Almost 3 weeks have passed since Dragon Ball Super first aired in Japan and was inevitably transmitted around the globe on the internet and subtitled. I figured that, since episode 4 is fast aproaching this Sunday, it would be a good time to review the series since we have a good grounding as to its themes and style.
So, a little background to get us started. Dragon Ball Super takes place around 6 months after and within the 10 year gap between the defeat of Majin Buu and the World Tournament that makes up the last few episodes of DBZ. Goku is now farming but as usual all he wants to do is train, Vegeta is a family man who... still wants to train to be better than Goku, Gohan is now a scholar with his wife Videl and Good Buu lives with Hercule. For those of you who have seen Battle Of Gods (which is pretty much every DB fan out there) or played Xenoverse, you will know of Beerus, God of Destruction. He and his assistant, Whis, are continuously in the background of the first few episodes as they move around the universe going about their business of destroying planets to maintain the natural order of the universe. And this is where it gets confusing.
Basically, Super will re-tell Battle of Gods AND Resurrection F as well as a third saga entitled "Universe 6 Saga". At first I was a little bit sceptical, however I think this adds new scope for the stories and you will notice some slight but minor changes.
The series itself is very much true to Dragon Ball and DBZ. It follows the same formula which made them popular and beloved series whilst breathing new life into this universe and essentially erasing Dragon Ball GT from the timeline. In fact, Toriyama himself stated GT now takes place in an alternate world. Whether or not Super Saiyan 4 will make an appearance is anyones guess. For now, we have Super Saiyan God and its own Super Saiyan form to look forward to as Super progresses, as well as Goku and Vegeta using SSGSS beyond fighting Golden Frieza!
The animation for the series is modernised and consistent and has a crisp, clean appearance to it. A lot of effort appears to be put in, although the likes of One Piece and other Anime have helped to advance that. As would be expected, the Japanese voice actors have returned, which is great hearing them all again, and for fans of the English dub, it looks like Funimation have their usual team prepped for a redub.
The humour is still rich too, with the first episode seeing Hercule with a moral dilemma while Goku suffers having to farm with Gotens help and then Goten and Trunks looking for a wedding present for Videl. Episode 2 sees Vegeta on a family day out, and any guy who's been clothes shopping will relate to the serious prince! Episode 3 sees King Kai keeping the knowledge of Beerus away from Goku while he trains on his planet as Beerus searches for the legendary Super Saiyan God (with his usual lapse in memory).
While it does look like a lot of humour for this series, it is only into episode 4 this weekend and I believe that the writers (Toriyama included) are trying to give us some light hearted stories to start us off, before venturing into the battle with Beerus.
Overall, I'd say this series has a lot of potential and at 100 episodes, its going to give us a lot of surprises and adventures to enjoy. Its fresh, exciting and most of all fun and it definitely does not dumb down for the viewer like GT occasionally made the mistake of, whilst being inkeeping with the Dragon Ball world we have grown to love. Heres hoping that by episode 5 (which is believed to be the appearance of the Super Saiyan God) we can get a full idea of the series to come!