I know that I’ve already chronicled a lot of my journey through Dragon Ball Super, but I feel like a proper summing up is needed here. Dragon Ball Super just ended it’s run with it’s English dub on Toonami. Now is the time to talk about it and reflect a little bit. So begins a look at how each part of this series builds up to the next portion and how everything connects together to make a complete narrative. My feelings about certain parts of the arcs have changed since they’ve aired a while ago and the show is finished, so now it’s time to discuss all of that. Since Dragon Ball Super is 131 episodes long in length, I am going to cover each saga in a different part. Not the first two arcs though. Those are bad recreations of a good and an ok movie. Not original material, so they don’t count.
Here were with the Universe 6 arc. What is this arc about? It’s a tournament arc except there are actual stakes in the air besides money like the original Dragon Ball tournament arcs. Oh yeah, if it was only about money. This time it’s based around the location of our Earth itself. In this arc, we learned about the universe we’ve been following for a long time is called Universe 7 and it’s reflection is Universe 6. So yes, all universes combine together to equal 13 which means there is 12 universes in total. That also means our Destroyer God Beerus has a brother named Champa who is fatter then him and Whis has a sister named Vados who is Champa’s guardian. One day, Champa and Vados visit Beerus’ home, get jealous about Earth’s food because their Earth is dead and can’t produce good food because of it. This starts a tournament against champions from Universe 7 and 6.
Since Goku and Vegeta were present during Vados and Champa’s visit and Goku showed his strength, both of these saiyans were natural involved in this equation and tournament. You know with Goku being the dumb, strong guy and Vegeta as the smarter, not as strong guy. Somehow, the two got Majin Buu and Piccolo involved in this tournament and Beerus had a secret guest that he is hyping up as the strongest person that he has ever fought. So basically, people we all knew before plus one guy fighting against five people from Universe 6 we know nothing about. That means there is a world of possibilities there which provides something interesting characters, different abilities that none of our characters knew how to deal with and who knows what else. Universe 6 is a mirror universe so maybe there are more saiyans. Who knows? I love that aspect.
More saiyans is absolutely what happens. Goku and others fight against unknown opponents and it’s honestly somehow light hearted. Especially since the stakes are low for most people on the Earth who don’t know anything about the universe outside of their own planet. Frost, an alien like Freiza, makes an appearance and he has a different, underhanded sort of evil from the Freiza we know. You know, poison which slowly becomes a controversy. Plus there is Cabba, a younger saiyan who also make an appearance. So those are things we know presented in different ways. There are a few we don’t like a giant, musclar pooh bear character by the name of Botamo makes an appearance. A robot that uses heat and has feelings by the name of Auta Magetta is also an opponent that allowed for cool action scenes to happen. My new favorite character in the Dragon Ball universe, Hit, is an very old assassin who manipulates time to kill people in undetectable ways. So much coolness.
What intrigues me about this arc is that it’s only 14 episodes in length and involves a lot of interesting and short fights. For most modern anime, that’s about the norm for shonen battle series these days that aren’t long running shows which want to last forever. For anything Dragon Ball after hitting Z, that’s astonishingly fast. Like holy crap. I think this was when Dragon Ball decided it wanted to fit in with modern anime somehow because of the large amount of time since a Dragon Ball series has hit the air and stream waves. Anime has changed. This is where Dragon Ball Super tried to find it’s footing by trying to mess with it’s formula in some ways while also staying close to what it knows by having a tournament. I’m not completely sure it succeeded here.
This line of thinking hit me since most of these fights are pretty creative in how they were fought. Even with newer characters that are more familiar to the plot then not. The saiyan race still has a planet in Universe 6 and has a better ideals, which provides Cabba and Vegeta with an interesting exploration between the two. Frost being different then Freiza because he isn’t as strong and hiding as a good guy while doing bad in front of the camera’s eyes was great too. Like I said, a lot of innoviations here in the middle of combat except for the last fight between Goku and Hit which starts out as interesting and turns into the standard Dragon Ball fight where they go at each other with all their strength. The only difference is Hit’s time abilities change a little more.
So what are some things that I take away from this arc? The thing that comes to my mind is adding more complexity and intrigue to Vegeta’s character. I mean, he’s already a well crafted and innovative character but Super wants to do more here no doubt about that. Seeing Vegeta acting in a fatherly way toward Cabba and teaching Cabba about the pride and dignity that he’s too young to understand right now is amazing things. Why? Because Cabba hasn’t had the proper guidance yet. I’m more then sure that Vegeta has taught young Trunks his ways too, but this is something different and new. Vegeta knows it too. Of course this sticks around and Vegeta is pushed in a different directions as time goes on. Our simple Goku finds another rival in Hit. Yet another person that can motivate Goku to push himself even more with a possibility of training with each other in the future. Typical goku turning an opponent into a rival thing that he always does. No biggy or change.
This saga is the major launching point for future arcs in a lot of ways. Especially with the end of the tournament when the lord of all universes Zeno the Omni King, shows up to talk about how awesome this tournament was (because he’s a kid with powers where he can do whatever he wants) and that he might considering doing a tournament sort of thing with all 12 universes in the possible future. Spoilers: It happens later on in the series and I will be getting to that in two weeks. Plus, Zeno’s interaction with Goku is just great. Maybe because they are at the same intellectual level which leads to Goku and Zeno understanding each other somehow. Goku can talk casually WITH THE STRONGEST PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE WHO CAN JUST STOP EXISTANCE ITSELF and everyone else is terrified. That never gets old for me. Seriously, it doesn’t.
For my final thoughts, I really liked this saga. Dragon Ball Super’s original content started off incredibly strong with a short, but powerful tournament arc full of Toriyama’s wonderful sense of humor, new and intriguing characters personalities and designs, some interesting world building, and a promise for more cool and larger fight to come with higher stakes. What else can you ask for when it comes to a fighting anime? Plus, the planet sized Super Dragon balls were awesome and full of appeal for me because it’s so much cooler then the black star dragon balls from GT. Need more powerful dragon balls? Make them insanely large. This isn’t the weak point of Dragon Ball Super. That weak point is either the movie adaptations that happened before hand or some of the things that happened in the future. With that, next week I will talk about the next saga, “Future” Trunks. Until the next time I post.
Thanks for reading everyone and I hope you are enjoying what I will be putting out this month. I’m a life long dragon ball fan, so these posts are more then necessary in my eyes.
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