Anime Blu-ray Review: Dragon Ball Super Part 4

Dragon Ball Super Part 4 includes Episodes 40-52 of the Dragon Ball Super anime series. Audio options for this release include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Dragon Ball Super Part 4
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: June 19, 2018

The first two episodes of this set finish off the Universe 6 saga. In the first episode, Goku begs for the tournament rules to be changed so Hit can freely use his assassination techniques. Beerus objects, so Goku jumps out of the ring to force a ringout, because it turns out that Goku had overdone things by using the Kaio-Ken while in Super Saiyan Blue form. Which now leaves things up to… Monaka. I had guessed that Beerus had brought Monaka along as a way to motivate Goku, and that Monaka was actually a weakling. Fortunately, Hit realizes what’s happening and decides to let Monaka “win”… which means that Universe 7 wins the chance to use the Super Dragon Balls.

But before anything can happen, a new character shows up: Grand Zeno. It turns out he looks and acts like a young child but is actually the “King of Universes.” Zeno makes an appearance because he witnessed what happened and wants to organize one for all 12 universes. Even though the two Gods of Destruction make it clear not to displease Zeno because he has the power to destroy anything, Goku still casually approaches the Omni-King. Fortunately, Zeno was not displeased by this action. But why am I not surprised that Goku didn’t heed any warnings?

I thought it was interesting to see what Beerus wished for when he got the chance to wish on the Super Dragon Balls. It showed that even though Beerus is a God of Destruction, he still has some compassion in him. It also shows that he cares at least somewhat for his brother’s universe. I honestly believe that Goku and the others have had more of an effect on him than he has let on.

The next couple of episodes are more light-hearted in nature. In the first one, Bulma holds a victory celebration for winning the recent tournament. Through a series of events, Monaka ends up at the party, and Beerus has to find any and all means possible to hide the fact that Monaka is actually weak from Goku. My favorite part is Beerus having to get into a Monaka costume, and how Goku doesn’t notice that Beerus isn’t controlling his power, so his own hands are sticking out of the costume.

After the party, Goku finds he has problems controlling his energy after his battle with Hit, so he’s forced to take a break. When Gohan and Videl go out, Goku gets babysitting duty for Pan. It was amusing to see Piccolo telling Goku about Pan’s likes and dislikes for food, as well as other things. Piccolo has definitely been hanging out at Gohan’s house and getting to know his young daughter. Back in the early days of Dragon Ball Z, who could have guessed that Piccolo would have ended up as this kind of a character? Even though Pan is a mischievous little girl, she is incredibly cute and adorable.

The next three episodes see Trunks and Goten getting into the back of Monaka’s delivery vehicle while he’s at Capsule Corp for a delivery. They end up trapped in the back of the vehicle, and Monaka takes them to Planet Po-tau-feu. They face off against a teal humanoid named Gryll, who is after a key for the Superhuman Water. The Superhuman Water clones whatever it touches, and this is a problem when Vegeta arrives on the planet. The water clones Vegeta’s power and transforms into a purple-colored version. Unfortunately, whoever is cloned will disappear. Not surprisingly, it ends up being Goku who saves the day. But the way they end up saving Vegeta from disappearing was very amusing, and when Vegeta realizes what he ended up doing, it becomes even more amusing.

The five episodes between the end of the tournament and the start of the Future Trunks arc feel more like filler than anything else. In the long run, they really don’t add anything of real value to the series. And yes, you read that right… we get a return from Future Trunks. It turns out that a new menace appears in his timeline, who looks like Goku, but dressed in black (and it should be noted also wears a special ring and wears a potara earring in one of his ears). With the arrival of Goku Black, the world is basically destroyed. This time, Bulma dies in the attack. And Mai, who Trunks and Bulma work with in the future to fight against Goku Black, is also killed. Future Trunks makes it to the time machine and returns in what is the current time in Dragon Ball Super.

It was interesting to see Future Trunks’ reactions when he awakens in the current timeline. Since his past self is older this time, this made for quite the dynamic between Trunks and Future Trunks. This is especially true after Future Trunks realizes that a younger Mai is there. It was funny to see Trunks become jealous of himself, especially after Mai takes an interest in Future Trunks after talking with him and learning about what will happen in the future.

Goku Black also makes it to the present time, and a battle with Goku ensues. Goku, of course, wants to make the fight last a while, so he doesn’t progress beyond Super Saiyan. Unfortunately, Goku is unable to progress the fight before Goku Black is sucked back into the time rift and disappears. But the sparring with Goku gave Goku Black a chance to experience some of Goku’s power and attacks firsthand. A clue is dropped to Goku Black’s true identity by the end of the final episode of the disc, but you have to watch Dragon Ball Super Part 5 to get more details.

For what we see of the Future Trunks arc, I was glad to see that Bulma had managed to get the time machine that Cell had come into the timeline in before Trunks left the first time, because this will play an important role when the story continues in the next set. I also really enjoyed the episode when Future Trunks visits Gohan, and ultimately has an epiphany as a result of this visit with Gohan and his family.

After watching this set, I believe that the best parts included here are the ending of the Universe 6 saga and what we see of the Future Trunks arc. Unless the Superhuman Water makes an appearance later in the series, then these episodes featuring this element kind of felt like a waste of time. And while seeing Gohan babysitting Pan was cute, it didn’t really seem to truly add anything to the series.

Near the end of the set, there is a new opening credits song. I have to be honest here and say that I didn’t care for this opening all that much. It felt rather weak for a theme song for the Dragon Ball franchise.

When it comes to this release, the Blu-ray video is 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio is Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I have no complaints with the video or audio quality of this release.

The only bonus feature that’s truly worth anything is a nearly 15-minute interview with Sean Schemmel. It really hit me when he said at the time the interview was being recorded, that he had been voicing Goku for the English dub for nearly 20 years. Wow! From what he says in the interview, Sean seems to understand the character of Goku. I also liked hearing from him how he differentiated Goku Black’s voice from Goku. This was a well-done interview. The only other bonus features on the release are textless opening and closings, as well as trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases.

If you’re a fan of the Dragon Ball franchise and want to own all the episodes and films, then you’ll need to add Dragon Ball Super Part 4 to your anime home video library.

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