So I just watched Dragonball Super on my Funimation app today and was pretty impressed. Sure I caught a few episodes here and there, but I hadn’t caught what the heart of the show is about. So I started with the Future Trunks Arc and went from there. I have to say I was impressed I saw.
Granted it was in subtitles and some anime fans don’t like it that way. For me it’s honestly a mixed bag. Some shows are better in Japanese. Naruto and Bleach sure are. Bleach has better voice actors and Naruto is less annoying with subtitles. I honestly didn’t know he said “Believe it” so much it became a meme as I had only seen it in Japanese.
For Dragonball I’d say I prefer the dubbed version. As much as I like country bumpkin sounding Goku in Japanese, (we English speakers missed out on his wacky accent) I watched the dubbed version on Toonami back in the day. That is where my nostalgia lies for better or worse. Despite the cut content and obvious pandering to children, it was great. Though I did love the Ocean Dub of the show, their Vegeta sounds perfect for evil Vegeta. Older fans know what I am talking about.
So as much as I love watching the Japanese, I honestly can’t wait for the eventual dubbing treatment. The Funimation team has done so much for Dragonball here in America and for anime as a whole. For those who aren’t aware their role in getting Dragonball and other anime on TV, they played a huge role in taking anime from a niche market to a mainstream powerhouse it is today. Though I do hope for a little purity and some of the wacky Japanese jokes are left in.
Where to start about the actual saga itself… It’s hard to grade it seeing as it isn’t done. I would love to say it’s a masterpiece, but so far it’s a work in progress. I can say I do like what I see so far. We finally get to see more of what happened in that future alternate timeline outside of fanfiction.
I have heard some and read some complaints over the show’s tone overall. To be honest, I love it. I think it balances the serious drama with much needed light hearted moments. Though I can see how some fans of the near constant fighting in DBZ don’t like it as much. Even the newer movies Battle of the Gods and Resurrection F featured less fighting and more comedy. So for those fans it’s not their classic DBZ, which is fine everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
The return of Future Trunks has also received mixed reviews. Some of it centered around his new, almost inexplicable look. The blue hair on him was a head scratcher for sure. I think it looks fine, but I would like to hear an explanation in the story about why his hair is blue and his alternate’s hair is still purple. It’s fine if his hair is blue, but simple genetics say his other self should have the same hair color. I also didn’t mind the scarf even though it reminds many of GT Trunks who is not nearly as popular. Though the less said about that show the better, Super pretty much exists to retcon that show entirely and the unpopular ending of DBZ from what I can tell.
His love interest is also getting flak as well. People hate on him being paired with Future Mai. Some of it is justified, her youthful presence seems to be another infamous plot hole they don’t bother explaining. She should be an old lady by this time and it’s never explained how she regained her youth if Piccalo died nearly two decades prior. This doesn’t bother me much, but I do realize it’s an issue that could have been better explained. Especially since he goes back in time and interacts with her child version.
It also flies directly in the face of all those fans who were hoping Trunks and Pan would get together. Which if you didn’t know, there were a lot of them. Toriyama could still split them up but it’s unlikely. It seems Trunks X Pan shipper’s hopes got dashed. They should take solace in the fact that there is still hope for the Goten and Bra Pairing. So they can still get their dream half Saiyan marriage they want.
The series does go out of its way to highlight the best part of the Future Trunks story. It has scenes that basically relive parts of the Android and Cell Saga, as well as History of Trunks. This is not surprising since they focus on his strengths and none of his flaws. One of his flaws before in the show was that he was a popular character who didn’t amount to much. Such is the fate of the side cast in the Goku show unfortunately. You get to look cool but never amount to anything. It could be worse, he could have been one of the humans who have long outlived their usefulness. Looking at you there, Yamcha.
I know some fans will disagree and say he killed Frieza, King Cold, the Androids of his time, and his version of Cell. I would simply point out that those enemies were far weaker than him. He never defeated someone close to or greater than him in power. Not say it was his fault, storytelling at the time did that to much of the cast.
His character has almost been rebooted in this arc. Or perhaps matured is a better term. He grows more powerful and, aside from a few mopey scenes, is more decisive. This is the Future Trunks we all deserved to see. It was also nice to see him sporting more moves from his Saiyan heritage. It made my heart swim to see him use them to be honest, as I’m sure it did many of yours.
The villain started out good. He was mysterious and everyone was trying to figure out the mystery of Black. But to be honest, once we found out who he was and what his game plan was it was kind of a letdown. I hate to compare him to an all-time greats like Vegeta, Frieza or Cell but his motivation didn’t do it for me. He came across as your stereotypical Japanese god like villain who wants to destroy everything. Maybe I’m just a mortal so I would not understand (like he says almost constantly) but why? What’s the point in ruling an empty void?
All of the great Dragonball villains had a personal goal to accomplish and the heroes were just in their way. Frieza wanted immortality as did Vegeta. Cell wanted to be perfect, which he did accomplish. So at least he lived out his lifelong dream before death. The only one who wasn’t brilliant was Buu. However his whole deal was as an unstoppable force of destruction. Of course, that was before we met the God of Destruction, but he isn’t really a villain exactly. Still Buu’s simplicity was his genius even if his story could have been handled better.
The villain in this arc wants to rule an empty world. Though that might be a translation error, the term “world” kept popping up but I was under the impression he meant universe. While it’s not clear how he planned to populate it with gods. Which to be fair, isn’t explained well in how they come into being in the first place. Still a place like that sounds boring. Think of the “perfect world” Matrix Agent Smith kept talking about or Pleasantville (If you haven’t seen that movie you should, it’s underrated). It sounds good on paper but eternity is a long time to live that.
All in all I’d say it’s worth a watch. If you are fan of Future Trunks you won’t be disappointed. Except maybe his romantic choice if Mai bothers you. I’d love to hear your comments or feelings on anything we discussed.