The battle to determine the strongest universe–and the one that will remain safe from Zeno’s wrath–rages on! This week, Gohan battles valiantly against the Yardrat from Universe 2…and Frieza from Universe 7?! Welcome back to 5 Point Discussions for Dragon Ball Super! If you would, please share this on Facebook and Twitter alike, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to message me on Twitter @SageShinigami!
1. The concept of low mortal levels comes up again this episode. As a reminder: this tournament only has eight of the existing twelve universes in it, because four of them were deemed so powerful they didn’t need to get involved. Which reminds me that for awhile now, people have been wondering where Super goes next, as if the show is simply out of ideas after this.
When this tournament is over, it’s likely they give alternate universes a break for maybe half a year or so, possibly to delve deeper into some loose ends from the original Z series, or even doing a brand-new story arc unconnected to anything before it. But…It’s Chekhov’s Scouter: don’t bring up how much stronger these other universes are if we aren’t going to visit them later. Hopefully we eventually get to traverse them all—the Z Fighters have already reached the limit of what can be done in our universe with Buu, a guy who spent his years laying waste to the four galaxies.
2. I confess I’m more than a little disappointed by Gohan’s primary opponent this episode. Though we were lead to believe it would be Frieza and Frost, it turned out to be a member of Universe 2: someone from the planet Yardrat, where Goku learned his Instant Transmission technique. As we’re lead to believe, the universes aren’t just carbon copies of each other, but are vastly different—with the notable exception of a universe’s “twin”, which can have some heavy similarities. That’s why Universes 6 and 7 both have Earthlings, Namekians, Saiyans, and whatever Freiza is. So…why does Universe 2 have Yardrats?
It’s an empty complaint though. This tournament has vastly increased the number of characters in DBZ. Seventy brand-new combatants from eight different universes—that’s incredible growth, and Toriyama and his partner Toyotaro deserve credit for actually expanding a thirty-plus year old franchise’s lore like they have.
3. I hoped I could avoid saying this, but…ugh. Gohan sucks. Last week’s preview wound up being something of a red herring, with Gohan spending the majority of the episode being knocked around by a member of the Yardrat race spamming Instant Transmission. Now the trick to the Yardrat people is that typically they aren’t terribly strong, and thus shouldn’t have been able to do much damage to Gohan at all, particularly if he went all out.
But of course, instead of going all out he simply allowed the guy to beat him senseless until he nearly got eliminated. Frieza eventually shows up and saves the day (more on that later), but then he turns on Gohan after revealing he has allied himself with Frost. Briefly, he starts beating Gohan down until he transforms back into his Mystic form (which really shouldn’t be a power-up). Like this, Gohan proves capable not only of keeping up with Frieza, but his Golden Form as well…and that’s where I run into an issue. Your whole universe, including your wife and newborn daughter are about to die if you lose—why are you playing around?! Speaking of…
4. Normally, I’m against villains. I don’t see anything endearing about them no matter how much creators try, because evil is usually just plain evil. But I can’t lie: Frieza was easily my favorite part of this episode. He really does fight like he wants to win—brutally beating down the Yardrat before he can use his Instant Transmission to be too much of a pain, then betraying Frost at the last second and easily eliminating him.
It’s simply fascinating how most of the people trying their hardest to legitimately win the tournament are being so quickly and easily eliminated, while quirky idiots like the Justice Squad of Universe 11, Ribrianne and her group from Universe 2, and…nearly all of the idiots in Universe 7 just screw around and they’re just so absurdly powerful it doesn’t seem to matter. Wait, wait. I said “fascinating”? I meant dumb. It’s really dumb. I appreciate Frieza for at least acting like he wants to live.
5. Next Episode: There’s only twenty-nine minutes left in the tournament, but only thirty-one fighters remain, as Goku finally goes up against Universe 11’s ace, Jiren! Jiren is just as strong as he looks, forcing Goku to go into his Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken…and use a new, secret technique?! But will even his best efforts be enough to fight someone who felled a Legendary Super Saiyan so easily?!
Man, I’ve never liked Super Saiyan Kaioken. Whenever Goku uses it it’s never the “insta-win” it should be, even though just trying it should make the guy explode so you’d think they’d make it worth it. I’m a little surprised we’re going with the Jiren fight so soon—there’s still another thirty competitors left—but I’d also bet he doesn’t get eliminated, we just get an extended battle between them. Guess we’ll find out…on the next episode of Dragon Ball Super!
Dragon Ball Super is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.