Just what is Dragon Ball Super?
Dragon Ball Super is the sequel to Dragon Ball Z; an anime that defined the action shonen archetype. After reading Hugo’s Rounin Kenshin article about why it’s great. I wanted to highlight some of the best parts of Dragon Ball Super.
Should You WatchDragon Ball Super?
My answer will always be yes whether your new or a veteran of the long-running anime series. Dragon Ball is one of the most iconic Japanese anime that was a worldwide following. After all these years it’s still going strong and with Dragon Ball Super and the Broly movie, its popularity is having another resurgence. While Super may not be as strong in its narrative when compared to Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It still does an awesome job of getting you involved in Goku’s world and the next opponent they have to face. While exploring new avenues for the Dragon Ball mythos and opening up the possibilities for the series.
Dragon Ball Super starts off with a cat god having a dream about another god showing up in the universe. Is it a bit weird and convoluted? Yes, but it wouldn’t be out of the norm in the world that Dragon Ball exists in. Beerus is one of the few characters that stand out in the show not only because of the great voice acting by Jason Douglas but because of the opportunity he presents our Dragon Ball characters.
Beerus is an enigmatic character whose true intentions are still hidden throughout the show. He is both a threat, a rival, and a mentor to are lead characters of Goku and Vegeta. The show manages to strike a good balance between Beerus’ destructive side and his playful nature the longer the series goes on. Often times acknowledging the fact that Goku’s demeanor and character have affected him in the same ways all of Goku’s enemies became life long friends.
Beerus is a great reoccurring character that helps launch Dragon Ball Super in a different direction for the anime. He is a great addition to the cast alongside his own master/servant Whiz.
Bad: Filler Episodes
Dragon Ball is an anime that your father could’ve watched with you back in the 80s-90s and now can be enjoyed with a new generation of fans. The original run was notorious for having several episodes filled with filler content that may have added character growth and moments but took away from the main story. Dragon Ball Super as a whole isn’t as bad as its predecessor but still includes filler episodes.
Good: Zamasu; Gods and Destroyers
Zamasu is such an obvious yet good choice considering the type of characters and evolution of the series when it came to villains. We’ve seen a king like a tyrant alien, an insectoid perfectionist, and a chaotic bubblegum go on a rampage. Now we get to see how a god in training claimed the throne during a time travel scheme to become the only god to rein a flawed view of life as an antagonist.
Dragon Ball Super started taking a godly route when it comes to elevating Goku’s and Vegeta’s power but also forming a new unexplored direction for the series. We’ve been introduced to the gods before as caretakers of the universe. Now we’re getting a glimpse of what that is and how this involves the Dragon Ball cast. Zamasu is also in the same boat as Goku and Vegeta, all these characters are new to the dynamics of goldy power and what that means.
Plus the inclusion of an evil Goku fused with a god is an awesome concept for both Goku and Vegeta. Vegeta finally gets to beat up on a Goku doppelganger and Goku needs to overcome himself. Zamasu may not be the best villain in the series but I would still keep him top three just based on his backstory and motivations. Plus the concept that we have multiple types of gods opens the story up for several story threads. Dragon Ball Super is now following the inspiration of comics books and the multiverse theory.
Bad: Fodder Characters
The Tournament of Power is one of the best highlights of the series but also its worst. This story arc brings back a fan favorite which we haven’t had in a while, a martial arts tournament but with higher stakes. The last time we had any kind of an actual tournament was the Majin Buu saga. However, that tournament was short-lived and was only used as a plot device.
The Tournament of Power gave the Dragon Ball cast something to participate in instead of waiting on the sidelines. We get to see the entire Dragon Ball cast show that they are great fighters in their own right after years of defending the earth. The tournament is comprised of several universes’ teams in a battle royale to save their own universe. You get amazing fights between the older vast and new characters we haven’t in a long time like Master Roshi and Android 17 and 18.
BUT! we also get a ton of useless fodder for our heroes to fight. It almost felt like they were really stretching to create some of these characters even though we do get some gems like Jiren, Ribrianne, Kefla, and Dyspo. The rest of the tournament fighters feel like stand-ins for future Dragon Ball Super video games. And not every universe gets a chance to shine equally as the fights mostly feature Universe 7, 6, and 11.
I’m not a fan of creating generic-looking characters just for the sake of it. Dragon Ball has an entire lifetime of one-episode characters and we don’t need anymore.
Good: Vegeta and Trunks
One thing that strikes me about Super is that Vegeta and Trunks shine brightly in this new series. Dragon Ball’s main character will always be Goku but the showrunners are really putting an emphasis on a team dynamic this time around. Goku can’t carry the story anymore because it gets old and the stakes are no longer there. However, by having Vegeta almost be on the equal footing it creates a better synergy and a better rivalry than they had before.
Also, this new series creates a grand moment for Trunks as well. The Zamasu story arc is a great set of a dystopian future terrain and heartfelt father & son moments. Similar to the Cell arc, Trunks gains a new level of understanding and character growth at the end of it. While also cementing that Vegeta himself had grown more into a father after his acknowledgment of his own child during Majin Buu.
What are some of your favorite moments? What did you have about this new series? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out my interview with Skip Stellrecht and Lauren Landa at ALA2020! For more great interviews, reviews, editorials, and news stay tuned to CultureOfGaming.com or check us out on OpenCritic.com!