FoR: The Underwhelming & Misleading Return of Dragon Ball by Tom Bennis

Dragon Ball has been resurrected yet again with it's premiere of Super Dragon Ball Heroes.  After the amazing finale of Dragon Ball Super, I was beyond hyped for the release, especially after watching the trailer for the series about 30 times.  However, I somehow was under the impression that this was a new series, but it is instead a promotional mini-series for the Dragon Ball Heroes arcade game in Japan.  With only about 8 minutes of content, I was beyond confused when the credits rolled.


For those of us outside Japan, there is no legal way to watch it.  Luckily, some brave space pirates have uploaded the episode to YouTube.  Although the hype may not have been real, I'll review what I was given.  So spoilers below.


The episode begins with Goku & Vegeta both sparring with Whis, Beerus' attendant whom we are all familiar with from Dragon Ball Super.  I liked this, seeing our favorite Saiyans still on their path to become stronger.  It's what makes the ever increasing power levels have a bit of charm, but it is interrupted quickly with Future Mia arriving to tell Goku & friends that Trunks is missing.  A menacing laugh is heard and from behind a tree we see Fu appear, looking like Elijah Wood from Sin City.  


For those of you not familiar with Fu, he is first introduced in the game Dragon Ball Online as a baby; the offspring of Towa and Mira.  Towa is the sister of the Demon King Dubura; who is the mostly known from Dragon Ball Z's Majin Buu Saga.  Towa creates a powerful fighter called Mira using science and sorcery and apparently have a baby. Weird.  Fu would return later as DLC in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, all grown up as a menacing scientist with a soccer jersey on.  While not as devious as his family, Fu still manipulates the time stream for his own experiments.  We'll get back to this.


So Fu tells Whis, Goku, & Vegeta that he used to fight along side with Trunks, who has now been captured and is being held on Prison Planet.  Then he disappears with Goku & crew instant transmissioning behind him, landing on The Planet Prison.  Now, unlike the Namek arc in DBZ, we are just on the planet.  This is where I began to noticed how rushed the pacing was and I knew something was wrong. Not a  moment passes when another Goku shows up with a really sweet uniform along with his iconic Power Pole. 


Come to think of it, what I liked the most about the promotion for SDBH was the updated character concepts.  Goku and Vegeta can be seen in winter attire, along with Gohan coming into his own style.  The orange jumpsuit is becoming a little dated, and as someone who enjoys the cosmetic aspect of anime and comic books, I was really excited to see what they would come up with.


Power Pole Goku see's Fu with The Blue Saiyans and attacks, causing Blue Goku to defend.  Power Pole goes Super Saiyan 4 and Blue Goku is shocked.  This is for sure a confirmation that the DBGT series never occurred between DBZ and DBS, for those who think SS4 Goku's presence may be bringing DBGT into the fold: you may be mistaken.  It is revealed that this Goku works with the Time Patrol, a time-stream police force from the DBX games.  Unlike DBGT where Goku attains the power of SS4 through fighting a bunch, Fu is actually responsible for Goku achieving this form.  While training with Whis in his time-stream, Fu bombarded Goku with Blutz Waves.  The same energy that turns Saiyans into Great Apes, also seen being used by Vegeta in DBGT to also gain SS4.  So, SS4 and SSB start fighting.


Now this is cool, or it would be if it wasn't only 40 seconds of Kamehamehas.  This fight was definitely a let down.  Fan have often debated which form was stronger and it was quickly announced that they are equals.  BS in my opinion.  I will also say after the entire Goku Black arc from DBS I was a little exhausted of seeing Goku fight an alternate version of himself, it would be fun to mix it up, maybe have Majin Vegeta show up and start a little chaos.  Either way the concept was cool, but was lacking all of tension that makes Dragon Ball fights worth watching.  I'd also like to add that the music in DBS was amazing during the battles, but was pretty one note here.  All of this being said, it was funny to see how relieved SSB Goku was to learn that SS4 was a good guy.


Oh, we also learn they weren't even fighting each other but using their combined energy as attempt to break the barrier that makes this Planet...well a Prison. It doesn't work and Fu reveals he is the one responsible for all of this mayhem, tells the fighters they have to battle different villains he has snatched up through time-lines; in order to find the dragon balls (ss4 Goku already having one of the seven), & disappears.  SS4 teams up with the Blue Goku's squad and we cut to Trunks waking up in the dark.  The next sequence is pretty much directly from the trailer.  The doors next to Trunks opens to what I assume is Prison Planet's Las Vegas and he begins running around with his ridiculous hand cuffs on.  Cooler, Frieza's brother, finds hims demanding a dragon ball.  Trunks looks as confused as always.


We then see Fu watching all of this on a monitor as well as Bojack, from the DBZ movie Bojack Unbound, as well as Form 1 Frieza.  He then turns and tells the "Evil Saiyan" to wait his turn.  Pretty lame name.  I'm really not buying this version of Fu.  While being troublesome, he never acts in such a hostile way and is often upfront with his test subjects.  If he is being sneaky, which he sometimes is, it seems like a waste to not let that play out for a while instead of the instant villain reveal.


Obviously the issue is that this is anime is clearly more akin to the cinematic pieces from the game, and I perhaps should have done more research ahead of time before getting so jazzed.  It is cool to see the main time-line interact with Xenoverse, as you are probably aware: it is a game I stream often, but I probably won't watch this episode again.  I am, however, going to finish this mini series. Now that I know what I'm in for, I hope to enjoy it as the the fan service it is.  


The Dragon Ball Super movie drops in December, so let's hope that it has the same heart as the series of it's namesake.






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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Mormo (Monday, 02 July 2018 22:56)

    Rad review!

  • #2

    OSC Headquarters (Monday, 02 July 2018 23:00)

    Thanks Mormo!