The Tournament of Power enters a new stage, as the exhausted Goku continues his battle against the Saiyans of Universe 6, Kale and Caulifla! But what trick do our two Super Saiyans have up their sleeve that may leave our hero unable to win? Remember, if you like this article, please be sure to share it and check out other 5 Point Discussions. And if you have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter @SageShinigami.
1. Kale and Caulifla are some of the most polarizing characters I’ve seen in awhile. Most of the Dragon Ball Z fanbase, myself included, have wanted to see what female Super Saiyans would be like since the beginning of time, and for what it’s worth, props to DB Super for finally making that fanfiction canon. Their relationship in general is adorable–the brash, overconfident punk Kale and her shy “best friend but clearly wishes they were dating” sister Caulifla work as cool add-ons to the franchise, and along with Vegeta’s relationship with Cabba, are arguably the biggest reasons that justify reviving a franchise from the 1980’s.
This episode, though? Ugh. We pick up from last week with Kale transforming again, reaching her I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not Broly legendary Super Saiyan form and starting to go berserk…until Caulifla’s admiration and love bring her back to herself, allowing her control over her powers while also retaining her mind. It’s actually a really heart-warming moment, but it’s also a reminder of how far DBZ is in the rearview. In that series, transformations weren’t easy giveaways that were learned or maintained through the power of yuri, but instead often took the loss of human life, or physical training until one’s body could literally no longer take the stress.
Worst still, is how they’ve spent most of this and last episode bragging about how beating Goku is so important and will prove they’re the strongest Saiyans in any universe. Y’know, the same Goku who’s spent 90% of the tournament fighting everyone from multiple universes, including a guy who literally wrecked Kale with a handful of punches. That Goku. Someone that’s clearly utterly exhausted and should be given time to rest, instead of two people who spent half the tournament hiding (even going so far as to sacrifice a teammate) in order to recover their full energy…in order to challenge a person that’s clearly exhausted. The whole match feels so contrary to their bold, protagonist-like characters and more like something a weasely dude like Frieza would take advantage of.
2. Granted, as much as I’d like to feel sorry for Goku, he’s still a dolt. After spending half the episode throwing down with the Kale/Caulifla combo, he finally runs into Frieza, whose natural hatred of Saiyans from any universe causes him to want to join in on the fun. Now, this could have been an excellent chance for Super to do one of those “An Impossible Team-Up!” matches shonen is known for, where a weakened Goku and Frieza worked together against Kale and Caulifla in a two-on-two. Super Saiyan Blue struggled with Kale even when Goku was close to full energy so it would’ve even been believable if Frieza’s Golden Form was just enough to beat it, too.
…But NOPE. Goku tells Frieza “first come, first served” and rushes off to fight them both again, solo. Because it’s just not Dragon Ball Z if Goku isn’t The Only One That Matters. Seriously, most shonen series have this problem to some extent, but Dragon Ball always takes it to ridiculous levels that make you wonder why any other character is even there.
3. It’s not all bad this episode though. We also got the guy above: Katopesla, the Policeman of Justice! (Is there another kind? …Don’t answer that.) One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this tournament is how Super’s gotten to experiment and do their own takes on common anime tropes that have popped up in the decades since the show retired in the early 90’s. Of course Universe 11 is just one of Toriyama’s endless shout-outs to Super Sentai, but Universe 4 is clearly a reference to magical girls and how they defeat everyone in the name of some positive emotion like love or “for everyone’s happiness”. And this guy is clearly a version of the now mega-popular Kamen Rider characters.
He challenges Frieza and you expect him to die immediately, but eventually he does his form change into the “Whirlwind Speed Mode” and goes so fast he disappears, with Frieza quickly deciding the guy isn’t even worth his time after that. It’s hilarious, though I do wonder why a show that’s known for excessively long power-up times thinks they have the right to parody form changes in Mahou Shoujo and Tokusatsu series.
4. In the latest edition of “BWAHAHA, I told you so”, I’d like to remind all of you about how I said the rules don’t matter. Outside weapons or help isn’t supposed to be allowed (otherwise Goku could’ve just gotten a Senzu), and yet when Goku finally powers up to Super Saiyan God and puts the obviously weaker Caulifla down with ease, the two pull out their trump card: Potara earrings. We even get a flashback to when Champa gives them over.
Fused together, Caulifla and Kale (now “Kefla”) is absurdly powerful and she hasn’t even transformed yet, and the only thing we’ve even gotten from this are the two Zen-Ohs staring on in awe at how strong they are. Honestly, this would’ve been less insulting if they’d just done the dance together for a fusion, but that would’ve required training and this arc is against any and all forms of that, apparently.
5. Next Episode: We’re checking in with other members of Universe 7, with a brief glimpse of Piccolo and Gohan throwing down with the Nameks of Universe 6, the Androids apparently knocking out Katopesla (awww), before we go back to Goku catching a beat down in Super Saiyan Blue form. I’ve never seen Dragon Ball work so hard to nerf a new form, but to Goku’s credit at least he’s still beaten up from throwing down with Jiren.
Anyway, we’ve got about four more months of this Tournament, so everyone settle in.
Dragon Ball Super is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.