Dragon Ball Super is the manga adaptation of the anime original TV series of the same title.
The series has been published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint since May 2, 2017; in French by Glénat since April 5, 2017; in Italian by Star Comics since April 26, 2017; in German by Carlsen Manga since May 2, 2017; and in Spanish by Planeta Cómic: in comic issues since March 2017, and in volumes since October 17, 2017.
I really, really love this manga, and even though I enjoy the anime as well, to be very frank the manga is superior to the anime in almost ever way save for about two aspects. But I think I'll get to that later in the review. For now I will go over each arc in the manga like I did in my review of the anime mostly because I find rating the merit of each arc for an ongoing series such as Super much more convenient, and even if it wasn't ongoing, rating each arc individually and then tallying the scores together makes it much
easier to give a series an overall rating. Anyways, enough ranting, time to get into the review.
[WARNING THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS RANGING FROM MINOR TO MAYBE A COUPLE MAJOR SPOILERS, BUT I WILL TRY TO LIMIT THEM AS MUCH AS I CAN, BUT IF YOU HAVEN"T READ THE MANGA YET I HIGHLY URGE THAT YOU DO BEFORE READING THIS WHOLE REVIEW]
Battle of Gods Arc:
This arc is very similar to what was anime, except for the fact that the art is so much better and that Champa and Vados are much more prevalent here, which is a rather welcome addition. I don't feel like I can really say much more about this arc because this is it's 3rd retelling, and really anything you can say about the basic story has already been said before, and the changes are so few and fairly minor it's not worth combing over all of them, so let's get to the scores then.
Story - 7.5
Very solid, is a very good start to the series, and introduces four great new characters and a whole new layer/world/hierarchy for the Dragon Ball characters to explore and offers endless possibilities.
Art - 8
My art scores are going to be rather consistent because Toyotarō is just great and he only improves from here.
Character - 9
The cast feels just as lovable and compelling as ever, as if the original manga never ended it's a very nice pick up where they were dropped of. The new additions of Beerus, Whis, Champa, and Vados are probably some of the best things to ever have happened to Dragon Ball, because in my personal opinion, if these characters were not added to the universe, Super would have never happened or if did happen, without these characters it'd be so much less of what it is, if that makes sense.
Enjoyment - 7
I do really like this arc, although having seen the anime version and movie version beforehand it does impact my enjoyment in a bit.
Overall - 7.6
Resurrection of Frieza Arc:
It doesn't happen. Well, it does happen and is referenced throughout the Manga but Toyotarō does the interesting thing of just skipping the arc in the Manga. Which in my opinion, is a good thing. The Golden Frieza Arc now having thought over it and watched over it more, it's a very weak arc. The story is weak, in the anime the art and animation is amazingly bad, and it's overall just OK leaning into not good. So I do think Toyotarō made the right decision in skipping the arc and moving on to the good stuff.
Universe 6 Vs Universe 7 Tournament Arc:
Here's where the Manga really starts to diverge from the anime, and there's quite a a lot to go over here. First of all there's a nice little flashback to a Beerus and Champa fight in Chapter 6 which establishes their battle over cuisine quite nicely, and while it's not really needed the more backstory the better. When Vegeta and Goku are training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber there's a very nice call back to the Saiyan Saga which I loved. From here it's all rather similar, the journey to the tournament is basically the same, the Botamo fight is basically the same, but much better drawn obviously. The Goku Vs Frost fight is the basically the same but I do enjoy the choreography and art much more in the manga. The Piccolo Vs Frost fight is a bit different, there is a bit more smack talk and stuff kinda bringing down Piccolo, no one really seems to have much faith in him. But, he does hold his own against Frost rather well, but it's still rather brief. The Vegeta Vs Frost is just as good, if not better in the Manga, while the anime Frost is beat with one punch, in the Manga, Vegeta knees Frost in the gut and blasts him off, and overall it seems slightly more brutal and I'd have to give the Manga the edge in this fight. However unlike the Frost vs Vegeta fight, I'm a bit more torn on the Magetta Vs Vegeta fight in the manga. It's much more strategic in the Manga with Vegeta trying to destroy the stage from underneath Magetta, and I did like the funny dialogue with Goku trying to give advice to Vegeta from the sidelines. But the anime version is a lot more memorable in my opinion so I'd probably give the anime version the win here with this fight, but that does not make the Magetta Vs Vegeta fight in the Manga bad in any sense, just not as good. Or maybe better put, the fight is better in different ways in the Manga and Anime, and I just prefer the anime version. The Cabba Vs Vegeta fight is basically word for word from the anime, but the fight choreography and art as almost always are superior in the Manga. Hell, Vegeta even uses the move he killed Nappa with on Cabba which i thought was very cool. Ok now I'm going to talk about the Vegeta Vs Hit, and Goku Vs Hit in conjuction. From what I've read online, it seems like there was quite a bit of confusion and frustration with this fight and particularly Chapter 13. The Hit Vs Vegeta fight is rather similar to the anime, but the reason why Vegeta lost is very different. Basically in the Manga SSB consumes a lot of STAMINA when you transform. Transforming into SSB in front of Cabba and then again to fight Hit drained Vegeta and he lost to Hit. Hit is also weaker in the Manga, and that's a sacrifice Toyotarō made to keep powerscaling consistent, and I personally am fine with that, as the fights were still very good and Hit was still technically holding back. The fact that Hit is physically weaker, but has techniques to make up for it makes him more compelling in my opinion. The other thing people were confused about was Goku having Super Saiyan God, the red hair form. Well if you go back to the BoG arc in the Manga, Goku does not "absorb" the God form into his base, he just gets knocked out of it, nothing implying that he can't access the form again. So he uses SSG to conserve stamina and eventually goes SSB towards the end of the fight, and Hit does still use his own quite well against SSB even though he can be technically beaten in that form, and he is holding back his most deadly techniques. So the Manga is actually much more consistent than the Anime (I mean come on, SSG just shows up after 3 arcs without being used in episode 104?) and I don't particularly understand the confusion with that chapter. Ok, now it's time to rank this arc.
Story - 8
Compared to the Anime, the Manga does not drop the ball with powerscaling, but it did sacrifice some of the cooler moments the Anime did have for the sake of a tighter plot, but it still had plenty of good moments to make up for that.
Art - 9
Toyotarō just gets better and better, with his great fight choreography particularly shining through in this arc.
Character - 9
All the Universe 6 fighters are great, and the interactions between them and our main cast is very enjoyable.
Enjoyment - 8
This arc is just plain fun, and is also a great step forward for Dragon Ball worldbuilding.
Goku Black Arc:
Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy where do I begin. First off let me say this arc HEAVILY diverges from the anime, like wow Toyo. I'm just going to gloss over the major, non-spoilery differences because there is just so much, and at this point I'm and getting tired of typing. Goku Black actually goes Super Saiyan in the Manga, which is really cool. Shin is much more useful and overall a better character in this arc, I really loved what Toyotarō did with him. Oddly enough, the mystery in the Manga and the Anime are different, we figure out who Goku Black is rather early on, in the Manga unlike the anime, but instead the big surprise is who/what is working with Goku Black. One thing that Toyotarō did exceptionally well in this arc is actually explaining things, and making sense, and even poking fun of the anime and it's mistakes. Toyotarō did a great job with this arc in my honest opinion, and I really don't want to spoil more of the differences in this arc, if the prior arcs hadn't convinced you on the Manga and Super, I know that this will.
Zamasu and Goku Black are compelling and rather well written villains (especially for Dragon Ball) no matter what format, and with Toyotarō 's excellent storytelling it really elevates this arc for me
Toyotarō's art is absolutely incredible in this arc, best he's done yet.
Like I said, Goku Black and Zamasu are great villains. And along with them, Goku, Vegeta, Bulma, Future Trunks, and Mai all stand out greatly in this arc. (The interaction between Future Mai and Pilad is amazing).
I love this arc.
And that's all of the currently completed arcs in the Super Manga so far, right now we're gearing up for the ToP arc and I'll just say, so far, so great. Just like I will be doing for the Anime, I will be updating my review as each arc finishes, and I will not give my overall score until the series as a whole finishes. All I have to say for now is that I urge you to give this Manga a read, especially if you're a Dragon ball fan who hasn't gave Super a chance yet, trust me it's better than GT by a long shot. My only hope right now is that some day after the current anime is completed that we get the FMA treatment and get an anime based off the Manga, that'd be great. Especially if it was seasonal. But that's probably just a pipe-dream, unless some kind execs at Toei are for some reason reading this right now (Hi). But, anyways that's all I have to say, and thank you all for reading this review!
My review will focus a lot on the differences between the DBS anime and the manga for the people that might have dropped the anime after the first few episodes.
This is my first(technically second) review and English isn't my first language, so bear with me.
Both the manga and the anime story are based on outlines done by Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, and i feel that most of what the anime does, like introducing new transformations, hair colors, change in outfits are mostly done to sell merchandise and evoke nostalgia by coping exact scenes or retreading developments from earlier Dragon Ball series,
Toyotaro on the other hand doesn't seem to need to do this kind of thing, going more for the cool factor with break neck speed pacing, but that doesn't always seem work.
The one thing i would say the anime has over the manga is the filler episodes, mostly from the ones right before the Tournament of Power, with the Baseball, Dr.Slump, Great Saiyaman and Pan/Pilaf episodes being one of the best of the entire Super anime.
I want to start by saying that the Dragon Ball Super manga is automatically better than the anime just by rushing through the adaptation of the Battle of Gods arc/movie and entirely skipping that horrible Fukkatsu no F arc/movie.
The art of Toyotaro(aka Toyble, creator of the fan manga Dragon Ball AF) is great, he has some weird construction lines, making a few of the characters look wonky and anatomically incorrect, but they work for the most part, his main appeal comes from the fact that he apes Toriyama's 80's style mixed with his more recent leaner designs to perfection, and even having some times a more polished work on the fact that he doesn't have the time constraints Toriyama had with the weekly publication at Shonen Jump, plus also having to create the story.
Tadayoshi Yamamuro’s Super anime character design on the other hand, are very bland with no personality whatsoever, Bulma, Goten and Trunks are the ones that suffer the most, Gohan also suffered greatly, although I would say Bulma would be happy that she now looks younger than when we first met her in Dragon Ball, only few animator like Hirotaka Nii, Yuya Takahashi, Shuiichiro Manabe, Naoki Tate, Naotoshi Shida and Yuichi Karasawa can make the characters look somewhat good and dynamic, the animation for the most time is very limited and is constantly being reused by the end of the show, at times even casual viewers can notice it, well, it shouldn’t get to that level.
Lots of SPOILERS below
Battle of Gods arc (6/10)
Very simple arc, introducing the higher Gods and God Ki.
Much better power scaling than the anime and movie but still weird.
Universe 6 Tournament (5.5/10)
Just a simple tournament arc put together in a rush, new cool characters in Monaka, Hit, Frost, Cabba, Champa and Vados, plus the God of all things, Zeno, which is way less retarded in this version.
Piccolo and Majin Buu are wasted.
Since there was no Fukkatsu no F arc, there was no teasing of Gohan's comeback and then backing down after just a couple of episodes, the manga gets a pass on this.
Very smart fight on Goku's side against Hit, using the original SSGod transformation, instead of the most useless transformation since SSJ3, the palate swap SSGSSJ or SSJBlue, that was supposed to have perfect ki control, but we learn in this arc that it drains a lot of stamina if used a number of times in a roll.
Hit is much weaker in this version and also less menacing, definitely weaker than both Goku and Vegeta's SSJBlue, the arc ends with not much happening, and everything goes by too fast, it is a bit of a letdown.
Black/Zamasu arc (6.5/10)
This is where it gets complicated, this arc started great with a lot of promise, the return of Mirai Trunks and a fan fiction level character, Evil Goku.
The introduction of Black was great, but i would say that the anime version was better, the music, the color palette and the voice acting, it enhanced so much the suspense and terror Trunks was going through, and reading the manga after already knowing who Goku Black was of course dampened the shock value of the reveal but Toyotaro still did an awesome job.
This arc was where I started to feel like Super could actually improve, even more so in the manga because it was changing most of what was happening in the anime, taking out stuff like the time travel plot holes, Zamasu’s ridiculous anger towards Goku, Trunks whining on every chance he had, terrible power scaling, SSJ Ikari, plus the episode where Zamasu says that it's Trunks’ fault that he is killing everyone, and even though it doesn’t make sense, the character takes that as a fact and starts moaning again, don’t even start on the Cellphone Mafuba and the Kuwabara Spirit Bomb Sword, none of that was in the manga, thank god.
The manga also added a lot, seeing Trunks training with the Supreme Kai, turning SSJ2 and defeating Dabura and Babidi was great, also we got more great stuff from Gowasu and ‘Shin’ in this version, Merged Zamasu’s great range of techniques, Goku mastering SSB, I even liked Trunks’ role at the end of this arc and the multiplying Zamasus, way better than the anime.
But even though I hold this arc of the manga so much higher than it’s anime counterpart, it still isn’t that great of a story and it leaves so many characters out of it even though it’s supposed to be so grand in scope, and the end even though is better, it’s still the same Deus Ex Machina.
ToP/Preview -- ??
Way more to the point then the anime, making it sometimes feel rushed, but it truly plays out like a battle royale, I don’t know how to feel about it yet.
The Dragon Ball franchise is one of the most popular in the world. And, although all of the anime series mainly focus on the epic battles between male characters, the ladies also play a huge part throughout! Let's pay tribute to these hot and sexy Dragon Ball girls!