This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 64
“Turn anger into power…”
It’s important to make mistakes. Not only is it important, it’s part of our DNA. The nature of being human is to be flawed. To err is human. Humans can accomplish so much, yet they’re still slaves to emotions. People are often embarrassed or try to hide emotion, but it’s sometimes the strongest tool that we have. In that sense, it’s kind of beautiful that the solution to beat these overpowered Gods might turn out to simply act human in the end. It’s a deeply poetic idea that the flawed ways of mortals would hold the key to gaining the upper hand against these immortal foes. But if the poetic irony is lost on Zamasu, Vegeta is certainly ready to let a few energy blasts communicate his point.
“The Explosive Birth of a Merged Zamasu!!” begins immediately after Vegeta’s burst of Saiyan pride that concluded the last episode. This isn’t some sort of bait and switch and the beginning of the installment is very much about giving Vegeta the proper ego boost that he deserves. It’s cathartic to watch Vegeta kick Goku Black’s ass for a while. It’s also particularly awesome that during one of Black’s egotistical speeches, Vegeta just fire bombs him with a planet-sized energy blast. Brood all you want, Vegeta doesn’t care.
It’s quite interesting that the bulk of this episode hinges on a God’s attempts to comprehend and act like a flawed human and let emotion get the better of him. Black finally understands that Vegeta’s recent energy boost largely has to do with his anger. Once he cracks that nut he’s able to put into practice himself because who has more rage than the petty Zamasu/Black? This experiment results in Black gaining a rather bitching energy scythe. This makes for a particularly wonderful sequence on all fronts. Black looks truly insane while he monologues about how strong he’s become and Vegeta just has this look of utter bewilderment on his face. At one moment Black’s new toy tears a whole in reality and when Vegeta inquires to what just happened, Black is like, “The hell if I know. You see how cool it looks though?” It’s nice to just see Black go off the rails a little bit before this fight enters it next (and final?) stage
Goku Black might not understand what he’s just wrought upon everyone, but that doesn’t stop a bunch of duplicate Goku Blacks from spilling out of the time-space scar. Why shouldn’t Goku and Vegeta have another ridiculous complication to deal with as soon as they get the upper hand again in battle? Black’s many clones may look intimidating, but this isn’t the first time that these two have dealt with a gaggle of dopplegangers before. These doubles pack a punch but amount to a lot of smoke and in spite of them not posing much of a challenge, their growing numbers at least keep Goku and Vegeta occupied.
While Black and his many duplicates keep Goku and Vegeta busy, Zamasu plans to deal with Future Trunks and get him out of the picture. Vegeta’s beat down on Black paired with Goku’s blaring optimism is a lot of fun, but the true star of the episode is without a doubt, Future Trunks. Trunks has succeeded in putting the Mafuba container is back together and some last-minute scrambles result in Future Trunks needing to quickly master the ways of the Evil Containment Wave so he can be the one to lock away Zamasu.
This development works well as it speaks to the unpredictable nature of war, but it also keeps the audience guessing as to what will happen next. The series spent a solid chunk of time on Goku’s attempts to perfect the Evil Containment Wave with Master Roshi, so to think all of that was in vain may make that episode a little less important in retrospect (nobody tell Sea Turtle that his sacrifice was irrelevant). Besides, the Mafuba jar has already been broken and put back together with glue—not magic, but glue. Clearly all plans are open to interpretation at this point.
It’s nice to see Future Trunks flail around and try to master the movements though (and how fantastic is it that he’s learning from an instructional video from Piccolo!?). This guy needs to work on the fusion dance, stat!
Matters become quite tense when Trunks is left with between five and ten minutes to get the Evil Containment Wave within his grasp while Bulma of all people attempts to distract Zamasu. Bulma doesn’t expect her plan to work, but it’s kind of hilarious just how poorly it goes and that it almost costs Bulma her life. What transpires is definitely the best Bulma scene to date in Dragon Ball Super and harkens back to the character’s friskier Dragon Ball days. Zamasu’s actions appropriately push Trunks over the edge again and bring forth his rage, even though they’ve got the Mafuba plan to pull off. Furthermore, Zamasu should know better than to attack Bulma like this in front of Trunks. He was just giving a speech about turning anger into power.
What’s so great here is that Future Trunks nails everything that follows and actually gets some tasty revenge as well as a hearty defense for the strength of mortals. Future Trunks actually successfully pulls off the Evil Containment Wave technique on Zamasu and it’s glued, cracked status doesn’t ruin the whole operation. This also happens with ample time to spare, rather than it acting as the note that the episode goes out on. It’s surprising to see this happen so early, but then all of this good fortune crumbles before them because an infuriating technicality that goes all the way back to the forgetful, carefree nature of Goku. Did anyone else’s stomach’s drop when that charm reveal comes up? It’s devastating.
Goku’s insolence back on their timeline means the Mafuba is ultimately a failure and with Zamasu as close to death as he’s ever been, he now fully understands how dangerous humans can be. Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks were ready to turn this battle around, but this recent close call only brings forward the end game. Goku Black and Zamasu put those prevalent Potara earrings to use and fuse together into Fused Zamasu. “My form is justice. My form is the world,” this new ultra God declares to his subjects.
This may just look like Zamasu with Goku’s hair, but the aura (and the music!) that surrounds this freshly formed fighter is very clear. It looks like that might officially be the end of the Mafuba strategy since the charm is still left in another timeline, but hey, if Black and Zamasu can bring fusion into play, then maybe Goku and Vegeta will finally be able to resort to the same tactic. Or perhaps the first Father-Son fusion is not far away.
“The Explosive Birth of a Merged Zamasu!!” is an extremely satisfying installment that also for the first time makes it feel like this Goku Black/Zamasu arc is starting to come to an end. There’s a lot of great action in this episode where everyone gets to contribute and most of the characters go just a little bit crazier. Even Bulma’s put to exceptional use in this one! “The Explosive Birth of a Merged Zamasu!!” also puts several strategies into play and makes up for any time that’s been lost in the past few installments. The ending to this episode is also the most suspenseful that Dragon Ball Super has been in a long time. Exciting, frustrating, unbelievable. That’s what Dragon Ball should feel like and that’s exactly where this arc is at right now.
Next week goes black because of Memorial Day Weekend’s FLCL marathon, but the fight against Fused Zamasu isn’t far away!