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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dragonball Z
Season Eight (Digitally Remastered)


Starring (voice): Masako Nozawa, Ryo Horikawa and Hiromi Tsuru
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 15 July 2013

With any long term series, especially the anime shows that ran for years, a sort of entropy sets in with repeated storylines and an over reliance of ‘fight of the week’ to carry the audience along. So it’s with some surprise that by the time Dragon Ball Z reached its eighth season that there should be an upturn in terms of storytelling.

Dragonball Z: Season 8 (1994 – 1995. 565 mins) is presented on a six disc DVD set, containing all thirty-four episodes (220-253). The show covers the Babidi and Majin Buu Sagas. The show was directed by Daisuke Nishio.

The first part of the story involves the diminutive wizard Babidi who travels to Earth to awaken the Majin Buu as a first step to universal domination. The plan falls foul of the Z group who are set to confront this new threat, fighting their way through his minions to confront the wizard. In order to bulk out the main plot the animators have included a subplot involving yet another tournament.

As ever with the show there are numerous forgettable characters thrown in as cannon fodder, but at least the main villain is engaging and less comedic than some previous antagonists. The tournament aside, there is more character development, but is that enough to rescue a show that has become so formulaic.

Even with an improved storyline the basic format of the heroes starting strong, only to falter and need help remains from the previous series. Likewise even with a more impressive central villain the animators can’t help but turn to silliness when it comes to Majin Buu, who turns out to be a major disappointment. Humour has always played a central part in making the show a success, but if it is not to your taste then the presentation can make the show fall on the wrong side of childish.

As far as the animation is concerned, the animators continue to tread the same old ground. This worked well in the beginning, but as the show progressed through the years, the style has started to look outdated.

When we get down to the actual discs, you have the ability to play the individual episodes or play the whole lot in one go. There is evident dirt and damage on the print, but when the show gets going this isn’t a great problem. You get a choice of three audio tracks, the newer 5.1 English dub with the original Japanese music track, the American 2.0 dub and the original Japanese 2.0. The set contains no extras.

Season eight was one of the better seasons and the lack of extras in the set is not really a problem when you consider that it works out about a pound an episode, still very good value for money.


Charles Packer

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