Seven years after the events of Dragon Ball Z, Earth is at peace, and its people live free from any dangers lurking in the universe. However, this peace is short-lived; a sleeping evil awakens in the dark reaches of the galaxy: Beerus, the ruthless God of Destruction.
Disturbed by a prophecy that he will be defeated by a "Super Saiyan God," Beerus and his angelic attendant Whis start searching the universe for this mysterious being. Before long, they reach Earth where they encounter Gokuu Son, one of the planet's mightiest warriors, and his similarly powerful friends.
#01: "Hello Hello Hello (ハローハローハロー)" by Good Morning America (eps 1-12) #02: "Starring Star (スターリングスター)" by KEYTALK (eps 13-25) #03: "Usubeni (薄紅)" by LACCO TOWER (eps 26-36) #04: "Forever Dreaming" by Czecho No Republic (eps 37-49) #05: "Yoka-Yoka Dance (よかよかダンス)" by Batten Shoujo-tai (ばってん少女隊) (eps 50-59) #06: "Chaohan MUSIC (炒飯MUSIC)" by Arukara (60-72) #07: "Aku no Tenshi to Seigi no Akuma" by THE COLLECTORS (73-83) #08: "Boogie Back" by Miyu Inoue (井上実優) (eps 84-96) #09: "Haruka (遥)" by LACCO TOWER (eps 97-108) #10: "70cm Shiho no Madobe (70cm四方の窓辺)" by ROTTENGRAFFTY (eps 109-121)
Dragon ball Super is no doubt a very polarising and divisive show
Being A big fan of the franchise I'm terribly disappointed with Super
as a Whole by how unprepared and downgraded it feels throughout.
The original provided so many great stuff as well as some issues but what is really baffling is the behind the scene problems in regards to Toei Animation and the writers generating so much revenue to make this show and not giving us one arc to actually satisfy me from beginning to end and as a fan its almost insulting to me and many of the dragonball core fanbase.
This review will
be VERY extensive as I have a LOT to say that will be SPOILER HEAVY so warning if you don't like spoilers.
I will go in depth with my overall thoughts about Dragon ball Super taking in some account the manga as well.
NOTE I would not suggest attempting to watch this series unless you have prior knowledge to the history regarding the previous series Dragon ball, Dragon ball Z/Kai or even the dragonball manga.
If there are certain points that readers agree or disagree with let me know but do take some time to actually thoroughly read through in depth.
STORY - 3
I like to start by talking about what i consider to be easily the WORST aspect of this series, The Pre production, The Execution and the Writing in general is a MAJOR downgrade compared to the previous series that I feel most can agree with me ON.
Yeah Sure there are a number of decent stuff to mention in regards to the story here whether it'd be seeing fun interactions with the same colorful cast of characters, Seeing some cool older techniques in action such as the Kaioken, Solar Flare, The Multi form, Destructo Disc, instant transmission, Masenko, Final Flash, Android Barrier, kamehameha or the evil containment wave of the Mafuba, Alongside Having some good action and nice moments with some standard comedy combine with these elements of Slice of life with some of the characters that are displayed in different parts of the show which are mostly filler but as I've mentioned in my previous Dbz Kai review they do well in adding more look into the characters in their own scenarios.
I feel in my opinion they are usually placed in the right sort of areas of the show and can be entertaining in its own way which in all honesty should of been more of that formula throughout Instead of as to what the main arcs in the show end up with eventually,
DBS does do a good job in paying homage to some classic nostalgic moments from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z through a lot of scenes and flashbacks including technique recreations that We fans have lived through our experience as we watched Dragon Ball Super deliver these moments though however some vary in terms of quality.
what I thought was an Interesting addition was having this power tier within the dragon ball lore and world building that establishes more in the story,
A power tier for a group of characters which i like to call The God tier, Of course gods are nothing new since we have had a lot introduce through the course of this franchise however this concept although nothing new does add a lot in terms of lore and world building which is part of the new power scaling of the story itself, So to give you an example you have..
> The Kaioshins/Supreme Kais who like many in this god tier, have existed for many millenniums are known as the Gods of Creation. They are known to create Life such as Planets/moons/stars in their universes to ensure quality of life is maintained especially after those forms of life are destroyed in the process to keep the Balance of their own Mortal levels in their universe in order along with its mortal levels and quality of life can keep prospering through its creation as assigned from their superiors or previous generation of Kai And from Higher beings like angels grand priest, and most important
The ruler of All/Omni King Etc that have chosen the Kaioshins to oversee this as their Task and Life duty/purpose.
> The Gods of Destruction/Destroyers/Hakaioshins their status are similar to Kaioshins but are polar opposites in how they undergo their methods the fact that they are known for destroying, You would think this falls into danger but its actually a process in order to maintain balance in their universes just like their opposite counter parts. As the 7th God of Destruction Lord Beerus once stated in Battle of Gods ''Before Creation Comes Destruction'' Its a Destroyer's job to destroy what is deem to cause unbalance In their own universe due to its Mortal level and quality of life.
There are 1 god of destruction in each 12 universe and whats quite interesting is that each god of destruction are different in appearance unlike the angels or the kaioshins that appear to have a similar looks and features regardless of genders within own hierarchy. The Gods of destruction are powerful beings from different species that have attained a powerful godly state of power respectively to undergo their task/life duty in carrying out destruction from the higher ups in the god tier.
Assigned to each gods of destruction is 1 Angel per god of destruction who are in charge in supervising the gods of destruction if certain things could go out of hand then the angel are assigned to them makes sure to oversee that their task are done correctly according to the highest among the god tier Grand Priest and The Omni King.
Both Gods of Creation and Destruction of each universe are supposedly linked to each other in the idea that if 1 dies so does that other which is why their roles and fates are intertwine with one another.
> Angels Above the hierarchy of gods of creation and destruction and oversee this progress
> Omni-King/Ruler Of All is at the highest of this God Tier and as the name suggests rules over all 12 universes and All beings in existence.
And now unfortunately, Sigh....
lets get into the BAD..And There are a Bucket List of them.
Because what i just said above was I felt in my opinion are the only good stuff regarding this series.
There are MANY flaws in regards to the story that fail in such an Epic way in this category and yes the dragon ball franchise usually establishes as this fun action anime for kids and teens much to the dismay of others looking more along the lines of noteworthy writing. But in a way when it comes to its writing to DBS NEVER did it have to fall so flat on its face and stumble,
this IS exactly what DBS does which is so disappointing.
So to start off with its first biggest blunder was wasting weeks upon weeks to re-adapt the story lines of two films that most fandom and viewers had already seen.
Fans of the Dragon Ball franchise were eagerly waiting for the story to continue upon the release of Dragon Ball Super's first couple of arcs but were instead greeted by the start to a long remake of Battle of Gods and Fukkatsu no F.
Yeah Sure, both story arcs did a bit of tweaks to change things up such as having Bulma's birthday party take place on a cruise ship rather than the Capsule Corporation property with some scenes adjusted to a few character moments However I myself here would've personally omit these two story arcs completely, starting Dragon Ball Super off with the Universe 6 Tournament Arc, taking more time to develop that arc and it's characters alongside new characters like champa, vados, Cabbe, Hit, Magetta, Jaco, a better introduction to the fact bulma has a sister and so forth would have led to a better build up for these characters as well as giving the viewers better insight about them like we did with Beerus And Whis and through actual good competent writing it would've easily given fans much more acknowledgement and intrigue to these characters.
Another MAJOR FLAW was The Pre production with its storyboard along with Art and Animation which looked very bad at times in Battle of Gods and the Fukkatsu no F as well as the handling of the storyboard within the arcs and episodes dragging on for way too long for having such a short arc between the 2. (Not just these first 2 arcs but all of the arcs in general)
Cool story concepts were just thrown out the window, like Goten and Trunks making their appearance in the battle against Frieza only to defuse right away.
I personally hate stuff like this in the writing of these characters if they aren't gonna follow through on what they can contribute to the arc because the movie left the idea open that both these characters would have aged (which is something that the writer should also fix) Not to mention that it would be dangerous for them to be there because Frieza was defeated and killed by saiyans who resemble the two boys, that being of course Goku and Future Trunks.
Regardless whether you like or dislike these, the movies handled these storylines in a short and sweet manner within the Time frame it had and with better art and animation direction since it suited more for a feature length production than anything not a 13 episode series with not much expanded upon at ALL, Unless your name was Goku or Vegeta
because simply put, the movie didn't waste poor animation sequences on dragging out something we had already seen and no doubt, I would want to fix this and improve upon it but Toei messed this up ENTIRELY and even during the manga it had already SKIPPED the ROF movie since it was previously adapted anyway so what was the point in all of that?
These movie retellings start after episode 3 all the way to episode 27 with some in between fillers not seen at this point which does hint at some important story developments later on We do get to see other decent stuff like Gohan And Videl's First child Pan, and additional training segments that goku and vegeta undertake guided by their new mentor whis which is also important for later on but to be placed in between 2 short arcs that are just movies being retold is not only extremely lazy but kills that excitement of prospect for your audience who would have seen this before the series was even being developed and demand new content that will be something they wouldn't have seen yet.
Also not many characters get treated very well in the spotlight here as much as both goku and vegeta do and throughout most of the show it is pretty much The goku and vegeta show.
Speaking of the 2 characters lets talk about yet ANOTHER Big problem with this show in terms of how bad things really got here and that is POWER SCALING or Power Creep which ever one you prefer, There are so many problems that this show is plagued by that writing about it for me would take an entire week!
NO SERIOUSLY it is gotten SO bad to the point that the writing contradicts itself in almost every part of the story which pretty much shows the lack of passion any of the writers has in the show (Cough Cough Toriyama)
Also the fact that a lot of episode titles spoil the viewers on the episode at hand doesn't help as well as regarding power-scaling.
NOW honestly I'm not the best at depicting Power-Scaling here but I'm a professional in sensing bullshit. The Power-Scaling in Dragon Ball Super is GOD AWFUL and yes it arguably has needed some work ever since.
But DBS as a WHOLE is a totally new level of Incoherent as they completely throw scaling into A giant Turdstorm creating one of the WORST power scaling I've seen from the entirety of this franchise And amplifying it Over 9000 with Absurd logic in all direction that kills any believable sense or value to its moments.
There are many examples and culprits of this throughout
And I'm not quite sure how it could be fixed at this point but I believe the introduction of God Ki could have taken a different and more logical route rather than the nonsensical bullshit route it's taken thus far.
Yes! Gods in anime are nothing new in dragonball, hell not even in anime in general since they have been around for a long time. However, lately things have been getting out of hand with some of the big shonen Title series like Naruto and Dragonball.
There are a lot of problems in Naruto involving gods too, but here isn't the place to cover it Anyways I digress.
A lot of you may not even think this is a big problem. You may say "I think God characters are great. Just look at Beerus, he's cool." And to that I would have to agree, some God characters are great, but answer this question that goes back even to the first "god" in Dragonball, how do Gods affect the world of the story being told as a whole??
Ok here is a lengthy example i'm going to share with you to empthasize my point here Let's take a look back at the original dragonball at what Kami (The former Earth Guardian) brought to the table from when he was introduced as a God.
The world beforehand had been established as a world of strong super human martial artists who trained until they were unable to grow any stronger. Sure, it was a little wonky, but the characters were all on par with one another, leading to epic fights that pushed people to their limits. Hell, Yamcha was on par with Krillin for a while. Everyone had their own abilities and were useful in some way or another. But then Kami showed up, and the power gaps began to form.
Goku became stronger than everyone else until Piccolo shows up who in a sense was his only rival. Everyone else after started to take a back seat and, in some cases, just gave up. Look at Yamcha, yeah he gets made fun of because he sucks and is lazy now, but way back in Dragonball he was one of the strongest humans we knew about. Then the gaps formed, and he just quits fighting.
Honestly, you can't blame him, I'd quit too if my opponents could fight a God and live to tell about it.
Some of you reading through may be wondering, "Why am I debating on this whole God thing being such a huge problem in dragonball,
and can it be fixed?" And actually, it isn't that hard but yes it can
(If Toriyama actually had a decent editor by his side).
For me, I personally have given this a lot of thought because there are at least two easy ways to make Gods not ruin a series no matter how strong or broken you make them.
Now at this moment I like to address my attention and focus on the relevance of powerscaling regarding strong and weaker characters regarding their power. Actually, I don't have a whole lot to say here, because nothing needs to be said thats already been said. You can see from any random episode in Dragonball Super how massive the gap in powers are and how far out of their way they have to go to make weak characters relevant.
Just go back and watch the episode 61 of Future Trunks gaining a new transformation when goku and vegeta fail to deal with the villains Goku Black and Zamasu and tell ME they didn't have to do some absolute bullcrap powerup to make Trunks seem relevant to the current scaling right there.
for example Like how was Trunks able to fight on par with a Super Saiyan Blue? and a Super Saiyan Rosé? They are suppose to be God forms that are much greater than the typical variations of super saiyan form/stages of 1, 2 & 3 from the previous series DBZ.
Speaking Of Gods what about Humans? Oh did you think i was gonna let the Plot Armour BS with Future Mai Slide?? Like Guns other than sorbet's stupid alien ray gun should have any effects on Inhuman level threats here. Or even Master Roshi using the Mafuba like 3 times in a roll which should technically kill him on the first try? like SERIOUSLY? if this is an attempt in trying to push certain character importance in the story than its a real lousy attempt which does not give any depth or honest credibility to the characters except for the plot at bay yes about the not so noteworthy writing from earlier,
(I'm fully aware of it) But it gets much WORSE.
Here is Another example, How was Android 17 and Krillin and even Gohan able to fight against Super Saiyan Blue Goku? Sure he was holding back but I don't buy the fact that simply training to match that level of goku's power would give Android 17 that much of an increase in power never mind having unlimited energy when he was NOWHERE the level of imperfect cell back in Z!? I'm sure I'm going to get hate for that but I and many other fans simply don't believe it let alone buy it at all!
Frieza Training for 4 months to reach a form that surpasses Super Saiyan Blue? No way that's gonna just fly by with me, even if he was born with the power to fight Super Saiyan Goku and never trained a day in his life.
One of the more worser culprit on this topic is no doubt Future Trunks and our 2 new female saiyans yes the very first females to become super saiyans in the franchise Caulifa And Kale not only gain such an increase from only turning into super saiyans for the first time but then excel at becoming enough powerful to even challenge the likes of goku at his new found Saiyan god power And they are way below that level!!??
The writing is beyond the point of sheer disrespect to those characters that worked hard to earn it which is such a MAJOR PROBLEM IN THIS SHOW! It feels like with certain characters here like trunks, kale, 17, Caulifa etc, gaining these high level of power to even be able to match their powers towards the main character goku makes me feel that NOTHING feels earned.
If only the show Took some time to develop God Ki, no matter if it's an episode or two, It should've tried its best to fix this new level of power so the show can stay interesting instead what you end up here is this mess and speaking of A mess, I mean what isn't a mess with this show? I have not even started with the other flaws of this show yet lol
Geez I've never cringed so hard at a anime in regards to transformations as much as this one, this is one of the most over used in the shonen genre of anime but its creativity of it now lacks any substance or meaning for any character with a new form in this show and just feels like color pallet changes like throwing multi color sprinkles on top of the worst birthday cake ever. ( Not to mention The names of some of these transformations are downright BAD and convoluted to say in face value)
In short When it comes to power ups and transformations in dragonball it is sadly now become a complete joke when before it really wasn't and at times in this series it can look like a complete Asspull.
While I'm on this topic of transformations and now Asspulls, I'm going to talk about Trunks and his Super Saiyan ANGST Oh sorry RAGE form, something that proved to be more effective than the wasted potential known as Potaro Fusion Vegito's reappearance. Super Saiyan Rage is commonly referred to as an Asspull because we never really got to see Trunks earn the power despite his brief training with Vegeta. (like getting his ass kicked about over the place by daddy counts.)
I stated earlier that I would love if they didn't have the two movie arcs adapted at the start of DBS, and I believe that omitting those two arcs would greatly help in opening up more time for future story arcs to develop.
I would personally have taken the time to dive into Trunks and his hidden potential, I would spend the time showing how he became as strong as he was and why he was worthy of fighting among gods such as Goku, Vegeta, and Goku Black. That way, his form wouldn't be such an asspull because it would have been developed and built up where otherwise wasn't in the finished product.
But Toei were like nope lets just place it in there on the spot with no proper build up what so ever.
Lastly what hurts the story the most is the lack of URGENCY!
When you get right down to it the main story plot are not really as interesting or not as varied as it could be in certain arcs there are many places that could of been explored or characters to get a better in depth look into (I'm Looking at YOU JIREN The GAY).
Even though yes we do get more about the lore regarding the gods of destruction and angels as well as its laws and the order that governs universes and certain species with their own unique traits but we should be given enough information that could keep viewers invested as it tend to deviates to having what is perhaps very common nowadays and that is fake tension or the likelihood of something at stake which lets be honest the show is called dragon ball where the dead can be bought back to the living anyways however what made the previous series standout was how the mood change in the story of when something dangerous was not what the heroes could expect.
But Now the heroes have unlikely help thanks to beerus and whis and granted even Zeno which is a character who is at the top tier of all the powerful characters and yet goku has already befriended him so where is the urgency gone now and where can the danger even esculate from there? AND on top of that is Of course The Super Dragonballs..
Personally I believe that the Dragon Balls should be restricted to Planet Earth and Namek. The Dragon Balls were originally created by Namekians and they were programmed to have restrictions, keeping some portion of intensity and stakes for our characters. But now we have planet sized balls that can literally grant anything and can supposedly be gathered quite quick.
Taking away these Dragon Balls would keep the little tension that Dragon Ball had left rather than completely making anything possible. Sure, these Super Dragon Balls could have been created by a Namekian and they have helped moved story arcs forward, but aside from opening up the idea of a godly Namekian they are instead created by some dragon god Zarama,
Seriously! the Super Dragon Balls are such a stupid addition to the series that I wish they would be remove from the story completely to keep tension to a series that arguably had lost all the tension and stakes that it had. Which is why the pre production, the writing and any concept are lost in the mix and overall damages itself and its chances to make any convincingly good story ideas what so ever and instead decides to shoot itself in the foot along with the fact that this story takes place within a 10 year time skip before the end of Z which happens to indicate in the very least that there was never any tension to begin with. but hey at least they have the marketing and merchandising down right???
ART/ANIMATION - 6
Okay I know that this review is long enough as it is, but I REALLY want to discuss In depth about this department of DBS as the art and animation has been hit with many complaints During its run time which i'm going to super dive into so this will be a Long one here folks..I know (Sorry).
Now to note, I am not defending nor attacking the animation of Super. There are moments where it looks obviously poor in how its handled, but there are also moments where it's undeniably great. Taking sides would be immature on my part, and the point of this review is to eliminate some very common lies about Super, but in the process some of you may look at the animation differently than you once did. If you think Super looks great as of now, or if you think it still looks Subpar, I can understand both viewpoints, but for this review I won't be picking sides.
Even if there are points where it seems like I'm trying to defend Super's animation, I only do so as there is far more negative misinformation than positive. But before I begin myth busting, it's best that you know many prominent words in this review that relate to animation which are crucial to understanding the topic at hand.
First things first, it's best to make sure that you're aware of the difference between art, animation, and story boarding, because I've seen many people refer to art or story boarding as animation, which they clearly aren't. Art is exactly what we all know it as, it's a motionless drawing that is used in conjunction with other drawings to create what we know as animation.
Animation is the process of utilizing multiple drawings in a sequence to convey movement, but the animation is a result of numerous drawings, not just one. Storyboarding is a basic outline given to the animators which basically tells them how each scene is constructed and how the animators should animate that scene, or if you want to use an analogy, you could say that the storyboard is the skeleton while the art and animation are the skin. So when you see a bad pictures from Dragonball Super Episode 5, 24, 25 (btw there are many!)
If you really like the camera angles or choreography of a certain scene, the person to praise for those ideas being implemented is usually the storyboard artist rather than the animators, as the storyboard artist builds the skeleton of the episode.
However, this is not always the case, as some animators such as Naotoshi Shida decide to completely ignore the episode's storyboard and animate a scene purely with their own thought process.
But now for the staff positions. Key animators and inbetween animators speak for themselves, they draw key frames and inbetween frames respectively. The difference between them is that a key frame is generally on the screen for much longer than an inbetween frame, so because of that key frames are generally quite detailed whereas inbetweens are very rough, as the viewer doesn't see them for more than a fraction of a second. There are also second key animators, who assist that episode's animation supervisors by correcting as many iffy frames of art as they can to ensure more consistent quality across the board. The storyboard artist obviously makes the storyboard which is essentially the skeleton of the entire episode. All of these people are what keep an episode afloat, while the higher ups focus on refining their work.
Lastly, the higher ups themselves. The animation supervisor is someone who orchestrates the animators as well as correcting their work to make sure it looks good and consistent, and occasionally animating sections of their own. The assistant supervisor is obviously the assistant to the animation supervisor, often helping by animating a scene in the episode or also providing corrections. The chief animation supervisor has the job to basically take art frames already corrected by the supervisors and correct them to ensure that there is a good bridge between the differing styles of the multiple supervisors.
There is also what I'm going to be referring to as "bank animation", which is basically animation that is recycled to be used across multiple episodes, as a lot of people have noticed that tactic being used recently in Super. However, utilizing bank animation didn't just start recently, in fact it's been used in the Dragonball series for a long time. However, the reason why we're seeing it so often in Super recently is both due to the show's schedule and as a method to decrease the amount of work animators need to put on an episode so they can work on another one later down the line. But it's not like Dragonball invented this tactic, as it's pretty unanimous among most anime franchises.
Something I've seen Many people claim about Dragonball Super episodes is budget. If the budget is high the animation is great, and if the budget is low the animation sucks. That seems to be people's thought process about how Super's animation works, that a good episode has a large budget, and a bad episode had a small one. It would seem obvious, after all, isn't that how most anime work? To put it simply, all these claims are wholeheartedly false.
To begin with, the animation of an episode depends on other factors far more than it depends on a budget. A typical Super episode relies on the following: - How large the staff for the episode is. - How skilled the staff itself is collectively. - How well the supervisor can handle said staff. - How good the storyboard artist for the episode is. - How many other projects the staff members are working on at a given time. - How important Toei's higher ups view that episode being. - Most importantly of all, how long it takes to produce.
That's a lot to take in but in layman's terms it means budget is almost completely irrelevant to how a Super episode looks. If you look at the best looking episodes, they often have very large talented staffs with great supervisors and storyboard artists, are viewed by Toei as important and hyped up episodes, and have many more weeks of time given to work on them than a lesser episode.
A typical Super episode usually gets around six or seven weeks of production, whereas a more important episode gets anywhere from eight to even eleven weeks.
In fact, this holds true for almost any anime in general. Budget isn't really a big factor for animation for almost any episodic anime you've watched. Just as an example, One Punch Man, which has been praised to no end for its incredible animation, had only an average budget as stated by the series' own director, and the reason for the amazing animation quality was actually the hardworking and well organized staff. In conclusion, budget does not have a substantial effect on the animation quality of most anime, especially Dragonball Super, even more so due to how Toei often has multiple ongoing series that they produce.
Finally, the series' schedule is something I want to discuss. People seem to think that because the animation in Super has become more consistently good recently compared to past arcs, the schedule for the series has improved. But this is not the case, in fact it's a problem that will continuously affect Super far later down the line. Almost any anime in the industry takes around half a year to prepare for the show's eventual premiere, so that the animators aren't rushed to finish an episode at the last minute and risk losing quality. But Super, due to Toei's poor planning, only had around two months of pre-production at most and aired with only the first four episodes completed.
This is exactly why certain Episodes was so terribly rushed; the series' schedule collapsed on the animators and they had to turn in tons of sloppy work to even get the episode to air on time. Because of Toei's nonexistent foresight, not only did early episodes suffer, all future episodes would have to cope with it. The schedule for Super means the second animators finish one episode they immediately have to begin working on another, or they sometimes work on multiple episodes at once, or they even have to use bank animation from a previous episode to keep up with the schedule's demands.
Many of the worst looking episodes of Super were almost entirely outsourced, as it was essentially a necessary sacrifice to keep up the quality of later episodes. Episode 90, (Frieza Returns) one of the most praised Super episodes, had one of the worst schedules of any episode of the series, but the crew pulled out all the stops and managed to make an above average episode regardless. The reason why newer episodes look better isn't because the schedule itself has improved, but rather that the animators are playing it smarter and using tactics that minimise the stress and make sure the episode makes it on time while still looking consistent.
Also, if you look at more modern episodes, even then there are almost no newbies on Super, in fact as Super has progressed more and more animation veterans join the cast. If an episode looks poor, it could be due to any number of factors, many of which I mentioned earlier (lack of time, lack of staff, etc.) but it's almost never due to the animators being inexperienced. Now that doesn't mean that there aren't BAD animators, but even then the bad animators on Super still have years of experience and simply aren't able to make as good of work as other animators thanks to Super's schedule.
At this point in Super's life cycle, bad or at the very least minimalistic episodes are practically a necessity to make sure good episodes turn out alright. Even if an episode isn't exactly bad, more often than not it's an episode that is mostly story with minimal complex animation, all for the sake of allowing the animators to work on later episodes. Sadly, if these types of episodes didn't exist, Super would be an awful looking mess. Despite all the leaps Super has taken in animation quality, it will unfortunately never live up to its full potential, all thanks to a bad start that turned so many people away right as the show began.
As much as many of us hate to admit it, Super's animation will likely never be up to par with other shonen animes such as My Hero Academia, Hunter x Hunter, or the previously mentioned One Punch Man. It certainly has shown brief moments of spectacle, but thanks to Toei's terrible preproduction planning and the schedule that will always be a leash around the animators' necks, the chances of getting episodes like Episode 66 are once in a blue moon at this point. The animation quality of Super has improved, and there's no denying that, but unless Super decides to take long seasonal breaks (which it never did) to give the staff the time to recuperate, there will always be poor episodes of Super.
Character designs In this series leave much to be desire which makes me miss some old school editors from the past on this one here. I like some of the updated looks of certain characters but not all, some of them i do question like why does goten and trunks still look like they are 8 year olds and not actually teenagers like Teen gohan was? (Even though technically Teen Gohan was like 11 years old back then) Either way they should've at least aged somewhat.
Or why is Future Trunks hair color change from purple to blue all of a sudden? new characters like Beerus, Hit, Jaco, Zamasu have pretty good designs as well as some attires the characters wear like whatever bulma wears or the training gear goku and vegeta had when training with whis and a few of the gods of destruction looked okay.
But I'm not gonna lie, some do look like zelda character draft rejects honestly, and some of the species of other universes do look very generic.
Also what crackpipe was Toriyama smoking when he came up with the design of Botamo, Ribrianne or Quitela the god of destruction of Universe 4 these designs were some of the worst designs I've seen were some of these designs from GT or something? Botamo looks like some of the worst design for a character I've seen in a long time.
CHARACTERS: Overall - 5
This was one of the categories that can hold difference of opinions no doubt, but I feel in this instance I specially Chosen Characters that are mostly in a lot of talks among the Community often which got me and a lot of viewers talking about as well as others have their own sort of screen time and not something that is just here and there in a few episodes and are forgotten about otherwise I would be here forever talking about this (Which I have). So now I'll discuss characters and not in any order of rank.
Baby Pan - 9
Best Character In DBS EASILY! And best version of Pan Overall And can kick everyone's Ass! Don't care what anyone says.
Vegeta - 8
Vegeta is first here being the Main Character here receiving the most shine in this series here should not come to a surprise to anyone.
You see Vegeta has grown a lot more since dragon ball Z as a character who only cared for only being the best of himself and putting those around him under him, since then he has become more understanding and disciplined as a warrior who actually ensures the safety of those around him and every arc adds a little more of a certain level of conviction, as well as emotional and physical layer to his character.
Vegeta in the BoG arc allows Goku to attain God Ki and supported him through out the battle which gives off instance of his moment in the Buu arc back in Z of him willing to fuse with goku, His Outburst when he reacts to that Bulma Scene also gives that much valid weight to Vegeta's character as a husband which carries over even in the RoF arc and then even more in the Universe 6 arc with another fellow character and saiyan called Cabbe who is from a different opposite universe to his own which vegeta embraces and the fact that he'd mentor someone and treat him as a brother like other saiyans is not only surprising for his character but is equally progressive.
This no doubt seals his own Saiyan Pride even more as Its more of a testament of vegeta of the Z era onwards. he has also been responsible for my favorite scene in the Future Trunks arc where he came In beating the hell out of Black through their second fight encounter after much more thorough rigorous training that made vegeta excel much more in power than Black's Power himself and putting in contention with that of goku's own level of power.
he also delivers the most epic lines in number of scenes in the show.
I also cannot forget the development he displayed with Future Trunks and most importantly later on, the birth of Bulla and caring about what happens to his family since hes settled on Earth,
A planet that was set his sights on under direction to destroy back in Z since before he was a ruthless space pirate who did the most unforgivable of deeds and to think such a character could make such a big change and turn around his ways is nothing short of amazing in this show.
Which is easy to see why Vegeta is by FAR One of the best character in my opinion in terms of his progression and development.
Yeah there can be a few occasional nitpicks at times like when the writers do to make him forcefully say somethings that seems quite uncharacteristic of himself, At times not being a team player in the tournament of power showing his tsundere-like outburst despite how good he was when showing his cooperation with goku and others against majin buu in the previous show, or even getting piccolo to forfeit against frost and YES, he is still prone to being a secondary main character because goku as usual is the main protagonist BUT that doesn't stop him from being the most utilized and fleshed out character of the bunch for his many moments like him protecting Krillin and Bulma in the ROF Arc, Giving piccolo warning about whis about the higher powers of certain characters as a way to give him some insight of the danger.
Protecting trunks and goku from being destroyed by goku black and zamasu as well as taking a stance in his fight with the All powerful Jiren. Showing his disgust about future bulma's death at the hands of goku black, Helping Master Roshi In the tournament of power Or even protecting future trunks from Merged Zamasu.
These moments of his character are very good on behalf of vegeta In this that surprisingly HE feels more like he's a heroic protagonist more so than even GOKU himself. that in general I feel Db Super has kinda been like vegeta's show and In my opinion has had more varied screen time than that of the previous series.
I sadly cannot say the same regarding the main protagonist and my favourite Son Goku in this series, while he has gotten much more stronger than ever before his character has also regressed significantly due to the writing and let me tell you its PAINFUL to watch when the writers cannot distinguish between his blunt carefree nature and his fighting nature and instead just flanderizes a lot about his character in his thinking and action to catered to a child friendly audience to the point that his obsession for stronger fighters becomes too aggravating to say the least and gets worse and worse throughout.
Its really trying way too hard even for selling goku considering hes already had progression however in this his mindset is that of a toddler and not someone who seems carefree, blunt and nonchalant in that selfish way he normally would be and for me and some of the older crowd its extremely Tedious and it bastardize some of the better aspect regarding goku's character.
I feel Goku is now this cheaply timed failed comedic fighter which honestly should not be there since there is a time and a place for when its needed but they CONSTANTLY do this with goku every time he was on screen which is like 85% of the series itself!
Its no laughing matter as this makes us the viewers think that goku story in dbs made to out to be brain dead which is completely wrong and goes back from certain lessons hes learned already throughout the franchise.
As goku just now looks like a Mascot of making way further for more transformations In conjuncture to more unnecessary power level increase.
Not only is Beerus an extremely powerful deity, He is a welcome addition to the dragon ball cast along with whis, beerus is quite the realistic talker when it comes to his commentary as well in terms his serious nature and ruthless remarks and his laid back attitude can be quite endearing.
Beerus casually makes jokes and is hit around by Bulma now at times, but he still sends this sense of chills every time he gets serious which is quite odd to do at the same time. Beerus is also develops more as he gets to warm up to goku and his friends through out these arcs and I'm hoping maybe one day we can see him more in a situation to care about his own universe regarding his past actions.
Beerus's design along with his attitude is a nice welcome edition to have in this story as he and Whis fits rather well into the main cast of characters of this franchise.
One of the strongest characters as well as being the most neutral amongst the cast as well as becoming Goku and Vegeta's new Teacher which holds him high in terms of importance. He is also One of the more interesting characters in the show as he tends to hold in balance a lot of morals and choices throughout the entire show.
He along with his sister Vados can be a little mischievous (mostly vados) but no doubt his calm demeanour as well as his mysterious origin of his species and great power makes him a welcome addition alongside other characters in the show. Lastly hes just entertaining to watch.
Others would prefer his sister due to her attitude and figure.. I suppose, but strangely in the manga whis quotes stating that his sister is actually meant to be slightly above him in terms of power so that could also be that too.
Bulma - 7
Its easy to say that without Bulma there would never have been a dragon ball franchise (lets be honest) This instance it sort of reminds me of toriyama's wife but honestly I never was a fan of Bulma Briefs However that being said her role in super is much more invested in the story of some arcs and not as over the top like it was in GT. She is still as sassy as ever and her relationship further on with Vegeta is even more of a joy to see.
Son Gohan - 6
Gohan is one of the most Controversial to say the least amongst his fanbase considering how he had been handled after the majin buu arc back in Z.
He has gone through a rocky road still as his writing in the show feels very conflicted which did not favour a lot with some fans and understandably so, His Involvement in Super through a lot of the series run time was becoming a joke at this point and it started to annoy me greatly as the aspect of his character was for the most part was being brushed aside by his own career prospect didn't even do much for himself in the plot of multiple arcs which purposefully made him be on the sideline, not to mention that nearly being killed by frieza only to be save by his mentor and friend piccolo for the 50th time was jarring just to create some tension for that arc that was already badly written and showed regression in his character to the point where he was below his own power when he was a teenager back then when he first unlocked his SSJ transformation for the first time, while also wearing what some fans call his worst design the green jump tracksuit (which I honestly didn't mind).
His interaction with Future Trunks after not seeing him in a very long time was really too brief but also way too carefree and yes I'm aware gohan has a completely different to that of future trunks but I felt gohan could show at least more concern and urgency regarding future trunk's presence again another inconsistency of gohan's character shown here which he then later regrets when he finds out the real predicament later concerning future trunks.
Now what annoyed me the most about gohan In super wasn't the lack of progression or screen time with his character, It was how in certain episodes they kept teasing gohan to get back into action alongside goku but never really did so until much later on which was Irksome for many that like gohan to have some shine and involvement again but yet again the writers didn't bother to utilize his character at all throughout the show until the very last arc which sees him make a comeback of power to the so called Mystic/ultimate gohan which FINALLY made gohan have a presence about him again since Z.
He was also tasked with great importance in this arc as he was made the team captain leader in saving his universe during the tournament of power which is a really big step up as he was involved by far with the best teamwork in the tournament along with 17.
But after some time never really has that memorable standout moment to rival that on what he did against cell yet again that is a very tough moment to top in general. He does capture a few good moments but not enough I feel to really feel as worth it as I wanted it to be due to how his writing was handled early on throughout. still it could've been much worse.
Majin Buu. - 5.5
Well What I can say about majin buu actually does have a Great action scene in the show but apart from that the writers don't really do much with Majin Buu and annoyingly shaft buu on the sideline through many occasions where he should of been involved in the story which I found very annoyed since I feel his character could of shown many contribution within the arcs of super.
Frieza - 6.5
Never thought I say this but I think frieza might just be the most Perplexing character in this series and someone who was just being A generic villain in ressurection of F makes a strange inclusion within the show in the very last arc (Mostly for marketing reasoning) but to think that this Iconic villain who barely had much interest in ROF to suddenly make yet another comeback to then suddenly become the most unique decision within the last arc is something i didn't expect.
What I actually mean by this was this was quite interesting direction considering frieza's reputation and the fact that one of the most iconic villains in the franchise actually becomes part of the main group of heroes actually gives more intrigue to how plays off the cast and how the cast play off him as well as the dynamics he provide as part of a team where they know trusting one of the sinister villains is not going to be at the top of anyone's agenda with his character which does mix up a lot of interest to frieza's character to something we wouldn't have witness before in any scenario which in itself was rather unique choice to spice up what could happen next. very deceptive and surprisingly witty however due to you guessed it.. the bad handling with the writing team they didn't quite utilize his fully with certain characters that could have been worthwhile if they had a better grasp on the arc and its plot points.
The real interest i love with frieza during the arc is his interactions with Goku between the 2 that have such a chemistry between the heroism of goku and frieza's darker villainy here that does adds some certain depth of tension which gives off more of a nostalgia vibe between them. I wish the same could have been done more so for Frost and Frieza 2 of which being of the same species.
Krillin - 6
Krillin's screen time I've always loved since he is a very likeable character in the franchise, In super I enjoy seeing him quite a lot and feel some of my favourite aspect about his character is that he knows hes not the strongest and tends to freeze in certain situation however he does overcome that quickly and trains more to improve himself.
Piccolo - 5.5
SIGH..oh boy How the relevance of our favourite namekian here diminished completely in this, piccolo's character is really handled quite badly in this show now allow me to explain, Yes He literally becomes the best nanny in the world for pan growing up but is that all we know piccolo for??
He does give good insight into knowing about fighting in general, Yet he only has a few fights in the show but in terms of how they are done they are terribly handled considering piccolo is a good battle strategist and that does a lot of harm to him as a fighter in this show.
I am aware of the whole (everyone gets beaten up, lets wait for goku now)
but in piccolo's case I find this kind of sad because I could of sworn Toriyama really liked piccolo as his favourite but they sadly relegate piccolo as a character in this. Yes its fine to have down time moments with gohan and his family but is that all hes contribution amounts to??
Back in dragon ball and in Z his character was much more realized in the arcs he was in even in the manga being able to logically do something about some of the urgent situations he found himself in the past arcs but now he has become a complete footnote and former shell of the character he amazingly known for.
I have no idea why his treatment in his writing has been cheapen, simply put I believe they just did not know what to do with him, by far the only thing that l liked was how he got gohan to reconnect back to basic with his power back in the buu arc but even that was not well written if all he had to do was scold gohan. Could he perhaps do that with goten? and then eventually pan? Like seriously I'm ashamed to see what they did with piccolo in this if all his character is is just a prep talk and thats that.
Goten - 1
Non-Existent (possibly worst character next to Botamo) Not sure why i mentioned him.Can anyone tell me what goten even did in this show? apart from just being there?
Kid Trunks - 5
Unlike Goten he has a steady interest in younger mai which is very creepy considering she is a 40+ woman in her own young kid form. (Its dragon ball and anime at times so lets just roll with it) Kid trunks only good moment is when he is scolding his future self which was quite interesting considering the versions of himself never actually met before.
Future Trunks - 5.5
Probably one of the most controversial character I feel in terms of how the writing was in his arc near the end, it just felt like it was retreading back and forth with his character yes I get Future trunks is this tragic heroic character and has PTSD from time to time but how do you go from looking helpless to since we last seen him to then mastering a new super saiyan form without explanation of this apart being goku and vegeta most powerful techniques.
I mean a sprit bomb sword!?? I'm not even joking future trunks who didn't even succeed in saving his timeline instead gets a new one created in place and for some reason he could not stay?? I don't know about you but how future trunks was handle in the 2nd half of the goku black arc was one of the most out of left field moments I'd seen and trust me I know Z and GT has some of that as well but Trunks at this point becomes literally of a mary sue and don't get me started on that super saiyan berserk nonsense! It was literally some of the worst ways I've seen a character using abilities he somehow learns in mere moments.
At times he has some cool moments other times hes whiny and he does go through development in his arc However! Nothing gets resolved and even after zamasu and black are defeated he still evemtually through all of that Failed in the end.
Android 17 - 7
Talk about One Hell of a Comeback! but possibly out of all the supporting characters to make the best return, I'd say 17 knocks it out of the park as being probably one of the best characters in Dragon ball Super as he seems the most changed out of everybody in a good way more than in Z.
He I would say is the 2nd most badass character right after hit and possibly one of my favourite characters in the show and of course MVP in the tournament of power.
Android 18 - 6.5
Still best girl as well as being a kickass wife in general.
Okay Now that i've discuss some familiar characters lets talk about some of the newer ones starting of with..
Listen, Hit by far is hands down the most badass and interesting characters to be introduce in the show! His first appearance left quite a mark, A 1000+ Year old Assassin who never misses a assassination target throughout his life defeating the likes of Vegeta in a matter of seconds. He owns my favorite abilities and techniques in the Dragon Ball universe being the Time Skip techniques which just make him different in many ways to a lot of characters I've seen throughout the franchise and someone who is super composed, methodical in his outlook and strikes a code of loyal intent in his line of work.
A super powerful Assassin and fighter able to hold off Goku at Kaioken times 20 in his God form is no easy feat considering this is Goku beyond that of all his past forms from Z and even former powerful villains such as Frieza, Cell, Buu. hopefully Hit could get his own spin off series because he has great chemistry with the likes of those around him like Goku, Vados and Frost etc.One of the best additions in this show easily.
Cabbe - 5
A generic weak-willed Saiyan warrior who just looks up to vegeta as a Mentor we don't really know that much about cabbe let alone why he was chosen on universe 6 team in the first place apart from just being saiyan who couldn't transform who eventually does. thats about it of cabbe, i honestly did not think much of him honestly.
Magetta - 2
A metal man of his robotic species which we know little less care about like many species sadly in this show
lol Do I even need a reason??
One of The Worst characters I've seen in this franchise. design and personality alone is proof of it.
Zamasu / Goku Black - 6
The first 2 of the actual series that are new villains and the only ones that should be considered as such from episode 47 (sorry, but neither beerus, frieza, Jiren or champa counted for me as true villains) i felt both Zamasu and Black was a mix bag which I loved but also hated. now I wanna make clear about these 2 that individually as their own characters they pose no interest to me however, when together this is where I feel that they truly shine.
The thing is I love these two together as their fighting styles and personalities compliment each other oh so well. I am not a fan of their fusion too much but they are still awesome to have between the 2. I even like Black much more than Zamasu because the biggest gripe i had with Zamasu as a villain that sadly blew my mind, was how quick Zamasu changed. Not even a day passed and Zamasu went from a normal kaioshin with a few misconceptions of the world to a complete psycho.
I feel that Zamasu needed to be built up to have much more of a impactful change of heart, a change of heart that would actually shock Goku and the others a lot more than it truly did. Instead we got a rushed transformation with an attempt at a different type of villain which they couldn't handle correctly.
You know a timeline is confusing and convoluted when they need to make an official timeline on their official Toei page. There was no reason for this arc to have such a crazy story. Zamasu really did not need to make things far too confusing. This is yet another example where they tried to get out their comfort zone which props to them, but it sadly did not work as well as it could've However here is what I hated between the 2 Zamusu and black (yeah yeah i know same person me, myself and I WHOOPIE)
I think we can all agree that although his Zero Mortals Plan is smart, it's also highly contradictory.
You see, The plan was to eliminate the Kaioshins which kills the gods thus prevents the Angels from functioning. What's contradictory is the fact that Zamasu thinks the world should not have mortals for a perfect world for gods yet he kills the gods. This makes no sense and the excuse of the God interfering is false because Buu destroyed countless and countless planets but no one came but the Supreme Kaioshin who almost died by Goku.
It's a plan that ultimately has no logic to it and I wish had a little bit more explanation AND speaking of the 2 "The Merged Zamasu" I found the "half immortal" thing to be very dumb.
The purple slush designed just looked kinda dumb and Zamasu just seemed incompetent and incapable for no reason when we saw both of them as total beats beforehand. The merged Zamasu was downplayed due to this look and not to mention his unsatisfying plot defeat by Trunks to afterwards just becoming an entire universe!? YeAh No.
Still that being said...i cannot deny one thing here and is that Even I wasn't much of a fan of Merged Zamasu, (that was after the sludge,) beforehand his starting design was no short of both threatening and divine. The merged Zamasu of what a fusion God looks like was surprisingly one of the most amazing designs in the entire Dragon Ball Super Series.
Merged Zamasu displayed awesome abilities and overwhelming power showing the different league he was truly in. Another thing even more awesome i thought about Merged Zamasu was that he literally became the universe or at least was about to after his defeat. Merged Zamasu (for half his presence) was a truly terrifying foe. the reasoning why they didn't each get a score below 5 was because these 2 actually succeeded in what they did as villains which is a Major accomplishment for any dragon ball villain period.
Caulifa & Kale - 2
Cannot stand these 2 for being such cheats regarding their power ups and having such absurd personality with no real backstory regarding their place as being part of the story. I just could not stand these 2 as for their designs they are okay but nothing really anything interesting going for them though i do like the look of them when they go super saiyan and thats about it.
Jiren - 2
A typical, stoic Macho Powerhouse opponent for goku In the last Arc to overcome and hes absolutely 1 dimensional boring, bland Unsympathetic character in general with such run of the mill backstory and a uninspiring design like a lot of the universal characters. There is literally nothing appealing or badass about him apart from I have higher power level, yeah like every Opponent goku has faced hasn't stated that already millions of times by now.
I would not care about him along most of the characters in the tournament of power once its done its already an after thought and considering he is supposedly the last obstacle in the arc of super is just lame to me.
SOUND - 7
The 1st opening of dbs from Kazuya Yoshii did not do much for me as I thought it was boring and not really that exciting but the 2nd Opening 2 Limit Break x Survivor by Kiyoshi Hikawa sounded a lot better than the first and as for the closings themes Ending 3 and 10 I felt was probably my favourites among them.
One thing I should give credit to is Norihito Sumitomo who I felt was pretty disappointing In dbz kai 2014 In terms of his Music but I actually like some of his soundtracks composed in the dbs which is kinda ironic considering how I'm not that much a fan of this show which is funny because I wasn't into some soundtracks earlier on but i feel he started to come into his own as the show went on and surprisingly had some great tracks that really stood out to me.
At first it I found it underwhelming and he had at times some hit and misses here and there but then his music started to pick up a bit more in the later arcs which we got some pretty good standout tracks that at times while being overplayed were put in at some of the right moments.
Some of my favourites to name some Goku black's theme, Instant-Kill Battle, the ultra instinct theme, Unbreakable Determination, Formidable Opponent, Beyond the Limit, The Final Death-Match.
As for the voice acting I have to commend Masako Nozawa who again is a true veteran in her voice acting performance as goku but even more so for goku black which she just knocks it out of the park amazingly! even more so than her voice as turles in movie 4 and speaking of other great performances Ryo Horikawa as Vegeta, Kouichi Yamadera as beerus is always a delight including the late Hiromi Tsuru who will always live in all of our hearts as bulma.
Some great standout performances by Mitsuo Iwata as champa, Ryuusei Nakao as Frieza.
Among my favourite from the support cast were Miki Shinichiro was sublime as the villain Zamasu, Tsuyoshi Koyama as Basil, Yukana who I never expected would voice Kale considering her ssj Berserk form which was quite the surprise and both Eiji Hanawa as Jiren and Kenji Nomura did a great job in capturing the essence of their characters respectively.
Though again some performance sounded off from certain voice actors I do commend a lot of the spirit with the performances.
The dub also sound stellar too with a few alteration a few unnecessary and some understandable also but does well to convey to the japanese take on scenes. Big Shout out goes to of course Sean Schemmel as Goku, Chris Sabat as Piccolo and Vegeta, Jason Douglas As Beerus, Ian Sinclair As Whis who is amazing as usual,
Newer talents in the dub also have great voices such as Sarah Wiedenheft as Zenou, Daman Mills As Monaka and Chris Ayres's substitute Replacement for frieza who is a very good frieza in his own right who should get more up and coming roles in future and Mathew Mercer As hit which sounds Badass for that role.
ENJOYMENT - 4
While I did enjoy a few things about super like some of the action, some of its visual and soundtracks, a few concepts added and filler along with additional take to its lore and some fun nostalgic parts to remember,
The major Problem is however is everything else that I address by now like Underdeveloped Story and characters with many inconsistencies that got me Very Frustrated while watching through this week in and week out in comparison with the previous series while having some decent aspects to the show. At the same time it also manages to become an unfulfilling mess with many Unresolved plot points that really makes this show's direction feel more like some unnatural fan fiction than an actual continuation after the buu arc which I feel is such a poor attempt and that is how I was honestly left feeling towards the end.
I can easily watch the original series or read the original manga but this to me was a such a Major failure to live up to those previous titles in many categories that I'm surprised it even got finish by 131 episodes later.
OVARALL - 5
This score would have been much lower if the show continued on further in the way that it did, This series is plagued with a lot of issues and for those that wanted more from dragonball I guarantee you are going to be left disappointed (If not worse) perhaps conflicted like me on this would I recommend other shonen fans to check it out, In my opinion as I stated its best to start with the universal 6 arc starting at episode 28 and see how you feel about it from there in what you're watching.
With this review I could go on but one thing I do need to mention and that There is as usual, going to be more dragon ball content going forward for a long while but I have honestly lost interest for many of its arc in super as it has left me deflated in how much bad certain things went in and out of this, and the Dbs manga changes don't really effect to much of the changes that great of a deal either being as it may.
for those who don't really care at all about how the show is written as long as you get more dragonball content and nostalgia from it you can go right ahead and knock yourself out because marketing at this moment in time is the only thing the franchise seems to good for now at this point since the writers have become more senile as it has gone.
That was my review on Dragon ball Super for the time being until then if you have any questions on the review let me know without being too harsh on me about it.
Dragon Ball is and probably always will be my favorite series. I was just an four year old boy when I first had the pleasure of witnessing Dragon Ball on TV. Though I was perhaps too young to understand it, as I got older, I'd eventually move onto Dragon Ball Z. The more I'd aged, the more I grew to love Dragon Ball. I was hooked, and my knowledge of the series was immense.
Dragon Ball Super is the continuation and sequel of Dragon Ball Z. The story is quite similar to Z as we see our hero Goku progressively meeting stronger foes and the
stakes becoming higher. New elements and characters are introduced such as the Gods. Something that Super has incorporated in this show that sets it apart from Z is character development. The series is also able to incorporate effective drama and genuinely hilarious comedy into its story, the most noteworthy being the action and pure fighting that is reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z.
Now there are a few problems with it right at the start. The first two arcs were basically retelling the movies Battle of Gods and Resurrection F. While the animation can occasionally dip into the inexcusable category (I'm looking at you, episode 5 and over half of Golden Frieza arc), the show is never able to dissuade you from watching it due to the action and nostalgia. However, after those two arcs, the animation gets noticeably better. The OSTs and intros are also very nostalgic. But at the end of the day, it is just more Dragon Ball Z. I think it is simply nostalgia surrounding the dragon ball franchise for me that makes you just can't help but want to watch it and enjoy it. I think we can all agree the writing is very bad but the action is absolutely amazing.
If you grew up with Dragon Ball or have watched Dragon Ball Z as a kid or early teens, then you will probably enjoy this series!
Hard work always ran at the core of Dragon Ball Z's appeal. Inspiring people to get into shape & persevere in the face of unspeakable odds. Perhaps this is the most appropriate place to focus our critique.
What is Dragon Ball Z?
It's impossible to speak for everyone when it comes to what message you take away from the show. However I would like to make a case, that perhaps some of the backlash this series has received, can inform why people acted so negatively towards it (at least in comparison to DBZ).
"Goku never wins"
I can understand both sides of this argument.
Lets first argue against this sentiment.
Beerus: Beerus is not really a 'bad guy' he acts as a sign of whats to come for the story. After obtaining a new transformation Goku ISN'T able to beat Beerus. Which I find personally fascinating because that usually doesn't happen in the show.
Frieza: Goku technically wins this fight, but is cheated out. But in a certain perspective this was a good decision. Goku's first battle against Frieza is ICONIC, but it only turned out that way because there was a entire arc of buildup. Vegeta has progressed tremendously as a character and his battle with Frieza holds more weight. However Goku does kill Frieza last minute, robbing the battle of a proper dramatic ending.
Hit: He plays a similar role to Beerus, but on a much smaller scale.
Zamasu: This was the most traditional Dragon Ball Z arc in the whole show. But much like the Android Saga, it ends with Trunks victory. Remember Gohan Vs Cell wasn't the end of that arc. It was Trunks vs First Form Cell when he returned back home. Goku killing Zamasu doesn't hold the same weight because it's not Goku's world thats in danger. It's Trunks.
Jiren: Disappointing end boss. Not much else to say. (AWESOME fight though)
It can easily be explained why certain decisions were made in the story, but the major complaint runs back to what I spoke about before. Hard work.
In Dragon Ball Z, when Goku beat the final antagonist, it was a thematic representation of hard work. That if you keep pushing yourself, you can surpass unspeakable odds. But with the lack of final boss defeats in Dragon ball Super, that theme isn't as resonant. Goku progresses but it never feels like his training meant anything if he still can't win in the end.
Final boss fights matter in DBZ, they act as that big moment that makes the whole experience worth watching. But with no end goal for our heroes (not to mention people like Whis and the other angels still rank HIGH above the Z fighters) the whole workout is just draining.
Dragon Ball Super is not a BAD show, but I understand why people were upset. I still really enjoyed myself despite this above average score, and I would recommend watching the last couple arcs after the movie re-caps.
If you are looking for a great story in Dragon Ball (past the pre-DBZ stuff) in 2018 you are doing it wrong. We all know Akira Toriyama is far from the best when it comes to this department so I never go in looking to have my mind blown by it. But in my opinion at least it never gets to the point where it's completely brain dead stupid that I feel like my intelligence is being directly insulted (like Fairy Tail for example yes shots fired but no one is defending that anime's story anyway). The anime started off
giving us the rehashed and in my opinion an overall inferior version of the Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F', so many were quickly turned off during these two starting arcs and I don't blame them as it has some of the worse art style and animation the series had to offer regardless of the excuses or reasons of it looking the way they did, it should not have been released like that. A few changes like Ginyu making an appearance but nothing significant enough for anyone to say Toei did a better job the second time around with these to arcs in comparison to the movies. The Universe 6 Arc is when the series starts some new worth watching content as we get brand new characters. Although there were a few fights that were good like the Goku vs Hit fight majority of them fell short of what I and majority of the people I talked to after this arc was over expected. The story for this arc was decent and acceptable also especially with the ending introducing Zeno and revealing an even greater force to be reckoned with giving the series promise to where it would go next. The Future Trunks Arc after this was probably in my opinion the best arc in the entire series as it was the only time I personally felt the gave me the nostalgic feeling of actual threat to the characters and story. The execution in this arc I felt was quite good also even though there were a few short comings like the reveal of who Goku Black actually was and the who scheme behind it. Majority of this arc I felt keep it up with the standards that I remember back in the Z days. The final arc in the series The Universal Survival Arc was hyped up as it was hyped up to be a bigger and crazier version of the Universe 6 arc with it's one threat of the multiple universe at stake even though I was technically on a bigger scale of threat compared to the Future Trunks arc I guess since there was so many light heard and joky moments during this arc I never took it too massively serious. A ridiculous amount of build up to this arc, many many characters introduced and a shit ton of good fights. That's all good an all because coming into anything Dragon Ball like I said after Z that's all you are going to really get. Many many good fights happened in this arc definitely the best fights, animation and art style the series had showcased but from a story standpoint once again you shouldn't be expecting much especially from an arc that's basically just a giant Team Battle Royale which lasted basically over 1 year to conclude but 48 minutes in the show (how? idk). Although it didn't (at least to me) feel dragged out I do definitely have my issues with how some characters were handle but I'll mention more about that in the characters section. The Universal Survival Arc overall was a treat for the good fights we got out of it but I wouldn't call this the best arc just because it had the best fights I would give that to the Future Trunks arc. Either way you look at it all of the arcs presented in Super were fair at best and nothing to brag about to say the most. But like I'll say one more time story isn't the reason we watch Dragon Ball as it's not abysmal we fans of Dragon Ball accept it for what it is. (Or should I speak for myself?)
Art and Animation (7/10) Good (For the most part)
At it's worst (4/10)
At it's best (10/10)
More Specifically (7.00/10 when you average both of those together)
The Beginning of Dragon Ball Super from an animation and art style standpoint I felt was it's biggest thing working against it. Coming out the gate looking look the hottest of garbage is the worst thing you can do for a first impressions for any series. Still to this day I felt it was a poor decision on Toei's part to let such a thing occur for those first few episodes should have been looking spotless, first impressions is extremely important and the result of what happened only proves this statement to be true as many many fans of Dragon Ball dropped it within the first 5 episodes when they saw such a pathetic excuse of art style and animation being showcased and still to this day have not returned to the series and I don't blame them. With all that being said just because the start of the anime was terrible doesn't mean it should be ignored as powerhouse animation directors like Yuya Takahashi and Naotoshi Shida eventually show up and blow everyone's heads off with their effort. Sadly even with their efforts the most the people who dropped the series will do is watch the clips of what they have done on Youtube say "yeah that impressive but that crap at the start of the anime lost me and I can't invest the time to want to get to where ever the hell this is". Good things come to those who wait sure but like I said earlier first impressions are everything now these days especially in anime. And with all that being said overall not taking the worst of the worst or the best of the best from an animation standpoint into more consideration that the other on a regular basis the anime's art style and animation wasn't anything to brag or complain about to be honest and if you take that into consideration if the worst of the worst is averaged in with the best of the best you get the score I came out with which is a solid 7. I personally think it's fair since the best of the best is some of the best I've seen in all of Dragon ball animation and I personally feel it outweighs the worst of the worst this anime has shown.
Sound (9/10) Great
More Specifically (9.50/10) Great+
The sound for the anime I feel is the best part about it. From the openings to the countless endings, voice acting (JP VA), sound effects and background music I felt they were all great in every department in the sound category. They also did a great job and from the little that I've heard from the English Dub, it sounds like everything is great over there also with some extra flair to it's dialogue script.
Characters (6/10) Fair
More Specifically (6.50/10) Fair+
The characters in Dragon Ball were always something that was always endearing to me. But sadly over the time majority of the characters has failed to develop, impress or even stay relevant. The old saying in Dragon Ball Z (and even GT for that matter) days were "if you aren't a Saiyan you ain't shit". But now in the days of Dragon Ball Super it's basically "if you ain't Goku you ain't shit". Now we know the ultimate formula of layout of a Dragon Ball Z arcs for the most part goes bad guys show up Vegeta and maybe Piccolo get a fight, a win or two in until they get mopped then Goku shows up and takes it from there. Majority of the time this formula can be seen in all of the movies. When it came to Dragon Ball Super this formula never really is show cased. (And I'm not counting the first two arcs since both of those were movies originally titled with a Z in their names vs a Super). Even though we don't see this predictable by now formula in Super doesn't mean it's for the better or worse as changing from it only showcased it's pro and cons. One Pro is that since it isn't following that formula, it's hard to predict exactly will happen next, which is good to some degree. The cons show themselves a bit differently as each arc has it's new narrative content but from a story standpoint based on what the characters decided to do they have lead the story down such inconsistencies or disappointments that are shown though out each arc. Like I said I don't really care about high quality story telling when it comes to Dragon Ball and to tell high quality story telling in and story you must also have a high quality/well written characters to coincide the high quality story telling one can say they must go hand in hand. With that being said we all know characters in the Dragon Ball Universe aren't that impressive but we can agree that the characters are better and more interesting than the story they exist within right? (or am I alone on that statement also? anyway..). Either way I'm not going to break down the issues I have with every single character that I thought had an issue with new or old that Super has showcased as this section is already long enough for you to understand where I'm coming from. But what I will do is a quick run down ok?... and... Gohan is a disappointment, Vegeta is still and for ever will be behind Goku (but who isn't?) with Hit and Jiren being the new people pushing Goku farther sadly, Trunks was cool until he left, Hit was awesome until he gets whooped by the hyped up Jiren who's backstory is the most generic backstory I've seen in a hot minute and also get's nerfed 80% of the way thru the arc and ultimately disappoints. Champa was cool tho right? Everyone else isn't worth mentioning even in this short period of time I've given myself.
Enjoyment (8/10) Very Good
More Specifically (8.50/10) Very Good+
Regardless of everything that bothered me with Dragon Ball Super for the 2-3 years that it aired, I was basically present every single week nonetheless excited to some degree for the next episode it next felt like a shore to watch for me. On top of the fact that there wasn't any manga to be ahead of the anime so more so than often not knowing what was going to occur felt like the good old days of Dragon Ball Z. Will I miss Dragon Ball Super? Yeah I can't lie and say that I wouldn't, I love Dragon Ball as a franchise and any complaining I do above is only because I want to see it do better and is the main reason I why continued to watch it through thick and thin and I don't regret it. The amount of enjoyment I got out of Dragon Ball Super every Saturday for the past 2-3 years far exceeds the amount of disappointment that came with it.
Overall (7/10) Good
More Specifically (7.50/10) Good+
With Dragon Ball Super concluding at the time of this review the only thing Dragon Ball we have is the manga which is changing a decent amount of content and the movie later this year. Dragon Ball has shown that it can come back and still be relevant as a top anime at least from a popularity standpoint. I do think that after the movie we will indeed get some sort of sequel to Dragon Ball Super who knows Dragon Ball Ultra? Either way farewell Dragon Ball until we meet again!
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