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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dragon Ball GT Season 1 Impression

Dragon Ball GT Season 1 DVD Box Set
This is how Dragon Ball GT should be done. The Dragon Ball GT Season 1 box set from FUNimation delivers one comprehensive set of episodes, 34 total, finally doing justice to the lesser paid attention to DB.

As Goku emerges from seven years of training in the time chamber with a new grown Uub he is faced with thieves in the tower, Emperor Pilaf and his badly aged cronies. He is after the black start Dragon Balls which nobody knows exist. As he summons a red Shenron, Pilaf unwittingly makes a wish that turns Goku back into a child, after which the Dragon Balls scatter. The catch, they spread around the universe, not just Earth so now it’s time to head into space to find them before a year passes, case oh yeah, the world will be destroyed. So Goku, a grown up Trunks and stowaway granddaughter Pan all head into space to start the search. Along their journey their dragon radar is consumed by Giru, who himself becomes the radar.

The search for Dragon Balls encounters the usual run ins with bad guys and bullies, but it’s the emergence of Dolltaki, reporting to Dr. Myuu as well as General Rilldo and his robotic Sigma Force, also reporting to Myuu, that things take a turn for the sinister. Seems Myuu, in his quest to create the perfect mutant robot is also looking for the Dragon Balls. Things get worse as these encounters lead our trio of heroes to encounter Baby, the last of the Tuffles, a race long since wiped out by the Saiyans. Baby heads to Earth, takes over and plants seeds in humanity to recreate his long lost planet while taking out the Saiyans for vengeance. The battle rages between Majuub (merged Buu and Uub), Pan, Goku and Baby as volume 1 comes to an end.

So why is DBGT so great, well it’s more Dragon Ball, shows the future of our hero’s years after Dragon Ball Z ended, no secret there nor is the lack of Akira Toriyama’s involvement. What makes this box set great is it finally gives DBGT in its proper order with nothing cut out. The charm of GT is that the first handful of episodes goes back to DB’s roots with a young Goku seeking out the Dragon Balls. Slowly the action picks up with Goku going Super Saiyan and new bad guys being introduced, but it’s the step back to the past before coming back to a very Z fight with Baby that is great. The story, while not official canon, does stand well on it’s own as many of the races encountered in space are familiar with the Saiyans, another tie to DBZ’s past lost in the later stages of Z. The fact Baby comes from the first race the Saiyans wiped out is pretty cool. Secondary, black star, Dragon Balls is a stretch, couldn’t this have been done with the existing balls stating the amount of wishes causes the balls to move further each time they separate? The bad guys are also not are good as Cell, Freiza, Buu. Baby is an overcomplicated mess of a baddie, his look that is, and when did the future turn so bright with so many pastels and vivid colors?

Overall this box set is long awaited. Unlike the other (great btw) DBZ box sets, these GT episodes have not been released in order like this. FUNimation is doing a fine job putting out such a long series in easy to watch sets that don’t take up much shelf space (less than 3 standard DVD cases) and are also easy on the wallet. Dragon Ball, Z and GT, have both aged very well and I highly recommend this series. I’ve been watching Dragon Ball series since the early 90’s and I still found so much to love in this set and episodes I’ve not seen. DB fans, get it now, others get the DBZ box sets first then GT later, but get it.

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