Anime Review: Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 3

By Drew Hurley 07.07.2018 3

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Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 3 (UK Rating: PG)

LAST TIME ON CUBED3! A rather large error in the review of Dragon Ball Super Part 2. The closing sentence stated the next collection would begin the Goku Black arc. Well… that's actually an arc away yet, as this latest part takes the series back to that quintessential part of all shonen anime: the tournament arc. A spat between siblings escalates and when those siblings are Gods of Destruction, which could mean disaster for not just one universe but two. This latest collection (read Part 1's review here) contains episodes 27-39 of Dragon Ball Super, comes courtesy of Manga Entertainment, and is available now.

While this latest collection is all about the new arc, like each that has come before, it first has to wrap up the end of the story covered in the previous collection. Here, that means the Golden Frieza saga. When the last collection concluded, despite being thoroughly defeated, Frieza had snuck a deadly shot at Goku. Now it's down to the greatest Saiyan of all to take on his true nemesis as Vegeta faces off against Frieza once again, although this time the tables are turned considerably. Even with being resoundingly overpowered, though, the king of shonen bad guys has one last trick up his sleeve.

Once Frieza's arc is out of the way, Goku and Vegeta head off to Beerus' planet to train beneath their new master, only to have another God of Destruction come calling. This new God of Destruction is Beerus' twin brother, Champa, and he acts as the God of Destruction in Universe 6; taking a cue from DC with its famed multiverses. A huge overarching system that governs the reality of Dragon Ball is opened up in this collection; how the world got so much bigger when Goku met King Kai, then the Supreme Kai, and so on, and now the premise of multiple universes, all ruled over by the god-child Zen-Sama - all is explained.

As is often the way with siblings, Champa and Beerus quickly come to blows, but it's not like beings of such ultimate power could throw down without any sort of consequences, and so instead they the settle their disagreement via proxy. Each Universe will put up a team of five fighters to take place in a classic shonen tournament.

This is a chance to introduce some great new characters, and many who have quickly become new fan favourites. Being a twinned universe, there are some surprising similarities and familiar faces from Universe 6. First up is Frost. Seemingly Frieza's counterpart, who looks eerily uncanny to the diminutive warlord, like an alternate colour choice from Dragon Ball Fighter Z, although it seems this one is a hero in Universe 6. Then there are Saiyans from Universe 6, too, although in Universe 6 they are "Heroes of Justice," as opposed to the warmongering mercenaries of Universe 7.

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
Toriyama's masterpiece continues to show the new kids on the scene how it's done. Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Part 3 gives long-time fans of the series exactly what they want: more dumb Goku picking fights with gods; more Vegeta being amazing; more Frieza; and brand new characters. It's yet another tournament arc, but a massively enjoyable one. Get on this Z Fighters.

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I'm really curious as to what your thoughts on the original series are. You've been fairly generous to Super in your reviews. As a big fan of Dragon Ball in general, I can't help but disagree. Super just feels so thematically barren and reductive when compared to Toriyama's original work.

That said, the Universe 6 tournament is a massive step up in quality from the Battle of Gods and Resurrection F retellings. It was the most I enjoyed Super during its run. 

I see your point on what Super is compared to the original, but not to what it became in Z.

I love Dragon Ball, with a passion, but I've been a fan for damn near 30 years now. I love Super because it to me continues the stories I was enjoying in Z. Though to be honest, I feel it a complete break away from what the series originally was.

I see the original Dragon Ball up until the end of the Frieza arc as one type of story and everything after that as something completely different.

There are some Dragon Ball stories I don't particularly enjoy though. The stories in the games especially, I'm very concerned for the upcoming "Dragon Ball Heroes"

I'm not sure the Z-era really changed the Dragon Ball formula at all, to be honest. Maybe it's because I'm more familiar with the manga than the anime, where it's just one continuous story instead of being split up after the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, but the Z-era, even at its worst, feels like a natural extension of DB's arcs and themes. It also has better fight choreography (in the manga) so maybe that makes me biased. 

I've also been a fan of the series for essentially my whole life, but Super doesn't really continue what I liked from the original run. Dragon Ball always felt like it was reinventing the wheel as it went along, never afraid to break the status quo or try new things. I definitely agree that the Cell and Boo arcs are step downs after the Freeza arc, but they're so ambitious that I can't help but appreciate what Toriyama was going for. 

I don't really get that same feeling from Super. It's comfortable playing it safe which is never something I'd used to describe Dragon Ball. This is a series that ends with the main character flying off to make the reincarnation of the last villain his training buddy. The boldest Super gets it the end of the Goku Black arc which, granted, is one of the most inspired moments in the entire franchise. 

I'm right there with you in regards to the game stories and Heroes. While I don't particularly like Super, it does have its moments of integrity. Every other piece of DB media seems intent on pushing fan service as the main product. I'm just not here for that. Plus, I just utterly despise Yamamuro's current art style. Thank god Shintani is helming the new movie. 

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