The epic finale to the Tournament of Power and Dragon Ball Super is finally here! With so much happening in these final 14 episodes, this summary will be less in depth so we can really break down Part 10 in the review section. With limited fighters left in both Universes 2 and 6, our heroes divide themselves up to eliminate their foes. Gohan and Piccolo team up to confront the remains 2 Namekians from Universe 6 while Goku, 17 and 18 battle against the final 3 fighters from Universe 2. In a brilliant display of power, Goku and Gohan perform simultaneous kamehamehas to knock out both opposing Universes.
Quickly after Universe 7’s victory, Piccolo is knocked out by a seemingly invisible foe. Goku and 17 discover that their invisible enemy is in fact a small insect being. After locating and defeating the minuscule creature, Universe 4 is erased leaving only 3 Universes in the Tournament of Power. Jiren and the remaining members of Universe 11 look on as Universe 3 squares off against Goku and Universe 7. Gohan goes all out against Universe 3’s mechanical monstrosity forcing the fusion of all their remaining fighters into a devastating behemoth known as Anilaza. With the combined power of Universe 7, they are able to knock out Universe 3’s last hope at victory. Universe 3 is erased, but in the midst of battle, Android 18 sacrificed herself to knock 17 back into the ring.
Only Goku and Jiren’s respective Universes remain! The battle turns into a game of musical chairs as fighters swap combatants more times than I feel necessary to describe. Ultimately Goku and Vegeta focus on Jiren while 17 maintains Top’s attention. This leaves Gohan and Frieza to deal with Dyspo and his blinding speed. After a strong back and forth, Gohan devices a plan in which he sacrifices himself by disabling Dyspo long enough for Frieza to knock them both out of the ring. The plan is a success leaving only Jiren and Top to battle against Goku, Vegeta, 17 and Frieza.
17 and Frieza team up against Top and their victory seems inevitable… until Top’s true power is unleashed. Universe 11’s team members reveal that Top is being groomed to become the next god of destruction and as such has the ability to tap into the power of destruction. After a terrifying transformation, the justice preaching hero of Universe 11 becomes cold and unfeeling. Top swats 17 and Frieza away like flies and confronts Vegeta in order to ease the assault against Jiren.
While Top harps on the need to forsake all he cares about to ascend to the power of a destroyer god, Vegeta imagines his friends and family. The flashes of all he has gained over the years causes him to erupt in power while scolding Top for letting go of all he cares about just to obtain strength. Vegeta unleashes the sacrificial attack he once attempted against Majin Buu leading to his demise. In the blinding light of pure emotional power, Top is thrown from the arena and knocked out of the tournament. Knowing full well toll of Vegeta’s technique, his compatriots are shocked to discover that their Saiyan ally has learned a way to survive this devastating attack.
All remaining members of Universe 7 begin their attack on Jiren only to be knocked down with brutal force. With all remaining fighters down for the count, 17 steps in to delay Jiren’s advances in order for his allies to regain their strength. It’s at this point that we learn Jiren’s tragic backstory and motivation to obtain ultimate power. 17 holds off Jiren for a time, but appears to self destruct in order to protect Goku and Vegeta. Thanks to 17, Vegeta regains enough power to rise to his feet and make a last stand. Without enough energy to even turn Super Saiyan, the Saiyan Prince is knocked out of the ring… but not before transferring his remaining energy to Goku.
Grateful for Vegeta’s gift, Goku pledges to carry on his comrade’s goal to defeat Jiren and wish back Universe 6. Even with Vegeta’s energy, Goku is rocked by Jiren’s brute strength and looks to be on his last leg. In what appeared to be the end of Universe 7’s chance at victory, Goku transforms once again into Ultra Instinct. This time however, it is confirmed by Whis that the battle obsessed Saiyan has finally mastered this legendary form. After trading blows with Goku, Jiren becomes infuriated with Goku’s talk of friendship pushing him to become stronger resulting in Jiren unleashing an attack upon the bleachers housing Universe 7. Goku is able to deflect the attack and explodes in pure rage at this fiendish move.
Goku pounds Jiren into the broken tournament floor and is about to claim victory when his body seizes up due to the toll taken by Ultra Instinct on his mortal body. Just as Jiren is about to knock Goku out of the ring, Frieza and 17 return to battle. Goku rejoins his teammates after a quick breather and all 3 give it their all against Jiren. Frieza and Goku fight in unison while 17 unleashes energy blasts from afar. In a last stitch effort Frieza and Goku push Jiren and themselves out of the ring in spectacular fashion, leaving 17 to claim victory for Universe 7!
17 wishes for all the erased Universes to be restored. It’s revealed that the Zenos predicted this outcome, but had the victor made a selfish wish then all of reality would have been destroyed. The end credits show 17 and his family taking a cruise he wanted to which for originally thanks to Bulma. Frieza is shown reunited with his Frieza Force, heading off to perform unknown acts of evil. Finally, we witness Goku and Vegeta training as usual. Goku reveals that he has been unable to ascend to Ultra Instinct since the tournament, but that he will continue to become stronger alongside Vegeta.
There is A LOT to unpack here, but I’ll do my best to hit all of the major points. The Tournament of Power has been a great change of pace for the Dragon Ball franchise as it allowed for battles to take place between fellow heroes, not just another generic villain. While the majority of viewers were rooting for Goku and his friends to win, there was still a sense of sadness over the loss of some new fan favorite characters as they were being erased from existence.
This sense of loss does not last long however as everyone was wished back with the super dragon balls. While this serves as a nicely wrapped bow, I can’t help but to feel that once again all problems are solved by magic. There is no real need to worry about any of these characters because they will always be brought back which I feel is a major negative for the Dragon Ball franchise. A show without stakes struggles to serve as a compelling viewing experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love this franchise, but it could be so much more if death was at least semi-final.
One major issue I had throughout Dragon Ball Super was the inconsistent quality in animation. Some episodes would be absolutely STUNNING while others would look like the characters were reflections in a funhouse mirror. These final episodes however did a much better job at maintaining the level of animation quality as well as being some of the best animation we have seen throughout the entire series. The final battle with Jiren is possibly one of the most dynamic animation sequences I have ever seen. Watching Goku phase in and out of Super Saiyan is one of the coolest things I’ve seen so far from the franchise. Congrats to the animation team, you absolutely crushed this finale.
The level of action is peak Dragon Ball in these final episodes. With so many unique team-ups and new ways to utilize abilities, every battle brings something new to the table. Watching Goku and Frieza work together is something I never knew I needed in my life. It felt wrong while being unbelievably amazing all at once.
While action tends to get most of the praise for DBS, the writing and dialogue was fantastic. One of my favorite lines from this box set is when Vegeta tells Goku to “trespass into the domain of the gods” while he’s transforming into Ultra Instinct. What a great line! Frieza is written so well throughout this arc. His sense of pride and entitlement are on full display in all their glory. Jiren’s backstory was great, but his attempt to kill Goku’s friends seemed very out of place and character. Going from stoic to murder hobo is a pretty big leap. Even with his past trauma of abandonment, I don’t quite see that justifying his attempt at murdering the peanut gallery. The ending which shows Jiren excited to face Goku again and serve as a protector to his planet is a little bit unsettling after seeing his lack of inhibition to attack the innocent.
One final issue I have with these episodes are the titles… They literally give away exactly what will happen in multiple episodes! With title alone, I knew when Gohan and Vegeta would be knocked out AND when Goku would master Ultra Instinct. Those are major spoilers! I want to be surprised by the events of each episode, why would you tell me before it even starts?!
Overall, Dragon Ball Super: Part 10 is a fantastic conclusion to the series. The action and animation are astounding. The voice actors put in their all and it really shows. While the anime may be done for now, the manga has continued on! And honestly… I think what the manga has produced since DBS stopped animating has been some of the greatest content they’ve produced in a LONG time. Here’s hoping we get more DBS animated in the future!
Box Set Review
Dragon Ball Super: Part 10 features episodes 118-131 on two Blu-ray discs. Goku has mastered Ultra Instinct on the the semi-metallic cover art. The episodes can be enjoyed in both English and Japanese. Extras include textless songs and a fun interview with Patrick Seitz (voice of Jiren) and Kyle Herbert (voice of Gohan). I was expecting a little bit more from the extras since this is the current DBS finale, but maybe they’re having some greatness for a future collector’s edition. You can find your copy of Dragon Ball Super: Part 10 right here!
Note: Funimation provided us a review copy in exchange for an honest review