Dragon Ball Super (Part 5) Review

Finally getting into the meat and potatoes of the first real story in the Dragon Ball Super Saga, Part 5 brings us the main battles of the Future Trunks/Goku Black Saga. This is what regained so many viewers after a huge drop off during that terrible tournament that came before it. So how does the main event hold up after so many re-telling of movies, a tournament used to raised power levels, and a fill in arc that saw a duplicate Vegeta get his ass kicked? Let’s have a look.

Dragon Ball SuperTitle: Dragon Ball Super Part 5
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Super Power, Martial Arts, Fantasy, Shounen
Details: 13 episodes
Release Date: December 05, 2018 (Australia)
Languages: English 5.1, Japanese 2.0
Subtitles: English subtitles
Number of Discs: 2 (DVD) | 2 (Bluray)
Runtime: 325.0 mins (25mins per episode)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (DVD)(Bluray)
Special Features: Coffee Break with Mai and Trunks, Textless Opening Song Future Trucks Ver., Textless Closing Songs (BLURAY ONLY)
Rating: M15+: Mature themes and Animated Violence

Following their first encounter with Goku Black, the Saiyan trio are itching to dish out some payback! It’s a mystery as to why Black has a Time Ring, so it’s off to the Tenth Universe for a discussion with the Supreme Kai and his suspiciously well-mannered apprentice. With everyone’s lives on the line, the Z Fighters must face the problem head-on or try to alter the timeline at the source! But the Z Fighers discover more than they bargained for as the truth behind Goku Black and his past is revealed! Trunks obtains a new powered up form and there is a combination that is just too freakish to talk about. Body swaps, gods, destruction, time travel and more are abound in this new volume of the Dragon Ball Super Saga!

Dragon Ball Super

While there aren’t a lot of new characters to be introduced in this set given that it is a continuation of the Goku Black saga that we got in the previous volume, rather than keep things blank, I’d just redo the villains that were introduced in the last volume. These two get the most development time in this volume, alongside Trunks, who gains a new powerful form called Super Saiyan Anger in canon. But overall there isn’t much to review from a character standpoint as this is all action.

Dragon Ball Super Part 4Zamasu
Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (Japanese) / David Gray (English)
Originally an apprentice Supreme Kai from Universe 10, Zamasu first appears as Goku Black, an entity that resembles Son Goku and refers to himself as such, before being given the name “Goku Black” by Bulma. He wears a single Potara earring and a Time Ring, the latter of which allows him to travel between different timelines at will, and also protects him from being erased by temporal paradoxes. He wreaks havoc in Future Trunks’ timeline, bringing humanity to the brink of extinction. As he explains to Future Trunks, he has come to believe that utopia could only be achieved for the multiverse by bringing about the decimation of humanity and all other mortal beings, which he views as corrupt and violent.

Dragon Ball Super Part 4Goku Black
Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese) / Sean Schemmel (English)
A version of Goku that has been taken over by Zamasu. As he possesses Goku’s body, Black is able to perform most of Goku’s abilities, especially his signature move, the Black Kamehameha and his teleportation skill Instant Transmission, taught by the inhabitants of the planet Yardrat. Grown unbelievably strong from his fight with Goku, Black learned more of Goku’s fighting style and has become a Super Saiyan Rosé, his version of Super Saiyan which the hair is pink because of his status as a god. This form allows Black to perform a variety of unusual techniques, among them the creation of scythes and Ki swords that are thrown to the opponent to create a crack towards other realities, which in turn can be used to create clones of himself. It is stated by Trunks that Black was already able to become a Super Saiyan but had gotten the power where he simply did not need the form.

Dragon Ball Super

If there is one thing that improves with Dragon Ball Super Part 5 is that the animation and sound quality has improved by leaps and bounds. I think by this point in production is when articles about the terrible short cuts in animation started to surface online and the animation studio took it all on board and made sure everything looked as crisp and clear as it could be. From key frames to the pass-through images used to convey movement have all been cleaned up to make this the best looking part of the Dragon Ball Super series. As for the sound, I’m not sure if they changed to a 5.1 surround soundtrack or if my ears are just trying to find something more than the traditional 2.0 soundtrack is, but for some reason there is a more clear sound for these episodes. I can hear every yell like it was happening all around me and the standard voice overs sound like they are coming from an upgraded audio system than the usual dull drones that I’m used to hearing. It’s good to see and hear such improvement at last from a series that has been floundering in mediocre animation for so long.

Dragon Ball Super

What works in Dragon Ball Super Part 5 is that the threat posed here from Goku Black and Zamatsu seems like something much bigger than our heroes can handle. An immortal being is more than enough to screw up the planet in the future, but add a time traveling god-possessed Saiyan to the mix and things are so fucked up that you actually believe that for the first time ever, Goku and crew won’t be able to overcome… And that’s before the big surprise about the fusion that happens too. Once that happens and even the most powerful forms of our heroes don’t mean anything, which really adds to the tension of the situation. The battles here are the focus of everything that is happening, with the stakes getting pushed higher and higher each time, leaving our heroes to try riskier and riskier techniques to try and take down the deadly duo. It really gives you excitement that has been lacking up to this point in the overall series.

Dragon Ball Super

What doesn’t help this Saga in Dragon Ball Super is that at the end of the day this is a Dragon Ball story. While I love the drama and the risk that is taken by our heroes in order to fight the duo of Goku Black and Zamatsu, things seem to go to formula more often than not. We saw this when Goku Black instantly went Super Saiyan Rose without even needing to train, he just looked at Goku turn Super Saiyan Blue and decided that he could do it too; giving both an equal power base to go from. While I hate things like this because it’s just power scaling for the sake of keeping the forms around, it would have been nice to see some drama being needed, some desperation on the side of the villain to gain what the others have worked so hard to obtain. This being side, the end of the story comes with Trunks getting a new form himself, a Super Saiyan Rage form that looks like a cross between Super Saiyan 2 and Super Saiyan Blue. Trunks obtains this form out of desperation, but again it seems like it was only done so because we needed some new form to get out of the situation. So Dragon Ball keeps it’s usual methods of story telling and power leveling just like it always has done. Nothing new here really.

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super Part 5 is in a lot of ways something that has improved Dragon Ball Super for the better from a technical standpoint. The animation and sound have improved by leaps and bounds with this part of the series, however the edition is let down by typical Dragon Ball storytelling where a new form saves the day. It’s a shame that the story is the biggest problem with the series as the battles were really well done and the steaks were raised properly. But that’s what you get from a series who’s creator can’t even remember the hair color of any character long enough to keep them straight.

©BIRD STUDIO/SHUEISHA, TOEI ANIMATION
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A technical improvement, but the story defeats itself in typical fashion.

Summary

Dragon Ball Super Part 5 is an improvement from a technical standpoint, but typical Dragon Ball story telling lets things down in the end. Power scaling wins out of technique and that just makes the whole struggle pointless. Trunks getting a new form to defeat the big fusion evil in the same way he arrived into the Dragon Ball universe is just a letdown. Things were looking up for a time with this series, but at it’s best points, then drop is just too much.

Pros

  • Improvement to animation and sound
  • The drama raises in a decent way
  • Trunks’ new form looks cool for a one off.

Cons

  • New form wins the day
  • Villains get hit in the same way previous villains did
  • Needed something new in the way the story was told.
Overall
4.5

About The Author

Karl Smart
Senior Editor / Reviewer

The main "Australian arm" of The Outerhaven. Karl primarily spends time playing and reviewing video games while taking time to occasionally review the latest movie or piece of gaming technology.