My Thoughts On Dragon Ball Super’s Universal Tournament

Last year, I put up a couple of posts on my blog noting my grievances with the current state of Dragon Ball Super and how I felt it wasn’t improving in the slightest. After having watched the most recent episode, I regret saying those words. Dragon Ball Super has definitely improved, at least for now. We have a better theme song, a more unique art-style, better animation, and a setup for a multiverse tournament.

Honestly, it’s what I want in this kind of story-arc. Goku and his friends are going to enter this tournament and fight against opponents, both old and new, along with characters who are twists on old favorites. The episode setting up this new arc I felt to be rather well put-together. It was paced expertly, it didn’t feel too slow or too quick. It focused on developing Goku and really showed his flaws and how they affect those around him. I especially loved how they subtly compared the similarities in Goku’s childish demeanor with that of the Zenos.

Goku’s desire for battle is what has become his weakness. Time and again, it’s show that Goku’s own power is what draws a lot of enemies to him and the earth. This episode shows how much Goku has fallen, how his own childish nature and immaturity has changed aspects of him. Goku even flicks a bullet into the head of a human who shot at him, something Goku would normally do! In fact, this move was first used by Goku’s evil brother Raditz in the first episode of DBZ. I think this is some clever foreshadowing and that we’re going to see in future episodes how Goku’s negative traits are working against him.

I love the new art-style and intro was well. The art seems somewhat more stylized with somewhat thicker lines and I definitely like the style they are going for! I also found the intro to be extremely entertaining, with some music punctuated with that unique aforementioned art-style. That’s not even to mention the noticeable animation upgrade they’ve gone though!

I’ve gushed a lot about what I liked about episode 77 and the route the show is going, so what didn’t I like? Well, not a whole lot really. Aside from some parts of the episode that dragged, there wasn’t a lot for me to complain about at all. It also ended on a cliff-hanger, which helps build tension. However, this is only the first episode of a 20-30 episode arc. While it seems promising, I have a feeling it may not live up to expectations. After all, people got hyped for the Goku Black arc. I liked it, but I’ll admit that the second half dragged and that the ending felt rushed.

So, what is it about this arc that gives me hope? It’s the acknowledgement of Goku’s flaws, the somewhat darker tone, the better theme song, and the increased character development. I’ll watch a show regardless of quality if I find that the genre appeals to me. Super could’ve remained mediocre to somewhat good for most of it’s run, and I still would’ve still watched it. I feel that I am now officially invested in what the show has to offer.

That’s why I can say that this is easily the best episode in Super thus far. It got me interested in the proceedings and allowed me to put aside my cynicism for once so I could fully enjoy the project. That’s why I’m looking forward to this arc. Depending on how the arc goes, I may discontinue my Dragon Ball Super rants. It really depends on if Super can keep up the quality from this single episode into future ones. I guess only time will tell.

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