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Tournament of Power manga review

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  • Tournament of Power manga review

    Finally, the last of my reviews (until the Moro saga is finished, of course) for the DBS manga.

    Like with the Black saga, the TOP changes so much between the manga and the obviously inferior anime version that like in the previous saga I have to make something clear: you haven't seen the Tournament of Power if you have only watched the anime version.

    That being said, the difference is not that big here: the anime upped the quality for that last saga and it even has some genuinely good chapters of its own (special mention to the chapters dedicated to the recruitment of Freezer, which were so good that I even doubt they belong to the rest of the seires).

    So, why is this saga better in the manga?

    1. It is a real battle royale. The innovation of this saga is that for the first time in the series this wasn't a 1 vs 1 fight but a battle royale. In the anime this is not respected and nearly everyone waits his turn to be defeated by Goku & co.

    2. Freezer. Yeah, even if it's introduction was much, much better in the anime, anything else regarding this character was much better done in the manga.
    In the anime his scheme to fool Frost MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE (why waste so much energy faking a fight with Gohan in his Golden form when both could dispatch him with ease using much less power?), while in the manga it's perfectly coherent: use the weaklings of U7 as a bait for Frost to gain trust in Freezer, then use Frost to wipe U9 (which had much stronger fighters than Krilin and Tien) and finally eliminate Frost himself with ease once he's tired after fighting.
    Of course, Freezer beating the U6 sayans was much, much better than anything the anime tried to do with this character.

    3. The Power Levels actually make sense. Yeah, I know this is a constant when comparing the manga and the anime, but I think this saga shows how GOOD WRITTING can allow for much crazier scenarios while still being coherent with the stablished canon.
    Let's compare the performance of Mutenroshi in the manga and in the anime.
    In the anime his role is to eliminate some fodders from other universes while having a couple of touching scenes with some of the U7 members, and in order to do this, you see a Mutenroshi able to fight with SSJ1 level wariors (or even above). Bad writting that makes absolutely no sense.
    In the manga Mutenroshi serves a much bigger role: it's the inspiration for Goku to tap into the UI, and it does it while fighting Jiren, by far the strongest menace in the ToP.

    But why does his fight in the manga make more sense than his anime bullshitty appearances? Easy, because of context.
    In both the manga and the anime killing your opponents is prohibited, but while this has no impact in the anime in the manga it's pretty obvious that every fighter has to pull the strength of his punches to not kill weaker opponents, and that's how the manga allows Roshi to fight Jiren:
    - Roshi, thanks to his hundreds of years of training, has movements that are much above what his power level should allow him.
    - The only fighter that Roshi eliminates is taken by surprise because Roshi's power level is so low.
    - It's obvious that Jiren (nor the eliminated figher) weren't fighting Roshi with all their strength, while of course in the anime this wasn't the case.

    So yeah, this is how the manga manages to make more sense while drawing Jiren vs Roshi and giving Roshi an even bigger role than in the anime while maintaining the internal coherence.

    Of course, Goku & co replenishing their strengths dozens of times because the plot demands it is an anime only thing as well.

    4. The overall plot actually makes sense. In the anime Zeno first wanted to eliminate the universes, but in the end he wanted everyone to be ressurrected. Bullshit.

    5. The pace is much better (even if not perfect). While in the anime we had tons of filler, the manga was much more on point. Great.

    So this is how the manga compares to the anime, but that doesn't mean it's perfect.

    For example, even if the pace is much better in the manga, I felt it was even a bit too rushed. Here is where it's felt that the anime going faster than the manga forced toyotarou to advance the fights faster than he normally would.
    Goku vs Jiren for example, yeah, it was moved much before (it practically started at the beginning of the tournament) which helped a lot, but I still felt it was a bit rushed.

    On the other hand, the excellent recruitment of Freezer in the anime made me think something was lost when I saw it's manga counterpart (though the rest of the recruitments are so much better in the manga), and even if 17s recruitment is much better than in the anime, I still don't feel good about 17 increasing his powrs that much (his power comes from an unlimited battery, how can he turn stronger?).

    All in all, a very good saga with a bit of pacing problems in the end.
    I didn't feel the tension I felt in the Black saga, but it had other very good and funny moments.

    A Solid 8,5 out of 10 for the manga ToP.