Why Does 'Dragon Ball Super' Look So Bad Sometimes?

Dragon Ball Super's Japanese and English Sub series ended on a spectacular note with the [...]

Dragon Ball Super's Japanese and English Sub series ended on a spectacular note with the Tournament of Power finale. Those last few episodes weren't just exciting because of the events that took pace - they were exciting because they looked spectacular, as well.

Dragon Ball Super's English Dub series has been running the "Future Trunks Saga" arc as the Sub series was closing out, and needless to say, the differences in aesthetic have been glaringly clear. Compared to visuals of the final episodes, the animation of the "Future Trunks Saga" looks like it belongs to a different, and inferior, anime.

So why does Dragon Ball Super look so bad, sometimes? Short answer: it all depends on who is leading the charge, at any given time.

The latest episode of Dragon Ball Super Dub (Ep. 62 "I'll Protect the World! Trunks' Furious Super Power Explodes!!") is a perfect example: it featured a new Saiyan transformation and a furious battle - and it all looked disappointingly sub-par. Compare that to the final battle with Jiren in the Tournament of Power and fans have every right to be vexed by the level of inconsistency in Dragon Ball Super.

Why does Dragon Ball Super Best and Worst Animators

That brings us to the bad and good news of all this:

  • The Bad news is that a lot of Dragon Ball Super's animation problems continue from this point in the "Future Trunks Saga" through the first half of the final "Universal Survival Saga" that follows it.
  • The good news is that these animation problems do get addressed, and those largely responsible get pulled away from the helm.

The biggest figurehead on the Dragon Ball wall of shame is Yukihiro Kitano, who has gained infamy for being promoted to the role of Animation Supervisor during Dragon Ball Super's "Battle of Gods" arc, before finally being demoted to Key Animator after the first half of "Universal Survival Arc." Without beating a dead horse, many fans and other DBS creators and staff have leveled the finger of blame at Kitano for the show's lackluster animation (and all the fan ire it brought). While he's surely not the only animator to have dropped the ball in DBS' run, Kitano surely set a (low) bar for what the show produced.

Thankfully, Dragon Ball Super ended on the spectacular visual work of Megumi Ishitani and a far superior team of animators. The upcoming Dragon Ball Super movie will lean on the designs of series creator Akira Toriyama, before the next Dragon Ball anime series continues that stylistic evolution. Hopefully, we'll never have to (literally) look upon these sorts of dark days, again.

Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. It is also available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.