DB Super – The ending I never knew I needed

DB Super episode 131 aired today and it was way beyond what I expected. You know how this works, don’t want spoilers, don’t read beyond the first paragraph. Now, let’s begin.

The episode starts off a bit differently, with no intro being played. Instead, we pick up where we left off, with Goku almost depleted of energy lying on a rock and #17 and Freeza having to battle Jiren. At first, Jiren seems to be able to overpower themm, up until Freeza starts taunting him about being weaker than before and about his past. This of course touches some of Jiren’s nerves, but being weakened he isn’t able to do much against Freeza, who manages to break away from Jiren’s attack, a move which allows #17 to hit him with a very effective almost point blank shot.

Jiren is down and Freeza is about to eliminate him, up until Toppo decides to take an actual likable role for once and starts encouraging Jiren, who manages to pull himself up and launches one final attack. Freeza is knocked out of his Golden form by it and he and #17 are unable to do much against the attack. Goku then joins in with whatever resources he had left and, in a move similar to the Family Kamehameha from the second Broly movie, the 3 of them manages to stop Jiren’s attack.

What follows is an very good sequence of fighting scenes, with a wounded Jiren going all out against the 3 remaining U7 fighters. Goku and Freeza form the unlikeliest of duos (a move which leaves Vegeta in a state of nausea) and sacrifice themselves to eliminate Jiren, making him finally understand trust really means. This leaves #17 as the sole winner of the Tournament. Who would have thought that…

Jiren is congratulated by his teammates and asks how are they still able to praise him after having treated them with contempt the entire time. Goku then pops in to tell Jiren he wants to meet again sometime. And then U11 is erased.

The focus quickly moves to the wish, as the Grand Priest prepares the Super Dragon Balls (which apparently do work even if U6 was erased). And seeing the Dragon once again is a very cool scene itself, much better than the previous time. #17 is informed by the two Zenos that he can wish for anything he wants. And after a brief look at Goku, he asks for all the erased Universes to be restored. Everyone is shocked at this decision. The 2 Zenos ask him if he is sure about the wish, #17 confirms and the Grand Priest washes away any and all doubts about his motives and promptly states the wish.

We then visit each Universe, starting with U6 and Champa being ever the thankful brother by not thanking Beerus (but we all know he is grateful). Kale and Caulifla (mostly Caulifla) promptly ask a very emotional Cabba to train with them in order to become Super Saiyan 3, while the other U6 warriors just remain silent. We then move on to U10 where we see a very peaceful and grateful Gowasu. And then we see each and every other Universe up until we reach U11. Jiren and Toppo are having a bro talk, with Toppo stating that even though Jiren has allowed his past to haunt him way too much, he was able to form a connection with others during his final fight. It’s really amazing how a few lines of dialogue have made me like both Toppo and Jiren way more than before.

We then move back to the fighting arena, where everyone is happy, which prompts Freeza to say he wants to be taken back to Hell because he just can’t stand all these happy feelings. However, Whis appears and resurrects him (yeah…Whis can do that apparently) as a gift from Beerus. Freeza gladly accepts this gift, all the while stating that he will not give up his evil ways. However, with Goku there to keep him in check, I think U7 is good.

We also learn the fact that everything would have been gone if the wish made would have been a selfish one. The whole idea that the GP and the Zenos had was to see if mortals can change, according to Whis, which is a very interesting twist on the tale, linking it very well with the themes from the Goku Black arc.

The episode ends with a short montage of scenes from after the Tournament, a scene where Freeza is gathering his army once again and a nice teaser for the movie set to be released in December of this year.

All in all, a truly amazing send-off for the series in my book. I never expected to like it this much and this is one of those examples where the right dialogue lines make all the difference. I disliked Toppo both before and after episode 125 until this episode. I kinda sorta started disliking Jiren as well, up until this episode where he showed emotions which humanized him so much. Also, I’m glad Freeza’s return was not wasted. And while still evil, I’m pretty confident he won’t be challenging the Z-Fighters any time soon. I’m hoping he will have his own thing, but in a more anti-hero way rather than a villain way. And yeah, the ending of this show makes it almost certain that Dragon Ball is gonna go on after the movie from December, be it with more movies or with another series.

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DB Super – Fourier levels of mixed feelings

DB Super episode 130 aired yesterday and it was kind of a mixed bag for me. You know how this works. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want spoilers (I will probably be referencing some spoilers which were out for a few days), don’t read beyond this first paragraph.

The episode revolves around the fight between Jiren and Goku, with some useless dialogue from the others in the beginning of the episode. And fighting wise, this episode was great. And I mean GREAT. And it was also nice to see Jiren show some emotion for a change.

However, I do have my gripes with this episode. First off, it seems Toei and Akira are trying too hard to make viewers hate Jiren. I mean I was as shocked as anyone when he fired that blast towards the stand in order to prove a point to Goku. I don’t know what he was expecting to accomplish given that you had 12 Angels and 6 Gods of Destruction there but hey, when you’re under a lot of stress, you do crazy things.

Second, Mastered Ultra Instinct is awesome and all, no denying that. But when oh when is Goku going to learn to applu his own lessons to his fighting? And if you can’t figure out what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the many times Goku’s villains (or Goku himself) have learned new forms that drain stamina and said people refuse to end the battle in a timely manner and end up losing. See also the Ressurection F arc when Freeza first turned Golden.

Back to the fight, as I’ve said, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was beautifully animated and very intense, especially when Goku fell out of MUI. At first I didn’t know what happened as it looked like someone shot him with an energy beam, but Whis explained it promptly. And I love how Jiren sort of hesitated to knock Goku out after realising what happened. I think for all his stubborness, Jiren is changing. I mean yeah, he couldn’t turn a full 180 and when he finally realized he could win he didn’t hesitate in trying to eliminate Goku, but I think he is changing into a better person.

The episode ends with Goku almost falling out of the arena and getting saved by Freeza again…and with a comeback I didn’t see coming. #17 is still here people. And while this takes away from him sacrifice a little bit, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to see him back. One of the overlooked things in this Tournament is how well #17 and Freeza have gotten along so far. I don’t know why, but I get the feeling Freeza likes and respects #17 more than people realize. Someone said in a Youtube comment that this might be because #17 doesn’t really judge him and treats him as a genuine fighting partner rather than a foe. Of course, I may be looking too much into this, but it’s good to see them fight alongside in the next episode.

All in all, a very intense episode, with a few drawbacks that I’ve already discussed. However, it did succeed in creating many interesting plots which…may or may not be resolved in the next episode. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

DB Super – How much further beyond again?

DB Super episode 129 aired yesterday and I’d be lying if I’d deny the fact that it got me hyped for the series finale. You know how this works. If you don’t want spoilers, do not read beyond this first paragraph.

The episode picks up with the fight between Goku and Jiren, with Freeza still desperately trying to pull an LR in Dokkan Battle (or something of the sorts I presume). We do get a little tease of the two Zenos looking at their Godpads, but we only get to see Jiren and Goku, with no mention of the (almost wasted return of) the Emperor.

Goku is able to dodge a lot of Jiren’s attacks, up until he seemingly runs out of stamina for the 1200th time in this arc and seems to be a goner. Belmod, who seems to have been binge-watching Netflix instead of paying attention to this damn Tournament (can’t say I blame him) promptly declares that Goku is done (you know, again) and proclaims that Jiren is going to win. Marcarita also displays some of the same obliviousness later on, so maybe it’s a trait.

Vegeta then promptly interferes and tells Belmod to shut the fudge up and points out the obvious fact that Saiyans surpassed their limits several times during this Tournament…most notably literally 2 freaking minutes ago…when Vegeta eliminated Toppo…you clueless clown.

Ugh, anyway, Goku snaps out of it and starts somewhat retaliating against Jiren. Whis promptly states that Goku is doing this on purpose, trying to figure out how to attack without thinking too much, the same way he defends. However, Jiren’s continuous attacks are very ferocious until Goku comes close to either being hit by them or losing his footing and then getting eliminated.

Jiren prepares his final attack, everyone in the U7 stands is freaking out until Beerus echoes my thoughts and tells everyone to shut up and watch. Belmod of course thinks this is Beerus making peace with getting erased. Whis and Vegeta then both give some knowing smiles, because Vegeta’s prophecy from a few seconds earlier comes to pass. Goku attains the Mastered Ultra Instinct form, destroys Jiren’s attack and starts attacking Jiren with some fierce moves of his own. I may have my issues with Super, but this is hands down one of the best, if not the best, awakening scenes in this entire series.

Jiren then smiles himself and starts powering up as well. The episode ends with these two facing off and getting ready to fight to the limit in the next episode. As I’ve said, no word on Freeza yet. At this point, he’s either gonna make a bold move in episode 131 or his return has been a complete waste, despite the majestic re-entrance. I guess it’s up to Toei and Akira to flip that coin.

All in all, a tame first half of the episode is fixed by an extremely thrilling second half. With 2 episodes left (2 week break again, don’t forget), there are only a handful of ways this could end. I still think it’s going to be the predictable way and if it’s not the case, at least I’ll be surprised.

DB Super – Willpower and trust

DB Super episode 128 aired yesterday and it was full of feels. You know how this works, right? If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read beyond this first paragraph. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s kickstart this review.

The episode picks up with Goku and Vegeta down for the count after realizing that #17 had indeed destroyed himself in order for them to finish the job. Goku can’t even stand while Vegeta manages to pull himself up and challenge Jiren once again. Meanwhile, Freeza is somewhere else, either taking a nap, trying to summon himself on Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle or learning FighterZ combos…your guess is as good as mine.

Anyhow, Vegeta attempts to tranform…but he has nothing left. The only thing keeping him going is the sheer willpower to keep his promise to Cabba and to save his family from being deleted. Jiren of course has no trouble in punching and kicking Vegeta around. However, Vegeta keeps coming back for more, because his pride and his loved ones simply won’t let him give up. It is very cool to see all these thoughts Vegeta is having, which begs the question of why the writers can’t let him be the main hero for one saga (looking at you Ressurection F). But Jiren is unphased and almost kicks Vegeta out. However, the Saiyan Prince manages to hold on by a mere piece of rock (when I saw that scene, I thought to myself how cool it would have been if Freeza saved him).

However, Vegeta still manages to pull himself up one last time, but can’t even hurt Jiren’s gloves and is knocked out. Before falling off the stage though, he sends his remaining energy to Goku, who manages to stand and even power up to Super Saiyan Blue (hey, if it worked against Broly, who am I to complain).

Goku then starts fighting Jiren, but somehow manages to take a beating as worse as Vegeta’s. And of course, the Gods of Destruction believe that this fight is over…until Goku remembers all his friends and team mates put his trust in him, all of them are cheering him from the stand…and unlocks Ultra Instinct for the thrid time (the unmastered form). And I know I said it was predictable and I stand by that…but I so love this form. Goku then manages to hit Jiren in the stomach in a move that actually hurt the guy pretty badly and the episode ends with this cliffhanger.

Now before we end this, let’s talk a little bit about Jiren. I think this guy is one of those characters who was actually ruined by…giving him character traits. Seriously, up until a few episodes ago he was just this weirdly strong guy who we knew nothing about and, while a bit boring in itself, it actually kept me interested in finding out more about him. And when I did, it actually ruined the character. I mean yeah, I get the generic backstory and I don’t mind it, but he went also kind of became a jackass in my eyes, especially after kind of realizing he’s…really generic. Strong, arrogant, uses everyone for his own personal gain. Now I don’t know if this is done solely for the purpose of viewers not feeling bad about him getting defeated, but it feels like a wasted opportunity (or character if you will), just another addition to one of the many wasted opportunities of this show.

All in all, an emotional episode which kept me invested until the end. The next episode seems to be all about mastering Ultra Instinct as the one last final ultimate super final battle begins. The next episode apparently is in March, so no episode this week.

DB Super – It’s getting…weak and predictable

DB Super episode 127 aired yesterday and it left me with mixed feeling for reasons I’m about to discuss below. You know how this works, if you don’t want spoilers, don’t read beyond the first paragraph.

The episode picks up with Jiren powering up and then proceeding to destroy both Goku and Vegeta, who are unable to do much against him. We then see Freeza rise from the ruble on the stage and his attempt to kill Jiren, which of course fails miserably. Android #17 then steps in, but even his barriers are falling short of actually doing anything. However, he does manage to land a hit on Jiren, because Jiren can’t sense his energy and he was able to sneak up on him. The idea of course is that Jiren is vulnerable when his guard is down (is that really any surprise?).

After some fighting scenes, we are then treated to a little bit of backstory, when Belmod asks #17 what he will do with the Dragon Balls should he win. #17 promptly responds that he wants to go on a cruise with his family, so his wish is basically that boat. Belmod watches in disbelief and #17 then asks Jiren what he would wish for. Jiren hints at something and then Belmod proceeds to tell the story of Jiren. His basckstory is basically the same as Batman’s, Luke Skywalker’s and so on, with some evil doer that has killed his parents.

We then learn that Jiren is saved by a martial arts teacher if I understand correctly and he then starts trying to get stronger and stronger in order to fight the evil doer that killed his parents. However, this fails miserably and Jiren’s teacher, along with most of his followers are also killed. Jiren then still wants to get stronger, but the people that have followed him up until that point decide to give up on him.

The moral of the story is that strength is absolue, strenght is everything, something something. Anyhow, Jiren promptly tells Belmod to shut up and the fighting resumes. #17 then begins to call Jiren out for being kind of a prick for using the Pride Troopers for his own gain and it seems to annoy our somewhat still boring antagonist, who ups his game even more.

With Goku and Vegeta down for the count (their attacks useless and Jiren managing to kick them into the ground quite badly), as well as Freeza, it’s all up to #17 to buy a little bit of time for Goku and Vegeta. He tells them that he gave up on his boat and that they could thank him later. Afterwards, he starts putting up a barrier between them and Jiren’s attack. However, because the attack is too strong, #17 decides to blow himself up Vegeta style in order to destroy the attack. MVP, for one last time, in a move that took me quite a bit by surprise.

The next episode seems like a redo of the Kid Buu ending, with Vegeta buying time for Goku to recover. However, based on the preview, Vegeta is fighting on will power alone and Jiren is simply toying with him.

Before we end the review, let’s talk about some flaws that gave me the mixed feelings. First off, I’m happy that we have a backstory for Jiren, I only wish they would have went with a less generic one. Having someone as strong as Superman but with Batman’s backstory seemed like a good idea, but something was missing. Secondly, Jiren felt weak in this episode. I mean come on, I loved #17’s performance in this Tournament, he was a very welcome surprise to the whole Goku feat. Vegeta show, but being able to hold his own against Jiren in a fist duel seems a bit forced. Third of all, Jiren understood that strength is absolute and that emotions hinder you. If that is the case, what the fudge nuggets is up with him calling Toppo pathetic for basically giving up in his emotions for strength and then congratulating Vegeta for NOT giving up on his emotions and gaining strength? I know there are different writers for each episode but come on. And finally, I’m a bit annoyed that the outcome seems to be the predictable one that most people thought of months ago:

  1. Jiren too OP
  2. Goku too weak
  3. Suddenly UI, a form which even freaking Gods of Destruction can’t handle properly
  4. ???
  5. Profit! Also Goku beats Jiren

Now I may be wrong on this one, but we’ll see. What I’m trying to say is that there was so much wasted potential. I’m only hoping Freeza does something until the end of the Tournament.

All in all, I did enjoy parts of the episode and as I said, I am glad we have a little bit of backstory on Jiren. With 4 episode left, the chanes of the predictable ending I’ve mentioned increase. I’m still hoping for some sort of twist to the tale, but it seems increasingly unlikely.

DB Super – Um…half meh and half amazing?

Dragon Ball Super episode 126 aired today and it was a bit of a mixed back which luckily ended on a high note. If you haven’t seen the episode and don’t want spoilers, do not read beyond this first paragraph.

The episode picks up with episode 125’s ending, scene by scene, with Toppo crushing Freeza’s skull and attempting to eliminate him, only for #17 to save Freeza with a rock. Toppo and #17 then start fighting, with this our MVP Android putting up a good fight, but sadly to no avail, even after he attempted to drown Toppo in rocks.

As their fight continues and Toppo escapes said rock drowning and begins to fire a bunch of blasts at #17, Freeza miraculously recovers after being knocked out and claims that this was his plan all along. I find this VERY hard to believe and a bit ridiculous but hey, who am I to judge. I still don’t know how he recovered so fast (I’m gonna go with plot).

Freeza then traps Toppo by using his paralysis attack (which he also used on Goku way back in the Namek arc) but as expected Toppo manages to break out of it and once again attempts to eliminate Freeza, who is once again saved by #17. Toppo starts letting his asspull…I mean new found powers get to his head and starts getting cocky (yes yes, I know it was stated that he was a candidate God of Destruction way before the Tournament even began…at least I think, at least I knew about it).

Anyhow, Toppo is interrupted by the Jiren vs Goku and Vegeta fight and during this fight we actually see Jiren get a bit annoyed with our lovable Saiyans. Toppo then challenges Vegeta and this is where the episode starts getting very very good and intense. Vegeta notes that for a guy who preached justice he sure turned 180, with Toppo arguing that is was the only way for the Universe to survive.

And this is what I love about this fight. We get to see two completely different fighting ideologies. On the one hand we have Toppo who gave up everything, including his own pride and beliefs for the sake of the Universe and on the other we have Vegeta, who would rather castrate himself than give up on his Saiyan heritage and pride. And when all seemed lost for the Prince, his fighting ideology get him back in the game and he manages to power through Hakai energy (how or why he is able to do that is not explained yet) and land a few very decent hits on Toppo. The climax of this battle is between Toppo’s Hakai energy and Vegeta’s Final Explosion (in what is Z callback number 312, this time to the Majin Buu saga).

Vegeta’s attack is successful and he also manages to stay alive, unlike the Buu saga. Toppo is down for the count and Jiren is not too pleased. Honestly, one of the more underrated scenes of this episode are the ones in which Jiren calls Toppo pathetic and then knocks Goku out of SSB (Goku who is STILL oblivious to the stakes of this Tournament). The episode ends with Jiren powering up and smiling for the first time which, in essence, means that sh*t is about to go down for real.

All in all, an entertaining episode, even though the first half was kind of meh for the most part. The second part more than makes up for it and to be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of Toppo, mostly because all he did was spam Hakai balls everywhere like he was playing DB FighterZ and finally learned a sick move AND he also didn’t to jack with all his new found abilities. Seriously, I get why Jiren is pissed. And I also found it awesome that Jiren actually congratulated Vegeta because he stuck to his beliefs when gaining his new powers. Jiren seems like he’d want to switch Universes at this point. Next week it’s going to be about Goku, Vegeta and #17 vs Jiren, with Freeza laying low once again. And it makes me wonder if after all is said and done we will learn just what strange activities did #17 take part while ranging the sh*t out of parks and islands.

DB Super is ending – thoughts and wants

The news that Dragon Ball Super is ending have been out for the better part of a fortnight, so I think it’s about time I talked about this. First off, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, it is not a hiatus, Dragon Ball Super as a series is ending. I personally think a new series might air starting next year, but that’s just something I want rather than something I know will happen. The reason for it ending is so that the animation crew can focus on the DB movie that should be appearing sometime in December of 2018.

Now that we got that our of the way, let’s discuss this ending of the series. We have I believe 6 episodes left and a lot of stuff to wrap up. We also have a series of questions, some of which will definitely get an answer while some may very well not. So, let’s start than, shall we?

1. Will Universe 7 survive this whole ordeal?

Most likely yes because remember, we are still in the years prior to the ending of DBZ, Uub was referenced in an earlier episode and every one of our main characters was there. That’s not to say they are going to be the winners of the Tournament, but either in DBS or in another movie/series we will learn that everything is fine and dandy.

2. Is it gonna be the cop-out ending some fear?

The Grand Priest let it slip in episode 124 that next time he will make sure that the Godpad used by the two Zenos will undergo an important upgrade so as to allow them to see fast fights on it, which got me thinking about how we MIGHT get the boring and expected ending of every Universe coming back somehow. Now I wouldn’t mind for Universes 3, 6 and 11 to come back. The others? I don’t really care that much about them.

3. Do the Super Dragon Balls still work now that U6 is gone?

I’ve talked about this one in a previous post and I do believe MasakoX talked about it in one of his videos as well but very few people wonder about this. The Super Dragon Balls were part of Universe 6 and 7 and now that Universe 6 is gone, along with everything that was part of it, the mystery behind this remains, at least for me. Plus, I don’t think they were actually shown to the fighters before this Tournament so…what’s up with that?

4. Is Hit still in the Tournament of Power?

No.

5. Does the Grand Priest still have a hidden agenda?

I don’t know, this one remains to be seen after the end of the Tournament, but I still think there is something wrong with this guy.

These are some of the things I would like to be answered before the series ends, along with a somewhat decent finale (you know, like the Trunks Saga, but the opposite of that) which ties in at least some of the loose ends regarding Jiren (you know, a bit of background on him), Vegeta’s new transformation, The Grand Priest’s plans if any and at least an episode where Freeza does something other than gloat or get beaten down.

I know it’s asking much for 6 episodes and I do fear that the ending might feel rushed again but…you know, one can still hope.