ANIME & MANGA - Review
14:33 - 25th September 2014, by David West

Dragon Ball Season 2: Episodes 29-57

After the conclusion of the Tenkaichi Martial Arts Tournament, Goku sets out to track down his grandfather’s four-star Dragon Ball, and his quest leads him into battle against the evil and cruel Red Ribbon Army. While it is cause for celebration to see Akira Toriyama’s classic re-mastered on DVD, it is worth remembering that even when it first appeared in the 1980s, Dragon Ball was not a show that boasted a huge budget or cutting edge animation. Compared to Akira, released in 1988, Dragon Ball already looked like a throwback in its production values – in an early episode, a flying dinosaur changes size in almost every shot. Perhaps enough time has passed that the series has become retro in its charms. Equally, never forget this was a children’s show, albeit one made for a Japanese audience less squeamish about fight scenes, violence and death than their American counterparts. Goku is constantly getting into dust-ups with the bad guys and conflict is usually expressed and resolved through fighting. At the same time, the series has a very strong comedy streak that covers the gamut from broad physical slapstick to outright vulgarity, the latter often the domain of the perpetually lecherous Master Roshi. There is a childlike innocence to Goku’s unselfconscious attitude towards nudity, another aspect of the series that makes it feel very different from anything aimed at the same demographic made in the west.

Always silly and delightfully faithful in tone and design to Toriyama’s manga, the classic lives on.
SCORE: 3/5
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