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Dragon Ball Super Collection 7 Blu-ray Anime Review

8 min read
A gathering of forces!

A gathering of forces!

What They Say:
Dragon Ball Super Part 7 contains episodes 79-91 of the anime directed by Ryota Nakamura.

In an effort to teach Future Zeno about martial arts, Zeno calls for an exhibition match between the 7th and 9th Universes. Afterwards, Goku searches for the 7th Universe’s 10 best fighters. Will he put together a strong enough team in time?!

The Review:
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo as well as an English 5.1 mix, both of which are done up with the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series design as a stereo mix in its original form gets a nice little boost from the 5.1 mix but both of them largely work a solid forward soundstage design. It’s got some good impact in the fight sequences and the other sound effects related to it get some good placement and depth where needed. A lot of the dialogue is straightforward but there are some bigger moments that play well and it works in the way that you’d expect from this series, especially with the yelling – and more so in the English language adaptation. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally beginning its airing in 2015, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The thirteen episodes are spread across two discs in a nine/four format with several extras on the second disc. Animated by Toei Animation, the series sticks to the traditional designs for the most part as we’d expect and it leans on what the recent feature film material has done as well. Unlike the older works, this series comes across as very bright and vibrant and that stands out. This is definitely noticeable in the oranges but the blue skies really hit a sweet note as well. Colors are strong and well defined while the details in the fluid fight sequences come across really well. There are gradients to be found in some of the backgrounds but this is all by design and probably somewhat due to the budget of the series. It’s a great looking show overall that’s encoded in a crisp and clean way.

The packaging for this release brings us a standard sized Blu-ray case with an O-card that replicates the case artwork. The cardstock gives it a bit more pop of color but also some metallic elements for Gohan and the general look of it with the rest of the character artwork benefiting from it. I do like the sparseness of the cover in its design with orange and white backgrounds since it makes it a stronger character focus. The back cover works some good sized images along the left while the right runs through the premise of the series while also breaking down the extras. The technical grid lists everything cleanly and accurately while the reverse side cover does up the episodes by number and title on the left while the right has the character artwork from the front against a solid darker orange background.

The menu design for this keeps things simple but it has just enough to separate it from the default of other releases that it helps. With few discs using clips these days in the menu this one works it well as there are many workable scenes to pull from and bring to life to set the tone for the release. The block along the bottom doesn’t cover the whole section and is nicely broken up with purple and black with a dash of orange dots. The part, disc, and episode numbers are all listed clearly so that when it’s part of a larger collection down the line it’ll all fit together. The navigation itself is kept simple and effective both as the main menu and the pop-up menu. The design is simple but it’s problem free and worked well throughout the viewing session.

The extras for this release are fun as we get a nice thing for the English language fans. While The standards are here in the clean opening and closing sequences – of which there are three of each, we also get a new piece with two of the actors answering Twitter questions. This involves Rawley Pickens and Chuck Huber that clocks in at about twelve minutes as it has them answering Twitter questions while mixing in some shots from the fans about the show. With Pickens serving as the ADR director they’re able to do a few more questions on the production side and it’s a fun piece overall..

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The 7th collection of the Dragon Ball Super series is a bit of a frustrating one as it covers episodes 79 through 91 of the original run. This contains episodes from the final arc of this series with the Universe Survival Saga but the first two episodes of that arc are on the previous volume. The previous set had three arcs on it as it finished one, started this one, and had some standalone stuff in the middle. Thankfully, the Universe Survival Saga is pretty straightforward and we get a lot of very fun episodes with this set that makes it quite enjoyable. But if you just wanted to start on this saga you have to pop open another set, and with some gaps between volumes it can be just a touch frustrating.

That said, there’s a lot to like here. The general impetus of the first couple of episodes continues the fight that began with Present and Future Grand Zeno observing things for some amusement, having been bored of the routine of their respective lives, and have now set up this battle between the various universes where those that lose will be eliminated. It’s a pretty big stage to work with and lots of pressure there and that’s problematic. Mostly because even as you know Goku is taking it seriously he’s also in his usual mode of just loving such a big fight to engage in and being challenged within it. So there’s that sliver of glee to it that unnerves others. The first four episodes works through some good fight material with Gohan, Majin Buu, and others involved but it also takes an odd turn with some universes being placed on the exemption list for “reasons’ that don’t include Goku’s universe. That sets the stage for a change to the matches.

Shifting it to a Tournament of Power after realizing that the two Zeno’s were planning to erase a lot of the universes to begin with, the participating universes are able to go back to their dimension and pull together a team of ten combatants in order to fight it out. The universe that wins will be exempt from erasure as well, so there’s plenty of incentive to win and put together the right team. With some idea of what they’re facing based on the initial matches so far you know it’s going to come back to the familiar players. Surely there are other high-powered combatants in our own vast universe? Ah, anime rules of logic. With some time in order to pull all of this together, Goku heads back to Earth with Whis and Beerus. The goal is for Goku to put together his ultimate team of ten and handle what’s coming since neither Whis nor Beerus want their universe to end. Particularly to some of those that are already exempt and some that they’re about to face.

The putting together of the team takes up most of the episodes here, though the last couple show some of what the other universes are up to and the different forms of familiar players there are like, which is cute and all but didn’t do much for me. With Monaka on the disabled/sick list already, Goku has a pretty good list that he wants to go after and most are pretty straightforward while others are a little more complicated. Watching as they go to bring Vegeta on board but it’s complicated by Bulma being pregnant is an interesting moment. Having Beerus whoosh away her pregnancy so that she gives birth in the space of a few minutes, allowing Vegeta to go, is comical and scary at the same time for obvious reasons. It works out well enough since Vegeta is able to leave Trunks to watch over things and it fits into Vegeta’s style, especially since he has the chance to really power up through this kind of event while keeping tabs on Goku, but there’s just a creepy layer to a lot of this.

Once we start in on the other members of the group it’s a lot of fun mixed with some good character material. Goku’s uncertainty about Kuririn is understandable considering how time has gone on and people have change but he’s still capable. Gohan is frustrated with his standing with everything but the reality is that Piccolo is right in that he can’t “close the deal” when it comes to fights like this. The two Androids are dealt with well with 17 getting some additional time as there are residual issues between Goku and him but they play well together when they face a struggle moment and work well. I’m not surprised that Master Roshi is sought for it as he’s always been something of an enigma and what we get here is fun since there’s a brainwashing incident and we get Tien in the mix. There are plenty of reminders of the original Dragon Ball series with a lot of this and that adds nicely to the cyclical nature of the franchise.

In Summary:
I continue to enjoy Dragon Ball Super as it has a lot of fun elements to it with enjoyable action sequences and delightful character interactions. The scale of the cast has grown a lot over the years and it has plenty to work with even if it doe fall back on some familiar faces more than it should. This set has a lot of that “getting the gang back together” feeling to it that I expected it would as the big fight for their existence is coming up and it works well overall. It’s a good looking set once again that’s handled well with the dub, extras, and the packaging for it. Fans are getting a solid release that fits in perfectly with the rest and has me excited for what’s to come.

Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Dragon Ball Super: Rawly Pickens & Chuck Huber Answer Twitter, Textless Opening & Closing Songs

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
MSRP: $44.98
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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