Dragonball Z (original/unedited version)
A Parent's Guide to Anime
Parental Guidance Advised
Reviewed by Terra Lamone:
"Being mortal is what makes the impossible possible." - Goku
A great series to say the least, spanning the lives of an enormous cast of characters. From the pure-hearted Son Goku, to the emotionally unstable Vegeta, to the Stoic Piccolo, to the intelligent and rich Baruma Briefs, you will definitely find a character you like. Character development is very good, largely because of the length of the series which gave the characters a chance to grow up, get married, have kids, and grow old. Not one character does not change in one way or another throughout the course of the series. However, the plot, while not bad, is not exactly soul-searching. It's a good and original story, told in lengthy sagas, but it moves much too slowly at times. But despite the slow moving plot, this is still an excellent series.
Dragon Ball Z is actually the continuation of Dragon Ball, which tells the story of a much younger Goku and his friends. The series, including the first series and Dragon Ball GT, the sequal to Dragon Ball Z, span over 500 episodes, 16 movies, 3 TV specials, 42 manga tankoubon, and much, much more. The series focuses primarilly on battle, but maintains its sense of humor and lightheartedness. With witty and enjoyable dialogue and hilarious humor, people over 13 will love this show.
The music is excellent, particularly the songs like 'Spirit VS Spirit' and 'Journey of Light' which often play in the background.
The voices are wonderful. Gohan and Goten have the cutest voices possible. Vegeta and Piccolo have smooth, deep voices. Freezer's voice is one of the best you'll ever hear in an anime series.
The main character, Goku, is as pure hearted as one can get, but never hesitates to kill an opponent. The series does have a lot of violence and a strong focus on death and the afterlife. However, in comparison to most other anime aimed at teens, DBZ's violence is only mainstream. But it's most certainly not for young audiences.
The afterlife in DBZ is represented as a bureaucracy, with paperwork and files on the dead and such. God and the Devil are actually the same person, having split into two in an attempt to rid himself of evil. One took on the name Kami and became the Earth's God, and the other took on the name Piccolo Daimao and became the Devil. However, DBZ's God is only the God of Earth and is not omnipotent, and eventually merges back with Piccolo Daimao's son, of whom is basically PD reborn. The arriving souls of the dead are sentenced by the large Ogre, Enma-Daio. They either go to Heaven, Hell, or have their souls cleansed and reborn as another person. Above Enma is the four Kaious, and above them are the Kaio-Oh-Shins. Unfortunately, the religious may be offended by DBZ's version of the afterlife.
This review is a review of the Japanese version of the show, which is highly recommended. However, the English version of the show is NOT recommended. With horrible voices, terrible music, corny dialogue, and LOTS of editing, Funimation's version of the show will make you puke. All the music is gone and replaced by terrible music which drones on and does not fit the scenes at all. The dialogue had been totally changed and made into corny, cliche filled slop you'd expect to find on an American cartoon aimed at 8 year olds. There is lots of editing, mostly in the first two seasons in which even many of the scenes of characters just talking are cut out. The voices are awful, not befitting the characters at all. Though the worst one is Freezer's voice, which makes him sound like an old woman, which he distinctly is not. Overall, don't touch the dubs with a ten foot nyoi-obi.
Finally, this series is a must-get for anyone that likes battle-based series' Though definitely not for the preteen crowd.
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
warning: As aforementioned, this series is aimed at teens and older.
Sex: None, though some humorous jokes here and there pertaining to scenes with the old pervert, Kamesennin.
Nudity: While there was never any female nudity in the whole of DBZ, there is plenty male nudity. Goku's barenaked tushy is often seen, as is his son, Gohan's. You never see full frontal nudity of them except as babies or as tots. But it's still there and parents should acknowledge the fact that it is there.
Violence: Plenty, and sometimes bloody. The show isn't gory, but it isn't squeamish either. Some characters lose heads, arms, have holes blasted through them, are utterly fried, etc. Some scenes that are particularly violent would be the scene in which Kuririn is stabbed through the chest by the evil Freezer's horns. The tyrant lets the hero hang there, a horn going through his chest and out his back. There is quite a bit of blood as Freezer shakes the hapless hero whose friends look on in horror. Finally, when Kuririn passes out, Freezer shakes him off of his horn, letting him fall into the water below. Another would be the scene during the Buu saga, in which two men are picking off people with guns, including an old couple. Figuring that with Buu killing off the world's population, they might as well speed it along. Both are killed by the reformed Buu when they shoot his puppy, then his close friend. Overall, this series is not for those sensitive to violence.
Profanity: Nothing too bad, only words like d***, sh**, or ba***** are used. And not particularly often. Words like f***, sl**, and bi*** are not used. If you see those words, then you have a bad fansubber.