Dragon Ball Super – Part 8 Review

Dragon Ball Super Part 8 contains Episodes 92 to 104 of the series and picks up with the cliffhanger from the end of Episode 91: Majin Buu has fallen asleep! GASP! … Seriously though, this is actually a problem as Buu won’t wake up in time to fight in the Tournament of Power, which for those not following, is an 8-Universe battle royal with each Uni having a team of 10 fighters, the last Universe standing gets the grand prize of still existing, whereas the other seven are erased. Goku soon gets the brilliant idea of popping off down to Hell and having Frieza join them, thanks to Fortune Teller Baba’s old ability to bring back the dead for 24 hours. What could go wrong?! Frieza does agree to join the team on the condition that if they win he gets resurrected, though he does try to betray his own universe beforehand!

While this is happening, things are going on over in Universe 6, a Universe where the Saiyans are not only still alive and strong, but they were never subjugated by Frieza and are actually mostly a force for good in their Universe. Cabba, the Saiyan who fought against “our” universe in the mini-Tournament a few arcs ago, travels to a Mad Max-style badland and finds Caulifla, a female Saiyan gang leader with an attitude, and tries to recruit her. He eventually does so when he turns Super Saiyan and soon teaches her to do it, and then makes the discovery of Caulifla’s friend Kale, who not only turns Super Saiyan, but turns into a Legendary Super Saiyan, a form previously exclusive to Broly (who at this point was still a non-canon movie character, though it’s funny to think that now “our” universe could have recruited Broly had they know about him!) When things settle down, Cabba is happy that his recruiting mission has gone better than expected.

When we reach Episode 97 the “tournament” finally begins, and it’s time to entirely shut your brain off. It was one thing back when I covered this arc as it streamed, getting a 24-ish minute slice of action every week, but watching some of these episodes back-to-back, it does get exhausting sometimes, and this is only the start! The action gets crazier and heavier as the battle rages on until its conclusion in Episode 131… Yes, nearly 40 episodes of non-stop 80-person battle royal fighting! Thankfully, as mentioned in the previous set, the new animation team is top-class and therefore the fights are often smooth and fluid, as well as choreographed and planed out… for the most part.

Among the many new fighters are Universe 2’s group of Sailor Moon/Magical Girl parodies, though they often transform into more “ugly” forms instead of magical ones. I felt the need to bring them up as it includes one of my favourite scenes in the story, where they announce their dramatic transformation is going to take place and begin, only to be blasted by Android 17. Brianne de Chateau, the leader of these magical girls, Universe 11 “Pride Trooper” Toppo and even Goku himself berate Android 17 for being dishonourable in not letting them transform, leading to 17 shrugging and going, “They were wide open and about to get stronger, I thought we wanted to win?” or something along those lines. 17 didn’t adhere to the rules of shonen stories and was criticised for it!

“Limit-Break x Survivor” by Kiyoshi Hikawa is still your opening, and here’s a spoiler, will continue to be until the end of the series. Meanwhile the impossible to not get caught in your head “Boogie Back” by Miyu Inoue continues to be the ending until Episode 97, where it becomes “Haruka” by Lacco Tower, which is a very pleasant and slow song, focusing on family that has been left on Earth and the bond between Goku and Gohan, rather than the action. The only extra beyond the clean opening and endings (which are available sung in both Japanese and English, just thought I’d mention it because dubbing openings and endings is still a rare thing …) is called “Two Humans and an Android” and is an 11-minute sit-down interview/chat with Sonny Strait (Krillin, among other minor roles), Mike McFarland (Master Roshi and Yajirobe, among other minor roles) and Chuck Huber (Android 17 and Pilaf… among other minor roles).

Dragon Ball Super – Part 8 is where you want to jump into the series if you’re looking for well animated fight scenes between characters throwing energy attacks and teleporting around the place (well, “moving so quickly it looks like they teleport around the place”, dodged a bullet there!) but otherwise it’s not going to appeal to anyone looking for a great story or character development. There is a little bit of that right at the end of the arc, but otherwise buy this and the next two releases if you just want to strap yourselves in and watch some very flashy madness.

8 / 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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