Two "seasons" of Dragon Ball Super have passed and as such we have finally reached the time and place where we don't know what the show will be about. Battle of the Gods and Resurrection of F has ended and the tournament between the two universes are beginning in the manga, and shortly, in the anime as well. I grew up with Dragon Ball, it is one of the biggest, most influential part of my childhood and I love it to death. As such, you can imagine how, like so many with me, were hyped as hell when the show was announced. But, sadly, in my opinion it fell on its face, hard.
I remember when I first read that DBS is happening in reality as well. I was out of my mind with glee. Then news were starting to come in about it and I go a little restless. First off, as far as I've known, it was going to start right after Resurrection of F. Okay, fine, I was up to it. A good fight against Frieza to kick off a whole new Super Saiyan form, Vegeta being possibly stronger than Goku (finally!) and a nostalgic villain.
Sure enough, those news were proven to be false, and in an interview, Akira Toriyama told us that it will be indeed about Battle of the Gods and Resurrection of F and something kind of new in the end which turned out to be the tournament. Well, okay then. We were still hyped because now that we were thinking about it, both Battle of the Gods with the mythos behind the Super Saiyan God, and Resurrection of F with the Super Saiyan Blue, were lackluster. Seriously, we had no idea what was going on. Battle of the Gods threw a curveball about the legends of Saiyans we have already gathered during the series. Sure we got two different versions in the show itself (King Kai telling Goku that the Guardian of Planet Vegeta destroyed their planet and then the truth about Frieza being behind it.) but after the Frieza saga we accepted how it happened. Although according to Toriyama, GT isn't canon, the Baby Saga really went into depths about the Tuffles and Saiyans battling for Vegeta and the Saiyans winning and becoming space pirates. We have seen King Vegeta being in only furs in one of the episodes, meaning that his battle and then the rise of the Saiyans might have been recent, maybe not even a century old. Then how and when did this Super Saiyan God happen?
Also, in the manga chapters, Vegeta and Goku meet with a Saiyan from Universe 6 who comes from Planet Salad. Apparently it's the original home of the Saiyans, as Vegeta says. So, even in our Universe 7, the Saiyans have migrated from Planet Salad to Planet Vegeta. When? How? Saiyans were not space fairing before they've met with their first employers after they took over Planet Vegeta. So what the actual hell?
As you can see, there are a lot of things we did not know or understand. Dragon Ball Super, a series trying to explain and show what an hour and a half movie couldn't, didn't really tell us anything new. Apparently, they didn't do anything. Maybe it is planned in the future, but as of yet, it is quite disappointing.
To start out with what's easy. The animation, in my opinion is horrible. There are some places where we can say it's passable, unfortunately it's mostly the peaceful episodes where nothing's happening. I won't even mention that specific infamous episode, because that was just an icing on the cake. The animation is stiff, the color pallet is extremely strange and it doesn't capture the DBZ feel, at least in my opinion. Movement is also strange, a bit too crisp and clean and way too slow. I remember the battles in the Saiyan Saga, Frieza Saga, hell, every saga in DBZ. The battles were flawless, sure a bit too lengthy and full of yelling and taunting but we also had badass fight scenes mixed in. Here, the whole Battle of the Gods arc was a bore and a yawnfest. Goku talked and talked and taunted and talked and did nothing. The whole fight with Beerus was a yelling match, nothing more. They punched each other now and again but that was it. The animation itself was horrendous and the characters did not seem to be part of the drawn world, is the only way I can describe it.
The storytelling was also just simply bad. Like I've said earlier, they threw in curveballs that simply destroyed or retconned what we already knew. Also, they threw in questions that they simply did not answer. Toriyama told us in an interview that Goku will not transform again because it will only sap his strength. That, coupled with the look of God Goku, gave us the impression that there will be no more Super Saiyans. That was clearly wrong, since there is a Super Saiyan Blue now but that is another can of worms. Where did it come from? How the hell did Vegeta reach it? Sure we saw only one punch which gave off God Ki shockwaves between Goku and Vegeta but that was it.
The plot of Super is all over the place but this is not all about that. Z wasn't the epitome of storytelling either, but at least it was consistent in it's tone. Which is the other largest part of Super I hate and others I know dislike as well. It just doesn't feel like Dragon Ball. The tone itself is much more humorous, pulling characters like Vegeta and even Goku down to being goofballs and more comedy relief than anything. I miss that look on Goku's face when he fought Frieza or Vegeta's when he sacrificed himself against Buu. Gohan, my favorite character in the series is sidelined as well but I have come to accept it since we already knew Toriyama didn't think he was good enough to be in a leading role. I was glad to hear him wanting to train again, but I'm negative enough at this point to believe that his character won't get his ups. I miss how serious DBZ was at points, especially in the Android saga which is the best in my opinion. However, I don't want to be someone who's just yelling 'back in my day!' through this article. I understand that things change and unfortunately I might have to accept that Super might not be a show for me anymore.
Some of the plotholes I think are in the show and are not yet exlpained but hopefully will be in the future:
Frieza's training. Super Saiyan God Myth. Super Saiyan Blue. How Vegeta got his powers. Planet Salad. Origins of the Saiyans. God Ki.
There is not much good to say about Dragon Ball Super, at least in my opinion. But the few I can, I should only for this article to not be a simple hate rant.
I love the Super Saiyan God Myth and the figure showed in visions looked just like Vegeta. It would be exciting to learn about that a bit further. I also loved Super Saiyan God form, although the rumored original design (a lot closer to Super Saiyan 4 from GT) would have been far more interesting, this was not bad either. I love the fact that Vegeta, even if for a short time, became stronger than Goku. It's good to see him finally getting some face time, especially during his battle with Frieza. Whis' time powers were interesting but it was a bit disappointing to not see Vegeta getting the kill.
Super Saiyan Blue isn't bad, it's just a bit unoriginal. I'm also not a fan of multiverses, I think time travel with Trunks was good enough for alternative realities, but I, just as many others, love tournaments and I'm interested in where it was going. It would be a nice change if our heroes would lose, get Earth transported into Universe 6 and then we would have a whole new galaxy to explore with alive Saiyans, Nameks, a good Frieza and so on. I don't want Vegeta or Goku to lose, since I like happy endings but it would be much more interesting. Bulma is being a bit more active and I like that. Gohan got the shaft again but I still have 0.00000001% hope left that he will become a hero again, strong and willing.
So there it is. Super did not become what we, at least I have thought it to be, but I still have some hope. What do you think?