At best, “Dragon Ball Super” started off as a mediocre show. Toei's absurd decision to focus the first 30 or so episodes on a cheap recreation of the two movies, “Battle of Gods” and “Resurrection F,” felt lazy and unnecessary. It almost felt like they were trying to kill the momentum of the series. The rehashed plots were just the tip of the iceberg, as the poor animation and somewhat bastardization of Goku's character made it a bit hard to sit through.

Still, those boring days are far behind us. “Dragon Ball Super” turned a new leaf and has been considerably more entertaining as of late. With a potential end in sight, let us take a look at a few reasons why the anime improved.

1) We got used to Goku

Goku has not really changed since the start of the series, and if anything he has gotten worse.


The Saiyan is still motivated by a desire to fight stronger and stronger warriors to the point where this is his defining characteristic. We did get a bit of development during the Goku Black arc, which saw our hero actually get angry when he realized that his (future) family was killed by the villain. Otherwise, he remains the same shallow and absent-minded fool he was in the beginning of “Dragon Ball Super.

Yet, it is not as big of a deal anymore. We are familiar with this version of the Super Saiyan, and although he might not be the badass hero from our childhood, especially for Western audiences, he is still Goku.

2) Revitalisation of Gohan and other supporting characters

Okay, everyone, we have seen enough to know that “Dragon Ball Super” is not a repeat of “Dragon Ball GT.” Although the first two arcs threw everyone to the wayside to focus on Goku and Vegeta, the anime is more of an assembly piece nowadays.


Goku is still the central character, but Toei is definitely allowing other characters to shine. The “Universe Survival Arc” features a slew of side characters, with each of them being given some development. Gohan and, surprisingly, Master Roshi have been fantastic so far.

3) The animation is decent

To be fair, Toei's animation was not consistently terrible throughout the first 30 episodes. Unfortunately, a few moments were so ridiculously poor that they ended up overshadowing the decent work put into the series. “Dragon Ball Super” also faced the added pressure of having to compare favorably to two anime movies, and it obviously fell short.

Once those two arcs ended, the animation steadily improved. The quality is not as high as something like Madhouse's “Hunter x Hunter,” but it is no longer embarrassing.


4) 'Super' is focused on expanding the universe

Resurrection F” felt like a filler arc. It worked as a movie, a one-off, nostalgia-fueled trip as Goku takes on one of his oldest enemies. It felt very reminiscent of the “Super 17” arc from “GT,” the worst part of that mediocre series. Frieza never felt like a threat, and it did not develop the characters or the universe.

Since then, the series has prioritized and expanded the world of the Gods. This decision to shift to a largely unexplored side of “Dragon Ball” allowed “Super” to justify its existence.

5) The 'Universe Survival arc' is fantastic

Tournaments are a stable of shounen anime and generally a blast to sit through. Due to their predictable nature, it does take something special to make one of these arcs stand out. Yu Yu Hakusho's “The Dark Tournament” perfected the formula over two decades ago, and no other anime has really managed to come close.

The decision to make the “Universe Survival arc” a battle royale was a stroke of genius. Yes, there is a certain excitement associated with the knockout formula, but Universe 7 would have obviously made it to the final, so it would have been dull. Deciding to throw them all in a ring to fight it out means that most of the fluff associated with this type of plot has been effectively removed.