Dragon Ball Super
Episode 117

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 117 of
Dragon Ball Super ?

After the show's infamously weak early episodes, it's shocking how much Dragon Ball Super has come into its own. It's not adapting a manga, so it's never had a strong central story to rely on, nor has its sense of humor ever been especially ambitious, so the series has always sat dormant in this weird nebulous state that's hard to grasp. However, episodes like this take the franchise's inherent cartoony-ness to its logical conclusion, and for the first time in a while, Super is offering silliness that I genuinely think is fun.

Once again it's time for Goku to take a breather and let the spotlight move over to the rest of the cast. This week is all about the Android siblings 17 and 18 as they take on Universe 2's remaining magical girls. Most of the attention is on 18 vs. Ribrianne, but what makes the fight dynamic is that it takes place alongside 17 vs. Rozie, so the two battles get to weave in and out of each other. The fight animation looks great throughout, and Ribrianne is full of goofy faces and reactions.

However, the climax of the episode is the real attention-getter, as the forces of Universe 2 cheer Ribrianne on to reach her strongest form where she increases to the size of the fighting stage itself. The fact that this episode ends with the steely-eyed 18 punching a hole through a roaring Godzilla-sized magical girl thanks to the power of love is something I'm not sure I'd believe if I hadn't seen it for myself. There's a real fever dream quality to the whole thing as it practically jumps between genres, but it's so well-animated that I'm more than willing to go with it. It's also funny to see Ribrianne discover that Krillin is 18's husband and get really judgmental about it. "He's not beautiful!" she cries to the woman who's about to punch her in half.

I always enjoy seeing the softer side of 18. Alongside her brother, she's a former villain you can take comfort in knowing is on your side, but the Androids aren't like Vegeta who's constantly having to re-earn his Good Guy Citizenship, they're just good people who have mean faces at this point. Speaking of Vegeta, we also get an amusing scene where he lets his opponent wale on him in a vain attempt to unlock Ultra Instinct for himself. It seems he just doesn't have the temperament for it, so he has to knock the other fighter down the old-fashioned way.

With the magical girls defeated, it looks like the remaining forces of Universe 11 are the only significant threat left for our heroes. The only realistic way I see the drama playing out from here is Jiren wiping out most of Universe 7 in the near future, and if that's the way it's gotta go, I'd rather cut to the chase soon than sit through more fights with no-names as we finish off Universes 2 and 6. Most of the interesting opponents are gone, so I'm crossing my fingers that this recent string of fantastic episodes isn't finally wrapping up.

Rating: A

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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