Manga UK has been on a roll where Dragon Ball is concerned, and now they’re busily releasing all of the original movies. The first collection consists of Dead Zone and The World’s Strongest and, whilst they’re certainly not the best movies the series has to offer, they’re both solid entries which fans will love.
Both of these movies are older than I am, and I appreciate that I can experience a part of anime history. They’re both brief at 45 minutes and 1 hour respectively, and I ended up watching them both back to back. These movies take us back to the early days of Dragon Ball where Goku has yet to awaken to his Super Saiyan abilities, and Piccolo isn’t on friendly terms with Goku.
Plenty of action and laughs to be found in both movies.
Dead Zone, the very first animated Dragon Ball Z movie, focuses on Garlic Jr. as he kidnaps Gohan to steal his Dragon Ball. Goku rushes to his son’s safety but becomes quickly overpowered by Garlic Jr. and his three henchmen. Goku and Piccolo, begrudgingly, team up to tackle a threat which neither of them can defeat alone, and Gohan’s incredible power is put on display. I love little Gohan in both of these movies, and I forget that he’s always wanted to be a scholar.
The World’s Strongest focuses, once again, on a kidnapping but this time Master Roshi is the victim. Dr. Kochin and Dr. Wheelo, who is a giant brain, are searching for the world’s strongest fighter so that Dr. Wheelo can possess the body and take over the world — if he’d succeeded, I guess he’d struggle against some of the series’ later villains when they come for battle. I prefer this movie to Dead Zone, but there’s plenty of action and laughs to be found in both movies.
The animation is superb.
Both of these movies are pretty old but the remaster job is fantastic, and the animation is superb. There are clear signs of its age such as screens sometimes jittering around, and there’s sometimes brief blotches that pop up. Neither of these issues tarnished the experience for me, especially as the movies inherently look so wonderful. One vast difference between older Dragon Ball and recent Dragon Ball is the colour palette — these movies generally feel more sci-fi thanks to their choice of colours.
The Manga UK release has the voice-cast that we know and love, and hearing Sean Schemmel’s Goku never grows tiring. Christopher Sabat reprises his role as Vegeta and, surprisingly, Troy Baker plays Garlic Jr.s’ henchman Ginger. They’re all as great as they’ve always been, and Dragon Ball truly does feature one of the strongest English dubs of the last two-plus decades. You can watch it in Japanese too and, where the option presents itself, you can choose to use the original Japanese soundtrack or the US soundtrack.
Packed with all the things that make Dragon Ball so endearing.
These may not be the best Dragon Ball Z movies (we all know that the Future Trunks and Broly films are the best out of the original movies) but they’re a blast to watch regardless. Packed with all the things that make Dragon Ball so endearing, you’ll be laughing at their humour and admiring how brilliant they look even by today’s standards. It’s lovely to have these on Blu-ray in the UK, and I’m excited for the rest of the movies to be in my hands.
Theo Anime News