academia Game Show with Voice Actors, FunimationCon 2020: My Hero Academia Q&A Panel, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Attack on Titan Final Season – Part 1 – Limited Edition (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital) – 400 minutes – $84.98 – 2/22/22
    Special Features: Voice Actor Panel, Attack on Titan Chibi Theater 1 and 2, Behind the Scenes Footage from Production – 3DCG Animation and Staff Discussion, Promo Video, Commercial, Eyecatch Gallery, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Attack on Titan Final Season – Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital) – 400 minutes – $64.98 – 2/22/22
    Special Features: Voice Actor Panel, Attack on Titan Chibi Theater 1 and 2, Behind the Scenes Footage from Production – 3DCG Animation and Staff Discussion, Promo Video, Commercial, Eyecatch Gallery, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Talentless Nana – The Complete Season (Blu-ray + Digital) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 2/22/22
    Special Features: Mini Anime, Promo Videos, Program Advertisements, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

FUNimation Entertainment Announces October 2021 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced their releases for October 2021.

  • Golden Kamuy – Season 3 (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 10/5/21
    Episodes 25-36
    Special Features: Golden Travelogue Theater Animated Shorts, Promo Video and Commercial Collection, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
  • Haibane Renmei – The Complete Series (Blu-ray + Digital) – 325 minutes – $39.98 – 10/26/21
    Special Features: Next Episode Previews, Creator Interview, Hane Haeterun, Special Ending, TV Commercials, New Program Commercial, Promotional Trailer, Textless Opening and Closing Song
  • Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU – Season 1 Part 1 (Blu-ray + Digital) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 10/6/21
    Episodes 1-13
    Special Features: Promo Video and Commercial Collection, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear – Season 1 (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 10/12/21
    Special Features: Mini Anime “Bear Bear Bear Kuma!,” Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • TAMAYOMI: The Baseball Girls – The Complete Season (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 10/5/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercial, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina – The Complete Season (Blu-ray + Digital) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 10/26/21
    Special Features: Web Previews, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • GOBLIN SLAYER – Season 1 – SteelBook (Blu-ray + Digital) – Best Buy Exclusive – 10/26/21
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes + Heroes Rising – SteelBook (Blu-ray + Digital) – FYE Exclusive – 10/19/21
  • C3 – The Complete Series (Sub Only) – Essentials (Blu-ray + Digital) – 330 minutes – $29.98 – 10/5/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening Songs: Endless Story and Mon, Textless Closing Songs: Hana and Sympathy of Love, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
  • The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan – The Complete Series – Essentials (Blu-ray + Digital) – 425 minutes – $29.98 – 10/19/21
    Special Features: OVA – I Cannot Let Summer Break End, Textless Opening Song “Fure Fure Mirai,” Textless Closing Song “Arigatou, Daisuki,” TV Spots, Blu-ray/DVD Promo, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
  • Dragon Ball Z – Resurrection ‘F’ (Blu-ray/DVD) – 95 minutes – $34.98 – 10/19/21
    Special Features: The Voices of Dragon Ball Z: They’re Back!, The Return of Dragon Ball Z, Textless Closing Song, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – Seasons 1 & 2 – Essentials (Blu-ray + Digital) – 700 minutes – $34.98 – 10/26/21
    Special Features: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Making-of Parts 1-8, New Mysterious Discoveries Journey Parts 1-8, Location Scouting Video Parts 1-8, CM #1 Vers. 1 and 2, CM #2 Vers. 1 and 2, TV Commercial Spot Collections #1 and #2, Retail Promo Video, and Promo Spots 1-14
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – The Complete Series (Blu-ray + Digital) – Right Stuf Exclusive – 1250 minutes – $89.98 – 10/26/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song “RAGE OF DUST,” Textless Closing Song “Shonen no Hate,” Textless Opening Song “Fighter,” Textless Closing Song “Freesia,” and Trailers

Source: FUNimation Entertainment
Source: Right Stuf

My Favorite Anime Opening Themes From the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s

It’s been quite a while since I last did a Top 5 list, but I came up with an idea for one and decided that I wanted to write this up and share it. This time around, this is a listing of my six favorite anime opening themes that came out between the 1970’s and 1990’s. Yes, I couldn’t limit it to just five.

Instead of publishing the list as a Top 5 (or Top 6) list, I will be sharing my favorites by organizing them in alphabetical order. I will be using the song titles to alphabetize the list.

For whatever reason, WordPress is not allowing me to embed YouTube videos into my post. Instead, I have made the title of each song a link to a YouTube video.

Hironobu Kageyama – “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” (Dragon Ball Z)

Most readers should recognize this song as the first opening theme for the Dragon Ball Z anime. It’s hard to believe, but this theme song first came out in 1989, when the first episode of Dragon Ball Z premiered in Japan.

One thing I can say about this song is that it doesn’t sound dated at all. You can’t hear it and immediately go, “That sounds like something that was written and recorded in the late 1980’s.” It sounds just as fresh now as it did 31(!) years ago. And I can’t neglect to mention that this song is extremely catchy.

Yoko Takahashi – “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

When I watched the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, this song grabbed me the first time I heard it. I love how catchy and upbeat this song is, but it doesn’t prepare you for the content of the series or how the story evolves over the course of the series. LOL!

In all seriousness, though, I like how the song starts out kind of slow and minimal, and then it explodes into such an upbeat and catchy tune. Unlike “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” though, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” does sound a bit dated when you listen to it now. While this sound worked for an anime theme song in the mid-1990’s, you wouldn’t hear something like this as a theme song in today’s anime. Sounding dated doesn’t make it a bad song, though.

Etsuko Nishio – “Don’t Make Me Wild Like You” (Ranma 1/2)

This was the first opening theme song for the Ranma 1/2 anime when it premiered in Japan in 1989. Sonically, this song works so well with the images that accompany it. Also, the sound of this song perfectly captures just how crazy and chaotic the Ranma 1/2 anime can get.

Of all the opening themes for the Ranma 1/2 anime, this one is by far my favorite. Sure, it sounds dated, but it’s still incredibly catchy and fun. You can’t help but move in time with it when you hear it.

Sasaki Isao & The Royal Knights – “Space Battleship Yamato [Opening Theme]” (Space Battleship Yamato)

This is the opening theme for the first Space Battleship Yamato anime in Japan, and this is the oldest song to appear on this list. Of course, I first heard this in the American version back in the early 1980’s when I watched Star Blazers as a kid. Years later, when I got to hear the original Japanese version, I loved the song even more.

Both versions utilize the same music, which has a sound reminiscent of a military march fused with a 1970’s disco feel. Between the English and Japanese versions, I prefer Sasaki Isao’s vocal performance over the English singer. Isao has a great voice, and you can hear why he continues to be a voice associated with the Space Battleship Yamato franchise all these years later.

Seatbelts – “Tank!” (Cowboy Bebop)

This anime theme song, composed by Yoko Kanno, is a standout for so many reasons. For one, it’s a jazz sound instead of the usual rock or pop sound associated with anime opening themes. And second, it’s an instrumental, which is on the unusual side for an anime opening theme song.

But it’s not just those differences that make this stand out. It’s also a great and catchy song in its own right. It’s really not surprising that “Tank!” is considered to be a standout anime opening theme song.

Hiroshi Kitadani – “We Are!” (One Piece)

“We Are!” is a song strongly associated with the One Piece franchise and has had several different versions used as an opening theme during its run, but the original version by Hiroshi Kitadani remains my favorite. It’s hard to believe that this song, along with the first episode of One Piece, premiered in Japan in 1999(!).

This song gets the viewer pumped and excited for what’s to come in the series. It’s just so catchy and so memorable, and it easily gets stuck in your head. Not that I’m complaining about this being an earworm, though. If I have to get a song stuck in my head, “We Are!” is one I wouldn’t mind hearing over and over.

Additional lists:

FUNimation Entertainment Announces January 2021 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced the January 2021 releases for Aniplex of America, Crunchyroll, and FUNimation.

Aniplex of America

  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 2 (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 1/19/21

Crunchyroll

  • Conception: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 300 minutes – $29.98 – 1/5/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas -: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 565 minutes – $34.98 – 1/12/21
    Includes Episodes 1–12 and Movies 1–3
    Special Features: Chain Crown-icle!, Chain Chronicle Academy, Promo Videos, and Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Nanbaka: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 650 minutes – $34.98 – 1/5/21

FUNimation Entertainment

  • Case File nº221: Kabukicho Part 2 (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes Episodes 13-24 and OVA
    Special Features: TV Broadcast End Card Gallery, Character Promotional Videos, Web Previews, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 6 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 685 minutes – $59.98 – 1/19/21
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 166–194
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Eric Vale and Cynthia Cranz, Dragon Ball Z Trivia
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 7 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 565 minutes – $59.98 – 1/19/21
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 195–219
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Justin Cook and Nathanael Harrison, Dragon Ball Z Card Game: Past, Present, and Future, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Fruits Basket: Season 2 Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD LE) – 325 minutes – $84.98 – 1/12/21
    Episodes 26–38
    Includes Exclusive Replicas of the Snake and Horse Zodiac Figurines from Shigure’s home, as seen in the show, a high-quality Rigid Box designed to fit all five Blu-ray releases, and 3 Art Cards
    Special Features: Season 2 FunCon Panel, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Fruits Basket: Season 2 Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $44.98 – 1/12/21
    Episodes 26–38
    Special Features: Season 2 FunCon Panel, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Meiji Tokyo Renka: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 300 minutes – $29.98 – 1/12/21
  • No Guns Life: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes 2 art cards (while supplies last)
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • One Piece: Season 10 Voyage 4 – 350 minutes – $39.98 – 1/5/21
    Episodes 615–628
    Special Features: Specially Commissioned Cover Art, Textless Opening Song “HANDS UP!,” and Punk Hazard Arc Behind the Scenes
  • Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 350 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes Episodes 1–14
  • Star Blazers 2202: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 650 minutes – $69.98 – 1/5/21
    Special Features: Episode Commentaries, Interview with Ken Meseroll & Christopher Wekhamp, Textless Opening and Ending Songs, Special Theatrical Trailer, and Star Blazers: Space Battleship 2202: Conversation with the Cast

FUNimation Entertainment Announces December 2020 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced the December 2020 releases for both Crunchyroll and for FUNimation.

Crunchyroll

  • Ace Attorney: Season 2 Collection (Blu-ray) – 575 minutes – $69.98 – 12/15/20
    Special Features: Episode 7 Commentary, Episode 15 Commentary, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
  • Angels of Death: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 400 minutes – $29.98 – 12/1/20
    Special Features: Episode 1 Commentary, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening Song “Vital,” Textless Closing Song “Pray”
  • Black Clover: Season 2 Collection (Blu-ray) – 1275 minutes – $84.98 – 12/8/20 [Episodes 52–102]
    Special Features: Episode 72, 76, 66, 87, 89, 92, 94, and 98 Commentary, Clover Clips Special Edition, Textless Opening Song “Scribbled Pages,” Textless Closing Song “My Song My Days,” Black Clover: Cris George & Clifford Chapin Discuss the Royal Knights Exam, Inside the Episode: Episode 75, 78, 81, 84, 87, 90, 93, 97, 99, and 102, Clover Clips Special Edition, Textless Opening Song “JustadICE,” Textless Closing Song “Hanaga Saku Michi,” Black Clover: The Magic Knight Captains, Textless Closing Song “against all gods,” Textless Opening Song: “Sky & Blue”
  • Double Decker! Doug & Kirill: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 400 minutes – $29.98 – 12/1/20 [Episodes 1–13 plus 3 OVAs]
    Special Features: Episode 3 Commentary, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Dr. STONE: Season 1, Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD LE) – 325 minutes – $84.98 – 12/1/20 (was 10/20/20)
    Includes a rigid box with room to house Part 1 plus a 152-page art book featuring talks with the series’ science advisor, cast interviews, and Senku’s notes & more; 3 Character Keychains; Exclusive Art Cards, and Stickers
    Special Features: Dr. STONE: The Science Guys, Episode 24 Commentary, Textless Opening Song ver. 1 & 2, Textless Closing Song ver. 1 & 2
  • Dr. STONE: Season 1, Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 12/1/20 (was 10/20/20)
    Includes 3 art cards featuring the Japanese Blu-ray artwork (while supplies last)
    Special Features: Dr. STONE: The Science Guys, Episode 24 Commentary, Textless Opening Song ver. 1 & 2, Textless Closing Song ver. 1 & 2

FUNimation Entertainment

  • Akira (4K UHD/BD LE) – 95 minutes – $59.98 – 124 minutes – 12/22/20
    Akira Limited Edition contains the movie, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, in Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD formats and housed in a rigid box. Also included is a 40-page booklet
    Special Features: Akira Sound Clip (1998,) Music for Akira, Kaneda’s Theme, Exodus, Ethnic Meets Hi-Tech, Awakening, Mutation, Requiem, Director Interview, Storyboard Collection, The Writing on the Wall, Original Trailers, Original Commercials, Restoring Akira, Picture, English Voice Over, English 5.1 Audio Mix, Glossary, U.S. Trailer (2013), Trailers
  • Case File nº221: Kabukicho, Part 1 (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 12/29/20
    Special Features: Digital Gallery, Character Promotional Videos, Web Previews, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 4 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 755 minutes – $59.98 – 12/15/20
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 108–139
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Matthew O’Hara and Daniel Mancilla, From the Vault: Goku vs. Vegeta Featurette, From the Vault: The World of Dragon Ball Z, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 5 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 615 minutes – $59.98 – 12/15/20
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 140–165
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Sonny Strait and Meredith McCoy, Toei Tour: Raw Footage, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Fairy Tail, Part 25 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $54.98 – 12/22/20
    Episodes 304–316
    Includes 2 exclusive art cards with new character artwork (while supplies last)
    Special Features: Fairy Tail Final Season: For the Love of Fairy Tail, Textless Opening Song Vers. 1 and 2, Textless Closing Songs Vers. 1 and 2.
  • Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Classics) – 300 minutes – $49.98 – 12/29/20
    Special Features: Episode 1 and 12 Commentary, Episode 4 Video Commentary, Episode 4.5 – Intermission, Episode 8.5 – Intermission 2,Making of Music, “Even…if” Music Video, Promo Video, Textless Opening Song “Even…if” Vers. 1, 2 and 3, Textless Closing Song “yes,” Trailers.
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Blu-ray SteelBook) [Best Buy exclusive] – 95 minutes – $39.98 – 12/8/20
  • Paranoia Agent: Complete Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 325 minutes – $59.98 – 12/15/20
    Special Features: Satoshi Kon & Susumu Hirasawa’s Paranoia Agent Talk Show, Paranoia Radio Audio Commentay for Episodes 11-13, Director Satoshi Kon’s Hand Drawn Storyboards for Episode 1, Trailer, Promotional Video
  • Paranoia Agent: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $49.98 – 12/15/20
    Special Features: Satoshi Kon & Susumu Hirasawa’s Paranoia Agent Talk Show, Paranoia Radio Audio Commentay for Episodes 11-13, Director Satoshi Kon’s Hand Drawn Storyboards for Episode 1, Trailer, Promotional Video
  • Violet Evergarden (TV): Complete Collection (Blu-ray/DVD LE) – 325 minutes – $84.98 – 12/8/20
    Contains all 13 episodes of the series plus the special episode, subbed and dubbed
    Housed in a rigid box with space for the movie Violet Evergarden -Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll- as well as 4 art cards, a 200 page art book and sticker sheet
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song, Japanese Trailer, English Trailer
  • Violet Evergarden (TV): Complete Collection (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 12/8/20
    Contains all 13 episodes of the series plus the special episode, subbed and dubbed
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song, Japanese Trailer, English Trailer
  • Violet Evergarden -Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll- (Blu-ray/DVD) – 93 minutes – $34.98 – 12/1/20
    Special Features: Trailers

Source: The Fandom Post

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Seven

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Seven collects the 19th, 20th, and 21st volumes of the manga that chronicle the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBIG Volume Seven
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 20, 2010

The first 12 chapters in this omnibus (which is the entirety of Volume 19) finishes off the “Cell Saga” portion of Dragon Ball Z. This includes both the conclusion of the Cell Games, as well as Future Trunks returning to his time and putting an end to the androids and Cell in his timeline. In the Cell Games, Goku dies (again). Unfortunately, with the Dragon Balls that Dende created, you can’t be brought back to life again if you were already brought back to life with Earth’s original Dragon Balls. So we now have a situation where our original lead character is dead, but the reader can still see what he’s up to in the afterlife.

At the beginning of Volume 20, there’s a timeskip, and Gohan is now a teenager. He’s done as much for his education as he can living out in the country, so he is now going to high school in the town of Herculopolis (which was named after Hercule, who everyone believes saved the Earth from Cell). At this point, Gohan becomes the main character of the series, and we see that he’s secretly taking on the criminals who are popping up in town. He turns Super Saiyan when he takes on criminals, and this has gained him the nickname of the Golden Warrior.

In school, one his classmates is Videl, who is the daughter of Hercule. She’s strong and takes on criminals, and she becomes determined to discover who the Golden Warrior really is. Gohan, meanwhile, enlists Bulma’s help to create a disguise to make it easier for him to hide his true identity now that he’s a student at the high school.

This part of the story also introduces Gohan’s little brother, Goten. He looks so much like Goku did when he was a little kid, and he just looks so stinking cute. Trunks, who is a year older than Goten, is Goten’s best friend.

Videl becomes a rival for Gohan (who, in his disguise, goes by the name of the Great Saiyaman). But I think Gohan was around the Ginyu Force too much as a child, because he’s adopted their posing for his Great Saiyaman persona. For whatever reason, Gohan thinks this is cool, but it’s just so facepalm inducing. But the rivalry and Videl’s trying to figure out the true identity of the Great Saiyaman doesn’t last long, because Gohan manages to stupidly admit to being the Great Saiyaman to her. Oops!

But from this initial animosity, a friendship starts developing. He even teaches Videl how to fly. Videl convinces Gohan to enter the next Tenkaichi tournament, which her father won the last time it was held. Several of the Z Warriors, in addition to Android 18, also decide to enter. And to everyone’s surprise, Goku is given a day to return to Earth so he can participate in the tournament as well. One of the memorable parts before the tournament begins is seeing Goten and Goku meeting for the first time (since Goku died before Goten was born).

The Tenkaichi tournament has been split into a children’s division and a regular division. We get to see Trunks and Goten fight in the children’s division, and their initial fights are amusing, especially since they take on boys from the same family. Their mother is a horrible person, and I think the jesting she gets from both Bulma and Chichi is deserved. The inevitable fight between Trunks and Goten is a wonderful read. As a prize, the winner gets to take on Hercule… and this is rather amusing.

To determine which 15 people will be part of the adult division in addition to Hercule, it is decided to use a punch machine to register each entrant’s strength. The Z Fighters have to try to tone it down, but Vegeta decides to use his full power… and destroys the punch machine in the process. The Z Fighters using the punch machine is hilarious, but Vegeta’s destruction of it is the icing on the cake. Before the adult division gets underway, the Z Fighters and the reader are introduced to two new characters.

The adult division gets underway, and when it’s Piccolo’s turn to go against one of the new characters, he senses how strong this guy is and forfeits. It’s revealed that this character is the Lord of Lords, which in the world of Dragon Ball Z is known as a Kaio-Shin. But things take a turn when the Kaio-Shin’s assistant begins his fight with Gohan, and two of the other fighters take some of Gohan’s energy after he’s powered up. By the end of this volume, the stage is set to introduce new villains to the franchise, as well as what Kaio-Shin intends to do to stop the new enemy.

A lot of changes come for the characters, especially with that timeskip in there. But from watching the anime, I know that the end of this series is getting ever closer. As far as I know, the anime at this point didn’t include any fillers, so it’ll be interesting to read the remaining VIZBig volumes to determine whether or not this assumption is correct.

Additional posts about Dragon Ball:

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six collects the 16th, 17th, and 18th volumes of the manga that chronicle the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Six
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 9, 2010

This volume focuses exclusively on what’s known in the anime as the “Cell Saga.” It starts with Goku meeting Cell for the first time, and letting Cell know that while he’s not strong enough to defeat him now, he will be the next day. Of course, Cell laughs at this, because it sounds so absurd that any major changes can happen to Goku in one day. Goku and Gohan then spend time training in the Room of Spirit and Time, while a powered up Vegeta and Trunks go to face off against Cell.

Meanwhile Kuririn is given a task by Bulma: use the remote she worked on in order to stop Android 18 to prevent Cell from achieving his perfect form. Kuririn, you only had one job… and you blew it. Unfortunately, this means that Cell is able to power up into his perfect form, and the only person happy about this is Vegeta. I mean, Vegeta thinks that he can prove how great he is if he defeats Cell in his perfect form. But as we see in the volume, it turns out that Trunks is stronger than Vegeta, although he tries to hide this fact from his prideful father. But it turns out that the power that Trunks has isn’t enough to take down Cell in his perfect form.

After learning that Goku is training to get stronger, and that there’s a chance that Vegeta and Trunks could also get stronger, Cell decides to propose the Cell Games. This would be a tournament in ten days’ time, which is modeled after the Tenkaichi Tournaments that we had seen in the original Dragon Ball series. The only difference is that Cell is the only person that participants would fight.

The Z Warriors realize they need a way to bring back the Dragon Balls, since they were turned to stone after Kami merged with Piccolo. Goku comes up with the idea of using his instantaneous movement to go to the new Planet Namek to find a new Namekian to serve as Kami for Earth. Dende, who Gohan and Kuririn befriended on the original Planet Namek, is chosen for the job by the Namekians’ leader. He has the necessary knowledge for creating Dragon Balls, plus his friendship with Gohan and Kuririn has made him interested in going to Earth. Dende agrees and becomes the new Kami. While Dende does create new Dragon Balls, their power is a little more limited than the Dragon Balls that are on Planet Namek. The biggest of these being the fact that anyone who has been revived by the Dragon Balls cannot be brought back to life again. This affects several of the potential Z Fighters participating in the upcoming Cell Games.

As the Cell Games approach, a new character is introduced: a combatant named Hercule (who was a wrestler formerly known as Mr. Satan). Heh. I found this attempt at covering up the name change between the Japanese and English version of the series to be rather amusing. They acknowledge the original name just long enough to say that it existed, and then use the excuse that he changed his name when he quit being a wrestler and became a professional combatant. Hercule comes off as an egotistical jerk, but he’s a clueless, bumbling idiot. He has no idea what he’s walked into and keeps brushing off the weird things he sees as tricks. But because he has no clue of what’s going on, he gets a ringout very quickly. Then, it’s Goku’s turn to face off against Cell.

Several chapters are devoted to Goku and Cell fighting it out, but after a while, Goku concedes defeat. However, he says that there’s someone even stronger than him who can take down Cell. He then points out Gohan. At the same time, Goku gives Cell a senzu bean. Oh, Goku, if you hadn’t done that, Gohan could have beaten Cell easily. Of course, this wouldn’t be a shonen series without long fights and power ups! Most of the rest of the volume is on Gohan’s fight with Cell, but a repaired Android 16 also plays an important part in this section of the story.

Right at the end of the volume, there is a side story labeled as “Trunks: The Lone Warrior.” This is a story that takes place in Future Trunks’ timeline, from the future that he knows from when he traveled back in time in order to save Goku’s life. As I recall, this story was animated to be part of The History of Trunks anime special.

Once again, it was interesting to see how the story played in the original manga, without the filler stories and characters that appeared in this portion of the Dragon Ball Z anime. This felt like a more natural pacing for the story, and I appreciated being able to see this section of the series without being bogged down by the filler elements.

Additional posts about Dragon Ball:

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume One

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume One collects the first three volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBIG Volume One
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 3, 2008

This volume begins with the arrival of an alien named Raditz, and he’s looking for his brother, Kakarrot. He tracks down his brother, who turns out to be Goku, at Roshi’s place. Also introduced early on in this volume is Gohan, Goku’s young son. Yes, it turns out Goku had a tail in the first series because he wasn’t an Earthling… he’s from a race known as the Saiyans. When Goku refuses to go with Raditz, his older brother defeats him and kidnaps Gohan.

For those who are familiar with the Dragon Ball Z franchise know that this is the beginning of this portion of this franchise. The story continues in this volume with the death of Goku, Gohan displaying that he has latent powers that he’s unaware of, and Piccolo training Gohan. Goku may be dead, but he’s training in the afterworld with Kaio-sama. Goku, Gohan, and the other Z-Fighters are preparing for the arrival of two other Saiyans who will come in one year.

This three-in-one also gets to the arrival of Vegeta and Nappa, the two Saiyans, and the various fights they have with the Z-Fighters. We even see Goku return from the afterworld to start battling the Saiyans. This omnibus volume ends in the middle of Goku’s battle with Vegeta.

Since I saw the anime well before I ever began reading the manga, I was pleasantly surprised by how much quicker the story progresses in this omnibus edition. It really made it clear just how much filler was included, as well as how much some of the scenes were stretched out, in the anime adaptation of this first arc of Dragon Ball Z. As I recall from seeing the early episodes of Dragon Ball Z Kai, the remake anime follows the manga much more closely, so has a similar pacing to what you see when you read these first three volumes of the series.

The manga telling of this story, especially when you look at this omnibus volume, has a good mixture of character building, dialogue, and action that keeps the reader wanting to read more in order to find out what happens next. Even though I was already familiar with the story from watching the anime, I still found myself engrossed while reading this first omnibus edition of Dragon Ball Z. And the deaths of certain characters hit me just as hard as they did when I first saw this story when watching the anime for the first time a little over a decade ago. Oh, and I can’t neglect to mention just how cute and little Gohan was in this early arc of the series.

This omnibus release is worth it for fans of Dragon Ball Z that want to own the manga but don’t want to spend the time or money to chase down the original individual volumes of the series.

Additional posts about Dragon Ball:

FUNimation Entertainment Reveals Plans for New Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray Disc Collector’s Edition If It Receives 2,500 Pre-Orders

FUNimation Entertainment and Toei Animation US have announced that FUNimation plans to release a new Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray Disc collector’s edition set in commemoration for the show’s 30th anniversary.

FUNimation stated that the company will need to have 2,500 copies of the set pre-ordered in order to manufacture the set. The company explained that it will host a reservation campaign for the new set later, and that if the set does not receive 2,500 pre-orders, FUNimation will not create the set. The company added that 2,500 units are the minimum build order for sets from its printers.

FUNimation explained that it is not looking to crowdfund the set on sites like Kickstarter as those crowdfunding platforms “are typically asking fans to fund the creation of new content, not something like a collector’s edition which may be cool but isn’t quite the same as new content.”

The company has so far announced that the set will include the complete Dragon Ball Z anime series on Blu-ray Disc with new bonus content, an exclusive collectible figure, and “North America’s first-ever full-sized hardback artbook” for the series. FUNimation said it will reveal more information about the set at a later date.

FUNimation has not officially confirmed what aspect ratio the release will have. The company’s announcement image uses the Dragon Balls “Four” and “Three.”

Source: ANN

FunimationNow to Add 10 Dragon Ball Z Movies and Specials

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will add 10 Dragon Ball Z movies and specials to its FunimationNow streaming service in the United States and Canada on November 21, 2018. The following titles will be available:

  • Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone
  • Dragon Ball Z: The World’s Strongest
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might
  • Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound
  • Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon
  • Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks

The streaming service currently offers Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super, but not Dragon Ball Z Kai or any of the franchise’s movies or specials.

Source: ANN