Manga Review: Dragon Ball Super Volume Three

Dragon Ball Super Volume Three focuses exclusively on the Future Trunks arc.

Dragon Ball Super Volume Three
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Art by: Toyotarou
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 3, 2018

In a note at the end of Volume Two, Toyotarou made a comment that there would be some changes to the Future Trunks story arc in this volume. It becomes clear early on in Volume Three that the telling of this story in the manga shares a lot of the same basic plot points and revelations as the anime, but the way these plot points and revelations are made differ quite a bit between the two tellings of the same story.

One of the biggest changes is that Kaio-shin and Kibito are heavily involved in what happens in the 10th Universe in the normal timeline. We see the two of them training with Zamas, and they are the ones who go with Beers and Whis after Kaio-shin learns the truth about Zamas and Goku Black. In the anime, Goku was involved in the story with the 10th Universe. Because of this change, Goku doesn’t fight with Zamas, and Zamas learns about Goku and his fighting style through videos uploaded to GodTube (which is apparently the gods’ version of YouTube).

A scene that appears in the manga telling but not in the anime is some of the characters playing a video game that’s supposed to the Dragon Ball universe’s version of Mario Kart (which becomes evident when one of the characters throws a turtle shell). Admittedly, while this was an amusing and fun scene, it wasn’t absolutely necessary for telling the story. Later, Beers is upset about losing the game, so he orders (and chugs down) a whole barrel of beer. Again, something that wasn’t seen in the anime. Although, I have to say that it’s amusing seeing Beers guzzling down a whole barrel of beer, and it works as a lead-in to Whis getting the call that Goku is being summoned by Zeno.

Speaking of when Goku goes to see Zeno, I don’t remember Zeno asking Goku to give him a nickname in the anime. Here, Goku suggests Zen-chan, and Zeno gladly accepts this suggestion. When Beers learns about the nickname Goku gave to Zeno, he still freaks out. However, with this freak out, he already knows that Goku has given him this nickname. In the anime, Beers doesn’t know anything about the nickname until Goku uses it to address Zeno. While the freak outs of Goku using the “Zen-chan” nickname are amusing in the anime, I think it makes more sense that this is something that was agreed upon by Zeno before Goku uses it in public for the first time.

In a lot of ways, I have to admit that I actually kind of prefer how this portion of the Future Trunks arc is portrayed in the manga. Goku accompanying Beers and Whis on the trips to the 10th Universe in the anime kind of feels forced, and to me, it makes more sense for Kaio-shin and Kibito to be the ones going there. Yes, we lose the angle of Zamas fighting Goku and experiencing his power first-hand, but I think he can also get a decent sense of Goku’s ability through the GodTube videos. While GodTube is mentioned in the anime, it isn’t quite as important as it is in the manga. It’s going to be interesting to see how the changes made to the story in Volume Three will continue to affect the story in Volume Four, since the Future Trunks arc will be continuing in it.

When it comes to the Future Trunks arc, already having familiarity with the story from the anime has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I already have a pretty good idea of what to expect in the story. But on the other hand, the changes that have been made in the manga telling are really standing out like a shore thumb. As I said earlier, though, I think that overall, the changes to the story make the manga telling a little stronger. Hopefully, this will continue to be the case as the Future Trunk arc continues in the Dragon Ball Super manga.

Readers who enjoyed Dragon Ball Super Volume Two will likely continue to enjoy the story as it continues. First time readers for this volume who are already familiar with the Future Trunks arc from the anime will need to realize that there are some significant changes between the two tellings and to not expect the story to be as similar to the anime as the previous arc of the manga had been.

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