This review of Dragon Ball Super contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Season 1 Episode 38
“This guy is the last opponent.”
After an encouraging run of exciting battles, this tournament for the Super Dragon Balls is finally starting to wind down. This tournament has been such a heavy presence on Dragon Ball Super that it’s hard to believe that the show will be moving onto something new. It’s clear that Dragon Ball Super doesn’t want these episodes to go out with a whimper, saving the best fights for last.
There’s a lot of great fighting in “Engage the Assassin Hit!!”, but the episode also does some welcome work to turn this murderous assassin cipher into more than just an incredibly strong opponent. It’s something that certainly works both in Hit’s and the series’ favor. Dragon Ball Super has already established what an efficient killing machine Hit is, so it’s time to understand him a little better and get in this assassin’s head.
Last week revealed the hefty bounty that Vados has bribed Hit with in order to get him to enter the tournament. Hit’s been promised Vados’ transportation cube, a vehicle of the Gods that lets its user travel wherever they want—including across universes. It’s essentially a hit man’s dream tool and understanding what is motivating Hit to fight is another appreciated touch. Other details like the fact that Hit is apparently over 1,000 years old and has been perfecting his skills over all of these centuries also make him feel like more of a proper threat.
Vegeta’s been doing a good job over the past few episodes at making Universe 6 truly resent him for how badly he’s kicking the universe’s collective ass. Well, it’s time for the Saiyan to eat a big piece of humble pie because the start of Vegeta’s battle with Hit is almost the mirror opposite of how Vegeta’s past battles have gone. Now Vegeta’s the one that’s completely unable to land a single blow on his opponent. Before Vegeta is even able to comprehend Hit’s immense speed, the guy knocks him out and that’s that. The whole thing is over incredibly quickly and it makes for a smart way to establish just how big of a threat Hit is here. With Vegeta eliminated, it’s Goku’s turn to re-enter the fray and while it begins to look like he isn’t going to fare any better against this mysterious fighter, Goku reminds audiences that he can be pretty competent when he needs to be.
During Vegeta’s battle with Hit, no one is able to track the assassin’s movements, with even Whis being blown away by his skills. This is also a fight that’s just beautifully animated and a gorgeous display to watch. It’s without a doubt one of Dragon Ball Super’s best looking fights, which gives it more gravity. All of those purple time blasts look so pleasing as they mix and break through Vegeta’s blue aura. Add to that Hit’s cold, Terminator-like nature, and it amounts to a bad-ass win of an episode.
Vegeta remains persistent to give this one his all, but his best efforts don’t even come close. In Vegeta’s defense, Hit claims he’s never fought someone that didn’t end up dead by the end of the battle. So hashtag goals and all of that with Vegeta’s bittersweet defeat here. This isn’t just Hit throwing his weight around. He’s actually strategically striking his opponent’s vitals so repeated strikes will end in their death unless they surrender.
After Vegeta’s defeat, it’s revealed that “Flawless Hit’s” super speed is actually a little more complicated than that. It’s in fact a “Time Skip” technique that allows Hit to essentially freeze time while he’s still able to move for a fraction of a second. Hit continues to abuse this ability against Goku, but when it looks like he’s going to surrender and become another of Hit’s many victims, Goku surprises everyone.
Observant viewers have noticed that Hit has carefully been studying his opponents during their many fights so he can learn their techniques and cultivate a plan to use against them. It’s exactly why Goku and Vegeta have been holding back in a lot of these battles in order to retain some secrecy to their fighting. Goku turns the tables on Hit by doing the exact same thing against him. Goku has to take a beating in the process, but it allows him to understand how Hit’s “Time Skip” move works, which is the key to taking him down. Jaco and the King of the Universe help break down Hit’s “Time Skip” technique by explaining that it basically allows him to freeze time for only 0.1 seconds, but that’s still enough time for Hit to gain the upper hand. The secret lies in Goku predicting Hit’s future movements, so even with a time skip, Goku’s still ahead of the curve.
Goku’s confidence doesn’t shake Hit. In fact, Hit’s certain that any evasion on Goku’s part is simply luck and that it’d be impossible to figure out how his ability works in that little time. Clearly Hit has never met someone like Goku before though and he quickly proves that his dodging is no fluke. With all of the games out of the way, Goku is determined to have a real battle here where neither of them hold back in any way. With the pleasantries and parlor tricks now over with, the stage is set for arguably the most explosive battle of this tournament. Universe 7 gets one step closer to elimination this episode and it looks like this showdown between Goku and Hit might be the final fight of this satisfying display of power between universes.
“Engage the Assassin Hit!!” is another enjoyable episode of Dragon Ball Super that offers up some fantastic fight scenes while also finding the time for some rather humorous non sequiturs. Jaco and Goku’s “Invisible Man” digression is some fun nonsense. As is the discussion that Hit should maybe be arrested for his special ability, but Goku insists that Jaco leave him alone so he can still fight him. Jaco remains to be the delightful wild card that seems to work well with any character. Any time he shares a few lines of dialogue with someone new I instantly want to see them patrolling the galaxy in a spinoff together.
Additionally, like many of the fights throughout this tournament, this episode helps ease the audience into things while also demystifying Goku and Vegeta’s latest enemy. Goku is ready to move onto business and it looks like Dragon Ball Super is as well, with the next few episodes promising an action-packed conclusion.
Or maybe Goku gets knocked out at the top of next week’s episode and it’s just a Monaka showcase for 20 minutes.