I’ve been patiently waiting for more Dragon Ball Super since the release of part 4 a few months ago. Thankfully part 5 has now launched and it was an absolute blast to watch. It contained a storyline more complex than anything we’ve gotten in the Super series thus far, appeals to my love of time travel and multiverse stories and contains some of the best individual characters and episodes in the series to date.
Volume 5 contains episodes 53 though 65 of Dragon Ball Super and picks up right where part 4 left us. Smack bang in the middle of the Future Trunks/ Goku Black saga. And throughout the events of the set Goku and the rest of the lead cast discover the identity of Goku Black, the true motivations of Zamasu, the Supreme Kai in-training from Universe 10 as well as the negative impacts of travelling through time.
One thing I loved in this set compared to the other Super volumes so far was that there was no filler episodes included here. The plot constantly stayed on path and continued to move toward concluding the Goku Black arc.
The pacing of the episodes was great, with the plot jumping between the future and the present timelines multiple times keeping things interesting and preventing the plot from becoming stale because there was always a goal in place for the characters to achieve at all points. This arc also did a great job at giving multiple characters their time to shine with notable moments throughout going to Goku, Vegeta, Trunks and even Whis and Beerus.
But my standout favourite aspect of this set was the main antagonist. Zamasu is a great villain and although he is only featured in around 15 episodes of the Super series in total, we get to learn his motives and the lengths he’ll go through to achieve them during this time resulting in him becoming a well developed character in a fraction of the time compared to other Dragon Ball villains.
As we get to experience his decline from a Supreme Kai in training to one of the toughest enemies in Dragon Ball history, the viewer is able to see Zamasu’s perspective on the world and possibly empathise with his murderous ambitions. In a similar way to how Thanos was presented in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, we can all agree that murder of any kind is bad, but the motivations of the villain are told in a way where you’re able to see their side of the story and question yourself on which side are truly the “bad ones”.
This arc of Dragon Ball Super also contains a fairly complex time travel and multiverse story at it’s core. While the time travel stuff had been touched on in the Z series with Trunks coming back from the future in the Android saga it was never had this level of complexity, involving travelling not only through time but through different universes and separate branches of the same universe. You may get a little lost at first but things are explained well by various characters in some expositional scenes so although the storyline is a bit more complex than most in the Dragon Ball series you shouldn’t have a hard time understanding what’s going on by the end of the set when all of the pieces come together.
As with the previous Dragon Ball Super volumes this one also fails to contain the complete arc, but does get close. Meaning you will need to pick up the next collection when that releases to see the end of Zamasu and Goku Black’s story.
The home release Blu-Ray features episodes 53-65 across 2 discs and are available to be watched in either their original Japanese voice track with English subtitles or dubbed in English. The extras on the set include textless versions of the opening and closing theme songs, trailers for other upcoming or newly released Funimation titles and an interesting 14 minute short titled ‘Coffee break with Mai and Trunks’ which sees Eric Vale (Trunks) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (Mai) sitting down in a coffee shop discussing what their characters faced over the course of this set as well as what they thought of the arc and the Dragon Ball fandom. It was an interesting segment and I always love seeing voice actors talk about their characters and what goes on behind the scenes.
With a complex storyline, great comedic moments and a fantastic villain, volume 5 of Dragon Ball Super contains some of my favourite episodes from the series yet. The end of the Goku Black arc is just around the corner but there’s still a short wait until we get our hands on volume 6 in a couple months time.
A Blu-Ray review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment for the purpose of this review.
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