Reviews: Dragon Ball Abridged
This is what they meant when they said better than Canon
Although there has been many abridged series sine Little Kuriboh's Yugioh abridged, in my mind there are 3 abridged series above all others, the ones that all other abridged series are compared to, the holy trifecta of abridged series, the trinity of abridged goodness: The Original Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged series, Megami33's Sailor Moon Abridged, and Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z. Now quality can vary, Yu-Gi-oh abridged probably suffered the worse, one brilliant now its sort of just okay. Miles better than most abridged series (mainly because a lot of would be abridgers can't be bother to get equipment that doesn't make them sound like they swallowed the mic) but not in its prime anymore. Sailor Moon Abridged was perhaps best left alone at the end of the first season as the second (and last) season seems to not nearly have the same heart and love, plus its been a year sine the last episode suggesting the series has been on hiatus indefinitely, maybe even permanently, right at a cliffhanger before the promised finale no less. Somehow though 35 episodes later (which is admittedly less than both SMA and YGOTAS) Team Four Star remains as good as ever. For one thing the voice acting is quality, while its worth pointing out that SMA and YGOTAS also have top notch quality voice acting (heck Megami33 voices 3 different characters in DBZA and Little Kuriboh voices (voiced?) Frieza and sometimes the Narrator) You also get Lanipator who manages to sound almost EXACTLY like dub Piccolo and Vegeta and even a pretty good Krillin. Masako X who voices both Goku and Gohan doesn't sound as much like the dub, but his Goku perfectly fits the character (both in the actual show and abridged) as does his Gohan. And they sound like distinct characters. He also does Master Roshi. Takahata and Kaiser Neko talent can't also be dismissed. Also while I definitely enjoy SMA and YGTAS better than their canon counterparts, they're still parodies. Enjoyable mockery of the source material. Dragon Ball Z Abridged is very much a parody but it also plays the material much straighter than most other Abridged Series, allowing the viewer to sort of see DBZ Abridged as a definitive alternative to watch over the canon, rather than just an enjoyable parody. Hell I suspect once the series is finished I won't have any reason to watch the canon version.
What distinguishes team four star....
Unlike most abridged series which generally consist of random non-sequiturs and Take Thats on the series, Team Four Star actually has a plot. This isn't to say they were the first or the only abridged series to do this but it plays a significant role in their popularity. It follows the story of Dragon Ball Z, with each episode trimmed down to 10 minutes, with a parody twist. The episodes generally retain the some of the serious and and intense moments in the fights with a refreshing layer of humor and lampshading on top. The best examples of this are the "Boss Battles" between Frieza and Vegeta in the second and first seasons respectively. One example was Frieza's chilling line at the beginning of his fight, "by all means give me some ideas...". That line seemed like something you'd see in a more "serious" adaptation but wasn't out of place either. The editing and dubbing is also very smooth and professional looking. However the professional nature of the series also forces some episodes to take a few months to be produced. Generally it's worth the wait but a lot of viewers tend to be impatient. Occasionally they'll post a let's play, a day in the life of TFS, or mini-episode to keep their viewers sated in the mean time. In order to really appreciate Team Four Star's satire of the series, you must be familiar with the Funimation and Ocean Blue dubs as well as the Japanese. That being said, I would recommend the series to people who never watched or weren't fans of the original series as well. There really isn't much more to say except that Team Four Star puts the "affectionate" in Affectionate Parody. Watch it for yourself and "Please Support The Official Release".
Great for even non-DBZ fans.
Team Four Star really raised the bar when they made DBZA. I've seen so many abridged series where they simply play the episodes as they are and add stupid, mocking dialog. Some of them don't even bother with sound effects. I can understand the difficulty in the latter, but the fact that TFS takes the time shows the sheer amount of quality they put into theirs. For the former, Team Four Star takes the time to dig through tons of episodes and splice together the clips to make scenes all the more vivid. Sometimes it causes silly things like disappearing/reappearing scouters, but it's no big deal. The voices are another thing grabbed me. Very rarely does an abridged show up where the voices are so ear pleasing and well done. Even the one voice I don't particularly like, Krillin's, suits this variation of his character so well. Little Kuriboh giving Frieza a British accent was also a great touch that signifies his sophisticated and effeminate demeanor. The biggest reason to watch the series in full is it's assortment of brick jokes. If you watch the episodes out of order, certain things may fly over your head, as they're actually the punchlines to a previously mentioned thing. Goku and the "Muffin Button" becomes 10 times funnier if you're aware that he mentioned it in the previous episode, and was told there was no such thing. As a DBZ fan, it's been a thrill to relive the series without tedious filler. Even when it comes up, it's usually twisted into something far more entertaining, such as Goku's encounter with Princess Snake. It's also great that TFS makes the effort to not only affectionately jab at the series, but still play it through properly. A few creative differences come up but none that hamper the overall understanding of the story. And I must give big props to Team Four Star. They took the single most boring thing in all of the Dragonball franchise, and turned it into a Crazy Awesome Christmas special. That one in particular deviates from the plot quite a bit, but the general idea is still the same. Nowhere else could I hear "Denounce your faith in Santa Clause!" commanded by a grown man and NOT find it completely cheesy. Bravo. DBZ fans, DBZ-haters and those who are indifferent can all find something to enjoy in this series. It's a must for anyone who wants to see an affectionate parody done right.
Greatest parody I ever seen
Throughout all of the greatest or stupidest things I seen on the Internet, DBZ Abridged is somewhere inbetween those....and that's why I like it! It manages to take what is supposedly "the greatest manga/anime ever" and make extremely funny to laugh at! I would recomend this Abridged Series to any die-hard DBZ fan or anyone who has'nt even seen or read the real thing yet (and want to see what the big deal about the anime is) Four Stars.