Dragon Ball Super
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 106 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
The minutes continue to slip away as the Tournament of Power doesn't look anywhere close to ending, but slowly and surely the number of combatants are being whittled down. Universe 7's ten man team was never balanced in terms of strength distribution, but it was full of old faces who hadn't gotten a chance to shine as the likes of Goku and Vegeta got stronger in the original DBZ.
My concern has continued to be that the show will extend the spotlight to these weaker heroes too much, forcing the story to contrive something for them to do out of pity. I have nothing against Krillin, Roshi, and Tien, but their place in this fight is appropriately limited. The show wants to give them each a victory before shooing them off the stage to make room for the real battle, and frankly that's kind of what I want out of them right now. Roshi's still in though, so I'd be interested in seeing where that goes.
There's a tightrope to walk with the "technical" style of fighting we've been seeing in this arc so far. The Hit and Dyspo stuff was notably cool because they found a way to tie technical, rule-based powers into a fight that maintained a satisfying sense of speed and power. That's the new frontier; Super Saiyan-strength opponents who also fight with interesting gimmicks on top of that. There's a lot of Gohan and Piccolo content in that ballpark this week, but it never quite reaches what I'm looking for. Their scenes are always just shy of exciting or clever.
From there, the bulk of the episode belongs to Tien, who ends up being the second member of the Universe 7 team to be eliminated, bringing us down to eight characters left. He doesn't go down without a fight, however, and uses his eyesight and clone ability to take an especially tricky opponent down with him. This ties in well with Gohan and Piccolo's side of the fight, and I continue to enjoy how the story uses the rubble left over from battle to affect how the characters conduct themselves. There are a lot of hiding places for a sneaky enemy to be hanging out.
Dragon Ball Super's been coasting on a handful of really entertaining episodes lately, but that steam's starting to run out. Whenever opponents get eliminated from the battle, it's difficult to get a sense of how far we are in the tournament, since there are so many fighters who are completely new to us and many we have yet to meet. Are there thirty guys left or fifty? Does it matter? There's only so long we can stay in this phase of the arc before we recognize every name left standing, and I imagine that's the point people are eager to reach.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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