Dragon Ball Super
Episode 72

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 72 of
Dragon Ball Super ?

There are definitely times where I wish I could be watching this show in occasional marathon bursts as opposed to week by week. Since last week's episode ended on the cliffhanger of Goku's death at the hand of the assassin, Hit, I suspected that the show was getting more ambitious than it actually was. Immediately as this episode begins, we learn that Goku had shot an energy blast into the sky ahead of time, anticipating his loss in the fight so that it would come back down and land on his body, acting like a makeshift defibrillator of sorts. It works, and Goku's heart is beating once again. (Though, he does mention seeing the afterlife for a brief moment.)

I actually think this is a fun idea, which is my sentiment for the majority of the episode and the rest of the surprises that come along with it. As a two-parter, it works incredibly well. All the intrigue set up by the first episode gets answered by the twists in the second. If I was watching these episodes back-to-back, I would have even liked copping out the first episode's cliffhanger immediately in the beginning of the second. It's the fact that my expectation's were allowed to sit and develop over the course of a week that puts me off a tiny bit. These long-running shonen anime are weird in that I don't think they're released in especially marathon-friendly ways in Japan, but they feel so specifically designed for them. Like, I can't imagine the writers coming up with a two-parter like this without the intention of them being watched at the same time.

So the fight continues, Goku vs. Hit. Champa and Vados are also watching from the sidelines, admiring the show as the two fighters give it their all. The action is decent, but what's important is the spirit of it. Goku and Hit never got to finish their fight in the tournament a few arcs ago, and that's what this is really about. The big question as to who hired Hit to begin with gets teased throughout the episode until the fight ends in a big, explosive stalemate. The twist: It was Goku himself, with the help of Vados, who hired the assassin because he wanted a rematch. Goku, being Goku, wanted to see Hit giving it his all.

I like this surprise a lot. I do wish I knew that this was going to a fun mini-arc ahead of time instead of thinking it was a big dramatic turn for the series, but as a fun mini-arc I think it's pretty strong. This is perfectly in Goku's character and it makes all the questions we were asking last week make perfect sense. Of course that's what was going on, looking back at last week's episode, but I had no reason to put two and two together quite yet.

So the next proper Dragon Ball Super arc has not quite begun yet. If we're pretending that there's a difference between filler and not-filler with this series, then these last two episodes are tentatively "filler". They're not wholly comedic like the ones leading up to them, so we're still getting a some variety while the show gears up to start the next storyline. As a little mystery/suspense pair of episodes, I was pretty into it.

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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