This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 63
“There’s always a chance for victory…”
Dragon Ball Super is full of insanely strong fighters, but at the end of the day, no man is an army. As powerful as select individuals are, the cooperation and sheer numbers of a team are sometimes necessary. The previous episode tried to push the idea that one man can be an army as Future Trunks’ turned into a blonde haired, blue aura-ed wrecking ball. Such a visceral image can be an appealing sign of hope, but it’s also important to understand the benefits of working with others and how to orchestrate a grand plan. Even Zamasu isn’t beyond having a partner in crime (even if it is an alternate version of himself), so it’s important that the good guys also follow suit. Future Trunks, Goku, and Vegeta can definitely defend themselves in battle and bring the pain to these formidable enemies, but the attack against Black and Zamasu has grown so much in scope that it requires more than just strength. There are a lot of moving pieces required in the defeat of Zamasu and “Don’t You Disgrace Saiyan Cells!” is all about understanding how to find a balance between teammates and to make sure that nobody gets in their own way before the big picture comes together.
Future Trunks continue to keep the wolves at bay in his timeline as he puts his new powers to use and fends off both Goku Black and Zamasu. The Saiyan has done a tremendous job at holding his own so forth, but the evil duo eventually gains the upper hand (probably something to do with that whole immortality thing). Thankfully before Black and Zamasu can finish the job, Future Yajirobe and the Resistance fighters step in to save Future Trunks and retreat for safety.
Future Trunks doesn’t waste much time on the mend. As soon as he learns that Future Mai knows where Goku Black’s hideout is he heads off in her direction to prevent her from doing something incredibly stupid. Make no mistake, it’s incredibly bad-ass that Future Mai would head off to Black and Zamasu on her own with the hopes of ending all of this with a simple sniper rifle, but Future Trunks is right with his concern. Black and Zamasu are so overpowered that they’d still be able to distinguish the lightning-fast pull on a sniper rifle. As cool as it would be for Mai to be the one that saves the day here, it would be greatly anticlimactic if the solution to such a monumental problem was a gun, even if it does use Magic Bulma Bullets.
Future Mai misses her sniper shot and brings on the full wrath of this genocidal pair, but in the episode’s defense it’s a surprisingly suspenseful sequence. Future Trunks is able to arrive just in time to keep Mai safe, but he’s not happy to be caught up in battle again either, especially so soon after his last defeat. That being said, Future Trunks does do an impressive job, plus he’s become a masterful study on how both Black and Zamasu operate, as a team and as individuals. It’s also very awesome to see Future Trunks connect a Galick Gun against Goku Black and do his father proud.
There’s been a fair bit of fighting against Zamasu and Goku Black over the past few episodes. In that sense, the battles that go down in this installment aren’t any more memorable than what’s recently transpired, but they’re still satisfying sequences that carry a very raw feel to them. Everybody is determined to put this feud to an end. At this point everyone is so strong that even brief thirty-second sparring matches between these characters still contain plenty of awesome moments.
Future Trunks, Goku, and Vegeta all get in some good licks during their fights, but these battles lack the stakes that were previously present. These matches just feel like a means to an end while other characters figure out what to do. It’s clear that this isn’t going to be the final showdown with these villains and that does rob the scenes of some weight, even if they still are entertaining to watch. During all of this ego stroking there are also a few moments where Goku Black becomes a little too self-aware about how much of a villain he is, which are just meta enough without going far.
Once Future Trunks begins to get overwhelmed again, Goku, Vegeta, and Bulma all arrive back in Future Trunks’ timeline courtesy of their time machine. Vegeta was rather worried that they’d be too late with their arrival, but they honestly show up at the perfect moment and prevent anything from further happening to the war-torn Future Trunks. After this humbling defeat, Trunks is quite insistent that Vegeta and Goku play it safe. By now Trunks should know that telling Goku and Vegeta something like this is only going to guarantee the fact that they head into battle, whether they’re ready for it or not. A Saiyan would much rather bruise their face than their pride. It’s a moot order anyway since Black and Zamasu finally get lucky and are able to connect a hit and blow up the time machine. Bulma does put out the fire quickly enough to salvage a lot of its parts, but it’s still a blow that traps the team in this dystopia. Let’s be real though, this probably just means that everyone is just stuck over here for a few more episodes than they would normally be.
During all of this commotion, Supreme Kai and Gowasu also show up to make sure that Zamasu stays in order and that as few killing sprees as possible take place. It’s nice to see Gowasu get a sense of closure as he tells this Zamasu how disappointed he is in him. By the way, after the release of Avengers: Infinity War it’s pretty clear that Thanos is just Zamasu with half of the follow-through. Why keep half of the universe alive when you can wipe out them all?
Zamasu reiterates to these deities that he killed all of the Supreme Kais in this timeline and that’s why he’s able to rule with such little resistance. It’s a powerful moment that really does hit Supreme Kai hard, but what’s even more enlightening is the information that comes to light about Whis. It’s been hinted at before, but apparently the celestial beings that are in Whis’ position are actually referred to as “angels.” That seems fairly apt considering that they work alongside “gods,” but it’s still a nice piece of world building. Gowasu also explains how angels still exist, although they “don’t function,” when their God of Destruction is dead. This in a sense continues to speak to the idea that Whis might actually be more powerful than Beerus.
Goku Black tries to keep his Supreme Kai murder streak in tact and attempts to eliminate this Gowasu, too. Goku and Vegeta spring into action to ensure the Supreme Kai’s safety and the two do a whole lot better than their last altercation with these villains. In fact, Vegeta fares so well against Goku Black after his recent training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (how awesome is that exit, by the way?) that he gets a little overzealous with his strength and declares an early victory for himself. The episode tries to ride this out as an exciting, encouraging ending where Vegeta becomes (once again) certain of his birthright as the Prince of Saiyans, but it all still feels premature. The tide has already turned countless times in this battle that it suddenly seems unlikely that Vegeta will end it all in the first half of next week’s episode. If anything, it’s confirmation that Vegeta won’t win and that the Evil Containment Wave strategy will be more important than ever.
Furthermore, it’s a little puzzling to see the episode’s title revolve around Vegeta and his skills in battle. He might dominate the end of the installment, but Future Trunks’ does just as much here as his father. However, it is pretty fantastic to see Vegeta kick Goku Black’s ass and tell him that his biggest mistake was that he body snatched Goku’s flawed body rather than recognizing that he should have stolen Vegeta’s superior shell in the first place. The next episode is bound to be much more of a Vegeta showcase than this one. Then again, if Vegeta wants to be the subject of two Dragon Ball titles in a row, you let him have it.
While Goku takes on Zamasu and Vegeta focuses on Goku Black, the more important work actually gets done behind the scenes. Bulma appoints Future Trunks in charge of the Evil Containment Wave vase and seal, which is instrumental in Zamasu’s defeat. If your stomach completely dropped when Trunks reveals the highly shattered state of the Mafuba vase, well, you’re not alone. It’s a seriously depressing visual, especially since this new strategy appeared to be the only real break that these guys had on this situation. Surely this isn’t the last we’ll see of the vase and this plan, but now there’s a heavy cloud of doubt over whether this technique will work. It’s a really smart way to create an invincible move to solve this problem, but then poke some holes in it so there is still suspense surrounding it all. The Evil Containment Wave is impenetrable, but who knows if the same can be said when the vase is full of cracks.
“Don’t You Disgrace Saiyan Cells!” does make for a strong return after the little hiccup in battle that Goku and Vegeta previously encountered. As stated earlier, this entry does feel like it’s meant to stall some time and is more about setting up what’s to come than accomplishing anything of its own. That’s a common occurrence for Dragon Ball, so it’s a relief when these sorts of episodes can still be engaging and offer up a fresh perspective instead of purely amounting to battle filler. “Don’t You Disgrace Saiyan Cells!” isn’t completely successful on that front and it could still have a stronger overall theme, but it’s far from a bad episode and it builds appropriate excitement for what’s on the horizon.
Let’s hope that Future Trunks has still got a knack for jigsaw puzzles.