FUNimation is planning to release the first 63 Dragon Ball Z episodes, complete and uncut, for the first time in the U.S. This new Dragon Ball Z DVD series will be titled the Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Uncut Special Editions.
Some of the material from these episodes was previously released in Ocean editions, which presented the material as it had been edited for broadcast. The first 63 episodes were edited down into 50 episodes, with many key segments, including major fight scenes (such as a key battle between Goku and Vegeta), heavily edited. FUNimation is re-recording the dubbed versions with voice actors consistent with the other FUNimation episodes; subtitled versions of each episode will, of course, also be included on the same discs. Both picture and sound will be of the highest quality, including 5:1 surround sound. Each disc will also include extras, including information about the history of Dragon Ball Z and the significance of these episodes. The discs will be packaged with new trade dress to reflect the nature of these special editions. The first two discs in the series will be released in April and June, 2005.
FUNimation is also giving a similar treatment to three Dragon Ball Z movies previously released by Pioneer in the late 1990s--The Dead Zone, The World's Strongest, and Tree of Might. The company will release the first in May, 2005, with at least one more to be released in 2005.
FUNimation will also continue releasing its own editions of the Dragon Ball Z movies in sequence. Movie #10 will be released on March 29th, #11 in August, and #12 and #13 to follow.
Although the TV exposure of the Dragon Ball Z property is not what it was (with Cartoon Network's Toonami block moved from its strip position to a Saturday night slot, see 'Toonami Gets Saturday Night Fever'), these strong DVD releases, with a positioning to appeal to the older, 'core' anime audience, will undoubtedly not only sell on their own, but also promote interest in all things Dragon Ball Z in 2005.