Dragon Ball Super
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 68 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
So this week is the first week that I noticed that the subtitle script being used by Crunchyroll was entirely using dub spellings of character names ("Krillin" over "Kuririn", etc.) I mean, I grew up with the Funimation dub, as did thousands of others, but something feels off about the Japanese version of a thing using those terms. I noticed a few of these names floating around in earlier episodes and assumed they were mixing and matching terminology, but I guess this just goes to show how much this simulcast release is aimed at the larger audience of DBZ fans, as opposed to the hardcores who already love to watch stuff with subtitles. Basically what I'm saying is that I have no idea what to call these characters in the reviews anymore and that's pretty stressful.
Anyway, the Future Trunks arc is now behind us and now we get to deal with some filler shenanigans as we ramp up for whatever the next arc is. The idea behind this episode is that Goku has gathered earth's dragon balls in hopes of officially bringing King Kai back to life after all these years, but members of the supporting cast keep popping up and demanding Shenron's second wish for themselves, supporting and arguing for their bid with whatever logic they can strap together. Bulma wants a special mineral essential to building her own version of Trunks's time machine, Roshi obviously wants women, 18 wants to know what kind of gift Krillin would like, and so on.
This episode has me torn, because overall it's not that good but I really like the spirit of it. Goku summons Shenron, who is forced to wait patiently while the cast bickers amongst themselves over their petty wishes. Normally, this godlike dragon would just ditch them for taking too long, but the threat of Beerus hanging around convinces him out of fear to stay a little bit longer, at least until he can't muster the strength anymore and is forced to vanish as if he's been putting a pee break off for too long. Shenron and the dragon balls used to be this endgame power that the characters sought, but so much has happened since Dragon Ball started that an all-powerful wish feels more like a soft bonus to our heroes. Super is definitely a show that has a sense of humor about itself and its world, and I think the idea behind this episode is fun in theory.
Ultimately, it just never manages to be all that interesting. The animation is incredibly modest at best, and the vast majority of the episode is made up of the characters standing below Shenron and talking. The most compelling thing in this episode is Bulma, who negotiates and buys the other characters off to get her wish. Her goal of building a new time machine is intriguing, making us wonder where the story could go if time travel came back, but her hopes are dashed by the end of the episode when Beerus very cool-ly destroys both the mineral and the time machine with a snap of his fingers since time travel is still a crime according to the gods. Nothing in this episode is designed to propel the story forward, which isn't a terrible thing necessarily, but it's not really funny enough to really justify the time spent.
Easily the most exciting thing about this episode is the preview for next week, where we learn that we're in store for a Dr. Slump crossover! That should be fun.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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