I mentioned this in my last post about Dragon Ball Super that I am watching it dubbed on Toonami and I still am. The experience has been very up and down and I have made some rabidly bad and other lukewarm comments on twitter about it. From doing all that, I feel like I have upset some people on twitter about it. I’m sorry that I have, because I haven’t completely displayed my full opinion of it anywhere yet, so I am going to do that now. If your opinions about Dragon Ball Super are stronger than mine, please share them below in the comments after reading what I have to say. Let’s have a friendly discussion.
At this moment, I feel like I am warmer on super then some of my pointed twitter posts have made me appear to be.
For one, I like how character focused Dragon Ball has been in this iteration. In this show, Goku has much more character then he ever has. In Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, his character has always been the care free idiot who is a fighting genius for some reason. That’s not as true anymore. Right now, he’s shown to have flaws then. He has become selfish. This time when he fought Freiza, he was in a position to defeat Freiza, but he almost died because of his own selfishness. That is part of his care freeness as well. He doesn’t plan ahead, so always lives in the moment. That can be good in some many respects, but can cost a character a lot as well.
This show also shows how much Vegeta has grown as well. Vegeta has always had a defined character, but he’s changed so much since the Saiyan Saga. He used to be a villain who wanted to destroy everything in his way, now he has a family and wants to keep his rival alive so he has someone to push himself forward. How great is that? Vegeta and Piccolo are the best characters in Dragon Ball because they both had this sort of development. I should also mention the slice of live episodes that are so full of character, personality, and laugh out loud moments. On this front, it’s been pretty great. If this was a slice of life series where fighting only happened occasionally, the Dragon Ball franchise would be my favorite thing.
I need to talk about the set up for future events as well. Up to now, I think that this has just all been a prologue. From that perspective, it’s been decent. I know that Freiza plays a bigger role in the story later on for some reason, so they need to set him/her up somehow. There is also the fact that Beerus and Whis ran into another set of god and teachers, so we know that something else is going on. Something much bigger. I heard mentions of a tournament later on, but I know nothing about it what happens in it because I try to avoid spoilers as much as possible. For now, I am still going to watch this show on Toonami only, but I will definitely keep watching it. Not only for nostalgia. I love the dub cast of Dragon Ball, so I am going to stick with it and watch it that way. I don’t mind being behind on the show.
All of my negative points come from the various battles and action scenes that have appeared throughout the series.
If there is one thing that Dragon Ball Z is famous for, it’s the insanely long fight scenes that are made longer by extended staring scenes and yelling. Oh so much yelling. This didn’t use to be a big problem for me when I was watching the show when I was younger and first getting into anime. Ever since watching more modern shonen like Hunter x Hunter, My Hero Academia, Noragami, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, hell even Fist of the North Star had a fight per episode and that is older than Dragon Ball, I have gotten too used to the one fight person episode format. Each fight in that vein feels so much more important because they were well choreographed and extremely well animated. That’s not something you can do with fights that last five or ten episodes long, because doing that would kill animators. Those fights also wear down on attention span because almost nothing happens each episode. Each episode could be described with a sentence or two. Sure, there might be a pay off at the end, but you need to get through so much to have it. Sometimes, it doesn’t even feel warranted.
Another comment that I have about the Dragon Ball franchise that Super continues is the lack of stakes. I know that the world is at stake, but that’s like every Tuesday for these people. Still, if people die, they have two sets of dragon balls to wish people out. Now we are given the ability for Whis to revert time back three minutes so the end of the Earth was stopped. I mean, am I supposed to feel the intensity of any of these moments? This could be one of the many negatives of a long franchise. We know what the stakes are and how they are resolved. So far, Dragon Ball Super hasn’t veered from this course yet. I hope something happens that changes things up later on to mix the formula and make the stakes feel real again. I have tried my best to avoid as much spoilers about this show as possible, so I honestly have no idea.
Right now, Dragon Ball Super is an above average series still. I wouldn’t put it on a top ten or twenty list of my favorite shonen anime, but I am getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. It’s full of flaws, but what doesn’t have flaws. It’s a conversation piece, something to talk about, and has great dramatic elements when the show needs them. Definitely worth a watch if you have seen both Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball
So what do you guys think of Dragon Ball Super? Let’s have a friendly discussion down in the comments.