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Dragon Ball Z Kai Season One

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

The Dragon Ball Z Kai Season One box set includes four DVDs that contain the first 26 episodes of the series. The first and third discs contain seven episodes, while the second and fourth discs contain six episodes and bonus features.

When you see the menus on the discs, it's obvious that all FUNimation did to put this box set together was to combine the Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One and the Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two box sets into one set, since the discs are labeled "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One, Disc One," "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One, Disc Two," "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two, Disc One," and "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two, Disc Two."

Dragon Ball Z Kai (which is known as Dragon Ball Kai in Japan) is a re-working of the first 194 episodes of Dragon Ball Z that was produced to commemorate the series' 20th anniversary. When this series was produced, it was done in a way to remove much of the content in the original series that was not featured in the original manga. Also, the series also includes a remastered high definition picture, sound, special effects, and a re-recorded voice track with most of the original voice actors.

By removing the extra material that had been added to the original anime series, the story in Dragon Ball Z Kai goes at a much more natural pace, and doesn't feel nearly as stretched out as the original series. The material that is included in the first 26 episodes of Dragon Ball Z Kai is covered in the first 54 episodes of the original Dragon Ball Z series.

On the main menu for the first and third discs, you can choose to watch all of the episodes, choose which episode you want to watch, and to set up your language and subtitle options. For the second and fourth discs, a selection for the extras is also included. In the setup menu, you can choose to have either English or Japanese audio, as well as whether or not you want to have the subtitles on.

The extras on disc two contain a textless version of the opening song, a textless version of the closing song, and trailers. The two textless songs that appear on this disc have the credit text removed, but you can still see the logo, as well as the subtitle text if you watch them with the subtitles on. The trailers included on this disc are for Kenichi, The Slayers, Tsubasa, Initial D, X, Heroic Age, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z Kai.

The extras on disc four contain three versions of the textless opening, the same textless closing that appears on disc two, and trailers. The first two textless openings are labeled as "DVD Version 1" and "DVD Version 2." When I watched both of these textless openings, I really couldn't tell any difference between them; my guess is that there's some kind of really minor change in the video images, where if you blink, you'll probably miss it. The other textless opening is the "Broadcast Version," which is the version used when the series airs on American television. Personally, I thought the lyrics for this English version were weaker, and I didn't personally care for the singer. And the trailers included on this disc are for The Slayers Revolution, Dragon Ball GT, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Kaze no Stigma, Nabari no Ou, and Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Kings.

One of my biggest disappointments with this set is the fact that there is no marathon feature. I really appreciated having this feature when I watched the DVD box sets for the original Dragon Ball series, the "orange brick" releases of Dragon Ball Z, and the box sets for Dragon Ball GT; it made it so much easier to watch several episodes in a row in one sitting. However, as an upside, you get to see the next episode previews at the end of each episode, which you didn't get to see on the releases for the other series.

Dragon Ball Z Kai is a decent series, although I'm disappointed that the decision was made in Japan to not include to Majin Boo saga in this project, since that's a story arc that really could have benefited from getting the "Kai" treatment. I would recommend this release to Dragon Ball fans who must own every Dragon Ball DVD release on the market, to viewers who want to be able to watch Dragon Ball Z without the long and drawn-out story arcs, as well as to fans who are familiar with Dragon Ball Z Kai from seeing the series when it aired on American television.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that I checked out through the King County Library System.


Disc 1
Disc 2
Prologue to Battle! The Return of Goku!
The Enemy is Goku's Brother?! The Secret of the Mighty Saiyan Warriors
A Life or Death Battle! Goku and Piccolo's Desperate Attack!
Run in the Afterlife, Goku! The One Million Mile Snake Way
Wilderness Survival! A Moonlit Night Awakens Gohan
The End of Snake Way! King Kai's Bizarre Test!
The Battle With Ten-Times Gravity! Goku's Race Against the Clock!

Shenron Appears! The Saiyans Arrive Sooner Than Expected!
Yamcha's Struggle! The Terrible Saibamen!
Sit Tight, Chiaotzu! Tien's Screaming Tri-Beam!
Will Goku Make It in Time?! Three Hours Until the Battle Resumes!
Farewell, Piccolo! Goku's Furious Counterattack!
The Power of the Kaio-Ken! Goku vs. Vegeta!

Bonus Features


Disc 3
Disc 4
An All-Out Kamehame-Ha! Vegeta's Terrible Transformation!
Goku on the Ropes! Pin Your Hopes on the Spirit Bomb!
Defeat the Invincible Vegeta! Work a Miracle, Gohan!
Dawn on the Fierce Battle... The Star of Hope Is Piccolo's Homeland
The Ship Resting in Yunzabit! Time to Blast Off for Planet Namek!
A Powerful New Foe! Frieza, Ruler of the Universe!
The Rebellion Against Frieza! Vegeta's Burning Ambition!

Protect the Dragon Balls! The Namekians' All-Out Attack!
Dodoria's Terrifying Chase! A Truth Revealed to Vegeta!
Vegeta's Covert Maneuvers! A Tragic Assault on the Namekians!
Friends Reborn! Zarbon's Hideous Transformation!
Power Up, Krillin! Frieza's Mounting Apprehension!
The Scheme Is Shattered! Vegeta Strikes Back at Zarbon!

Bonus Features
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Content copyright © 2013 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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