This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 36
“A prince like me was saved thanks to the rules?”
Dragon Ball Super has been on a solid run lately thanks to its ability to deliver a number of back-to-back battles that have all featured atypical elements. Even though the original Dragon Ball series found a lot of its audience during its World Tournament arcs, there are certainly setbacks to heading into a few dozen episodes that just contain non-stop fighting. It can be extremely easy to build fatigue by going through with a concept that’s highly repetitive in nature. The question becomes, “How do you make ten consecutive battles interesting?”
Dragon Ball Super’s current arc is able to have a lot of fun with this by presenting an alternate universe full of new takes on familiar characters, but it also does an exceptional job at making these fights feel distinct. Each of these battles focuses on a different sort of aspect, more or less, with Vegeta’s battle with Magetta being one of the better executions of how to keep these fights feeling fresh.
Things kick off to an interesting start as the intense heat that Magetta generates begins to deplete the oxygen within the fighting arena, due to the freshly installed barrier. It’s a little surprising that Goku of all people picks up on this tactic before Vegeta does, but let’s give the Saiyan Prince the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up to his brain being overheated. This new rule leads to Beerus and Champa getting lost in legislature for a hot second. Even though Champa has this barrier installed explicitly to aid Magetta in battle, he’s still quick to make sure that it’s “street legal” and not voiding any of the tournament’s restrictions. Beerus has plenty of resentment towards Champa and his strategy to get ahead in the tournament, but there’s nothing that he can do about it. Thankfully, Vegeta’s not going to let a new perimeter and an increase in temperature cause him to tap out.
In the earlier stages of their fight, it’s sort of fascinating to see Vegeta turn into his own biggest enemy here. However, this never becomes destructive enough of a tendency to ruin his chances in battle. Vegeta is well aware that he needs to wrap up this fight as quickly as possible due to the rising heat in the arena, but he’s also steadfast on ignoring any advice that Goku shouts out to him. Vegeta’s arrogance doesn’t want to receive any guidance from the multiversal peanut gallery, even if it means his fighting is suffering or becoming distracted as a result. However, in spite of Vegeta closing his mind to any outside help and going at this one alone, he’s still able to outsmart Magetta and turn this battle around in his favor.
On that note, this is definitely one of the smarter battles from the tournament, where there’s a brilliant strategy component to both Vegeta and Magetta’s tactics. Magetta’s plan to turn his lava into carbon and then use it as a weapon isn’t just clever, it’s cool as hell. There’s also a heavy psychological aspect to this fight too, with Vegeta’s victory being a result of him essentially bullying Magetta into submission. Even though the guy is a robot, Vegeta is capable of getting in the machine’s head, driving him crazy, and disrupting his composure for long enough to strike.
It’s also a lot of fun to see Vegeta get consistently surprised throughout this fight, yet still always rolling with the punches. There are a number of moments in this episode where Vegeta nearly sees disqualification and they’re all thrilling set pieces. Each time Magetta’s efforts push Vegeta to the limit it really does feel like he might lose. Vegeta is just as surprised as the audience is for this one and it’s a detail that makes this battle much more exciting in the process. Vegeta’s solution to not being knocked out of bounds also makes for a great twist that doesn’t feel manipulative.
Even though Vegeta gets to remain in play, he’s hardly pleased with the fact that he had to rely on such a technicality. The humbling display unleashes the raging warrior within him and even though Magetta’s been holding his own so far, he’s woefully ill-prepared for the beast that he awakens. In fact, the show almost gets a little too in love with Vegeta in this entry. His strength is shown to be so vast that a gesture as simple as powering up causes electricity to crackle over the entire planet. The show needs to shift to an exterior view of the planet in order to properly convey just how powerful and angry Vegeta is. He straight up destroys the arena. It’s pretty awesome.
On top of the great fight that goes down here, Goku and Vegeta reiterate that they continue to fight at a fraction of their potential because they want Universe 6’s Hit to know as little as possible about their fighting styles. It might add a little extra stress to these fights, but it again reflects an intelligent battle strategy and as Goku says, it’d be boring otherwise. “Vegeta’s Great Blast of Fury!” is anything but boring and continues the strong trend that Dragon Ball Super has been on lately. Next episode shows off what a Saiyan from Universe 6 fights like, so if you thought Vegeta versus a Metal Man was cool, get ready for something special.
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