Goku and the Z-Fighters return once again in Dragonball Z Kai: The Final Chapters Part 1. This Blu-ray box set comprises episodes 99-121 and is the introduction to the Majin Buu Saga. The video content begins with a recap of the previous two story arcs, the Frieza and Cell sagas. Episode 99 picks up 7 years after the Cell games have ended.
Gohan is now a 16 year old high school student trying to blend in, but failing to do so. The first few episodes of the box set focus on Gohan as he struggles to balance school and patrolling the city as Great Saiyaman. Early on we meet Videl, the daughter of Mr. Satan/Hercule, who quickly becomes obsessed with discovering the true identity of Great Saiyaman. As Gohan returns home to visit his mother Chi Chi, we are introduced to his younger brother Goten. Chi Chi was pregnant with Goten during the Cell Games and as a result the young half saiyan has never met his father Goku.
Through a series of events, Gohan is forced to participate in the world martial arts tournament. He then invites the other Z-Fighters to participate in the tournament in order to introduce an actual challenge. All of the fighters agree to participate, except for Tien who left the group after the events with Cell. It’s at this time that we learn that Android 18 and Krillin have since married and had a daughter. Even Goku, upon hearing about the tournament in Other World, is granted a one day pass to return to the world of the living. Goku was never wished back with the Dragon Balls after sacrificing himself during the Cell Games. Vegeta immediately agrees to participate upon hearing about Goku’s return.
The tournament commences with the youth bracket. Trunks, who is now 8 years old, and Goten easily best everyone in the tournament. They face one another in the championship match with explosive force stunning the crowd. Not yet satisfied with their competition, they disguise themselves as Mighty Mask and participate in the adult tournament as well. To the surprise of Goku’s group, there appear to be actual contenders with mysterious powers and abilities. During Gohan’s battle against Kibito, Spopovich and Yamu jump Gohan and begin to drain his power. Shin, who is revealed to be the Supreme Kai, tells the Z-Fighters to stay back. Supreme Kai then explains that these two fighters are working for an evil wizard named Babidi. Supreme Kai then recruits our heroes to help stop Babidi from unleashing Majin Buu on their world.
Upon locating Babidi’s ship, the fighters are confronted with multiple foes who are easily bested by Vegeta and Goku. Gohan is then required to fight Dabura, the King of Demon World. After a hard fought battle, Dabura discovers Vegeta’s dark heart. He then informs his master Babidi to take control of Vegeta in order to defeat the other Z fighters and obtain the energy needed to restore Majin Buu. Upon feeling the increased power that could be obtained from Babidi, Vegeta allows himself to be overtaken. The final episode in this set ends with Goku and Vegeta squaring off for the ultimate rematch.
Box Set Review
The Blu-ray box set is an impressive collection. The box art is nostalgic and subtly shows the key moments of the episodes contents. Dragon Ball Z Kai takes the best parts of DBZ and enhances them. This digitally remastered version minimizes filler content allowing for a more streamlined story. Most of the original voice actors return to dub their iconic characters. Kai changes quite a bit of the original Englsh dub, but it is mostly for the better. There is an abundance of added humor and one-liners that make this material thoroughly enjoyable.
The background music throughout the series is spot on and adds depth to the emotions being displayed on screen. The new intro song is fun, but is overshadowed by the exciting rock styled end credit masterpiece. The special features include video commentary by multiple voice actors for episode 112, textless title and end credit songs and trailers for various anime sets. This set can be enjoyed in both English and Japanese with English subtitles for both. The English version and box set is produced by Funimation in conjunction with Toei Animation. This is a must buy for any Dragon Ball Z fan! The only reason this box set isn’t rated any higher is because it only sets the stage for the main event of the Majin Buu Saga.