Read Dragon Ball Z Kai Reviews Online.
December 2009 saw the release of the “ultimate” DBZ collection: remastered, uncut and complete. 54 DVDs of spikey-haired awesomeness. This was going to be it – the one complete definitive collection of this never-ending story. And now, 8 months later, we have this: another version. WTF? The official blurb mentions that this version, the Kai one, is closer to creator Akira Toriyama’s original vision. I suppose that this is meant to mean that this version is closer to the original manga, before the Toei Studio got their hands on the animated series.
I haven’t seen the opening episodes in years, so my memory of them is faint. The blurb also mentions that instead of the original 291 episodes, this version has been cut down to 100 eps, with some sections completely redrawn. It certainly looks and sounds clean. Keep in mind that this series is now 20 years old, but it does hold up well.
Collectors of the DBZ series will probably get this version just to keep their collection complete. If you’ve never seen DBZ before, or baulked at the idea of spending zillions of dollars to get all the episodes, then this is worth getting.
The problem I have is not with this version – which looks and sounds just fine given its age – it’s the whole exploitation of this very popular franchise. How many more “versions” will there be? It’s made billions of yen for all concerned, can’t they just lay this series to rest?
My sons hadn’t seen DBZ from the start. They enjoyed all 13 eps in this 2 disc first collection. The story does seem to move along at a reasonable pace now, without the interminable monologues which killed the original series for me. By the end of episode 13, Goku and Vegeta are having their showdown. I very much doubt that happened so fast in the prior “versions”.
Get it if you must, it’s a good action series which has survived the years well, but let’s hope that this is the last time we see it being re-released (I kinda doubt it).