Dragon Ball Super
Episode 103

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 103 of
Dragon Ball Super ?

You know, as famous as Dragon Ball Super was for its poor animation in the early days, it really has picked up the slack. That's one thing I've found myself thinking during this week's episode, if not the past few, as we're treated to some really snazzy looking stuff. I actively enjoy watching these characters move, and how much personality they put into their bodies as they act out the classic DBZ-style action. Goku vs. Su Roas, one of the remaining magical girl fighters, looks fantastic.

The second half of this episode is where we focus more on Gohan and Piccolo, and that stuff isn't lighting a fire under me as much as the androids, Saiyans, and magical girls have. I remember the Gohan/Piccolo stuff not really clicking with me in the lead up to the tournament, either. There are things to latch onto, like the general father-son dynamic between the two that the internet loves so much these days, the return of Gohan's "Mystic" form, and Piccolo's use of his Hellzone Grenade, but it runs the risk of feeling like shallow fanservice.

There's a very specific tone that all their recent scenes have shared, which makes me wonder how the writing on a show like this is delegated. Like, when you get to Gohan vs. Botamo, there's clearly a creative idea there as Gohan deals with his opponent's size and durability, but it's not the kind of thing that's going blow your mind with how clever it is. Little things like this always make me wish I found them more interesting than I actually do.

From there, the episode ends with Gohan and Piccolo knocking out the remaining Universe 10 warriors and dooming them to deletion by Zen-Oh, meaning two of the eight universes have been taken out. We're also told there are 37 minutes left of the tournament, meaning the past seven episodes of have consisted of a whopping 11 minutes in real-time. Frankly, as humorous as it is to say Dragon Ball is doing its Dragon Ball thing there, I don't think that dramatic time stretching impacts this arc all that much. They could have said the fight was supposed to last two hours for all we care and it would feel the same.

As the arc continues, we're going to see more universes taken out in succession, and we have to start wondering how doomed the characters in question actually are. I'm banking on the winners of the tournament using the Super Dragon Balls to wish all the universes back into reality, since I can't imagine the show going that dark with its premise. Of course, it still means that we're going to have to see characters we're familiar with, be it the folks from Universe 6 or even our guys from Universe 7 if the story wants to throw us a curveball, cease to exist momentarily. I'm most interested in what these fights start to look like when there are only a small handful of fighters.

By virtue of me just not feeling the Gohan and Piccolo stuff, this episode didn't scratch an itch as much as the past two, but the action in the first half was good enough for me to revisit a couple of times already. It looks like the story's about to take another surprising turn next week, so once again it's time to hold our breath and simply appreciate the good place that we're in with this show, even if not every encounter is my cup of tea.

Rating: B

Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Sam Leach records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter @LuckyChainsaw

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