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Dragon Ball Z Season 7 DVD Review

by Luke Ryan Baldock

Dragon Ball Z Season 7 DVDCreator: Akira Toriyama

Starring: Masako Nozawa, Sean Schemmel, Daisuke Gouri, Stephanie Nadolny, Naoko Watanabe, Eric Vale, Miki Itou, Christopher R. Sabat, Ryo Horikawa, Dameon Clarke, Takeshi Kusao, Kyle Hebert, Toshio Furukawa, Sonny Strait, Jeremy Inman, Chuck Huber, Mike McFarland, Tiffany Volmer, Cynthia Cranz,

 Running Time: 625 minutes

Certificate: PG

DRAGON BALL Season 7 is one of those points in a long running anime that can be seen as an easy ‘jumping-in’ point. Whereas the last two seasons required lengthy mythology and background knowledge to receive much of the enjoyment, this season will welcome newcomers and reward dedicated fans alike. Season 6 was an incredibly long tournament based season, with much of the action focused around a single fight. Season 7 has a lot of tournaments to get through too, but it also gives a wide range of fights and competitors, as well as supplying us with some heartfelt character moments and exciting new storylines and characters.

The season begins with an odd little diversion, as the now deceased Goku becomes accustomed to the Otherworld, only to find out that there are fighting tournaments beyond the world of the living. It feels like a filler arc, but also contains enough humour and vibrant action sequences to maintain the attention. It also supplies us with a little bit of background on the world beyond Earth.

After this little detour, we return to Earth to find that 7 years have passed since the end of season 6. Huge jumps in time, such as this, are a great way to bring an element of freshness to any show, especially one as long running as DRAGON BALL Z. It means that a lot of characters have developed and the world has changed. It becomes an intriguing experience even for the most seasoned viewer. It also means that we get to see Gohan, having come to terms with his father’s death, and trying to experience a life beyond the adventures in the show.

Gohan finds himself going to high school for the first time, which of course plays into a number of humorous situations where he has to hide his powers. Unfortunately, since the world has been at peace thanks to his father’s sacrifice, Gohan is bored and restless with a life of constant studying. This inspires him to become Saiyaman, a superhero that cleans up the petty crime in Satan City, a place named after the moronic Hercule Satan. Gohan finds himself having to hide his identity from classmates, especially Hercule Satan’s daughter, Videl.

All these relationships and story arcs play out organically, and the chemistry between Gohan and Videl leads to great moments of competitiveness as well as a tender relationship which may amount to more in teh future. What’s most inspiring about Gohan’s journey into superheroics is that his father’s death isn’t used as a catalyst for his motivation. He is a very well aligned young man from a strong and caring family who just so happens to enjoy using his powers.

The final part of this collection sees another fighting tournament take place in the form of The World Tournament.  This sees Goku return from the Otherworld for 24 hours so that he may take part. His reunion with his sons for the first time in 7 years is played out sweetly, and adds to the impact of this tournament. There are so many possible routes such a storyline could have taken, but this avoids the most obvious. There is no anger, sadness, or exaggerated enjoyment at the reunion between father and sons, and the sons aren’t rebellious for the sake of conflict. They’re their own people and the story works all the better for it.

This is by far the best Season of DRAGON BALL Z for quite some time. It includes all the elements that make the show popular with its fans, but also steps away from the familiar formula that makes a marathon viewing on DVD a bit of a bore. The only real issue with the show at this point is the fact that some elements such as the animation and vocal performances are a tad aged.

4 StarsDRAGON BALL Z Season 7 is released on DVD on 13th May thanks to Manga Entertainment.

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