Dragonball Super’s Arcs: Subjective Summaries

As no episode airs this week, I thought we would head straight into the summary of previous arcs and what I thought about them. But wait, aren’t there 100+ episodes and didn’t I already release a statement about them? Let me go into more short, subjective details about why I consider Super to be a mediocre at best anime, despite some recent episodes being good.

God of Destruction Beerus Arc
Super starts off with filler, that should already tell you enough. Why is it filler? Because it doesn’t matter.
Goten and Trunks are still children which doesn’t make sense in context of the 4 year time skip. Videl and Gohan moved in together, Hercule and Buu are living together, Goku has become a farmer without a shotgun etc., Toei, you really thought the viewer wouldn’t notice or were you just too lazy to prepare new character designs? You can’t force your time skip to only apply to certain characters in this franchise!
Super had a rocky start and while I enjoyed the foreshadowing to Beerus’ appearance, the actual battles in Super’s first arc, which is just a retelling of the DBZ Battle of Gods movie, are boring and often just look amateurish. Isn’t it ironic that it’s still Toei who makes these shows?
So why should we watch a 14 episode recap of an 80 minute movie? I don’t know, Super doesn’t know and Toei doesn’t know either. Of course, how could I ever forget about the best characters in the show? The Pilaf Gang. These guys are the best part of the show, I would love to clench their throats with my fists and drown them in their own blood, that’s how funny they are.

Golden Frieza Arc
Let’s head into the next arc, Golden Frieza, in my opinion the absolute low-point of Dragonball Super, if not the entire franchise, though the competition for “absolute low-point“ is too strong to make a clear decision. Remember Cooler or Hitler? Literally Hitler. The real-world Hitler in a Dragonball movie.
I’m going off-topic again. So why is Golden Frieza so bad?
Half-assed recolour of an already existing transformation? Oh sorry, it’s a recolour of the Super Saiyan and it has the aura of a Super Saiyan God, it’s almost the same quality as a deviantart OC. Only because Goku and Vegeta were given one little scene of them bumping fists doesn’t mean that this transformation makes any sense, especially since Vegeta just skipped all the established requirements and simply trained really, really hard.
So we get to meet Frieza and suddenly, characters like Roshi are capable of taking on Frieza’s soldiers… Remember when they were stronger than Raditz? But don’t worry, apparently Roshi has been training, which we never see.
Counting all the flaws of this arc takes way too long  so let’s just summarize it like: Awful writing, bad animation, bad choreography, bad conclusion and generally bad storytelling. This arc is very bad and seeing Frieza return for what feels like the 15th time doesn’t help a lot either. I’ll be honest: I’d rather see Frieza getting killed by a single punch from Gohan, rather than seeing him struggle to become a Super Saiyan. Wait what? That makes even less sense! It’s been 4 years! Remember when Gohan could still easily go SSJ2 after 7 years without training?
This is just scratching the surface so please, go look at an in-depth analysis about it on YouTube. I’m not a hardcore Dragonball fan so I couldn’t do it as well as these guys.

Universe 6 Arc
So at last, we head into the first real arc of Super… starting with episode 28. That alone should be a sin of death for any anime, I’m serious. Starting a new anime series with 27 episodes of filler would be absolutely unforgivable for ANY OTHER FRANCHISE and it still is unforgivable for Dragonball.
Anyway, we get some better animations. Hit is a nice addition to the franchise, I really enjoy his character. I could have done without the robot, plushy bear, Refrigerator and “Tingly Back Feeling” though. The only worthwhile battle in my opinion is Goku vs Hit but if you expect anything more than a “I’m stronger than you” situation then feel free to be disappointed.
So how does this arc end? In filler. Thank you Super. Not even the result of this tournament has ever mattered throughout the series. So Universe 6 has a new Earth… spoilers but considering where we are at now, this entire arc seems like a giant waste of time with the only purpose of introducing Ice-Nipples Monaka, a button and Hit. If you think that Super’s filler can’t be that bad then look at it yourself. What you’ll find are miserable attempts at kindergarten humor (teehee, Vegeta has to suck a pacifier) and bad story ideas in general.

Future Trunks Arc
After more horrendous filler we finally head into the worthwhile arc of Super… starting at episode 47.
I need to give Super credit for this arc: It started out in a spectacular manner and I was fricking hooked. That was the beginning of the arc, episode 62 started the downfall of the only really good arc up until now. What is my favourite retcon of this arc? Goku has never kissed his wife and the Potara Fusion’s use is without consequences for mortals now. So Toei opened up the possibility of using Vegito more often now and they never used him again from that point on… okay… what was the point of the retcon then? So you could squash in more plot holes and have an even worse ending?
Okay I’ll be honest, I think the ending of this arc is the worst of any Dragonball arc yet. It was already stupid that Future Trunks was able to stand up to BOTH Goku Black and Zamasu in SSJ2 but that ending just took the cake and ran straight against a wall with it. Do I recommend watching this arc? Sure, if you want to see the promise of something great but you should also expect idiocy and stupid writing the closer you are to the end.

Universe Survival Arc
Then what do I think about the Universe Survival arc? At this point, I was not only disappointed but outright confused and angry at Super, so, as I said in my statement back then, I skipped many of the filler episodes like the second part of Krillin’s Island Adventure.
I really like the beginning of this arc but the filler episodes after that are just… oh god. If the power scaling (a very important aspect for every series involving power-ups due to consistency, point&case Hunter x Hunter) wasn’t broken already then it’s shattered now. Tien is weaker than Roshi and forgot how most of his moves work, Roshi is a beast now, Android 17 is on god-level by fighting human poachers and more stupid nonsense is coming your way. This is the arc that ENDED that little bit of consistency in power scaling that remained in the Dragonball franchise and don’t worry, it won’t ever get better during this arc. Just accept the pain and learn to enjoy it. Also, Jiren? Don’t worry about him, all your theories are wrong. Of course, you could argue “Super Super God Saiyan Super Goku God Saiyan has better energy control than the other forms”, then wouldn’t it be better for Goku to give his comrades a better idea of where they are right now rather than forcing them to fight Super Saiyan Blue? I mean, they don’t know where they are if you keep adjusting power to everyone individually.
Due to spoilers, I won’t go into details about why I consider a certain tyrannic psychopath a bad addition to the team contrary to someone who already has all of the fighter’s cells. Okay long story short: Cell would have made for a better team mate as he knows the fighters better than anyone and Goku seemed to have forgotten rather quickly, that the Tournament of Power is a team battle. If he refuses, then you can go to your most hated antagonist anyway. Strategy is thrown out the window as soon as the tournament starts and if I’m not mistaken, then Universe 7 has taken out over 50% of all contestants. I rest my case, it’s not a very believable arc at all and you should only watch it for the spectacle. As I said before, after episode 100 I took a break and tuned back in with 109&110. From there on out, I only watched episodes where I got the feeling that they would be worth my time but as of now, Dragonball has become even more mindless than it used to be. Hardest material in the universe, yeah sure.

In my opinion, is Dragonball Super a good series? I would say no. I just didn’t know you could spit on the legacy of a beloved franchise so many times and still get away with it. There are individual episodes I would recommend but this series, from start to finish, feels like a cash grab and even where we are now, that feeling never changed. Too bad nobody told Toei that selling merchandise is easier if you have a good product to go along with it.
I really do hope for Super’s sake that it manages to deliver a good ending, otherwise I’m not sure if the fans will even accept Super as canon for the years to come, despite Toriyama’s involvement.

(Star Wars and GT are winking)

-M

 

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