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Even amongst the nostalgia-fuelled, merchandise-driven state of affairs that many ascribe to modern Dragon Ball media as a whole, Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Universe Mission stands out for not even concealing its true nature. "Promo Anime" is in the upper right watermark of every episode. However, considering that some effort has gone in to these glorified advertisements to produce a semblance of a story, I think it deserves to be scrutinised as one.
Tying in to the wildly popular Japan-only arcade game that lends its name, Dragon Ball Heroes the anime goes balls-to-the-wall with big ideas but consistently half-asses the execution — it's a constant bombardment of gratuitous transformations and non-stop action. However, the transformations have little fanfare and the action is often repetitively choreographed. Throw a couple punches, shoot some energy blasts, end on a Kamehameha, done. I'm seeing these crazy dream scenarios and yet I'm bored. The show actively spits in the face of those who care about power-scaling on even a basic logical level: Cumber, the hot new Evil Saiyan, is so powerful that even Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken x1000000 Vegetto can barely scratch him, yet he gets beaten down by Golden Meta-Cooler (yes, really) in the next arc. The show makes absolutely no goddamn sense.
However, the anime unexpectedly improved quite a lot in the second storyline, the "Universal Conflict" arc. It introduces an intriguing set of new villains, amps up the stakes and has several very well animated episodes. As ridiculous as it is, Cumber vs. Meta-Cooler is a damn good fight, though the main attraction is Goku vs. Hearts which has gorgeous choreography for a relatively simple fight. Yamamuro's blocky, over-shaded character designs are present, but the art direction is overall appealing and consistent thanks to a monthly schedule.
On the plus side, there's a manga version, and it's surprisingly much better in telling a coherent story. Remember the Special Dragon Balls everyone was supposed to be collecting in the first arc that never appeared again? No? Well, the manga actually follows through with it and has obscure returning characters like Majin Ozotto play major roles. Characters who get outrageously jobbed in the anime like Trunks, (normal) Cooler, Jiren and Hit are given decent fanfare in the manga.
The current storyline seems to be more vapid than ever. It sets up a rematch between Goku and Beerus, but PSYCH, it's actually about Fu teaming up with more boring old non-canon movie villains nobody cares about, somehow fighting our god-powered protagonists with a new Tree of Might. Overall, Heroes is the store-bought oven pizza of Dragon Ball — it's something to eat when the takeaways are shut, but it certainly ain't great Italian dining.
Even DBZ youtubers like Geekdom 101 and Masako X gave it a hard try and couldn't follow through. I say more like microwave off brand pizza, something you forgot was in the freezer and you don't remember buying, but it's that or not eating that day.
I really like your review and i will agree to your points. Saying it\'s just a promo anime is a bad excuse when someone is defending the show\'s. Yes i understand that the show needs to promote the game that is based on. But a good promo show like Pokemon focus on the story over advertising the game because they care about the anime unlike Bandai. Also the manga why i had not read it is really good and this what could had been if the anime is more 15-20 minute and Bandai has focus on the story. The anime would had been good and heck it could had been a improve version of Dragon Ball GT.
Thanks dude, sorry if I was treading on your toes by making this one the same day as yours, I was planning on reviewing this for ages but then I saw you\'d reviewed it... whoops.
Also that\'s a way better analogy, marcell, lmao.
No problems and sorry for a late reply.
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