Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound is the ninth film released for Dragon Ball Z. The film was directed by Yoshihiro Ueda, and it was released to Japanese theaters on July 10, 1993. FUNimation has released the film on home video in North America several times; as of this writing, the most recent DVD release of the film is part of the Dragon Ball Z Collection Two movie box set.
The main setting of the film is a special Tenkaichi Tournament, in which 200 fighters will compete; amongst the 200 fighters is Yamucha, Tien, Piccolo, Gohan, Future Trunks, and Kuririn. The winner gets to face the famous champion Mr. Satan (who is known as Mr. Hercule in the English dub).
At this point in the series, Goku has died and is with King Kai in Other World, where they are watching the tournament. As the tournament advances, Gohan, Kuririn, Piccolo, Tien, and Future Trunks are in the final eight. When the contestants are whittled down to the final four, they are transported to an area to fight against a fighter from elsewhere in the galaxy. However, when the alien fighters are revealed, the promoter realizes these are not the alien fighters they had recruited for the contest.
Instead, the fighters are the villain Bojack and his two henchmen and one henchwoman. Bojack had been sealed by the four Kais in a star, but when Goku had transported the ready to self-destruct Cell to Kai's realm and killed Kai, the seal was broken. The remainder of film focuses on the Z-Fighters fighting with Bojack and his cronies.
When Bojack came on the screen, my husband commented that the character seemed to resemble singer Michael Bolton circa the late 1980s/the early 1990s. Once I noticed the resemblance, it kind of ruined the film for me, because my husband and I spent a lot of time joking around by making commentary using titles from some of Michael Bolton's songs.
For me, the most enjoyable part of the film was roughly the first half, when the emphasis was on the Tenkaichi Tournament eliminations. There was a lot of humor included in both the action and the dialogue. Once I got to the part where the Z-Fighters fought against Bojack and his cronies, the pacing of the film seemed to slow down. While it's not one of the worst Dragon Ball Z films I have watched, it's not one of the best, either.
One of the most notable things about Bojack Unbound is the fact that this is the first of the Dragon Ball Z films to shift the focus away from Goku in order to make his son Gohan the main focus of the story. This film also shows some change in character for Vegeta; in this case, the change is believable, especially since this is the first film to take place after Goku's death.
I saw this film on the DVD that is included as part of the Dragon Ball Z Collection Two movie box set. It's claimed on the box that the film was digitally remastered. The video quality was decent; however, the Japanese audio I listened to while I watched this disc didn't sound remastered. Since the Japanese audio is in mono, this would probably explain why the audio quality didn't sound as good as it could have been.
I would recommend acquiring this film to add your DVD collection if you're a die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Dragon Ball Z Collection Two movie box set that my husband and I purchased.