Anime Blu-ray Review: Dragon Ball Super Part 9

Dragon Ball Super Part 9 includes Episodes 105-117 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 9
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: October 8, 2019

The set opens with an episode that focuses on Master Roshi. It was awesome to see him act like the awesome martial artist that won the Tenkaichi Tournament all the way back in the first Dragon Ball anime series. I was always a little disappointed that Master Roshi was basically demoted to comic relief in Dragon Ball Z, and never truly used his martial arts. Luckily, the more recent films and the Dragon Ball Super anime has allowed Roshi to remind the audience that there was a reason why he was once Goku and Kuririn’s teacher.

Gohan and Piccolo are targeted by a sniper and his partner (Prum and Harmira). Luckily, Goku, Vegeta, and Tien are able to lend a hand, because it really is a team effort to fight these two. Unfortunately for Tien, he is knocked out of the ring at the end of the fight, but at least he could take one of the two enemies out with him.

We get a couple of battles with Ribrianne, one of the “magical girl” fighters from the 2nd Universe. Can I say just how annoying Ribrianne is? She’s constantly saying she’s fighting for love, but she’s always angry and yelling when doing so. Where’s the love there? But, both of the battles we see with Ribrianne are important, because the first one requires Goku to use a Genki Dama, and what happens here unleashes “Autonomous Ultra Instinct,” which gives Goku a new power-up that is a legendary deity technique. The second battle Ribrianne has is with No. 18 (with help from No. 17). At least this second battle allows us to finally be rid of Ribrianne. I’m sorry, but the fighters from the 2nd universe, as well as their God of Destruction, are just so annoying. Heles, their God, looks like she’s copying Cleopatra’s look and “beautiful” shows up in just about every sentence she says.

Goku also has an important fight with both Caulifla and Kale. The two female Saiyans level up, with Kale once again getting ridiculously strong. At first, she can’t control her power again, but this time, Caulifla is able to get through to her. While it was kind of interesting at first to watch Goku fighting the two female Saiyans from the 6th universe, I felt that their battle ended up being a little too drawn out. It ended up taking place over the course of four episodes, and the fight was stretched out with some ridiculous powering up. Not surprisingly, Goku ends up activating the Autonomous Ultra Instinct again, and utilizing it to help knock both Caulifla and Kale (who have merged to become Kefla through wearing Potara earrings). I couldn’t help but notice that these two are just about as cocky as Gotenks is. It seems like when Saiyans fuse together, the fusion makes them more cocky in addition to becoming stronger.

Over the course of these episodes, Roshi, Tien, Caulifla, Kale, Cabba, Hit, Frost, Ribrianne, as well as a few other fighters I don’t remember, are all knocked out of the competition. The amount of fighters has dwindled more going into the remaining episodes of the series, so I can only imagine just how much more intense the fights are going to get. I should also mention that at the end of each episode, there’s a countdown as to how many more minutes are remaining in the tournament. For the most part, it seems like each episode in this set covers about two minutes of fighting time in the show. With 14 episodes remaining, I expect that the amount of elapsed fighting time will likely slow down in order to stretch out the story a little more.

Overall, I did enjoy the episodes included in this set. However, my main gripe is that the Goku vs. Caulifla and Kale fight ran a little too long. I understand the intent was to show Caulifla and Kale’s growth as fighters, but I think this fight could have been scaled back a little bit in order to help it feel a little less stretched out.

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 is a “Dragon Ball Super: Twitter Q&A with Sarah Widenheft and Dawn Bennett” (the English voice actors for Kale and Zeno). This feature ran for about nine minutes, and the two women answer questions that were asked on Twitter. It’s an OK bonus feature, although there were a couple of times when Tweets that weren’t questions were included. But the interactions between the two voice actors were good, and they did have amusing things to say sometimes. Overall, though, it’s not bad for what it is. Other bonus features include a textless opening song and a textless closing song.

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 9 to your anime home video library.

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