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With Dragon Ball Super finished, I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how good or bad it really was. What did it do for the Dragon Ball series, extended lore, video games, and merch? How has it helped/affected the anime industry, HAS it affected the industry, and how does it match-up to Z, or even GT? Now I want to preface this by saying that I don't actually have any figures. So I straight up cannot make educated (or even informed) guesses as to how it's affected the anime industry, or how well it's merch has sold. About the most I can say is that Super seemed to have attracted a fair amount of attention, with a LOT of anime-based serials focusing heavily on the series and doing articles episode by episode (which isn't too surprising for a headline Shounen anime), and quite a few streaming services paying it credit for growths in website traffic. How this has actually translated to the industry however, is beyond me. But addressing Super directly, for me, is a... Complicated feeling? Like, there's a lot of me on this forum defending certain decisions in Super. And tbh, I am okay with things like, assuming Trunks learned Galick Gun from Vegeta in the two years they spent alone together. I mean, if nothing else, I really doubt that Vegeta didn't at least TRY to improve his Galick Gun, and that's probably how we got the Final Flash in the first place. Unless he just... Winged the Final Flash against Cell. Likewise, I'm kind of... Well no, I was never okay with Super Saiyan Rage, but I could live with it. The main thing that bothered me was that it wasn't necessary. Like, if Trunks had just turned Super Saiyan 3, I would've gotten the EXACT same pay-off as with Rage, understood the transformation, and would've had none of the complaints. Actually, to be honest, I have a lot of small complaints like that. Like, why was Super Saiyan Blue necessary? Shit, why did we need Goku and Vegeta being able to turn into SSGod at will? We actually had just about the perfect "Final Form" transformation for Dragon Ball in God from a narrative standpoint. It was a transformation that didn't invalidate the past achievements and jumps in Super Saiyan because it was inconvenient. You needed a group of Saiyans, you needed to perform the ritual, and it took time to finalize the transformation. That is an excellent premise, and would've really put pressure on the heroes in certain situations such as with Goku Black. Imagine if the issue with the future timeline wasn't that Black would just magically get stronger for no real reason, but that he could access the Super Saiyan God form without the ritual (or timeline), and there weren't actually enough Saiyans in the future timeline for them to perform the ritual themselves. But putting these issues to the side, I think I was able to overall stomach most of the developments with Super (even when they actively retconned lore). Heck, I even found myself somewhat getting into it a lot of the time such as with Kaioken Blue (because fuck yeah, Kaioken), or Trunks' Final Flash (respecting that it was meaningless). But the switch for me, personally, was Mastered Ultra Instinct. When the hair went white. Holy shit did that sour my overall opinion on the show. In comparing GT and Super, I always kind of worked on the premise of GT had better ideas, but worse execution, while Super has worse ideas, but significantly better execution. And I genuinely always found that GT's execution was so bad that I just couldn't salvage anything from it. At all. The most I got was that I liked Baby up until the Strongest Form transformations. But after the reveal of the white hair... Holy shit, I actually think that Super may have been just as bad as GT. About the only positive I can give it is that I can watch certain scenes from it without any negative feelings. EXCEPT. That Dragon Ball Super was literally meaningless in regards to plot. The only thing that Battle of Gods did was introduce GoDs and angels. Frieza is dead at the start of Resurrection "F", and is dead at the end. Trunks' timeline is destroyed, and there's no fix. Until Whis magically comes up with a fix, and completely undoes any emotional impact of that entire plot-line (going on another side-rant here, this was just an objectively dumb move. Trunks saving his timeline could've been a really huge character arc in the Universe Survival Arc, where he was fighting not to save Universe 7, but to save his future. Not to mention how THAT would have affected Vegeta's motivations.) Universes are destroyed, and at the end, they're all instantly resurrected. The only difference in the world of Dragon Ball from the start of Super to the end of Super is that Frieza is alive again. Oh boy, that sure was worth 132 fucking episodes. And every single one of these arcs HAD to introduce a new transformation. Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, Blue Kaioken, Rage, Evolution and Ultra Instinct, and then Mastered Ultra Instinct. It was always a meme that Dragon Ball had an issue with transformations, but oh my god, STOP. Please. None of these mean anything, and it's just... At least GT pretty much just did Super Saiyan 4. As of MUI, I actually feel that Super has only done harm to the series. Anyway, I intended this to be a kind of analysis post. I wanted to break down it's effects on the DBZ video games, and how it has helped from a business perspective, but instead I ended up having a rant. But what do you guys all think? Did anyone else have the same feeling I did of just being done with it by the time it finished? Or am I just expecting too much? I'd genuinely love to know the thoughts and feels of other long-term Dragon Ball fans when looking back on Super.
Long story short, my friend and I were losing interest in the Dragon Ball Super card game awhile ago (first with Mecha Frieza, and then again with the SS3 Goku abuse), and we hit a point of wanting to give up the game. Before we did so, we made a list of Leader match-ups we wanted to play out, and one of those was Super Mira VS Final Form Mira (who we affectionately call Darkness Mira). This was the deck I ended up building for that match-up (and oh my, there is so much wrong with it). Leader: Mira/Dark Warrior Mira Battle Cards: 4 Newfound Power Son Gohan 4 Dr Gero, Evil's Inventor 4 Combination Attack, Android 14 4 Encroaching Terror, Android 19 4 Terror Scythe, Goku Black 3 Son Goku (Green) 4 Supreme Kai of Time, World's Protector (Super Combo) 4 Gravy, in Demigra's Thrall 2 Supreme Kai of Time, Continuity Keeper 4 Dimension Support, Trunks 3 Relentless Destruction, Mira 3 Trunks, Power Overseeing Time 3 Invasive Power, Mira Extra Cards: 4 Dark Kamehameha I want to say that I 100% went into that match-up expecting to get utterly destroyed with the power creep on Dark Over Realm, so I didn't spend nearly as much time as I probably should've building the deck. It was mostly made for a bit of a back and forth and laughs, hence why I threw in Dimension Support Trunks and what not. To my surprise, the deck had different ideas, and I ended up sealing the win in all 3 games around 5-6 turns in. Honestly, I think this was just the discrepancy between non-conditional, constant Critical and Darkness Mira's Drop Area refresh. I also opened almost all 3 games with Newfound Power, Son Gohan and Dimension Support, Trunks, so I had a LOT of critical on the board early. But regardless, I've been bored out of my mind lately, and I thought I'd share the deck on here to see if anyone has any thoughts on it, or if anyone else has been doing Leader matches.