Movies / Animé and Toons

Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box Seven

By Chris Zimmerman
October 17, 2011 - 15:34

When a series reaches its inevitable conclusion, one can’t help but feel sad that it’s over. However in the case of Dragon Ball Z, such a feeling is rarely touched upon due to the never ending volume of releases Funimation has up its sleeve. With no less than three versions of the series available to consumers and a blu-ray release on the way, it seems as though this cash cow never goes dry.

However be that as it may, the Dragon Box has represented the purest form of the series available to date, cramming nearly 40 remastered episodes into each set while retaining the original Japanese music and aspect ratio. While those new to the franchise may find Kai more accessible, and others familiar to the American dub will be drawn to the season sets, the Dragon Box was made with collectors in mind. Despite Funimation’s excessive double dipping into the franchise, it is impossible to fault the company for this release.

This set brings a close to the Dragon Ball Z saga, chronicling the Majin Buu saga. No doubt those familiar to the franchise possess knowledge of what these episodes hold in store, but for the uninitiated, the saga follows thus:
Goku and his friends continue to face down the might of the demon called Majin Buu with success. For every transformation or fusion on the Z warriors side, Majin Buu undergoes a change of its own, surpassing their power at every turn. This saga is amongst the most polarizing of the cannon arcs and it’s easy to see why. The addition of Goten and Trunks do little to attract the desired demographic of preteen youths, coming off as crass and annoying in comparison to Gohan, whose character underwent considerable growth from arc to arc.

Speaking of Gohan, partial blame for the dissatisfaction with the saga can be attributed to him having the rug pulled out from beneath him to instead shift the focus back on Goku. It can be argued that while the original Dragon Ball series was an exploration of Goku’s character, Dragon Ball Z was meant to be the next logical step in the story, shifting the spotlight from Goku to his son Gohan. Part of the reason why the Cell Saga is so beloved among fans is that it represented the climax to Gohan’s journey from his days as a whiny brat to maturing into the savior of the earth.

Unfortunately, when it came time for the next arc, everything was chucked out the window in favor of returning the series to the status quo prior to the Cell Saga. Goku was once again the strongest character and the only dependable hero of the lot. There are shades of what could have been sprinkled throughout, once again shifting the focus to Gohan, but by this point his time in the spot light has come and gone and his purpose in the story is merely a stepping stone on the way to the final climax.

Another concern stems from the almost dreary tone on display in the episodes. While Mr. Satan’ role is expanded upon to lighten the mood, the series continues inching toward a more solemn atmosphere. Long time characters die and worlds are destroyed, though it doesn’t quite reach the grimmer points of the Freeza Saga.

The final Dragon Box receives the same treatment as the previous volumes. The discs come housed in a pair of slip cases with a databook stuffed between them. The outer box is made of sturdy cardboard than what consumers may be used to and is sure to catch a few eyes sitting on the shelf.

Despite its shortcomings, Dragon Ball Z is still terribly addictive. The need to see who triumphs for the fate of the universe has been perhaps the show’s greatest strength. The constant teases with power-ups and transformations nearly distract from the contrivances that lurk within this saga. What could have been a debacle became merely acceptable.

The Majin Buu Saga represents a period of downturn for the franchise. It’s not bad enough to be labeled mediocre but it’s a far cry from its former heights. Yet as lackluster as this arc is, it’s still significantly more enjoyable than Dragon Ball GT.


Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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