Friday, February 6, 2009

DBZ: Better, Louder, Shorter

It's been an amazing time for Dragonball lately with a new anniversary special and the live action movies being the highlights, but the biggest thing to happen might be the fact that Dragonball Z is returning to television in Japan. This isn't any ordinary rebroadcast though. The series is being completely remastered for broadcast in High Definition. The framing is being extended for widescreen without cropping the top and bottom of the images. Wow, I didn't think it possible but Funimation's season box sets are now less appealing than ever before.

The remastering doesn't stop with the video however. They're assembling all the original voice actors to redub the series. Plus there will be re-recorded sound effects. This might seems like a bit much but it's probably because originally the materials for Dragonball were only recorded for mono. By re-recording everything they're ensuring that the series will sound much better in modern home theatre setups.

I haven't even gotten to the most insane part of the announcement. They're reducing the amount of episodes to just 100 from the original 291. Let that sink in for a moment. That's almost an entire two thirds of the series being cut. I believe they'll actually be re-editing the episodes and merging together all the important bits while dropping the filler. If they simply skip entire episodes I'm not sure the plot will still flow properly. Although there are certainly good chunks of the series that are easily skippable. Supposedly they're doing all this solely by digitally touching up the original animation. The only new animation being created are new opening and closing sequences.

We've seen anime series be reduced to a shorter format many times before (I'm looking at you Gundam) but I don't think I've ever heard of a project that will be as extensive as this. Now when Frieza says Namek will blow up in five minutes it might actually happen.


Gabriel said...

Wow thats huge. Yes it took almost 10 episodes for Namek to actually blow up. Thats 5 hours. (Time over exaggerated, probably)

Gabriel said...

Also the Dragonball: Evolution movie seems planned now for the 20th Anniversary.

Anthony said...

One thing I forgot to mention in my initial thoughts is that I'd be surprised if this remastered update of DBZ doesn't get released on Blu-Ray in Japan.

Whether or not North America receives this new version in any capacity is anybody's guess.