This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 42
“Isn’t he supposed to be the strongest in the universe?”
If there are two things that Dragon Ball knows how to do well, it’s tournaments and parties. Guess which one you’re getting this week?
In typical Dragon Ball fashion, the gang does what they do best after a grueling battle or the “conclusion” of an arc; they throw a lavish party! Yes, Bulma is eager to throw a celebration party for everyone’s recent efforts, which results in this amounting to a rather frivolous and non-essential episode. However, this is an episode that still knows how to have a lot of fun and get creative with their ongoing “party episode” trope. But if you’re wondering, yes, bingo is still on everyone’s minds and it certainly makes an appearance.
It’s also pretty cute to see everyone act cautious (especially Vegeta) to not set off Beerus this time around due to how the last party went. Bulma even goes out of her way to make an extra gluttonous amount of food and a special feast specifically for Buu. Beerus throws some serious shade in this episode as he insists that he should get his way here simply because he’s a God. On that topic, apparently it’s frowned upon if Gods tell lies, which means Beerus will be in particularly hot water with the God community if this Monaka scheme gets out. Beerus also gets to hit the other extreme as he expresses too many great facial expressions to count in this episode. He freaks out a lot in this one. His initial reaction to Monaka’s appearance at the party is an all-time great moment for the character.
Bulma wants to invite Monaka to the festivities, as she considers him a guest of honor of sorts, since as far as everyone is concerned he’s the true winner of the Tournament of Destruction. Naturally Beerus and Whis aren’t very excited about this addition to Bulma’s guest list as up until this point they thought they had gotten away with their lie that Monaka is some ultra powerful warrior and not just an intergalactic deliveryman. The development of events here is really perfect and even though Beerus “forgets” to invite Monaka, he happens to be the delivery guy for the party goods that Jaco orders. This gets him at the party in the best way possible and from that moment onward it’s a full-on farce.
Beerus determines that it’s best if he cut his losses and tell everyone except Goku the truth about Monaka, as he still wants to be able to motivate the Saiyan (and save some face at the same time). This may feel a little contrived but it’s all worth it to get to the point where Beerus needs to dress up in a giant Monaka costume and fight Goku as him in order to keep this charade alive. This also pays service to Mr. Satan’s request from a few episodes back where he asks Monaka to be his gym’s mascot. It’s a weird moment to carry through on, but it does provide a very plausible explanation for why a big Monaka costume is at the party.
This is certainly the most fun that Dragon Ball Super has had in a while and it’s great that Beerus is the one that has to play the role of fool through all of this chicanery. It’s also worth pointing out that children think up this plan, so clearly it’s meant to be fairly outlandish. Plus, stories where everyone needs to keep a secret are always a lot of fun. Monaka makes for an excellent target through this episode. He’s almost like a walking vase. Simple gestures like Goten bumping into him on accident not only bring the guy to tears, but temporarily render him unconscious. Before the party even gets going, Beerus is already half way to a panic attack.
It’s really entertaining to watch everyone, Vegeta and Piccolo included, act super serious to keep Beerus’ illusion afloat. The gang even incorporates Pu’ar’s shapeshifting abilities and he turns into a decoy of Beerus while the actual God of Destruction is in disguise. It’s the perfect sort of comedic chaser to follow the heavy battles that have gone on over the past few episodes. In fact, this episode feels reminiscent of the playfulness of Battle of Gods and the first few episodes of Dragon Ball Super before dire multi-versal stakes get introduced. I mean, at one moment Beerus tries to distract Goku by asking him to do 100 trillion sit-ups and the guy begins to do them in mere minutes as Beerus moans in disappointment. It’s like if Mr. Roper on Three’s Company had superpowers and was always ruining their zany plans because he’s nearly omnipotent.
Whis eventually intervenes and ends the Goku and Monaka battle before the increasingly heated bout results in the destruction of the planet. It may be a brief battle, but Goku’s faux fight with Monaka is full of visually interesting moments and due to the atypical nature of the battle, it also shows off some of the more creative fight choreography from out of the series. Beerus needs to simultaneously protect the condition of his costume as he keeps up with Goku at the same time. It makes for an inventive twist that also throws everyone into action in a fun way (and how great is it to see Chiaotzu and Krillin lend a hand?). Vegeta and Piccolo’s claim that Monaka can manipulate their bodies with mind control is an especially great moment during the battle. It also gets to show how uncomfortable both Vegeta and Piccolo are when they need to be actors. Also, it’s a giant Monaka that’s caught up in all of this chaos! What’s not to leave here?
“A Chaotic Victory Party!” is a breath of fresh air and proof that Dragon Ball doesn’t need to be full of aggression and death in order to tell a story. Sometimes the most entertaining episodes are the ones that put these super people in ordinary, sitcom-esque situations. It doesn’t always work, but in this case it does and it also crams in a satisfying fight at the same time. This is a good as filler gets.
Also, this episode’s featured image could straight up be a still from Twin Peaks: The Return. Who would have thought that Monaka and Sarah Palmer share something in common?