“Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision.”- Blake Clark.
This second collection of episodes from the original series of Dragon Ball is pretty large, consisting of 29 episodes spread across what is considered to be two story arcs. However, it could be more widely considered to be the majority of one very large arc.
This volume sees Son Goku trying to find the missing 4-star Dragon Ball that was left to him by his grandfather. The balls are currently scattered across the globe again following the villainous Pilaf’s failed attempt to take over the world with them. However, an evil organisation called the Red Ribbon Army is also seeking them. Amongst the events in the first arc, Goku travels to the frozen north where he storms the mighty “Muscle Tower” in order to rescue a small town that the Red Ribbon Army has taken over. In the second, Goku, with the help of Bulma and Kuririn, tries to find a Dragon Ball that is underwater, while being targeted by the Red Ribbon Army’s General Blue.
This has been a very entertaining collection despite some issues. There are plenty of funny moments. The humour is broad, often toilet-based, but it is carried off very well. For example, there is a scene in which Pilaf and his followers are worried that Goku has spotted a hidden camera. In fatc, Goku has not spotted it – he just urinates on it, resulting in Pilaf having to watch a yellow stream splashing on the lens. In another, a thief tries to steal the two Dragon Balls that Goku has on him by pretending to be a fortune teller. She says that she can see that Goku has two balls under his clothes. Goku says that he has and proceeds to show the thief his testicles.
However, I have some issues with the production on the DVDs. The people putting the DVDs together were obviously keen on trying not to split the story arcs over more than two discs each. But some arcs are much bigger than others. The first batch of episodes, the “Red Ribbon Army Saga”, is 17 episodes long, with one disc containing 8 episodes and another with 9. One wonders if it would be have been easier to split the collection over more discs. Meanwhile, the second batch of episodes, the “General Blue Saga”, is only 12 episodes long, with 6 episodes on each disc. The only extras available in this collection are character profiles and trailers.
But aside from the issue of production, this is a very good collection of episodes. It is clear to see why Dragon Ball became the success it was, and why it is still going on, thanks to a new Dragon Ball Z film being made next year with Akira Toriyama’s help.