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Dragon Ball Z: Season Nine

1 rating: 3.0
Action & Adventure and Anime & Manga movie

The final season ofDragon Ball Zpicks up where season 8 left off, with Trunks, Gohan, Goten, Vegeta, and Goku fighting to save the universe from the monster Majin Buu. The protracted battle lasts 33 episodes (#254 to #286). Buu has the color and texture … see full wiki

Genre: Action, Animation, Adventure
1 review about Dragon Ball Z: Season Nine

Gone But Not Forgotten

  • May 17, 2009
Regardless of how you feel about the Dragon Ball Z franchise, one thing that's certain is the dedication and attention to detail Funimation includes in their DVD box set releases of the show is without rival. Whether a long time fan of the property or a neophyte, the Dragon Ball Z Ninth Season box set packs an awful lot of material into its $29.95 MSRP.

What Funimation classifies as the ninth season of the long-running show is in fact the final installment (episodes 254- 291) spaced across 6 discs. With a total runtime of just over 900 minutes, clear a few weeks on your calendar to absorb the 38-episode run contained here.

Despite a fairly kid-friendly look and theme, the show wears a PG rating which presumably stems only from the show's penchant for silly violence (after all, this is an entire program based on the concept of interstellar fisticuffs).

Sound and language options are especially impressive even for a Funimation release (which are known for leaving no stone unturned). Contained are options for an English dialog track with original Japanese music (5.1 Surround), English dialog with the television broadcast music score (stereo), Japanese dialog with the original music (mono), and the choice of English subtitles over any of them.

Considering that the first episode of this set is actually the two hundred and fifty fourth episode of the show, it goes without saying that this probably isn't the best starting point for beginners looking to enter into the universe. Admittedly, I haven't followed the show steadily at any point of its historical run but found the ninth season to be pleasant enough to follow.

The major story arc (which includes the complete Fusion and Kid Buu sagas) follows a spree of terror conducted by a fleshy super villain alien called Majin Buu. The good guys, a rag tag group of scrappy warriors consisting of Goku, Piccolo, Tien Shinhan, Gohan, Krillin, Chiaotzu, Vegeta, Trunks, Yamcha, Goten, and Gotenks (or the Z Fighters for short) are charged with the task of protecting not only the earth but the seven mystical Dragon Balls as well from this threat.

Now I don't pretend to be a diehard Dragon Ball Z fan (or a shonen series fan in general for that matter), but can certainly appreciate the excitement generated by fans and the attention to detail Funimation displays in the set. Not only are all of the episodes digitally remastered in high definition and digitally restored, but the fold out box set also includes a lovely 28-page book. Additionally the material has been transferred in wide screen directly from the original Japanese film stock and the English dialog has been revised as well.

Considering the fact that this particular season was broadcast in Japan way back in 1993, the restoration process has been quite beneficial to the looks of the show's art as well. Colors are surprisingly rich and the animation, though slightly dated when compared to the best of today's computer generated efforts, still holds up surprisingly well.

Love or hate the often over-the-top antics of the characters within the show, there is little argument to the fact that the Dragon Ball Z franchise is credited with paving the way for the American/ Japanese anime pop culture explosion that would be soon to follow (think Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and more recently and specifically, shows like Naruto and Bleach).

The show builds to a very fitting crescendo and bids a fitting farewell to the series (excluding the Dragon Ball GT continuation which is, of course, not based on the original manga) with its unique blend of action, fantasy, fighting, and mythological themes.

While sad that like all great things, the Dragon Ball Z saga came to an end, take comfort in the fact that Funimation has gone to great lengths to release the final season on DVD with all of the charming nuisances and attention to detail the show deserves.

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