Dragon Ball Super: Broly Trailer released

Dragon Ball movies are rarely plot heavy, sometimes the story is ever incoherent. However, is that really the most important part of this series? My answer would be no. Fighting is the most important aspect of this series and this latest movie trailer shows that this will be continue to be the hallmark of the series. What surprised me was that it appears to be a remake of the DBZ film “Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan.”

This movie focuses on the Broly, a saiyan with immense power. When he was born he had a power level of about 10,000. King Vegeta saw his power as a threat and ordered his execution. King Vegeta was unsuccessful as Broly and his father survived. Broly having matured became rather violent and manic, even for a saiyan. It’s unclear that this story will retell that one, or what changes will be made. One change, Frieza verses Broly, is something I want to see.

Trailer courtesy of IGN.

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The Salty Anime Day 14: An anime that shouldn’t have been as long as it was

I should probably pick Detective Conan, which is currently on it’s 908th episode and has been in production January 8th, 1996. I use to watch this series but I lost interest years ago. I won’t pick, One Piece because while it’s long, I think it’s as long as it needs to be. One Piece has a lot of story left.

My pick for the anime that is too long is, Dragon Ball. This series was started in 1986, the first series Dragon Ball lasted 153 episodes. Dragon Ball Z reached 291 in the late 90’s, then there was the terrible Dragon Ball GT which is thankfully the shortest with 64 episodes. If you could get through that series you probably had enough and was grateful that Dragon Ball was over. However, in 2009 Dragon Ball Kai was released and featured 159 episodes.

Personally, I didn’t watch most of the latest series. I got too repetitive find ways for saiyans to get get stronger and stronger. On some level this has always been true of the series. However, I feel that after the Cell saga Dragon Ball really went to far with the transformations. Super Saiyan 3 was cool looking but it didn’t really feel all that different. Weirdly it seemed that SS2 was more important than SS3. Villains kept getting ridiculously stronger and the particular formula was Goku quickly gets stronger, Vegeta then follows and nobody else does. That said the final arc of Dragon Ball Super did try to provide a opportunity for less powerful characters like Krillin.

Of course my biggest grip had to be the downgrade of Gohan. During the Cell Saga Gohan had surpassed everyone being the first to reach SS2 at age 9. He later put school work a head of his training (which maybe due to only being half Saiyan). Gohan maintain a great potential, Vegeta suggested that Gohan had the “potential exceeded both Goku’s and his own.” While I think that the Dragon Ball series was too long I did enjoy much of it (not GT) and the tournament arc at the end of Super was great.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 9: Least favorite anime trope(s)

Clothing Damage

If you’ve wanted anime long enough you notice that during the battle sometimes an anime characters clothing will get damaged. Often this is a pathetic attempt to justify fanservice. Clothing damage in anime can ridiculous. Bleach for example has this problem, while it seems that only the male characters are susceptible to clothing damage. The main protagonists, Ichigo even stated that “his outfit changes when he assumes bankai, his shirt takes damage in proportion to how much spirit power he loses. As he rests, the robes mend.”

The most famous example is of course the Dragon Ball series. Goku in particular displays this troupe. You can often comically determine the point in the fight based on Goku’s clothing. If he’s still has his shirt on the fight cannot be over. Strangely enough his pants are apparently made of stronger fabric than his shirt. His pants may get torn, but they never get blow off like his shirt does.

Defeat means Friendship

In popular manga and anime, Fairy Tail, both Gajeel and Juvia join the guild after they are defeated. In the Dragon Ball series almost all of the Z team at some point tried to beat or kill Goku at one point. Krillin even stated that “all of the Z-Fighters were enemies with Goku at some point.” More specifically:

  • Piccolo, was an enemy of Goku until mutual respect for Goku’s fighting ability.
  • Vegeta, prince of the Saiyan’s was nearly killed when he and Nappa tried to steal the dragon balls. Through the series Vegeta slowly becomes a permanent member of the Z team.
  • Majin Buu, has about ten different forms. Fat Buu and Ubuu become members of the Z team.
  • Android 17 & 18, both were created to kill Goku. 18 later marries Krillin, 17 actually doesn’t even meet Goku until Dragon Ball Super.

In Naruto, Neji and Gaara are transformed after Naruto defeats them and changes their lives. The problem with this troupe is that it’s unrealistic. For example, Piccolo, Vegeta, Buu, and Gaara kill many people and seemingly go unpunished for it, other than being defeated in combat.

Not Worth Killing

It is common in anime that a hero or villian will conclude that their opponent is too weak to be worthy of death. This is clearly design to keep the average skilled friends of the main character alive when the “main” bad guy decides that they don’t warrant being killed. It’s also a good way to display the power of a villian while not causing the lives of heroes. However, we all know that eventual the hero will surpass that villian.

  • DBZ, Goku is notorious for leaving villains alive, hoping that they have “learned their lesson,” or even hoping that they comeback stronger because he loves the competition. He does this too often with Frieza, who then goes on to destroy the planet TWICE. He manages to kill everyone on Earth in “Resurrection F ” on for Whis to reverse it.
  • One Piece, even though this series features much fighting, it is rare that they end up in death. Luffy fights brutally but I can’t think of any situation that resulted in anyone being killed by him. This doesn’t necessary mean that villains learn from their mistakes or go to prison, in fact some villains end up better off. For example, Wapol, become “an incredibly wealthy toymaker and tyrant of another kingdom, and Eneru went to the moon like he originally wanted.”
  • Bleach, many of the fights in the series ends with the loser remaining alive due to being unworthy of death. Kenpachi leaves Nnoitra after defeating him, he turns around to leave and Nnoitra attacks him forcing Kenpachi to finally kill him.

Stock Shonen Hero

If your a fan of Shonen anime or you’re just aware of it, you should be able to easily identify which character is the main protagonist. Goku is the template for most of these hero types. They tend to share the same characteristics and are even created to emulate Goku as the creators were inspired by DBZ. The most famous characters that represent this troupe is Natsu from Fairy Tail, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Naruto from Naruto. Some of the the characteristics are:

  • Simple mindedness that borders on stupidity
  • Massive appetites
  • Have orange hair or clothing
  • A tendency to show mercy to enemies that have commit horrible crimes
  • A mastery of difficult techniques in short time
  • A need to train excessively despite quickly learning these techniques
  • Often fights for the thriller of it, and if necessary will surpass all limits to always win

Interestingly, Ichigo from Bleach shares many of these characteristics particularly in battle, however, he’s a smart student.  Edward Elric shares personality traits of the typical Stock Hero but is highly educated due to his mastery of Alchemy. However, some characters subvert this troupe:

  • Boruto from Boruto is actually the opposite of his father, Naruto. While he looks just like him, he’s actually considered to be a “genius,” and wants to be like Sasuke, sharing more qualities with him than his father.
  • Saitama from One Punch Man also subverts this troupe, he does wear orange and trains a lot but because he became too powerful none of his fight thrill him and he’s now bald.
  • Shigeo Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100, is average in many ways, he’s emotionally limited, hates to fight, his usual hair style is a bowl cut and wears all black.
  • Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia, has a powerful quirk but his most important ability is his intelligence and ability to analyze and be strategic.

Alright, this post is already too long. I could go on and on. There are many other troupe that bug me, but these are some of the most obvious.

Dragon Ball Super Episode 131 Review: The Miraculous Conclusion! Farewell, Goku! Until We Meet Again!

The final episode of the Dragon Ball Super is a worth end. I assumed that the tournament will end with Goku and Jiren battling it out, until Goku uses Ultra Instinct to defeat Jiren. However, this didn’t happen. In fact while Goku still played an important role in Universe 7’s, he simply played a role. Frieza and Android 17 took center stage. I’ve already stated that 17 was the MVP of this tournament and it’s fitting that he was the last man standing.

Trust was a theme throughout this arc. Jiren lacked trust in his teammates, meanwhile, Universe 7 trusted each other. 17 trusted Freiza to “finish” Jiren if necessary, Goku trusted Frieza to uphold his part of the bargain and Freiza even needed to trust Goku to keep his part of the bargain. However, we all know that the trust between them wasn’t equal. Frieza being as evil is less trustworthy than 17 or the honest to a fault Goku. Ironically, this aspect of Goku’s personality is the quality what kept Frieza honest.

Watching Freiza and Goku fight together was surprisingly exciting. Even though Frieza is a villain, sacrificing himself even if only knocking Jiren out of bounds was surprising to meet. Freiza has come a long way from the Dragon Ball Z series. So much so that I have a hard time seeing him as completely evil. He hasn’t really killed any innocent people since the DBZ series, and when he tries to kill Goku, I never fell that he’s strong enough to do so. Regardless, Frieza did deserve his Resurrection. From the trailer of the movie it doesn’t appear that he’s the villian so I wonder when he will return.

Dragon Ball Super episode 127: Android 17’s sacrifice

Goku (Super Saiyan Blue), Vegeta (Beyond Super Saiyan Blue), and Android 17 vs. Jiren

After Jiren powers up, surrounding himself with a flaming energy. He impresses everyone with his aura, Vegeta mocks him for only getting serious after his teammates defeat. He attacks him head on, forcing 17 and Goku to follow. Jiren is barely phased by the now 3 verses 1 imbalance, Jiren focuses on Vegeta but 17 intervenes. Vegeta is not amused by 17’s aid and claims that he alone will defeat Jiren. Vegeta attempts a punch that is complimented by Jiren, while he easily blocks it. Jiren lands a massive fiery punch in Vegeta’s gut, knocking him out of SSB.

Goku attacks him with a Kamehameha wave, that is easily obliterated by Jiren’s uppercut. He manages to knock Goku down, as he approaches him 17 catches him by surprise and hits him with a massive attack from behind. Android 17 is caught in his own attack and is a little injured. Goku takes note that Jiren “can be damaged if hit unguarded by such a large attack.” They plan to use a coordinated attack to accomplish this, Goku and Vegeta distract Jiren, as 17 attacks.

Jiren deflects his attack, claiming that he “won’t fall for for the same trick twice.” He turns his attention towards 17, who uses several barriers back to back to no avail. 17 shoots a beam at Jiren which he blocks with ease, Vegeta and Goku also fire beams from three directions. Jiren blocks all of them with his aura, then knocks them down. Frieza finally reappears attacking him Jiren furiously, he becomes enraged stating that he will “kill,” Jiren. It doesn’t matter however, as Jiren knocks Frieza out.

Jiren’s backstory

17 shoots at Jiren, who asks “what can do on his own.” Belmod asks Android 17 what “he will do if his universe survives and use the Super Dragon Balls.” He responds that “he wants to wish for a cruise ship so he can travel around with his family.” He asks what Jiren’s wish is, but he doesn’t get a clear answer. However, we get Jiren’s backstory, when he was a child “his parents were killed by an evil-doer. Jiren himself was rescued by a man who went on to become his martial arts master.”

During his training “Jiren gained a number of comrades, and they fought together when that same evil-doer returned. However, the enemy was still too strong for them, and many of Jiren’s comrades were killed, including his master. Even his surviving comrades abandoned Jiren, causing him to view trust and emotions as worthless and place his faith in strength alone. It was Jiren’s thirst for strength and his solitude that attracted Belmod to him.”

Android 17’s sacrifice

So far in this arc Android 17 has been the most surprising. Compared to Goku, Vegeta, Gohan and Frieza, 17 wasn’t suppose to matter this much. However, he turns out to be the most pivotal member of Universe 7. He attacks Jiren by suggesting that he just used his teammates, Jiren says that “strength is absolute, and forgives everything, even the past.” Jiren sends a large attack at the remaining members of Team 7, 17 tries to hold it back with his barriers. He tell’s Goku and Vegeta that “he’s giving up on the cruise ship.” He sacrifices himself by self destructing, nullify Jiren’s attack and saving Vegeta and Goku.

Death in Dragon Ball is never permanent. It use to be that you could ONLY died once, but now it doesn’t matter at all. So knowing this, Android 17’s death isn’t really his end and to be simply matters less. That said his death seemed to have some effect on Goku and even Vegeta. However, the idea that Android 17’s gave Vegeta and Goku enough time to recover even a little seems implausible. Finally Frieza, he’s been humiliated by Jiren so far in this fight and appears to have very little ability to face him. He must factor into this fight at some point, having Goku defeat Jiren while Frieza is unconscious seems like a waste. Will he sacrifice himself for the greater good? That would be profound, even if he’s already dead. Anyway, 3 minutes remain in the Tournament.

 

Dragon Ball Super Episode 117 Review: Showdown of Love.

Goku targeted

Goku is developing a terrible pattern. He is constantly see-sawing in his energy levels as he goes from normal to Ultra Instinct and back again. His power in and of it’s self makes him a target. This has the undesirable effect of putting his Universe 7 on constant alert. While this episode centered on Goku original, it shifted focus to Android 17 & 18. Ribrianne and Rozie from Universe 2 have been surprisingly annoying and yet the episodes featuring them are the most humorous. This episode is no different.

Android 17 & 18 verses Ribrianne and Rozie

The androids rescue Goku from Universe 2, and face off against Ribrianne and Rozie. 18 annoys Ribrianne with her dodging, 18 tells her that “she didn’t come to fight, but she came to win.” Ribrianne looks at Krillin and tells 18 that she doesn’t believe that he’s all that attractive, because he doesn’t have a nose. I though this was funny, especially considering that Dragon Ball sometimes ignores the fact the Krillin doesn’t have a nose.

Ribrianne and Rozie are defeated

17 & 18 use their team work to pit Ribrianne and Rozie against each other accidentally. Ribrianne shoots “Max Love Cannon” at 18 while she’s in midair, 18 uses her ki to propel herself out of harms way leaving Rozie to be hit by it. 17 uses this opportunity to knock her out off the stage. After being hit by 18, Ribrianne reverts to her original form. However, she does manage to trap 18 in her “Big Armor’s” technique, then using the power of the “love” from her teammates she becomes “Giant Super Ribrianne.” Feeling the love of Krillin 18 powers past her, with the aid of 17 and defeats Ribrianne. Ending the most annoying and funny characters in this arc.

Dragon Ball Super Episode 113: Goku vs Caulifla and Kale

Goku vs Caulifla

Caulifla transforms into Super Saiyan 2 and begins to fight against Goku. She asks that Goku teaches her to reach level Super Saiyan 3. Goku agrees to do it, but tells her she needs to “beat him first.” Due to his fatigue Goku will not begin fighting at level 2. Goku easily dominates the fight, his better martial arts skill on full display. Caulifla lands a hit on Goku and he responds by using his after image technique. Caulifla is annoyed by the technique, accusing him of “cheating.” Goku tells her that if “she can’t figure out his Afterimage technique, she will never achieve Super Saiyan 3.”

Super Saiyan 2 Goku vs Super Saiyan 2 Caulifla

Caulifla begins to adapt well to Goku’s fighting ability and he finally transforms. Caulifla and Goku trade blows as they shock the other fighters. Goku is impressed with her improvement and suggests that she could end up surpassing SS3. Goku points points to Kale and she joins in on the fight as Caulifla invites her. She is ecstatic to join her “sister.” Unsurprisingly, Beerus is shock at Goku’s suggestion.

SS2 Goku vs SS2 Caulifla and Kale

Together Caulifla and Kale manage to land hits on Goku. Shin is worried about Goku’s chances against two super saiyans, however, Krillin states that “that pushing himself to the edge to further himself is who Goku is.” Goku is able to handle himself against the both of them, but Goku is eventually knocked backward. Kale and Caulifla shoot 2 ki blasts at Goku, but he counters them with his aura as he transforms briefly into Super Saiyan 3.

Kale becomes the Berserker Super Saiyan, exciting Goku as he prepares to fight. I like the fact that the series has managed to make older Super Saiyan levels relevant. Super Saiyan 3 was always an unappreciated form, with SS2 even taking greater prominence in the series. Goku’s tendency to help his opponents get stronger has always been annoying, but it never seems to actually backfire on him. It will be interesting to see how a fatigue Goku will handle Kale in her current form.

 

Dragon Ball Super Episode Review: Goku’s transforms

At this point in the Dragon Ball Series the number of transformations is starting to get ridiculous, or probably did a long time ago. However, what can really be done if Goku keeps getting stronger and facing even stronger opponents. In episodes 109 and 110 of Dragon Ball Super, Goku finally faces off against the stoic Jiren. Presented throughout the “tournament of power” as a unique power, Jiren mostly resisted full on combat with anyone, but displayed tremendous if not mysterious abilities. Furthermore, Goku singled out Jiren from the beginning.

Goku verses Jiren

Jiren walks towards Goku alarming the remaining fighters, he’s told by Belmond to unleash his full power and defeat Goku. He begins to tests his power against Jiren beginning with a Kamehameha wave. Jiren isn’t bothered, shielding this attack with energy. Goku increases his power incrementally starting with Super Saiyan, then Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan God forcing Jiren to block for the first time, then finally Super Saiyan Blue. Khai explains that the battle between Goku and Jiren is important for the tournament. If Jiren defeats Goku the rest of the fighters will lose their will to fight.

The good old spirit bomb

The spirit bomb is a technique that always manages to change the tide of battle if not out right ending it. Goku asks all of Universe 7 to give him the energy needed to create the spirit bomb. Surprisingly, it’s Vegeta not Freiza that refuses to give his energy.The spirit bomb, however, was ineffective against a largely unfazed Jiren who deflecting the spirit bomb back. Goku needed to use all his efforts to simply return it back. He fails to do so and is sucked into the void created when the spirit bomb implodes.

Ultra Instinct Goku

Unsurprisingly, Goku returns in a pillar of light and in a new form. His new form is called Ultra Instinct, it’s a state taught by Whis to both Beerus and Goku. Ultra Instinct is “is the fundamental concept of moving one’s body, via pure reflex, faster than the speed of thought—i.e., faster than the speed of nerve signals. By circumventing the body’s nervous system, an Ultra Instinct user is capable of moving and reacting at speeds normally impossible, allowing them to react to incoming attacks they would normally be defenseless against.” The problem with Goku’s latest form is that he burns through the energy too quickly. He manages to go toe to toe with Jiren and begins to get the upper-hand until he runs out of power. As Goku lies on the ground next to Vegeta, he is taken by Freiza who appears to be charging an attack against Goku.

I mentioned early that I’ve tired of all the transformations, but this one was actually cool. At this point the creators have got to be running out of ideas in terms of designing the new forms, other than the silver eyes and aura, Goku appearance doesn’t change much. I believe that Goku somehow will manage to use the form a second time, because that is the only logical way he could win. Regardless, no one has been knocked off since episode 108. Will the series ignore the fact that most of the universe 7 fighters gave their energy towards the spirit bomb? Finally, what is Freiza thinking? The penalty for killing a fighter is erasure so I doubt he will do that, he mentioned the events on Namek, which I think is telling. If you recall when Freiza was dying at the end of his fight with Goku, he was giving Ki to survive by Goku. I think that this is what Frieza will do but we’ll see.

Dragon Ball Super Episode 103: Gohan shows no Mercy

Magical Girl Ribrianne vs Android 17

Ribrianne is furious at Android 17 for defeating her friends, Kakunsa and Vikal. She calls him an “evil, cruel, heartless man who harms fragile maidens.” Android 17 accepts his role as villian considering Universe 7 is also in danger of being erased. She matches 17 in hand to hand combat, meanwhile, Magical Girl Rozie faces off against Goku. Her Yacchaina Fist managed to confused Goku for a while, however, he eventually realizes how her fighting style works. Android 17 and Goku gain the upper hand, Ribrianne and Rozie, flee with Yardart.

Gohan vs Botamo

Gohan and Piccolo run into Botamo, Gohan asks Piccolo to “let him handle it.” Gohan continues to punch Botamo in the stomach, despite the fact that he takes no damage and has infinite stamina. However, Gohan manages to lift him up with his constant hitting, moving him towards the edge. Botamo attempts to shoot Gohan with ki, but misses, Gohan then finishes him with a blast of Ki, knocking him off the edge.

Universe 10 meets it’s end

Piccolo battles Rubalt, while, Gohan faces Obuni. Obuni honors Gohan as a warrior, meanwhile, Piccolo uses his Hellzone Grenade on Rubalt knocking him unconscious and then off the edge. After Rubalt’s defeat Obuni is the only warrior of universe 10 remaining. Gohan takes his hits and counters as he uses his internal shifting ability. Obuni uses too much energy and runs out, Gohan takes advantage and uses Kamehameha knocking him off. This off course means that universe 10 is defeated and therefore will be erased. The episode attempts to create some since of saddeness as universe 10 vanishes but none of the characters are important enough or familiar to really care.

 

Dragon Ball Super: Episode 97, the tournament begins

The rules are established

The tournament of power begins and the Great Priest establishes the rules. The time limit is 100 taks or the equivalent of 48 Earth minutes. The pillar at the center of the battle stage will disappear into the stage when the time is up. The fighters can’t fly, use weapons or kill.

The strategy fails

Gohan wastes his time going over the strategy for the tournament. Unsurprisingly, the Androids (17&18), the full saiyans (Goku & Vegeta), and of course Frieza quickly part ways to fight on their own. Goku goes directly towards Toppo, but is interrupted by Ganos.

The battle begins

Narirama, the robot from Universe 3, uses a spinning move called “Super Survival Mode,” it successfully knocks some fighters away. However, Hit and Basil stop the robot and the female warrior, Lilibeu from Universe 10 faces off against Basil. She is the first to get knocked off and it reveals that when a fighter gets knocked off you are transported to the bench.

Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Tien, and Master Roshi are surrounded and they use a combo of an energy barrage from Gohan, Tien’s Solar Flare, Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon, Krillin’s Destructo Disk, Roshi’s Kamehameha, it has no effect. Basil is fighting against Napapa, a pink Sumo-wrestler, he fails to knock him off the stage. Goku mindlessly stares at Toppo, then Jiren and allows Nink to grab him.

Nink attempts to sacrifice himself, along with Goku. However, Goku uses Super Saiyan Blue at the last moment, saving himself. Goku wants to save his power for later. Goku is surrounded by several warriors, as the episode ends with 47 mins. left. I wonder if each episode will be one minute of the tournament, but I doubt it.

Regardless, I like the start so far. Basil was the center of this episode which was surprising. He seemed to be the most capable fighter from his universe. Goku is one of my favorite anime characters but his stupidity does get on my nerves sometimes. While, it wasn’t believable that Goku would fall off so early, he really didn’t need to wait so long to get loose. Gohan and the remaining Z fighters are in trouble considering that they don’t make a dent in their opponents. At some point they will get separated and it will be interesting what the results will be then.