A two-part review as both came at the same time, and we get from one tournament to THE tournament, with all new universes, the fate of the world and a shocking couple of entrant to Goku’s team… one once forgotten… and one you would have NEVER have expected…
What They Say:
Part 7: In an effort to teach Future Zeno about martial arts, Zeno calls for an exhibition match between the 7th and 9th Universes. Afterward, Goku searches for the 7th Universe’s ten best fighters. With only 48 hours until the Tournament of Power officially begins, will he put together a strong enough team in time, or will the Z Fighters be at a major disadvantage from the get-go?!
Part 8: With Buu out of commission, and in order to complete their roster, Goku recruits an old enemy as the 7th Universe’s final teammate. However, the other universes aren’t keen on letting this new foe join the fight. The stage is set, and the Tournament of Power finally starts! Can the Z Fighters last against an onslaught of targeted aggression, or will personal grudges mark the beginning of the end?!
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 – and with the return of certain characters allowing them to flow in this new animation it really stands out with the 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu is pretty standard on both releases – 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.
On both sets, we have similar extras on the clean openings and endings and trailers, but they have a separate entry with their dub interviews.
On Set 7, we have the ADR Director Ramy Pickings and the voice of the surprise character Android 17 Chuck Huber discussing questions being asked on Twitter – they range from does Huber think 17 is better in Z or in Super, their favourite episodes, Chuck imitating Broly, if 17 is on par with Super Saiyan Blue, his thoughts now he is a good guy, how he landed the role, all his roles in the Dragon Ball universe and the dub changes that had to be made.
On Set 8, we have two humans and an android – in this case Sonny Strait (VA of Krillin), Mike McFarland (voice of Master Roshi) and Chuck returning, with the Tournament of Power in full swing in this set, they talk about a lot of things that happen in it, what they like about their characters, the new universes angle (Chuck talk about actually acting opposite Sean Schemmel for the first time ever as he never did it as the two never interacted in DBZ), how Roshi has become more relevant (and buff) in the newer series than he did in DBZ, the return of Frieza, and the legacy of DB.
In all, both fun interviews that showcase that Dragonball currently has one of the strongest dubs out there.
A two for one review here as both were given to me way in advance, and this really sits up the entire Tournament of Power arc – with the mini tournament out of the way, then recruiting the fighters and then the start of the tournament with the introduction of the new universes, the return of some older characters, introducing some newer ones and the shock return of one particular character – maybe even two – for Goku’s team.
So basically, strap yourselves in kiddies, this is a bumpy ride.
We last left the first match in the Zeno Expo with Buu facing off against the Ninth Universe Basil, a wolf-like fighter however Buu basically is way too strong for him and easily beats him. The Zenos however as Beerus mentioned are basically children who have the power to destroy universes so they basically change the rules whenever they can so because the fight was short, they allow Basil to return and basically drug him so he becomes even more powerful. However, after they accidentally hurt Mr. Satan Buu doesn’t hold back and still beat him easily – this becomes interesting a bit later when the Tournament of Power occurs as Buu indirectly influences the biggest twist of the arc…
Gohan faces off against Lavender and with some trickery and Gohan guts, manages to get the fight to a draw (and learn a bit why the Zeno’s want to do the tournament of Power), then Goku faces off against Bergamo and despite Bergamo having some tricks and even trying to rescind the tournament of Power if he wins, Goku still defeats him. However as Goku was the one who set up the tournament, he basically has a bull’s-eye on his back and it does introduce us to a fighter who seems to be set up to be important later in Top and a fighter even stronger named Jiren.
So this was the appetizer, now onto the main course – after Beerus convinces Goku not to use Monaka (for obvious reasons) they begin to form their team. One thing I have loved about Super is the character development Vegeta has got, as he actually didn’t want to compete in the tournament because he wanted to be there for the birth of his new child…can you imagine the old Vegeta saying that? Fortunately Whis uses his time magic so Bulma gives birth early and have their new baby daughter Bulla. So they then go to recruit Krillin and 18 and it doesn’t go as well so they lie to them saying there is a 10 million reward for the winners and shows that Krillin has been training to show he is definitely not there to make the numbers – 18 then suggests that they recruit someone that has been missing from the show for quite a while…Android 17.
So yes, another blast from the past and a surprise – 18’s brother 17 has been out of touch and is working at a wildlife reserve, almost the spirit of Android 16 has been born within him. Gohan meanwhile goes to recruits Piccolo, whilst Buu is now slimmer after the Expo made him more pumped up. In the meantime, you also see snippets of the other universes, including the return of Champa as he asks Cabba to recruit some Saiyans for the team, whilst Top recruits the Pride Troopers, including the aforementioned Jiren…who definitely seems to be the one to keep an eye out…
The reunion with 17 is interesting because 17 clearly is focused on his work but has gotten even stronger as well over the years – the idea of a wish from the super Dragon Balls seems to convince him and after convincing Goten and Trunks to look after the island for him, he is in. Piccolo also joins and prepares to train Gohan to unleash his full potential – whilst the sixth Universe has Hit hunt down and recruit Frost as he seems to be on the run, whilst Cabba recruits a female Saiyan named Caulifla…and later her friend Kale, who definitely has a hint of the legendary Super Saiyan in her…
Next up is Tien and Master Roshi with a fun mini episode of a former pupil named Yurin trying to take revenge on Tien, of course being a pretty girl Roshi is in dirty old man mode, but when he gets brainwashed, you see that Roshi hasn’t been slacking and maybe even more powerful than he was in his heyday which makes him more relevant here than he did in the entirety of DBZ. Tien and Roshi are tricked by the money and join, and with that they get ready to join everyone else, with Gohan and Goku even having a match to see his son’s new potential…we do get a lot of hints of the other universes like the magical girl group, but it definitely seems the focus is on Hit’s group and Top/Jiren. But the last twist is about to come as Mr. Satan calls Goku and says that Buu has fallen into a deep sleep and won’t wake up for 3 months…so they need to find a new person (and throughout this there is a running gag of Yamcha waiting to be asked…spoiler, he doesn’t ^^)
So with a member down and worse news, Piccolo has revealed the truth behind the tournament and the fact Goku lied about the money, making people want to drop out. Fortunately Bulma saves the day on that side, but still no last member. Then a comment from Beerus about trying to find someone wouldn’t have been so difficult if Goku hadn’t defeated all the Frieza force gives Goku a shocking idea….
…yes, you saw that.
GOKU GOES TO RECRUIT FRIEZA.
O.K, this basically is huge – first, they have to make sure it is similar to when Goku came back for the day after the Cell games so Frieza is only out for 24 hours via Fortuneteller Baba. Second, Frieza had to be controlled and surprisingly, he is willing to join them…on the condition that if they win that Goku has to resurrect Frieza with the Dragon Balls (even playing on Goku’s weakness that whilst in Hell he has been meditating to increase his stamina in Golden form making him far stronger than before). And thirdly, once this info is learned, no-one wants to deal with Frieza from other universes so they go out to try and kill Goku/Frieza before it happens.
It goes about as well you’d expect and it is clear Frieza seems ready to betray Goku at the first opportunity but still goes along with the ride, and it is clear he is completely untrustworthy but everyone has to go along with it (a hilarious moment when they had to join hands to go to the tournament and Vegeta refuses to grab Frieza’s, forcing Beerus to do it ^^). As the tournament has a lot of characters, the abridged version is that members will slowly be eliminated and if all of them do, their universe is erased. Early on, the Ninth Universe target Goku after their defeat at the Expo, but thanks to Vegeta, 18 and Frieza, they are all eventually defeated and are the first to go. Hit’s group return as we see Botamo and Magetta return, whilst you see Roshi take out another, and Krillin and 18 teaming up to defeat a blind warrior named Majora with a comic trick. Unfortunately, Krillin gets a bit too overconfident and is defeated by Frost, making him the first casualty of Goku’s team…
Cabba reunites with Vegeta after defeating a couple as does Hit whilst Kale seems to be defeated but Caulifla saves her and she goes ready to fight Goku. Learning her Ultra Super Saiyan form however doesn’t help as like with Trunks back in DBZ it makes her slower, so Goku being Goku, helps her become Super Saiyan 2, and that works better. Kale, for the record, seems to always be a bit jealous when others are getting close to Caulifa and causes her to go into Legendary Super Saiyan which forces Goku to go Super Saiyan Blue, and she goes berserk…looking unstoppable…
…then Jiren appears and knocks her out with one hit. Goku immediately realizes this is the one to beat however it appears he is trying to hold back and let others fight first as does Top, so the remaining Pride Troopers go to battle. We see the Saiyans (male and female) team up, see what 17 is capable of and Kale learning to harness her rage, taking out the magical girl group (hilarious that 17 attacks them whilst Goku berates him for not letting them transform and go full power…Sailor Moon syndrome at its best) – it ends with Universe 10 being eliminated, with Gohan causing the final defeat and seeing a picture of their loved ones makes it all the more real…it ends with Hit and Goku teaming up to take out some of the Troopers as one of them Dypso is pretty powerful and extremely fast – setting up another potential fighter for them to deal with….
The big thing about these sets is basically is that we are coming up to the Tournament of Power and how Goku’s naivety could cause the destruction of their universe and is mentioned several times that he needs to basically work together and not go gung ho for the fight. He still does this and clearly sights Jiren, but fortunately Gohan is the leader here and it’s nice that Goku realizes his son is better in this sort of situation than he is – other cool heads like Piccolo and Tien can definitely help, but of course it is countered with several not so cool heads here…
…I like the focus of Cabba’s fellow Super Saiyans (and yes, it was really cool to see female Super Saiyans for the first time) in Caulifa and Kale who do get a rivalry similar to Hit in turns of Goku, not to mention Vegeta still seeing Cabba as a student in some way – Vegeta’s characterization through Super is one of the best things that has happened…his moment with his new daughter and even sacrificing the chance to train with Whis to be with her is something that 20 years ago when I first saw DBZ I would have never expected to happen. Also speed diaper changing…
The show definitely gives that Goku whilst selfish is also the key to victory, and the fact two unexpected players in 17 and Frieza are in the side, make the future very interesting. Both are in it for themselves, but in different ways. You also know that Frieza is going to have some sort of interaction with his counterpart Frost, and you also know that he maybe looking to backstab Goku in some form. On the other hand, he clearly states he knows with Goku his universe won’t win so be interesting to see how they team up, as it definitely feels like the show wants to showcase what Frieza and 17 are going to do, so I look forward to that. It was also nice seeing Krillin, Tien and Roshi back in action and clearly more powerful…albeit Krillin is still the 2nd biggest loser when it comes to the humans… poor Yamacha….
So Super is still super and with all the universes involved, there are definitely a lot of potential. The one weakness is that I feel it is pretty obvious which characters outside of Goku’s are going to be the ones you focus on because so many easily fall to the side throughout. With the exception of Cabba, Hit, Kale, Caulifa, Frost, Top and Jiren, none of the other cast seem a credible threat (the magical girls trio was funny but even they only lasted 1 episode) and whilst it tries to make you feel for the universes when they all lose, because they aren’t developed enough it doesn’t work as well. I feel if it happens to Hit’s group though, this might change. So we wait…
Dragon Ball Super goes from a mini tournament to THE tournament, with a few twists and turns, from sweet and comic (Bulma’s birth) to intense and shocking (the returns of 17 and Frieza), it tries to make you thing they are in trouble with an early elimination but the set up is obvious at the moment with 3 Universes the focus of so bar any changes in the next arc, it is predictable…but doesn’t mean any less fun. The wild card that is Frieza can make a backstab possible combined with the new Saiyans and the fact Jiren is a power on par with the gods of destruction wets your appetite to see what is going to happen so it is still generic shounen, but still tons to enjoy about it.
Clean openings and Endings
(7) Twitter Questions Answered with ADR Director Ramy Pickings and Chuck Huber (Android 17)
(8) Two Humans and an Android – Sonny Strait(Krillin), Mike McFarland(Roshi) and Chuck Huber (Android 17) Interview
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: Part 7 (23/09/19) Part 8 (28/10/19)
MSRP: £24.99 each
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.