Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 Review

Dragon Ball Super – Part 3 features Episodes 27 – 39, with Episode 27 being the climax of the Resurrection F movie retelling. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that Frieza is defeated and our heroes are still alive in Episode 28 as we begin to shift towards brand new material, with Vegeta and Goku continuing their training on God of Destruction Beerus’ planet under the tutelage of Whis. This leads us to our first Super-exclusive characters in Champa and his Whis-equivalent Vados, (okay to be fair they’ve made a few brief appearances during the previous two arcs, but this is their proper debut…) Champa is the God of Destruction of Universe 6, the “twin universe” to Universe 7, the one we know and love, and is also Beerus’ brother.

Champa is in “our” universe because there is a set of literal-planet-sized Dragon Balls that are spread between Universes 6 and 7 and he wants to get his hands on them. This leads to an argument between the two brothers as the Super Dragon Balls, as they’re called, are the property of both their universes. This leads to an eavesdropping Goku suggesting doing a tournament between the two universes; the winner gets to use the Super Dragon Balls. The two Gods of Destruction agree, and Goku goes as far as to suggest using the same rules as the old World Tournaments he used to compete in, which oddly is also agreed by the Godly beings. So a five vs. five elimination “tournament” is made, and we then get some obligatory filler-like episodes surrounding team recruiting and training, though surprisingly only about three episodes total of them!

Yes the actual “tournament” begins with Episode 32, with the in-ring action starting with the following episode. It’s written in the same way as the first two tournament arcs from the original Dragon Ball, with some light-hearted scenes (including fart gags, let’s not forget that old-fashioned Toriyama classic!) and fights that exist purely for a laugh, before we slowly get more serious, leading to the last few battles having a more Dragon Ball Z-like feel. The Universe 7 team ends up pretty much literally being just Goku and Vegeta, but the Universe 6 team is interesting: two gag characters of a giant yellow bear and a robot aside, we have a member of Frieza’s race who is seemingly a really nice guy, a similarly pleasant young Saiyan, because in this Universe they became a peace-keeping force rather than a force for evil that got wiped out, and finally Universe 6’s most infamous hitman… Hit, who ends up being the “guy so strong Vegeta and Goku struggle to take him on” for this arc. There is also Monaka, who is a pathetic alien that Beerus ropes into being a part of the team and billed as the “strongest fighter in Universe 7” purely to motivate Goku (which is another call-back to the original Tournament arc from Dragon Ball, where Master Roshi participates and beats Goku in the competition in a disguise to make sure he stays motivated and ego-free)

This being a physical media release for Dragon Ball Super it has to keep up the tradition of stopping on the episode right before the big climactic, fight-ending episode, so that’s once again annoying as hell. At least I know the next arc is significantly longer, so that shouldn’t be a problem going forward. The animation is improved from the last arc, but it’s still pretty inconsistent, with characters in the background often looking completely off, proving that the art was rushed, with all focus being on the characters that are front and centre. Some fights are good (especially between Goku and Hit in Episode 39) but some are pretty poor, especially compared to the frankly amazing and fluid fights we see from the series towards its end. Take the battle between Vegeta and fellow Saiyan Cabba, where a lot of the action is close-ups of them punching towards the camera interspersed with quick camera cuts, which is extremely lazy…

The opening continues to be “Chōzetsu☆Dynamic!” by Kazuya Yoshii, as it will be for some time still (although it’s worth mentioning that much like the classic Dragon Ball Z “Head Cha-La” opening, parts of the footage change to feature the Universe 6 participants early in the set.), while the ending is still “Light Pink” by Lacco Tower up until Episode 37, where it switches to “Forever Dreaming” by Czecho No Republic (who may or may not have anything to do with the Czech Republic…) The extras are an interview with Sean Schemmel and Jason Douglas from Anime Expo 2017, plus clean openings, endings and trailers.

So do I recommend Super Part 3? Yes I do! For starters unlike the previous two Parts, this actually has a new storyline not already released in film format, and has some fun moments and new characters. Admittedly some of the humour fails to land, and the animation quality can dip quite badly in parts, so it’s far from perfect. It’s merely good rather than great, but still recommended to all Dragon Ball fans.

7 / 10

Cold Cobra

Having watched anime since it was airing late night on the Sci-Fi channel in the late 90s, I consider myself... someone who's watched a lot of anime, and then got hired to write reviews about them. Hooray!

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