This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 13
“Don’t you get it? I saved the Earth! Don’t forget to also hold the autograph signing session.”
Another Dragon Ball Super and another installment of these two Gods duking it out. It’s hard to remember a time when this show wasn’t devoted to Goku and Beerus trying to overtake the other. Last week’s edition of their fight even saw the universe literally crumbling under their collective strength, so clearly things are building to an end point here. There’s not much higher you can go than solar systems evaporating from these two powering up. With this battle in its final throes, this episode decides to focus on Goku’s depleting strength, with things looking to be going in Beerus’ favor. Things are always darkest before the dawn, after all.
It’s hard to mine new material for a fight that’s been going on for over ten episodes. While this installment of Dragon Ball Super is certainly guilty of exhibiting “fight fatigue” and feeling like it’s milking out this battle, it does at least begin to feel like things are winding down. It’s becoming more and more clear that these juggernauts are increasingly running out of fancy tricks and being left with fewer tactics to resort to in battle.
“Surpass Super Saiyan God!” briefly spends some time with the guests of Bulma’s birthday back on Earth, but truly, the bulk of this entry is spent above the Earth’s atmosphere in the Thunderdome. A few more brief exchanges between Whis and Vegeta get to happen, which is continuing to depict a relationship that’s fascinating to me. Even though Vegeta hasn’t been doing much at all these past episodes, his determination for simply following this battle has been incredibly in character. Once there’s some room to breathe after all of this, watching Vegeta and Whis get to become closer should be one of the more interesting new foundations to follow.
In a somewhat curious moment during Goku and Beerus’ battle, a tremendous burst of light spreads through outer space. It’s the fallout from their super-blows from last episode. This turns out to be such a powerful blast that it even temporarily blinds everyone on Earth like some mega-eclipse. Beerus reveals that this burst was meant to destroy the planet, but he actually countered this destruction, with this light being the aftermath of such a display of energy. It’s a scene that’s certainly surprising considering Beerus’ MO, but it also hints at the more layered, benevolent character that’s lurking underneath the genocidal exterior. That being said, if the other Gods of Destruction knew that he was so recklessly preventing destruction, they’d surely be blackballing him from all of the good God of Destruction keggers. Hopefully word won’t get out here.
This episode also gets the opportunity to throw some love towards Akira Toriyama’s favorite late-era Dragon Ball character, Mr. Satan. After Beerus extinguishes the blinding explosion in the sky, Mr. Satan doesn’t miss a beat in letting his naturally dishonest urges come forward as he takes credit for the world-saving phenomenon. After you’ve already erroneously taken up the mantle of Earth’s Savior and falsely saved the planet a number of times already, what are a few more lies for the fire, right?
It might not be the most exciting sequence from the episode, but I thoroughly enjoyed Goku’s admission to Beerus that none of his fighting has been thought out or planned, with it merely being the improvisation of a highly trained fighter. It’s this same humble nature within Goku that has him completely calm, even when he’s being overpowered and Beerus is pushing him to his limit. Goku admitting that he has no greater strategy to this battle sees him keeping up with Beerus, but not by much. The danger here is that Beerus, even when flailing, is still in his usual form. Goku on the other hand requires a certain exhaustion of energy to keep his Super Saiyan God status afloat, meaning that he’s at the disadvantage here because he’s unable to keep his latest trick in play. Beerus and Goku’s battle hits the dire note of it appearing that Goku has become far too beat to sustain his Super Saiyan God form, reverting back to his standard state after trading too many blows. With Beerus being all too familiar with Goku’s lackluster strength in his normal form, he’s left with little incentive to keep up this battle. He might as well just blow up the planet.
This moment of hopelessness morphs into goodwill though as the episode ends on a rather optimistic note. Even though Goku might now be fighting without his Super Saiyan God powers, due to acclimating to his new plateau of power, his natural base level has grown exponentially as a result. God or no God, Goku still seems to be holding his own against Beerus, and with the Saiyan’s new power level being established, these two head back into brawling, with there being one final episode left to bring this monumental fight to an end. Don’t be surprised if Beerus isn’t entirely out of tricks, especially as this fight goes into its final stage.