For whatever reason, Super's anime just really loved to drag things out. Kind of ironic, considering the rushed ending it looks it's leaving itself room for. And as brought up in this thread, there are too many writers. It's unlikely that they're on the same page, and if they are, then they're doing a really terrible job of showing it. Moreover, unlike Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, they didn't have an ongoing manga to serve as the overarching narrative skeleton. Bullet points are no substitute. Toriyama didn't create the Dragon Ball story by writing bullet points, he drew that shit, making it up as he went along, and it evolved in front of his very eyes, week by week, over the course of ten years.Totamo wrote:Why did they do this?
The anime's version of the Tournament of Power, in particular, is plagued by a lot of issues. The most jarring one to me is the pacing. We're getting a minute per episode, on average. That's ridiculous. Imagine if the manga has only a minute pass with each chapter.
How is the manga not building toward anything? Ultra Instinct is still going to happen. It was set up before the manga or the anime began, and I think it's quite intriguing, regardless of the medium. Jiren, the primary antagonist of the arc, is receiving actual set up in the manga, complete with character motivations. Caulifla and Kale are still set up as very gifted, without it being too overhanded, and without immediately spoiling the surprise of Kale's transformation (if it's indeed going to be a thing in the manga). The fact that Goku and Freeza are shown to arrive having squabbled already sets up that Freeza being on the Universe 7 team is going to be a source of tension between teammates.Baggie_Saiyan wrote:So in other words the Manga isn't building towards anything? How is that remotely better? Regardless of what you think the anime didn't pay off what it built it still built something to intrigue you. The Manga is some boring fluff, no interactions no nothing so when all the other universes come there's nothing to give a shit about. Relationships between the likes of Goku and Hit non existent, hell the relationship with the U6/7 is already paper thin in the Manga.
Using the word "fluff" to describe the manga is odd. The manga is an inarguably more succinct telling of Toriyama's bullet points than the anime, which, in contrast, seems compelled to meander in telling its version of the story in every way imaginable. Not only is this an odd criticism, but it's an entirely misplaced one at that.
Many folks love to dump on the manga for throwbacks and references to older Dragon Ball material (which has become more silly than it already was, given all of the throwbacks to older Dragon Ball material that the anime has been doing in this arc), but the anime can't seem to help but give throwbacks and references to itself. It retreads plot points and story beats all the time, erring on the side of absolute redundancy. You don't see anything like Krillin regaining his confidence twice in under ten episodes, or Vegeta having to have three motivational inspirational monologues in the span of five episodes, in the manga. Freeza gets knocked out one episode; next episode he gets back up and just gets knocked out again. I was immediately reminded of that episode of Namek arc filler where Goku is presumed dead, Gohan comes back and fights Freeza, Goku is revealed to still be alive, and Gohan leaves again. What was the point? To pad, to draw things out, to add hollow fluff that only acts as a detriment to a story involving a fight against both a powerful opponent and the clock.
And forget power levels: remember, this entire battle royale is supposed to have taken place within the span of 48 minutes; the number of times characters have "run out of stamina", only to power back up to their maximum, within that incredibly cramped time space, absolutely shatters suspension of disbelief. And hell, I can't remember how many fake-out "Oh no, Freeza is betraying us! Again!" moments we've already had here. Though I'll give the anime this: barring the excess of fake-out betrayals, Freeza's probably been the most interesting part of this arc in the anime, really coming into his own as both a martial artist and a team player. Disappointed that the manga seemingly isn't setting him up for the same thing.
The anime indeed builds things up; but since it delivers on almost none of it, that build up is a complete waste of time; and since a lot of that, if paid off, could have been in service of some incredible poignancy and character development, it's also a complete waste of potential. The whole "battle for survival" thing could have been a great source of internal conflict for a lot of these guys, throughout the whole ordeal. Instead all we get is Gohan look somberly at the portrait of Obuni's family, and a tiny exchange between Toppo and #17 about both protecting their universes. It's all fleeting, and clearly not the focus.
This also could have been a great source of internal conflict for the viewer, were they invested in all of the different sides of what is essentially a fight to the death. We didn't need to see Goku struggle to convince all of his friends to fight with him. We didn't need to spend the majority of our recruitment time with characters whose survival is the only foregone conclusion of this arc. Yet, that's what we got, and a lot of characters whose setup would have provided legitimate tension didn't receive it. Showing Obuni with his family during the recruitment, rather than Murichim posing for a GodTube video, would have made Universe 10's erasure pack more of a punch. Dr. Paparoni turned out to be a pretty big threat, so it would have been cool to get to know him a bit prior to the tournament, instead we got to know a couple of mooks. Everyone they showed in Universes 4 and 9 just seemed to be a bunch of assholes. The anime had the time and space for prepping the viewers to have internal conflict of their own regarding who to root for in the tournament, but making it actually compelling apparently wasn't a priority. In all fairness, a lot of this does appear to apply to the manga, but the manga's lack of establishing compelling tension didn't take nearly as much time. The anime was dragging its feet constantly. The manga pretty much did all it could in the (probably too brief) time it took to build up to the tournament, while the anime could have done so much more in the time it took.
Vegeta's new form is also a fun bit to poke at. Like Trunks in the arc prior, we see a new form, with no build up, no explanation, and no clear or distinct criteria for acquisition. What's the point of it? Vegeta's been training with Whis, same as Goku, so we know he's more than likely going to get Ultra Instinct by the end of this tournament. This form could be removed, and absolutely nothing about the actual narrative would change. Vegeta could still be angry that Cabba is gone, still have the resolve to revive him, still flail aimlessly at Jiren, and still survive a previously fatal attack, without this new form, and it would still be 100% coherent. The form adds nothing of substance, it's pure fluff.
Neither version is perfect. But if we're talking about fluff, Toyotaro's version of this arc so far (and Super in general) is like Toriyama's cornish rex:
[spoiler]Look at those silly skin folds.
Toei's version of this arc (and Super in general), on the other hand, is fluffier than Colonel Meow:
[spoiler]And he was a pretty fluffy guy. RIP.
Overall, the anime version is simply poorly thought out and poorly structured. The craftsmanship of the narrative is absolutely amateurish, and there's no way that the assembly-line nature of its creation, with too many cooks in the kitchen, isn't a large contributing factor. You're free to be bored by it all you want, but the manga is a more clearly-structured story, is more to the point, and is far more clear in the things it builds up to. It might be more "fun", and more "epic", and more "entertaining", and have more "interactions", but none of those are constitutive of, or sufficient substitutes for, a structurally sound narrative.
You could reply that the anime not delivering on things it sets up, and delivering for things it didn't set up, is "Toriyama-ish" because it's subverting all of these expectations, but the dude actually has a natural talent for executing expectation-subversion gracefully. The notion that any of Super's individual writers have the same storytelling chops that Toriyama does is dubious at best, and the notion that they do collectively is demonstrably untrue. Rather than invoking Toriyama's style, at best it feels like a really sloppy attempt at copying the meal without studying the recipe.