Dragon Ball Z Season Five (Blu-ray) Review

The Fight for the Future Begins as the Monstrous Cell Appears

Piccolo Fights Android 17 in Dragon Ball Z Season 5
Piccolo Fights Android 17 in Dragon Ball Z Season 5. ©Bird Studio/Shueisha, Toei Animation. Film©1989 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and all logos, character names and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of SHUEISHA, INC.

Compare Prices

What They Say

From the battle with the Androids, comes the genesis of Cell!

As the battle with the Androids rages on, a fierce evil rises from the shadows: the monster known as Cell! Dr. Gero's heinous creation is the ultimate weapon, a fighting machine built from the genetic material of the greatest warriors ever to walk the Earth!

This new Blu-ray edition has gone through a frame-by-frame restoration process to remove any blemishes, tape marks, and foreign bodies from the film. All three audio tracks have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality, and the colors are bolder and more vibrant. Lastly, a precise shot-by-shot reframing of the entire series was done to create a modern HD widescreen presentation!

Contains episodes 140-165.

The Episodes

Dragon Ball Z Season Five continues the fast paced storytelling that begun in the thoroughly enjoyable Season Four, introducing the monstrous creature known as Cell to the Dragon Ball universe while building upon the complex, yet impressively unintimidating time travel elements introduced previously.

While some of the earlier seasons of Dragon Ball Z would stretch out Goku and other characters’ training sessions over an entire season, here their entire training happens within the span of one or two episodes and for the most part happens almost entirely off-screen.

The creative forces behind the Dragon Ball Z anime really have started trimming a lot of the fat that bogged down some of the earlier story arcs and while those classic episodes were still super enjoyable, the series is now in a place where not only is it watchable but every episode is unmissable.

Blu-ray and Special Features

The classic anime series has been completely remastered for this release and while it does indeed look stunning and is in fact the best presentation of Dragon Ball Z to date, there are unfortunately several instances of digital fuzzing or blurring that are quite noticeable.

The slightly rushed remaster in this volume doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of these episodes (which still look great) but it’s a shame more time wasn’t taken to really perfect certain shots.

There are some great interviews here with Krillin and Android 18 voice actors, Sonny Strait and Meredith Mauldin who provide some genuinely interesting insights into the production of the anime series in the late 90s. The real gem of the extras in this set though is a tour of one of Toei’s Japanese animation studios. Recorded in a mix of English dialogue and Japanese with English subtitles, this feature provides a fascinating look behind the scenes of how Dragon Ball Z and other cartoons used to be made before the digital revolution changed the way series and films were produced.

Who Should Watch?

Dragon Ball Z may be an all-ages anime series in general but the graphic violence in this season may make it inappropriate for younger children. Teenagers and over should have no problem watching this but parents of younger viewers may want to watch it with them just to make sure they understand what is happening. There are very strong themes of forgiveness and the importance of having an open mind and heart in this season that children and parents can appreciate however.

Did You Know?

The character of Cell was created almost entirely due to feedback given to Dragon Ball creator, Akira Toriyama, from other people. Toriyama's previous editor, Kazuhiko Torishima, urged for the arrival of a new villain due to him not liking the androids, and his current editor, Yu Kondo, requested that Cell be given the ability to change forms as he found Cell's initial appearance too ugly.

Overall

The re-release of Dragon Ball Z on Blu-ray continues to impress with an improved pace and higher production values. The remaster in this particular set may not be as clean as previous seasons but this is still the best Dragon Ball Z has ever looked and is well worth picking up. COMPARE PRICES

CONNECT WITH BRAD: Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Flipboard | Instagram | Ello

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by Madman. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy. The Blu-ray featured in this review was the Australian Region A/B Blu-Ray release by Madman of the practically identical North American FUNimation release.