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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dragonball GT
Season 1


Starring (voice): Masako Nozawa, Takeshi Kusao, Yuko Minaguchi and Atsushi Kisaichi
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 20 January 2014

Dragonball was a successful franchise, both as a manga and as a series of anime shows. Like Naruto the show was aimed at young males, so expect a lot of fighting and broad humour.

Dragonball GT: Season 1 (1996) covers the first thirty-four episodes of the sixty-four episode show. Unlike other series in the franchise this show did not use the manga as its inspiration, although it did have the same characters. The format has remained the same, usually sending the main characters off on a quest and so this set covers the Black Star Dragon Ball/Baby Saga.

We open the story with Goku, Earth's best defender is training Uub when an old enemy returns in search of the black star dragonballs. Goku reverts back to an earlier form so that he can travel the universe to find the seven black star balls. If he fails to recover all of them then the Earth will die in one year. This format gives the story tellers the chance to move Goku and his friends from one location to the next to battle various evil entities.

The show concentrates on the triumvirate of Goku, Pan and Trunks and much of the theme for this iteration revolves around family, age and wisdom. In contrast with the two former series there is, initially, less concentration of fights, although they still exist and create a show which is more about exploration.

The thirty-four episodes are spread across five DVDs, within which you have the option to watch each episode individually or using the 'Marathon' feature you can watch a whole discs worth in one sitting, but this would mean watching around two and a half hours of show, per disc.

The show is presented with a 4:3 aspect ratio and as with the other series you get a 5.1 English dub, the original US broadcast stereo audio and the 2.0 original Japanese audio. The picture is clean, but is starting to show its age. There are no extras on the set, but you can’t really complain as you’re paying around one pound per episode, you probably couldn’t stream it for that amount.

So, the show will be a little contentious, its change of pace will not please all fans, but for those of us who tremble at the thought of thirty-four episodes of nothing but fights, the move towards telling a story is a pleasant surprise.


Charles Packer

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