Dragon Ball Super
Episode 119

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 119 of
Dragon Ball Super ?

Assuming that the showdown with Universe 11 will be the climax of the tournament, that leaves Universes 3 and 4 (two teams that I could not identify in a crowd if my life depended on it) as our final roadblocks before the end. It was to be expected, since Dragon Ball Super was on a roll we had never seen out of it before, but this week we finally come down from our action-packed adrenaline high and get back to basics. The action looks okay, the strategies are just shy of clever, and the story turns its attention to characters like Gohan and Piccolo, who haven't really shined in the arc thus far. Their fight against Universe 6's Namekians last week is the best I'm expecting out of either of them for the remainder of the tournament.

This week is all about finishing off the remaining fighters of Universe 4, whose God of Destruction is the yellow mousy alien, Quitela, who we saw planning sabotage during the recruitment phase of the arc. In the theme of being underhanded and sneaky, these remaining fighters can't be beaten by traditional means. One is invisible, one fights with illusions, and one is a tiny bug who's easy to miss in combat. Master Roshi even offers his solution for facing off against an invisible enemy, but the joke about covering your foe in nose blood is from way back, and Super has too clean a sense of humor these days. Dust will have to do.

The most challenge that Universe 4 can offer our heroes is mild inconvenience, and as such it can be a difficult episode to sit through because it spends so much time establishing all these new character names and powers, but you can be confident that they'll all be out of the fight by the end of the episode. The bug boy does manage to trick Piccolo and ring him out (our guys can sense his presence but weren't able to perceive his size, so it takes some trial and error), but even that doesn't feel like a big deal because we've been waiting for the Universe 7 team to get thinned out for a while. We lose Piccolo, and the rest of our team is able to finish off Universe 4, whose prompt deletion is the most impersonal yet. It's just "blip", and they're gone. What's next?

Universe 3 looks to be next week's fight, and I think it's safe to assume that it's going to be in the vein of this one. The more we near the finale and watch the cast shrink, the more worried I get for the final battle. I think it's fitting to take a break from the really intense stuff for a couple episodes. I certainly don't expect Toei to keep the energy going for that long, but I'm trying to imagine how the rest of this arc will go, and there aren't a lot of options. As has been the concern for a while, we still have so many fighters on the Universe 7 team, and a fair few of them are characters I'm still waiting to see get a substantial moment (like Frieza). When this show is good, it succeeds in making me feel like there's a smarter plan in place than what I expected, but when it's this low-key, I have a hard time believing the show has any ambitions at all.

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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