What They Say:
The Transcendent Battle Between Hatred and Hope. It’s time to decide the fate of the future! Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks take on the mighty Fusion Zamasu in a final epic confrontation of good vs. evil. When the dust settles and they return to the present, the Z fighters face even greater challenges. A baseball game grudge-match between gods and a mysterious attempt of Goku’s life are just a couple of events keeping our heroes in top form. But as quickly as one calamity ends, another is just around the corner. The Tournament of Power is finally underway! Contains the series on Blu-Ray in Japanese with English subtitles.
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 whilst it doesn’t feel like a long time because of so many re-releases and previous incarnations, there is clearly a lot of care in and love to the DB fans, especially with the extras and interviews showing this quite well.
Similar with the audio, the video is set in full screen format with the show combining animation and colour in a more traditional sense, 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 – when the great Saiyaman looks actually impressive rather than goofy, you know you are doing things right…
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 (the same as Play All but only the opening at the very beginning and one ending at the very end) 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.
We have a fair few extras on the 2nd discs – starting with the traditional extras, we have the 3 textless openings and 3 textless endings and trailers for a lot of Funi shows – Twin Star Exorcists, Masoru Handa movie set, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, The Silver Guardian and Tales of the Abyss.
The big extra are three interviews discussing DBZ Super at Anime Expo: three of the dub voice actors give their thoughts about things on the show and their characters with clips from this set intertwined within the interview. We start with Sonny Strait, the voice of Krillin who has been one of my favourites of recent years thanks to the voice of Kuro-sensei and Usopp among others, with Krillin being a firm favourite. He talks about his favourite moments between DBZ and Super, how the fighting scenes now come out, moments with 18 and Marron, it is quite a fun and almost sweet take on his character as he always seems to be a joke or punching bag half the time but he has always been one of my favourites and glad he gets an interesting moment in the spotlight in this arc.
The second interview is with another favourite and one of the few VAs I know personally in Matthew Mercer who met at a UK convention back in 2009, and 10 years later now has Critical Role and roles in DBZ compared to when I met him during his web series There Will Be Brawl. (Even cosplayed as Captain Falcon for a Brawl group when he returned in 2013) – with his character being one of the newer ones not from the original DBZ in Hit this one is a bit more in depth and longer than the other interviews, as Matt talks about watching the series via a Japanese friend back in 1990 not thinking he’d actually be part of this in the future, getting into the role of a new character compared to what is already in the DB universe, Hit’s power and fighting scenes especially in the way he stands out in comparison to the rest of the cast, the fact his voice is super low key so he gets it easy compared to the many screamers and shouters that are in the show, and what he wants from Hit in the future.
Last interview is shorter with Kyle Hebert, the voice of Gohan (and the narrator) and it turns into a fun talk about the Great Saiyaman and how Gohan believes it to the height of coolness – how the show can merge comedy surprisingly well within the shows many action scenes – funny considering Gohan’s biggest moment in this arc is in the comedy arc but there is still plenty of action.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dragon Ball Z Super continues on its way – the end of the Goku Black/Zamazu arc hits before it goes into a chill period (including a very strange crossover episode) which has some mini arcs, ranging from comic to serious, before setting up into an arc most likely being one alluded to earlier which suggests to be the next big story.
It ends up first with the conclusion of the battle against Fusion Zamasu with Goku managing to stop him destroying the Earth, but his power is pretty much spent as Zamasu recovers however with the fact he is human means he can be destroyed. Goku and Vegeta use the same trick Black/Zamasu did and fuse with each other via Gowasu Kai’s Potara earrings. They become Vegito and power up to SS Blue – they look set to win but because the fusion earrings only last for an hour it stops but thanks to Trunks who creates a spirit bomb through his now fixed sword, he kills Fusion Zamasu…
…only for his soul spreading over the planet to destroy the planet. Deus ex machina, Goku finds the button that Grand Zeno gave him in the present. He summons him and good news Zeno decides to erase the entire timeline. Bad news…that means the planet is a goner. Everyone teleports or time travels but knowing Mai and Trunks need to get back to the future, they get the Future Zeno and bring him back to the present, letting the two Zeno’s be friends, and we meet Whis’ father who between them figure out a way Trunks and Mai can return to the future before all this happened and use the time machine (much to Bulma’s annoyance) to return to the future, ending this arc.
Goku Black and Zamasu’ were the first real credible villains of enjoyable nature due to their need to fight and powering up, yet having no remorse of doing what they did despite being gods. This definitely seems like they are definitely gone but never say never in the world of Dragonball where resurrection is as free as anything. Case in point, one of the filler episodes is Goku collecting the Dragon Balls to resurrect King Kai and company at last, but things always distract him to use his 2 remaining wishes from before…one is used to heal Pan but the other many others are fighting over – fortunately Bulma is there to help out…but only to get the wish herself as she is trying to hide the fact she is making a time machine from Beerus to replace the one Trunks/Pan used. Sadly, there is too much delay and the dragon goes, Bulma’s time machine plots are found out and King Kai is yet again not able to be resurrected. Am feeling for the guy now…
The weird one is the crossover with Dr. Slump, involving a science competition with the robot daughter Arale is used as a powerful opponent, where Vegeta breaks the fourth wall that her physics are something out of a gag manga ^^ It is pretty pointless and acts like a comedy episode which also sets the tone for the next episode which is a battle between universe 6 and 7 (really a way for Champa to get some of Universe 6s’ food) – this is actually a remembering that Yamcha was a baseball player which gives him a day in the limelight…but also reminding you that he is the series’ punching bag – again, mostly comedy like Goku going SS Blue for a pitch which destroys half the field…
A more serious two episodes is when Hit returns and apparently has been hired to assassinate Goku. The story is who has hired Hit to kill him and there is a moment where he genuinely does kill Goku who fortunately had a backup plan, which is actually some sort of sense but also again makes you wonder about the Goku character…before it goes back into the fun with Mr Satan involved in a movie called Great Saiyaman vs. Mister Satan. Of course, this gets Gohan’s attention but when on the set the star playing the Saiyaman Barry Khan, is quite the arrogant so-and-so and tries to flirt with Videl…which of course doesn’t go well so he tries to get revenge by forcing Gohan to be a stuntman in a dangerous scene. Of course with Gohan being the real Great Saiyaman and being well…Gohan…he does it easily and becomes a stuntman for the role, even donning the suit for dealing with crimes (though Bulma has to bail him out to make sure his identity is secret) – however one of the actresses Cocoa sees it, and forces Gohan to fly her around, being used by Barry to get some dirt on him…namely kissing him which she does, albeit it is more after she sees what a good person Gohan is. The real plot is that a parasite has come to the Earth, which brings the return of Jaco as the parasite can infect people with dark hearts and make them monsters. So this of course leads to Barry trying to say Gohan is a cheater, but Videl is made of strong stuff and refuses to believe it, leading to the parasite infecting Barry and a grand fight between him and Gohan (which becomes the climax of the movie) – Gohan wins, Cocoa blackmails Barry, and Goku gets bored of the movie as watching fights isn’t as good as being in one…
The last ‘filler’ arc is actually my favourite as it brings Krillin back into the story, as he gets injured during a robbery whilst a policeman, and feels like he is getting weaker. Goku is after a training partner, and with some prompting from Android 18 and Marron leading the two returning to Master’s Roshi’s to train a la the original Dragonball. Krillin is outmatched by Goku despite being handicapped so Roshi gets them to do a training regime which is really a test for Krillin to conquer his self doubt and fears. It works and Krillin has his head shaved to begin anew as a martial artist…
…which leads to perhaps the next arc and one that has serious consequences, courtesy of Goku’s one track mind. This is where you see the love/hate relationship of Goku as his impatience in wanting to fight, train and anything of that nature seems to be at the cost of his family, anything outside that, and in this case, the universe. He is a likeable character, but a selfish one. This is hit mostly in this part – Goku is getting rusty so trains with Whis with the reveal that Bulma is pregnant with her second child, so Vegeta isn’t going to train with him which kind of shocks Goku…again, his priorities, more when Vegeta is the better family man…then Goku still bored remembers of Zeno thinking about doing a Universal martial arts tournament. So he uses the button again despite Beerus panicking and convinces the Zeno’s to hold the tournament which Beerus pretty much threatens Goku to kill him if his naivety draws more bounds. And indeed, we later learn that the losers from the tournament their entire universe will be erased. And with Goku not going to change their minds (in fear that his universe would be vaporised) they are forced to go along with this. They have an initial pre-match for the Zeno’s, where Goku recruits Gohan and Buu ready to start his warm up tournament…with the threat any fighters not worthy can also be erased….
This set is a bit of a weird one because it ends the Goku Black arc in dramatic fashion, then does quite a lot of mini filler episodes, some good, some strange, some fun, and then sets up the next arc which sounds like it is going to be big with a real threat to the universe thanks to Goku’s blunder. And indeed, it felt like I really didn’t like Goku that much – his lack of interest watching his son’s moments on film, him not understanding why Vegeta didn’t want to train to be with his pregnant wife, and of course his insistence on fighting causing potential death of multi-universes, including his own. Maybe that’s the reason so many of the other characters got their moments in the sun, with Yamcha, Hit, Krillin and Videl all getting moments to themselves in their respective episodes. The end of the Black arc was good with some hope for future Trunks and Mai, and its good we will get to see Buu fight for the first time in forever, but overall, it was fun but not overally the best in the Dragon Ball sagas.
DBZ Super is setting up the next and potentially biggest arc with 10 fighters to represent each Universe which suggests seeing characters like Hit again with his filler reminding you how powerful he is, and the end of the Black arc had some worry but fortunately help was on the way. Everything else was a mess – the Dr Slump episode really came out of nowhere – I do appreciate it gave a lot of other characters a moment to showcase themselves, but it also showcased just how unknowingly selfish Goku can be which made this arc seem to slide a bit. I expect him to make up for it in the tournament but for now, it’s a weird but not unpleasant set of episodes to go out on.
Clean Opening (1-3), Clean Ending(1-3), Anime Expo 2018 interviews with Sonny Strait, Matthew Mercer and Kyle Hebert, Trailers
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: February 18th, 2019
Running Time: 300 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.