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Dragon Ball Super Part 5 [Episodes 53-65]

After encountering (and losing to) Goku Black in Future Trunk's timeline, the Z Warriors are determined to get their revenge. But before they can defeat Goku's devious doppelganger, they must try and uncover his true identity.

Dragon Ball Super Part 5 comprises episodes 53-65, originally aired in Japan between July and November of 2016. This volume continues the Future Trunks arc, the longest running saga in Super so far.

This arc began back in the previous volume, and it started off well. Bringing back Future Trunks from the Original Dragon Ball Z series is a fun idea, and the post-apocalyptic future setting is pretty novel for Dragon Ball. The central mystery of just who Goku Black really is was quite the hook, too.

Unfortunately, this promise doesn't really pay off in this volume. This arc just seems to be lacking that spark to make it classic Dragon Ball. The ingredients are all there, but somehow it feels a little lacking in comparison to earlier storylines.

Part of this can probably be put down to Goku Black himself. Although at first, the question of who he is and where he comes from is intriguing. Once our heroes uncover the truth- no spoilers here- the revelation is a little underwhelming. This leaves us will a villain with little personality ( and a dodgy British accent in the dub, for some reason) who amounts to little more than a palette swapped version of our hero. The second villain of the arc -who reveals himself later- is little more interesting either.

Another problem with this storyline is where it falls in the reality of the show. It's established that Future Trunks is from an alternate timeline, and that time travel has caused several alternate possible futures. Added in to this is the existence of multiple universes as revealed in a previous arc. As a result, it's never really clear if in the big scheme of things any of this really matters. It can't help but feel like this is something of a sideshow, or a distraction from the main event. It feels like filler material (although it can't be because Super was never adapted from a manga in the first place).

This volume consists entirely of Future Trunks saga episodes, which means, unfortunately, there's no time for any of the light-hearted sitcom-style episodes that make Super unique in the Dragon Ball cannon.

However, this is all relative as it is still Dragon Ball. This volume may feel a little disappointing by the standards of previous volumes, but it is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Although the new characters in this arc a little lacking, the original characters are as fun to spend time with as ever. And the action is as well executed and as exciting as ever. So while these set of episodes are not going to be remembered as a franchise highlight, you'll never be less than entertained.


IN A NUTSHELL:  Not exactly Dragon Ball Super's finest hour, but far from a waste of time.