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Dragon Ball Super Part 8 [Episode 92-104]

As the Tournament Of Power swiftly approaches Buu is suddenly and unexpectedly out of action. The race is on to complete the Seventh Universe's Team- and Goku has a surprising idea for who should fill the vacant spot. With an old enemy on their team, can the team from Universe Seven triumph? And can the new recruit be trusted?

Dragon Ball Super Part Eight includes episodes 92 to 104 of the series. These episodes originally aired in Japan between May and August of 2017 and in the US between January and April of 2019.

For anyone growing impatient for the Tournament to start, the good news is that in this volume it finally kicks off. But not before the process of recruiting the team is dragged out a little longer. This time it's much more consequential though, as it brings the series's biggest villain back on the table- and makes things much more unpredictable.

When it's announced that the Tournament will last just 48 minutes, it'll raise a snicker from long-time franchise fans. The series (and shonen anime in general) is infamous for stretching out time to a ridiculous degree. Even by Dragon Ball standards though, that's quite a stretch. Those 48 minutes in the show's world will fill an entire arc's worth of episodes in real time.

The tournament itself though is quite unique. Not only in the fact that the universe of the losing teams will be wiped from existence (no pressure there) but also in the form it takes. Unlike traditional Dragon Ball tourneys, this eschews one-on-one matches for a Battle Royale. Each universe enters a team of 10 fighters who battle all at once to be the last one standing. Although killing an opponent is strictly forbidden- only ring outs can see a fighter defeated- the stakes couldn't be higher.

We've met some of the fighters from other universes before, but others are new. The teams (and their gods) show off a wide variety of imaginatively designed characters that it's extremely entertaining to see in action. From wolf-men to robots, a Winnie The Pooh lookalike and a knock-off Teletubby, they're quite a bunch. The best of the lot though are probably our first ever female Saiyan warriors (the gloriously named Caulifla and Kale) who get to show off their moves here. Or the witch warriors of Universe Two, who briefly seem like they may be here for the Sailor Moon crossover of 90s anime fans dreams- before Super hilariously subverts our expectations.

Making us root for new characters here is quite an achievement. For Goku, Vegeta and company to survive, they must all be wiped from existence. And Goku being Goku- he can't help making new friends- even though he knows he'll have to beat them eventually.

The tournament's new format keeps things much more interesting and faster moving- with fights being much more varied. We get a wide range of character face-offs, and a good mix of one-to-one and group fights. And an extra layer of tension is added by the presence of one person on Seven's team who probably definitely can't be trusted.

As has been the case throughout Super, the animation quality is a mixed bag. Sometimes it looks great, with big bold visuals and strong outlines. Other times, things are entirely less polished, with wonky off-model characters and cheap looking animation. Fortunately, this volume has more of the former and less of the latter.

We've known that The Tournament of Power has been coming for quite some time, so it had quite a lot riding on it. Luckily, Part Eight sees the opening stages of the battle for survival live up to the hype. Whether it will ultimately be as successful as the best parts of the Dragon Ball franchise remains to be seen. But it sure kicks off in style.


IN A NUTSHELL:  The Tournament of Power's opening act packs quite a punch.



*Review disc  supplied by MANGA ENTERTAINMENT*