Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 3 Blu-ray

Release Date
9/11/2015
Format
Blu-ray / DVD
Publisher
Manga Entertainment
Certificate
12
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
Discs
4
Run Time
??? Minutes

Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 3 is here from Manga Entertainment and, with it, the climax of Goku and Frieza’s epic battle on planet Namek. As awesome and iconic a villain as Frieza is and the build-up to Goku’s inevitable Super Saiyan transformation, the Android saga holds some of the best moments in all of Dragon Ball for me. The arrival of the mysterious stranger Trunks, Android 17 & 18 and of course more Vegeta! Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 3 is out now and available on both Blu-ray and DVD.

“The epic showdown between Goku and Frieza reaches its climax as planet Namek crumbles beneath their feet! In the aftermath of battle, neither fighter is anywhere to be found, but Earth’s few remaining heroes have much bigger problems. A mysterious and powerful stranger known only as Trunks arrives from the future with a warning: the Androids are coming, they take no prisoners, and even Goku – wherever he may be – is no match for their kind!” – Manga Entertainment

When Trunks first appeared in Dragon Ball Z, and without spoiling anything, the audience was shocked; his appearance changed the game. Even now with Kai, even if you haven’t seen any Dragon Ball you’ll know about the characters, but still, it’s a pivotal part of the series and a real game-changer. Sandwiched between two great villains in Frieza and Cell it’s easy to forget the Androids, even with a saga named after them, but they are some of the best and coolest bad guys to come out of Dragon Ball. Android 17 and 18 to me were fearsome, coming in and destroying the Z warriors, but maintaining a nonchalant attitude that you can’t help but think is just pure cool.

The Android saga mainly works as a bridge between the Frieza saga and the upcoming Cell saga, brought together thanks to our newest cast member Trunks. Here we see the final moments of Frieza and the emergence of a new threat known as Cell. Interestingly, in this season, the rise of Cell’s prominence is largely secondary compared to the threat of the androids. Events unfold slowly throughout the Android saga until the full extent of this new threat eclipses that of the androids at the end, leading into the Cell saga.

Visually, there is not much difference between the previous two seasons and this season but this is where the character design becomes more defined and rigid. Towards the end of the season, muscles become more pronounced and defined, hair is rigid and unmoving, whereas it previously moved in the wind or through movement. This is the visual look we have become accustomed to over the years with better quality animation in recent movies and specials, as well as numerous video games.

As mentioned in our review of Season 2 the composition is now entirely the original Japanese Dragon Ball Z score from Shunsuke Kikuchi. Some may be disappointed by this, largely by the lack of a Bruce Faulconer soundtrack, but this is how it is and it works well. Another point of debate amongst fans is that of the dub, again people demanding an alternative to what is presented. This release features the Funimation English dub and a lot of fans would like to see the Ocean dub, a dub used in very few territories. Whereas the Funimation dub and cast have been used for all official home video releases and games which people are probably more accustomed to over the Ocean dub.

Extras, again, can be found on disc two and four; included on disc two are textless opening and closing animations as well as trailers for Soul Eater, Ride Back and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Disc four has more textless opening and closing animations and more trailers for YuYu Hakusho, Spice & Wolf, Soul Eater and The Slayers Evolution R.

Verdict
In a series as well-known as Dragon Ball there are bound to be many iconic moments that will always be remembered and Season 3, the Android saga, certainly has its fair share. Those that are long-time fans will know what to expect going in and new-comers are definitely in for a treat here. The Android saga will always be memorable to me as it features some of the greatest moments in Dragon Ball history.
8.5
GREAT