Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Discussion specifically regarding the "Dragon Ball Super" TV series premiering July 2015 in Japan, including individual threads for each episode.

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Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Ajay » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:32 pm

I’ve been a bit cold on this arc – I wasn’t a huge fan of the premise before it began, and I haven’t been particularly grabbed by it over the past 19 (?!) weeks, either. That said, I always make a point to never judge a weekly show until I can experience it in a marathon format; an annoyance that lingers in your mind for an entire week may feel fleeting when you have the ability to scoot on to the next episode. Since we’re moving into the beginnings of the tournament next week, I decided to spend the past two days running through all of the episodes so far to not only hype myself up, but to re-evaluate the arc as a (sort of but not really) whole.

I’m about to ramble about my thoughts on the arc so far, but please let me know how you’re feeling about things, too! What’s been working, what hasn’t, and what could be done better?

Opening & Zeno Exhibition Match –

While I loved the cold opening of the Future Trunks arc, it didn’t make for a particularly smooth transition from the content that preceded it. After 10 weeks of filler/padding/pick-your-word material, I really appreciated the natural shift into the beginnings of this arc. Goku being bored enough to zip off to Zeno and ask for the tournament is probably about as close as it gets to me being a fan going, “Man, can we have new arc already!”, despite the filler content being reasonably enjoyable.

The Exhibition Match was a pretty brilliant idea. Tournament arcs can often be a formulaic slog, so throwing this standard set-up in there at the beginning, and ending it with huge revelations about the stakes and format of the arc, not only produced an action-packed start with some nice world-building, but subverted my expectations and doused my cynicism about another tournament (sort of).

I feel like it’s an episode too long, however. Goku vs Bergamo wasn’t very interesting, and having now seen that entire trio in action, I have no real interest in their presence at the Tournament of Power. I loved the way Toppo’s fight with Goku teased at Jiren, and it would have been nice to have had that doubly so with Bergamo. Goku and Toppo’s clash was intense, established Goku as a sort of ‘villain’ for these other universes, and gave me something to look forward to. Good stuff… I just wanted some more of that, really.

The exposition dump from the Grand Priest regarding the tournament’s rules, the consequences, and the time limit were interesting, but ultimately a little underwhelming in terms of creating tension. What stuck out most to me was the time constraint put on everyone to find competitors. That has the potential to introduce this Saiyan arc rush to train up everyone in time, but…

Recruitment & Other Universe Snippets –

This is unfortunately where I lost a lot of interest in this arc, and I sort of feel bad about it, because nothing here is particularly poor, it’s just that it feels disconnected, and this was only confirmed upon my rewatch.

I love the Kuririn and #17 recruitment episodes (the first one, at least), and Gohan’s return to form was nicely done, but they don’t feel like part of something bigger. I struggle to put this into words because I appreciate Goku’s entire reason for even showing up is to recruit them, so of course it’s part of something bigger, but I suppose what I’m trying to get at is that there doesn’t feel like there’s much steam behind them. They’re excuses for people to fight; they’re not framed in a way that makes them feel part of the drama of potentially losing the universe. They’re wonderfully made episodes, but I almost see them as standalones, and that makes a little sad.

It’s frustrating, as the looks we get at the other universes showcase the reality of the situation so well, but they’re sadly just nowhere near as interesting as the content of Universe 7’s material. Their concerns don’t have any real impact for quite some time. And uh, as much as I enjoy Cabba and Caulifla’s banter, Kale’s Broli-esque transformation is an odd inclusion in an arc that otherwise feels very much Toriyama-esque.

Boo & Freeza –

Thankfully these recruitment episodes finally kick things up a notch as it’s revealed that Boo is asleep, and can’t be woken. A tired old gag, absolutely, but feeling a sense of dread over this contrivance as time slips away was desperately needed.

I’ve been pretty damn vocal about my displeasure at the concept of bringing Freeza back, and I 100% stand behind the notion that reusing this character, or characters like him, does nothing but cheapen what was otherwise one heck of a villain from the original run. That said, the execution so far has been utterly flawless. This is everything Resurrection ‘F’ should have been, really.

Not only has it introduced this wildcard element, but it’s brought things back to how Goku is being perceived as a villain by other universes in this arc. Now, here he is! Teaming up with one of the worst people in the universe. Another universe sent assassins after them! Drama, tension, cool action, and that’s not even mentioning the great interactions. Love what they’re doing, here.

Somewhat frustratingly, this turning point has arrived a little late. I’d have liked to have seen more drama between universes in prior episodes, but I do appreciate this is Dragon Ball and not Game of Thrones!

Final Thoughts –

It’s sort of amazing that it’s taken 19 episodes to even reach the World of Void. It’s certainly been a long wait watching week by week, but the pacing feels about right, especially in marathon mode. You could absolutely trim 2-3 episodes and better arrange events, but as far as I’m concerned, it's just fine.

It’s a shame each contestant’s episode couldn’t have felt better connected, rather than taking a video game approach of hitting objectives in a quest log, but at least it’s good content.

I’m still very apprehensive about the Tournament of Power. The last thing I want are for things to be played straight, and to end up with an outcome all neatly tied in a bow. The turning points in this arc, despite feeling somewhat contrived, have at least been genuinely surprising – an issue I had with the Future Trunks arc. I really hope that continues and the tournament delivers an engaging narrative on top of some (hopefully) well-animated fights.

I appreciate I usually ramble about animation, but I figured I’d give story a shot since I had a lot to say. If you read it all, you’re the best! Let me know what you thought of these pre-Tournament of Power episodes!
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by ArchedThunder » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:57 pm

Pretty similar to my thoughts. Almost every episode feels like it makes a point for why it should exist on its own, but the episodes don't really connect with each other all that well until episode 91 and on.
I've enjoyed what they've shown us of Universe 11, but I feel like we should have been seeing more of the Universes outside of 7.
Overall I've enjoyed the arc so far, though it felt like it was somewhat missing a spark until the wonderful episodes 94 and 95, which is funny to me since I had a knee jerk reaction to the confirmation of Freeza joining and had to do my best to not judge it before hand.
I'm really looking forward to the next half(?) of the arc, hopefully the tournament has some fun twists and turns.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Dragon Ball Gus » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:04 pm

Will you make a video review when the arc is over?
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Artorias » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:08 pm

This arc has been exactly like the Future Trunks arc for me: inconsistent. Half of the episodes I absolutely adore to no end, and the other half are completely forgettable or even straight up bad.

The Exhibition Match was definitely the highlight for me, as they nailed 3 of the 4 fights. If they can keep up that sort of quality for the tournament, then I'd say I'll be pretty satisfied. But then we get into all of this recruitment stuff, and while it's not bad, it's not particularly compelling or engaging. Like you mentioned, it's just a bunch of disjointed excuses for people to fight. There are definitely some gems, though. Goku vs. 17, the last two episodes, and for me, the Goku vs Krillin episode. This one doesn't get much attention. but there was just something about it that I really enjoyed. I don't know, maybe I was just in a really good mood when I watched that one, but the episode sticks out in my mind for some reason. That Higashide cut combined with the emotional nostalgia-fueled feels really got to me.

This arc also had probably my personal favorite episode of the series, the Goku v Gohan fight. While the animation wasn't particularly amazing, everything else was just all I could ask for. A full-on Goku and Gohan fight is something I've ALWAYS wanted to see, and I finally got it. So satisfying in every way.

In regards to how the TOP plays out, I feel as though I'm the only person here who honestly just wants a standard, "boring" finish to the tournament. Obviously, there's going to be plenty of twists and turns within the tournament itself, but at the end of it all, a classic battle between Goku and Jiren is what I want to see. I'm frankly sick of Goku just getting destroyed over and over. He has done nothing but LOSE in Super, and it's really starting to annoy me. The main heroes in general have yet to actually win on their own, and it's making them feel incompetent. Every ending of every arc so far has had some sort of "twist" ending, where it looks like all hope is lost, until the Gods come and bail them out in one way or another. Just ONCE, I would like a traditional Dragon Ball feel good ending, where our crew saves the day and comes out on top. And the LAST thing I want to see is some other universe win. Please no. I want Goku to win it all, prove that he is the strongest mortal in the multi-verse, and then use the wish to redeem his reckless actions and bring every universe back. I know some people might be rolling their eyes as they read this, but it's just honestly how I feel.

In regards to everything else you said, I 100% agree. But for me, if the tournament ends up being anything less than "very good", I will consider all of this build up a massive waste of my time. They absolutely MUST nail this tournament to justify dragging us along for this many weeks. Who knows, maybe Super will FINALLY have a GOOD arc here when it's all said and done. We'll see.

Oh, one more thing. They have done an absolutely HORRIFIC job of introducing new characters from other universes. I find literally ALL of them boring and unappealing in every way, and that's a real shame. I was expecting to like at least SOME of the new fighters, but oh well.
Last edited by Artorias on Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Boo Machine » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:20 pm

So far this arc has been pretty good to me.

The Exhibition Matches were a fun little way to give us a taste of what kind of fighters that our heros might face. Freaks with weird gimmicks. Though the trio isn't exactly gimmicky, they still had pretty fun ways of fighting. At least Bazil and Lavender did. Bergamo was kind of a let down even if his fight wasn't all that bad.

It's funny how everytime a match is over the grand priest lets us in on another piece of information regarding the tournament or the universe in general.

All the fighters and gods have been seeing Goku as a Bad guy and I love this new take on him. Goku has done questionable things, but I don't think a character has outright called Goku a villain. And this gets doubled down on when Toppo enters onto the scene in fabulous fashion, declaring that his Justice well Crush the evil monkey man that is Son Goku. The fight this sparked was really great and shows us just how much power Universe 11 holds. Also I love Toppo. I don't know why but I just love hammy characters like him, plus his Submission style of fighting was really cool. At least it was while he was doing it.

I thought the "Goku is a Villain" view would be played with a little more, but once they left Zenos place, it just kind of stops. It well probably be picked up again once the tournament starts but at least after wards some gods still hate Goku though I don't think it's exactly because they think he is bad. They're just salty.

The Recruitment episodes probably didn't have enough going for them. As much as I like most of them, they kind of just slow down the momentum from the Exhibition match. Not that a slower pace is bad, but it didn't have as much excitement.

I loved Kuririns episode. Though it would have been a lot better had we already not had 3 other episodes that dealt with him getting his groove back. I know this wasn't the same thing but still, this could have been the "I'm getting back into fighting" 2 parter episodes instead of the one before this arc.

17's re-introduction was very welcome, though I wish they went without the space poacher thing. Take the conversation Goku and 17 have at the end of the 2nd episode and stick it to the end of the 1st one and you have a great episode. Because the space poacher thing was just boring. But the fight between him and Goku was something I really enjoyed and they interact surprisingly well. It's just one of those things I'm glad happened and wouldn't want to go back to a world where it didn't.

Now I love the 2 gohan centered episodes. the first one because I feel like they actually dealt with Gohans short comings in a believable way. And 2nd one because, dat action. I might just be a tad bit biased because Gohan is my favorite character but I am glad he is back into the swing of things. I never minded that he was done with fighting before. I was more than ok with it. But seeing him fight again is just a treat.

Tenshenhan's episode was not great. Kuririn, 17, and gohan get an episode where they show how reliable they are, but in Tenshenhans episode he just doesn't really do much. He never got that moment where he shows us what he is capable of. It's such a shame, because I was looking forward to Tenshenhan kicking some tail, and maybe he will. But I am not as excited for him as I am for anyone else.

I feel like these episodes would have been a lot better if some more time was spent on other universes. Not necessarily to focus on drama between universes, but just to get to know them a little bit. We got that with one episode but I don't think it was nearly enough. The U6 Saiyans are being played up like they're going to be a big deal. An episode on them alone would have been welcome. I like these saiyans ok, but I'm not SUPER crazy about them, though the fact that there are Female Super saiyans now is really cool.

One episode for the Pride Troopers would have been cool to. Jiren is the big man to watch out for but we haven't seen any of him besides one or two peeks. I should be hype for this confrontation, but I'm not. We don't even know what his opinion on Goku is based on what he has heard.

Now with Freeza and Buu. I didn't really know how to feel when we first found out. I just kind of giggled and thought "Well shit took a weird turn really fast." I didn't even fully believe it for weeks, assuming it was just going to be a gag/ Fake out episode. It's just so odd. WHY would they bring Freeza back. Again. So soon! But eventually I got behind the idea after hearing other peoples optimism for him. And here we are and Freeza is freaking fantastic. It's shame about buu, and I don't like that they are using the sleeping excuse again. In fact it's kind of annoying. But I can't be mad after the showing and intrigue Freeza is giving us. At the very least, it's going to be an entertaining ride.

I think this arc so far has been great and a lot of fun. I wish some episodes were cut up and stuck together and more time was dedicated to other universes like U6 and 11. But these episodes have given us a lot of cool moments. I just hope the tournament does well enough to not drag the whole thing down. I don't honestly know how hype I should be for the tournament, But I shall be cautiously optimistic.
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Orb » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:34 pm

The fact that there has been an "tournament arc" lasting longer than half the arcs in this series before even getting into the tournament itself is interesting within itself and sets it apart from being "just another tournament" as many were turned off at the idea of having another tournament so soon after the Champa arc. I was skeptical of it myself and so far I feel I'm in a minority here which finds this arc absolutely interesting. It accomplishes something I have wanted from other arcs: making the Dragon Ball universe feel like a living,breathing world and making the story feel like a JOURNEY. Go back to the previous arcs where it feels kinda static. Many of which take place within very stirct locations making the story feel smaller than it should be (as was the case in the F Trunks arc- I mean we would just recycle back to 3 locations over and over. It didn't give a sense of scope but rather claustrophobic when compared to the arcs of DB and DBZ)

With the introduction of the 12 universes, the Dragon Ball world exploded with endless possibilities for stories and expands the scope of the series beyond the status quo. All the world building including with Hit, Universe 11 an especially Universe 6 has been what I wanted for a long time. This was necessary for a story of this scope because you wanna care about this characters and develop them otherwise their fights would just be uninteresting. I feel this is a story which Dragon Ball has never had before. It isnt' another "bad guy comes and they have to beat him up". What I like about the ToP is that everyone is kinda stuck in a crappy situation with their lives helplessly at risk and they each have to find their own way of dealing with it. As such this isn't about good or evil but about survival of the fittest. Henceforth there is an morally grey area to the story where our "heroes" make crappy decision in order to win (Freeza). This leads me to the most interesting development for the series: Goku.

Rather than someone who shows up at the end to save the day, I feel like this is the first time Goku feels like the main protagonist of a story in a LONG time. His actions actively drive the story and in this arc we see the return of his relationship with Gohan, a dynamic absent from the series prior. While Goku's character has been a bit flanderized, his recent episodes with Freeza made him a more interesting character than your typical hero. Him lying and just straight out calling out the other universes was great (Savage Goku is best Goku :twisted: ) The twist with Freeza (while drawn out and tired due to RoF) has made the story infinitely dramatic and interesting. There have new ways to use old characters such as Freeza in a way that it doesn't' feel redundant.

With this story we also got to see other older characters that aren't named Goku or Vegeta shine. I LOVED the episodes with Kuririn, Gohan vs Piccolo and the return of 17. Majority of the recruitment episodes were absolutely necessary in order to re-introduce characters who have been absent for awhile. There have been a like 2 maybe 3 episodes that have been "eh" but ultimately I feel they accomplish their goal. This arc isn't quite at the level of F Trunks arc which I loved but its getting there and it hinges on the tournament.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Simere » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:40 pm

Ajay wrote:I appreciate I usually ramble about animation, but I figured I’d give story a shot since I had a lot to say. If you read it all, you’re the best! Let me know what you thought of these pre-Tournament of Power episodes!
I've almost never seen you comment about the story except to say you don't like it, so I appreciate getting a fuller view of it and that it's not as negative as it seemed. Brings things down a bit when a BNF, of sorts, like yourself isn't happy.

I'm just going to comment on Freeza. For me, his character couldn't have been cheapened any more than the original run already cheapened him. It was cheap the way RoF used him, yes, but his devaluation had already bottomed out. Couldn't go lower.

The incongruity of Freeza's iconic archvillain status and his actual place in the story has always bothered me to think about. When Beerus was shocked upon hearing that Freeza was defeated, did any of us actually appreciate that reaction? By that point, for us, defeating Freeza was nothing worth speaking of. As Goku said in Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, "In hindsight, not much of a foe."

These past few episodes have changed all that for me. I can't quite put my finger on to why that is. It's not merely the power; RoF made him powerful and I didn't feel a thing about that. Watching him now, though, is seeing his redemption. His redemption as a villain worthy of respect. Even if he's mishandled in the tournament or left in the dust again, I don't think I'll be losing that respect for him again.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by JulieYBM » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:47 pm

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this arc should have saved the recruitment for flashbacks during each fighter's highlight moment or episode. Saving the reveal of Freeza having joined the team until after highlighting the other nine members of the Seventh Universe would have been a hell of a surprising cliffhanger. Just imagine the seventh or eighth episode of the arc ending with the cliffhanger of Freeza fighting back-to-back with Gokuu as Gokuu gets surrounded by a bunch of angry fighters gunning for their lives. I can just imagine Nakao Ryuusei saying something like "Quite a pinch we're in, eh, Son Gokuu?" in a shit-eating-grin kind of way. The next episode could then open with a flashback of Gokuu making his deal with Freeza before cutting back to the tournament.

Showing the events of the arc in such a linear manner has destroyed whatever momentum and excitement that the Opening credits first promised. It's also ensured that the tournament itself will be filled with slow battles with unrelated plot threads that don't amount to anything for the characters.

Episode #42:
Son Gokuu (Whis dougi, beard), Son Gohan (green track suit), Majin Buu, Mister Satan, Beers and Whis are at a tournament arena. The Grand Priest declares the beginning of the Tournament of Power Exhibition Match between the Seventh and Ninth Universes will now begin.
Title Card
A Part: As Majin Buu steps into the ring to face Basil of the Ninth Universe he remembers the events that guided him here. Son Gokuu and Son Gohan visited him, asking him to participate in an exhibition match. Buu agrees and Mister Satan tags along to keep him in check. Back in the present, Buu and Basil do battle. After a sordid battle, Buu comes out the winner.
B Part: Gohan adjusts his glasses as he steps into the right to battle Lavenda. Looking back at his dad on the sidelines, Gohan remembers how Gokuu came to him, asking him to participate. Hesitant, Gohan finally agrees after Videl tells him that he should spend some time with his dad. Returning to the present, Gohan does battle with Lavenda. Although he hasn’t trained since the battle with Majin Buu seven years ago, Gohan still has naturally overwhelming strength. Nevertheless, Lavenda is tricky and able to make full use of Gohan’s rusty battle instincts. Finally, Gohan erupts into a Super Saiyan and manages to reach a draw with Lavenda. Gohan promises to do better at the main tournament.
Opening

Episode #43:
The sun rises and Son Gokuu begins another boring day of farming. Present and Future Zen-Ou appear before Gokuu, thanking him for introducing them to one another. “But, that was, like, a year ago!” Gokuu proclaims, scratching his head in confusion. Present Zen-Ou asks Gokuu why he’s so down and Gokuu explains that he wants to fight someone strong! He’s bored, especially with Vegeta too busy helping Blooma get ready for the birth of their baby to train with him. Suddenly, Gokuu remembers about the tournament between all of the universes that he and Present Zen-Ou agreed to hold someday. Both Zen-Ou light up with excitement and agree, but then Future Zen-Ou realizes he doesn’t remember making this promise. “Oh, I know,” counters Present Zen-Ou.
Opening
A Part: Gokuu helps Gohan out of the ring, remembering the conversation with the Zen-Ou earlier this morning. Next up, Gokuu must face Bergamo, the strongest of the Ninth Universe’s trio. Before the match begins, Bergamo asks the Zen-Ou why it is they are fighting this tournament. When the Grand Priest eventually reveals that the losers of the tournament with have their universes destroyed, everyone reacts with shock. Gohan remembers learning this from Gokuu after they left his house, placing his desperation to defeat Lavenda in a new context. Bergamo begins to use his sharp tongue to bad mouth Gokuu and get the other gods to think poorly of him. This sort of tactic doesn’t affect a fellow like Gokuu, though, so Bergamo must rely on martial arts to win. Eventually, Gokuu is forced to use Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan to overpower Bergamo.
B Part: With Bergamo defeated the exhibition match ends. Before Gokuu can exit the ring he is attacked by a cloaked figure. This figure removes his cloak and reveals himself to be Toppo, lead of the Pride Troopers from the Eleventh Universe. Toppo finds Gokuu’s nonchalant attitude abhorrent and wishes to “teach him a lesson”. Beers comments that Toppo is the sort to find himself in an early grave one day. Gokuu accepts, but even as a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan he is only matching Toppo’s strength. Gokuu decides to show off his newest trump card, but before he can the Grand Priest calls an end to the match; they’ll have to settle things at the Tournament of Power proper. The Grand Priest then divulges that the tournament will begin in forty hours and last for forty-eight minutes as a single eighty man battle between the eight universes with the lowest human ranking. All of the defeated universes will have their universes destroyed! The tension rises…
Ending

By structuring the story this way we can maintain a nice ratio of action, while also forcing us to connect the dots a little bit to work the timeline out in our heads. By showing the timeline in such a linear fashion the animated series as-is has been incredibly boring with few scenes packing the sort of emotional punch they should. We've seen the Opening credits and now sat through nineteen slow and straightforward episodes showing that Opening, giving the audience too much time to think about the story. This is one of those situations where you definitely don't want to give anyone any time to think--you want them swept off their feet and buzzing with energy.
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Chuquita » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:55 pm

This is the first arc of Super where the series almost lost me.

Despite having improved visuals, the story's got little to offer imo. A Hunger Games style Dragon Ball tournament arc could've been a lot of fun; but the way the ToP rules are set up and the bland style of the tournament ring's architecture make it feel dull. I was hungry for another new villain on the heels of Zamasu/Gokû Black. I was hungry for more universe/planet exploration on the heels of the Uni 6 tournament; I have far too little of it in this arc.

Sad to say, but none of the new characters introduced so far in the pre-ToP grabbed my interest outside of Caulifla, and I probably only like her because she reminds me of the universe 7 saiyans personality-wise. Cabba's personality's always been boring. Kale's just not!Brolli, which I think blunts her ability to develop her own character. Trio de Dangers was ok as a one-off, but that was about it. Pride Troopers are too straight-laced for me to be interested. Brianne's a wild card in that I'm a fan of magical girl tropes yet I'm wary of exactly how they'll play her, but I still think she looks too much like the Para Para Brothers' Para Para Sister in her transformed state.

Krillin didn't need to have two reboot mini-arcs one almost right after the other. One is fine; two is...some miscommunication behind the scenes? Something with the change of directors and people not knowing they'd already just done a Krillin story? Who knows. Ridiculous ghost Nappas and ghost Freezas were amusing.
If they're going to do the "painting Gokû as the villain" thing, then either commit to it and have him suffer consequences or don't do it at all. Being wishy-washy about it makes me not care. Hell, have the Omni Kings imprison him somewhere ala Sun Wukong and have some adventure/rescue Gokû arc where the rest of Team 7 has to find him and save him. The first 17 episode was pretty to look at...but most of the recruitment episodes felt too, like earlier posts have said, standalone. The weight of the situation doesn't feel there when it should be. The Tenshinhan episode was terrible; someone on the staff needs to be sat down and given an explanation of how Roshi's character actually works and what should and should not be done with him. Gohan being team leader is something I liked; I wish he hadn't told Gokû to keep things secret though because I feel that also messed with how grave the situation was explained to other characters after.

Yamcha's not my favorite, but I think the jokes being made at his expense are mean-spirited if it turns out there never is a payoff to them later in the arc.
Buu falling asleep for the 3rd time is lazy writing. If you're gonna replace him, come up with some new reason why.
I still think bringing Freeza back a 3rd time is ridiculous, but I agree that they're doing a fantastic job executing it. He better stay evil though; Freeza's one of the few characters I don't want to see get redemption. He's arguably the biggest villain of Dragon Ball and I want him to remain a villain. I'd rather have seen Cell again and I'd hate to think he didn't get picked because his spots are difficult to animate or because his voice actor's health is in bad shape.

I've been incredibly disappointed in Vegeta for most of this pre-ToP arc. They made me seriously consider that they were thinking of retiring him from fighting and that near broke my heart. Domesticated Vegeta who depressingly, quietly, repeatedly turns Gokû's offers down is one of the saddest things to me to watch (tied with domesticated Videl who's become wallpaper). I've never been into VegeBul; I know a lot of people are, but it doesn't do anything for me; not my cup of tea. Bra....I was excited for her waaaay back at the beginning of rumblings about Super being a thing, but so much has happened since that unless we actually skip far enough into the future where Bra's a walking talking little kid then I just don't care. Whis magicking her birth was weird. I still miss those RoF outfits that Whis and Bulma made for Gokû and Vegeta. Why can't Gohan have a Piccolo-inspired outfit to enter this tournament in?
I am relieved that they brought Vegeta back into the fold, but those 3 months where I had to question their long term plans for him were awful! Apparently I have little patience for characters I don't care as much about when the characters I do care about feel like they're in jeopardy. I'm glad Vegeta's back. Even if he's not getting much screen time, at least he doesn't seem depressingly lost anymore.
I still think that close up of Mr. Popo's eyes was someone on staff doing a shout out to TFS, even if Toei itself is not a fan, someone on staff may be.

I'm still expecting this tournament to have the safe predictable ending everyone's theorized of, even despite the fact that the Zamasu arc had multiple endings in mind and instead of deciding on one they went with all of them. Also still half-expecting the Omni twins to have parents somewhere the same way Whis ended up having a dad after all. Does Whis and siblings have a mom too? Did Whis' Dad magic them into existence or give birth to them like namekians do their offspring? Will anyone ever address the Omni King's use of Arale's "N'cha" and "Bye'cha" or are those just Easter eggs of "Hey, remember Dr. Slump?".

I think that's about all I've got regarding the Pre-ToP. There's been very little in it so far for me based on what I like about Super, but there's enough for me to still be hanging in here and hoping the tournament itself is a lot more fun than the pre-tournament stuff has been.
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by perucho1990 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:14 am

I agree that the plot barely moved until Freeza return, and the subplot of Quitela and Sidra wanting to get rid of Freeza. Having almost 20 episodes of buildup was too much but its understandable because Toei doesnt want the ToP Tournament to be like U6 Arc or a repeat of Episodes 5/24/25/first half of 67 when the animation hit rock bottom.

The only episodes I considered bad were the Poachers episode and the Tenshinhan recruitment episode, they couldve used that screen time to focus on Universe 7 people.


The new characters I'm interested so far:

Jiren
Caulifla
Brianne(She is also a wildcard for me).

If only Toei Production issues werent so bad, the build up episodes wouldve been half of what We have got IMO.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by precita » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:37 am

I've loved or liked every episode besides the second 17 ep, and the Roshi/Tenshihan episode.

Every other episode was entirely important and progressed the main characters in some form or showed us the world-building concepts of the other universes. As said, I am disappointed of Buu not competing, but other than that I'm pretty interesting and excited in what's to come.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Jigurashi » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:42 am

perucho1990 wrote:I agree that the plot barely moved until Freeza return, and the subplot of Quitela and Sidra wanting to get rid of Freeza. Having almost 20 episodes of buildup was too much but its understandable because Toei doesnt want the ToP Tournament to be like U6 Arc or a repeat of Episodes 5/24/25/first half of 67 when the animation hit rock bottom.

The only episodes I considered bad were the Poachers episode and the Tenshinhan recruitment episode, they couldve used that screen time to focus on Universe 7 people.


The new characters I'm interested so far:

Jiren
Caulifla
Brianne(She is also a wildcard for me).

If only Toei Production issues werent so bad, the build up episodes wouldve been half of what We have got IMO.
I agree with everything here from Perucho. Recruitment arc should have been half as long as it was but most of the episodes weren't bad. I too am very hyped for Jiren and a Brianne.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by precita » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:50 am

If anything the recruitment episodes should have been longer. 18 should have gotten her own full episode, and maybe a proper Tenshinhan focus episode since he barely did anything in either of his.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by MajinMan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:47 am

I think that if it ends well, this arc will be the best in Super. Right now I'm just enjoying the ride. I don't think any of the episodes other than 87 and most of 89 are bad or even a waste of time. The first two set up episodes were very solid, and the exhibition matches were all good. I do agree that the Goku vs Bergamo fight was the weakest of the bunch, though. The 13 or so recruitment episodes have been really enjoyable for me. I love seeing these characters get some love and attention again. The Kuririn and first 17 episodes were fantastic, and the Freeza stuff has been really good too. The Piccolo and Gohan training was also really well done.

I think the weakest parts of this arc were how they handled Tenshinhan, Vegeta post-Bra birth, and Universes 3 and 2.

Universes 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11 have all gotten varying degrees of screentime. It is obvious that Universe 7 will get the most love, followed by Universes 6 and 11. 4 and 9 also got some screentime and attention due to the whole exhibition matches and Freeza assassination plot. Universe 10 you could argue has been shafted as well, but I think they are set up to be failures based off their portrayel, so their minimal screentime is ok. Universes 2 and 3 have only gotten like 2 minutes each, and I feel that they should have gotten a little more than that. It's really a waste because they seemed very interesting and full of character.

The Tenshinhan situation is sad because he did not get anything. It was cool to see him be a master at his own dojo, but other than that he did not do anything. In both fights he participated in he did not land a single hit and got destroyed. I wish they gave him at least one cool moment, but they didn't. You could argue Roshi also did not get much, but at least they are giving him his own scenes and screen time. Tenshinhan hasn't gotten any screentime by himself ever since his recruitment episode.

And now we have Vegeta. I liked Vegeta when this arc began. He was a little layed back, but concerned about Bulma. He did not care about fighting in a tournament or training. He was looking out for his wife, which I think showcases his development well. But ever since Bra was born and he joined the tournament team, he has been nothing but annoying and arrogant. Every line he speaks has been generic. He even blew up the ROSAT again. It wasn't cool, it was stupid. And then there was the line where he said to Gohan, "Who needs teamwork when I can beat them all myself!" The only time he even had anything interesting to say was when he had to lie to Trunks about Freeza. He is my least favorite member of the team right now.
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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Hit!! » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:52 pm

Most of this arc felt like filler to be honest. Except the exibition match and the Frieza stuff of course.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Asura » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:14 pm

It's peculiar how much negative reception this arc is getting here while it's being lauded everywhere else (although it's rather mixed/positive in this thread so far). Especially when the arc has stepped its game up in every department and tries to go back to its roots in Z in both the color filter, grain, and the pacing. Comparing some of the older episodes to the majority of the episodes of this arc is like night and day. Not only are we getting new characters and new worlds, but they're actually being somewhat fleshed out too. From every angle I look at it, even if this arc isn't perfect (far from it) I still think it's better in every single department over the other arcs.

I was very apprehensive and negative about some of the first few episodes, especially the one or two right after the exhibition arc where they're discussing who to pick, but I think they managed to turn it around and get back on track fast. The recruitment arc was a bit of a lull and could have been done a lot better, but aside from a few episodes like the second 17 one and the Roshi/Tien one, they've all been decently solid, and the Gohan ones have been great. Of course the last five or so episodes with Buu sleeping and the return of Freeza have been beautifully done, and I say that as someone who thought Freeza returning would be an absolutely horrendous decision. So far I've been eating my words, I just hope he doesn't do some cliche bullshit during the tournament. To me, it finally feels like I'm watching a worthy successor to Z so far. It finally feels like a proper continuation of Z rather than a badly-drawn, badly-written, and badly-animated fanfiction that some of the other arcs have been/contained elements of. They can still screw it all up, but so far I've been happier with it than any other arc in Super.

I think even if they completely flub the tournament itself and it turns out mediocre or even bad, it will probably still turn out to be the best arc in Super simply because of the quality it has delivered on so far. If this arc does flub though, I suspect a lot of Super fans will just stop watching the show, probably including me as well.

But what surprises me the most here is that separate from the people who dislike the arc for other reasons, there seems to be a lot of people here with absolutely zero patience who want everything served to them NOW. Really makes you wonder how any of them got through watching all ~300 episodes of Z. They'd reduce the entire arc down to 10 episodes as long as it meant they got their Super fix in 10 weeks instead of 30 weeks. Thus it seems like they hate the arc simply because it's not being given to them fast enough. It's rather childish and silly, but I guess that's just a byproduct of the society we now live in where everyone expects things instantly or as fast as humanly possible.

If I had to rate this arc right now I would give it a solid 8.5/10. I previously rated the U6 arc as 7/10 (which was my highest rated arc), but honestly in comparison now to this arc I'd push it down to a 6/10. This arc has finally raised the standards that one expects out of a show like Super, and it's really in a league of its own in comparison to everything else.

EDIT: Also I don't really understand why there's so many people who use the word "filler" or "padding" when referring to this arc. If it contributes to the overall narrative, then it is neither padding or filler. World-building is not filler. Character development is not filler. Building up the main cast is not filler. We had all of these things in DB and Z and no one ever considered them filler back then.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by perucho1990 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:09 pm

Forgot to edit my previous post, but I meant that instead of making the Poachers Episode and the Yurin episode they couldve used that screen time on NON-Universe 7 people like Damon, Smug Fox(characters from the opening who havent appeared in the show so far).

About Vegeta, fighting Brianne could actually serve to develop him, I could see him getting PTSD because Brianne will remind him of Arale for being a half-gag character.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Ajay » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:32 pm

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by Lord Beerus » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:37 pm

I've really enjoyed a large majority of the pre-tournament episodes.

I have to admit that I had zero expectations for Freeza returning being anything enjoyable as it. There were a million and one ways they could have fucked this up. I mean, it was bad enough that Freeza returned, as many fans had grown tired of the character being brought back from the dead for another narrative spin centered around him, with Resurrection F really testing a lot of fans tolerance for how much the character can be retreaded, but him taking Majin Boo place on the team, especially with how much they were hyping him up for the Tournament Of Power, was just such a dagger in the heart for many fans and just made Freeza's return even more unjustifiable.

So the fact that in his limited screen-time they've managed to characterize Freeza so damn well and create such a unique dynamic relationship between himself and Goku, and by that virtue, raise the intrigue of how the tournament will unfold, speaks volumes for how well written this episode was. Especially since Super's greatest flaw has been characterization. They took story trope (a villain/antagonist being brought back to life) that was really old hat, especially in the context of Dragon Ball, and manage to turn it into something exciting and fresh. That deserves a hell of a lot of praise. Especially for a show like Super.

The world building has also been excellent. The subplot of the Hakaishin of Universe 4 and Universe 9 working together in looking to fuck over Universe 7 was really more intriguing than it had any right. It really emphasizes just how desperate the other universe are to survive that they are sending spies over to other universes to get dirt and information in the hopes of crippling the chances of other universes even taking part in the tournament and automatically increasing their own universe's chances winning the tournament before it even begins. I love that kind of pragmatic thinking. It overall felt like a plot point that was natural and well intertwined with overreaching narrative. Because given the extreme circumstances and stakes of the Tournament Of Power, I can understand the motive of Hakaishin of Universe 4 and Universe 9. They are doing this to increase their chances of survival. It's every universe for themselves. And that subplot even managed to work into highlighting Goku's character flaw

The only episodes that have really felt unnecessarily padded out or really worthwhile are Episode 87 and 89. And even with the case of Episode 89, it led to actual character development with Roshi getting over his perverted nature so he can focus in battle during the tournament and provided an incentive for Tien to take part in the tournament. Every other episode has felt necessary in some way. Whether it's building up a character in the main cast in preparation for the tournament, (the Gohan episodes and the Krillin episode in particular being excellent) exploring the other universes (special shout-out to Episode 91) or subplots which tie into the nature of the upcoming tournament. They've done enough to get me invested into other universes. I don't think Super has had a better constructive and consistent narrative string of of episodes since, well, ever. Everything about the the pre-tournament episodes have felt like they had a proper build and payoff. The scope of Dragon Ball's narrative feels large and engrossing again.

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Re: Pre-Tournament of Power Opinions

Post by dbs fanboy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:58 pm

Pretty much my thoughts. So far, i think that this arc is fine and full of great content minus some episodes that i absolutely dislike because there are certain things that just don't really work.
I must confess thought that i really hadn't put much importance to the connection between episodes, as the most important things to me were the great interactions and character development (also not bad animation); but now that you put it that way, it is an important aspect.

I also really fucking hated the Freeza thing in the beginning but so far it's being really great (the execution). I hope Toei keeps this up, because there are so many elements to make this great:
-Freeza being a villain trying to betray his team and possibly plot against the gods.
-Universes plotting against other.
-The whole Goku is the villain thing plus universe 7 being targeted by everyone.
-Whatever is up with the Grand Priest?
-Gohan leading the team, plus the tag team between some characters (Gohan/Piccolo, Krillin/17/18....)
-Etc.
If they nail this in the same way they have been doing lately, this arc could end up being really great, not as good as the Goku Black arc, but i'm not gonna lie, i'm really biased towards this one.
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