This *IS* the original aspect ratio...but there are other pr
Dave | USA | 04/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Blu-Ray is actually a double-feature, containing the first two movies of the popular anime series DRAGON BALL Z that involve Broly (there is a third one not featured in this Blu-Ray).
This release is unprecedented in the history of anime as it is one of the first anime titles to be released in a high-definition format, in this case Blu-Ray. As such, you're going to get the best out of this purchase if you own both a Blu-Ray player (such as the Playstation 3) as well as a high-definition TV.
This release is also part of FUNimation's continued effort to put DRAGON BALL Z through a remastering process. This process, which was undertaken by using the original Japanese film negatives, involves removal of old scratches and grain, restoration of the original colors, and a crisp, clear digital restoration of the voices and sound effects for 5.1 surround sound (although 2.0 stereo is available for those without surround sound). The result is an absolutley beautiful 1080p picture and some wonderful sound that quickly warrant a 5/5 review from me.
Having said that, you undoubtedly have read complaints involving the remastering process (which infuriatingly insist on putting the word "remaster" in quotation marks, as if to indicate that the process was a careless, reckless, and efortless attempt). The most frequent of these complaints is the complaint of the original aspect ratio of the picture. Approximatley 20% of the original 4:3 picture (consisting of both the top and bottom portions combined) was eliminated in order to produce the 16:9 widescreen format that this Blu-Ray plays the film in. As a compensation, 10% of the footage that appears on the left and right side, normally absent from 4:3 presentations, appears here. However, many fans have still taken issue with this, arguing that since the picture was originally presented in 4:3, it should also be presented in 4:3 on the Blu-Ray. This arguement deserves some consideration when referring to the remastered DVD season box sets of DRAGON BALL Z by FUNimation (the first parts of the DRAGON BALL Z franchise to be remastered), which were originally presented in 4:3 and, prior to FUNimations' remastering, were never presented in 16:9.
However, the movies are a different story. They actually were originally presented in 16:9, as their first release was in Japanese movie theaters. As such, 16:9 actually *is* the original aspect ratio for the movies, just not for the TV episodes. Just like here, 20% of the vertical image was eliminated. The difference here, though, is that unlike the TV season box sets which also eliminated 20% of the vertical image, the original animators of the DRAGON BALL Z movies knew ahead of time that the movies were going to be presented in 16:9 (because it was in movie theaters), and kept this in mind while animating so that no details of any importance would be lost.
In reality, the only time the movies have seen a 4:3 release are in the first English DVD copies released by FUNimation (these movies have been released before, but without the remastering process). As such, Japan has never seen any kind of release, DVD or otherwise, of the movies in 4:3. So to say that this release is not the original aspect ratio is completley incorrect.
Having said that, I'm not completley satisfied with this release for two reasons. Firstly, the remastering process for the TV season box sets has included an option that allows for the english voices to be heard alongside the original Japanese music in 5.1 surround sound. No such option exists here. The only options are to hear the dub music/English voice combo in either 5.1 surround sound or 2.0 stereo. Considering the storage space offered on Blu-Ray, this is rather baffling.
The second major complaint is that, while the original Japanese voice/Japanese music combo are available (with expertly-translated subtitles by Steve Simmons), they are only available in 1.0 Mono. This is understandable for the DVD releases due to the limited storage space, but Blu-Ray has a whopping 50 GB of storage. There's absolutley no excuse for not remastering the Japanese voices.
Otherwise, though, this release is absolutley incredible. The visual quality of the picture thanks to the remastering process is absolutley incredible, having restored the animation to its original pristine condition, if not better. The acting is also very well-done from both the Japanese and the English voice cast, and many DRAGON BALL Z fans have noted that the English script for this movie, as written by Christopher R. Sabat (the voice of Vegeta and Piccolo) is the most faithful translation FUNimation has ever given a DRAGON BALL Z release. The dub music, while not as good as the original Japanese music, still manages to be lively enough in its own right.
I would absolutley reccomend this purchase, it's worth every dollar and then some."
The first anime Blu-ray disc release from FUNimation and it'
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 02/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In November 2007, FUNimation Entertainment had their first release using Hi-Definition Blu-ray technology with the release of their two of the most succesful "DRAGON BALL Z" films "Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan" (the eighth "DRAGON BALL Z" film released on March 1993) and "Broly - The Second Coming" (the tenth "DRAGON BALL Z" film released on March 1994).
As a "DRAGON BALL Z" fan, the Broly films have always been my favorites, especially "Broly - The Second Coming" which I first saw (in Japanese) at an anime club meeting back in 1994.
But whenever there is a film with Broly, you can expect a lot of action and intense battles. And personally, the "DRAGON BALL Z" films that involve "Broly" plot-wise are the best!
VIDEO AND AUDIO:
"DRAGON BALL Z" is featured in High Definition Widescreen at 1920 x 1080P. According to a flyer inside the case, there is information about the transfer and how the original Japanese film masters were transferred via an industry-standard Spirit DataCine, passing through a Digital Vision DVNR10000 to remove film grain and another round of processing using a Teranex VCooo video computer. These digital noise-reduction units helped to remove thousands of instances of dirt, scratches and debris.
The cleaned footage signal went through a da Vinci 2K Plus color system to ensure that the colors were true to the original film prints. The final media for transfer was Sony's HDCAM, a high-definition digital tape.
With that being said, let me first say that a lot of older Japanese animated films have not been taken care of. In fact, many anime films have had warping and major issues that restoration even to DVD has not been all that great. Unless, there was an expensive facility developed for it (such as the recent "AKIRA" release which was an expensive remastering process), there's only so much that can be done to make an older Japanese film look great.
With that being said, there is a big difference between the video quality of "Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan" which has looked like the previous "DRAGON BALL Z" films that were released on Blu-ray and "Broly - The Second Coming". With "Broly - The Second Coming", one thing you'll notice is a slight art difference with the background art and also the colors are much more vibrant and colorful.
One can say that the later the film is, the better the colors and I suppose that you can say in this case, the tenth film is much, much cleaner and colorful than the eighth.
But with that being said, "Broly - the Legendary Super Saiyan" does look good for an anime film that is 16-years-old and "Broly - Second Coming" which is 15-years-old which colors and animation is so far the best in video quality compared to the other "DRAGON BALL Z" films and specials preceding it.
Now one of the things that has been an issue with older "DRAGON BALL Z" films is the scratches and dust. Despite the DNR units that helped to remove thousands of instances of difrt, scratches and debris, again... with a lot of the original Japanese film sources not really being taken care of, there is only so much that can be done. And in this case, there are visible scratches, dust and even some warping at times but nowhere as numerous as the first two "DRAGON BALL Z" films.
As for audio, audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Sound (HD-DTS), English Stereo and Original Japanese. Unlike the newer "DRAGON BALL Z" Blu-ray releases, there is typically an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track with the English with newer music and another with the Japanese music track. Because this is a 2007 Blu-ray release, the track I tend to listen to is the English track with the original Japanese music.
Having watched these film in original Japanese before, I watched it again in Japanese but when watching on Blu-ray, you want that awesome sound, so watching these two films with the Pantera and rock n' roll guitar and percussion driven music was definitely a first for me.
I have to admit that hearing the heavy metal like guitar churning and heavy hitting music, definitely added an enjoyable side to watching these two films and really gave the film some extra energy during the battle scenes.
And when it comes to the English dubbing, FUNimation Entertainment has one of the best well-casted series with "DRAGON BALL Z" films. In fact, it's actually difficult for me to watch the original Japanese (that I grew up watching for years) because of the significant vocals with the English dub track. So, the English dub track was well-acted and again, enjoyable!
The "DRAGON BALL Z" films really don't come with anything for special features but surprising enough, there were two featurettes. One that featured the transfer and bringing "DRAGON BALL Z" to Blu-ray. From making the films as 16×9 and other technical but informative facts about the transfer. The other is mainly a promotional for the upcoming "DRAGON BALL Z" television series to DVD.
With many "DRAGON BALL Z" films being short and sweet, one of the exciting things about Broly is that he has made his appearance in three films (which includes the eleventh film "Bio-Broly"). It's important to note that at this time of my review, FUNimation Entertainment has planned on a triple feature "Broly" release in Spring 2009. So, suffice to say, this double-Broly release may be out of print.
Suffice to say, the Broly films are my favorite "DRAGON BALL Z" films. There is a good plot, intense action and overall, compared to the other films, the Broly films are just enjoyable!
"Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan" is the longest running "DRAGON BALL Z" film at 71 minutes. The second film "Broly - The Second Coming" is about 60 minutes long.
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed watching these two films again, especially my personal favorite "Broly - The Second Coming" on Blu-ray. The colors were just vibrant and after watching many of the films out on Blu-ray thus far, to see the clarity of the tenth film was just amazing.
Granted, the transfer is not perfect and there are signs of scratches, dust and a little film warping on very few frames but I was very impressed with the transfer to Blu-ray for both films considering how old the films are.
As mentioned, the "Broly" trilogy will be released on Blu-ray in Spring of 2009 and this "Broly" double feature may be out of print and no longer be available. This Blu-ray disc was the first release for FUNimation Entertainment back in 2007 but nevertheless, if you are able to find this release for a low price or have no interest in the eleventh film "Bio-Broly", then definitely pick this title up.
Overall, the "DRAGON BALL Z" Broly films are just fun to watch. I have to admit that I enjoyed listening to FUNimation's heavy metal, guitar and percussion driven music soundtrack during the battles, considering I'm more into the original Japanese dialogue and music. Being a hardcore "DRAGON BALL Z" fan, I was a bit skeptical at first of heavy rock bands being used for the musical soundtrack of the English dub but it definitely added a charged up, energetic feel to those action-packed moments. And there are many action-packed scenes on both features.
Overall, another solid "DRAGON BALL Z" release and these two films look good on Blu-ray. "DRAGON BALL Z" fans, this double-feature is definitely worth checking out!"
Doesn't make good enough use of Blu-Ray's capabilities
A Customer | 09/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Broly: Blu-Ray Double Feature
The Dragon Ball Z series is one of the finest animes out there, as any fan of Japanese animation will tell you. The series has a "love it or hate it" reputation, but those fans who get into the series are totally immersed by it for a number of reasons. Young people love the series for the fast-paced action and adventure, while older fans enjoy it for the sheer number of characters, and the way they are developed and evolve over the course of time. It's no wonder the series is considered Akira Toriyama's magnum opus, and by far the best of the three Dragon Ball series. When Toei animation made Dragon Ball into an anime, they didn't copy Toriyama's mangas verbatim. They added in many sagas and plot elements not in the manga, often as a result so that the manga and anime were released at the same pace. Toei also created movies based on the series. There were thirteen movies, two television specials, and one OVA/OAV. While not usually canon to the storyline, they are an undeniable part of the Dragon Ball Z franchise that can't be ignored.
FUNimation is in the midst of remastering and reissuing DBZ, uncut and in its entirety - movies included.
This Blu-Ray Double Feature features two movies - Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, and Broly: Second Coming. Curiously, the third Broly movie, Bio-Broly, is not included.
-Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
During a peaceful picnic in a park on Earth, Vegeta is approached by an unexpected visitor from outer space. This visitor invites him to come with him to visit a new planet Vegeta he has created, which he could rule over. However, it's all a trick to get revenge against the son of the Saiyan king - who betrayed him and his son just prior to the world being destroyed. His son turns out to be someone who has attained the state of Legendary Super Saiyan - What started as an invitation for Vegeta to rule a new world soon turns into a fight for their lives.
This is the best of the three Broly movies, and even it's not that great compared to a lot of the other movies. This is due in no small part to the fact that Broly just isn't that interesting a character. He's a mindless brute that pretty much creates the negative stereotype people have about DBZ. And if this movie was supposed to revolve around the history of the Saiyan race and Broly's backstory, why make Goku the main good guy instead of Vegeta? This could have been a better movie if they'd focused more of the villains' backstories, and made Vegeta the keeper of justice. Instead, the Saiyan prince whines like a baby about his opponent being too strong.... Despite these flaws it's still a good movie.
-Broly - Second Coming
Broly narrowly escaped his previous fight with the Z Warriors. After arriving on Earth, tracking them in his crippled pod, he landed in a lake. The water froze and preserved him. During a Dragon Ball recovering adventure with Goten, Trunks, and Videl, Goten starts to cry. His crying sounds just like baby Goku's crying that drove Broly insane, and it awakens him. Now awakened, the new generation of Z Warriors finds themselves up against a threat none of them hoped they'd ever face again.
This movie is a serious step down from the previous Broly movie, which wasn't even that great to begin with. Broly didn't need a sequel, period. The movie focuses on Goten and Trunks, and as such, is a lot less serious than the previous Broly film. Most of the film is just the Z Fighters getting their butts kicked by Broly. The end of the movie is great, but as a whole, this one falls short. Still worth watching at least once though.
This is the first Dragon Ball Z release on Blu-Ray. The image is quite sharp throughout, but truth be told, Dragon Ball Z is NOT a series that benefits enormously from Blu-Ray. The quality isn't a whole lot better than if you upscaled your old Broly DVDs using a Blu-Ray player. And considering the storage space of Blu-Ray discs, there is no excuse for the following:
A) Failing to include the third Broly movie, Bio-Broly.
B) Not remastering the Japanese audio.
C) Not including the option for English voices and Japanese music (all subsequent movie releases of the series have included this.)
D) Not including any sort of bonus material. All we get on here are glorified commercials.
E) Not including pop-up menus.
However, the films ARE presented in their proper Japanese theatrical aspect ratio. Anyone who says this is NOT the proper aspect ratio is incorrect - the movies were made with the intention of being cropped for Japanese cinema screens. The way you see the movie here is the way Toei intended it to be seen.
This was a good idea, but considering most DBZ fans already have these movies on DVD, there's really no point in upgrading. The picture quality isn't a leaps-and-bounds improvement over older releases of these films. When FUNimation learns how to do Blu-Ray releases of DBZ right, I'll be first in line to pick them up. But this ain't the way."