Dragon Ball Super – Part 5 Review
Dragon Ball Super – Part 5 contains Episodes 53 – 65, and unlike the previous three sets, doesn’t open with the final episode of the previous arc! Instead we continue where we left off with the “Future Trunks Arc”, with the same Trunks from the Cell Arc of Dragon Ball Z having once again crossed universes/timelines in order to attain help against a foe that has re-ruined his already mostly destroyed version of Earth. This time, instead of a pair of artificial humans, a person who looks and sounds exactly like Goku has arrived out of nowhere, dressed all in black (earning him the name “Goku Black”, rather unoriginally…) and has started wiping everyone out. After a brief scuffle between Goku and Goku Black in “our” timeline, God of Destruction Beerus and his attendant Whis feel that something is very off with this time traveller, and not just the fact he looks like Goku…
This leads to the first chunk of story in this set, and a key plot point of the arc overall, and that’s Zamasu, a former Kai who is training to become a Supreme Kai over in Universe 10. We see he has trouble holding back an opinion that all mortals are evil scum who are ruining the beautiful universe, but for whatever reason the Supreme Kai of U10 (Gowasu) is willing to overlook, or at least “train the ideal out of him”… what an idiot. Anyway, a lot more happens with that plot thread, but that’s all I’ll give out (as that’s all the blurb for this set gives away…)
Meanwhile we have a surprising amount of comedy, sometimes with the child-ised version of Pilaf and his gang, other times with the little Trunks of this timeline, and more often than not Goku just prat-falling or being even more stupid than usual. This is obviously the studio trying to lighten up what is a very uncharacteristically dark core storyline from Mr Toriyama, and while sometimes it works (I got a kick out of Future Trunks finding out that Krillin married one of the killer Androids he fought so hard to kill in his world!) most of the time it feels out of place. If they were going to go with an Earth that has a fraction of its population left, hanging on by a thread and being hounded and hunted to extinction, they should probably just have gone with it.
I will say that as the arc progresses it does take itself more seriously, and Goku Black is well established as a difficult foe, actually coming out on top now and again, and unveiling probably the silliest sounding transformation ever, known as “Super Saiyan Rosé”, as in like the colour/wine, rather than the plant. It gets good, and is a few episodes away from finishing at the end of the set, rather than literally a single episode away, so that’s… a sort of improvement!
The animation and musical score continue to get better, particularly the former, which manages to create some properly great fight scenes between the Saiyans of ever-changing hair colour. “Chōzetsu☆Dynamic!” by Kazuya Yoshii continues to be our opening theme, while “Yokayoka Dance” by Batten Showjo Tai is the ending theme until Episode 59, as 60 onwards has “Chao Han Music” by Arukara, which is only slightly less annoying and cute than its predecessor. As per usual, there’s a clean opening, both clean endings, trailers and a brief sit-down with dub cast members, in this case the voice actors for Future Trunks and Mai (Eric Vale and Colleen Clinkenbeard, respectively) in a segment simply named “Coffee Break with Mai and Trunks”.
While it starts off trying to make you laugh with silly antics, the action soon ramps up and the darker material begins to take shape. The final few episodes feature some great fights and classic shonen genre tropes all over the place, and come highly recommended for fans of Dragon Ball and/or the genre. Others can like it too, so long as it’s taken as eye candy/harmless action, and not as an attempt at any kind of deep storytelling…