Dragon Ball Super
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 93 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
Last week introduced us to the idea that Frieza would be replacing Buu as the tenth member of the Universe 7 team, so now it's time to actually see Goku and Frieza interact again. That on its own would paint this as a pretty fanboy-tastic episode, but it also shares screen time with the continued shenanigans of the Universe 6 Saiyans, where we finally see Kale unlock her Broly-like ultra-buff Super Saiyan form.
Ultimately, not a lot ends up happening with the Frieza subplot in this episode beyond baby steps, so in theory I should be moaning about the show continuing to drag out the last few hours of tournament preparation. However, the mere fact that the story is interesting again assuages a lot of my woes. Last week re-introduced Frieza, and this week barely gets through Goku and Frieza's deal-making as they try to get him out of hell for 24 hours as amicably as possible. Almost nothing actually gets accomplished in this episode, but I'm successfully at the edge of my seat. This is a scenario where the glacial pacing is actually kind of fun, and I could imagine really enjoying myself during this part if I was marathoning the show.
Goku's actual conversation with Frieza, with neither being in a position to antagonize the other, also stirred up some surprising feelings for me. Seeing Frieza, once the be-all-end-all bad guy, trying to bargain is pretty funny, and the balance that this recent arc has been trying to strike with Goku, where he's defending the universe but also letting his lust for a good fight get the better of him, is certainly on display. There's also a tease of potential transformation for Frieza beyond his gold form, though there's also a chance that I wasn't reading that line right. It was pretty ambiguous.
The bulk of this episode to follow returns to the Universe 6 Saiyans, who have been thoroughly enjoyable so far. Caulifla especially becomes more and more likable as the show goes on, and her adept handling of the Super Saiyan transformation (and possibly even Super Saiyan 2) plays well with her confident and smart demeanor. She bounces particularly well off Kale, her protege and near opposite in personality, and their faith and affection for each other offers them a tight-knit vibe. If fans start shipping these two, I don't think that'll be an accident on the show's part. I do wish that Kale's voice actress didn't make her sound like a literal baby when she's not hulking out, though.
This is definitely an episode that suffers under the stress of mediocre animation, but I did enjoy all of the individual scenes. Even the little glimpses into the other universes were a lot more interesting this time around, because they were directly related to what was going on with Universe 7, like how Universe 4 is using spies to learn that our team is trying to temporarily resurrect a dead guy, or how Beerus gets jealous when Whis calls another God of Destruction stronger than him (which is in service of teasing an even stronger unnamed mortal from that god's universe). It still looks like it'll be a few episodes until the tournament starts, but this is a groove I don't mind being stuck in for a few more weeks.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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