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A lot of people hate GT, but I've always thought that was somewhat unjust. However, it is certainly deeply flawed.
So... How does GT hold up? Well... It starts off slow. Episodes 2, 6-8, and parts of 10-12, are outright BAD, and episodes 1, and 9-14 are weird... All clearly show signs of a show that really doesn't know what it is yet. They're trying to feel like Toriyama's early run on Dragon Ball, and it just... Doesn't work. There are moments when it does, notably episode 15, but where it really shines in the early run is episodes like 3-5, and 16-22, where it fully dives into the weird '90s feverdream this show tends to be at its best. Sadly, the fight choreography is often rather dull, but the beautiful animation and excellent score helps it along.
The show really comes into its own at episode 15 or 16, I'd say. Episode 15 is a character-orientated episode, primarily about Pan, and about the group properly forming into... A Group. Episode 16 kicks off the Baby arc, and that's where things really heat up. Toei gave up trying to be like Toriyama's early style, and went with what they know from the majority of the DB/Z run, and from their work on the movies; they went with a more villain-centric approach, with big stakes, and an anything-goes attitude. The show is still not a patch on Toriyama's Dragon Ball, but understanding that this is an anime-only epilogue of only 64 episodes in length (the shortest Dragon Ball series by a long shot), it does the job of carrying us to a satisfying conclusion, which you especially feel right at the end... I genuinely believe Dragon Ball will never have a more satisfying conclusion than GT's final episode.
GT is by no means perfect. In fact, at times, it's outright bad. But it doesn't deserve the reputation it has in the English fandom. Especially nowadays when we have Super so obviously trying to recapture the golden age, but Toriyama so clearly doesn't have it in him anymore... GT is a far more adventurous alternative. While Super is pure fanservice with zero substance, GT is a unique, weird, experimental attempt at following up on, and concluding, Toriyama's original story, and I'd say every fan should check it out.
But check it out in Japanese, preferably with the stereo broadcast audio. The Funimation English dub outright sucks (they clearly hated what they were doing, and made no effort to actually make an English version of GT. Unfortunately, what they turned it into was significantly worse. They replaced the opening with a fucking RAP), and Blue Water's is only okay (solid dub, solid translation, but the cast is inexperienced). The Japanese original, with the glorious stereo audio is THE way to watch this show. Though if you MUST watch dubbed, just seek out the Blue Water dub, and thank me later.
I felt Super was just mindless. There\'s an even greater form then SS 3, its Super Saiyan God. Then Ultra Instinct! Then the show wastes dozens of episodes getting Goku to these empty notches that just turn his hair blue, and make him do the things he\'d been doing against earlier villains. These power ups looked dull and arbitrary. Sitting through the episodes where the other Z fighters take turns getting worfed felt like a chore. Even in the Cell Saga, characters were always trying to do something, whereas in many of the arcs in Super has characters introduced and then used as punching bags. The adventure format was what made Dragon Ball fun, and while GT doesn\'t do as a good a job as copying the humor, the show felt like it was trying to stay fresh rather then stick to the boiler plate formula.
Baby was a much more intimidating villain then Beerus or Jiren. Baby was an antithesis of the \"training to the best\" format. He stole people\'s bodies and used them to mock and taunt his enemies. He possessed a level of feeling that wasn\'t sadism like other villains, but utter hatred. His backstory made it understandable too, considering the Sayians wiped out his entire race, the Tuffles. In contrast, Super\'s mulitverse is so large and confusing, its easy to get disconnected from the plot.
by using an even older formula of the show
Like Cell and Buu?
And to a lesser extent, Zamasu
Except Cell and Buu had no motives other then to fight. Baby wanted to restore his race.Besides, Cell and Buu were more about complete assimilation into their own bodies rather than body snatching. Baby wanted to hurt people through their connections to others, connections to others, which he did because he lost his connections long ago. Cell only antagonized Gohan to get a better fight out of him. Kid Buu had no motive at all, other then to kill things he viewed as strong.
How is that relevant? you said he was different by stealing bodies instead of training, aka like Cell and Majin Buu. Not to mention that Zamasu (the body stealer of Super) also wasn't driven by a desire to be stronger for the sake of it, but needed to be strong enough to acomplish his goal and Jiren is fighting to protect his universe and wants to be strong due to trauma, again not for the sake of it.
Again, so did Zamasu. I don't exacly get your comments on freshness and what not, when you're just replacing one overdone trope for another. Not to mention that not really, Baby may had used the similarity as an underhanded tactic, but always to snatch a stronger body. He used people they knew because those were the strongest fighters, as opposed to for example, using Bulma against Vegeta.
Like Cell did by impersonating 17 to absorb 18.
This is probably the only thing I disagree with the review. Toriyama is taking a more broad aproach to Super, giving key points to the story, while Funimation and Toyotaro fill in the details. That's why the movies where he takes more involvement are more well received. Goku and Vegeta where suppose to just have basic and SS blue forms since Resurrection of F, but they weaken base form to bring every form back. Black and Zamasu were suppose to be weaker than Goku and Vegeta, but there's so many power jumps by all 3 saiyans that when Goku can ki clash with merged Zamasu after he went toe to toe with Vegito, it didn't make sense. Same with the tournament of power and power fluctuations off the wazoo. Hell, Toriyama did wonders with his re-imagining of Broly, probably the coolest but dumbest (story wise) movie villain of the franchise.
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