Dragonball Super really surprised me this week in the best way possible. I went in dragging my feet a bit, resigned with a story I thought I already knew and yet things have changed. They’ve changed in a big way.
Recap; Freiza has arrived on Earth and has unleashed his forces on our Heroes. With Goku and Vegeta away it is up to the old gang to defend the Earth.
Before we can talk about the good we have to talk about the bad, because the first half of this episode is mediocre at best, which is why the second half came it was such a pleasant surprise. I can honestly say that Dragonball Super… caught me off guard with this one.
I blame this on the fact that the first half is more rehashing from the movie. Exactly what I dread when it comes to watching the series (and writing these reviews.) Freiza arrives with a large number of his forces and the gang doesn’t muster up the strength they need to fight him. The excuses are lame, but I understand that if Majiin Buu were called into fight there would be no tension in the upcoming episodes. Things would be resolved so quickly it would make our heads spin, but I was hoping Goten and Trunks would at least get some screen time. In their case the loose excuse from the movie still stands; Bulma doesn’t want them to be involved. Never mind that they have felt energy in the past and have rushed into battle or that their help is certainly needed.
For the movie this allowed time for our old cast of fighters to get some much-needed screen time and the same works here. The animation for the fights scenes are actually well handled. Nothing too elaborate but that means little mistakes. The battle also sheds a little light on Krillin who’s fear at facing Freiza (the man who once killed him) is understandable. I’m glad the show spent time exploring this aspect of Krillin’s personality, but even more glad that they knew not to make it a serious plot point. After a few minutes Krillin realizes he’s a lot stronger then he was on Namek and Freiza’s men really are nothing in comparison.
After this is addressed the show takes a few unexpected turns. Gohan faces off against one of Freiza’s stronger men, Shisami, but the fight still appears unbalanced. Gohan takes the time to give a soft hearted speech about his daughter being born that was incredibly endearing and a ramp up for him to push his powers. But before that can happen Togama shoots Shisami in the back. Togama, who was dead in the movie but still lives in the show. Togama, who’s blast shot right through Shisami’s heart and into Gohan’s. Oh my god, Togama!!
Togama’s sudden step into the villain spotlight isn’t the only surprise we got when the episode briefly pans over to Goten and Trunks who both sense something is amiss before rushing off into battle. As for Goku and Vegeta, their training with Beerus takes an unexpected turn when it is suggested they train somewhere different. Cue a wormhole opening from nowhere and the two being sucked inside.
There’s no doubt about it the Freiza Arc is a changed creature from the movie. With Togama still being alive and the duo of Goten and Trunks arriving on the scene it is clear that Super is filling in those very noticeable gaps from the movie. I have no idea where their story will go from here and that’s awesome. This episode was definitely the shot of adrenaline the show needed in the face of a second movie rehash. Here’s hoping the story can continue to keep Dragonball fans engaged and excited in the upcoming episodes.