Anime Blu-ray Review: Dragon Ball Super Part 8

Dragon Ball Super Part 8 includes Episodes 92-104 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 8
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: July 2, 2019

At the beginning of the set, Majin Boo is unable to compete in the Tournament of Power. Goku comes up with the crazy idea of going to Hell and asking Frieza to be their final teammate. For his idea, Goku wants to ask Uranai Baba to bring him back to life for 24 hours to fight in the tournament. It’s not surprising when the others, especially Vegeta, aren’t crazy about the idea, but after some discussion, the others reluctantly agree. When Goku talks to Frieza, he will only agree to help on one condition: that Frieza be resurrected with the Dragon Balls if the 7th Universe wins. As Goku has done up to this point, he makes the agreement without consulting the others. Spies from other universes learn of this development, and assassins are sent to take Frieza down. But not surprisingly (again), Frieza can take them down easily. As Frieza tries to take down Goku, he is saved by Whis and Beerus. Even though Frieza is already showing himself to be untrustworthy, they still accept him being on the team. But the audience sees that Frieza is planning to use the Tournament of Power to manipulate the gods to suit his own means.

At the same time, we’re seeing some of things going on in the other universes as the Tournament of Power approaches. A lot of the emphasis is on the 6th Universe. The audience gets to know the character of Caulifla a little more, and we see her and Cabba trying to help Kale become a Super Saiyan. It turns out that that the normally shy and demure Kale can turn into an extremely powerful Legendary Super Saiyan. The dynamic between Cabba, Caulifla, and Kale is interesting, and I’m glad it was decided to put more focus on them. We see a little bit going on behind the scenes with some of the other universes as well, but the 6th gets a lot of the attention.

And then the story shifts to the Tournament of Power itself, which is supposed to take a little under 50 minutes of time total. Of course, with this being a shonen anime, that roughly 50 minutes is going to be stretched out over a long number of episodes. At the end of each episode after the tournament begins, the audience is given an update on how much time is left until the tournament is over. I thought this was kind of amusing, because it reminded me of the countdown Space Battleship Yamato had for the ship to make it to Iscandar and back within one earth year.

The remaining eight episodes on the disc are part of the Tournament of Power. Because of the sheer number of participants, there’s a lot that takes place. The main thing that happens in these episodes is that two universes see all of their fighters fall out of the ring, and that those two universes are happily destroyed by the Zenos. I wasn’t surprised by the first universe that was eliminated, because it seemed like the fighters from that one were set up in earlier episodes to be cocky and thinking no one could beat them. The fight leading up to the destruction of the second universe was a little more emotionally poignant, especially since it was Gohan who sent the last member of that team out of the ring. Gohan discovers that fighter had a wife and child at home, like him, and now his opponent’s universe has been destroyed. We can see that Gohan is affected by this, but he works at shaking it off so he can focus on the upcoming battles that are still yet to be fought.

Goku also has some encounters with the Saiyans from the 6th universe, especially with Kale’s Legendary Super Saiyan form. Unfortunately, Kale doesn’t know how to control that power right at first, so she causes chaos to ensue in the immediate area. But when Kale and Caulifla find themselves being targeted by the 11th Universe for revenge because they took down a couple of their fighters, Goku ends up making a temporary alliance with them. As I watch this, it’s hard to fathom that there’s the likelihood that the 6th Universe characters won’t be around if they lose the tournament, especially with all of the development that has been placed on these characters. But considering that the ending of Dragon Ball Z makes it clear that the 7th Universe has to survive in order for that ending to occur, it does take some of the tension out of the tournament (at least for me, anyway).

Probably the only other thing of note would be the fighters from the 2nd Universe. These fighters have magical girl alter egos, and these alter egos take the magical girl stereotypes and amplify them. Who would have ever guessed that magical girls would appear anywhere in the Dragon Ball franchise? LOL!

At this point in the series, Dragon Ball Super brings the series back to the action and fighting that the franchise is known for. In a lot of ways, the Tournament of Power kind of makes me think of the Tenkaichi tournaments, but to a much larger scale with higher stakes involved.

We get yet another new ending theme that appears on this set. It wasn’t bad per se (especially since it was better than that earlier one that I absolutely hated), but I did like the ending theme that was introduced on the previous set more.

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 major bonus feature on this set, which is titled, “Two Humans and an Android,” features Sonny Strait (the voice of Kuririn), Mike McFarland (Master Roshi), and Chuck Huber (the voice of Android 17). The three of them talk and interact, and it’s basically what I’ve come to expect from the “major” bonus feature that appears on each of these sets. There are also textless versions of the opening song and the closing songs, as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

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 8 to your anime home video library.

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