Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dragon Ball Z Anime Review (pt. 1)



Dragon Ball Z - the most popular anime in the world. But is it all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!

Today we'll be looking at the Raditz arc from DBZ. For other arcs, check out our page dedicated to media reviews and click the DBZ link. That'll be available in a few days.

For now, let's look at this little piece of Dragon Ball History.

Story.
Raditz, an evil Saiyan from the planet Vegeta arrives on earth and tells Goku that he is in fact his long lost brother. Goku, whom Raditz calls Kakarot, is shocked at this news. Raditz kidnaps Goku's son, Gohan and flies away. "Bring me a hundred dead humans or I kill the boy," he declares.
Then Piccolo, Goku's archival shows up and proposes a team-up. BUT ONLY THIS ONE TIME!!!

So they team up. Goku does, Piccolo loses an arm, Raditz is defeated, Piccolo take Gohan and Raditz announces that two others far more powerful than himself are coming. Dragon Ball Z has begun!

Review.
The story is original and unique. There is a sort of open ended intrigue here that we get to see and there is hope for bigger, more epic things to come.

But this also serves as a very fitting end to Dragon Ball. Goku is dead, bringing his story to a close while giving us answers about his tail. Piccolo is seemingly reformed - or at least on the way. The threat to mankind has been defeated and with a year to prepare, it looks like the Z Warriors will be just fine. And if Raditz hadn't made that bold announcement, a bittersweet ending could have been enjoyed.

But as we all know, this was far from the end. So how does the story fare today? How about the art? The fights?

The fights are plagued with the same dated animation of most of its contemporaries. It could use an HD update along the lines of the new Dragon Ball Z films, Battle of Gods and Resurrection F.

As for the art, it has an endearing quality of nostalgia that puts it firmly in the hearts of long time fans, but its 1980s style and washed out frames may be hard for new viewers to appreciate.

All in all it isn't bad. And it would work really well as a feature film. Or at least the prelude to a feature film about the next part of the saga (which I will look at next time).

Story: 7/10
Art: 5/10
Choreography: 5/10

Score: 6/10
It isn't bad, but modern audiences need a more updated feel. It also has a lot of inconsistency within the story (more later). Raditz isn't a very interesting villain and he seems to serve only as a window to other things. He is essentially just a means to an end. Although, with Piccolo's help, he accomplishes something only one other DBZ villain ever did - he kills Goku (well ... he contributes to Goku's death). 

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