Dragon Ball Super’s Multiverse Survival Tournament (力の大会 Chikara no Taikai): AfroManBlac’s Analysis, Theories, Predictions

so we’ve really been warming up so far in this Dragon Ball Super Multiverse Survival Tournament (力の大会 Chikara no Taikai)- aka “Tournament of Power”! now, these first few episodes heating things up can be seen as filler… OR pretty solid predictions for this DBS/Z arc — depending on what kind of fan you are.

in preparation for episode 102 dropping tomorrow (August 5 2017), i’ll give y’all some of my personal thoughts, analyses, and theories of episodes 98–101, the definitive intro to the TOP. feel free to share this article and reference my points in your blogs/forums/discussions, and leave your thoughts and feedback!

BE WARNED: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DRAGON BALL SUPER SPOILERS.
the TOP so far as ep 101… original roster from Zyphyris here on DeviantArt, updated KO’s edited by me, AfroManBlac

personally, i’m really liking the tournament so far; my fav characters (Vegeta*, Piccolo, Gohan, Tien, 17/18) are getting good limelight, and they’re puttin up a great fight. i’m ready to see things really heat up: ready to see Piccolo and Gohan’s 2nd form; ready to see the Androids stomp more; ready to see Vegeta go ham; ready to see the Planet Vegeta conspiracy unfold more; there’s so much i’m ready for.

we’re seeing a TRUE battle royale and development of strategy and teamwork (as planned). and i HAVE to tip my hats off to Akira Toriyama and the team behind this anime, as usual, because it really is something beautiful.

by WindyEchoes on DeviantArt

EP 98: Seizing the Moment of Victory and Decisive Moment: U7 vs U9

“Oh, Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs!!” “Ā mujou! Zetsubō suru Uchū!!” (あぁ無常! 絶望する宇宙!!)

U7 Supreme Kai & Beerus spectating Goku and Vegeta in EP 98, from Funimation.com

episode 98 is really giving us that “survival instinct” characterization — the “do or die” action, “FIRST COME FIRST SERVED!” as my boy Vegeta says, lol.

the crux of ep 98 is “seizing the moment of victory and decisive moment”, as Whis explains to the U7 gang. this trait is explained by U7’s Supreme Kai as pure Saiyan behavior and instinct.

DBS as a series, and SSJB as a form, exemplifies this saiyan phenomena that Goku and Vegeta so gracefully exude to its core, and are perfecting: increasing a stamina-power-strength combo exponentially, to a godlike form — i.e, a sort of transcendence. that is the meaning of this beautiful SSJB form we’ve been gifted. SSJB and SSG forms are about decisiveness, control, stamina, and balance… and Goku and Vegeta are doing a great job at this, as seen in the first juicy skirmish of the tournament, where they faced off with EIGHT aggressive fighters from U9–3–4 each.

Whis explaining to the Supreme Kai’s apprentice SSJB’s weakness as a form, in the context of the TOP in EP 98, from Funimation.com

furthermore, i’m impressed with Goku and Vegeta’s teamwork and how they’re perfecting the very ironic SYNERGY they’re developing as Z Fighter comrades — it’s flowering their characterizations not only as foils, but also as great PARTNERS.

we’re seeing a lot of evolution in DBZ character relationships within this newer DBS series. within the TOP arc (including episodes before 98), there’s a strong Goku-Vegeta, №17-Piccolo, Frieza-Z Fighter alliance base.

Vegeta coming to Goku’s aide against the Trio de Dangers in EP 98, Funimation.com… collage by me

in episode 98, Goku’s SSJ form brings 2 clean KO’s. meanwhile Vegeta gets a KO in just his BASE FORM.

the cinema within this epic battle is great, and this will really echo as one of my favorite skirmishes OF ALL TIME… “don’t underestimate the power of VEGETA SAMA!”, Vegeta roars as his SSJ + SSJB form brings him 2 KO’s.

Vegeta sama in EP 98, from Funimation.com
in just SSJ + SSJB form (SSJ + SSJB, Final Flash, Kamehameha alone), Goku and Vegeta together knocked out an entire universe’s fighters… but we just warmin’ up fam!
SSJB Goku and SSJB Vegeta’s Kamehameha and Final Flash vs. Trio de Dangers in EP 98, from Funimation.com… COLLAGE BY ME

shocking the gods and everyone spectating, Goku and Vegeta alone hand U9 a SWIFT L. this is true Saiyan SPOTLIGHT in this battle royale, and i’m eatin it up.

episode 98 lays a great foundation for huge showcases of Saiyan ability and characterization within the TOP. on to episode 99


EP 99: Purpose, Destiny, and Fate

“Show Them! Krillin’s True Power!!” “Misetsukero! Kuririn no sokojikara!!” (見せつけろ! クリリンの底力!!)

episode 99 can loosely be broken down by important reoccuring themes within the DB series: purpose, destiny, and fate. many characters within this arc are exemplifying their personifications of these major themes.

there is so much heat coming into this… let’s break this shit down, ’cause this is one of my favorite episodes so far.

Purpose

around the 5 minute mark of the episode, the PURPOSE of the TOP is revealed by U1’s Supreme Kai: to balance the levels of power within the universe, while giving universes with lower power levels that would have been arbitrarily erased by Zen-oh sama a chance to fight for their universe. U1 Supreme Kai also says that “the erasure of universe 9 was a necessary sacrifice”, and that “Son Goku gave the (weaker) universes a chance to survive.”

a lot to take in. i spun this minute mark back a good lil bit upon first view. certainly a memorable moment and adds context, perspective, and weight to this tournament.

Destiny

the intro to episode 99 is FUCKIN DEEP.

after Zen-oh sama erases U9, Goku says, “this is the second time we’ve seen a universe erased… i’m going to be the last one standing”. Vegeta fires back, “no, it’s going to be me, and i’ll be the one to get the Super Dragon Balls!” (~4:00)… so that’s a highlight on the Saiyan Gods’ plans and destiny thus far, with respect to both Son Goku and Vegeta sama

the SSJG’s declare their destiny for the TOP, in EP 99, from Funimation.com. COLLAGE BY ME

Frieza’s Universal Domination Monologue: GIVE LORD EMPEROR HIS DUES!!

now let’s pan over to Frieza bein’ a SCHEMEBOI!

a lot is confirmed through this episode with Frieza’s monologue around the 6 minute mark of the episode. FRIEZA’S MONOLOGUE IS VERY PROFOUND, AND (FROM AN ART PERSPECTIVE), IT TRULY SERVES AS A CUTTING MONOLOGUE WITH BEAUTIFUL SOLILOQUY.

Frieza mocks Zen-oh sama’s and breaks a 4th wall somewhere by simultaneously mocking the overall IRONY of Zen-oh’s complex as a whole: the profound dichotomy of his cute voice and horrendous acts. to add irony to irony, Frieza says “i find this quite vexing”… ha!

OH BUT HE’S NOT DONE. Frieza declares with his NOTORIOUS arm-fold, concluding his monologue directed towards Zen-oh sama (and the gods/deities/universal lords), “one day, i promise i shall reign over you!” (~6:30)

Frieza’s Universal Domination Monologue in the TOP, in EP 99, from Funimation.com. COLLAGE BY ME

what’s beautiful about Frieza’s monologue is that it provides more dimension to him as a villain. he’s hybridizing a role as anti-hero + villain + major infamous character with a STRING of motive and vendetta. his evil surely surpasses Earth and even Earth’s universe — it has now vowed to reign over all 12 known universes!

Frieza is using this (literal) TOP-like battle royale like the game it looks like to solidify his own gains — and it’s at this precise point where i’ve SINCERELY begun to respect Frieza more.

i’m loving how they’re giving him MORE depth than what we’ve seen in DBZ!

so this is the definitive PEAK in the episode, and arguably the biggest peak in any DB series to date! if you haven’t watched it so far to see it for yourself, start your Funimation free trial and go watch it immediately! this shit is GOOD! like i said, hats off!

Fate: Let’s Cut Loose!

i’ve noticed that Dragon Ball Super is also staying TRUE to DBZ in holding elements of the Majin Buu saga (Buu, Uub, Goten + Trunks), the Cell saga (Androids), and the Frieza saga, and bringing out new content in all of the sagas simultaneously, and i truly admire that ability, from an artist’s and writer’s viewpoint.

‘ROID ‘DROIDS FTW

if you thought the Androids would be minor minor characters, you thought WRONG my guy! cause they is MAJOR minor character, and that’s being SOLIDIFIED in DBS’ new developments and characterizations with №18 and №17.

around the 7 minute mark of the episode, №17 says to №18, “we should be utilizing our advantage as androids of infinite energy now… we never tire — that’s quite the advantage”… and there it is. rogue ‘roid ‘droids with impenetrable force fields and hyper-strength have just reunited and realized their potential. shit’s. a-bout. to get. real.

№17 and №18 discussing their Android nature, in EP 99, from Funimation.com. COLLAGE BY ME

MORE SSJB DEVELOPMENT

also, an important quote to note at the 8 minute mark of the episode! do not overlook this, because it’s a DEFINING quote! upon Hit and Adult Swim’s Pooh Bear approaching, ready for a fight, Vegeta says to Goku, “Kakarot, don’t waste your power”, and Goku shoots him a “likewise”. this exchange is an IMPORTANT REMINDER as to how SSJB works — with patience, decisiveness, and stamina, as stated above.

below is a great video by one of my favorite YouTubers, Oppai Senpai, very nicely EXPLAINING how SSJB works… it is a VERY important concept within Dragon Ball Super that’s commonly misconceived. i beg you all to MAKE SURE you know what Blue is and how it works! the shit is GOAT — and don’t you ever forget it.

“Super Saiyan Blue FULLY EXPLAINED! Power Levels, God Ki Control, Hidden Potential | DBS”, from Oppai Senpai @/AnimeLiveReactions on YouTube

NOW, as episode 99 is dedicated to Krillin, i’ll leave it to you all to find out what happens with him by watching the episode yourself. again, go watch!

let’s move on to episode 100 recap and analysis — THE TRUE PEAK!!


EP 100: MULTIVERSE BATTLE ROYALE OF THE SAIYANS

“Out Of Control! The Savage Berserker Awakens!!” “Daibōsō! Mezame araburu Kyōsenshi!!” (大暴走! 目覚め荒ぶる狂戦士!!)

EPISODE 100 IS A LOT! AND IT’S *THE* MOST EPIC DRAGON BALL EPISODE WITHIN ALL THE SERIES, TO DATE!

in this episode we get the FULL PLATTER of Saiyans and what they got goin’ on. i’ll give y’all some run down, and a little bit of my analysis. i STRONGLY urge you to GO AND WATCH THIS EPISODE SPECIFICALLY if you haven’t already! the shit is SAUCE.

thumbnail image from YouTuber TR4GIC

THE SAIYAN PRINCES: Vegeta vs Cabba

so this shit starts with Cabba 1-hit KO’ing fighters (two) in just his base form en route to challenge Vegeta, who he proclaims (although Vegeta ain’t with all that) as his master (being that Vegeta has very informally taught Cabba). Cabba directly challenges Vegeta to fight. this shit is Vegeta in parallel universes fighting himself in SSJ form, basically how i see it, lol

i was hollering at my laptop fam.

NEW GENERATION SAIYAN: CAULIFLA’S POSSIBLE HIDDEN AGENDA -Caulifla + Kale vs Goku

while protecting “her protege” Kale (who is actually weak as hell when she’s not going berserker Kale in an LSSJ, Broly-like form), Caulifla easily KO’s 2 fighters in her SSJ form, yelling “don’t underestimate me!!” beforehand, to heat things up further. the plot thickens between Caulifla and Kale, and the whole “protege” weirdness is teased at (we don’t know what they got goin’ on, but we do know to some degree that Caulifla is playing Frankenstein… citing here Hit’s side comment “you’ve awakened quite the beast” ~15:56).

SSJ Caulifla defending Kale vs 2 U10 fighters, in EP 100, from Funimation

then Caulifla and her lil berserker monster set Goku as their focus and target, while he’s facing off with U2’s other time skip dude. Caulifla’s true agenda is also highlighted. Caulifla says to Kale around the 8:30 mark of the episode, “use your full power and be confident and let’s go after Goku”.

when directly talking to Goku, she sort of mocks him and refers to him as “old man”... cinematic trash talk, yes, sure. i’m also willing to assign some foreshadowing to Caulifla’s blatant cockiness and taunting: it’s reasonable to infer, and by this logic here confirmed, that she wants the spotlight as the best Saiyan in all the universes, in that she, the younger Saiyan most like Goku (tingly-back!) wants to wax on-wax off Mr. Miyagi, if you catch my drift. she’s seeking to surpass the “master” and get the SSG spotlight.

Caulifla goading Kale to target Goku with her, in EP 100, from Funimation

as arrogant and cocky and direct as she is, this lil guh Cauliflower then has the audacity to ask Goku for teaching on “Blue” (which is SSJB form). Goku curbs that ass and tells her she’s not ready for it yet — heh.

Caulifla boldly asking Goku to teach her the SSJB form so that she can beat him up, in EP 100, from Funimation

an important note for Caulifla is that she has been introduced to time-skip by Hit, and she also proves in a very short matter of time that she can DETECT it, shown in the comedic skirmish where she one-shots U2’s other time skip guy.

Caulifla one-shotting U2’s fighter that can use a time-skip-esque ability… he flies off screen, in EP 100, from Funimation — proof that she can detect/recognize time-skip

there’s some real deep stuff going on between the lines here in this episode. the new and untrained generation Saiyan race vs the godlike older generation going toe-to-toe for survival!

it should be noted, for power’s purposes, that base form -SSJ2 is clearing out most of these fighters in the overall tournament, namely from U9, U10, and U3. total Saiyan U7, U6 domination…

“…and that’s not even their FINAL FORM!!”

SSJ Caulifla vs. SSJ2 Goku ensues at around the 10 minute mark of the episode. Goku’s demonstrates his control on ki and speed in this skirmish: SSJ Goku says to SSJ Cauli after easily deflecting her attack, “you sacrificed speed for power, and that form (SSJ) isn’t good for fighting long fights… what form you should be aiming at… is THIS”. Goku beautifully transforms into SSJ2. Caulifla recreates Goku’s SSJ2, which prompts Goku to say, “interestin… not bad… you might actually reach SSJ3 in this fight” — which is BLATANT foreshadowing.

as you’re watching this, you can feel your own power level rise, i swear. here they face off in a battle of mastery of SSJ- SSJ2, and Caulifla is MATCHING Goku easily, just as he is, but he has the SLIGHT upperhand (of course, being Goku).

Caulifla is very similar to Goku in her mastery of Saiyan forms, so i’m very excited to see more from her and her fitting rivalry with Son Goku!

SSJ Caulifla vs SSJ Goku

LSSJ BERSERKER KALE UNLEASHED!!

it is while seeing this MASTERY OF SAIYAN FORMS, that Kale gets emotional and sends a weak, easily deflected ki blast (at ~13:56). from this action we can confirm that Kale is triggered by her lack of Saiyan ability, and the emotional aspect of being a burden to her comrades (looks at Krillin)… so she projects this onto Son Goku and begins to transform in LSSJ at approximately the 15 minute mark. commence berserker.

Kale can’t control LSSJ at all — she almost knocks Caulifla out (she is saved by the time skip of Hit, who side-comments to her, “you’ve awakened quite the beast” ~15:56)… here Hit himself acknowledges Kale’s berserker power.

CLEARING THE AIR: LSSJ BERSERKER KALE VS SSJ2B GOKU

it’s SSJ/SSJ2 Son Goku vs. LSSJ berserker Kale. here is a battle that i’ve seen some pretty invalid discussion on. people misunderstand the battle because they don’t understand how SSJB form works. here’s what i will say to clear the air: LSSJ didn’t simply curb-stomp SSJB, which is what a lot of people say, trying to make Kale just OP against Goku — no, she curb-stomped a Son Goku in SSJ — SSJ2 form, that was struggling with decisiveness and strategy and his OWN power skills (knowing when to do what, and how much, for how long).

i’m not saying “Kale didn’t overpower Goku in this moment of the skirmish”, because she definitely did — LSSJ is indeed more powerful than SSJ2; water is wet.
it is an important note here, that SSJB IS NOT A POWER MULTIPLIER, BUT A POWER CONTROLLER. so, to say that “Kale severely out-powered SSJB” is rather inaccurate, because you’d be comparing fighters’ different power and control, polar opposite phenomena.

so yes, SSJ/SSJ2 Goku gets STOMPED by LSSJ Kale ~17:00 . in my opinion, this is where Goku goes overboard on HIS ISSUE with NOT knowing when to unleash power (this is a good “limit breaker” form set-up), because he almost goofs in that LSSJ Kale could have easily thrown him out of the ring, as seen, had she of used strategy and technique over power and form

BUT STILL - Goku is mastering the art of SSJB and knowing how and when to control his power, *and also* win the tournament. hence, finally, his SSJB form change ~17:41, while still using SSJ2 technique, against a Kale that has LSSJ ability, but absolutely no control or stamina.

Goku in SSJ2B form uses a Kamehameha at ~18:20, and miraculously, Kale countered it and grabbed his face straight through it… Piccolo mentions at ~18:50, “she can’t control her power”, referring to berserker Kale, so at this point the previous points i’ve made are confirmed (via the best strategist in the series):

SSJ2B Goku outplayed LSSJ berserker Kale, but he did get overpowered. LSSJ Kale outpowers SSJ2B Goku because Goku failed to multiply his POWER as well as his control, upon changing form to SSJB. SSJB itself didn’t fail, SSJ2B’s power level failed against LSSJ Kale.
the question is not “which is better: SSJB vs Kale” — it is “which is better: SSJ2B + kaioken vs Kale”.

take that note with you, and reference this article upon discussion. be sure to comment your thoughts/opinions/rebuttals+sources!

Jiren’s Approximate Power Levels by Comparison: One-Shots LSSJ Kale

now here’s where we see Jiren’s approximate power levels. Jiren steps up to handle LSSJ berserker Kale, and one-shots her at ~21:00. and that is that.

some important power-level analysis i have to offer here:

Hit says “you” to Jiren ~21:13, as if he either knows Jiren, or realizes that Jiren’s is the presence he sensed earlier (he said earlier in the tournament “i sense a disturbing presence”)… at this point we’re thinking the next biggest face-off is going to be Hit vs. Jiren (my opinion in this face-off: Jiren would win because he one-shotted LSSJ Kale, Hit earlier conceded that she’s a monster, and Hit retreated later), but Goku then shows up. upon his arrival, Hit says “now’s our chance (for retreat)”, and he and Caulifla retreat with Kale at ~21:28, to let Goku and Jiren face off. at this point it is confirmed that Jiren’s power level is above LSSJ berserker Kale’s, above Hit’s (but this can set Hit up to battle Gohan, which fits), and around Goku’s.

i’ll definitely say that episode 100 was a GREAT episode full of extremely important faceoffs.

now, let’s move on the the most recent Japanese subbed DPS episode to date (August 4 2017), ep 101, and let’s talk about dem U11 Pride Troopas and how they get ‘droided!


EP 101: U11 Pride Troopers vs U6 Saiyans + U7 Z-Fighters

“The Impending Warriors of Justice! The Pride Troopers!!”

“The Impending Warriors of Justice! The Pride Troopers!!”

FRANKENSTEIN CAULIFLA THEORY

so this episode begins with Caulifla egging on Kale, after Kale’s regained consciousness from passing out after being one-shotted by Jiren in LSSJ berserker form at ~3:00 (don’t know how THE FUCK that didn’t eliminate her).

it is in this jovial declaration by Caulifla that LSSJ Kale “really is amazing” that i’m willing to confirm my above-stated Frankenstein Caulifla theory — Caulifla is using Kale and her LSSJ berserker ability for her own ulterior motive.

Goku, Kale, and Caulifla continue the face-off against the Pride Troopers — the “justice league” of the universes.

Saiyans vs U11 Pride Troopers, from MaSTAR Media

ROSHI + TIEN VS U3 FIGHTER

i love that we see some newly incorporated moves from team OG Z-Fighters! at ~7:16, Roshi introduces Lightning Flash Surprise Attack. using energy, Roshi paralyzes the target, but he can’t move either… to solve that, Tien comes in with his New Ki Blast Cannon at ~7:41, resulting in a KO for them both. a job well-done from team OG Z-Fighters!

GET DE-‘DROID! №17 & 18 Serve SWIFT L’s

№18 + №17 face-off vs Kahseral ( described as ”a battle professional that’s conquered many planets” by the U11 clown god of destruction at ~12:33). as they’re battling, Kahseral laments, outstood, “i couldn’t sense their energy, and they hit me!“. we’re getting introduced to MORE ‘DROID power, with namely №18 going rambo. №17 then eats his powerful Justice Bomber with a force field, and mocks it ~12:50, flexin on ’em. Androids going toe-to-toe with U11 fighters CONFIRMS that they are very very strong, compared to U11, which is among the strongest universe!

Goku and №18 then pair up vs Tupper and Zoiray. No 18’s SIMPLE KI BLASTS to Tupper very visibly hurt his back and made him get off of Goku (~13:10), whereupon he exclaims, “that girl’s ruthless!” (~13:16). that ruthless girl then picks up Tupper with one hand and throws him off (~14:15). get fuckin DUNKED, Tupperware you dick.

№18, Goku on left, effortlessly lifting Tupper with just one hand, in EP 101, from Funimation.com

the Androids easily overpower U11 fighters such that they are forced to retreat and take defensive — this gives them the upperhand. a couple androids sure can turn the tide of battle!

the SURVIVALIST aspect of the tournament is exemplified in this next and last scene i’ll reference.

KALE CONTROLS LSSJ FOR 1ST TIME+ SSJ2 CAULI VS 4 PRIDE FLOPPERS

Kale transformers to SSJ at will for first time out of pure survival (at ~17:06), and breaks the dimension bubble a U11 Pride Trooper has her trapped in. the power-break shatters the bubble. it is now a face-off between 4 Pride Troopers and SSJ Cauli + SSJ Kale. it comes down to their United Justice Stream max power vs max SSJ Cauli’s Kamehameha equivalent (a red, translucent color) + max SSJ Kale’s Kamehameha equivalent (a yellow, solid color), and the beams of energy are going at each other neck-and-neck. SOMEONE NEEDS MORE POWER.

Caulifla says to Kale, “Kale, dig in. you’re my friend. follow me to the end” (~18:42), and this inspires Kale to, for the first time, transform into her LSSJ form WITHOUT the berserker technique (and also supports my foreshadowing FrankenCauli theory). what i consider further support for my FrankenCauli theory is the symbolic foreshadowing in how, once Kale tapped into LSSJ (at ~18:52), her energy beam and Cauli’s swirled around and combined (a red and green color), to overpower their opponents. this brings them 3 KO’s, but Kale collapses after. this also further confirms that she is a novice that cannot control this LSSJ form, and can hardly access SSJ form.

clip from ep 101

the grand priest aptly concludes the episode with the narration, “the initial fight is over. it’s time for the powerful warriors — the fight is going to get more intense” (~20:55).

the grand priest announcing the conclusion of the TOP’s intro, in EP 101, from Funimation.com

and there you have it from me. those are almost all of the points i wanted to make about the TOP’s intro skirmishes. personally, i am so excited for new developments!

Vegeta vs. Cabba. Goku vs. Jiren. Hit vs. Gohan. Frieza to rise to GOLDEN GOD??? THE FUCK IS PICCOLO UP TO VS THESE RIVAL NAMEKIANS? The Planeta Vegeta Conspiracy: WHEN will Vegeta find out Beerus and Frieza’s connection? IS Beerus/Frieza/U4’s Quietla/U9’s (now erased) Sidra and Roh IN CAHOOTS TO DESTROY THE SAIYANS? U7 will, now clearly, win, but under WHAT circumstance and condition?WHAT will become of this new generation of Saiyans and their legendary berserker? what will become of the destiny of the older generation Saiyans?

so many questions spinning around the fates of the known universes at this TOP — the Tournament of Power — in… Dragon… Ball… Super!

[cue theme music]

the TOP is a literal TOP by design
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