Dragon Ball Super
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 67 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
All good things must come to an end. Well, all things must come to an end, I suppose. The Future Trunks arc has been my first proper foray into Dragon Ball Super, and it's been an experience that I appreciate a good deal. Early episodes of Super (the movie remake arcs) are not the easiest to get through, but once the series gets the original stuff started, you get a feel for what kind of ride this show is meant to be. It's not perfect, but it manages to be an impressive mix of the pulpy sci-fi side of DBZ and the carefree goofy side of the original Dragon Ball. You can tell there's an innate desire not to take itself too seriously, deep in Super's DNA.
I'm not in love with the conclusion of this arc, as I was starting to say in last week's review. Obviously they had written themselves into a corner with an immortal villain, so there were only so many solutions they could have gone with. I do have to give them credit for getting a little weird with it, but I specifically remember saying that I hoped it wasn't as simple as Zen-Oh showing up and solving the problem for us.
So, Zamasu has been defeated by the one-two punch of Vegeto's onslaught and Trunks's Spirit Bomb sword, (I guess that's what that was?) and now his malicious energy is consuming the earth and killing all the innocent people that Trunks had been trying so hard to protect. We don't see anybody die, but Zamasu's creepy green face is all over the sky, and the characters are using their energy sensing to confirm to the audience that yes, everyone other than our main characters are dead. Only Future Trunks and Mai are actually from this timeline, so the rest of our heroes are pretty lax. Goku remembers his connection to Zen-Oh, the most powerful of all the gods in the universe, and calls him forth to deal with the problem. Zen-Oh, the little baby alien who has the power to remove anything from existence, doesn't recognize Goku (because timelines alternate universes, etc.) but agrees that this planet is now terrible and should be destroyed. He removes the earth, which was a little overkill compared to what Goku was hoping for, but our heroes are able to escape with the time machine.
So all the people from Trunks and Mai's timeline are dead. They return to Goku and Vegeta's timeline to recuperate before being offered a solution that will allow them to go back to a version of their timeline, sans Zamasu. Apparently Beerus and Whis just happen to have some method of tidying everything up, which threatens to remove the series' sense of stakes even further, but I don't mind it in this case. "You rely on the gods too much," Beerus says when asked why they didn't just fix everything themselves earlier. Our heroes are still at the whim of gods much more powerful than they are, which only makes me wonder how much they'll continue to challenge that dynamic in the future. Goku and Vegeta have every intention of being as powerful as Beerus one day after all.
So we wrap the arc up with a proper send-off to Trunks and Mai. They say farewell to everyone, Vegeta throws Trunks a supportive goodbye punch, and just as he's leaving, Gohan arrives to salute him as well. Gohan and Trunks never had an especially deep relationship in the main timeline, but anybody familiar with Dragon Ball knows how much Gohan meant to Trunks in the future timeline, so it was a special moment for him at least. It's also worth noting that Gohan miraculously has his little hair bang spike back, as if the audience had been complaining that Gohan didn't look cool enough anymore. Maybe they're teasing his return to action in the next arc? That feels like the kind of fanservice-y thing Super would do.
The Future Trunks arc is the best that Dragon Ball Super has been so far as I can tell (I'm still working on the Universe 6 arc, which I'm enjoying almost as much). While it's not perfect, and the ending is not as interesting as I would have liked, it hearkens back to what I enjoy about shonen so much: the marathon. That feeling where you could nitpick the story or the animation, but you're too busy being immersed to care, is super freeing. You're too interested in finding out what happens next to be too hard on it. I don't think I could have enjoyed this show as much if I didn't have a backlog to catch up on, and while I'm not going to have that privilege moving forward with these reviews, it's a nice thing to be reminded of.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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