Youve seen it. Ive seen it. Grandma Mildred has probably seen an episode or two. Its Dragon Ball Z of course The Z by the way stands for nothing whatsoeverits just there because it looks cool. Dragon Ball Z is a series that everyone knows and most members of this site look back on fondly as the cornerstone of their childhood or teenagerhood or mid20shood. This makes it a difficult series to offer an objective critical analysis forbut as some of you may know I dont own a pair of nostalgia goggles so this review isnt going to be sugarcoating anything. If you still have any kind of positive relationship with your inner child leave now. Writing: Lets face it. Dragon Ball Z isnt about the story. As long as there was some new bad guy for Goku to fight all was well with the world. And while they werent nearly as bad as they were in the original Dragon Ball the series still has more plot holes than you can shake a Power Pole at. Like many marketable shows both then and now more focus is placed on the characters than the events theyre involved inand boy oh boy Dragon Ball Z has plenty of characters. From Appule to Zarbon just about every archetype imaginable is covered and while characters arent devoid of depth most of them are simple enough for viewers to find something to identify with in all of them. Oh and lets not forget filler. I dont really mind it the first few times I watch a series but the sheer volume of it in the first season makes it difficult to start rewatching this show from the beginning. Art: As old as this series is by now the artwork is of course a little dated. But thats not really an issue for me. Graphics animation... DBZ is pretty average for its time all across the board. As would be expected the artwork is more refined than the original Dragon Ball but not as much so as GT. Sound: Dragon Ball Z may well have more English dubs than any other anime in existence. The current one however and the one most are likely familiar with is the FUNimation dub which while not the most faithful adaptation in the world was a lot moreso than others from the period and still effectively maintained the spirit of the show. Free fun fact: Dragon Ball Z was the show which launched FUNimation as a licensing company. As for the Japanese dub... well Goku sounds like a Japanese schoolgirl and that was enough to turn me away from it. But it is of course more faithful so the choice is yours. Dragon Ball Z is a series which I really feel never hit its mark musically. There are actually two complete scores for the seriesthe original Japanese score which included tracks from the original Dragon Ball and used the same style of music and orchestration therefrom and the heavy actiony score by Bruce Faulconer for the early English adaptations of the show. The former is suited to the more laidback scenes of the show but I feel often falls short when the action inevitably begins whereas the Faulconer score has the opposite problem: It just sounds silly hearing those heavy action sounds while someone frolics through a meadow. What really struck home were the soundtracks to many of the DBZ fighting games the Budokai series specifically which had a unique combination of both these styles which I would have loved to hear in the show itselfbut oh well. One can dream. Bottom line is Dragon Ball Z a good series? ...not really. Is it still fun and enjoyable? Sure. Hell I must have seen the whole thing at least five times by now. Despite the glaring plotholes mostlystatic characters and relatively linear plotline it manages to maintain interest throughout and while action for the sake of it isnt worth much it pulls it off reasonably well. If youre one of the handful of people who has not seen this series I would recommend it solely because an anime fan who has no experience with Dragon Ball Z is practically unheard of.
50 /100
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