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Dead, Deader, "Dead Zone"

Goku’s son, Gohan, has been kidnapped for his Dragonball. Emperor Pilaf… er… Garlic Jr. is amassing Dragonballs so he can wish for eternal life. With this, he can take down Kami, become the new ruler of Earth, and unleash a new wave of demonic forces across the planet. Goku’s not going to let this pass, though, and he’s got former enemy Piccolo by his side, so Garlic Jr. has more to deal with than he thought. He might just have to unleash a Dead Zone to save his bacon.

Dragon Ball Z is back in the spotlight in America. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT have recently run their courses, so FUNimation has decided to go back and redub the early, syndicated episodes from Dragon Ball Z. Now it’s time for Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Uncut Special Edition: “Dead Zone.”

Apparently, they have also decided to redub the uncut “Dead Zone,” already available on DVD from Pioneer. Yes, it’s out of print, but does FUNimation have anything new to make it a must buy?

Um, not really.

If you’ve seen Dragon Ball Z, you’ve seen “Dead Zone.” You know if you’ll like it or not. If you haven’t seen Dragonball Z, it’s much like the later episodes of Dragon Ball, creative fighting combined with the updated animation and designs of Z.

What makes this version different than the original dub? Different actors, and that’s it. Surprisingly, they did not even use the “new redub” intro seen on Dragon Ball Z Uncut. Instead, the old tech/rock theme used with latter episodes of DBZ replaces “Cha La Head Cha La,” the Japanese theme. Given that the redub intro looks like a faux-trailer with too many reds and blacks photoshopped in, I guess that’s a good thing.

Oh, hey, there is a commentary. Finally! FUNimation realized that commentaries are good, and that they’d work best on the movies!

Except the commentary is provided by voice actor Chuck “Garlic Jr.” Huber and Chris Casons, whose job I never figured about. (I think he was ADR director.) Okay, they aren’t the most informative people, but they do offer some bits of info. For instance, we learn that Huber’s daughter likes grabbing him by the chest hairs.

Still, a commentary is welcome. I just hope future redubs feature people who are more interesting.

What else? There are trailers. I will admit I watched the Kodocha trailer way too many times.

Really, FUNimation offers not much new here. If you can’t stand the original dub; if you really like the new dub; if you’ve never bought this before; or if you got it as a gift or something, then, yeah, watch it. Everyone else? It’s a movie that’s more than a decade old and that you will have zero interest in if you don’t watch Dragon Ball.

See also Duke’s review of the old 1997 Pioneer release for comparison purposes.

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