Dragon Ball Super
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 122 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
And thus the climax to the Tournament of Power begins as Goku's team faces off with the three remaining fighters of Universe 11. It's kind of silly that Jiren's been waiting on the side, silently watching Universe 7 thin out the competition, but I suspect that he's not unlike Goku and Vegeta, who prefer a strong opponent to an easy one. "I seek that which lies beyond strength" is all we get out of him on the topic, and the mystery of what he wants to use the Super Dragon Balls for intensifies.
Right off the bat, the art quality in this episode pops. The amount of loving detail put into all that hair and muscle is palpable, and I was surprised that it was able to keep the effort up the whole way through. Universe 7 quickly gets divided into three separate fights, one for each Universe 11 member, and all three opponents are unique yet offer similar levels of impact with their actions, from the light and fast Dyspo to the much bulkier Toppo. As far as raw fight animation goes, this is some of the best looking stuff of the arc.
This is also Vegeta's chance to get a full-blown serious fight, as he tries to outpace Goku during their team-up against the perpetually unstoppable Jiren. It's occurring to me how little I've really gotten out of Vegeta throughout Super, as the original DBZ already milked the best character arcs we're ever going to get out of him. It's always fun to see Goku ascend to new heights because he's very straightforward like that, but I don't really get that same enjoyment out of Vegeta. There's a specific flavor of fire and insecurity that makes the character great, something a bit more than just pride and arrogance. As of right now I'm not especially interested in seeing him unlock Ultra Instinct, though I suppose that's got to happen sooner or later.
Vegeta's best moment this week is easily when he gets in a clean gut punch on Jiren, much to everybody's shock. However, if Goku had such a hard time with Jiren, there's no reason to suspect that Vegeta's going to fare any better, and by the end of the episode Vegeta is toppled, lying a big crater of his own making. The fight with Universe 11 is just warming up, but our opponents aren't wasting any time showing us what they're made of.
I'm a bit surprised by the intense hype that's built up around this episode, though I suppose I shouldn't be since we're coming back from a holiday break and it's the rematch of the biggest Dragon Ball Super episode yet (Goku vs. Jiren). People clamoring for some great Vegeta content will likely be happy, and it sounds like we're merely at the tip of the iceberg as far as his contribution goes. What I found myself enjoying the most this week were the non-Jiren related fights. Frieza vs. Dyspo has the speed and energy that I live for, and Gohan and 17 vs. Toppo looks just as visually stunning. The fact that we're just getting started means the pulse isn't all there yet, but I suspect this rollercoaster won't take long to get going.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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