Dragon Ball Super: Part Three
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After a startling meeting with Beerus’ brother Champa goes sideways, the godly brothers decide to settle their differences in the best way possible: by putting their best fighters to the test. It’s a battle of universes as Universe 7—the home of Goku and the Z Fighters—faces Universe 6 in a brand-new Martial Arts Tournament! And the ultimate prize is one worth fighting for—the Super Dragon Balls from Universe 6. Can Goku gather the best fighters for a chance at true glory? And who is the mysterious Monaka that Beerus boasts as his strongest warrior? Get ready for an out-of-this-world competition!
Anime Expo 2017: Interview with Sean Schemmel & Jason Douglas
Textless opening and closing songs
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Part 3 of Dragon Ball Super picks up where Part 2 left off, which was right at the tail end of the battle with Golden Frieza. Fans have expressed frustration about the sets not including full "sagas," a situation that could have been remedied by any one of the first three volumes having 14 episodes instead of 13. Regardless, Frieza is quickly defeated in the first episode, and that leads into the new material for Super.
Champa and Vados, the counterparts to Beerus and Whis, are properly introduced in this volume, after having been hinted at several episodes prior. Champa and Vados hail from "Universe 6," a twin or parallel universe to our Universe 7, and one of the 12 Universes in the newly expanded world of Dragon Ball. There are a few introductory episodes (including one that has a lot of recycled animation serving as flashbacks) before we move into the main structure of this story. Once we get past that, Super's new content starts with a classic shonen staple: a tournament arc.
The benefit of a tournament arc in anime and manga is that it allows for the relatively quick introduction of numerous characters, with some background on all of them, and it streamlines character development. In Dragon Ball Super's "Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 Tournament," we meet fighters from Universe 6 who offer striking parallels to characters with whom we are already familiar. This concept will be expanded upon during another major arc later in the series' run, but for now, the character interactions are all interesting, and there is a fun subversion of expected character archetypes based on what we know about Universe 7's characters from experience with Dragon Ball and DBZ.
After gathering their fighters, the tournament commences, but it does not conclude in this volume. Like Parts 1 and 2, the final episode of the last battle of the tournament, episode 40, is cut off. In reviews of the prior two Part releases, I noted that 13 episode home releases are common practice for anime. It is unfortunate that Super happens to not fit within that box, and it is further unfortunate that Funimation did not correct the issue at the outset by making the first volume 14 episodes. Super, as of the date of this review, is slated to end with episode 131, which means that Part 10 will consist of 14 episodes. That was not known at the time the releases began, so using 13 was not an arbitrary approach, but it makes this the third consecutive volume to cut off the ending. It is a temporary issue, of course--once the whole series is available, there will not be 4-5 month gaps between episodes as there currently is between releases.
SUB/DUB and AUDIO QUALITY
As with all things Dragon Ball, the original Japanese version is quite good. The voice actors all perform very well and remain consistent. The dub is also really good. In my reviews of Parts 1 and 2, I praised the dub as a high point, and that praise remains true here. Super is, in a lot of ways, The Goku and Vegeta Show. Thankfully, Sean Schemmel and Chris Sabat, who voice Goku and Vegeta, respectively, deliver top-notch performances in Super's dub. The other actors do a wonderful job here as well, and the script is generally well-written and very close to the Japanese script. The dub is often legitimately funny--arguably too comedic at times, but it's personal preference more than anything. Both the subtitled version and the dub are well-performed and fans of both will be satisfied.
The overall audio quality is good. I watched the episodes mostly dubbed, spot checking the sub here and there. The dub's 5.1 surround track is wonderful. Norihito Sumitomo's score is mostly concentrated in the front left and right speakers, with a little reverb in the rear, and the sound effects are panned well to create an immersive experience. Most of the dialogue is in the center channel except for loud screams and some occasional panning to reflect character position on the screen. It's all very well-done.
The score is good for what it is. It's not my personal favorite of the various Dragon Ball scores (I have a soft spot for a lot of the Faulconer Productions team's work, as well as the Kai score that was later replaced due to plagiarism concerns), but there's nothing inherently wrong with it. There are some memorable tracks, and the music is always appropriate and fitting.
Dragon Ball Super's animation takes a noticeable step forward in this volume. The distinction between episodes 27 and 39 is apparent. From this arc onward, the animation really begins to improve over time (with peaks and valleys throughout). Toward the end of the next major story arc after this one, it is drastically better, but this is the beginning step toward higher quality production values, and it shows.
On the Blu Ray, the colors are bright and crisp, especially the Super Saiyan Blue transformations. Everything looks clean, periodic animation quality dips aside.
Remaining consistent with the prior two Part releases, this set is really nice, if a bit simple. As is obvious from the product image, Vegeta adorns the cover, and the slipcase has a nice metallic reflection to it. Inside are two Blu Ray discs with the episode list printed on the back of the sleeve. It suffers a similar issue as some other Dragon Ball releases--the episode titles can be a tiny bit harder to read. It is not a major concern, just something worth pointing out. Otherwise, everything is clean and consistent, so it lines up well on the shelf with the other releases.
Besides trailers and the textless opening and closing videos, there's one extra of note, which is an interview with Sean Schemmel and Jason Douglas (Beerus) from Anime Expo 2017. It doesn't reveal too many otherwise unknown secrets about production, but it's a fun watch, and it's nice to have an actual extra on the disc.
If you have purchased Parts 1 and 2 and were waiting for Super to "get good," this is where that point begins. The Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 Tournament reminds me a lot of the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai (World Martial Arts Tournament in the dub) from the very beginning of Dragon Ball. It introduces several interesting characters with unique back stories, and a lot of the fighting does not devolve into "flurry of punches" territory as Dragon Ball Z/Super fights often do. It's a fun arc overall. While the lack of episode 40 on this set is frustrating, I won't knock off any points for it mostly because when buying these sets, most people will eventually seek to own the whole series, so it becomes a question of just inserting the next disc after later parts are released.
Dragon Ball Super is just getting started here, and there's a lot to look forward to in the next 7 releases. This is where a lot of that quality starts to shine through, and if you've gotten past the first two volumes, it's a good set of episodes to sit back and enjoy.
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but these DVD's exceeded my expectations. The characters I've loved for so long were back, and like previous incarnations of the show, even the supporting characters are subtly shown to have grown in the time since we last saw them. This could be called a return to the cartoon I originally loved, and the new story has the air of the previous ones. I found my self laughing out loud, tense at moments when what you expect is turned on it's ear, and once again caught up in what used to bring me so much enjoyment. If you buy this dvd set, with 12 episodes included, you will not be disappointed.
The dvd's arrived on the day specified, were packaged well and exactly as described. I was very pleased, and will be the first to pre-order volume 4 when available.
For those who like extras, each DVD had a bunch of trailersfor other anime shows available through Funimation, plus bot English and Japanese versions of all 12 Dragonball Super episodes, and a marathon play selection, should you wish to skip the opening and closing credits each episode. I'm assuming on that part as I haven't tried that yet.
Overall a wonderful collection of the new adventures of old friends.
Most recent customer reviews
The blu ray box is not the original. The product does not come withthe blu ray disc!!!