Anime Review: Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 1

By Drew Hurley 03.11.2017

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Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 1 (UK Rating: 12)

It's finally here! While the series has racked up over 110 episodes in Japan, and has been available for Western fans via streaming on Crunchyroll, only the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 1 are finally hitting DVD and Blu-ray here in the UK. These episodes consist of the majority of the first Dragon Ball Super arc and adapt the Battle of the Gods film. This set comes courtesy of Manga Entertainment and has just arrived in the UK.

This is a story that many fans will already have seen, although not in this form. The story adapts the Dragon Ball Z Battle of the Gods film that hit the UK almost three years ago in November 2014. Despite that, this is a much more in-depth story than the movie, obviously, with the running time clocking in at around three times the length of the film. Any Dragon Ball fan worth their salt will remember that the end of Dragon Ball Z jumped a huge ten years later to give an epilogue to the story. Dragon Ball Super isn't starting there; it's instead taking place just a few months after the defeat of Majin Buu and telling the tale between that time and the ten year epilogue.

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The story opens on a very different world to where Z ended. Chi Chi has decided that with peace on Earth finally achieved, it's time for Goku to pack in the whole "beating the heck out of aliens and saving the Earth thing." He should instead make the logical next step and become a farmer to help pay for Goten's education, thus the series changes completely into a farming story, with Goku meeting numerous girls who each fall in love with him and he ends up at the heart of ecchi harem shenanigans! No. Not really. Thank goodness. It's an opening episode that just re-establishes the characters' personalities and gives a little update on where they all are in their lives - a few episodes of Goku slacking off to train, Bulma trying to force Vegeta into being a family man, a big birthday party for Bulma, and all the while in the background a dark god has awoken from its slumber.

There are plenty of gods in the Dragon Ball universe, but this one has yet to be glimpsed or even mentioned previously in the series. He is Beerus, an Egyptian, cat-like God of Destruction. A necessary force in the universe, Beerus destroys whatever needs destroying so understandably he's a tad overpowered. What better opponent for the undefeatable Goku. Beerus has awoken early from his great sleep due to dreams of premonition of a Super Saiyan God who could possibly defeat him. Like a fellow God of Destruction - Saitama, hero for fun - Beerus has been without a worthy opponent for eons and is now in search of this potential challenger. This, of course, puts Earth directly in the crosshairs of a being that destroys planets with a click of his fingers.

This new series perfectly captures everything that made the franchise so beloved and returning to these characters so many years later is a real joy for fans. The battles are as frantic and dynamic as always, the characters are the next logical step for each of them and, best of all, the comedy is superb. Through the first few episodes, Vegeta finds out about Beerus and he is well aware of the God of Destruction and his abilities, so goes out of his way to keep Beerus and his handler, Whis, happy. At one point rushing around in a pink apron making Takoyaki, it makes for some truly hilarious moments. The new characters of Beerus and Whis are welcomed additions that will quickly become fan favourites, too.

It's a really strange choice for this collection to contain episodes 1-13, considering that the first arc consists of episodes 1-14… meaning this ends on a cliffhanger and leaves the finale for the first episode of the next collection. Even more annoyingly, the next arc is only 13 episodes! Meaning that it will once again leave one episode out from the collection!

This release comes with both the English and Japanese dub, along with a Marathon Play option for those who plan to just Saiyan and chill. On the bonus feature front, there is the usual text-less opening and closing songs and some trailers along with two featurettes, each with the same sort of premise but with different people. Both are entitled "Catching Up on the Dragon Ball Universe" and are dedicated to a long-time member of the English dub trying to summarise the entire series to a non-watcher family member. The first is with Sonny Strait, voice of Krillin and regular director of the series, with his adult step-daughter, Savannah Legaluppi. The second sees Chris Sabat, voice of Piccolo and Vegeta, and his young daughter, Hero. They are both particularly cringe-worthy but they are somewhat saved by Mr. Sabat and his adorable daughter. He is a fantastic man.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
Dragon Ball Super is exactly what Dragon Ball fans have always wanted, a continuation of the series that finally has righted the wrongs of GT. While this is a great introduction, it's retreading old movies and fans will be eager to see the fresh new stories starting with the Goku Black arc. Hopefully, Manga Entertainment will get the release out on a regular schedule as there is still the Frieza arc to get through before getting to the brand new content of Super. Cubed3 is eagerly awaiting the next instalment of Dragon Ball Super.

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