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Funimation Addresses 'Dragon Ball Z' 30th Anniversary Home Release Controversy

It has been 30 years since Dragon Ball Z hits the small screen, but the anime is anything but forgotten. The shone has become one of the medium’s most defining franchises, and fans are always trying to find way to rewatch the show. However, the latest home release of Dragon Ball Z got netizens all riled up, and Funimation is speaking out on the issue.

For those out of the loop, Funimation teased the release of a Dragon Ball Z anniversary release a few months back, and the U.S. licensor is making good on that promise. The anime is set to get a 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition with a 4:3 aspect ratio, but a group of fans started to protest the release when the release’s remastered footage was shown.

Now, Funimation has posted a statement explaining how this bundle was made, and it touches upon the exact footage being critiqued by animation enthusiasts.

“We have the materials for the entire Dragon Ball Z series from beginning to end, as a transfer from how they existed on film. Our previous Blu-ray releases for Dragon Ball Z were cropped to 16:9 to match modern standard sensibilities that have evolved over the years as widescreen has become more adopted, but for this particular project, we wanted to release the series in 4:3 for the more hardcore subset of DBZ fans who want to experience the series with higher integrity,” the company wrote.

“Regarding the image itself, there is some digital video noise reduction to clean up some of the noise, dust and grain from the original film materials, which we felt was mandatory for this release based on the different levels of fan support from various past DBZ releases with different levels of noise reduction over the years.”

For now, fans will have to decide whether or not the look of this home release aligns with what they've been looking for. While Dragon Ball Z can be streamed online via Funimation Now, its Blu-ray and DVD options are more limited. Bundles containing broadcast footage are notoriously expensive while cheaper editions are often critiqued for their edited content. However, the price of this upcoming release does have collectors feeling good, so it is up for fans to decide if the cost is worth the cut.

So, what do you make of this controversy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami block Saturday evenings. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release is available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.

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