Dragon Ball Super finally came to the end of the Tournament of Power arc, and what an ending it was! Goku and the Universe 7 team not only avoided erasure, but managed to avoid having the entire multiverse erased as well!
However, while the climax of the Tournament of Power was a major event in and of itself, the larger "Universal Survival" arc has been a major game-changer for not only the Dragon Ball franchise, but for the entire anime genre!
Goku is God
In the penultimate chapter of the Tournament of Power, Goku tapped into the power of a complete Ultra Instinct, to give Jiren an even-keeled fight. Goku's Ultra Instinct was enough to completely overpower Jiren - however, Goku's body couldn't stand the strain of a such a limit break, and he paid dearly for the power-up, nearly losing the Tournament.
Going forward, the divine order (Kais, Zenos, Angels, Destroyers, Grand Priest) are all aware that there is a mortal who rivals their own power - as are the warriors of the universe that saw the feat themselves. Goku has achieved the power of a god (not just a Saiyan god), and even though he's now lost access to that power, the potential of it will propel him forward into new power-ups that fans can only dream of. Dragon Ball fighting will never be the same again.prevnext
Vegeta is a Hero
Vegeta didn't make it 'til the end of the Tournament of Power, but before he went down, the Saiyan Prince firmly demonstrated that he has made one of biggest transformations that we've seen in the Dragon Ball saga. From his beginnings as a heinous villain in Dragon Ball Z's first season, Vegeta has grown into a heroic defender of Earth, a family man, and thanks to the ToP, a mentor to an entire new universe of Saiyans (Cabba and Universe 6). Vegeta's transformation to SSBB also opens a window to a new pathway of power-ups, while we wait to see Ultra Instinct manifest again. Going forward, Vegeta is going to truly be a hero of the Dragon Ball story, and we couldn't be happier!prevnext
A Multiverse of Great Fighters
If nothing else, the ToP has done what the Marvel Cinematic Universe does with some of its films: told a focused story while simultaneously opening up the Dragon Ball universe in a big, big, way. Thanks to the universes we met, and all the memorable fighters therein, future installments of Dragon Ball now have a much bigger sandbox to play in, with a much bigger supporting cast, thanks to all the erased universes being brought back. Fans already have their personal lists of favs (Cabba, Kefla, Jiren, Toppo, Hit, etc.), and in exploring the other universes, there will be so many new characters to meet. On the merchandising side, the franchise is in a better place than its ever been.prevnext
Freeza the Grey
Freeza got a very unexpected surprise at the end of the Tournament of Power: even though he didn't win, and neither did Goku, their deal of using the Super Dragon Balls to resurrect Freeza was still honored. In a surprise move, Whis revealed a power to be able to resurrect the dead - which he promptly used to bring Freeza back to life, as reward for his selfless sacrifice in the ToP.
However, Freeza made it clear that he wouldn't be going straight in his new life. In fact, the evil emperor went right back to his iconic floating chair, prepared to lead his forces on a new campaign of evil. But do we believe it?
The ToP saw Freeza truly embrace concepts like 'sacrifice for the greater good,' and 'the value of trust in others.' While we don't expect the villain to get all sappy and nice overnight (Vegeta didn't), but it would be redundant to pretend there isn't a noble side buried in all the evil. It's going to be interesting to see how Dragon Ball positions and uses Freeza going forward, as he now straddles a line between light and dark.prevnext
This scene animated by Yuya Takahashi is a good a clear example of her terrific work. The boards truly lift up the action and the photography is so clear that it is almost unbelievable how one of my major complains over the arc has just gone up to smoke. The future is here. pic.twitter.com/OzIoykmE0t— Ashita (@AshitanoGin) March 25, 2018
Dragon Ball Super's final episodes really did more than offer intense and (mostly) satisfying action: the two climatic eps. in the ToP were visual feasts that blew our collective eyeballs away, and redeemed some earlier criticisms of the series. The novel animation style used to convey Goku's Ultra Instinct fight with a fully-powered Jiren was great, but it was newcomer Yuya Takahashi's animation in the final episode (see video above) that has fans buzzing about just how good the future of Dragon Ball is looking right now.
With the Dragon Ball Super movie touting a new animation style that fans are excited about, the level of cinematic splendor in the anime format has really been ratcheted up by some impressive notches.prevnext
After the Tournament of Power, Universe 7 is famous on a cosmic level throughout the multiverse. From the divine beings now impressed with Goku's capability, to all the universes who now owe Goku and Co. (particularly Android 17) with their existence, Universe 7 is now on a lot of beings' radars.
While it's good to have a bigger network of friends, sparring partners, and divine allies out there, Goku and Universe 7 will have an equally big target on their backs. Any evil-doer bent on cosmic-level destruction or conquer now knows they first need to beat the noble Son Goku and the fighters from the most powerful Universe there is. That will potentially bring bigger and more dangerous threats to the Z-Fighters' doorstep. Or figures like the Grand Priest, who may want to test how powerful the Saiyans truly are, to prepare them for some larger divine purpose.prevnext
In the last year, there's been a noticeable increase in the level of exposure that Dragon Ball Super has gotten, and that popularity culminated with the finale. Hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world turned out for viewing party events, while streaming sites like Crunchyroll were so heavy with viewers that they crashed while airing the final two eps of the series.
Dragon Ball Super has arguably ushered the entire anime genre into a new era of mainstream popularity - and companies have taken notice. Netflix, and Amazon will launch ambitious new pushes into anime during the 2018 year, with sites like Hulu also including some new simulcast airing strategies for shows like My Hero Academia. Anime is about to have its biggest heyday in the west, and Dragon Ball has a lot to do with why.
What did you think of Dragon Ball Super's finale, and are you excited for the movie and next series? Let us know in the comments!
The Dragon Ball Super movie will be released in December, with new anime series announcements expected soon. The Dragon Ball Super dub series airs Saturday nights at 10:30 on Toonami.prev