I think it’s about time I did some kind of update of where I am on Dragon Ball Super. I’ve tried my best to write some sort of continuous thoughts series on how I feel about Dragon Ball super based on what arc I’ve completed at some sort of consistent time dance, but I’ve failed. Failed miserably. So let’s do a catch up, shall we? As of right now, I’ve seen the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie and loved the hell out of it AND Adult Swim is still in the middle of the Tournament of Power arc. I do have a stand alone episode of my tried by failed podcast here talking about the movie, but I wouldn’t listen to it if I were you. It’s pretty bad. As for the Tournament of Power itself, I’ve been enjoying it a lot more then I thought I would. It’s rather slow and awkwardly paced, but all the good character stuff has been driving me through it. Hit is still one of my favorite new characters in Dragon Ball Super, but in recent memory I’ve loved Freiza more then anyone else. There has something special to Freiza that wants to see him more and more.
So let’s talk Freiza. In Dragon Ball Z, he is the most iconic villain of that show. Don’t even question it or even say it was Cell. Cell was awesome, but there is a reason why Freiza was brought back in Dragon Ball Super instead. He’s powerful, had a strange subversive size from what you would expect from a menacing villain at first, owned a galactic space empire with millions upon millions of servants under his control, and mostly importantly, was the sole cause for Dragon Ball to happen in the first place. If Freiza didn’t destroy the Saiyan home world Vegeta on a whim, then Goku would never have been sent to Earth. Also, Prince Vegeta was a servant under Freiza. Maybe that’s not necessarily the sole reason why Vegeta ended up the way he did, but Frieza did a lot more then simply push Vegeta in a specific direction. Freiza has always there in Dragon Ball whether physically or in spirit, which is why he is so popular in my point of view. There were also all those transformations and while they are cool, that was always the secondary reason why he sticks in my mind.
And the next question you are going to ask is probably why I consider him more interesting in Super then Z. And yeah, that sounds like a loaded question after his pointless return in the Golden Freiza arc at the beginning of the series and/or Golden Freiza movie. It has to do with motivations, ideas, and wants. The return of Freiza originally felt so boring because he was just doing his Z Shtick years after the series has passed him by. You know, going to a planet, fight the inhabitance in order to rule them, and then move on. Yeah, that stopped being interesting the second that Goku defeated him on Namek.
Even before then, he was still pretty boring to me. He didn’t have that much of a personality besides the elitist attitude that he brought with him and mostly owned up to. When his problems got too powerful to handle, he just powered up again. He never had to out think his opponents or be innovative at all, just be more powerful. An entire saga of DBZ is Freiza just powering up. The only time Freiza did try to out think an opponent was when Goku turned super saiyan, because he was pushed against a wall for the first time ever. Since it was such a rare event, he went back to his mold for his next two appearances. You know, the one when he returned to Earth in Z and was killed by Trunks and the next time when he returned to Earth for revenge and got killed by Goku in Super/Golden Freiza movie.
So what makes more Freiza more interesting in Super? The fact that he’s no longer the big kid in the play ground. Goku, Vegeta, and the others (I suppose) have long since passed by him in terms of power and experience. They’ve all fought harder battles then the emperor of space, which is saying something. Freiza needed to catch up and push himself for the first time in his life. The Golden Freiza form was obtained by him actually training for once. That still isn’t enough though, because Freiza still has two people that he is either as strong as or slightly weaker then. Realizing that he isn’t the largest player in the playground anymore and pushing every advantage he could get when he can find the right moment to do is so much more interesting then “I’m mister big bad guy, beware.” He never stops being evil and will never change his alignment, which is how he should be.
In the Tournament of Power, Freiza was the only guy they all could turn to in order to completely fill out the group’s roster. The alliance of convenience is one of my favorite tropes because it provides so much interesting dynamics and can literally include any type of character. Universe 7, or the universe we know, is composed mostly out of the Z Warriors and the never were bad androids 17 and 18, so adding Freiza into the mix was such a fun way to mess with a team that was pretty solid and loyal to each other. I loved that aspect and how Freiza is fighting for his right to live (despite being dead) and pushed others in uncomfortable ways. Something that was needed to push the group to be more flexible. I also loved how Freiza had fun doing it. As I said before, I like the Tournament of Power arc, but I love seeing Freiza soaking up the screen and being as hammy as he wants to be.
The most interesting dynamic in this story so far for me? Definitely Goku and Freiza. Goku and Vegeta are getting a little stale and Vegeta wouldn’t dare to be on screen long enough with Freiza to even try having a more interesting dynamic. But Goku and Freiza now, that’s the stuff. Why? Because they hate each other. No seriously, it’s deep hate. You can not only feel it with how they act around each other, but with how the cinematography and color of each scene protrays it. In the world of Dragon Ball, Goku and Freiza are like Batman and the Joker. It’s not a pure one to one example because Goku isn’t even close to being Batman on any level besides his relentless work ethic. Unlike what the old Toonami dub has told us, he is also not a hero. So it’s interesting to see Freiza and Goku still being different sides of the same coin regardless of that anyway. Freiza and Goku using the other to give Universe 7 a hope for victory in this conflict is one of the most fascinating things going on in the Tournament of Power Arc. The two sides must be a whole. Freiza just being somewhere makes everything so much more interesting then the place used to be.
And do I have to talk about Freiza in Dragon Ball Super: Broly? It would be a brilliant, fun, and action packed film without Freiza being there because the film had so many instances of magic and good characterization that already makes it solid. Freiza being there is just an icing on the cake and that is what makes the film more then perfect. Why? Because he’s not only petty, funny,and evil, but he’s still in character from everything we’ve seen from him so far. Considering that Freiza knows he can’t take the two saiyans on by himself, seeing Broly appear completely out of nowhere gives Freiza an edge he can exploit to make the situation different. Freiza exploits the hell out of Broly’s power. That includes killing Broly’s dad Paragus and blaming it on a stray shot. Such an awkward and humorous moment out of something so horrible. Perfectly Freiza all the way through. It’s everything he ever was in one single moment.
I was never expecting to ever write some sort of character analysis for someone as infamous and popular as Freiza. Everyone knows him even if nobody has ever watched Dragon Ball. That big of a character with a large shadow in the anime realm. Then Dragon Ball Super happened and provided so much interesting material, yet not many people were talking him. Freiza is so A-Plus in Super, it’s unreal. One of these days, I hope to master character analysis posts and actually know what I am doing, but I think this post is a step in the right direction.