Dragon Ball Super: Part Four
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After a series of intense matches, the universe versus universe tournament has its winner and the chance to wish on the Super Dragon Balls—if they can find the final one. Luckily, it’s been right under their noses! With all Super Dragon Balls all collected, a wish is made that surprises everyone.
Then, after an unexpected visit to the Planet Pot-au-feu, things settle down for the Z Fighters. Until an SOS from the future arrives in the form of Future Trunks! With his timeline in dire straits, he seeks help from the past. But the enemy that he’s running from looks exactly like…Goku?! Can the Z Fighters save Trunks’ future, or will they bring doom to their own timeline?
Dragon Ball Super: An Interview with Sean Schemmel
Textless opening and closing songs
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The preceding volume covered the Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 Tournament arc, and due to unfortunate episode counts on these sets, the final episode of that arc, Episode 39, got cut off and was saved for this time. It is a bit annoying, and it is a recurring complaint among consumers, but Funimation is steadfastly sticking to the 13 episodes/volume release schedule.
After the tournament concludes, there are a handful of interstitial episodes, including a mini-arc that is mediocre at best, though dub fans will probably enjoy it for reasons I'll discuss below.
Finally, the back half of this set gets into the next major story arc, the Future Trunks arc. The Future Trunks arc will run through the entirety of Part Five and into Part Six. Trunks returns to the past from his own time, seeking to enlist the aid of Goku and Vegeta to deal with Goku Black, a new threat that is killing all life in his own timeline. We get mostly introductory episodes in this set, and one fairly cool fight, but Part Four sets up a good mystery with respect to Goku Black's identity.
All in all, this is a mixed bag. Episode 39 is pretty good, the content in the middle is passable, and the Future Trunks arc is a (somewhat divisive) fan favorite. For those who are only keeping up with Super on home video releases, the Future Trunks arc is the closest Dragon Ball Super gets to a Dragon Ball Z-era arc. It has a lot more action and higher stakes than the arcs before it, and the action really ramps up later in its run.
SUB/DUB and AUDIO QUALITY
Like the prior releases, the Japanese version on this set is good. The mini-arc in the interstitial episodes involves the heroes fighting "copy" versions of themselves. Funimation--rather brilliantly--gave the role of "Copy Vegeta" to Brian Drummond, the original dub voice of Vegeta before Christopher Sabat took over in 1999 for the North American version of the dub. It makes what is an otherwise underwhelming arc at least somewhat entertaining due to being able to experience Sean Schemmel's Goku fight Brian Drummond's Vegeta.
Goku Black is played by Sean Schemmel, though he is written entirely differently from Goku. Schemmel's line delivery as Black is top-notch. The other major new characters introduced in this arc are Gowasu and Zamasu, the Supreme Kai of the Tenth Universe and a Supreme Kai in training, respectively. Zamasu is played by James Marsters, who played Piccolo in the live action Dragon Ball Evolution movie that was critically and commercially panned. Marsters' Zamasu is very good, thankfully, and he only gets better as the arc progresses.
The audio mix is excellent as usual--the voices are mostly centered in a 5.1 setup, with the music primarily in the front left and right speakers and the echo effects in the rear.
Dragon Ball Super's animation quality is often criticized. It is a little better here than in prior volumes. One thing that is very noticeable is that characters are often drawn from a slight distance and tend to lack faces. It can be very jarring, like looking at an amateur's animation rather than something put out by a professional studio. The Blu Ray's video quality, animation quirks aside, is superb. The destroyed future in the final few episodes of this set looks wonderful on Blu Ray, and everything is bright and crisp.
Future Trunks is on the slipcase and the sleeve art, as seen in the product image. The episode titles are on the back of the sleeve. This set suffers from the same issue that was present in prior volumes--episode titles can be a little harder to read. It is not a major issue, though, and overall the set looks great with the others.
Besides textless songs, there is an interview with Sean Schemmel. It's neat, and Sean's pretty into his parts, but it does not really offer anything that he hasn't discussed before. Still, it's a fun one-time watch.
I've heard it argued that the Future Trunks Arc is the pinnacle of Dragon Ball Super. This volume only dips its does into that arc, and unfortunately, the next volume will not get to its grand finale. For my tastes, I agree that this arc is the best overall, and the direction it ultimately goes is a lot of fun. It is not particularly deep, but it consists of a good series of intense fights, and it even has an interesting mystery surrounding its main antagonist. If you've been keeping up with Dragon Ball Super on Blu Ray up to this point, this is not terribly different from the other volumes. In sum, the end of the Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 tournament is entertaining, the material in the middle is okay but bolstered by a good dub, and the Future Trunks arc is fun for those looking for more intense, Z-era action in Dragon Ball Super. If this sounds appealing, this set is for you.