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Dragon Ball Super: Parts 3 and 4 [Episodes 27-52]

When last we saw him out hero Goku was facing down in a rematch with his old nemesis Frieza, and things were looking decidedly dicey. With the help of his fellow Z Warriors can he prevail? Well, what do you think?

It's pretty common practice for these half-season collections to feature storylines that cross multiple volumes. It's a classic way of ensuring that viewers will be back for more. These two collections are no different, and so Part Three (Episodes 27- 39) begins with the conclusion of the Frieza Arc which began in part two.

This brings us to the end of the section of Dragon Ball Super that is retelling events from the two recent movies. It's something of a relief, as it allows Super to forge its own path, and explore whole new sections of the Dragon Ball lore and Universe.

This it does pretty thoroughly by revealing the existence of Multiple Universes, with the one Goku and co exists in being just one of twelve. This is heralded by the arrival of Champa, the brother of Beerus and the God Of Destruction of Universe Six. The sibling rivalry between the two results in one of Dragon Ball's frequent tournaments, with the most powerful warriors of each Universe facing off against each other, with the winner taking the Super Dragon Balls, the planet-sized versions of the franchise's chief McGuffin.

Opening up the multi-verse brings with it new story possibilities and new characters too. The team from universe six features Freiza's opposite number Frost, a young Saiyan, a robot and a bear-thing which resembles Winnie The Pooh on Steroids. The action is as well executed as you would expect from Dragon Ball, and there's plenty of laughs to be had too.

The Tournament comes to its end at the start of Part Four (Episodes 40-52) which turns out to be a much more varied volume overall. With the tournament wrapped up, it's back to Earth to celebrate. There's time for some sit-com antics ( some featuring Goku's granddaughter Pan) before Goten and Trunks get themselves into trouble on an alien planet, with a clone of Vegeta.

Finally, we move on to the next major arc, which sees Future Trunks return to the present day to seek a way to save his future. We're introduced to a dystopian world, and surprised to learn that the one responsible for all his problems- Goku Black- looks very familiar.

This saga went on to become the longest-running in the series to date, running a full 30 episodes. The early episodes here are really only getting started, but it sets up lots of mysteries and cool ideas and suggests that this may well be the most entertaining part of Super yet. It will definitely leave you itching to find out what happens next.

The original Dragon Ball was full of fun and adventure. Dragon Ball Z excelled in super-powered action and world-ending stakes. Dragon Ball Super in many ways continues to be the best of both worlds. The series is equally at home dealing with epic battles and smaller scale fare, like Piccolo's adventures in babysitting.

Now that the episodes adapted from previous material are behind us, the series is able to really come into its own. And the results do not disappoint. It's easy to recommend picking up these volumes to any Dragon Ball Superfan.

FROM Manga Entertainment, Funimation
 PG [UK]
13 Episodes per volume

IN A NUTSHELL: With these volumes, Dragon Ball Super steps out of the shadow of its movie predecessors and enters a bold new chapter.