Anime Quick Information

Title: Dragon Ball Z #4
UK publisher: Manga Ent.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Martial Arts
Studio: Toei Animation
Type: TV Series
Director: Daisuke Nishio
Year: 1989
Running Time: 13hrs 20mins
Rate this anime:
Average Rating: 10.0

chaos's review

chaos scored this with 6/10. Disagree?

If you're still reading the reviews of Dragon Ball and got yourself the first three volumes, I'm sad to inform you that you are hooked, especially as it only gets better from this season on.

This box set offers the same as the previous ones: English 5.1 surround audio, English broadcast stereo audio and Japanese mono. The menu option to have surround audio with the Japanese songs still doesn't work on these discs, having the English opening song instead. The extras this time around are quite lacklustre compared to the previous sets, having only the clean opening and closing Japanese songs. Conversion to widescreen cutting the bottom and top of the video is still there and it won't go away, so I won't talk about this anymore. A marathon option is available, which plays the opening, then all the episodes and then the ending; considering the number of episodes, doing so can potentially save an hour in total.

So, what is the Fourth Season of Dragon Ball Z like? (Spoilers from the third season below)

Dragon Ball Z originally aired very close in time to the actual manga publication, so as usually happens in such cases, filler episodes were added in order to allow the manga to accumulate enough material to be animated. In general, fans tend to dislike fillers, but in the case of Dragon Ball, the fillers work pretty well. For instance, animating events that are only implied in the manga, such as the wish-granting scene to resurrect Chiaotzu, Yamcha, and Tenshinhan, or Bulma, Gohan, and Kuririn's space travel.

One aspect of filler that does not work so well with fans is when new material is created and it's not referenced in any way in the original works. Such examples occur in Dragon Ball Z, especially in this volume, as a completely new story arc is added: the Garlic Jr arc. This arc is a tie-in with a DBZ OVA called The Dead Zone, where Garlic Jr manages to collect all the Dragon Balls and wishes for immortality. With his newly gained powers, he defeats Piccolo and Goku, so Gohan, seeing his Dad and friends in danger, releases all his hidden powers, forcing Garlic Jr into the Dead Zone, a parallel dimension that Garlic Jr opens to try and trap the Z Warriors.

The fourth season starts with Goku still missing. Garlic Jr returns, and after defeating Kami, he imprisons him in a bottle.  Garlic Jr then claims to have taken Kami's place as Earth's overseer and starts to brainwash everyone, turning peaceful humans into evil fiends. Gohan, Kuririn, and Piccolo are the only Z warriors left who can fight him and return everyone to normal. The fights in this saga are nothing outstanding, but it's great to see well-planned filler material that doesn't hurt the canonical chronology (as has happened in other shounen series.)

After the conclusion of the Garlic Jr filler arc, we come to the Trunks and the Androids saga, the warm-up before the Cell Sagas, which, in my humble opinion, is the best part of all Dragon Ball Z. Many unexpected revelations are reserved for the very first couple of episodes where Trunks is introduced, Goku returns to Earth, and the Z Warriors resume their training in readiness for the day the Androids appear.

On the day predicted by Trunks, the Androids show up and start wrecking havoc in the city, killing and destroying indiscriminately until the Z Warriors finally find them and the battle begins. At first the battle seems to be in the Z Warriors' favour, until Androids #17 and #18 appear and turn the tables on our heroes.

Comparatively speaking, this is the weakest of the Dragon Ball seasons in the series, but even the weakest episode of Dragon Ball can be quite rewarding. The lower rating than the previous seasons is due to the amount of fillers in this volume, but once Trunks graces us with his presence, the action only becomes more and more intense by the episode.

Screenshots (click to pop out)

Review Information

Score: 6 out of 10
Review By: chaos
Date Published: Mon, 5 Nov 2012
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