This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers
Dragon Ball Super Episode 60
“The world is more complicated than we think…”
So much for happily ever after, right?
After last week’s badass deletion of Zamasu, AKA the show’s big threat, it seemed like Dragon Ball Super was possibly ready to move onto its next major enemy. Beerus was even certain that Future Trunks could stop brooding and return home to resume watching Tokyo Ghoul or Lupin the Third with Future Mai, or whatever they do to relax.
Unless you’re a severely naïve individual that falls on the Goku scale of gullibility, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Future Trunks’ timeline is still just as much of a dystopia as it’s always been—in fact, it might even be more dystopic. Goku Black and Zamasu are still alive, vindictive, and well, in spite of how Beerus put his God of Destruction powers into motion in the previous episode.
“Into The Future Again” largely structures itself around one big, final feast as everyone prepares to say farewell to Future Trunks. Future Trunks is hesitant to give in and just enjoy the food and the fun, but the atmosphere eventually caves his stony demeanor. It’s hard not to smile when this hardened warrior who hasn’t gotten to have much of a life outside of fighting for survival finally kicks back and allows himself to have fun. The episode plays the entire scene straight like this truly is the last that everyone will see of the character.
Dragon Ball Superdeserves some credit for carrying out the typical, relaxed beats of a “goodbye” episode only to pull the rug out from under its characters’ feet at the last minute. The audience may understand how narratives like this work so they’re ready for the reversal, but in spite of that it’s still powerful to see the episode play with tension and release. The build up to Future Trunks’ devastated expression when he learns that nothing has changed and they’re back to square one on the hopelessness scale is strong, yet painful, storytelling. Even though the heroes are currently out of plans, the gang feels more renewed than ever to not be defeated and to figure out a new solution to their problem.
Before Goku, Vegeta, Future Trunks, and Bulma (yeah, it’s a little cramped in the ol’ time machine) head off to investigate the state of their handiwork, there’s a bit of a disconnect on what should be the next plan of action. Goku’s obliviously confident that the gang will be Teflon this time because he’ll remember to pack the Senzu Beans (although he nearly forgets). By the way, after the bean they give to Future Mai, the team is only left with four Senzu, which really isn’t a lot split between Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks.
Goku’s Senzu safety net is a funny aside, but Vegeta’s not so quick to diminish the threat at hand. The Saiyan Prince takes a reserved attitude here and insists that they should form a proper plan for their next rendezvous with Goku Black. This is evidently the right approach and Vegeta finds himself with quite the axe to grind against Black and Zamasu. “Into The Future Again” positions Vegeta to headline the next episode in an attack that first targets Goku Black and then takes on Zamasu (that’s the current strategy).
The group’s return to oblivion that fuels the final minutes of the episode makes for a suspenseful conclusion, but it’s the smaller moments that really make this episode resonate. The scene in which young Trunks is eager for the timeline to be fixed so that his mother from the future doesn’t have to die is so sweet and emotional.
Even though Trunks has never met this iteration of “his” mother, it’s touching to see him still get choked up over any version of her being dead. Future Trunks consoles him in a touching way that really brings everything full circle, too. The scene between both Trunkses back home really holds a lot of beauty as well. It’s a good reflection of what Dragon Ball Super has been capable of doing with its quieter moments of reflection. There’s a scene during their heart-to-heart where the frame stays on their cast shadows rather than the characters and it’s just so powerful.
There’s also some sensible commentary here from Future Trunks’ where he weighs in with his theory about how his world is still a mess because of the simple fact that he’s still in their timeline. Future Trunks falls back on classic time paradox logic and argues that he should have disappeared or faded away if they really did fix everything. He also reflects on his previous adventure where he hopped over to the past to fix the future and how his efforts to save Goku in this timeline didn’t bring Goku back to life in his own world. Beerus continues to fume over the insinuation that his word is anything less than perfect, but he still doesn’t feel the need to actually visit the fractured timeline to inspect it (plus, he can’t, really).
Not only is Future Trunks’ world still a mess, but the group receives an unexpected ambush from Goku Black and Zamasu, which helps them understand just how truly futile their recent efforts have been. This mind game is able to take place because Goku Black explains that he’s actually the version of Zamasu that succeeded in his attempt to kill Gowasu. This Zamasu shouldhave been erased with the other Zamasu when Beerus intervened, but due to his possession of the Time Ring he was able to evade destruction and survive. After this, it didn’t take long for Zamasu to use the Super Dragon Balls to steal Goku’s body and begin his Zero HumanityPlan. The rest is (altered) history.
As pivotal as all of this is, nothing in this episode can hold a candle to the bonkers revelation that Goku still has a complete lack of understanding over what it means to kiss someone. Why is this not the only thing that we’re talking about in this episode!?
Hell, even the Saiyan children know how to smooch! There’s a moment where Future Trunks does the act to Future Mai and Goku just stares in confused bewilderment, even though Vegeta reminds him that he is married and has children. Goku doesn’t understand what thathas to do with any of this. Apparently Goku and Chi-Chi just turned the lights off, did some naked sparring, and got results?
By the time that the credits roll in this episode there’s unfortunately the feeling that not a lot really happens in this installment. The team basically learns that they didn’t succeed and that the future is still a mess (which shouldn’t have been a surprise). Then Goku Black finally, once and for all, explains his existence and how everything unequivocally came together. Disappointment and exposition is what this episode amounts to in the end, which isn’t the most encouraging combination of traits.
Granted, the details that the episode divulges are interesting and they make for a worthwhile development in this growing saga, but it still feels like more could have gone down here. Even if there was just a minor, perfunctory fight between Goku, Vegeta, and Black, it at least would have added something else to the installment. There’s not even a middling B-story for the episode to cut away to in order to help balance the tone. “Into The Future Again” isn’t a disappointing entry, but it’s easy to see it collapsing into the episodes that bookend it in the larger scope of this arc.
Oh, and Beerus and Whis finally get some decent soup that brings them back to their days at Planet Gaspa.