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Dragonball Z: Imperfect Cell: Race Against Time (1996) – DVD Review

DVD cover art for Dragonball Z: Imperfect Cell: Race Against Time


Original Japanese version by Akira Toriyama


  • Saga Previews
  • DBZ online store ad
  • History of Trunks soundtrack ad
  • Trailers

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Death of random cityfolk
  • Rampaging green people
  • Trunks is cooler than you. Accept this.

Released by FUNimation
Rating: 13+
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Buy if you love DBZ. Shame on you if you don’t.

[ad#longpost]The Cell Saga continues in three more episodes taking the battle to a whole new level. In “Our Hero Awakens,” Trunks copes with the knowledge that Cell came from his own future and wonders what role he may have played in that situation. Meanwhile, Cell continues his reign of terror, blasting more civilians, including Krillin. Goku is up again finally, but the androids may prove too much for him. In “Time Chamber,” Goku, Gohan, Trunks, and Vegeta train in Kami’s Hyperbolic Time Chamber, which can only be used twice in a lifetime. This will allow them to cram a year’s worth of training and new techniques into one day, but, meanwhile, the androids have shown up at Master Roshi’s island looking for Goku, leaving only Piccolo to fend them off. Finally, in “The Monster is Coming,” Vegeta and Trunks continue their training in the Time Chamber and fight to push past Super Saiyan levels. Piccolo seems to be winning against Android 17, but Cell doesn’t seem willing to let this stand.

One of the most interesting storylines in DBZ‘s recent history, the Imperfect Cell saga showcases the best of our beloved heroes. We see Goku, Gohan, Trunks, and Vegeta all achieve Super Saiyan status, power levels they’ve never known before.

Pic from Dragonball Z: Imperfect Cell: Race Against Time

The characterization of the series has always been one of its strongest features; more than just a fight-fest, DBZ has interesting, distinct people in it. It’s good to see more about Trunks as he deals with the possibility that his horrific future could still come to pass, and it might have been caused in part by him while he was trying to prevent it. Gohan continues to be the smallest hero in the universe, with some competition by future Trunks. Piccolo, a frequently overlooked hero, also has his own time to shine in these episodes, and so Piccolo fans should be well pleased.

The audio and video of this disc were both fine. The colors were reasonably clear and saturated, with minimal cross-coloration. It’s nice to have the full Japanese version on the dub, also; fans of the edited, cut American TV versions will be relieved and satisfied, but parents shouldn’t worry about the additional violence–it’s not really much after all.

Pic from Dragonball Z: Imperfect Cell: Race Against Time

Given that the features are essentially mostly ads, they’re a bit weak. A series as popular, and lucrative, as this one deserves better–perhaps some interviews, cosplay information, a timeline, character profiles of our favorites, a gallery…anything would have been appreciated.

All in all, this disc is a must-buy if you’re a fan of the show. It should please young fans, as well as their parents who are all too often bored by their child’s selections; these discs then should be a welcome relief as they’re as fun for adults as for younger viewers.

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