What They Say:
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!
The audio has a 5.1 release in English and a 2.0 in Japanese for the series– I watched the first disc in English and the second disc in Japanese to compare, despite not saying 5.1 the Japanese release was high quality to the point there was no adjustment to the volume, there were no other issues regarding sound quality, echoing, synching with subtitles, etc – the quality is high overall. The Funimation dub is still superb and now with new characters and a new universe to explore, we now get the full on experience of what Super is going to be all about…
Similar with the audio, the videe has with no real problems with the subtitles, the sound synching in either language, no pause lag or in general, it is a quality release, especially considering how vibrant the colours are – this is not your old-school Dragonball in least in terms of the looks – some may say some of the models can look a bit off though especially in the Universe 6 arc with the new characters which can be a little distracting, but doesn’t deter from the quality of the fights or the colours used.
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu is pretty standard – we see clips of the show intertwined with music as below the scenes we get the classic Play All,Marathon Play (basically the same but with just the one opening and no endings) Episodes, Setup and on disc 2, Extras. Easily selectable and like most Blu-Rays gives you the option to choose via a pop-up menu whilst in show some else (bar extras). Fast, quick, efficient and nice looking.
Most of the extras are standard, we have the original, Frieza and Universe 6 versions of the clean opening as well as both clean endings and some trailers (which are played before you get to the show anyway).
The one unique extra is a sit down interview with Justin Cook (Producer and voice of Dende) at Anime Expo 2017 with Sean Schemmel (Goku) and Jason Douglas (Beerus) – it’s a short interview where Justin asks the two various questions – things like the difference between Z and Super for Sean who has always been Goku even through the Ocean dubs whilst Jason is a newcomer to DB but not a newcomer to voice acting so the focus on Beerus is his development and character and how Goku and Beerus are a strange parallel between the two – it’s fun to see Sean talk about his original animation background in contrast to anime and the fact Jason works on the Walking Dead and how that is a much different experience compared to dub work so it is fine for what there is.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the second set being the conclusion of Battle of Gods and going into the Resurrection of Frieza, this is the first set where brand new material is the focus as we conclude the Frieza arc and go into something new and hopefully exciting – with Beerus now a mainstay along with Whis, this brings us into new territory as we see new universes as potential parallels to the one Goku and friends are in, and thus, more characters and indeed, more fighters. This sets up the Universe 6 arc and definitely has a ton of potential, with a good(?) Frieza, other Saiyans and a legendary hitman…
We start off with the last episode of the new Frieza arc which pretty much happens similar to the movie – Goku is hurt after letting his guard down when he realises Frieza can’t hold his Golden form for too long, but Vegeta tags in and reveals he has also got Super Saiyan Blue form and with Frieza exhausted, Vegeta looks set to finish him off…but Frieza in the last moment uses his energy to blow up the Earth (and bring forth a set of images of all the gang’s loved ones in their last moments before eternal darkness…actually quite sad if you didn’t know what was coming). Goku realises that his attitude has caused this but Whis turns back time for 3 minutes so Goku can actually amend his ways and realise he has to kill Frieza as this is a onetime deal. Sure enough, Goku complies and Frieza is killed with the other big thing being that Gohan, realises how he has become weaker over the years without training asks Piccolo to re-train him like in the olden days which should be interesting considering at one point Gohan was the strongest character in DBZ…
So now we get the new stuff – and our first new characters are basically Beerus’ brother Champa, and Whis’ sister Vados – the Destroyer and deity on a new universe (7) where the numbers of 12 universes if they add to 13 are their parallel, hence 6 and 7 = the relationships of the cast. Unfortunately, Champa’s ‘Earth’ doesn’t have the tasty food that Beerus’ does so in jealousy Champa wants a tournament between the best of Universe 6 and 7 – if 6 loses, he gains custody of Earth, but if 6 wins, they get to use their universes Super Dragon Balls. With Vegeta and Goku agreeing and setting up with rules similar to the Budokai (and a hilarious moment when trying to find the 7th Super Dragon Ball that Shenron can’t find it and is still terrified by Beerus) and they decided to use Maijin Buu and Gohan as the other two members as Beerus has chosen what he deems the most powerful fighter in the universe, even stronger than Goku much to Goku’s excitement wanting to face strong opponents…however Gohan is forced to withdrawn as his conference is the same time as the tournament – fortunately Goku is much more understanding than he has been in the past, so instead Picollo is the other entry.
A filler-ish episode with Bulma and Jaco finding more information about the Super Dragon Balls later leads to Goku and Vegeta using the hyperbolic time chamber finally repaired for 3 years worth of training, so the group along Monaka (who doesn’t seem too special but you don’t question Beerus…) take the test to make sure they know the rules…which screws them up immediately because Buu falls asleep and doesn’t wake up. With Beerus insisting Monaka goes last, the team is decided and we discover some of the other team mates – Vegeta in particular takes a surprising liking to the Universe 6 Saiyan, whilst a fighter very similar in looks to Frieza is also there…but the one that seems to catch Goku’s eye is a mysterious blue fighter…
Anyway, the fights start off – the first one against a giant bear like creature named Botamo who Goku defeats easily by ring outing him (though has to use strategy as couldn’t knock him out) and then the Frieza lookalike is the next one named Frost. Surprisingly he is the opposite of Frieza who is a hero who staves off wars and wants to fight Goku – with him being a version of Frieza, Goku knows he can transform so Frost just goes into full mode and Goku goes into Super Saiyan, but it is clear that Goku is far stronger…yet suddenly he seems to run out of energy and Frost manages to ring out him, shocking everyone.
This was a bit of a surprise, so Picollo faces him next, avoiding Frosts’ attacks whilst powering up his cannon attack but before he can, he succumbs to the same problem Goku did and loses. It is then discovered that Frost has been using a hidden poison which is against the rules and yes, it turns out he’s pretty much just as bad as Frieza because he sets up the wars that he then stops and buys the damaged land for cheap. Whilst he gets disqualified, Vegeta says not to DQ him and asks Picollo to forfeit. Despite the sheer disadvantage this could cause, Picollo agrees and Vegeta comes in and takes out Frost in one punch. Furthermore, because of the poison, Beerus discovers it on Goku and he is reinstated. Interestingly as well, Goku wanted to fight last now to see Monaka in action which worries Beerus as Whis cackles in the background…
The next fight has Champa erect a barrier around so can’t fly up as that would classify as a ring out..which of course sets up a fight which screws around the oxygen for Vegeta in a fight against a robotic being named Magetta which he nearly loses (bar a technicality which hurts his pride) but in a hilarious way of winning, an insult hurts Magetta’s feelings which causes the ring out. So Champa’s ploy didn’t work but Vegeta gets to fight the other Saiyan Cabba who are heroic and kind in comparison to the original Saiyans – Vegeta enjoys almost being a sempai to him as the two are evenly matched at first but Cabba can’t become Super Saiyan – he acts angry and beats up Cabba and threatens to destroy his planet…the rage is the catalyst for Cabba to be Super Saiyan (which Vegeta intended all along) but Vegeta then powers up to Blue which is too much and knocks out Cabba. It’s actually quite good development seeing Vegeta wanting Cabba to fulfil his potential and act like a mentor even during the fight and it’s one of those things I hope we can see more of if these characters are going to be more focused.
Universe 7’s last fighter however is the one that Goku is most intrigued by – a blue assassin named Hit. Vegeta to his shock can’t land a hit against him who has superhuman speed and strikes precisely – Vegeta thinks he is fast but not strong but then gets struck with a powerful blow which knocks him out. Goku figures out he is using a time-skip technique where he can time travel for 0.1 second ahead of time so when he fights Hit, he slowly begins to figure out his technique. Hit is very respectful, asking him to surrender as he is afraid because of the restrictions of the match he may accidentally kick Goku. However, Goku begins to predict his moves and this forces Hit to get stronger and go beyond his limits – the Goku effect as he manages during the battle to increase his technique to 0.2 seconds. However Goku at the end showcases his last roll of the dice and a fantastic call-back to the original DBZ – his Super Saiyan Blue technique combined with his Kaio-ken technique…the technique he learned from King Kai back in the Saiyan saga to increase his power/speed up to 10x more but at the cost of his stamina….the battle goes on as the set ends here before we see who wins…
With the new material kicking in, there’s a lot of chance for development as well as new fighters – Champa is a fatter version of Beerus but is still a Destroyer so just as powerful, which leads to a few scares but it’s clear that Beerus is the ‘better’ of the two in terms of his universe, and his jealousy, snark from Vados and just his attempts of planning make him a very comical character. Beerus himself is slowly also getting more than just fearing for his life, he now gets more worried in his antics (even potentially scared of Bulma of all people!) and it is clear that his scheming could backfire on him – it’s revealed that Monaka is not a fighter at all, Beerus used him as way to get Goku and Vegeta to train harder – but with Buu disqualified Monaka might be forced to fight if Goku loses (plus the fact Picollo’s hearing meant he heard this and is understandably worried…)
The fights are mostly forgettable but the set up with Hit as the true worthy opponent was there (he even makes sure Frost doesn’t steal when he is defeated) – the relationship between Cabba and Vegeta was surprisingly sweet as Vegeta is genuinely interested in Cabba’s planet and the prospect of other Saiyans clearly has his interest and the smart way of how Frost seemed to be a good guy but in the end was just as diabolical as Frieza was actually not as predictable as it seemed. Hit in particular falls into the category of Goku managing to get the best out of him and it really is unsure who is going to win…though I just want Hit to win just to see how the fallback will happen with Monaka is…^^
DBZ Super’s new content seems on one hand pretty safe, but at the same time has some fun characters (Magitta’s loss was quite hilarious) and with the Hit/Goku battle hitting full stride it does make you wait for the conclusion with bated breath. Add that some fun moments (Bulma gets a lot of comic time with Jaco), some potential development (whilst not a huge factor, Gohan wanting to retrain with Picollo could be interesting) and a cliff-hanger, DBZ Super continues to be my guilty pleasure of the Shonen animes, and I’d say if you’re a fan definitely continue, as there is definitely more to come…
DBZ Super brings us new material after the conclusion of the Resurrection Frieza arc and with a lot of characters to come in, some forgettable, some fun, some memorable and some devastating. A good mix of action, comedy and development as whilst it isn’t the most thoughtful of shows (Goku still has his annoying factor of just wanting the fight) it’s certainly fine for entertainment and I await the conclusion of Goku/Hit just because no matter who wins it’s going to be an interesting conclusion. The DBZ fan of me approves.
Cleaning Openings/Ending, Trailers, Anime Expo 2017 interview with Sean Schemmel (English VA of Goku) and Jason Douglas (English VA of Beerus)
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: A-
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Release Date: June 4th, 2018
Running Time: 288 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.