Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five collects the 13th, 14th, and 15th volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z
portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 27, 2009

This volume has a strong focus on battling the Androids that the future from the stranger (Trunks) warned the Z Fighters about. Unfortunately, when the stranger from the future returns for this battle, he realizes that the events that are happening don’t entirely match what happened in the future that he knows. He guesses that his returning to the past to warn them about the danger altered events.

Most of the volume focuses on the androids, especially on Androids 16, 17, and 18. I find it interesting that Dr. Gero from the Red Ribbon Army (which was the organization featured in the original Dragon Ball manga) was brought back in the Dragon Ball Z portion of the story. Outside of a few things (most of the characters, Kinto Un, the Dragon Balls), most of the elements from Dragon Ball didn’t return for Dragon Ball Z. I assumed that was because there’s such a tonal shift from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z, that Toriyama felt that those other elements just wouldn’t have worked.

This volume also introduces the franchise’s next major villain, Cell. He wants to consume Androids 16, 17, and 18, so this forces them to shift their focus from the Z Fighters to Cell. And the Z Fighters team up with the androids, since they can tell that Cell is going to be a greater threat, especially if he consumes the androids.

With this volume, we see Trunks from the future getting a glimpse into his parents’ world, and especially getting to see one of his parents who he never knew in his original timeline. But I’m still surprised that Trunks being in the same location as himself as a baby didn’t cause any issues with the space-time continuum.

While Goku appears in this volume, it should be noted that overall, he’s not the major focus in it. OK, this is due in part to him being sick because he hadn’t taken the medicine that Trunks gave him before the arrival of the androids, but it was still nice to see more focus on the other Z Fighters and Vegeta.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Five ends in the middle of a major battle with Cell, so readers will have to read the next volume in order to find out what happens next.

I would recommend the Dragon Ball Z manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. I would also recommend this volume to fans of the manga who haven’t completed their Dragon Ball Z manga collection yet.

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four collects the 10th, 11th, and 12th volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 16, 2009

This volume concludes the storyline that takes place on Planet Namek, and the last eight chapters get the next section of the story going. The beginning of this volume sees both Piccolo and Vegeta going up against Freeza, but the majority of this volume is focused on Goku’s battle with Freeza. While the fight between Goku and Freeza seems to take a long time here, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as long as the anime adaptation’s version of this epic fight.

Vegeta goes through a major character development in his battle with Freeza. When this change happens, the reader finds that they feel sympathy for this character who had been portrayed as such a villain up to this point. When I first saw this scene when I watched the anime (which was before I read the manga), I almost felt as if there was a chance of redemption for this character.

After the climactic battle with Goku and Freeza comes to an end, a new character from the future is introduced. This character has a connection to two already existing characters, and they have come to the past with a warning for Goku and the Z Fighters. The warnings that this stranger brings from the future sets the stage for the next arc of Dragon Ball Z. The next stage of the story is just starting when Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four ends, so you have to read the next volume in order to find out what happens next.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Four has a strong emphasis on the battle between Goku and Freeza, but it doesn’t feel like the volume is bogged down by it. In fact, the action and story move at a good pace that feels natural. The addition of the mysterious stranger also adds some intrigue near the end of the volume, because the audience isn’t outright told who this person is or their exact relationship with others. While we do get an answer from the stranger when they confide in Goku, but until that point, the reader is left to try to piece things together through some hints that are dropped during this character’s introduction scene. While it’s a bit of a bummer that the next story arc doesn’t get going very far before the end of this volume, it gives the reader incentive to pick up the next volume in order to continue following the story.

I would recommend the Dragon Ball Z manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. I would also recommend this volume to fans of the manga who haven’t completed their Dragon Ball Z manga collection yet.

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three collects the seventh, eighth, and ninth volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon
Ball Z
portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 2, 2008

This volume continues the Planet Namek portion of the story. In fact, this entire omnibus volume is devoted to the events that transpire during this section. Early on, it’s the battles between the Z Fighters and the Ginyu Force. But by the end of the volume, Freeza is battling with Gohan and Piccolo. For those who don’t know, Freeza is the bad guy of this arc, and he’s incredibly strong. The fight he has with Piccolo is impressive but knowing that a fight with Goku is eventually coming does help to make this battle a little less impressive than it really is.

Goku gets to shine in this volume when he makes his appearance on Planet Namek and takes on the Ginyu Force. But when Ginyu switches bodies with Goku, it adds a new wrinkle to an already crazy situation. But the resolution to this switch is amusing, and I thought Ginyu got his “just desserts.”

In a lot of ways, this volume is exciting and progresses the plot along. However, it also kind of feels like a “dress rehearsal” for the final battle of this arc. They’re getting ready for the finale of the arc, but it’s just not quite there yet. Although, I give the manga credit for progressing this portion of the story faster than the original anime adaptation did. This was the section of the arc where the original anime kept inserting filler material, which only helped to bog down this portion of the story and didn’t truly add much of anything to the canon storyline.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Three is a good read, as it gets the reader ready for the arc’s big finale battle. And while Goku may not have been the major star of this volume, it’s a nice break for other characters to be focused on as the protagonist every now and again. Dragon Ball Z is about more than just Goku. At this point, the franchise became much more of an ensemble-driven story, rather than focusing almost exclusively on Goku. This shift allows the other characters to experience growth and change.

I would recommend the Dragon Ball Z manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. I would also recommend this volume to fans of the manga who haven’t completed their Dragon Ball Z manga collection yet.

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two collects the fourth, fifth, and sixth volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 19, 2008

This volume continues where the first volume left off, which was during the battle between Goku and Vegeta. In fact, the entirety of the fourth volume of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the story is focused on this battle, which makes up 177 pages of this release. We then see what happens in the aftermath of this battle, and the decision to go to Planet Namek to acquire the Namekian Dragon Balls.

The story then shifts to Bulma, Kuririn, and Gohan going to Planet Namek. Unfortunately, getting the Namekian Dragon Balls isn’t easy, because both Vegeta and new villain Freeza both want the Dragon Balls for themselves so they can wish for immortality. But Freeza isn’t alone… he has powerful henchmen by his side. Goku also decides to set out for Planet Namek after he recovers and using his time in the spaceship to train so he can become even stronger.

For readers who have watched the anime, they already know how long of an arc there is going into the Planet Namek portion of the story. Yes, the anime did add in some filler, but the portion of this arc that appears in this volume isn’t bogged down by filler in the anime. When an anime viewer reaches the end of this volume and realize how much there still is to go for this portion of the story, they know it’s going to have to cover at least one more of the VIZBig omnibus volumes.

Obviously, the Vegeta and Goku fight at the beginning of this volume is one of the highlights. Near the end of the volume, a battle between Vegeta and Zarbon (one of Freeza’s henchmen) gets underway but doesn’t quite finish. Outside of these two big battles, there are some action sequences, but they’re nowhere near as intense as the two battles that bookend the volume. Probably the closest to these two would be the attack that Freeza and his henchmen launch on a Namekian village in order to obtain its Dragon Ball.

I would recommend the manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the Dragon Ball Z anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. While watching Dragon Ball Z Kai can also help with this, I think it’s better to go to the original source material and see how the author intended the story to be told.

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.

FUNimation Entertainment Responds to Reports of Green Tint on Dragon Ball Super: Broly Film’s Blu-ray Disc

Anime News Network is reporting that FUNimation Entertainment has responded to fan reports that its Blu-ray Disc release of the Dragon Ball Super: Broly film has a green tint.

The company’s response:

Funimation’s home entertainment release of “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” utilized the same master as the U.S. & Canadian movie release. It is identical to what audiences watched in North American theaters earlier this year.

FUNimation released the film on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital combo pack on April 16, 2019. Shortly after the release, fans began reporting online that the release has an apparent green tint.

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment’s 30th Anniversary Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray Collector’s Edition Set Reaches 3,000 Pre-Order Goal

FUNimation Entertainment stated at its panel at Anime Boston that it has reached the 3,000 pre-orders necessary to produce the 30th anniversary Dragon Ball Z Blu-ray Disc collector’s edition set. The company added that it will produce 6,000 copies of the set. The official website for the set lists that there are 2,813 copies remaining as of Saturday evening, and pre-orders are available until May 5, 2019.

The company announced the set in March 2019, stating it needed 2,500 units pre-ordered in order to produce the set. The company later added that the original 2,500 number was a mistake, and 3,000 pre-orders would be needed. FUNimation began taking pre-orders for the set on April 6, 2019.

The set includes: 37 Blu-ray Discs featuring Dragon Ball Z in 4:3 aspect ratio, an 11-inch Goku Grandista figure by Banpresto, a hardcover artbook, a certificate of authenticity, and a box for the set. The set will also feature new bonus content.

Source: ANN