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YMMV / Dragon Ball Super Universe Survival Arc

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  • Base-Breaking Character: The following characters have proven to be divisive.
    • Jiren, The Ace of the Pride Troopers who is inexplicably stronger than a God of Destruction has proven to be divisive.
      • The anime treats him as a mystery with a wish he wants so much from the Super Dragon Balls, however, this also makes him boring to portion of the fanbase for little speaking for much of his appearances, not showing many heroic attributes, and nothing about him being explored at all for much of the arc. Many treat him as a Generic Doomsday Villain for this (despite being treated as a Hero Antagonist). A lot of other fans however like his design, stoic but not overly boastful demeanor, badass moments and brutal verbal put-downs to his opponents such as on Hit's profession, Vegeta's arrogance and how he's come to respect and take an interest in Goku and Vegeta, while admittedly slowly fleshing out his views on justice and seeking a purpose beyond strength. By contrast, however, many fans agree his manga counterpart is written way better due to showing these heroic attributes. A rift began to emerge however as the manga tournament went on as Jiren to a group of fans became very inconsistently written between heroic and less self-involved and cold and selfish like his anime counterpart. This was not helped by moments like Roshi dodging his strikes, after which Manga Jiren claims he never makes wasteful movements in battle. Jiren's portrayals are as a result impacted reception wise but whether fans prefer his more heroic portrait in the manga, which has also been seen as less effective in its portrayal of Jiren as a overwhelming threat. Or his much more cold and selfish take from the start of the anime which while often viewed as more effective in showing him as unbeatable, is criticized for how he was handled for much of the arc motive wise.
      • There is also the matter of his backstory; basically, he lost his entire family to an "evil-doer". The same "evil-doer" later on killed his mentor as well as most of his comrades, while the few that survived abandoned him, so he believes that being stronger is all that matters. Fans declare this to be either a sympathetic and tragic backstory that explains who he is or sees this as lame and cliched, with his "losing everyone so he becomes stronger" backstory to be overused by many anime characters and isn't really special compared to the rest, especially when Goku and Vegeta lost their entire race, yet didn't become like Jiren. There's also people who don't mind the backstory on paper, necessarily, but finds it so vaguely-defined and shoehorned in that it's hard to care. It reads like they were given an extremely basic outline with the expectation of filling in the blanks, and then just didn't. On the other hand, as Jiren has become more and more frustrated as his fight with Goku continued, many fans have come to find his personality interesting and even preferable to the original heroic one that Toei planned. This culminated with episode 130, where Jiren’s attempt to attack the stands to prove Goku wrong about people and later coming to respect him as an opponent after he defeated him. Fans saw this as either an interesting show of how broken he is and of his potential for growth as a character, or a betrayal of the heroic character they were promised. However, it should be said Jiren in the anime was never portrayed in that light and was consistently stoic, cold and very brutal from his first fight with Goku.
    • Caulifla, and Kale. The Saiyan women from Universe 6 have a fanbase that loves their personalities, Kale's development during the arc, and being the long-awaited female Super Saiyans. However, a part of the fanbase also vocally despises them for obtaining the Super Saiyan transformation very easily (Citing "tingly sensations" as the worst explanation for the Super Saiyan transformation), Kale being an Expy of Broly (Another controversial character) and the fact they took the spotlight from already established Universe 6 characters like Cabba and Hit.
    • Kefla, the fusion of the above also counts. Kefla has a sizable fanbase for her attractive design and being a female fusion, but at the same time, people (usually the same ones annoyed at the two above) feel their fusion was a cop-out in order to keep them relevant. Fans also criticise how Kefla was powerful even by Fusion standards, since both her components were weaker than an exhausted Super Saiyan God Goku (with only Kale being close), yet she's able to overpower God Goku with ease and "challenge" an unmastered Ultra Instinct Goku.note  It doesn't help the episodes with her don't have any participation from anyone besides Frieza (who simply watches), and not allowing Toppo's fight with Vegeta to be seen.
    • Android 17's prominence throughout the arc has been a subject of division. While a fan-favorite character, it has been highly debated how much focus he should have been given, especially in comparison to characters such as Gohan. There's also a matter of the massive increase in power he was given, that has now allowed him to trade blows with God-level characters. One side was happy since this means there was finally a non-Saiyan from Universe 7 to finally get this type of treatment while others felt it broke Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The fandom is split over which version of the story, manga or anime, is the best one more so than any other arc. We won't discuss it here.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Kale is this to many of Broly fans, who wished for him to appear in the canon series for decades and feel Kale is just a poor rehash of him.

    Anime reactions 
  • Arc Fatigue: The main problem a lot of viewers have with the arc is how long it drags out. The Tournament is 48 minutes long, but one episode takes place roughly one minute, making the arc the longest of the series. With the inconsistent writing due to the huge staff working on the episodes, most of the -admittedly very large number of- new characters remain undeveloped with no clear backstory (The number of characters introduced in this arc who have an in-depth backstory can be counted in one hand, with Jiren being a mystery until only 4 episodes remain, which by that point some viewers stopped caring) or elements that don't pay off (Like Quitela's hidden warriors or Gohan's leadership). While the concept of the battle royale was roughly played out during the first episodes (Like Basil's fight with Napapapa or Caulifla's fight with the Pride Troopers), this is quietly dropped out at some point when everyone decided to focus on Universe 7, giving them most of the eliminations.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • At least this is how some see Caulifla and Kale. The promotional material and one of the writers admit of liking them, which explains their huge focus, but the general reception of the characters have been divisive with the fanbase. The fact Kale was created because Toei wanted to capitalize on Broly's popularity, with Akira Toriyama deciding to create Caulifla as a complementary response the idea, doesn't help.
    • A more pure example would be the U2 maidens, with Ribrianne in particular. She was introduced as a comic relief character, and you can tell Toei Animation loved working on her due to the amount of effort they give to their transformation note  and focus (Pretty likely due to their experience with the Precure franchise), but the general reception to the characters have been pretty negative due their hypocritical personality and being out-of-place in a shonen series (By comparison, all the other fighters in the Tournament are inspired by genres well established in the Shonen demography). Also, this is considering the manga just shows the Maidens in their transformed forms the moment they arrive in the Tournament of Power, meaning it was strictly a Toei idea.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Some have this opinion of the Universe Survival Saga. While it does raise the potential for awesome fights, the fact that the losing universes and its inhabitants are instantly obliterated from reality and the Distant Finale of Z likely meaning that Universe 7 will end up winning, is leaving some fans frustrated over the prospect of losing many cool characters from the other universes, including Universe 6. The fact many of the characters are introduced act very antagonistic or downright unlikeable doesn't help. The ending utterly subverts this, though.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Sidra and the Trio of Danger. See Unintentionally Sympathetic.
  • Epileptic Trees: With Frieza getting heavily sidelined in the later stages of the tournament, especially when it came down to just Toppo and Jiren, many fans are assuming that Frieza will play a heavy part in determining who will win the Tournament, either aiding Goku in defeating Jiren or becoming the Sole Survivor and winning the tournament. While people were right in Frieza being a major player in the final fight, he isn't the Sole Survivor, instead being one of three men - along with Goku and a surprisingly-alive Android 17 - to face down Jiren.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The current canon term for Vegeta's advanced Super Saiyan Blue form is Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan- Shinka (Or Evolution). Since the name totally rolls off the tongue and doesn't sound lame at all, fans just stuck to calling the new form Beyond Super Saiyan Blue (or Beyond Blue for short) and Ultra Blue instead.
  • Hype Aversion:
    • Due to how long the Tournament dragged out and how undeveloped most of the antagonistic characters are, several fans can't really get into the Universe Survival Saga.
    • To some, the Call Backs to previous arcs became this during the last episodes of the arc. Vegeta doing a Final Flash against Jiren like he did against Cell; Frieza surviving an energy of Destruction and then telling Jiren "he should die by his hand" like he did with Goku, or Vegeta doing the final explosion like he did with Majin Buu. Even to the Japanese community, this was tiresome and dragged the arc more by just Pandering to the Base.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Though it was from Gohan's request, Goku's attempt to trick his friends into fighting in the tournament by lying about a monetary prize, as if the threat of being erased from existence wouldn't be convincing enough to get their help.
    • The reason episode 119 is so badly received is due to Quitela holding the Idiot Ball about his invisible fighters, trying to take down Universe 7 instead of waiting for the rest of the fighters to be eliminated so he can win by default.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: As soon as the Ensemble Dark Horse-heavy Universe 6 was eliminated and erased, doubts that the arc would actually end with only one universe remaining lessened dramatically. Hell, Vegeta even resolved to make wishing them back his goal.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Frieza returning from death and becoming an ally for the Tournament of Power redeemed him in the eyes of the fanbase who felt his Resurrection arc was an unwatchable mess. In fact, many of the viewers ended up outright rooting for him despite being one of the biggest monsters ever created in manga and anime.
    • Master Roshi's Dirty Old Man gimmick got tired long ago, was accentuated even further in his recruitment episode, and then many people thought he was just wasting a spot on U7's roster, only for him to not only end up being the only human character who isn't considered criminally underutilized by the anime, but he managed to shed that flaw and, for the first time in literal decades, genuinely be pretty damn cool.
    • Universe 2 and it's fighters were generally not well-liked, largely due to their preachiness and holier-than-thou attitudes about love and beauty. The fact that they all chose to Face Death with Dignity and Go Out with a Smile when they were erased (including not just the fighters and gods, but even their universe's average civilians) seems to have tempered the hatedom at least a bit.
    • Many fans grew to dislike the Zen-Ohs for seemingly being the ultimate Jerkass Gods toward all existence. Until the ending revealed that they'd planned for the Tournament to double as a Secret Test of Character for mortalkind — even supporting 17's decision to use his wish as a multiversal Reset Button. This helped the Zen-Ohs regain much of their lost likability and even come across as a deeper-than-expected subversion of The Gods Must Be Lazy.
  • The Scrappy: The maidens of Universe 2, especially Ribrianne, are considered an annoyance that stuck around way longer than they should have by most fans. The frequent amount of Character Shilling that she gets, combined with how she makes boastful claims while shouting about love every time she is on screen, more so then even Toppo shouting justice. The only exception seems to be Su Roas/Rozie, who is seen as an Ensemble Dark Horse compared to her teammates.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Universe 9, compared with the other universes.
    • The Trio of Danger are shown to be arrogant, downright malicious, and Bergamo was responsible for making the universes go against Goku in the exhibition matches by calling him a selfish moron. The thing is, he isn't exactly wrong. The Omni-Kings were going to destroy the universes eventually, because of Goku, they gained a chance of survival... but, Bergamo convinced the Omni-Kings to forgive the universes of their erasure if he won the fight, and tried everything in his power to win. Since Goku has become somewhat unlikeable in parts of the fandom due to Blood Knight tendencies, it made them root for Bergamo to defeat him in his fight. The fact the Trio are shown to have a great sense of camaraderie and belong to a garbage dump of a universe which they weren't responsible for just made a lot of fans feel they are a Jerkass Woobie universe. It helps they are cool and gave some of the best fights in the series.
    • Sidra is also an example of this. We are supposed to dislike him because he tried to get rid of Universe 7 before the Tournament of Power. Instead, he comes more as a guy with too much on his shoulders and was forced to cross a line in order to survive. It helps that the people he wanted to eliminate were Frieza and Goku, and only did so due to Quitela's manipulations.

    Manga reactions 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Unlike her anime counterpart that is a Base-Breaking Character at best, The Scrappy at worst, Kale from the manga is well received. In an ironic twist, despite Toyotaro being infamous for the call backs, he avoided doing any Broly reference with Kale in chapters 38.
  • Hype Aversion: The manga version was getting hyped by fans of the manga due to the census that Toyotaro is more consistent with both his writing, and how strong the characters are. When the actual tournament started however, many fans jumped ship at the apparent rushing of the story, with many characters getting thrown out without fanfare or even be shown getting knocked out until after the fact. Combined with things such as Hit being knocked out early on, Kale being stronger than Golden Frieza, and the elimination of certain characters, some fans have expressed disappointment at the manga.
  • Seasonal Rot: The manga version of the Universal Survival Arc has been subject to a large amount of scrutiny from fans. Many, even those who critiqued the anime version for its Arc Fatigue, have critiqued the manga for heavily rushing through many parts of the story in order to get to the end, leading to many characters having extremely anti-climactic and underwhelming eliminations and others getting little characterization. Additionally, the arc was running while a controversy surfaced over accusations of Toyotaro heavily referencing and tracing various bits of the manga from either the original Dragon Ball or other sources entirely, which combined with complaints such as his cluttered page layouts and odd plot choices has lead to many fans losing faith in Toyotaro as a creator.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The manga's version of the Universe Survival Arc is heavily criticized for this, with fans taking issue with how the arc was seemingly being rushed by Toyotaro. Fighters who received extensive focus in the anime were quickly wiped out or nowhere nearly as focused on in the manga, with four universes eliminated in the span of a few pages. Not helping is that each chapter of the actual tournament ends with a small timeskip, meaning many moments are just not shown either, resulting in some of the issues the anime had becoming even worse. For clarification on the length; the anime's take on the arc was 54 episodes long, with the actual tournament being roughly 35 episodes long, during which many awesome moments occurred, and some of the shows largest criticisms were fixed for fans. By contrast, the manga is only roughly 15 chapters long (divided into four volumes), less if you only include the tournament section and not the stuff leading up to it.

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