There is no anime that comes close to the legendary status of Dragonball. It’s marked by it’s intense battles, insane transformations, and a main character whose hair is just as legendary as his development through three series. One doesn’t count…looking at you GT.
Man, I remember when me and my friends got the news that Dragonball was getting a new manga. We searched the web for like six hours trying to find small leaks of what this mysterious new series could be about. When we caught wind of it being mainly revolving around the gods we just couldn’t contain our excitement. Soon after we started seeing “leaked” images of what this so called “Super Saiyan God” looked like. Of course, these images weren’t the real thing, but we were definitely caught on the hook regardless.
When the manga came out we were all over it. It was a true return to the classic Dragonball Z style that we’ve all yearned for. Soon after, the anime rolled out delivering us a truly disappointing product. The animation was so poor that during fight scenes the characters would be given little to no facial features at all. It was absolutely unwatchable. Seeing the god of destruction with a blank expression on his face not only took away from the immersion, but showed us that the artists were still using 1980s skimming techniques.
Following such a rough start, DBS began to take a major shift after much fan feedback. Around the Goku Black arc, we saw a higher detail on characters, a return on fast-paced combat, and dark storytelling that the franchise had been known for since Z. There was finally a real reason for Goku and Vegeta to use their newly acquired god powers instead of trying to figure out who’s better. That stuff really gets old. It’s around this time in the anime where it’s starting to take a look back on what made Dragonball Z succeed. Tournaments.
Think about it. In almost every arc in DBZ there is some kind of extream tournament going on where all the Z fighters have to come together. This usually leads to them learning about some third party threat where they rush off to save the day. It’s literally every one-shot of Dungeons and Dragons. The party meets at a tavern, hears rumors of a threat, goes handles business with super natural powers, then comes home and eats. Dragonball uses this formula as a hook to bring our heroes together. It’s actually quiet brilliant seeing it in an anime format.
In the final arc, the Universal Survival Arc, we see some of the best of what Dragonball Super has to offer. All of the universes in the multiverse squaring off in an epic battle royale to decide to fate of their respective universe. If your team is eliminated, so is your universe’s existence. Wiped away like you never were to begin with. This led to some of the most intense on screen combat of the franchise. There were shocks, scares, and disappointments that had you on the edge of your seat the whole ride.
The animation during this final arc rivals some of the best Shonen currently out there. Just seeing the background gleam from Frieza’s golden form shows perfectly that the villain had achieved perfect beauty as he’s sought after for so long. The combat had final caught up with modern animation making fight scenes as smooth as the epic brawls in My Hero Academia. Dragonball Super had finally become what it always should’ve been. An epic next step in a franchise we all grew up with. The only downside is that just as soon as it improved it was over.
DBS has been on hiatus for quiet some time now. We don’t really have much information beyond that we are waiting for the manga to progress enough to continue work on the anime. However, an epic one-shot in the form of an animated movie recently came out showing that work is still being done on the series. Only time will show us the future of the anime, because based on what I’ve seen in the manga, there is some truly amazing things in store for Dragonball Super.
Are you a fan of Dragonball? Let us know what you think of the state of the franchise in the comments below!