What They Say:
Dragon Ball Super Part 10 contains episodes 118-131 of the anime directed by Ryota Nakamura.
Universes bid their sad farewells as one by one they’re wiped from existence. With only the strongest warriors left in the ring, time is running out, and so is everyone’s energy. It’s down to the wire in the epic conclusion of Dragon Ball Super!
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 Goku 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 red and white backgrounds since it makes it a stronger character focus. I’m also super pleased that they were able to maintain the consistent look throughout the entire run, which isn’t always something that happens for any number of reasons. 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 we also get a twenty-one-minute interview sequence with Patrick Seitz, who plays Jiren, and Kyle Hebert, who has played Gohan since forever. There are plenty of fun questions here and Hebert’s history with the show is always a lot of fun when he gets to talk about the show and what it was like back then. Seitz has some fun talking about Jiren and being involved with the franchise as well, making for a good closing extra with some real meat to it..
With the Universal Survival arc getting underway all the way back in episode 77, it draws to a close with this installment as does the series, with 55 episodes worth of material for it. I’ll admit, some of that length made me wary going into this arc just because you could get the sense that it was leaning so hard into classic tournament structure that it was going to wear out its welcome. Thankfully, it found enough creative ways to keep moving and grooving with the characters it had while giving us a sprawling bit of potential to it because it involved so many universes from the get-go. Admittedly, you kind of knew where things would be by the end of it all here but it was like an old-home week some weeks in getting to watch fan-favorite character’s step up to the plate again.
Honestly, it’s little surprise that this set is almost entirely action. As much as I’d love to have a lengthy epilogue and to deal with the setup for things and to put the show in a proper place by the end of it, what the fans generally want is as much action and intensity as possible right up to the end of its run. And I understand that completely. I had really grown to love the property through the manga and the original Dragon Ball series and that had a lot more downtime and general foolishness than later material, so I always want to reconnect with those lighter notes. But I do thrill to the well-done fights that populate this set, especially in seeing some of the characters like Android 18 step up and essentially sacrifice himself as part of the big picture to deal with opponents. His time isn’t too long in the fight overall but I liked how useful he was in showing why the opponent at the moment wasn’t sustaining damage since it was a tiny bug and their blows weren’t landing properly.
A lot of what goes on here in this set comes down to which characters you like and if they’re fights you enjoy with it. The slow burn of universes has the Fourth falling off early in this set and that pins more of the teams against each other, making for some good time between the third and seventh early on. There’s a lot of different fights going on and we see some level of strategy happening for our core group as well, such as Gohan taking on more of the fights in order to allow both Goku and Vegeta to recover and save some of their energy since those that they’ll be facing are incredibly powerful. Jiren is a tough opponent no matter what and we’ve seen what he’s capable of. So as things funnel down further and further, and we get to about two universes left halfway through the first disc here, the tension is ramped up nicely and we’re fully vested in the events.
I’ll admit, the fight against Top didn’t do much for me as that was introduced and crosses the two discs here before wrapping up. Something about the character just didn’t click but I really liked seeing Vegeta cutting loose as much as he did and him being the one, unleashing everything he’s got, to finally push Top out of the competition. Vegeta’s always been a key character with a love/hate dynamic with fans but his arc was always far more interesting to me while not being redemptive. His path to power and being competitive against Goku delivers some great material over the years but when we see him facing a true challenge unrelated directly to Goku, it delivers in spades, which his Final Explosion technique does here in focusing on Top. Just the little bit of humanity he’s gained really does what it needs to to make him an even better character.
The final five episodes are largely focused on the fight with Jiren and it runs all across the gamut here in order to get the job done. With some craziness with Frieza earlier in this run where it’s made crystal clear he can’t be trusted most of the time, there are some good moments to be had there as Jiren becomes more and more powerful. We get good moments from most of those that are still alive at this stage, even just as commentary, so that fan-favorites get their moment to shine. But Dragon Ball Super is Dragon Ball at its core and it’s Goku that really dominates here, with Vegeta coming the closest next to him. While he’s not the winner of the tournament in order to shake things up a bit, watching him go all out is fantastic and Jiren provided an engaging enough non-Frieza character that I actually liked the fight sequences and the character dynamic between the two.
Dragon Ball Super does pretty much what I expected by the end in that most things are reset to zero but a few characters are even more powerful than when they started. Which is fine because this is a series about the journey, not the destination. It covers a lot of ground with the action throughout this set and there’s a good build of intensity across it that works wonderfully to make that final fight against Jiren work as well as it does. I’m not sure I’d call the winner a twist in the series because it always feels like something unexpected shakes up aspects of big world-ending events like this, but it does work well. The core characters get their time to shine, Jiren’s a solid opponent, and the stakes are well-handled throughout. I’m glad we’ve finally wrapped up this run but I really hope that another series is on the way because these characters are just a whole lot of fun to not have around.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Dragon Ball Super: Interview with Patrick Seitz and Kyle Hebert, 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: January 14th, 2020
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
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.