Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Season One
(Digitally Remastered)


Starring (voice): Hiromi Tsuru, Masako Nozawa, Daisuke Gouri, Eiko Yamada and Hiroko Emori
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 05 May 2014

It seems a little strange to do it this way, but having already released the various Dragonball series, that now the original show has been released. The first part, episodes one to twenty-eight, has been released on a four DVD set.

Dragonball: Season One (1986) was based on the manga series by Akira Toriyama and produced by Toei Animation; the show would originally run to one hundred and fifty-three episodes.

It’s here that we first encounter Goku, a blue skinned young fighter living in the mountains, with the help of his friend, Bulma, he searches for seven magical orbs. It is interesting to see how the show originally started out as, although many of the characters remained the same, the original show is much more about sharp snappy comedy, with little care for internal logic in the stories. It’s a show for laughs and to some level this has survived the passage of time.

I guess you can tell where a show is going when your two main characters start off on their quest for one of them to be attacked by a flying reptile. Goku uses one of his special moves and defeats the creature and thereafter the die is cast for laughs, fighting and tomfoolery.

One of the nice things about this release is that you get two full arcs to watch, the Emperor Pilaf Saga (1986) and the Tournament Saga (1986), previous releases tended to end before the story had finished.

Given its age the animation is a little unsophisticated and by the minor dirt on the print I’m guessing that it’s been pulled from a good, but not restored original (despite what the box art says). Audio is either the original Japanese 2.0 or the English 2.0 dub, the former comes with optional subtitles.

There are some good extras on the set. Disc one has character profiles for Goku, Bulma, Roshi, Oolong, Yamcha and Puar, these are text only. Curse of the Red Rubies (47 min, 24 sec) is a retelling of the opening story, with some of the characters changed; it has a pretty dodgy dub track and has been edited to be child friendly. There are also a couple of trailers. Disc two has the character profiles, again, and a couple of trailers, as does disc three and disc four.

Well it's where all the madness and hundreds of episodes started, so it’s nice to go back and see the show as it was originally intended. It's less repetitive than the subsequent shows and wholly more enjoyable.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

icon icon