Okay, I went to the mall, anticipating an action-packed Dragon Ball Z uncensored tape to be in my possession. On a previous venture to the mall, I decline to purchase the video. Later I went to your site and read your article on the new tapes. Sure, I remained skeptical, but still thought, "Well that's just the TV version. The uncut version won't be like that." I entered the mall, and every step closer to the store my hands began to sweat even more. I couldn't wait to see what happens with Goku vs. Catpain Ginyu. This whole time, I was thinking that since it is uncut, that there must be violence, nudity, and profanity. Turns out I was correct on two out of three, but I wasn't sure at the time of purchase. I read the back of the box, and it said it was an English version, but it didn't specify whether it was an English subtitled version or a English dubbed version. Regardless, as soon as I received my receipt for the tape, I knew I had taken a noble risk to explore the DBZ world. Hopes and fears juggled through my head on my way home. Is it subtitled or dubbed? Please don't make it be dubbed. Please!"

Turns out that the second I pooped the tape into my VCR, I was "done like dinner". I saw DBZ promos for old episodes and merchandise. The second the screen read FUNimation, I felt my stomach turn. Then the American intro for Dragon Ball Z was showing. At that moment, I had thought I bought the wrong tape. "What a minute! This isn't the Japanese intro!" (The Japanese version was shown at the very end of the tape. VERY convenient.) At this point, I have been bruised and battered by the beginning of the tape. Now it was time for the knockout blow.

The episode "Goku is Ginyu and Ginyu is Goku" starts with a near dead silence, broken by music I'm unfamiliar with. It sure wasn't the Japanese music, so I knew I was in for a long 84 minutes. Freeza and Nail were shown on the screen, just staring at each other, with the Guru beside Nail. Then Freeza speaks the first word, but I couldn't hear the entire word, for my ears began to bleed before Freeza could finish. All I could recall is hearing Freeza talk like a woman with strep throat, and yelling is pain until the windows cracked. As I type this, I had to stop myself in the temptation of referring to Freeza as "she." I'm not kidding, after watching the tape, I could no longer believe that Freeza was actually male. Couldn't be done.

Throughout the video, I noticed some pros and cons. First the pros:
* No "next dimension." Instead they said the word "die." Why don't we just give these people a hand? It must have been so difficult for them to say die in the first place. This was a plus since it would not be uncut if it said that. I would have demanded a refund for the tape the second those words were uttered, so I didn't have to take the long trip back to the mall.
* There is real blood. The first character to bleed is Nail, but the blood was different colors. When he got his right arm torn off (major cool), purple blood oozed out. Yummy! Nothing gets you going like Kool-Aid from a Namekan's arm. But then when he regenerated his arm green blood came out. Was it blood, or was it DNA fluid, like Vegeta had referred to much later in the tape?

The cons:
*The voices, MAKE THEM STOP! Freeza's voice was annoying, but nothing pissed me off more than Kuririn's new, annoying voice. It really took the fun out of liking this guy. How dare they do that to him! Also, Vegeta sounded more like a "tough teenager." I kind of liked both voices, the old one had a bittersweet rasp, especially when he charged up his ki. The new voice gave Vegeta a more credible identity as a tough guy. The old one was too cartoonish, but the new one was too young. Did you notice that now Vegeta is the one saying "this is nuts"? Kuririn's new voice was just plan vile. Sounds like he's been punched in the stomach one too many times before. Plus Kuririn and Gohan couldn't stop laughing. They find Dragon Balls in the ground, and start cackling for what felt like 5 minutes. I mean, what in the HFIL was so funny? They were laughing at the fact that they got all dirty? How pathetic. in the original, perhaps they do laugh a lot. But I can't imagine it would be as annoying as the English voices were! Have you ever felt tempted to just fast forward it, but fear you would miss something? Captain Ginyu, the second most annoying voice in the tape. He sounded like Popeye, for God's sake! I couldn't wait for him to turn into that frog.
* The music. It was new music that at first didn't impress me , and somewhat irritated me, but then I got used to it. Being that I don't have too much experience listening to the Japanese BGM, I can't go through what diehard fans have gone through listening to the American BGM. But then, the BGM was repetitive. In different scenes, I noticed that the same music was used. Like when Kuririn and Gohan battled Ginyu (in Goku's body) to when Vegeta was kicking Jeice's ass. It could have been much better.

I'm not totally satisfied with the tape, but I don't think I'll throw it away either. Given the annoyances, it was still an entertaining video. I was expecting a subtitled version so I can read the profanity and put-downs; and sure, the jokes were too corny to snicker at, but it really wasn't that bad. Perhaps the TV version sucks hard, but the uncut is not so bad in my opinion. It could have used a few swears just for laughs, but as Goku would say, that kind of violence is useless.

- Jorge Negron