Dragon Ball Z Kai is the trip down memory lane that fans have been waiting for, and this revamped, remastered, recut version doesn’t disappoint. Finally hitting shelves after its first showing in 2009, the first series of DBZ Kai contains the entire Saiyan Saga, exploring our hero Goku’s struggles with a Saiyan attack on Earth. For fans of the original Dragon Ball Z anime, seeing those all-too-familiar faces and storylines in glorious high definition is certainly worth the wait.
DBZ Kai is subtly different enough from the original 1980s cartoon to provide something new for even the most hard-core fan. With its audio rerecords, remastered footage, and with a few scenes having been entirely redrawn, this is the first time in which the initial saga of Goku can be seen in all its glory. DBZ Kai benefits from the cutting of a lot of filler side stories that really did little to add to the series as a whole, only making this version that little bit more enjoyable. The sound and the HD visuals make for an exciting watch, never taking away from the original joys of the show. Although the redrawn scenes look fantastic and are reminiscent of the visuals of the latest DBZ movies, their random insertion into the middle of epic battles or tense moments can be a little jarring, especially when the next thing you see is the crude-yet-lovable art style that we’re used to in the franchise.
For those not familiar with the DBZ universe, the collection of 26 episodes may seem a little… off. Without giving away any spoilers, DBZ Kai Season 1 ends on an odd note, at a point that makes you check that there isn’t one more disc that you’ve missed. This isn’t a fault with the collection, but more of the show’s pacing, which doesn’t have a well-defined end to the Saiyan Saga before jumping right into the Freiza Saga – a story arc that won’t be seen until DBZ Kai Season 2.
DBZ Kai Season 1 is a brilliant revisit to a world loved by millions of anime fans, and should be a part of every anime fan’s collection. Although featuring a handful of lacklustre and, well, boring extras, DBZ Kai Season 1 is close to perfection. Whether you were a fan in the past, or even if you’re just looking for a new anime to get your teeth into, this one’s power level is over 9000!
Special Features: Textless opening and closing songs (DVD and broadcast versions) / Trailers
INFO: DRAGON BALL Z KAI SEASON 1 / CERT: 12 / YASUHIRO NOWATARI / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: MASAKO NOZAWA, HIROMI TSURU, HIKARU MIDORIKAWA, HIROKO EMORI / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 3RD