Dragon Ball Z Kai - Season 2 [Blu-Ray]
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The nonstop action continues with a furious flurry of flying fists that will leave heads spinning! Krillin and Gohan test out their new and improved powers in a throw down with Vegeta, Frieza struggles to unlock the magic of the Dragon Balls, and Goku races through space on a collision course with the Ginyu Force! This installment of Kai has it all: 7 Dragon Balls, 4 epic heroes, and 3 horrifying villains bent on world domination!
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FUNimation has taken this opportunity to re-dub the entire series with a script that is more faithful to the original Japanese version. The new script is much better and raises the english dub from "so bad it's good" to "legitimately good." Also, in the decade they've spent playing these characters, the voice actors have improved significantly since DBZ's original run; just compare Sean Schemmel's Goku from 1999 to now and the difference is astounding. A few of the characters' voice actors have been replaced, often for the better. Freeza's new voice in particular is fantastic, much more sinister and a better fit for the character than before.
It's no substitute for reading the manga, but DBZ Kai is a big improvement over the original anime.
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While Kai is known as a remake of the series, it's mostly just cropped "filler" of the original series to cater more towards the original comic book's pacing. However, the Frieza battle in the original series is known for one of the most notoriously dragged out moments in the series, and Kai's cropping of it is highly appreciated.
The climax on Namek is certainly full of exciting battles, and it does contain some of the series most iconic moments (hint: it has something to do with why Goku is suddenly blonde in the cover art).
Without a doubt, Kai contains a story that is easy to follow, wonderful artwork, and intense battles. If one is looking for a great action cartoon, this will not disappoint.
Season Two contains the bulk of my favorite DBZ saga, the Frieza Saga. Even with the original Funimation dubs, I considered the Frieza Saga to be my favorite. Let me say that, of course, most of the filler is cut, allowing the series to move much faster. However, it never feels too fast, and though I am nostalgic for the filler, I did not miss any of it while watching this. Also, I can honestly say that I will never look at the older English dubs the same way again because they cannot hold a candle to Kai's dub. The English dub of DBZ Kai is once again spectacular. Firstly, the script is much more manga accurate once again. Thankfully, there are no more cheesy one-liners from Goku or Frieza. Then, there is the actual acting itself. It is simply SUPERB. Chris Ayres is Frieza this time around, and his voice is exactly how I've always pictured Frieza sounding in my head, ever since I first saw him as a kid. He captures every aspect of the character perfectly, making him out to be an evil, powerful dictator as opposed to simply an upper-class school bully. This is the first time I have been genuinely terrified of Frieza. I mean, I grew up with Linda Young's Frieza, but it simply cannot compare to this one. Not only did her voice not match the character, but the script Funimation gave her was awful. After hearing Frieza's lines in DBZ Kai, I don't know how I ever put up with the original English dub (though, considering I have never read the manga or watched the show in Japanese, I guess I didn't know what I was missing). Everyone else is terrific as well. Chris Sabat does an AMAZING job as both Piccolo and Vegeta here (and of course, the script is much better for him as well). Once again, the cheesy lines are gone ("YES! YES! I CAN DO THIS! UGH!") and both characters are cooler than they have ever been (and I loved them both as a kid); plus, Sabat puts so much raw emotion into both. Krillin and Gohan are also voiced very well once again. This review would not be complete without me mentioning Sean Schemmel as Goku, especially since this is Goku's standout saga as he becomes the Legendary Super Saiyan. Again, gone are the sappy speeches ("Ally to Good! Nightmare to You!") and corny jokes. Rather than get a goofy, quippy superhero SSJ Goku, we get an angry, vengeful SSJ Goku ("I AM THE SUPER SAIYAN, SON GOKU!"; and "YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU'VE DONE!"). And I've always loved Sean as Goku (he is the first Goku I've known), but his acting here is the best he has EVER done as Goku. My word! You literally feel the anger and power with every word he speaks. You feel his sadness when Vegeta dies. I just can't express how great he is as Goku here.
Once again, the cleaned-up animation looks beautiful on Blu-Ray. The opening/ending credits and eyecatches are very cool, and the songs are very good as well. For me, this is now the definite way to watch the Frieza saga (in English, anyway). While I still can enjoy the old English dub, it really seems dated now that DBZ Kai exists. Whereas the original Funimation dub of DBZ made it a better-than-average cartoon, DBZ Kai makes it a truly enthralling, epic, almost cinematic experience. I have just ordered Season Three and I can't wait to watch it!
However there are 2 glaring problems I cant overlook and its completely unacceptable for dvds I bought. The commericals at the beginning when I boot the disk is unskippable and unfastfowardable meaning every time I want to watch this I have to walk away for 5 minutes so that I can finally get the the main menu to watch. 2nd every single disk has its own unskippable commercials why? WHY? each commercial is 5 minutes long and with four disk if you want to watch a marathon of dbz kai you have to endure unskipable 20 minutes of comercials its so annoying. Thus I cant give it the perfect score 4/5 once the commericals are over the fun begins and yes after those aggravating comericals DBZ Kai is amazing