It’s a well know fact among anime enthusiasts that Dragon Ball Z was and still is an industry-changer. Many newer mainstream anime, to this day, have striven to reach the same level of intense action that DBZ brought to Japan in 1989 and the U.S. in 1996. I’m sure many will disagree, but even the most adamant skeptics would be hard pressed to find better proof of DBZ’s reign than Dragon Ball Z: Kai. While essentially the same series, Kai is closer to the manga in terms of presentation, with the filler cut out and the script rewritten.
I recently had the pleasure of watching FUNimation’s Dragon Ball Z: Kai Season Two set, which opens at the end of the “Namek Saga,” continues through the “Captain Ginyu Saga,” and concludes with the beloved “Frieza Saga.” I had known that new scenes were added to DBZ: Kai, but the amount of new content blew me away. Nostalgia overtook me as I relived my childhood through the “Frieza Saga,” one of my favorite arcs in DBZ.
When the set opens, our heroes have traveled halfway across the galaxy in order to retrieve the Namekian Dragon Balls and revive those who had been killed during the “Saiyan Saga.” With Goku still some hours away from Namek, Krillin and Gohan try to prevent the last Dragon Ball from falling into the hands of Vegeta and Frieza who only want them for personal gain. With the appearance of Frieza’s Ginyu Force, Vegeta, Krillin, and Gohan are forced to team up to defeat these seemingly unstoppable new foes. Vegeta shows some impressive fighting ability, and although he continues to talk big and back stab our heroes, he manages to come through in the end.
All the fights in Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season Two are amazing, but the final fight between Goku and Frieza is where this set really had me on the edge of my seat. Even though someone with a trained eye would clearly be able to distinguish between the new and old animation, it doesn’t take away from the high octane experience in the least. It should also be noted that Frieza’s new voice actor, Chris Ayres is absolutely phenomenal.
Like the other Dragon Ball Z Kai releases, this one is lacking in special features. It includes a clean opening and closing and a really interesting U.S. cast interview in which the cast discusses their individual characters. Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season Two is simply a repackaging of the previously released Parts Three and Four; so buyers should only invest in this if they didn’t pick up those parts the first time around.