I’ve been watching Dragonball Super on and off. I wrote about it once before on here, specifically to talk about the lack of quality animation and their choices to retell the Beerus and Resurrection F movies again in the anime. Of course I still watched them, maybe hoping for some minor changes to fix my gripes with some parts of those movies. But mainly I have been looking forward to the original plot for Super
Well they’re a few episodes into a totally original arc now and I’ve got to say, Dragonball Super still isn’t all that great. It’s a sad story I’ve seen many times before; fondly remembered series gets a revival, then proceeds to be fantastically mediocre. As strong a thing as nostalgia is, it can blind people from seeing that sometimes, things run their course. That they end for a reason.
The cruel irony is, I still want to keep watching it, despite not thinking much of what I’ve seen so far.
One of the hallmarks of the series, the fight scenes, have been my biggest disappointment so far. The animation continues to be poor, choreography of fights lack any dynamic, characters continue to look off model. It’s the same problems the series has had since it started. The two major fights have been people pounding on one another for a while, before the receiver of the beating finds extra energy reserves from somewhere and inexplicably turn it around. It’s not engaging to say the least, speaking of which…
Goku is such a moron. I don’t know me only watching the dub until now mode this less noticeable, but he is nigh unbearable. The character is zero depth in this series, he wants to fight strong opponents, and will tell anyone he possibly can this fact. It’s almost bad enough that the less I see of him the better I enjoy the character. The Goku is a bad parent/husband/provider joke has been going around for a while, the character has been boiled down to a single trait in Super and cares for little else.
While I’m on the topic of Goku being stupid, he has taken his habit of sparing the villain to a new and dangerous extreme. After it is obvious that the fight between Goku and Freeza is over, he straight up tells the evil, god powered megalomaniac that the only reason he lost was because he rushed to Earth before learning to control his new golden form, otherwise he would have easily beaten Goku. Then he fucking lets him go. Are. You. Serious…
Freeza should be the one villain you know will not turn over a new leaf, who will most definitely come back after taking your sage advice, and then royally fuck your shit up, as well as everyone within a 20 lightyear radius of you. You just let him go? The only reason Goku spared him on Namek was because even at 100% he was no threat to him, and he had been cut in half. Here, it simply boggles the mind. I’m starting to really dislike Goku.
Plus Vegeta isn’t much better. Again, Super is the first Dragonball I’ve watched that isn’t dubbed. But Vegeta’s character is so much different than it was during Z. Even the Buu Saga Vegeta had an edge to him, this version. I don’t know what’s going on.
As the Resurrection F saga ended, we got into the original storyline. A tournament being held between the strongest fighters from universe 7 (the mainline universe) and universe 6, which containes alternate versions of the races from what we’re used to. I don’t know if Toriyama knows anything about Dragonball Multiverse (again, a webcomic I recommend any Dragonball fan read) but it feels almost ripped from the pages of that story, a story I will say that Akira Toriyama- the original creator- has a uphill struggle to match in terms of quality and story.
There are a few upsides to still watching DBS though. Beerus and Whis are basically it. They’re two characters unlike any in the series prior, and they are both weirdly benevolent, ultra powerful beings who continue to lord over the heroes, but might possibly be a threat in the future?. They’re the characters I’m coming to Super to see these days, not the heroes of my childhood.
One other promising point is after his embarrassing display against Freeza, Gohan has endeavoured to begin training with Piccolo again. When I wrote about how the Buu saga sucked not so long ago I pointed out Gohan’s character getting the shaft in a big way as one of my opening points. I’m hoping that Super can salvage him in some way and make him the character he was supposed to be. Plus, I was pissed when Majin Buu was one of the representatives for Universe 7 in the tournament, thank god he got disqualified beforehand.
Also, having Freeza kill Piccolo and then he’s just alive again in the next scene, having wished him back with the Dragonballs, it truly gives credence to my claim that death truly has no meaning for the heroes in the Dragonball universe.