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Goku Black Saga review (manga)

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  • Goku Black Saga review (manga)

    Continuing with the reviews of each saga of the DBS manga, not it's the turn for what I think it's the best DBS saga in the manga and the WORST DBS saga in the anime: Goku black.

    If the U6 saga is what convinced me to give the manga an oportunity, the Goku Black saga made me a fan of it.

    As I already explained in other posts I've made, the Anime version of the Black saga almost made me quit Dragon Ball. It was an absolute trainwreck in every single sense, as if the objective of the writters at Toei was to make the worst DB product ever, even surpassing DB:GT.

    Review:
    This is the first big/ambitious saga of the DBS manga, and it starts pretty strong with Trunks escaping from the future or Goku being an antagonist. In terms of plot ambition, it doesn't reach the complexity of the Cell saga but it's still much above anything else done in Super (or DB except for the Cell saga) in this regard, and it's well done (no glaring plot-holes).
    But the writting is not only the plot, but also the characters, and the Black saga is in my opinon the best DB saga (even counting the original manga) when it comes to that.
    The secondary characters have a purpose (god bless Kaiohshin, I didn't like that character at all besides the few comical moments he got but he saves the day here), they even have an influence in the main fight (something that didn't happen since the fight against Vegeta) and both Goku and Vegeta shine as much as they can possibly shine (Goku not being the retarded he was in the anime, when Trunks explains to Vegeta how Bulma died and that scene of Vegeta telling Trunks to heal Goku instead of him, those are pure, absolute GOLD).
    The saga itself is selfcontained, but that isn't bad per se, and the only negative apect I can think of is in the beginning where multiple chapters are spend with Zamatsu and the U10 Kaiohshin, this part could've been improved to make it a little less boring.

    The quality of the fights is very, very high. Not only in terms of designing good looking fighting scenes, but also in the complexity of the fights themselves which reminds me of classic DB at its best. How the untrained SSJBlue droping one's energy is taken into account in every single fight, and tons and tons of small details (Goku can't use his perfected SSJB in the first round of the last fight because he has used the mafuba which took a toll on him) that scream "this is pure, authenting Dragon Ball" that make the fights of this saga the best fitghts of the whole Super series.
    Also, the gimmick of fighting against an immortal being is very well done, and Black's "god" powers allow him to have a lot of original techniques.


    Now I could list hundreds of things that this saga fixed compared to it's anime counterpart, but I will summarize it with a single word: EVERYTHING.
    From the fights (pure nonsense in the anime) to the plot (an incoherent mess impossible to make any sense of in the anime) or the characters (ultra-retarded Goku and fanservicy-crybaby Trunks being the worst offenders by far in the anime), you haven't seen the Black saga if you haven't read the manga.

    Score: 9.5/10
    Not prefect because of those chapters about Zamasu in the beginning that are too slow for my tastes, but everything else is as good as I expect a DB saga to be, even compared to Z I would say the Black Saga is among the best of the best.

  • #2
    I wouldn't get ahead of yourself here, the Future Trunks arc in the manga is still pure nonsense. When it comes to the characters, Toyo writes them with all the finesse and skill expected from a fan whose only experience was writing a shoddy Dragon Ball AF fan fiction. Goku is idiotic, and his skill as one of the greatest martial artists in the universe has been retconned, Vegeta has been reversed to early Boo arc personality. And constantly flips flops between detesting Goku, and helping him whenever Toyo feels like it. Which is exemplified by Goku constantly having to remind him of Bulma if they wan't to fuse.

    The weakest characters of the story are Zamasu and Black Goku, who in an interview Toyo and Toriyama claim are the most complex Dragon Ball villains. But what the story shows is another bland Dragon Ball villain, this time without the style, and charm that Toriyam brought to Freeza, Cell and Boo. With Zamasu and Black's greatest differences being that they have a God complex. He could also have achieved his goal by having Shenron wish for all mortals in all 12 universes be erased, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    The plot starts off solid, but as the story progresses gets shakier and shakier as Toyo shows off his non existent skill at writing a plot until it all falls apart in the climax. The Mafuba is brought back, and achieves nothing. Vegeta uses SSJG and SSJB together and achieves nothing. Fan favourite Vegetto appears, only to waste everyones time and defuse before he could actually do anything. Goku shows that he could have ended the conflict before it ever spiraled out of control by revealing not only he had a far superior mastered SSJB which he achieved off screen, but the fucking Hakai (Which becomes more and more egregious in the Moro arc.) Which all culminates in the biggest fuck you to any Dragon Ball fan with the future timeline being erased, and making everything Trunks went through a gigantic waste of time, while also attempting to spin it as a happy ending.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      I wouldn't get ahead of yourself here, the Future Trunks arc in the manga is still pure nonsense. When it comes to the characters, Toyo writes them with all the finesse and skill expected from a fan whose only experience was writing a shoddy Dragon Ball AF fan fiction. Goku is idiotic, and his skill as one of the greatest martial artists in the universe has been retconned
      The writting level in Dragon Ball AF was much worse than this, come on.
      Regarding Goku, what makes you think that him being one of the greatest martial artists has been retconned? He in fact demonstrates (again) that he is one step ahead having mastered the SSJ Blue!

      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      Vegeta has been reversed to early Boo arc personality. And constantly flips flops between detesting Goku, and helping him whenever Toyo feels like it. Which is exemplified by Goku constantly having to remind him of Bulma if they wan't to fuse.
      I can't agree on that.
      Early saga Bu Vegeta was a very conflicted man, he still wanted to be who he always thought he would be and he didn't accept how things were going, which is in no way the case for Vegeta in Super.
      I don't know why you think he still detests Goku, when it's pretty clear that he sees him as a rival but not as a foe like in most of Z, and you never see hate to Goku from his speaches or actions (in fact, the scene of him telling Trunks to give Goku the senzu precisely demosntrated how much has Vegeta changed since then).

      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      The weakest characters of the story are Zamasu and Black Goku, who in an interview Toyo and Toriyama claim are the most complex Dragon Ball villains. But what the story shows is another bland Dragon Ball villain, this time without the style, and charm that Toriyam brought to Freeza, Cell and Boo. With Zamasu and Black's greatest differences being that they have a God complex. He could also have achieved his goal by having Shenron wish for all mortals in all 12 universes be erased, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
      I don't think Black is the best DB foe, but it's true that they at least tried to give them a different take on the "villian" formula that was never seen in DB (someone who had "correct" moral values and got corrupted by them), even if it's true that it wasn't portrayed very well.
      And compared to Jiren, Hit or the anime versions of those characters, he still is the better villian.

      Regarding the wish he makes, asking for all the mortals in the 12 universes to be erased would have been a bad idea since then the gods of destructions would kill/seal him and wish back the mortals to life in a moment.
      Zamatsu picked that timeline because there was no God of destruction there so he could go unnoticed (in fact, if Trunks didn't escape nobody would've known about Black's scheme until much, much latter). His plan was to increase his strength after stealing Goku's body until he could reach a point where he would be strong enough to defeat the gods of destruction that could oppose him.


      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      The plot starts off solid, but as the story progresses gets shakier and shakier as Toyo shows off his non existent skill at writing a plot until it all falls apart in the climax.
      The Mafuba is brought back, and achieves nothing.
      The mafuba had to be brought back because it's the first thing it comes to mind when fighting against an immortal foe, it doesn't mean it has to be the final solution to the problem.
      And narratively speaking, it allowed Goku to "save" the completed blue form for later in a way that didn't seem forced, which wouldn't have been possible otherwise.


      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      Vegeta uses SSJG and SSJB together and achieves nothing.
      ?? He defeats SSJ Rose Black with that trick and forces him to fuse with the other Zamatsu, I wouldn't say this is "achieving nothing".

      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      Fan favourite Vegetto appears, only to waste everyones time and defuse before he could actually do anything.
      And what else could he do? I mean, or you end the saga there (which would have been anti-climatic because we knew from the moment the Kaioshin was there that the fusion was an option) or you do what Toyotarou did becasue Vegitto was too powerful for any other outcome to be plausible.

      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      Goku shows that he could have ended the conflict before it ever spiraled out of control by revealing not only he had a far superior mastered SSJB which he achieved off screen, but the fucking Hakai (Which becomes more and more egregious in the Moro arc.
      ???
      In the first round Goku is completely taken by surprise by Zamatsu before he can even put up a fight once he leaves his regular SSJBlue form (which against Zamatsu was more than enough). So he has no oportunity to show his completed blue.
      In the second round, the completed blue would've not been of any help in front of immortal Zamatsu (as the regular God form was already capable of completely overpowering and nullifying his god powers), and after the Mafuba Goku states that he can't use it (the completed SSJBlue) because it requires him to be at full condition.

      Yes, if things had gone different Goku could've eneded the Black saga in their first round, but that's why I like this saga that much, because it manages to write scenarios that justify why those things didn't happen before without feeling it is forcing the situation too much.

      Originally posted by PocketGoggu View Post
      Which all culminates in the biggest fuck you to any Dragon Ball fan with the future timeline being erased, and making everything Trunks went through a gigantic waste of time, while also attempting to spin it as a happy ending.
      Didn't Trunks travel to his own TL just before Black appeared from the future to warn Bills before Kaioshin is killed by Dabra?
      I liked the ending a lot because:
      1. You see the consequences of using Zeno or taking him lightly. Goku wanted him to destroy Zamatsu, and he did, and he destroyed his reality.
      2. Which in turns prevents Zeno from becoming a plotdevice that can solve any situation.
      3. Not all endings have to be perfectly happy ones, this one in fact is some of the more bittersweet endings in the series: Trunks TL wasn't saved, humanity wasn't saved but Trunks had a future with Mai in a very similar TL that could still be saved.


      Regards!

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