Blu-Ray Review: Dragon Ball Super – Part 3

The fight for the Super Dragon Balls begins in this latest installment of Dragon Ball Super, but what can one expect to receive this Blu-Ray release of Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 by Manga Entertainment UK? Well let’s take a look and find out!

Synopsis:

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!

Our View:

The adventure continues in this third instalment of the Dragon Ball Super franchise and unlike past releases, which recaptured events from Battle of Gods (Part 1) and Resurrection F (Part 2), we get to explore uncharted territory with Universe 6; and more importantly the Super Dragon Balls (Yes! They actually exist).

Picking up directly after the events of the previous instalment, which saw Super Saiyan Blue Goku battling against Golden Frieza until Vegeta came to help; we find that that the first episode of this arc has reached its climatic, almost destructive, conclusion with Goku having to intervene in Vegeta’s fight in order to defeat Frieza once and for all. After this singular episode, of which neatly wraps up the Resurrection F arc of Dragon Ball Super, we find ourselves whisked into unfamiliar territory with the arrival of Universe 6.

It’s here where Dragon Ball Super changes from the intense combat we have seen from past arcs, and in turn Dragon Ball Z in general, as the episode style changes from an intense fight-fight to a more comical turn. In this case Champa, which is Universe 6’s God of Destruction, and Vados, his assistant/caretaker, arrive on Beerus’s planet to demonstrate some new found food, but while doing so are introduced to Earth’s food, through Beerus and Whis, as well as the prospect of a Universe vs Universe fighting tournament.

That’s correct; this is the Universe 6 Arc of Dragon Ball Super and it is a collection of episodes which see fighters from both Universe 7 and Universe 6 compete against each other in a ‘Space-Age’ World Tournament style event to see which Universe is the best. The victor of this tournament will also be awarded the Super Dragon Balls; mystic orbs which – much like regular Dragon Balls – grant the user any wish they so desire.

In reality the Universe 6 arc is just a prelude to the Tournament of Power, which takes place in another seventy episodes or so; but the beauty of Universe 6 is the polar-opposite of characters and their unique quirks. For instance we are introduced to Cabba, the Universe 6 Saiyan and his urge to protect the universe, as well as Frost, the Universe 6 variation of Freiza and someone who is just as cold as one might expect. Most notable is the introduction of Hit; a supper assassin who uses a time-skip ability to move forward in time – a skill which puts Goku in a difficult situation.

Naturally if you’ve played Dragon Ball FighterZ, or even the DLC Packs within Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, you’ll already be familiar with these characters; but seeing them presented in anime form (especially in English) is an entertaining experience indeed. It’s not all about the battles either; as before the Universe 6 tournament begins (of which brings its own fun) we have an episode which follows Jaco and Bulma travel across the galaxy in order to find information on the Super Dragon Balls. It’s an episode that’s very reminiscing of the original Dragon Ball episodes whereby the jokes were more entertaining than the story itself.

Extras:

Just like with the previous releases of Dragon Ball Super, Manga Entertainment UK have opted to use the disc masters authored by FUNimation and as a result we receive access to a wide-variety of supplementary content; including an America-created piece of content with iconic Dragon Ball voice actors.

In this case we receive textless opening and closing songs, with the audio track defining whether or not the English or Japanese version of the song is played, a selection of trailers for other FUNimation licensed shows and finally a featurette.

This featurette, known as Interview with Sean & Jason, is a video feature that sees two of the most notable voice actors in Dragon Ball Super answer questions and provide commentary on their experiences with the show. It’s an interesting insight and, in some aspects, provides some clarity on what one should expect from Dragon Ball Super; comedy with a slice of action on the side.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:28:15 (Disc 1), 1:32:29 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Initially bringing the Resurrection F arc to conclusion Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 puts its episodic focus onto the Universe 6 arc; and while it’s not a fight for survival it does bring new characters, fresh (but familiar) characters and plenty of comedy that brings the best that Dragon Ball has to offer. Sure enough niggles can still be had with the animation quality of some scenes; but for the most part the episodic content provides everything you could want from a Dragon Ball experience; Comedy, Fist fights and mindless banter that somehow works effectively for good fun – especially in English.

When it comes to this Blu-Ray release by Manga Entertainment UK then, once again, the distributor has opted to use masters authored by FUNimation in America. This means we not only receive the same content as our American friends but also a better presentation in terms of subtitles. Unfortunately some mistakes (or oddities) can be seen in the form of chapter markings as it’s not possible to skip the recap segment of each episode and that the audio for the opening and ending music is played in English (or Japanese) depending on the respective audio format that has been chosen. Small complaints indeed; but they are worth mentioning.

It’s also worth noting that the ‘Marathon Mode’ once again makes a welcome return; this mode allows fans to watch all episodes on the disc with only seeing the opening and ending song once throughout. It’s not something we see on anime releases but it’s a nice feature for shows such as Dragon Ball Super whereby several episodes combine together for a single fight.

Overall Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 combines everything we enjoyed about the past releases and improves upon it with minor modifications and a brand new storyline. This is where Dragon Ball Super ‘truly’ starts and its great to finally be able to experience in its English Dub format; which is the superior audio format for this particular anime. But that’s a debate for another time!

Score: review-stars-5

Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 will be available on Blu-ray & DVD from the 4th June 2018.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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