Dragon Ball Super Episode 94
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 94 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
The clock is ticking down for the Tournament of Power, and there's finally a shift in tone as the whole Universe 7 team comes together. Strays like No. 17 and Frieza have agreed to fight, but now is the time for them to actually join the rest of the group. Still, the Frieza and Goku stuff continues to be told in small pieces at the end of each episode, so it'll be at least another week before we see all ten fighters in one room.
That said, the final sequence of this episode, where Goku uses Fortuneteller Baba's magic to bring Frieza back to the physical world for his 24 hours, has such a curious air to it that the "coming together" atmosphere of the episode still shines through. Dragon Ball's usual "villains to allies" cliché slowed down immensely starting with Frieza back in the day, so even in the context of this series where we see bad guys fight against a common enemy all the time, there's still a fresh novelty here. He's such a bad person (alien?), but we know he doesn't have much logical reason to break his word. When he finally materializes on earth and shares a few teasing and antagonistic gut punches with Goku, it's almost alarmingly cute, and I mean that in a good way.
The other notably fresh aspect of this episode comes from seeing 17 finally interact with characters other than Goku. He and his sister 18 are perfectly comfortable being their cold selves in front of each other, leaving Krillin to be the awkward brother-in-law. I also did a double-take when 18 got real picky about how to spell/pronounce her daughter Marron's name—something that's a little hard to describe between languages and subtitles. Basically, 17 calls her "Maron" by accident which, if I know my deep cuts right, could be a bizarre reference to Krillin's airhead girlfriend from that old filler arc.
This is an episode full of little moments that really sell the appeal of Super. Also on the 17 train of thought, there's a nice moment where Piccolo offers him a handshake and thankful words, and as far as Frieza goes, it's hilarious to see Vegeta try to cover up the Tournament of Power in front of Trunks by talking Frieza up as a good guy who's turned over a new leaf. The shot of Vegeta then sulking at the table, contemplating the disgusting thing he just said, is one of the funniest things I've seen from this show in a long time.
We're still moving ever so slowly to finally beginning the Tournament of Power, but I'm continuing to enjoy this mold of small steps and cliffhangers over the one-and-dones and two-parters that made up the rest of this recruitment arc. This episode ends with a group of alien assassins hired by the other Universes arriving to kill off Goku and/or Frieza in an attempt at sabotage, and there's a lot to get excited about with Frieza essentially stepping forward, cracking his knuckles, and going gold to wipe out the attackers. Between our multiple Super Saiyan Blues and Golden Frieza, Universe 7's team is getting to be pretty threatening.
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