This Dragon Ball Super review contains spoilers.
Dragon Ball Super Episode 7
“What kind of food are these Dragon Balls?”
So in an episode that’s devoted to Earth’s strongest warriors trying to hold their own against Beerus and bide the God of Destruction’s time in order to keep their planet safe, it’s Bulma of all people that ends up making an impression on the deity.
But let’s backtrack a little.
After the rudeness that Buu inflicted on Beerus at the end of last week’s episode, this installment begins in a terse place as all bets are suddenly off. There’s been a lot of damage control going on as Vegeta has tried to avoid conflict with the renegade God, but his drastic work finally runs out. There’s a brief moment where Vegeta continues to glad hand and save face with Beerus before realizing the guy is too far gone to cool off and that PuddingGate 2017 is going to come down to fisticuffs (I also expect Beerus’ “What is pudding?” monologue to inundate a bunch of theater school entrance auditions in the next semester). It’s around this same moment that people (well, mostly Dende) begin to clue in to the fact that this maybe isn’t just some weird friend of Vegeta’s (remember that lie?), but actually some super powerful enemy. It’s actually kind of funny that Gotenks thinks that Beerus’ priority is the Dragon Balls rather than some dream-based premonition. It’s kind of noble to see the kids jumping into action to keep the balls/Bulma’s bingo game safe, but the God has much loftier goals in place.
“Vegeta’s Metamorphosis of Fury” proceeds as a pretty straightforward Dragon Ball Super entry. Right from the jump Beerus proves that someone as strong as Majin Buu is still not even a blip on his radar, with everyone else jumping in to lend a frail hand as the episode’s runtime slowly plays out. That’s not to say that this episode still isn’t enjoyable. Beerus’ takedown of Buu is genuinely exciting with it being the first real illustration of Beerus’ endurance and what his fighting style is like. While fighters like Tien, Piccolo, or Android 18 unsurprisingly don’t stand a chance against Beerus, even when working together (in fact, he defeats them with simply his breeze. He doesn’t even touch the group in his takedown of them), it is encouraging to see the show remember that techniques like fusion exist and that powerhouses like Gotenks are still at this show’s disposal.
Gotenks does manage to do a decent job against Beerus until he doesn’t. Beerus disposes of him like a petulant child—which, technically, he is. The fight makes for one of the best illustrations of Dragon Ball Super’s abilities at this point (although admittedly the action has been on the sparser side so far) and boy have I missed Gotenks’ “let’s make them up as we go along” attack names. The bigger area of concern here stems from Gotenks’ brash, volatile personality. He’s probably the worst person to put in contact with Beerus if the worry is offending him. Gotenks’ attitude gets under Beerus’ skin more than his fighting ability, but it still leads to this battle taking a turn for the worse and complicating even further.
I maybe would have respected this episode a little more—not to mention Beerus’ actions would have actually made a bigger impression than the many fear-inducing adjectives that have been used to describe him so far—if Beerus actually killed Buu like it looked like he did at the end of the last episode. Of course, death is such a minor setback in this universe (unless you’re King Kai), that Beerus racking up his body count here still might have ultimately felt empty. Let this God of Destruction let out his claws! Imagine how bad-ass it would have been if he vaporized Bulma in front of Vegeta rather than just slapping her? I did somewhat appreciate weaker fighters like Yamcha and Krillin discussing joining the fray too before Piccolo ultimately tells them to not bother dying for nothing.
The animation might take another dive this episode at certain moments, but there’s at least some well-choreographed fight sequences that get to take place here. They resonate even more with oft-seen fighters like Buu and Gotenks adding their unique styles and physiques into the mix. All of this is still very clearly biding time until Goku’s return and merely setting the scene for a much more severe demonstration of power, but it makes for a fun to watch prelude to the true danger to come. You just can’t help but wish that only slightly a little more took place. Like if maybe the Bulma slap didn’t happen at the very end of the episode. Viewers should be well accommodated to this sort of pacing by now and the ways in which this episode falls short will surely be made up for in the next episode’s chapter of this fight.
In the end, it’s up to Vegeta to try and keep Beerus at bay, and while the Saiyan prince doesn’t do any better than Goku did back on King Kai’s planet against the guy, his wife getting involved does invoke his fighting spirit. In a move that we see often in Dragon Ball the “metamorphosis of fury” that’s referred to in the episode’s title doesn’t really reveal itself until the episode’s final moments after Beerus slaps Bulma in the face. Granted, she slaps him first after throwing shade at the guy for ruining her birthday party (it’s appreciated that Bulma doesn’t discriminate who she lets have a piece of her mind, God or otherwise), but it’s still pretty shocking to see Bulma get whacked so thoroughly. Believe it or not though, the surprise of her spontaneous palm movement on Beerus might have ended up saving her husband’s life.
The effect isn’t lost on Vegeta either, who goes through a rather drastic burst of rage as a result. The episode concludes just as it looks like this battle could start swinging in the other direction. It’s unclear if this violence towards Bulma is enough to bring out the Super Saiyan God in Vegeta, but next week’s episode is sure to feature some aggressive, impulsive fighting. And isn’t that sometimes enough?
Oh, and soy sauce is totally worth not destroying the Earth over.