Dragonball Super was the much anticipated worthy sequel of Dragonball Z that all Dragonball fanatics had waited for since Dragonball Z ended and we all wanted to erase GT from our minds. When Battle of Gods was released, we were all treated to the beginning of a new age of Dragonball, one that we hoped would change the game and continue the amazing story that we had followed from our youth. With the ending of the first season of Super in the books, we can now look at the season as a whole and see how it performed against GT, and more importantly, against it’s predecessor. So how did Super hold up to Z? Was it worthy enough to call it a sequel? Let’s run it down shall we?
In comparison to Z, Super has very few arcs and groups of arcs within its season. To draw come comparisons, Z had 6 groups of arcs (Saiyan group, Frieza group, Freiza/Androids group, Androids Group, Majiin Buu group, and Ending group) which consisted of 20 arcs that I’m not going to name because that would get way too long. In contrast, Super only had 3 groups of arcs (Gods of the Universe group, Zeno group, and Other [which only consisted of 1 arc]). A prime reason for this was that the Universe Survival saga inside the Zeno group in Dragonball Super was incredibly long, running from Episode 77 to Episode 131 in the anime.
You also have to take into consideration that Z had a considerable size difference over Super, clocking in at 291 episodes as compared to Super’s 131. In my opinion, narrowing down the number of episodes was a great move by Super, as one of Z’s biggest criticisms was how long and drawn out each individual episode was. The big problem with anime of that day was that it took 6 months to get through a single arc, and the satisfaction the viewer gets from that is very minimal. With Super, there was a nice pacing between keeping the story moving each episode to having the arc drawn out as long as they could without it getting stale.
Z’s animation was definitely good for its time, but my god! Super blew everyone away when Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ came to fruition in the way of animation that they were hyped up even more when Super was announced. The animation that we received in these two films were unlike anything we had ever seen from any Dragonball saga before it. It was absolutely gorgeous and fluid in every way, and the Super series definitely did what they could to replicate the films in that way. The captivating animation in Super is arguably one of the biggest reasons we stayed invested in the series for as long as we did, and it became almost a ritual to gasp in disbelief when we saw something cool happen on-screen
However, this also comes with a slight downfall. As the animation became more beautiful and stunning, the creators naturally wanted to show it off more. This produced a number of instances where the animators were just making things pretty for the sake of it, and fixated on that instance more than what was needed. Sometimes this was a good thing, but other times it took away from the scene in which it was a part and took us out of the moment a little bit. Despite this, Super is still incredibly appealing in the way of aesthetics and is used correctly a vast majority of the time.
The stakes have never been higher in Super, as every universe that currently exists is on the line. The problem with Dragonball is that it consistently has to find a way to up its own stakes, and in Super, I think they’ve hit the ceiling on it. They’ve literally introduced gods of all shapes and sizes, as well as rulers of existence itself! Honestly, I’m not sure how much higher the stakes can get from here and, as a result, I’m not sure where the story itself can go from here. It was incredibly pleasing to watch while it was happening, as the entire universe was on the shoulders of our main protagonists, but now that it’s over, we’re here left wondering what could happen next for our heroes. Will they keep training in efforts to best Beerus and Whis in battle, or will they live the simple life as Gohan did for so long? Whatever the case, I’m not sure we’ll be able to see it unfold for ourselves.
From series staples like Goku and Krillin to cult favorites like Gohan, Vegeta and Piccolo to new additions like Beerus, Whis, Champa, Zeno, Kale, Caulifa, Hit, and Jiren, Super had a plethora of mainstay characters that gave us a great roster of characters to watch in action. Watching our heroes face off against all of these new opponents of differing power levels and skills was awesome to watch and a definite improvement over how Z handled its fights (either a million low-level fodder things or an indestructible being that was eventually destroyed/conquered.) The development in Super is also top-notch, as it teaches several main characters lessons that they have to take to heart in order to be successful, and it also gives characters that haven’t developed much since Z some much needed screentime and development. Its truly great to see such a capable and expansive cast of characters interact with each other in the way that they do, and it is a real treat to see the diversity of this series and the ability to see endless entertaining fights from one end of the series to the other.
Overall, Super is an incredibly welcome addition to the Dragonball canon, as unlike GT, it took everything that Z accomplished and created but made it better. They played the same tune at a higher scale, and were able to keep the charm of both Z and the original Dragonball in some cases. In my opinion, it is even better than Z by bringing a modern flair to the Dragonball universe and truly stands on its own as a great anime that is definitely worth the watch.
What did you think of Dragonball Super? Sound off in the comments below!
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