This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 27
“Vegeta, how dare you get in the way of my revenge.”
There’s a whole lot to love in this episode of Dragon Ball Super. To begin with, things start off in a positive direction as Vegeta drops the ultimate bombshell on everyone by turning Super Saiyan Blue like it’s no big deal. It’s also pretty awesome to see Goku acknowledge that Vegeta achieved Super Saiyan God form on his own through sheer determination and training, whereas Goku required the help of five other Saiyans to unlock that power. It’s a small distinction in their characters, but it’s all too fitting that Vegeta clawed and scraped to unlock this energy whereas Goku just did a prayer circle. Furthermore, once Vegeta turns on the fireworks, Frieza appears to be genuinely frightened at Vegeta’s demonstration of power in a way that he wasn’t with Goku.
What I love so much about this episode of Dragon Ball Super is that it lets Vegeta take control, kick all sorts of ass, and remind everyone just how amazing he is. Last week Whis said that if Goku and Vegeta teamed up that they’d easily be able to defeat Golden Frieza, but after the smackdown that Vegeta delivers here, it’s pretty clear that the Prince of Saiyans can handle the job on his own. Like Vegeta’s not even a little phased by Frieza’s once-strong attacks. He’s got him completely outmatched. It’s an incredibly cathartic sequence to watch Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta yawn his way through beating the crap out of Frieza (plus, the animation is gorgeous this week, which only highlights the beautiful work through this fight).
I daresay that it looks like Dragon Ball Super might have even allowed Vegeta to become stronger than Goku. He’s at least the better fighter at this point. The episode’s hearty Vegeta worship is an appreciated angle, but when it comes to the moment of actually annihilating Frieza, of course the honor is still given to Goku. I don’t care who pulls the trigger, gets the credit, or however the episode wants to spin it, but it’s pretty obvious that Vegeta is the one that beat Frieza here. If not for him, everyone would have perished last episode. It’s also a major deviation from the Resurrection ‘F’ source material, which has always paid off the show.
“The Earth Explodes!?” doesn’t waste any time in demonstrating Vegeta’s bad-assery. In a matter of seconds Vegeta moves Goku out of harm’s way (by kicking him, of all things) and then richochets one of Frieza’s energy blasts right through Sorbet’s chest, killing him in the process. Why run the risk that he might become a life-endangering nuisance once more? Vegeta has no need for unnecessary variables and so Sorbet becomes history. The same slick, killer attitude is in place when Vegeta is seconds away from incinerating Frieza. His final words to him, “Your era has come to an end. You won’t be revived again,” is surprisingly poignant in how calculated it is. This is the end.
As Vegeta is about to end this fight before it even really begins, the episode resorts to a pretty cringe-worthy “Whis ex machina” to save the day and even though this should be an infuriating moment in plotting, it actually didn’t bother me that much. Audiences might not have realized it, but the series actually foreshadowed this ability of Whis’ many episodes ago after Beerus got a little too cavalier with his sneezes. Besides, the series has certainly resorted to bigger cheats than this time reversal before and after Dragon Ball Z killed off most of Earth’s population in the Buu Saga, actually blowing up the planet is the only way of upping those stakes. The episode shows glimpses of the rest of the world as this planet destruction sequence begins, if only to hammer in the fact that this is a global epidemic and actually happening. It’s almost a little morbid for the series to show peaceful moments like Bulma’s parents enjoying some tea or Android 18 cradling Marron to sleep when all of a sudden the planet blows up and they all die. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also revealed that Frieza is still alive after this last ditch effort to win.
I don’t think anyone watching this show thought that the Earth would actually stay destroyed—nor do I think the episode wants you to think that way—it’s just a cool, ambitious scene (although the series continuing on with Goku and company hopping through the universe, searching for the Super Dragon Balls to revive Earth with Frieza as a looming threat would still be a show I’d dig the hell out of). The show just as easily could have had Vegeta kill Frieza before powering up his Earth destroying blast, but this way you get to see the world go up in flames and the bad guy win for one perplexing second. Let them have their fun. Also, don’t expect this ability of Whis’ to “break” the show. Dragon Ball Super has churned out almost 100 episodes in Japan and this overpowered ability of Whis has never come up again. So try not to get too angry over it (besides, Jaco will arrest your ass). I also love Beerus experiencing self-loathing over the fact that he, a God of Destruction, actually helped prevent a planet from being annihilated. The Oracle Fish is going to get an earful of therapy once they head back home.
Frieza perishes with a good chunk of time remaining and the episode does some nice work with basking in the aftermath of Earth’s safety. There’s a pretty adorable moment where Goku and Vegeta again bring up the idea of how working together might be the more efficient strategy, yet they both come to the conclusion that they have no interest in such an approach to fighting. It’s the one thing that they’re finally able to agree on. There’s also encouraging work done with how Gohan’s blunders in battle actually inspire him to pick up his game and get back to training. A less wussy Gohan is always a good thing. Finally, there’s a rather charming Easter egg where Trunks makes threats about slicing Frieza in half with a sword if he ever returns, with the gang all sharing a knowing laugh at how on the mark Trunks is regarding his Future, older self.
Next week Dragon Ball Super officially moves into original territory, which is extremely exciting. For the people that have already greedily watched Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ dozens of times, this is what you’ve been waited for. Get ready for Champa, Vados and the multiverse madness that they bring to the Dragon Ball Super universe along with them!
Oh, and hey, Piccolo gets brought back to life. That guy’s cool, too.
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